Archive for the ‘Edward Abbey’ Category

I wonder how much money our government makes off our taxes. I also wonder how much money our government makes off of us in things like renewing tabs and what have you. These taxes we pay are supposed to go towards things to better our society. Over the last many years our taxes have gone towards funding a war we cannot win. A war many of us oppose. I am hard pressed to believe that the majority of tax payers would be in favor of knowing their money is going towards the death of our children. There are many examples of lost tax money, but one that stands out to me is our privately owned summer camps for criminals. We pump in billions of dollars keeping this system a float.  

I think back to the famous stance the colonies here in America took on the taxes the parliament put on the colonies. Their motto was no taxation without representation. I wonder if this same stance can be made today. Technically we have elected officials in the house who ultimately choose what to do about taxes. I am a firm believer that our elected officials are not a positive representative to the people; therefore I ask you are we being taxed without proper representation? I am not to knowledgably when it comes to these affairs, but I assume when new taxes are passed they are just passed without the say of the people. It goes through the house and imposed by the representatives’ we have elected. I think the statement taxation without representation stands true today because those in the house have alternative agendas that do not include the betterment of their constituents. If this is the case well then something is truly wrong with this situation. Could the people today stand up and use the same war cry our forefathers did? Can the people ever take our country back from the tyranny of our current government?

I am not saying all taxes are bad. They are a necessity to the betterment of our nation. I just question where these taxes are spent, and are these taxes imposed on the people justified. Are we being properly represented? I write a lot about the injustices I see in this country. I am by no means an educated man, and I am sure if I dedicated my time to learn all the in’s and out’s of our system I would probably find so much more to bitch about. Taxes are just one of those things we have no control over. Taxes are taken regardless of anything, and I feel the money is not being spent in the proper places. I am 100% against the war or any other form of occupation. I am 100% against our revolving door prison system, and its piss poor penalties. I am against these things yet the government will take my money and use it for such things. It just gives me such a feeling of yuk knowing I am so powerless, and I have zero confidence that our elected officials will do the right thing.

“A drink a day keeps the shrink away.”
Edward Abbey

I am not a big drinker by any means. The very few times I do drink I feel a deep sense of relaxation, and often times I am less shy. I would envision if I had one or two drinks a night, I am sure it would help many of my issues. I would be less stressed, feel good, and have a laugh. The problem with this is you risk the possibility of addiction. I have an addictive personality, and if I were to drink daily it would lead me down a dangerous path. Since I only drink a handful of times a year I get buzzed and relaxed after only two drinks. If I were to continue this pattern, soon I would require three drinks, then four and so it goes. This pattern induces unhealthy self medication, leading to addiction. 

A more appropriate quote would be “a joint a day keeps the shrink away.” I am all for the legalization of marijuana, and I am devastated proposition 19 did not pass.  It is by far safer than alcohol, and would create a stable money source for our government. Life is stressful as it is; people need an escape from reality from time-to-time. Smoking weed can be self medicating, which is not as horrible as alcohol, and the medication drug companies’ produce. This medication eases our maladies, but come with side effects. These side effects can sometimes be worse than the problems they are supposed to cure. In some cases we become physically and mentally addicted to our prescription medication. I look at some of the prescription drugs out there and think to myself marijuana would cure that problem, and is far less destructive to our bodies and mind.

We as a society have become dependent on some sort of unnatural drug to cure this or that. The drug companies would lose billions of dollars a year if people medicated themselves, or if marijuana was used to treat certain issues. This is a huge road block to the cause of legalization. If we all smoked a joint or two a day our society would improve; people would be chill, less tense, and happier. We would have less people in prison; eliminate crime caused by the selling and distribution of weed, and decreasing the money source for illegal operations. The government would make billions of dollars which could then go back into the community. This is a win-win type of situation, the only people who would lose are drug companies, and I believe it was the drug companies that killed proposition 19.

I am not able to see into the future which is why this is an opinion piece. I believe that anything in excess is a bad thing, whether it be alcohol or marijuana.  I have a friend who does nothing but smoke dope from the moment he wakes up to the moment he falls asleep. Although he is a high functioning user I am still able to see the negative outcome his use has had on his life. It is my opinion that the good outweighs the bad in the legalization debate.  I feel the legalization of marijuana would cure some of our society’s maladies.

In the end it is important for people to sit back relax, and enjoy the moment, but don’t forget to pass it along.

Edward Paul Abbey: (January 29, 1927 – March 14, 1989) was an author and essayist noted for his love and protection of our environment. He spoke out against big government and some accused him of being an anarchist. His novel The Monkey Wrench Gang, which has been cited as an inspiration by radical environmental groups, and was a how-to-guide for non-violent ecotage. He was born in Pennsylvania, but felt compelled to head west. In his travels he felt a connection with the land and fought hard to preserve its beauty. I find many of his quotes inspirational.

“The tragedy of modern war is that the young men die fighting each other – instead of their real enemies back home in the capitals.
Edward Abbey

How true is this statement? It is so easy for our leaders to make decisions on war when it is not their lives or their children’s lives on the line. If we were to create a law stating any representative who votes to either continue the war in Afghanistan or whether to enter into a new war would be required by law to serve in said war. I wonder how many of them would vote to continue this current war we are in. I wonder how they would address this current crisis in North Korea. Can you honestly think Obama would continue the war in Afghanistan if he knew he would have to suit up and head off to war? I can guarantee you we would see zero votes regarding continuing or beginning any kind of war. This is an issue for me because we have leaders who only discuss such things in a heavily guarded palace far away from any dangers. It is easy to use human pawns in the name of democracy, when you are safe at home.

I would love to ask our elected officials if they are ready to be sent off to South Korea where they would need to face the fourth largest standing army in the world. I would love to see what their votes would be if they had army gear waiting for them at the air port. I wonder if the Supreme Leader of North Korea Kim Jong-il would continue to be a crazy fucker if he had to personally lead the troops into the south. Knowing how unstable he is I am sure he would be game for such things.

I just think our leaders need to stop using our children as toys to achieve an agenda which honestly makes no sense. There is no way we will win this war in Afghanistan. It is sad to know that each day another young man dies. It is sad to know that we as a country are creating widows and fatherless children all in the name of what? I understand we are trying to defeat the terrorist, but in reality that will never happen. You can kill one leader and immediately another one surfaces. Our presence in the Middle East is only throwing more fuel on the fire. We are actually creating more enemies with real motives to hate America. If we were to just get out of the Middle East 100% and let them work it out for themselves then the terrorists would lose reasons to attack us.

I believe we need to pull all of our troops out of the countries we are currently in. I think there is something like 30k troops in Germany. Why is this necessary? I think if we brought these troops home, and used them to protect our borders we would be safe, and over time our popularity with other countries would improve because we would no longer be playing the daddy role over the world. I do not think North Korea would hate us so much if we did not have so many troops in the south. I think we need to realize that there are countries out there that if they wanted to could squash us like a bug.

I do not believe our representatives would vote for war if they and their families would be required to serve. This statement is a powerful one if you think about it. They can vote for death and destruction as long as they and their families are safe. I think this shows they are not that for the war. Why is it okay for the sons and daughters of Americans to die in battle when they are not willing to die themselves? In the sixties and seventies there were millions of people who stood up against the war in Vietnam. I really do not understand why this is not happening today. We have been over in the Middle East for years and have spent trillions of dollars to keep this pointless unwinnable war going. Where are the protesters? If our leaders choose to keep this and any future war going then they need to suit the fuck up, or stop voting to kill our troops.

“Love implies anger. The man who is angered by nothing cares about nothing.”
Edward Abbey

This quote has been on my mind a lot as of late. I have been repeating it over and over as a personal mantra for many days. I look at all the things I value most in my life and those are the things I try and fight for the hardest to stay the same. I try and realize if I am stirred to anger than that means I still care, because I am still feeling strong emotions. Right? I think if I ever get to the point where I no longer care, then I will just be whatever about it. If these things I once was very emotional over no longer affect me then what does that say about my feelings on the matter? This is an important guiding stick for me, and it has not failed me yet. I just wonder if the concept of love implying anger is correct, or is this something a rageaholic says to make himself feel better about his actions?

It seems to me the things in my life I care for the most will always stir me to anger if things are not going as planned or if there is a bump in the road. Inside I know I must really care about this if I am going to allow it to twist me up. I am usually a laid back Zen type of person who is just ho-hum about most things, but I get into protect mode when something crosses certain boundaries. I know I care about my family, theology, philosophy, friendships, mental illness, work and my writing because these are the things where most of my passion comes from. Are the feelings I have about this stuff misguided passion, or defensive anger? This is not blind rage anger it is something different. I get into panic mode because I want to fix whatever the problem is so my world stays the same. This comes through as anger but is always something much deeper, much more painful. Edward Abbey was not talking about interpersonal relationships when he said this. It was geared towards his passion over the west and the environment. I think even though this quote is not taken in direct context it can still be a guiding stick to your personal relationships and your dreams

“Civilization is a youth with a molotov cocktail in his hand. Culture is the Soviet tank or L.A. cop that guns him down.”
Edward Abbey

The great thing about quotes is you are not always there to bare witness to what exactly was going on when these things were said, or for that matter in what context the quote is being used. What I love about doing these pieces on the philosophy of quotes is it allows me to find a quote that speaks to me and add my own philosophical spin on it. I am a fan of many things Abbey has said, but I like this quote, because the question is “what did Abbey mean by this?” Edward Abbey was an author, and primarily known as an environmentalist activist; many of his quotes resonate on a deeper political landscape.

In many of his writings and quotes you can tell Abbey was opposed to any form of government. In his opinion the only just government is no government at all. He once said Anarchism is founded on the observation that since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others.” Abbey had very little faith in man to do the right thing. His claim is if we are not even able to take care of ourselves and be responsible enough to make the right decisions; then what does that say about man’s ability to rule a nation. This sentiment was repeated in many of his famous quotes. I wonder what Abbey would think about our society now, with the discovery of global warming and the oil spill. I can only imagine he is rolling in his desert grave.

Describing civilization as a youth, and one with a primitive weapon in hand; says to me that in anarchy there may be violence, but this violence is minor, yet necessary to right the ship of society. The description of culture being a tank or L.A. cop gunning this youth down represents how quickly and swiftly our culture can break us down. He is saying the violence and destruction this youth will bring is nothing compared to the level of violence and oppression our current government shells out.

In one of Abbeys quotes he says; Society is like a stew. If you don’t stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top.” The youth’s purpose in an anarchy run society is to stir the stew, keeping us from being overrun with the greedy, but because of our culture the powers that be prevent this from happening; hence why our society has slowly fallen a part. We have no youths standing up and demanding change. We do not have this, because we know it isn’t possible. We have no recourse but to submit to our masters. 

I often think about what our society would look like if it was over run and anarchy reined supreme. I think the concept of anarchy sounds great, but just like socialism it is corrupted by mans hand. I think you look at any government system and on paper it sounds great, but somehow we end up screwing the pooch. If we were just to switch to no government it would not stop the corporations from taking over. They already hold to much power in this country imagine what it would be like if they were able to take the politician gloves off and truly have at us. As a society we could still have our Molotov cocktails, but the corporations would have the tanks and machine guns. There would still need to be some sort of hierarchy. There would still be the few who held all the power, and the many who don’t. Abbey once said this about power Power is always dangerous. Power attracts the worst and corrupts the best.”

I go back and forth on whether big government is a good or bad thing. I suppose like most Americans I am all for big government when it benefits me (universal healthcare) and against it when it doesn’t (bank bailout.) I think if we had honest people in office who legitimately cared about the country and the well being of the people, the more favorably the public would perceive our government to be. Our elected officials have been letting us down for the last thirty plus years. Instead of standing up and protesting for change and holding our officials accountable we have just grown to accept this as status quo.

We have all grown tired over things remaining the same and we are always skeptical when the government legitimately tries to do something good for us. Take the healthcare reform bill. The democrats were finally able to make a push towards universal healthcare. Everyone was positive about it until the special interests killed it with the negative ads regarding the change. People starting freaking out thinking we would become socialist if we accepted this change. The majority of people wanted reform, but as soon as that magical picture box started saying negative things, is when people started to believe this was bad. Its amazing how much power that little box has; isn’t it?   

I think our government in its current form is as destructive as they come. This is true whether you are talking about republicans or democrats. Abbey had this to say about our conservative leaders our ‘neoconservatives’ are neither new nor conservative, but old as Babylon and evil as Hell.” And this to say about democrats One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain’t nothin’ can beat teamwork.” His sentiments and complete lack of faith in our system is harrowing. The sad part is during his time; he would have been in the minority for thinking this way. I think today he would most definitely be in the majority. I look and wonder where are our Edward Abbeys to try and stir the pot? Where are our youths holding their molotov cocktails? I can easily answer these questions. We are indoctrinating our youth to become blind followers of the establishment.

We have accepted things as they are without questioning them, or partake on any real quest at changing them. We have been so hypnotized by money, media and possessions that we have been blind over the hijacking of this country. Big business has infiltrated our government, and we have just sat here and allowed it to happen. We have not stirred our society up enough by questioning our leaders and challenging their policies. The end result is we have let ourselves get overtaken by the scum of the earth. Our elected officials are demons in suits, selling lies to the gullible.