Lost Horizon


How many of you have seen, or even heard of, the Burt Bacharach musical based on The Lost Horizon, released in 1972. It starred Peter Finch and Liv Ullman, Sir John Gielgud, Charles Boyer, George Kennedy, Sally Kellerman, Bobby Van, and Olivia Hussey. It is a beautiful story, based upon the book by James Hilton, and was a remake of an earlier b&w movie, and featured Shawn Phillips singing the title song. It is a story about men who found Shangri-La, and about the chance to leave our planet of chaos, and developing a place where you never hear the sounds of guns again.
I have the DVD, and have just watched it again on my new VHS/DVD player. I realize it is almost a fairy tale, but after my long years in this “civilized” world, I realize that I more than wish I could find it. It is rather spiritual, but not christian. It does repeat the Beatitude which talks about the meek inheriting the earth.
I have the DVD, and have just watched it again on my new VHS/DVD player. I realize it is almost a fairy tale, but after my long years in this “civilized” world, I realize that I more than wish I could find it. It is rather spiritual, but not christian. It does repeat the Beatitude, which talks about the meek inheriting the earth.
How many of you think you could live in a peaceful, non-chaotic, constant wonderful weather for centuries, never growing old, never being sick. I wonder.

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Life Goes On – for now


As I sit here having just watched M.A.S.H., and on the way to watching a Rambo marathon, I wonder when WWIII is going to start.

Everyday there is good news and there is bad news. We get an Executive Order that is later cancelled, or at least delayed, by a Justice Department. Then we get a passel of lies. What a way to run a country.

We have a trumpeter who wants to torture us; who wants to kill off the poor and sick; who wants a world of blondes with blue eyes the Super Race, the Aryans; who wants to load up anyone who does not pass his standards on trains like cattle and put them into concentration camps, and eventually take them to “showers” where they will be gassed, or even burned alive, then put into mass graves, covering them up with lime so it will disguise what has been done to them. This was tried before, beginning in 1933 with a smart man, who eventually was overcome by his own delusions of grandeur, who caused WWII, and who went down by his own hand when he realized it just wasn’t going to happen.

Just thank whatever deity you trust most that there are enough of us, We the People, who are working hard to defeat these bastards and bring back a sane government which really does care for We the People, including the working poor.

Contemplate a world you will have if the trumpeter stays in his megalomaniac power seat in a world where only the wealthiest people will remain. Oh, they will keep a few middle class people to be their slaves, doing the work that they don’t want to dirty their fingers to do. Remember this: money is the dirtiest thing we touch day by day, and they are the ones who want all of that money, and property, and all they can get their dirty hands on. That doesn’t leave you with much to try and secure your own pursuit of happiness.

We the People are working hard to see that this never happens to us. We can use all the help you can give us.

I would love to say God Bless the USA, but I am afraid of the deity the trumpeter and his followers believe in. But I happily say God/dess bless the America that I believe in.

Think about it.

Carol Stepp
Austin, TX

Posted in Crime, Economics, Equality, Family, Foreign Affairs, Freedom, Gay Rights, global warming, Health, Homelessness, Medicine, Mental health, personal thoughts, Politics, Religious, Voting Rights, War, Women's Rights | 1 Comment

A new year has begun


Frustration over the past political fuck-up has passed, and yesterday, January 3, 2017, I got back to MSNBC to find out what was happening on the first day of the first session of 2017.  I came away with a couple of things.

There is going to be a huge clash between the trumpety ugly duckling and scheming Paul Ryan early on.  Ryan was not for the trumpeter at the beginning, and then as he continued to listen to him, I think Ryan decided he was going to get everything he wants with a trumpety president.  I think Ryan has taken in more than he can chew.  I think he thought he was going to have a lot more power in this upcoming presidency, and I think just over the difference between his plans and trumpety’s plans for social security, Medicare, and Medicaid, they are going to come up against one another.  Probably why Ryan is going to try to get his way before Trump takes office, but that will certainly fail.  Obama is still the president for 16 more days.

Today also seems the day that these congress critters are going to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and I assure you that if they try to write Obamacare into the repellent pages, it won’t actually be legal.  As I sit here and listen to Mike Pence say Obamacare, and never by its correct name, he has no clue what he is talking about.

Mitch McConnell just said he hoped the Democratic side of Congress would be willing to treat trumpety’s choices for cabinet members like they did Obama’s.  Yes, I hope the Congress Democrats treat everyone that is part of trumpety’s administration just exactly has the repubs did to Obama.  I know I will given them exactly as much respect as they did to President Obama.

I had to laugh with David Cay Johnston last evening when he was explaining why the trumpeter was so rude to the writer, a friend of one of the Kochs, when throwing him off his golf course.  His words were “Trump holds grudges forever; he didn’t like what this writer said about him in a book several years ago, and he never forgives.  He will hound a man (I guess he doesn’t recognize women’s writings) until he absolutely ruins him.  Maybe that is why he doesn’t like we poor citizens because he cannot ruin us – or perhaps we should read that as why he doesn’t care, I mean we all know the meaning of “why, what have you done for me lately”.”.

One last thought of yesterday’s news:  Meghan Kelly has moved to NBC to do several shows and become a real reporter.  I know we cannot trust the media that much, but getting away from Fox or any of its faux news fellows can’t be bad.

Oh yeah, I hope you all got to listen to Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders on Rachel’s show yesterday.  I see nothing but hope as long as we liberals stay the path we have chosen.

I feel fairly sure I have left something out that I wanted to say, but I am also pretty certain this will not be my last comment.  I expect to be blogging quite often during the next year.  I will not be silenced, and I’m pretty sure the trumpeter can’t ruin me.

Carol Stepp, Austin, TX

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Protests


I have been reading a large number of people who planned to join the million women march on Facebook.  I am also now reading a number of posts from people who apparently are believing that Donald Trump can really close off the different monuments in Washington DC for long periods of time around the inauguration, before and behind.

Folks, Donald Trump does not have the authority to do that.  Nor do the police, the National Guard, nor would the National Park Service.  But I wouldn’t even ask for a protest permit.

What I am trying to tell you is that if thousands and thousands of you show up, they are going to have a very difficult time trying to arrest the whole lot of you – there is power in numbers, as I hope a lot of you have learned since the faux elections.  And if you see one person being arrested, then instead of running away screaming, just SIT DOWN, right where you stand.  At this point, whoever is trying to keep order, and keep you away, are just going to say there are too many – we cannot do anything (unless, of course, someone is found with a gun).

I was twenty years old in December of 1960.  I turned 30 in December of 1970.  So I literally spent my whole decade of my 20s during the 60s.  And I saw a lot of stuff.

I saw a beloved president murdered.  I saw the music revolution brought about by the Beatles and MoTown and the psychedelic musicians.  I saw a lot of protesters too.  They were not afraid of going to jail for standing up for their rights – not to go to Vietnam, and equal rights for every human being.  I don’t think anyone thought they would  die during a peaceful protest.  Certainly not that young man at Kent State, in 1970.

But the majority of those peaceful protestors stood their grounds for something they believed.  No running and screaming from any one person who thinks he is god and Solomon and king and dictator.

However, if you see anyone harassing someone near you, just SIT DOWN.  I remember seeing the young peaceful protestors being carried out with a policeman at his/her arms and another one at his/her feet.  Anyone is going to be  cowed by numbers.  Even Trump would be afraid if he was facing thousands of people who simply don’t like him, or want him in the president’s seat.  Will he bring on his own personal army to take you on?  I suppose it is possible, but remember, if there are thousands of you there, you can, in numbers, overwhelm them.  Still, I would just sit down, and force them to decide if attacking me is a smart thing to do.  I should think it would just cause more of us to stand up to him.  Isn’t that what happened when the Kent State student was killed by a trigger-happy national guardsman.

 

I guess it is up to you to decide if you are so adamant about your rights that you would be willing to get killed, knowing it is a thing that is not likely to happen.  Are they going to stand back and start shooting into the crowd, and hope a shooter can not be identified?  Or are you going to be scared away by a single man’s bluster?

Peaceful protest is still the strongest way to defeat this man.  Standing up in numbers against him, publicly, is the best way to defeat him.

I have heard of people getting death threats, and I am sorry for you.  But a death threat is not going to stop me from standing for my rights.  Or sitting for my rights.

Be honest with yourself.  Are you willing to live under the dictatorship a Trump presidency will bring you?  Are you willing to ignore all the illegal things he is guilty of.  By rights, he is not eligible for the presidency.  By my beloved Constitution, he is not eligible for the presidency.  Are the other countries who live under the dictatorships in their own homes happy about their lives?  How did they get there, other than refusing to fight for their rights, and running scared enough to lose everything?

Don’t leave it to the “other” guy  to do something.  If you are afraid of being the only one willing to speak out,  s/he may be just as afraid as you are.  Join him/her.  One turns to two, then two can turn to four, then four can turn to eight, and before you know it, you will have hundreds willing to take the same risk, and after that it will grow into thousands before you know it.

Just do it.  Because if you don’t, you and your friends may find yourselves standing in lines begging for bread, or sitting inside glumly because you are afraid to go outside.

Carol Stepp, Austin

Posted in Crime, Equality, Foreign Affairs, Freedom, Friends, Gay Rights, Homelessness, Mental health, Other media, personal thoughts, Politics, Voting Rights, Women's Rights | Leave a comment

Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen


Since Leonard died, his song Hallelujah has become the song everyone wants to sing.  And wants to understand.  I myself just bought it on a Christmas album by Pentatonix.  Here are some thoughts I have about it.  My thoughts are not the only ones worth listening to.  You can find many more thoughts and interpretations about it.

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Christmas for Seniors


I first wrote this blog two years ago, and then copied it for last year.  It is still the most popular blog I ever wrote.  But instead of just copying it over again, I just had it repeated (with my permission) in HACA’s monthly newsletter.  I am now copying what the reporter Beth did by cutting it down.  Thank you to Beth for writing it into the newsletter.  Here is her edited version:

Most elderly people don’t need any more gifts of talcum p0wder, perfume, gowns or bath robes.

Most of us have homes full of things we have collected over the years.  I’ve gotten rid of more stuff than I need, and don’t want any more.

What we want are things you may not think are decent holiday presents.  But here is what I would appreciate, and I bet your elderly relatives would too.

  • A 24- or 48-roll package of toilet tissue wrapped in a big, fluffy, beautiful bath towel.
  • Gift cards to places like a grocery store, CVS, Walgreen’s, Target or Wal-Mart.
  • Books of stamps, preferably the pre-stuck kind, and if they still sell them, the good-forever stamps.
  • A gift card to a fancy food place, like Central Market or World Market.
  • Food gifts wrapped in a package with something in which you would serve the food or drink.
  • A 12-pack of soap.

There are necessities for every elderly person that they sometimes cannot afford.

Most of us simply don’t want another knickknack or bath product that is just going to collect dust.

If you feel silly giving toilet paper, remember many of us have limited income, and paper products can add up.

Toilet paper, tissue or paper towels are great, especially if you get creative with the wrapping or decorating.  Add a set of kitchen towels or a utensil or two.

Children want fancy, expensive things.  The elderly don’t.

Carol Stepp, Austin, TX

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Five Days After……….


 

I have just spent five days stunned by how many of you are truly bigots, and disrespecters of many of our American citizens.  Disrespect for women, for so-called minorities, for people who love differently, for all religions except christianity.  You have shown this by voting in a man who ran on all of these issues for the past year or so. The more spiteful he spoke, the more you ran toward him, showing your own bigotry, your own intolerance for anyone who is not exactly like you.

This is the thing that causes me the most distress- that this country is full of non-American citizens, critical of others because they show more patriotism for this free country than most of you.

So now I am getting messages on Facebook that it is time for me, and liberals like me, to stand up with you to make this country united again.  What bullshit.  The time to have stood up for an America that invites everyone in was eight years ago.  And don’t tell me it was not racism that led you to defy the best president this country has ever had, and probably ever will have.  Because now that you have taken the blinders off the rest of us who tolerated this kind of behaviour and shown us who we really are.  Because you are the people who delighted in calling President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama ugly names, and disrespected the office of the Presidency of this great country, and literally ignored the fact that we the people voted for him, not just once, but twice to the office.  Now you expect us, we the people, to suddenly jump up and stand behind so many of you who did not bother to do so.

So what has this brought on us, 68 days before Trump is even inaugurated?  Children mocking non-white children, and including white girls, in their school rooms.  White middle-aged men targeting minorities by trying to run them over with their vehicles and bats and mouths screaming obscenities, and Paul Ryan threatening our social security and Medicare.

As most of you don’t understand, President Obama is still the President for 68 more days.  And he still has Executive Privilege.  Personally I hope he uses that power to fill that Supreme Court seat, and to pardon Leonard (Peltier Peltiel) whatever his last name is.

So here’s the thing:  you want me to get used to Donald Trump as the president?  So far he has said he thinks the Affordable Care Act is a really good program.  It needs a few tweaks, but we have known that all along.  Problems include Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell refusing to help get those tweaks done.  Remember, these two said from day one of Obama’s Presidency that they were not going to do their jobs, and they were rewarded with getting their seats back and your cheering them on.  This is a reason I will not accept Trump at this time.

Another thing is that Trump should now stand up and say “I’ve been a Democrat all along; I just wanted to see how low I could go, and have you still stand up for me, and boy, have you shown us all how low you can go.  I wonder if ever you will pick yourself out of the mud.  I doubt it.  If Trump does turn and show some compassion at all, you will simply blame we Democrats and Liberals, and will try to start a war.  Hey, I won’t be running from you.  I’m old enough to not fear for my life, and young enough still to continue the fight for the rights of all people to be equal to one another.  Except maybe you.

So, you want me to heal the wounds of this country, and pledge to stand up with you in solidarity of your ways of thinking.  That is never going to happen.

I will also leave this with you to ponder.  You think that somehow the horrors that Trump and the Republicans in Congress will happen only to us, the Liberals?  No, your elderly and disabled and poor are going to get the same exact treatment.  So I suggest you hope and pray that Donald Trump will turn out to be just as two-faced, now that he has the “power”,  that he does do a turn-around and explain that he simply wanted to know much power you would give him.  He also has 68 days before he has to stand up for what he has said, or to stand up and say “Everybody has the same rights as anyone else”.

I know which one of those two choices will allow me to show him any respect, and backing.  In the meantime, while I am also waiting for January 20, 2017, I will not be sitting back and crying for myself, but working to take Lady Liberty’s tears out of her eyes.

Carol Stepp, Austin, TX

 

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