Health & Medical

Sean Parker of Napster fame image
Donating millions: Sean Parker.

Sean Parker of Napster fame is donating $US24 million ($AU29 million) to create a new research institute at Stanford University with the mission of finding a cure – not just another treatment – for allergies.

In announcing the gift, the 35-year-old technology whiz revealed that he has suffered from life-threatening food allergies and asthma for most of his life. He said he missed the final weeks of his senior year at Chantilly (Virginia) High School because of complications from allergies and that his wife estimates he has been hospitalised 14 times in the time they have known each other.

“We think of allergies as being a nuisance or inconvenience, but there are a huge number of people for whom it is pretty debilitating,” Parker, who is estimated by Forbes to be worth $US3 billion ($AU3.7 billion), said during a conference call Monday with reporters.

Parker, co-founder of the Napster file-sharing service and Facebook’s founding president, said that while the number of people with allergies is rising, research has been “stuck in the stone ages.”

About 30 per cent of the global population is affected by allergies each day. Those with allergies to things such as pollen often use antihistamine pills and nasal sprays. Some build tolerance by getting shots that expose them to tiny amounts of allergens.

There are not any approved treatments for people with food allergies, so they must avoid exposure to foods they are allergic to. Many carry around devices with epinephrine, which can stop an attack, in case of accidental exposure.

Parker said he wants to move the field away from managing symptoms and toward delving into the mechanisms of the immune system’s response during allergic reactions.

The new institute, which will be called the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy Research, will be led by Kari Nadeau, a researcher at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. She has pioneered research that involves exposing patients to small amounts of peanuts, wheat and other allergens in a controlled setting.

Parker has become an influential philanthropist and spokesman for research into the immune system. His largest donations before the one to Stanford have gone to the emerging field of cancer immunotherapy, which looks at how the body’s immune system can be harnessed to stop cancers.

Washington Post
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Henry Sapiecha

Han Hae-kyung takes an electrotherapy on her shoulder and back at Gang-won Rehabilitation Hospital, South Korea image

SEOUL — When Han Hye-kyung finished high school and got a job at Samsung, her family celebrated with a barbecue. But within two years, she stopped menstruating. And then she couldn’t walk straight. And then doctors found a brain tumour, something she and her family claim came from toxins at a factory run by the South Korean tech giant.

Han and her mother are among a small group of Koreans who say there’s a dark side to this country’s most iconic conglomerate. They say conditions at a Samsung Electronics production plant caused hundreds of rare diseases over the past two decades, some fatal, with most victims in their 20s or 30s.

The fight between Samsung and dozens of former workers persisted for years on the fringes. But the plight of those ex-employees has suddenly forced its way into the mainstream, reflecting South Korea’s growing concern about safety and corporate accountability.

Samsung and other chaebol, as the conglomerates are known, have long stood as the unassailable patriarchs of South Korea’s Third-World-to-riches rise. But in the past few months, lawmakers have demanded that Samsung provide an explanation for the spate of rare diseases. A crowd-sourced movie inspired by the issue hit theatres. And recently, Samsung apologised in a nationally televised news conference for its “lack of attention” to the pain and distress of former employees with the unusual illnesses.

There’s no clear proof linking the diseases with factory conditions. Samsung said in a statement to The Washington Post that it is “meeting or exceeding” industry health and safety standards and emphasised a series of safety innovations that it called “best-in-class.” But some politicians and activists here say the employees’ health problems highlight the faults of a company that emphasised productivity over safety and prevented the formation of workers’ unions.

For those who have pushed Samsung to acknowledge the diseases, the recent apology was a partial vindication, coming after years in which Samsung questioned their credibility. Samsung promised compensation for victims but pointedly did not claim responsibility. Han and her mother, Kim Shi-nyeo, watched the announcement on an off-brand flat-screen at their rented apartment; Kim had sold nearly every Samsung product she owned because just looking at the logo made her angry.

Han, severely disabled by the surgery to remove her brain tumour, beat her chest as she heard Samsung Electronics chief executive Kwon Oh-hyun say he was “heartbroken” by what had happened.

Kim teared up.

“I felt, to an extent, like all those years we’ve had to go through were recognised,” Kim said. “At the same time, the fact still remains that my daughter has to live the rest of her life this way.”

Complicated claims

Samsung is known globally for its televisions and smartphones, but within Korea, its influence is broader — that of a do-everything titan that sells life insurance, builds apartments and accounts for one-fifth of the nation’s gross domestic product.

Those who study Samsung say the company is increasingly sensitive to blemishes on its image as its ailing chairman, Lee Kun-hee, prepares to pass the reins to his only son.

“The social mood is changing in Korea, and I think Samsung sensed that,” said Kim Sang-jo, an economist at Hansung University who specialises in the conglomerate. “The [rare diseases] had become a symbolic problem for Samsung. It was starting to be seen as a very arrogant and stubborn company.”

Concern about Samsung’s factory conditions first surfaced seven years ago, when two former employees who had worked side by side, Hwang Yu-mi and Lee Suk-yeong, died of leukemia within months of one another. Hwang was 23, and her father, a taxi driver, felt the deaths couldn’t be a coincidence.

In the years since, about 200 other people have claimed sicknesses from Samsung production lines, mostly from the Giheung plant 20 miles south of Seoul, which manufactures semiconductors and liquid crystal displays.

But the claims are complicated. Most mainstream medical experts say that the causes of brain tumours and leukemia are essentially unknown. Still, there are some factors that can increase the risk, including exposure to radiation and benzene. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says “long-term exposure” to high levels of benzene can cause leukemia and some cancers.

Like other high-tech manufacturers, Samsung uses potentially harmful chemicals on its production lines — including benzene — but not at levels exceeding safety standards, according to studies that Samsung has permitted of its workplaces.

In part because of that ambiguity, South Korea’s government-run workplace compensation agency has sent conflicting signals about whether it thinks the claims are legitimate. In four cases, the agency has determined that the diseases were workplace accidents, the result of chemical exposure, according to Lee Jong-ran, a lawyer who represents many of those who have fallen ill.

But in 23 other cases, including Han’s, the agency said there was no clear correlation. Those workers have appealed to the courts, where they’ve squared off against the compensation agency and faced yet another challenge — Samsung has lent its high-profile lawyers to the government to help with its defence. (Samsung said in May that it would withdraw its lawyers from the cases.)

The diseases were reported by people employed by Samsung in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and the company has since revamped its Giheung plant. Still, several employees who worked there say Samsung for too long paid insufficient attention to worker safety. During occasional power outages, air filtration systems would shut down. Work would stop temporarily, but resume before the gases were entirely cleared, they said.

“It’s very expensive to stop a [production] line for a long time,” said Ryu Ui-seok, a former Samsung engineer who worked at Giheung from 2004 until 2006 and is in good health. “After even a brief power outage, you’d smell the chemicals very strongly” as people got back to work.

Most of the workers at Giheung were women, recent high school graduates. During the one-month orientations held for newcomers, they were told about the history of the company and the apartments they’d one day be able to afford, according to several former employees. They were given detailed instructions on how to keep the production line clean, an essential for semiconductor manufacturing. But they were told almost nothing about safety or the chemicals they’d be dealing with, they said.

“All we learned was how to be an efficient worker,” said Hong Sae-mi, who joined Samsung at 19 and has multiple sclerosis, a disease she says is workplace-related. “The emphasis was on the product, not the people.”

In a statement, Samsung said that even dating back to the 1990s, 10 of 200 mandatory education hours for employees were devoted to safety. Employees were instructed on how to handle chemicals and deal with accidents. Samsung also said that in 2007, it implemented a round-the-clock chemical monitoring system, and that out of an “abundance of caution,” chemical levels were kept to one-tenth of legal limits.

Samsung declined to discuss Han’s case. A company spokeswoman said that in the West, apologising could be seen as an admission of responsibility.

“But the employees are like our family, and the company would like to offer help when the family is in trouble,” said the spokeswoman, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. “Instead of looking into whose fault it is, we try to give help first.”

Fighting a lost cause

Han, who left Samsung in 2001, developed the menstruation problems while still at the company. But her more serious health issues emerged later; her brain tumour was diagnosed in 2005. In a 2012 blog post, Samsung noted that some ex-employees’ illnesses surfaced well after they left the company, making it difficult to draw a link.

Han can’t tell her own story. She has full comprehension, but she can barely speak — only a few words now and then. After years of physiotherapy, she can dress herself, but she cannot button her shirts. She cannot write. She can talk on the phone, but only if her mother holds it to her ear.

For all the attention that the claims against Samsung have received in recent months, those dealing with diseases have suffered in private for years. In Han’s case, the best-case scenario is that she’ll “one day be able to walk to the dinner table,” Kim said.

After doctors discovered Han’s tumour, she underwent high-risk surgery. She emerged from the 12-hour operation alive, but much different. Her arms flailed uncontrollably and she couldn’t lift her head. She had quadruple vision.

It was only in 2008 that Kim heard about the other, comparable cases. Friends told her that fighting Samsung was a lost cause, given its political power and clout with the news media. But Kim joined a growing group of victims and their relatives who held memorial services and brandished banners in front of Samsung’s headquarters. Kim sold a restaurant she owned and became a full-time caretaker for her daughter. A group representing the families has paid Han’s medical bills over the past two years.

Both the government agency and a Seoul administrative court have ruled there’s no confirmed link between Han’s condition and her time at Samsung. But Kim says she’s “100 percent sure” there is. There is no family history of brain tumours or other rare diseases, and Han never showed health problems before taking her job at Samsung, her mother said.

Kim is now hoping to receive compensation from Samsung in a negotiation process. Her goals are simple. She wants to outfit her apartment with grasp bars and other devices that can help her daughter more easily live at home.

“I want Samsung to think about all the years my daughter cannot work,” Kim said. “She will need help for the rest of her life.”

Henry Sapiecha

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Today the baby boomers at 65

Jo Chandler January 1, 2011

They are the generation that changed the social landscape, reshaping – and at times revolutionising – how we live, work and play. Now the boomers have reached a new milestone.

”I hope I die before I get old.”
Pete Townshend, My Generation,
The Who. Age 20, 1965

THE first babies of the boomer wave – the generation who shouted loud the anthem composed for them by Townshend, cranking up the volume, thrashing their air guitars and alienating their bemused parents – turn 65 this year.

Some 200,000 of them, the 1946 crop, will hit the milestone in Australia in 2011, with another 5.4 million coming up behind to swell the senior demographic to unprecedented dimensions. Each week more than 1000 Victorians are turning 65. Whether you are inside or outside the boomer legion, brace yourselves – it may be a bumpy ride.

Most boomers will presumably be grateful not to have been granted their youthful wish for an early dispatch. If they could reprise the lyrics to reflect what surveys tell us about their mindset today, My Generation (@2011) would more likely chorus something like ”Hope I Die Before I Get Alzheimer’s”, or ”Before I Run Out of Money”, or ”Before They Put Me in a Home”. Or, characteristically, they might just stick out their chins and subvert the whole paradigm: ”Define ‘old’.”

Nonetheless, for a cohort distinguished by trenchant refusal to grow into their parents, to find themselves qualifying to collect the old age pension (the women got there last year) is a confronting moment.

What with the creaky hips, collapsed jawlines and shrinking newsprint, you’d excuse a bit of crankiness. As one author wrote in, abruptly deflecting an invitation from The Age to reflect on his imminent 65th, ”I can think of few things I would rather do less – for example, sliding down a giant razor blade.”

However reluctantly, the boomers are positioning to redefine old age, just as they have recast every other category of the demographic continuum on the push through. From the generation that invented teenage-hood, embraced the sexual revolution, fought the gender war, manufactured consumer culture, wrestled the work-life balance, fractured traditional family and rode the wave of prosperity until it crashed around their ears in the global financial crisis – now comes The New Old Age.

By the time they hit 65, most boomers have acclimatised to the shock of senior status, says social commentator Hugh Mackay. They have negotiated fraught middle age, coming to terms with the externals of gravity.

Nonetheless, many will struggle with questions of identity when they pull in the shingle of their occupation. Then there are issues of relevance, spirituality, legacy and death, together with the less existential questions of financial security and bodily decay. The last of these looms particularly large for those boomers caring for elderly parents.

At some deepest level, Mackay reckons many never imagined they would set foot on the grey landscape. Hence quite a few arrive without the stash of savings they might have wished they had, and perhaps with more baggage than they bargained. After all, ”We’re here for a good time/Not a long time”.

”That was their generational ethos,” Mackay says. ”That is why they were the inventors of instant gratification. They were absolutely impatient, voracious consumers of everything – education, travel, sex. They married young, had kids young, they went into it all with their ears pinned back.” He anticipates nothing less as they move through what was once retirement and into their senior years.

For example, in regard to work, ”what they are talking about is not retirement, but in classic boomer style, they are ‘refocusing’,” says Mackay. ”That might mean chopping back a bit at paid work, playing a bit more golf, doing a bit of volunteering, but not absolutely stopping work. That would be a sign that you are old.” Their vision is to enter a new ”airy, sunlit upland” drifting between work and play.

In this landscape they can embrace maturity, and will demand for themselves the venerable status of elder. Many of them are signalling that they will turn their energies to philanthropy and volunteerism – perhaps to make amends, perhaps to redefine themselves, perhaps even acting from altruism.

Most will cling fast to the demeanour and accoutrements of their younger selves for as long as they can. As Professor Simon Biggs – formerly head of gerontology at King’s College London, now continuing his exploration of mature identity at the University of Melbourne – has observed, many will continue to use consumerism to buy the props that declare who they are – the clothes or holidays or houses, books or music or indulgences.

But whereas in middle age this may have been invested in what Biggs called the ”masquerade of youth”, at 65, most of the 1946 babies interviewed by The Age seem more inclined to spend money and time on things that reflect their inner core, hopefully straddling youthful attitude and maturity.

To understand where the boomers will take old age requires an understanding of where they came from. Their life courses – while individually diverse – have been propelled by strong political, economic and social winds prevailing through their formative years. As children of the Cold War, they were shaped by contradictory influences, explains Mackay.

”One was the looming prospect of nuclear war, the thought that at any minute, either deliberately or accidentally, we would all be history. That co-existed with the surprise of postwar economic boom … full employment, massive explosions in manufacturing, housing, business in general.”

The baby boomers climbed aboard the economic escalator, enjoying whatever wealth and opportunity they found on the way up. As it turned out they weren’t claimed by nuclear fallout, but neither did they enjoy an entirely rosy ride – particularly those at the leading edge of the boomer wave.

”They hit this very turbulent period. The big credit squeeze of the ’70s, the massive recession of the ’80s, even more severe than the one in the ’90s. So their generation experienced the highest rate of unemployment since the Great Depression,” observes Mackay. ”They set new divorce records. ‘All you need is love’ didn’t quite turn out. They had a lot of pain.”Now they want the gain..

They were in the thick of the gender bender revolution – wonderful for many women, confronting for some, and deeply challenging for their menfolk. And in the midst of all the economic upheaval came the info-tech revolution, late enough to be a real challenge ”They have been here for a long time, and it hasn’t always been such a good time,” says Mackay. ”However, they have always seen themselves as iconoclasts and social pioneers. At every stage they have seen themselves as being younger than their parents at the same age. And brighter, fitter, better fed, better dressed, better educated, with better taste and so on.”

They will determinedly do old age better too. But it is a fraught landscape. At 65, big questions loom. How will I spend the next 20 or 30 years? Will I work? Can I afford to play? Will I lose my marbles? Where will I live? How do I engage with the world? And the question ringing loudly in the internal world of a generation for whom self-absorption and self-actualisation was not self-indulgence – who will I be when I am old?

‘THERE is a certain point in one’s life where you start to count forward to where you are probably going to die, rather than counting back to where you started your life or your career,” says gerontologist Professor Hal Kendig, head of the ageing, work, and health research unit at the University of Sydney.

That moment is now upon many boomers. In this they are not so special – their forebears met it with no more relish. But boomers have an ace up their sleeve – time. ”Old age used to be this very short period between when you stop working and when you get frail and die, especially for men,” says Kendig. Today, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures conservatively anticipate a 65-year-old man surviving into his mid-80s, and women nudging 90.

Earlier generations arguably accepted too easily negative and lower expectations for older people, Kendig says. But whereas they slipped into their cardigans and comfy chairs for a relatively brief stay in God’s waiting room, the boomers are busting through into the so-called Third Age.

Like Mackay, Kendig also looks to the boomers’ past to get a fix on their future. He tracks the nexus of their key life stages against critical moments of history – such as growing up in rising affluence and the new suburbia, and entering adulthood in a period of tumultuous social change. The identity they forged in the 1960s will now inform who they are in their 60s, 70s and 80s. But for a couple of reasons, just how that will turn out is not entirely clear.

The first caveat, says Kendig, is that the boomers are not necessarily as wayward as we think. The second is that once again the boomers are moving into a new life stage at precisely the same moment history churns violently, their retirement plans ripped apart by the GFC.

”The sharpness of that economic shock had a very frightening effect on people on the verge or retiring, and was even worse on those who had just retired,” says Kendig.

Despite all the hyperbole about boomers as carefree change agents who partied like there was no tomorrow, Kendig points out that every baby boomer was raised by a parent who came to adulthood during the Great Depression. ”They grew up with core values from parents who had to fix their socks and worry about the next meal. So we baby boomers have our stoical parents somewhere deep within ourselves.”

The GFC brought those values to the surface.

When Kendig and his colleagues surveyed 1000 boomers on the impact of the GFC last year, they found almost 40 per cent of those working were financially hit hard. As a consequence, more than 41 per cent of women, and almost 32 per cent of men, decided to postpone their retirement plans.

Between those electing to stay in paid work because of financial necessity, and those who want to work to preserve their identity and engagement in the world, the boomers are set to maintain a visible profile in the workforce. The sixtysomethings and even seventysomethings will be hanging around the office a while yet.

This is a good thing, Kendig argues – both for older individuals, and for society. The boomers are greying just as a trough in births plays out in an increasingly depleted workforce. ”That is a major change, one that has precipitated lots of reactions which get focused on baby boomers. One of them is ‘we can’t afford these guys’.”

Much of the focus of public policy discussion on the cost to government of demographic change ”in a sense blames the older population … but it’s structural, not personal”. Kendig wants to see more policy encouraging older productivity, in part as an antidote to anticipated shortages of workers.

”Employers are recognising, at a time of low levels of unemployment, that baby boomers are worth keeping. That’s a huge change – a new era in history. Australia is recognising the big bugbear for the future is not youth unemployment, it is having enough workers for everyone, including the government – so our attitudes are starting to change.”

Continuing to work will help boomers who have failed to put aside enough money for retirement to maintain their lifestyles. ”It is true that many boomers have expectations far beyond the old age pension,” says Kendig. But he dismisses perceptions that they will syphon up public resources they are not entitled to at the expense of younger generations. ”Older people care about their kids and the future and all the rest. It’s not going to happen.”

Kendig emphasises that work is not just about money, but about continuing to contribute to families, to communities, and to maintain a sense of self. He uses the allegory of a farmer who, with advancing age, downsizes to a garden, and then tends a few plants on a shelf.

”One of the fundamental questions is how one maintains, often with fierce effort, one’s ongoing core identity, regardless of how the body changes, and changes in the the way people look at you and treat you. Work for the continuing self is probably the major challenge of growing older.”

On this he is in fierce agreement with Associate Professor Peter Hunter, a geriatrician and clinical leader at Alfred Health. ”The biggest issue for doctors in terms of the ageing process is not clinical, but managing the psychosocial aspects – how people see themselves in the community.”

Hunter is not expecting to see the 1946 babies coming into his care for another 20 years – he’s still largely preoccupied with looking after their parents. In that context, he has seen enough of boomers to be worried about what is to come.

”We’ve just seen the tail end of the ‘nation builders’ generation, a very stoic group, grateful for anything they get out of the health system, out of education, out of government.”

Their children have made it clear they expect rather a lot more. The boomers are well known to their health carers as educated, demanding, and very articulate about what they do and don’t want. They are very vocal in speaking up for what they expect for their parents, which can sometimes lead to difficult conversations about treatment. ”In some situations, where treatment is futile, we have to say no to people.

But some families want everything.” He is not relishing the prospect of telling the boomers, 20 years hence, that some of the services they expect will not be available to them. But he warns that unless there is a policy decision to significantly increase health spending as a nation, that will be the reality.

Considering their physical profile as they grow older, the New Old will not be cheap or easy to care for. ”Thirty years ago, the thing that killed people in their 70s and 80s was cardiovascular disease,” says Hunter. Now they will survive to acquire a different profile of ailments.

”In the next 20 years some of the real health problems will be neurodegenerative diseases, the most important one being dementia. The risk of Alzheimer’s doubles every five years after the age of 65,” says Hunter. A report by Access Economics for Alzheimer’s Australia estimates there will be 1.1 million Australians with dementia in 2050, compared with 245,000 today. Almost 25 per cent of women and 21 per cent of men aged 85 to 89 have dementia, rising to almost 50 per cent (women) and 37 per cent (men) at 95 years.

The other looming issue in healthcare is that many of today’s elderly are able to stay in their homes courtesy of informal support from extended family and volunteers. But with the fracturing of families and of the expectation that the young will care for their old, and the depletion of the ranks of people delivering services such as Meals on Wheels, the burden on state structures will increase at the same time as boomers are fighting to stay in their homes.

”A lot of baby boomers suffer under a sort of national delusion that the same benefits currently provided to their parents will be available to them in 20 years’ time,” says Dr Diana Olsberg of the University of New South Wales. ”I’m uncertain that this will be the case.

”Boomers are very proud of their independence. They certainly don’t want to be separated out into retirement communities as sort of older-people’s ghettos. They want to remain within the community.”

The area of her academic investigation is ”ageing in place – which is not necessarily that older people want to stay in the big family home, but nor do they want to be portioned off to some little bedsitting room”. Her surveys show older people hosting lots of visitors in their homes. They want room for hobbies and work. ”But there is quite a lot of acceptance of mobility and downsizing.”

Olsberg urges a shift in policy to encourage older people to downsize without the proceeds penalising their pensions, and to be able to adapt their living quarters to make them safer as they grow frail. ”If you look at the data, after they have a fall they just never recover, with huge costs to the state. If we can keep people living actively within their homes, this undoes a lot of the dire warnings on the health costs of an ageing population, which are predicated on long periods of hospital and residential care.”

DESPITE the reams of newsprint and scholarly studies devoted to exploring boomer character, their sheer number and diversity mean as a pack they defy generalities. But one of the dominant themes in the literature today is that many ageing boomers are afflicted by a sense of moral discontent, still searching for the elusive elixer which is happiness.

A survey released last month by the US Pew Research Centre underlined this thesis, painting the boomers as pretty glum. They trailed all other age cohorts in overall life satisfaction. Some 80 per cent of American boomers were unhappy with how things were going in the country, 21 per cent felt worse off than their parents at the same age, and 34 per cent figured their children would fare worse than them. (And by the way, they told the surveyors, old age begins at 72, NOT 65.)

One of the problems in gauging the mood of Australian boomers is that there is relatively little deep survey work locally, and the US and the British findings don’t necessarily fit here, says Associate Professor Elizabeth Ozanne of the University of Melbourne.

Nonetheless, the Pew findings resonate with a 2006 paper for the Australia Institute which argued that ”contrary to their image as successful and self-satisfied, many baby boomers nurse a sense of disappointment, a barely articulated sense that it was not meant to turn out this way”. The paper argued that the perception of the boomers as the ”lucky generation” was distorted by preoccupation with wealthy boomers, and obscured the starker realities of their fellow lower-income peers.

How Australian boomers might respond to angst over life, the universe and everything is still anyone’s guess, says Ozanne. ”Will they become more narcissistic and consumerist, versus having real social commitments? It could go either way one would think.”

Last year, she published a paper exploring the potential of boomers to negotiate ”a new social contract and cultural maturing in an ageing Australia”, a discussion which dug under the assumptions of who boomers are, to identify the realities of the subgroups most at risk as they age – the divorced, the lonely, the poor (who are disproportionately women), and ethnic and indigenous populations.

In the same way that some ageing experts want stronger policy on health spending and workplace reform, Ozanne would like to see a broader public conversation about ageing, one which encourages older people to rethink their social contribution. She wants to see campaigns eroding the ageism that still prevails in society. She is hoping this might in part be achieved as new pathfinders emerge – inspirational people who change the rules on ageing behaviour and become role models for engaged elder-hood.

As society adjusts to the realities of a new, mature demographic and all that entails, Simon Biggs points out that at an individual level, boomers have much to look forward to in their Third Age.

For all their youthful objections to conformity, most boomers toed the social line, escaping their families of origin only to find themselves locked into predefined roles. They married, became parents, got a job and a mortgage.

”As [psychoanalyst] Carl Jung observed,” says Simon Biggs, ” the cost of conformity in contemporary society is considerable when you look at the potential of most human beings.” Around midlife, people begin to feel constrained by their roles, but it is in later life that they might find the freedom to develop neglected parts of themselves.

There is, he says, capacity for a second-half epiphany. Again, he looks to Jung to explain the rich spiritual dimensions of later life.

”You are becoming more aware of yourself as a person, more individuated, and simultaneously aware that you are just one of the grains of sand on the beach.

”So you get a huge dose of being in perspective, as well as this notion of being more oneself.”

We all grow older but one is lucky when one acquires wisdom with age which can be a rare commodity

In terms of spirit and soul, ageing well is an act that can defy gravity.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha [Baby Boomer]



We somehow have allowed those that we elected in trust to manage our country and its affairs to dictate what is good for us and protect us from our enemies…. and ourselves.?

Mass medication by poisonous fluoride is good for us say the beaurocrats and their consultants.

What next-Formaldehyde to offset old age.?

What next?-a terrorist or mentally deranged individuals attack on the water supply by introducing potassium cyanide into the populations drinking water.

Perhaps yet again another substance that will allow us to be controlled and dociled by those that govern us to the point where we become zombies to do their bidding.

Accidents do happen.

So what if the dose is somehow mis-judged or goes wrong despite all security measures being in place.
We as a population are then dead or at best mentally retarded or physically damaged on a grand scale.
The person/s or government responsible says
‘I am sorry, it was an accident. It will not happen again”

These bastards need to be put into their place.
Most mean well.

I for one am DEAD [pardon the pun] against such compulsory introductions on a mass scale where we have NO CONTROL and NO NEED..

I’m sorry, I am far from convinced on fluoride benefits

We the people………

Next we will have mass sterilization of the population because some clown/s in government decides we have too many people on the planet or in the country.

Yet again we may be told not only do we have to have mass treatment for perfect white teeth but it is now mandatory to be medicated on a grand scale for having shiny hair, so therefore we have decreed that now the poisonous chemical.[……….]will be introduced into the water to ensure this will happen and we your elected representatives and our offsiders know what is good for you.

Next on the agenda will be…stronger bones and we will discuss the benefits of adding cremated body parts to the water supply to ensure that you get the benefits of all that


calcium and nutrients and think about the recycling benefits for the planet…and so it could go on.

We will now introduce compulsory gassing of all peoples over the age of 70 years because they are a drain on the country’s resources. We shall call it…


[More nutrients for the water supply]



Now next, the plan to create a master race…


Those who want to ingest the poison let them do so at their own choice and risk.


I want my drinking and personal use water left alone.

It took us long enough to accept Chlorine as an additive.

I like cocktails, but…..



Henry Sapiecha

*It is not like AIDS, Cholera or Swine flu etc where there are issues of disease transfer



Published by Henry Sapiecha 5th August 2009

bright blue dividing line

The Paradoxical Commandments – To live by

Commandments to live by

Commandments to live by

1…People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

2…If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

3…If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

4…The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good today anyway.

5…Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

6…The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

7…People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

8…What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

9…People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

10…Give the world the best you have and you will get kicked in the teeth.

Give the world the best you have anyway.



SOURCED BY Henry Sapiecha — ———-

Be the best person you can be. 12th March 2009


government handouts $$$$
government handouts $$$$


It is interesting that the Federal Government provides a Single Refugee with a monthly allowance of $1,890.00 and each can also get an additional $580.00 in Social Assistance for a total of $2,470.00. Family of 4 receive $9,880.00 per month. Family of 4 receive yearly $118,685.00

*A single Australian Pensioner who, after contributing to the growth and development of Australia for 40 or 50 years, receives only a monthly maximum of $1,012.00 in old age pension and guaranteed income supplement.

Maybe our pensioners should apply as refugees!

Let’s send this to all Australians so we can all be ticked off and maybe we can get the refugees cut back to $1,012.00 and the pensioners up to $2,470.00. And enjoy some of the money we are FORCED TO SUBMIT to the government.

*Please forward to every Australian to expose what our elected politicians are doing to the OVER-TAXED AUSTRALIAN.

This is the reply of the Australian government:

Similar emails are doing the round in the USA as well:

and in Canada:

The Aussies have the same gripe as the Brits!!

Is the system wrong or right??


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Posted by Henry Sapiecha March 12th 2009

Hi !Good Morning Worldsun bright gold on white

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