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When Dreams Die – What It Means for the Young and Old

I Tweeted a few days ago, “When Dreams Die, Do You?” I think the answer is yes or at least part of you dies.

I think as long as you have something to look forward to, every day, you’re better off than most. If you have dreams and/or aspirations that drive you, you’re interesting, dynamic, and engaged. Those dreams and aspirations are the force that lights you up, makes you a magnet pulling people towards you. Those dreams, and sometimes to those on the outside looking in, perhaps fantasies, are the fuel to fire the life in you. They are the reasons many get up and do what they do every day. Some fight the fight in the political arena. Some fight to eradicate hunger and poverty. Some fight against discrimination and prejudice. Some fight to protect children and women. Some fight to maintain their health. Some fight to retain their marriage. Some fight to keep their homes. Some fight to keep fit.  Some fight to feed themselves and their families. Some fight just to fight. Most fight something daily, and when the realization of a lost battle sets in, and dreams and hopes are lost, what happens? I think we lose our edge. We start to fade, some even wishing to fade away quickly because it’s hard, really hard. And, if it’s hard for those of us that have worked and gained some success and financial stability which we too have to monitor and fret about, imagine the bleak picture for those just starting out. I cannot imagine. I think many, regardless of age, give up. Understood.

We have a populace of dashed dreams and hopes. We have an aging population with untold, under utilized skills that are considered useless. We have a current crop of potential workers, who for the most part, do not have the work ethic, feel entitled and, again in my opinion, do not understand the sayings “Do what needs to be done.”, “Whatever it takes.”, you get the idea. They have been coddled and helicopter parented to the point of absurdity. Society changed, the work environment drastically changed and they are out there, with no direction and not many skills.

Yet, foiled dreams are foiled dreams, regardless of age. It is said that a young person entering the workforce recently will change careers seven times in their lifetime (This article only encompasses through 2008, we know things have changed, and not for the better.)  (Seven Careers in a Lifetime? Think Twice, Researchers Say - WSJ ...  online.wsj.com/.../SB1000142405274870420680457546816280587...by Carl Bialik)

So, we have to keep reinventing ourselves over and over again. Get a dream, lose a dream, get a new dream, and start again. You can add to that the personal dynamics of keeping a family together, lost love, regrets, recriminations and all of the “If Only’s” and just the pressure of every day living. It’s rough.

I guess we need to continue to fight, live. I question how much we have to lose or fear losing, how many dreams we dream then abandon and how many times we can come back to fight yet again, just to stay even or behind even. Then I question why bother. Sometimes enough is more than enough. Sometimes when a dream dies it takes the core of you with it.

Our spirit forges us forward until it can’t, until we’re too tired and beat up, until there is no promise of something better, until we say, OK, I can’t do it, I give up.

Fortunately, for the most part, we don’t give up. We dream yet another dream and wake to fight another fight. That’s what I count on; it’s what I HAVE to believe in for myself and my country.

LJ Lassiter
8/8/2012

Discuss

MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL (MTM), WHO KNEW?

This world, so much happening, too much happening, keeping up, seems impossible.

As Serendipity would have it, I am reading Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen. Freedom is resolutely a novel in the classic form, a 19th century-style narrative set against the wars – political, social, and actual happenings of the 21st century. It succeeds utterly and sucked me in, but not immediately (I started it a year ago). Anyway, there is a great deal of discussion regarding Mountaintop Mining (MTM) and the deals made with the “Powers to Be” and all the social, personal, environmental, moral, health etc. implications. It’s not pretty, and it’s fiction, right? No.

Me, being me, and despising being out of the loop, I dug in. I am dumbfounded and mortified that, just in this past week, have I begun to understand the ramifications on health, community, way of life and the environmental impact of MTM.

I think I get it. Find the coal seams. Trash the land.  Get the coal. Destroy lives. Annihilate communities. Poison the water. Poison the land.  Create noise pollution. Create health hazards. Pretend to obey laws. Find loopholes. Make MONEY. Leave. It’s not OK.

I assume people will think, Ah Ha, yet another “Crusade” by Lassiter. Here’s the thing. If we don’t care about a very small segment of the population that is suffering immeasurably at the hands of Big Business and our Government and has NO VOICE, then we are flawed. If we don’t care enough to at least understand the plight of others, then we are flawed. If we, my Mantra, don’t speak up and out, then we are flawed. We are flawed, let’s change that.

The Appalachian dwellers have been written off, in my opinion, as inconsequential, not worthy of care and consideration, yet they are Americans. If this were happening in Beverly Hills, CA, Westchester County, NY or Palm Beach, FL, can you imagine the outcry? Exactly. This is the rural, “backwards”, “poor”, “uneducated” small segment of the USA where 500 mountaintops have been “RAPED” and thousands of streams have been polluted or obliterated and who cares? They have destroyed an area the size of the state of Delaware. Who cares? The “Powers to Be” promise restoration, they don’t, laws bend, who cares? I hope you do.

What does it boil down to, yet again, “PROFIT OVER PEOPLE”. Are you not sick of it yet?

Visit me at http://www.breakingintel.com for more on this subject.

Peace and Power to Us, the People….

LJ Lassiter (aka Lassiter)

Discuss

Homeland Security / Police State, Plain & Simple or Dark & Devious?  

I am not exactly quiet. I am frequently not polite. I buck the system. I question authority, all authority. I despise the NDAA. If you have followed me at the Crisis Jones Report or Daily Kos and now at www.BreakingIntel.com, you know that. I really despise the latest Executive Order from March 16th, 2012, “National Defense Resources Preparedness”. Combined, we could all be terrorists, the definition is so broad that under different circumstances might be deemed laughable, and “They” determine the criteria. And OUR government now has the power to institute Martial Law based on what “They” decide is a crisis. Again, “They” who WORK for us, decide our fate.

If I try to be fair, I understand much of it on the surface. On the surface, it appears “They” are working diligently to protect us. The under belly says something different.

We all know the Internet is monitored. There are key words that trigger a “look”. I blog, I email and I Tweet, oh boy…..here’s just an example….See below:

Homeland Security Is Tracking 100s Of Keywords On Twitter. Are You Being Targeted?
By Lauren Dugan on March 5, 2012 2:45 PM
If you tweet about the police, the flu and even social media, there’s a chance that the Department of Homeland Security is watching you. The Electronic Privacy Information Center has just released a list of hundreds of keywords the DHS is tracking on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites – how many are you tweeting?

The Electronic Privacy Information Center gained access to the list of keywords being monitored following a lawsuit filed through the Freedom of Information Act.
As Mashable reports, the DHS started social media surveillance back in February 2011. They initially wanted to stay abreast of breaking news, especially as it related to security issues, by monitoring Twitter and Facebook.
This new document shows that the DHS has since expanded its operations. There were 285 pages released along with the document from DHS, which showed that the Department had paid over $11 million to General Dynamics to provide the government with periodic reports of their Internet surveillance.
So what exactly are the keywords that set the government into high alert? We’ve got 25 keywords below – you can read the full list at AnimalNewYork.com:
•    Red Cross
•    United Nations
•    Attack
•    Recovery
•    Homeland security
•    Police
•    Threat
•    Toxic
•    Gas
•    Virus
•    Flu
•    Sick
•    Airport
•    Collapse
•    Marijuana
•    Mexican army
•    Shootout
•    Terror
•    Target
•    Tornado
•    Help
•    Relief
•    Trojan
•    China
•    Social media

Missing from this list is Occupy. We now know DHS is monitoring anything with the hash tag OWS.

Oh, and let’s not forget Anonymous. It’s the same story but involves DHS and the FBI. Let’s add to that the ability to track our every move and every location via our Cell Phones, no GPS chip needed and apparently, in many arenas, no court order required.

So, are “They” protecting us? No. Are we under surveillance, always, everywhere? Yes. Think of all the surveillance cameras, the highway information marquees that snap your picture as you read them, the bird chirping noises that come from inner city lamp posts, you look up, snap, they’ve got your picture. Think of the intrusions into our personal lives, behaviors, buying habits and the list is disgustingly long.

I see a marked similarity to Orwell’s 1984. We’re almost there, in my opinion. We have just a bit to go before the tipping point….my answer: Police State.

Now, just to screw with them, here we go. I’m already on a “List”, so I don’t care. Hey boys, heads up…..aren’t you tired of me yet?

The Red Cross and the United Nations do good work. I admire Homeland Security because they have the ability to prevent an attack. The police are amazing because they take threats seriously. The recovery of toxic elements of oil and gas, after the BP, spill has been under estimated. I was very worried at the airport that I would get sick with a virus or the flu. I think the Mexican army should not worry about Marijuana, the last thing we need is a shoot out, and it would cause terror. The tornadoes today targeted Texas. I certainly hope help and relief is on the way. Perhaps social media can help. Maybe, even China, can anonymously donate some money. Maybe we can get some help from the Greeks here in the US, although they are bankrupt and on the verge of collapse, maybe via a Trojan horse. That’s something that could occupy my mind……see how vulnerable we are?

Well, Fight for God’s sake…..How many times do I need ask? This is our country. Do you want to live this way?

Lassiter

(Now I’ve done it, used all the words on the list, to make a point, just a point, got that guys?) Just so you know, I’m a guy trying to call the shots as I see them, nothing more, and nothing less.

Discuss

DHS and the Social Media Sites Monitored by the NOC
NOC is the National Operations Center

OK, as if I don’t have enough to concern myself with in just living life, Anonymous Tweeted today that we might be interested in watching the live antics of DHS as it pertained to monitoring of the Social Media Websites by the NOC. Check it out, pages 14-18.

(http://www.dhs.gov/....)

I will quote: “This is a representative list of sites that the NOC will start to monitor in order to provide situational awareness and establish a common operating picture under this Initiative. Initial sites listed may link to sites not listed. The NOC may also monitor those sites if they are within the scope of this Initiative.” WTH?

Posting this is probably insane, but it doesn’t matter, because as a researcher, I visit 27 of the sites listed, frequently. So, I am already toast and apparently, so are you.

OK. What exactly is “situation awareness”? Hmmmm: Let’s see:

Situation awareness
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Situation awareness, is the perception of environmental elements with respect to time and/or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status after some variable has changed, such as time. It is also a field of study concerned with perception of the environment critical to decision-makers in complex, dynamic areas from aviation, air traffic control, power plant operations, military command and control, and emergency services such as fire fighting and policing; to more ordinary but nevertheless complex tasks such as driving an automobile or bicycle.

Situation awareness involves being aware of what is happening in the vicinity to understand how information, events, and one's own actions will impact goals and objectives, both immediately and in the near future. Lacking or inadequate situation awareness has been identified as one of the primary factors in accidents attributed to human error.[1] Thus, situation awareness is especially important in work domains where the information flow can be quite high and poor decisions may lead to serious consequences (e.g., piloting an airplane, functioning as a soldier, or treating critically ill or injured patients).

Having complete, accurate and up-to-the-minute SA is essential where technological and situational complexity on the human decision-maker are a concern. Situation awareness has been recognized as a critical, yet often elusive, foundation for successful decision-making across a broad range of complex and dynamic systems, including aviation and air traffic control,[2] emergency response and military command and control operations,[3] and offshore oil and nuclear power plant management.[4]

Really, reread it.

Here’s the thing, we’re just roaming around, trying to find the news and interact and somehow we are suspect. If you go to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, MySpace, Drudge Report, Huffington Post, Newsweek Blogs or WikiLeaks, you’re being watched, and that’s a tiny sampling.  There are 118 sites listed. If you check on Hurricane Information Center, suspect. If you check Global Incident Map, suspect. If you check Popular Science Blogs, suspect. Now what?

Have any ideas? Please, share. Somebody please remind me that this is the USA. This cannot be happening.

LJ Lassiter
2/16/2012

Discuss

Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 03:52 PM PST

Living “Inside Out”

by LJ Lassiter

Living “Inside Out”

No politics tonight, no Occupy, just some thoughts.

Someone commented to me the other day that things were easy for me because I lived “Inside Out”.

Having no clue as to what was meant, I asked. They said, “You just say what’s going on in your head, bam, it’s out there, it must make things so much easier.” I had to really ponder that.

The truth is, to my friends, colleagues and co-workers, yes, that’s true. There is never a question where I stand on anything or how I feel about everything. You’ve seen it here. I put my ideas, frustrations, hopes, disappointments and anger out for all to see. It doesn’t make things easier, not by a long shot. By laying yourself bare, for all to witness, comes vulnerability.

I don’t mind vulnerability, it humbles you. It strengthens your soul because you are more human. It’s a choice. There are consequences.

I won’t bore you with familial warnings, people backing away from you and the general uneasiness people can feel in your presence. It’s OK. Having the freedom and ability to speak one’s truth is a gift, even if it does not resonate with the multitudes. So, for the idea of living “Inside Out”, I must quote:

“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” William Shakespeare

That’s it. I just wanted to make it clear that for all of us, living “Inside Out” is an option. I haven’t made the leap as it pertains to family. They already think I’m not “wrapped too tight”. They could be right. But, for as long as I can, I will write what I feel is right. There is so much to do.

This brings us back to my first post….

“Nothing Strengthens Authority So Much As Silence.”
Leonardo da Vinci

Please speak up, everything depends on it.

LJ Lassiter
2/7/2012

Discuss

Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 10:31 AM PST

Money, Power, Good and Evil

by LJ Lassiter

Money, Power, Good and Evil

I think it may be necessary to yet explain a bit about the Occupy Movement. I support the Occupy Movement. I am not a lazy hippie, drug addict or dropout. I am a Liberal, maybe a Progressive that used to be a Conservative Republican. I like money. I have some. I worked very hard and long to have some. I use my money for the good. I sometimes use it for fun. I enjoy some of the perks of having some money. I sometimes don’t have to wait in line. If I wanted more money, I could figure out how to get it. For the past several years I have worked on keeping my money. I am one of the most fortunate of the 99%. I was blessed with the tools and in some instances the foresight to work around the system that is no longer conducive to innovation for the average American. I was afforded an excellent education that stressed problem solving, independent thought and personal gratification in personal achievement. In my opinion, the education system as it stands no longer fosters these qualities. I won’t start again on all that’s broken, you know. We are not living in the America that we dreamed of and were promised. I love when passerby’s yell at the Occupiers, “Get a Job”. OK, where? For the most part, do you not think they’d rather be inside and warm as opposed to outside, cold and wet? And guess what, many have jobs, minimum wage jobs in spite of college degrees. Most people who find themselves without a job or home did not get there on purpose. Stuff happens, sometimes in spite of prudent planning and doing all the right things. So, unless you have walked in their shoes, please don’t judge.

I get all kinds of push back saying the Occupiers just want everything handed to them, they expect it, feel they deserve it. Maybe a small percentage does, not the majority. I expect no one to help me but know and live, “Sometimes a hand out is a hand up.” I know and live “There but for the Grace of God go I.” Think about that. Aren’t most of us just one move away from being financially OK or not? That’s all it takes, one thing, and we’re done. How is it that we are in this position? What changed over the past 15-20 years that makes it nearly impossible for a dual income household with two children to substantially save? Some of it is on us. Bigger house, newer cars, it is probably simply conspicuous consumption with an endless supply of extended credit offered us. Did we choose to use it? Yes, we did. We assumed as generations before us that things would just get better and better, it’s the way it worked here in the US until it didn’t. Adjusted for inflation our dollars have less buying power. There is really no job security. The corporations gave away jobs to third world countries. We stopped producing manufactured goods. The banks just kept getting richer. They then offered even more money to those they knew wouldn’t be able to pay it back. Those people bought durable goods. Our “numbers” looked great until, as many predicted; the unsustainable “growth” fell apart. Then we had to bail the banks out for their greed. We lost, they did not. We paid, they did not. To quote an Occupy chant, “Banks got bailed out, we got sold out.”  Greed wins, we lose.

Below is an excerpt of an article written on Nov. 28th, 2011, Bloomberg News:

<strong>Secret Fed Loans Gave Banks $13 Billion Undisclosed to Congress
Nov. 28 (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve and the big banks fought for more than two years to keep details of the largest bailout in U.S. history a secret. No one calculated until now that banks reaped an estimated $13 billion of income by taking advantage of the Fed’s below-market rates, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its January issue. Betty Liu reports on Bloomberg Television's "In the Loop." (Source: Bloomberg)

On Nov. 26, 2008, then-Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Officer Kenneth D. Lewis wrote to shareholders that he headed “one of the strongest and most stable major banks in the world.” He didn’t say that his firm owed the central bank $86 billion that day.

The Federal Reserve and the big banks fought for more than two years to keep details of the largest bailout in U.S. history a secret. Now, the rest of the world can see what it was missing.

The Fed didn’t tell anyone which banks were in trouble so deep they required a combined $1.2 trillion on Dec. 5, 2008, their single neediest day. Bankers didn’t mention that they took tens of billions of dollars in emergency loans at the same time they were assuring investors their firms were healthy. And no one calculated until now that banks reaped an estimated $13 billion of income by taking advantage of the Fed’s below-market rates, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its January issue.

Saved by the bailout, bankers lobbied against government regulations, a job made easier by the Fed, which never disclosed the details of the rescue to lawmakers even as Congress doled out more money and debated new rules aimed at preventing the next collapse.

A fresh narrative of the financial crisis of 2007 to 2009 emerges from 29,000 pages of Fed documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and central bank records of more than 21,000 transactions. While Fed officials say that almost all of the loans were repaid and there have been no losses, details suggest taxpayers paid a price beyond dollars as the secret funding helped preserve a broken status quo and enabled the biggest banks to grow even bigger.

This is what we are up against, Evil Power. What we do with our money defines us as humans. How we treat others who are less fortunate defines us as humans. Is it as simple as Good vs. Evil? I think maybe so.

LJ Lassiter
2/6/2011  

Discuss

Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 04:29 PM PST

I Just Don’t Care Anymore

by LJ Lassiter

I Just Don’t Care Anymore

So, I have been advised by several people to not speak out against the government. But I’m in a mood, feeling battered, broken, frustrated and angry. So, I just don’t care anymore. I am sick to death of all of it, fear, worry, having my emails read, having no privacy, friends being bothered, all because I have been, in the past, involved in the Occupy Movement. This is America God Damn it, not Nazi Germany. This country is a mess. It’s such a mess there is no chance of fixing it, In My Opinion. It doesn’t matter who is elected President, we’re broken. These ridiculous promises of jobs, really? Where might they be coming from? We make nothing. Our education system sucks. Throwing pink slime burgers together is counted as manufacturing. Great. We manufacture heart disease and obesity. What do we do well? Can someone please answer that? Oh wait; we make weapons, that’s something. I have a List in my head, not complete, but a start. It’s a list of things that need attention. Prediction: One year from today, nothing will have really changed, maybe a few tweaks here and there, but nothing substantial. These are my OPINIONS that I should probably NOT be sharing since they do question the effectiveness and abilities of our Government.  As I said, I really don’t care anymore. George Orwell may have been a prophet.    

The Liars List (This would cover basically all government officials.)

The Unnecessary War List (Someone please tackle this one.)

The Famine List (Not our problem, right?)

The Broken Government List (Federal and State and Local)

The Fukushima List (Where would you even begin? It should be tagged for The Liars List, The Food Safety List, The Faux News List, The Poisoned Water List, The Ruination of Our Oceans List, and The Earthquake List)

The Food Stamp List (Of course, if you listened to MSM, people aspire to be on this list.)

The Healthcare List (According to the CDC, 30.4% of Hispanics, 17% of blacks, and 9.9% of whites do not have health insurance, nice.)

The Education List (Poor quality, a national embarrassment although we go around pretending like we’re Number One, in actuality "U.S. students, who once led the world, currently rank 21st in the world in science and 25th in math," Newsweek reported in September 2011.)

The Illegal Invasion List (Too numerous to mention, don’t concern yourself, these are humanitarian missions right?)

The Weather Modification/Manipulation List (Repairing the Devastation and Destruction Caused by Flooding & Tornadoes, not conspiracy crap, just Google weathermodification.com or check out Geoengineering or Bioengineering.)

The Unemployment List (Don’t worry, it’s turning around.)

The 104 US Nuclear Plants List (Many unsafe and antiquated but who cares, what could possibly happen?)

The Faux News List (All the real journalists are dead so we have what we have, pathetic. Hats off to Matt Lauer actually asking a real question the other day regarding some Republican candidates, "So they're turning their back on core Republican principles simply for their own political ambition?", and no, I am not a Communist, Socialist or Anarchist)

The Food Safety List (Another thing to not worry about, The FEDS are on top of it.)

The Genetically Modified Seed List (Let me see, how many actually know or understand the ramifications of this one?)

The Drought List (Not that we really know anything about it thanks to MSM.)

The Poisoned Water List (Ditto on above.)

The Ruination of Our Oceans List (And yet we have another ditto.)

The Veterans Plight List (Another thing not to worry about, PTSD is probably just in their heads, no jobs and homelessness, exaggerated, it’ll be fine.)

The Keystone XL List (Just when we thought we had won something, Congress sneaks it in attached to another bill, surprise!)

The Fracking Ramifications List (This might as well be a topic only Space Aliens discuss.)

The Earthquake List (They are increasing in frequency and magnitude but it’s totally natural, don’t worry, Tag, The Fracking Ramifications List)

The Revolution List (Ah, finally something almost everyone has heard about, just waiting for everyone to join in.)

The Human Trafficking List (Here, no way, that’s a Third World problem.)

The Drug Shortage List (Really, since last May, especially cancer drugs, why haven’t we heard about it, oh right, I forgot, the journalists are dead.)

The Drug Abuse List (We’ve been fighting “The War on Drugs” for so long, haven’t we made any headway?)

The Losing Our Liberties List (This is easy, our education system sucks so badly people don’t even know they had rights to lose in the first place and they’re probably drugged in some fashion, so it doesn’t matter, oh, and let’s not forget the NDAA)

The Unraveling of America List (Let’s go back to the top and start again.)

LJ Lassiter

1/12/2012

Discuss

Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 11:44 AM PST

Let Me Get This Straight…..

by LJ Lassiter

Let Me Get This Straight…..I Cannot Write or Say Anything That Questions or Criticizes The US Government Because It Could Be Considered Hostile or Belligerent?

That Sounds Reasonable.

OK, I’ve had it and I realize I’m late getting to the party on this topic. I was so angered it took me until now to react. This Bill, H.R. 1540 (NDAA), for the Fiscal Year 2012, specifically Section 1021, signed into law December 31, 2011 by President Barack H. Obama, raises some legitimate questions. Here’s one paragraph, let’s dissect it.

"A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces."

A person who was a part of or   WHAT TYPE OF PERSON, A US CITIZEN?

substantially supported   WE NEED A DIFINITION OF SUPPORT

or associated forces    WE NEED A DEFINITION FOR ASSOCIATED AND FORCES

that are engaged in hostilities   WE NEED A DEFINITION OF HOSTILITIES

including any person who has committed a belligerent act    WE NEED A DEFINITION OF BELLIGERENT

So, unless I do not understand things as written, The Powers To Be (and they’re everywhere) can decide that marching or just standing in protest is a hostile or belligerent act. Holding a sign, chanting, sitting, simply speaking and writing could be considered a hostile and/or belligerent act. Therefore “OCCUPYING” would most assuredly fall into both categories.

Well, I certainly would never accuse the government of any legerdemain, not me. They say we have nothing to worry about, we still have our freedoms and of course, they’re telling the truth. Don’t they always?  Alright then, I feel better now, everything is fine. We are all safe.

Lassiter
1/4/2012

Discuss

Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 03:22 PM PST

2011 – Do You See What I See?

by LJ Lassiter

2011 – Do You See What I See?

Another year passes, broken dreams, broken promises, disappointments, short lived elation, hard work, good times, new found freedoms, too much bad news, loss of focus, gaining new focus, tired, defeated, energized, excited, broken resolutions, new resolutions and in the end, another year, much like others. But was it?

Not really. 2011 was, for me, the best I can remember, and I can remember many. For me, it’s usually, what have I learned?

I have learned that people, finally, have found their voice, Tharir Square.

I have learned that a little Movement called Occupy has allowed the disgruntled and disenfranchised to have a place to call home, after decades of nowhere to go with their frustration.

I have learned that all things are possible.

I have learned by way of it being proven to me through Occupy that most people, regardless of economic or social position, education, geographic location, age, gender or occupation, strive for the same things, a government of the people, for the people and by the people, not one owned and run by Corporations and lobbyists.

I have learned that a little “Accountability” on the part of either the Government or the massive banks that sold us out would go a long way.

I have re-learned the value of “Ruth”, a feeling of sympathy and sorrow for the misfortunes of others. It has astounded me in my association with one of the Occupy sights, that no matter one’s own dire and/or precarious position, the Occupiers were willing to help and give when and how they could.

I have learned my belief that Main Stream Media Journalism is dead is well founded.

I have learned that “Citizen Journalists” are the answer to obtaining the “Truth”.

I have learned that sometimes an outstretched hand can be a hand up, or, depending on who is extending it, a shove back down.

I have been reminded, and sorely needed, that “There, but for the Grace of God, go I.”

I have been reminded that most people are basically good.

I have learned that my faith in humanity is well founded.

I have learned, and am angry beyond belief, that we have no privacy.

I have been reminded that my Dad’s admonition (a war hero) to “Question Authority” was rooted in personal experience that became his truth, has merit.

I have learned that I am stronger than I thought.

Of all these, my greatest revelation is the most liberating.

I have learned that I am not afraid to speak “my” truth. I am not afraid to question or challenge although I am advised I should be. I will copy the DHS warning, “If You See Something, Say Something.” Well, say it, write it, post it, film it and don’t ever be hushed, never. This is OUR country damn it. THEY work for us. Speak Up, Speak Out, and Take a Stand.

I am reminded of this quote, one I use often, “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act”. ... by George Orwell, carry on.

Oh, I almost forgot, Happy New Year.

LJ Lassiter

Discuss

So What Are You Afraid Of, Being Labeled? You Should Be!

Yesterday I was aggravated at the apathy I see. That hasn’t changed. In trying to understand the reasons for the general malaise I do what I do, I ask people questions.

Generally, people agree with the premise of the Occupy Movement, regardless of political affiliation. They are confused as to the message. I get that. Once explained and understood and agreed with, I must then ask the question, why no involvement?

It’s simple, fear. Fear of standing up or speaking out will cost them their jobs. Fear of being labeled a crack pot, anarchist, revolutionary, you name it, no one wants a label. I know I don’t want to be labeled. Being labeled in this country as it is now can be damaging. It can be damning. I have been labeled a dissident. A dissident, broadly defined, is a person who actively challenges an established doctrine, policy, or institution. To that, yes I am a dissident. The label infers much worse. In the past week I have also been called an anarchist. I am not. In the same time frame I was described as a “Progressive”. I was a former Ultra Right Wing Republican, turned Democrat turned Independent but not a Progressive, at least I didn’t think so. I went to Wikipedia to check it out……

“Progressivism is an umbrella term for a political ideology advocating or favoring social, political, and economic reform or changes through the state. Progressivism is often viewed by its advocates to be in opposition to conservative or reactionary ideologies.”

Apparently I fall under the umbrella of a Progressive in so much as I favor “social, political, and economic reform or changes through the state.” Most Occupiers fall under the same umbrella. But what happens if you cannot initiate change/reform through the normal channels, i.e., the government? I don’t know the answer. I personally am not ready for anarchy but what is the next step? What label could we assign to those of us who desire positive change for all Americans, social justice, economic justice, political reform and government accountability in a non-violent manner?  How about Patriots?

Does anyone have any ideas?

Discuss

“Nothing Strengthens Authority So Much As Silence.”
Leonardo da Vinci

As a first time blogger here, I hesitated as to what to discuss.

Keep it simple. Write from your core. The core of me is frustrated. I am sick of the apathy.

In this life, you either DO or DON’T stand for something. The choice is yours and yours alone. If, after all is said and done, how do you want to be remembered? For some, and no judgment here, perhaps the best cookie maker ever is enough. For others, a legacy of active involvement in the happenings on the planet on which they dwell is vital. It is those in the middle that I wish to address. Stand for something, anything, but speak up, speak out and be heard. Silence is simply not acceptable.

I don’t care what “side” you’re on, if you think and feel, you’re on the side of what’s Right, which is actually the Left.  

As an observer, sympathizer and commentator on the Occupy Movement, several things stand out. The hardcore members are not afraid to speak, not afraid to get arrested, not afraid to be uncomfortable. They STAND for something and they do it for YOU. I understand many are not in any position to be arrested for their beliefs, jobs being hard enough to come by and keep. Find an acceptable way to be heard.

For those of you that pass by the Occupy sights and honk and wave in support, get out of the damn car for an hour, hold a sign, bring some soup, STAND for something. Do something, Do anything.

It is not enough in these dangerous times to give lip service to a cause.

Pepper spray directly in the face, you’ve seen it; you know it, is it OK with you?

It is not enough to assume someone else will do it.

Don’t just rock the boat, capsize the friggin thing, damn it, get involved. It is your country, your life and the life of those you love that is at stake.

The question is, what are you going to do about any of it, one tiny part of it, are you capable of doing ANYTHING? If so, STAND and be counted.

Silence is NOT Golden, it’s deadly.

LJ Lassiter
12/27/11

Discuss
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