Thursday, September 21
  • Editorial: The responsibilities of being an Elder

    Elders have the wisdom to shape the world as it can be at its best, not necessarily with new inventions or leading the way to Mars, but with our attitudes, our moral values and our votes. As elders we have a moral obligation to speak out against discrimination and an elemental responsibility to teach our grandkids what is right and what is morally reprehensible.

    Our views have weight. We are the sages, the teachers, the philosophers with the perspective that only comes with age. But we must speak out. We can’t sit around grumbling about ‘the good old days.” We must weigh in on the public debate on the preservation of the environment, the disparity of wealth, the continuing struggle against racism and the corrosive effects of imprecise scales of justice.

    We deal with forgetfulness and have trouble remembering words and names, but we remember when Congress was an employee of the American people rather than the corporate lobbyists. Aroused Elders can motivate the four in ten seniors who failed to vote in the last election and motivate a constituency that demands change.

    As our generation matured, there were strong views prevailing and the disputes were bitter. But there was an underlying sense that both sides of the debate, however rabid and militant, could find common ground in the basic themes that made up ‘the American Way,’ as in Liberty and Justice for All. Neighbors could declare themselves Republican or Democrat, but they still could borrow the hedge clippers when the hawthorn and blackthorn scrubs between their houses grew too tall.

    But today, lamentably and shamefully, the polarized society that exists in America is unprecedented. Half the population sees the world one way; half sees it another way. And there is no middle ground. The hedgerows are impenetrable.

    The dilemma we face as Elders is “What to do about it?” Traditionally, we are the voices of reason, anxious to ‘make peace’ by listening to each point of view and then tactfully finding compromises satisfactory to both sides. But we should not be satisfied with simply salving umbrage. Human dignity is at stake! We cannot leave this earth without speaking out and knowing we did the best we could to make our voices heard.

    The issues are clear. We are not being simplistic when we align ourselves on the side of love versus hatred, fear, racism, bigotry and intolerance. To our dismay, when Americans were asked to cast a ballot in the proposition that all people are equal and deserve a place at the table, half the population said no. That’s why we must speak up. Being heard and taking a stand against injustice is our elemental responsibility. There is no time left for equivocating; no more ‘wait and see.’ We must choose between two existing versions of America and decide what kind of country do we want to leave behind for our grandchildren.

    There is a personal battle to be waged, as well. The issue of ageism.

    I was an old man at the Women’s March on Washington and applauded an alphabet soup of organizations fighting for sanctuary, economic equality, social justice, sexual liberation, the spectrum of causes that have galvanized women. The common theme: we will not be marginalized; we will be heard; we demand a place in the halls of influence and power.

    What impressed me was the tone of the oratory. It’s not as if they were strident; more like “listen up, because we have a right to be heard.” They were not asking for permission to speak; they were seizing the dais and carpe diem was the pronouncement.

    It was inspiring, but among all the causes represented, one was absent. The issue of ageism had no signs waved in defiance by the marchers. Wet surely it fits within the root demand that characterizes what the march was all about: we will not be marginalized; we will be heard; we demand a place in the halls of influence and power. I can write the signs: “Old enough to know better and experienced enough to do it right.” “When you’re over the hill you pick up speed,” “Retired, not expired!” and “Never tease an old dog; he might have one bite left.”

    Ageism is a significant issue, but it gets nowhere near the attention focused on racism, or sexism or disability-based discrimination. Which is curious when you consider that by 2050 a fifth of the population, eighty-seven million Americans, will be over age 65 and subject to discrimination in housing, employment and downright disdain.

    There’s no time to waste. The bard reminds us, “Golden lads and girls all must, as chimney-sweepers, come to dust.” When we are reminded that our time is finite, immune to our laughable attempts to prolong it, what we must do is not let it pass us by as we stay idle.

    The saying goes, “we die as we have lived.” In our last moments we want to look and be satisfied with the bio we’ve left behind, without being bedeviled by the unanswerable “what might have been.”

    Still active at age 91, Howard Englander’s essays guide readers to the realization that growing old can be a rewarding journey filled with joy and profound new discoveries. He is the author of Embracing Elderhood: The Three Stages of Healthy, Happy and Meaningful Senior Years. Published in hard copy and digital format, the book is available on,, and the publisher, Rowman&

  • Gasp. Is your mother-in-law next! Scientists extract RNA From Tasmanian Tiger to resurrect It

    As the saying goes: Life finds a way. That’s the idea behind a team of researchers who recently recovered RNA from the extinct thylacine—also known as a Tasmanian tiger—in an effort to resurrect the species. Despite having died in Tasmania’s Beaumaris Zoo in 1936, the creature’s genetic material was able to be extracted and sequenced by scientists from Colossal Bioscience, a biotech startup known for their “de-extinction” projects including efforts to bring back the wooly mammoth and the dodo bird.

  • Does America Have a Gerontocracy Problem? Exploring the politics of age and the debate over Washington’s very old guard

    Americans apparently agree on at least one thing: age matters. A recent CBS News poll shows that large, bipartisan majorities believe there should be maximum age limits for elected officials, with nearly half of those surveyed saying the cutoff should be 70 years old. That, of course, would eliminate the two presumptive candidates in next year’s presidential election. If Donald Trump, 77, manages to reclaim the White House in 2024, he would become the oldest person to ever win a presidential election. The same goes for Joe Biden, already the nation’s oldest-serving president at age 80. It’s not just presidential politics that’s graying. High profile health scares for Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have brought increased attention to the fact that this U.S. Senate is the oldest in its history, with an average age of 63.4 years, and nearly a quarter of the body over age 70. [Full article]

  • Driving a gas guzzler that barely fits in the garage? Time to do the math as pump prices soar

    Prices at the pump climbed to their highest level of the year on Monday as oil prices push past $92 a barrel. Normally, gas prices cool off after the summer driving season ends on Labor Day. But the opposite has happened this year as Saudi Arabia’s and Russia’s aggressive supply cuts lift oil prices. The national average for regular gas hit $3.88 a gallon on Monday, the highest price since October 2022, according to AAA. Gas prices have jumped by five cents a gallon in the past week alone. [More]

  • The World’s Population May Peak in Your Lifetime. What Happens Next as Small Families Predominate?

    The main reason that birthrates are low is simple: People today want smaller families than people did in the past. That’s true in different cultures and economies around the world. It’s what both women and men report in surveys. Humanity is building a better, freer world with more opportunities for everyone, especially for women. That progress deserves everyone’s greatest celebration — and everyone’s continued efforts. That progress also means that, for many of us, the desire to build a family can clash with other important goals, including having a career, pursuing projects and maintaining relationships. No society has solved this yet. These tradeoffs bite deep for parents everywhere. For some parents, that means struggle. For others, that means smaller families than they hoped for. And for too many, both.

  • A whimsical genius has left us. Fernando Botero, artist of fanciful rotundity, is dead at 91

    Fernando Botero, the Colombian whose voluptuous pictures and sculptures of overstuffed generals, bishops, prostitutes, housewives and other products of his whimsical imagination made him one of the world’s best-known artists, died on Friday in Monaco. Mr. Botero was permanently associated with the florid, rounded figures that filled his pictures. He portrayed middle-class life and bordellos, clerics and peasants, bulging baskets of fruit and the grim effects of violence.

  • In case you forgot to count your blessings: Morocco earthquake live updates: Over 2,900 killed in rare, powerful quake

    The death toll has continued to climb in the wake of the rare and powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Morocco Friday night. More than 2,900 people are confirmed dead. The quake, Morocco’s strongest in more than a century, hit the country’s High Atlas mountain range near Marrakech. [Full story]

  • US consumer prices continued to rise last month — but the Fed probably won’t raise rates

    US inflation accelerated in August for the second-straight month, pushed up by rising gas prices. However, core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, continued to slow, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Wednesday. The Consumer Price Index, a closely watched inflation gauge, rose 3.7% in August from a year earlier, up from July’s 3.2% rise. On a month-to-month basis, prices rose 0.6% in August, compared with a 0.2% gain in July. However, core inflation slowed to 4.3% from 4.7% for the 12 months ending in August, an indication that the Federal Reserve’s 11 rate hikes are working their way through the economy. Wednesday’s inflation report likely keeps the Fed on track for a pause in rate hikes next week when central bank officials meet to deliberate monetary policy.

  • Not sure if we knew how to work them in the first place. McDonald’s is getting rid of self-serve soda machines

    The fast food chain is eliminating its self-serve soda machines by 2032 at its US restaurants, the company said, explaining that the change will make the experience consistent for customers and crew across the chain. For decades, McDonald’s let customers fill (and refill) their own drinks at its dining rooms. However, consumer behavior has changed since the pandemic, and the chain has experienced a surge in business through its drive-thru and delivery services, with fewer people choosing to eat in its dining rooms, reducing the need for the machines. McDonald’s future includes restaurant designs with smaller or no dining rooms (and high-tech drive thrus) to reflect that new reality. Digital sales (i.e. orders made on its app or through its partners like Uber) now make up 40% of its total sales, according to its most recent earnings report.

  • Of particular importance for seniors. FDA signs off on updated Covid-19 vaccines

    The US Food and Drug Administration gave the green light Monday to updated Covid-19 vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech amid rising cases and hospitalizations. Both vaccine manufacturers have said testing shows that their vaccines are effective against EG.5, the currently dominant strain in the United States. Health officials are urging people to get vaccinated as soon as the shots are available. They’re debuting amid a late summer rise in Covid-19 hospitalizations in the United States and growing concerns about the effects that the triple threat of respiratory viruses – coronavirus, flu and respiratory syncytial virus – may have this fall and winter season.

A newspaper by and for seniors, Senior News Daily scours the internet each morning for news of interest to active men and women of retirement age. Coverage includes financial and health news, politics, retirement strategies and assisted living news and helpful blogs about aging.

Senior News Daily is written by and for active seniors. We believe seniors have a sense of humor and can laugh at themselves. We know our readers are intelligent, influential, have active lives and get their news from a variety of national sources, both left and right of the political center. We don’t simply duplicate what they report. Each day we scour the internet for articles that interest and benefit seniors. We publish health and financial news for seniors, breaking political news, and retirement and community news of value to seniors. Humorous or serious, they advocate for our generation of AARP members. In addition to news by and for seniors, Senior News Daily publishes a Blog featuring posts from our editors and the opinions of our contemporaries. Occasionally there are reviews of products and services we test and endorse.