ELDER MUSIC: Toes Up in 2016 - Part 1
Watching Myself Grow Old

We Have Never Seen a Year Like 2017


There are ceremonies tomorrow at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. At noon or thereabouts, the 115th Congress will be sworn in. All the of 435 members of the House of Representatives will take the oath. In the Senate, the newly elected and re-elected one-third will do so. It goes like this:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

Would that every member of Congress took that oath seriously. But honestly, when in recorded history have all politicians lived up to their oaths and obligations?

Last Friday, at a lunch I attended, the conversation at my table of six turned to the president-elect. Every one of us expressed fear at what might be coming this year and the concern that we – individually and as “we the people” who are aghast at the terrifying proposals – are up to the sustained effort of resistance that is required.

I like that word “resistance”. It brings to mind the brave members of the World War II underground in the occupied countries. At their start, it took awhile to get organized but over time, the resistance forces grew in size and number and were amazingly effective against an overwhelming war machine.

With the entire federal government now held by a Republican majority, that is how we need to operate – to resist in every manner we can imagine and create.

Resist200By the way, I have ordered my “Resist!” teeshirt. I'm not saying you should do that too – at $40 it's expensive – but if you are interested, it supports Think Progress, an important and well-established progressive institution that will certainly be of help in the coming months and years.

Between the new executive administration and the Republican Congress – both so full of themselves - it won't be easy keeping up with number of outrageous changes they will throw our way: environmental, nuclear, border walls, taxes, deportation, public education, poverty, Wall Street de-regulation and of course, what they like to falsely call “entitlements”.

In fact, according to Robert Pear in The New York Times a couple of days ago:

”Within hours of the new Congress convening on Tuesday, the House plans to adopt a package of rules to clear the way for repealing the health care law and replacing it with as-yet-unspecified measures meant to help people obtain insurance coverage.

“Then, in the week of Jan. 9, according to a likely timetable sketched out by Representative Greg Walden, Republican of Oregon, the House will vote on a budget blueprint, which is expected to call for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.”

These are procedural moves and neither repeals Obamacare (yet) so I don't want to waste our ammunition by asking us to call our Congress members yet. But you see what it's going to be like - one damned move after another and we will need to be alert to keep up.

No single person, website, political organization can handle all the issues Congress and the Trump administration with throw out way and because the focus of the this website has always been ageing and elders, TimeGoesBy will target and resist the already announced threats to repeal, privatize and/or voucherize Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare and Social Security.

Right now, there is an explosion of resistance plans on the internet from old and new organizations. So far, they are scatter shooting their resources, each with individual plans for this march, that petition, those visits with representatives and various other public events as they request donations from you and me.

And god bless them. We, America, need every protester and resister we can mobilize but what I'm looking and watching for is are two or three well-organized coalitions where people like us with targeted concerns can share resources and support one another as events from Washington require us to speak out and to act.

Here's what worries me (not counting the frightening assault on our institutions): my energy. I will be 76 in a couple of months and in the past year I have felt more acutely than ever before how much my stamina waxes and wanes from day to day and how much I need to pace myself.

Tiring more easily is a fact of ageing life and I'm working to devise a good plan to keep going in what will be a completely unpredictable 2017. We're facing a frightening new world and we must do our part even if our physical gusto isn't quite what it was in the 1960s.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of links you can set aside to use for the coming campaign:

Indivisible: The Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda that we have discussed here before

List of the freshmen members of Congress


Instead of privatizing Medicare they should "medicare" private insurance. Medicine is too big, too complicated, too important, too opaque to work in the so-called free market system.

I am with you Ronni! Resist is a GREAT word. I'm a poet I should know!

The best thing we can do is stay focused on policies/issues....not tweets or personality.

The other day on Pacifica radio, a lecturer mentioned that the Standing Rock coalition has managed to replace the word "protest" with "protect." It has a different ring to it, and seems well-suited for certain issues, such as the myriad environmental causes.

Whatever the wording, it will be the passion by those alert, prepared and ready that will determine a movement's success.

I hope every senior who regularly writes (or comments on) a blog makes it a point to post stories, news articles, and information regarding the disintegration of many of the programs that affect the health and welfare of all Americans and seniors in particular.
It appears that the general news outlets upon which we used to depend on for keeping an eye on Washington shenanigans have failed us miserably and that now people depend more on digital sources for their news and comments.
Well, if that's the way the game is being played now, let's make sure we (seniors) are a part of it.

Wow Simone ---- Protect vs protest-----What a great thing to share and everyone here should pick up on it and run with it for ALL the coming causes.

It has such a positive ring for the year ahead --- The repubs can say shame on all those "angry protesters" ----and use it to their advantage, but "angry protectors"?

We need to learn to be smart with phases, like the republicans have been in the past.

"Protect" is perfect, Simone! Protect the income and health care of elders...protect our public schools...protect our water and air quality and our wilderness areas, etc.

Protect! That's genius! We are in a defensive position. We want to save what we have.

First thing I heard this morning was North Korea is working on a missile every day to hit our shores. I can't imagine how his 'majesty' is going to handle that issue.

I totally agree! Under Drumpf, everything that means anything to We, the People, will be at risk, as he and his vulture capitalist buddies take even more for themselves. "Greed is good" in their view. Progressive leaders need to reframe our message and come up with some memorable catch-phrases--"protect" is a great start.

I'll be 80 in a few days. Although I'm loath to admit it, I've lost some of the things that made me "me" in the past 12-18 months. I used to be super high energy, very organized, on top of details, a self-starter, etc. Now? Not so much! But I'll do what I can. I detest The Orange Apparition--such a coarse, gross, narcissistic know-it-all bully he is. IMO, January 20, 2017 will be one of the darkest days in the history of our country. Because I don't want the U.S. to become a Failed State, I SO hope I'm wrong.

Resist and protect, yes. But let it not be the blind obstructionism practiced by the Republicans for eight years. Let it be thoughtful and purposeful, opposing that which must be opposed, proposing constructive alternatives, cooperating to achieve what is best for the nation.

Drumpf will not be directly affected by a nuclear disaster on the west coast; he doesn't live there. I agree with everything that's been said here today, AND, I really hated an article I read on AlterNet this morning because I thought it sounded plausible. Eeee.

I've been making snarky remarks about a return to feudalism for some time, but this looks more like a return to the Dark Ages before the re-organization that was feudalism . . .

Like this post and am reblogging it. Thanks for sharing.

Ditto Pied Type. "Resist and Protect." I like it.

I'm in on the Resist and Protect message too... Going to make it my auto signature on my email...

Love this post. I'm 75 and have had 6 concussions so organizing things is something I don't feel competent to do anymore. BUT I found a younger person who has organized a van to take 15 of us to walk in the Women and Justice March in Atlanta Jan 21. (Fortunately my body from the neck down works pretty well so far.) I will also walk in a Martin Luther King Black Lives Matter parade (which a young person has organized). And attend an Athens in Harmony concert of black/white musicians playing/singing together where I will take photographs and post them in FB. (The photos I took last time were well received). Young people organized the concert, emceed by our Chief of Police and the local Black Lives Matter leader.

I heard on NPR from Cokie Roberts (I think) that politicians are not moved by petitions or mass campaigns where everybody is writing the same thing or calling and saying the same things. So I will hand-write letters and mail them with stamps.

Maybe I can't do everything I used to do, but I can still do useful things like encouraging and supporting others. It will be a challenging but good year for us as we work together.

I agree with "protect"... well done!

Reblogged for Jan. 3

I am encouraged by the resolve and courage displayed by Ronnie and all who have commented. How sad that it has come to this—but now that we have acknowledged that this is current state of affairs, taking the measures you all suggest seems possible, and yes, necessary. Our aging bodies may not be able to do all we could do decades ago, but our minds are as sharp as ever, and the strategies we will employ will impress and surprise even us! Bruce, your suggestion that we re-post and spread information about the mis-deeds we observe the Trump team committing is invaluable!

Reading Ronni's posts is always a stimulating, encouraging, fun, useful, and/or empathetic moment ... but today I must comment on Ronni's readers and regular commenters. What an amazing group you are. From Simone's "protect vs protest" to Bruce's suggestions about spreading real news stories, to Elizabeth's eloquent remark about the feeling that one has lost "some of the things that made 'me'", to PiedType's recommendation for "thoughtful and purposeful" resisting and protecting, to Rosemary's reminder about handwritten letters, to Still the Lucky Few's comment about the resolve and courage demonstrated daily by Ronni and by so many of you - I, too, am impressed and encouraged and inspired.
Thank you all.

I think the occupant of the White House should be referred to as "PODTUS" (President of the DISUNITED States) from Jan 21, 2017 until
he leaves office.

Hope Think Progress gets around to shipping those shirts! 1) because I want to wear mine. And 2) because I paid over a month ago -- and so far, no shirt. Sorry to pollute your comments with this, but I've written them several times and get no reply. So I'm on a bit of rant.

Love "resist and protect." Absolutely right.

About the RESIST shirts -- this post reminded me to continue throwing emails and tweets around about this and I got a nice reply from Jude Legum at Think Progress: "We just ran into a bit of a backlog. " So there is hope for this.

Thank you for the update, Jan. I'll be more patient now knowing a lot of people want that shirt.

I do solemnly swear to protect my country and its constitutional values from the impending oligarchical and alt-right threat. I will resist all enemies, foreign and domestic, who would destroy the progressive advances we have made over the past 100+ years. I will bear true faith and allegiance to the loyal opposition to the enemies of progress and I will do all in my old lady power, including acts of civil disobedience when necessary, to fight discrimination against people of color, LGBT people, immigrants, and religious minorities. I vow to use the history of anti-apartheid and anti-fascist movements as my guide. Above all, I vow to never give in to the temptation to ride out the coming storm under the protection of white privilege.

I've reblogged your excellent post, I hope that is okay. As an ex-pat for 45 years I've been living in shock and devastation since election night. I've been trying to find words for my despair, and I haven't been able to do it.

I feel so badly for seniors living in the US. I know it's not going to get better for you, and it was no walk in the park before.

Stay strong and as we'd say in the 60's, Keep the Faith!


Emmajay, thanks for your last line.

"Let your motto be resistance! resistance! RESISTANCE! No oppressed people have ever secured their liberty without resistance. What kind of resistance you had better make, you must decide by the circumstances that surround you."

Declared in 1847 by Henry Highland Garnet (a newspaper editor and pastor of a Presbyterian Church in Troy, NY) in "An Address To The Slaves Of The United States," given at the National Negro Convention, Buffalo, NY.

Let Your Motto Be RESISTANCE was also the title of a superb 2007 Smithsonian exhibit of the African American Portraits. An exhibit catalog is still available.

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