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The Times They Are A Changing

Written by Bob Dylan, performed by Peter, Paul, & Mary

Lyrics to sing along:

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin’.
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin’.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’.

For What It’s Worth

Buffalo Springfield at the Monterey Pop Festival, 1967

Lyrics to sing along:

There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware
I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind
I think it’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side
It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away

We better stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, now, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

Turn Off Your TV – Now! The Illusions of the Corporate Media

Puppetgov.com

The Future is Now!

 

People are worried about the future and what it will bring. Worrying is useless, and will no more solve a problem than will hiding from it. So, stop worrying and start doing!

 

Some say to live like there is no tomorrow. I say, live like there is a tomorrow, and that you are accountable for every one of your actions. This is what a responsible steward does, and is something that each of us needs to learn. We are stewards over this land and the creatures that inhabit it. We are also stewards over our own lives, and have a responsibility to direct our actions on a course that promotes life and harmony. From the moment we reach the age of being able to understand that what we do and say is important and affects everyone around us, we become responsible for our actions and words. But have we accepted that responsibility? No!

 

The human race has treated the earth and everything around it as disposable, as if we are not responsible for our actions. We pillage and rape everything around us then lay the blame on anyone but ourselves. We do not have that right! We do not own the earth, we are merely stewards. The only thing we own are the words that come out of our mouths, and we treat them like we do everything else. We do not take responsibility for our words. We bury the truth with lies if the truth is inconvenient, then build upon those lies as if they are the truth. This is a foundation of shifting sand, and it cannot stand. Firm foundations are built on truth, and it is our responsibility to build the foundation of our lives on the truth, no matter how painful or inconvenient that truth is.

 

The Ron Paul Revolution

 

Our government leaders no longer stand for the people they are supposed to serve. Instead of standing on a foundation of truth, they pander lies for personal gain to a populace worn down by incessant brainwashing in the form of corporate-owned television, radio, newspaper, magazines, and government schools designed to disseminate government-approved propaganda and make sure that Johnny cannot read the many legislative sleights of hand passed by Congress and shoved down the throats of people too busy to do anything about it. These leaders know exactly what they are doing. It is we the people that need to wake up and smell the coffee.

 

Ron Paul came at a time when people needed someone in government to look the political hacks in the eye and speak the truth. With people like Ron Paul facing the enemy in public debate, more and more people are waking up from the slumber of complacency. What we are beginning to see now is a “one person at a time” shift in values. People are starting to take a good look around to see that they are surrounded by a sea of lies brought to them one commercial at a time by one major corporation at a time, and they are getting angry.

 

We the people are as David threatened by giant corporate Goliaths who prey on the weak and vulnerable for profit. Professional liars who invade our homes through technology bombard us with lies intended to manipulate us into doing what they want us to do. The 9/11 tragedy blasted a hole right through our national consciousness and woke a lot of people up. Ron Paul continued the momentum and more people are seeing the treachery that surrounds them.

 

Surrounded by lies, we live in a time when just speaking the truth is a revolutionary act. Ron Paul’s public call for truth in government triggered a gut reaction in many people, driving them to cry out against a corrupt system built on the shifting sand of lies portrayed as truth. This is not a new phenomenon. This country was founded on revolution, and the only difference between what happened then and what is happening now is a matter of scope and time.

 

What’s Next?

 

Revolution is inevitable. It is also very personal. As soon as you make a decision to do what is right instead of what is convenient, you become revolutionary. As soon as you stand up and proclaim the truth, you become revolutionary. For some there is no other choice. For others, well, comfort is paramount. Comfortable people are complacent. Comfortable people will do almost anything to maintain their level of comfort. Take away the comfort, and you plant the seeds of revolution. The question is, just how much comfort needs to be taken away for the seeds of revolution to take root and flourish. The economy is spiraling downhill, and very soon, creature comforts will be a thing of the past unless one is wealthy enough to be classified among the elite. Will people be content to live as serfs and take what they can get from their “betters,” or will they rise up and take charge of their lives?

 

Once aware of the lies, do we just cave in and go along with the program because we are surrounded and seemingly overcome? Some will, but others will not. In fact, some will get mad as hell. Some will get so mad that they reject the world system altogether and form groups dedicated to survival in a world without modern conveniences. This is already beginning to happen. People who can no longer afford fuel to get back and forth to work or feed their families are turning to bicycles and gardening. It is only a matter of time before a two-tiered class system is in full swing with the rich living like there is no tomorrow and the poor just trying to stay warm and fill their bellies. To survive this type of system requires learning how to do things all over again, without modern conveniences. We need to learn how to become self-sufficient. We need to learn survival in order to live one more day fighting the giants. And fight we will, if we care about the truth.

 

There will be those who go along with the program, and think they are safe. They are not. They will suffer the most, being caught in the middle and in the long run, good for neither side; a traitor to their friends and puppets of the elite. These people will be the greatest threat. They will turn their “friends” over to the authorities for minor infractions of police state laws without blinking an eye while living in denial, thinking they are “one of the elite” because they have done so. They have no loyalty, no strength of character, morality or ethics. They will sell their very souls to the highest bidder for a crust of bread.

 

But there will also be those who stand up and say, enough! The buck stops here. These people will make a difference. These people will stand up to the corporate Goliaths, if not for any noble cause other than to do what is right and to stand accountable. They will stand up and be counted for the things we don’t like to think about these days such as morality, ethics, and honesty. These people will proclaim the truth from one end of the earth to the other. And they will not be in the majority. The truth is never popular.

 

Who Will Win?

 

Once you make the decision to become responsible for your actions and do what is right, you have already won. Like I said before, revolution is very personal. We choose life or death, it is up to us. Lies bring death, and truth brings life. The body might cease to exist, but the spirit will live on if we choose the truth and stand on its foundation. Lies are manifestations of a false reality, and therefore, do not exist in the real world. They turn to dust when the truth is revealed. The truth lasts forever and once we choose the truth and act on it, we have set in motion the revolution.

 

By seeking to destroy what is natural and what is good, the elite will end up destroying themselves in the end. They will not be able to hide behind their riches in the aftermath of the genetically modified scourge they have unleashed on the world and its poorer population. They will not be able to hide in their mansions and be safe from the consequences of their actions. Their lies will crumble and the truth will be too hard for them to bear. They will not survive it. Those who seek the truth will prevail, and they will be a remnant of what was once thought to be a great, unconquerable society. Survival will not be convenient, and will probably be quite painful, but rest assured, the path of survival is to embrace the truth, which is the only surety in this world. Stand on it and you are standing on firm ground.

 

So who wins and who loses? Think about this: If you strike a match in the darkness, the light overcomes and illuminates the darkness. The darkness can only prevail if there is no light. May he who has ears to hear, strike a match and illuminate the darkness. The revolution is at hand.

© 2008, Barbara H. Peterson

Sing a Song of Freedom

Bob Dylan  Freedom comes in stages.

This morning I cut the ties to Satellite TV. This action brought a touch of apprehension to my soul. I have realized the addiction for quite some time, but refused to deal with it.

Until now.

The first step to getting rid of an addiction is recognizing it. The second step is actually doing something about it. I’ve tried to quit before, but Andy Griffith and Lou Dobbs kept luring me back. This morning I grabbed my breakfast and tried to turn to one of the usual mind-numbing programs designed to keep us dumb and happy, and found that I had been cut off. That type of thing happens when you don’t pay the bill. My first thought was to immediately go to the computer, type in the Dish Network URL and get my programming back. My second thought was – why? Revolutionary.

I am now listening to a collection of Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, The Beatles, and Judy Collins. I remember when these artists were my best friends. I think back to the time when getting the latest album was something that I treasured. These songs spoke to my spirit. I sat for hours passing around a bottle of wine with friends while pondering the Berkeley riots and discussing just how far down the rat hole our nation had gone. We talked about the latest protest and even went to one of the Black Panthers’ first meetings. We hitchhiked where we wanted to go because we were too young to drive. School was someplace to meet and plan our next adventure. The Monterey Pop Festival was the best thing going, and everyone geared up to hitchhike there. We didn’t think of crazy pedophiles in cars trying to kill people, we just stuck our thumbs out and caught a ride. Our bubble burst at the Altamont Speedway Free Concert when violence erupted. Reality pierced the night with a knife, and we began our journey into denial. Yes, violence had penetrated our private world, and things were never the same. If reality was that harsh, we wanted no part of it.

Ain’t it funny how you feel
When you’re findin out its real?

Oh, to live on sugar mountain
With the barkers and the colored balloons,
You can’t be twenty on sugar mountain
Though you’re thinking that you’re leaving there too soon,
You’re leaving there too soon. (Sugar Mountain, Neil Young)

Pushed into acquiescence to societal norms, we went our separate ways. Some eased the pain with drugs, others with day jobs. Either way, we were anesthetized. We watched TV, drove back and forth to work, bought houses, and became respectable. We hung up our battle gear and surrendered to the man. That is, until someone got through.

Somewhere along the way, I listened to a small voice pleading with me to wake up and smell the coffee. Then it started – the journey to freedom. A bit here, a bit there. Freedom comes in stages, and it can be painful. During my quest for the truth, TV started looking more absurd to me as time went on, yet I held on to it until I needed it no longer. Reality took up residence instead. Welcome back, it’s been a long time.

So here I sit, wondering what life will be like not having the pacifier that has lulled me to sleep for what seems like forever. I took the 60 bucks I saved on my Satellite TV service, and went to Amazon.com to purchase two books – Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein, and The End of America by Naomi Wolf. It looks like a Naomi kind of day.

It also seems I have time left over to consider that the revolution begun in the 60s seems to be resurrecting after a long slumber. It’s about time. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall (Bob Dylan) and we who are awakening need to get into the spirit of protest that was alive in the 60s and beat the airwaves to try and get through to the people who are still asleep and in denial of the harsh reality around them. We need to dust off the battle gear we hung up so long ago, and prepare for the fight of our lives. How bad does it have to get before we put our remote controls down, get up off the couch and start talking again?

If everything you think you know,
Makes your life unbearable,
Would you change?
Would you change? (Change, Tracy Chapman)

Freedom comes in stages, and it starts with change. The time to change is now, because I am afraid that very soon, we will not have a choice in the direction we take.

Don’t you understand what I’m tryin’ to say
Can’t you feel the fears I’m feelin’ today?
If the button is pushed, there’s no runnin’ away
There’ll be no one to save, with the world in a grave
[Take a look around ya boy, it’s bound to scare ya boy]

And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve
of destruction. (Eve of Destruction, Barry McGuire)

Yes, dear friends, we are on the eve of destruction. The time to put down that remote control is now.

Copyright 2007, Barbara H. Peterson

Civil Disobedience: The Right of Revolution

By Barbara H. Peterson

Henry David Thoreau’s essay “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience” written in 1849 is as relevant to the times now as it was then. We have a right to stand up and question any institution or individual that claims authority over us, just as he did then. In fact, it is our duty as citizens to do so. Thoreau decided that he could not be associated with the government of his day without disgrace. How about our government today? Can we associate with it without disgrace?

I can hear his words echoing in my mind: “It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right” (Thoreau, 1849). Our government enacts laws that intend to subjugate and enslave. We are hit from all sides with programs that invade our privacy, take away our rights as free citizens, and make chattel of us. Our government is out of control, and its laws do not stand for what is right. Therefore, it is our duty as citizens to question its authority. It is our duty as citizens to revolt.Thoreau states: “All men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist the government when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable.” This revolution is not one to eliminate the government, but to make it better. “I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government” (Thoreau, 1849). So how do we go about this revolution? Thoreau makes it clear that

It is not a man’s duty, as a matter of course, to devote himself to the eradication of any, even the most enormous wrong…but it is his duty, at least, to wash his hands of it, and if he gives it no thought longer, not to give it practically his support (Thoreau, 1849).

We can resist in many ways, but the most effective method of resistance is to not support what we know to be wrong. We must live so that we are a counter friction, not supporting the wrongs that we condemn (Thoreau, 1849). If we deem it wrong to go to war over oil, we should not support anyone who supports that war, and make our next vehicle purchase one that uses the least amount of gas and oil as possible. We can withdraw monetary support for a bloated, oppressive government by not supporting the income tax system. We can stop supporting the unsafe import system by reading labels for the country of origin and refusing to purchase items that place us at risk. If we are tired of the restrictions on free speech, we should shout as loudly as we can that the First Amendment to the Constitution has not been rescinded, and refuse to listen to the media talking heads who do nothing but spout government-sponsored propaganda. By withdrawing our support for the things we know to be wrong, we can make a difference. Some who take the road of resistance will be imprisoned, but take solace from the following: “Under a government, which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison” (Thoreau, 1849).

As Dylan Thomas so aptly put it: “Do not go gentle into that goodnight…rage, rage against the dying of the light.” May we find the strength to rage against the dying of the light of our nation while our republic gasps its last breath. May we, as individuals, find the courage to stand up to the powers that be and make the right choices. It starts with one person, and one choice. Do not abrogate your responsibility and sit on the fence of compromise. Decide to do what is right today.

References:

Thomas, D. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.bigeye.com/donotgo.htm

Thoreau, H.D. (1849). Retrieved from http://thoreau.eserver.org/civil.html

Copyright 2007, Barbara H. Peterson