John Kerry Shows Chinese Diplomats His Guitar Chops

Secretary of State John Kerry, who as a teenager played bass for the Electras – a rock group he formed with high school classmates – still has some guitar chops at age 70. On July 10, while on a diplomatic mission in China, Kerry took a few moments to show off some of his finger-picking skills for Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong and others in the Great Hall of the People. The impromptu concert, captured on a cellphone and published …

The Beat Goes On Marching Band of Oregon to Play Shanghai Festival

You can say that one merry band does indeed march to the beat of a different drummer. The Beat Goes On marching band of Portland, Ore., has made a quite a name for itself in the mere 2½ years it’s been struttin’ its stuff in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. And now that beat will lead the musicians to China in September. The organizers of the Shanghai Tourism Festival discovered the band online and invited it as the only U.S. …

Talents Can Transform Your Life and the World

In the movie A Bronx Tale, Robert De Niro plays a father who declares that wasted talent is “the saddest thing in life.” Those words ring true for me on a lot of levels. As an economist I view older Americans as an undervalued asset, too often denied the chance to use talents honed over a lifetime. As a policy wonk and advocate, I look for strategies that can help people live rewarding lives and that remove obstacles in their …

4 Facts You Should Know About National Debt and Default

In all of the turmoil about a possible U.S. default on its $16.8 trillion debt, there’s an overload of information to follow. Here are four tidbits that you might have missed. Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter 1. China does not “own our debt.” Yes, it does hold an IOU from the United States for about $1.28 trillion, making China Uncle Sam’s largest overseas creditor. But that represents only 7.6 percent of the nation’s debt. 2. The U.S. …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and fun… 1. Cronuts – New York City’s new pastry craze – go for $40 on the black market. (Learn more at AARP) 2. One more reason to have sex: It’s good for your knees, elbows and other joints. (Learn more at AARP) 3. Make that two more reasons: Regular sex can make you look 7 years younger. (Learn more at Daily Mail) 4. In the first suit filed under a new Chinese law, a court ordered a woman to visit her mother at least twice a …

Visit Your Parents or Be Sued: Is That Un-American?

Bulletin from Wuxi, China: In the first suit filed under the country’s new law requiring adult children to visit their parents “often,” a court ordered a woman to check in on her 77-year-old mother at least twice a month, and on at least two of the country’s big holidays. With our summer vacations in full swing in the United States, we wonder whether a similar “don’t-you-dare-ignore-your-parents” law would fly here? Discussion: Zimmerman Verdict of Not-Guilty: Was Justice Served? Today’s Americans …