Posts Tagged ‘Social Debates’

“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.

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“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.

My father came down to the cities a few weekends ago for a visit. I always enjoy when he comes down because we have some great theological and political discussions. He is one of the most intensely religious people I know. Our belief systems and political opinions are complete polar opposites. We will get into some heated arguments involving these subject.

My father is not your typical Christian. He is 100% against Sunday Christians, because he believes they have been deceived by Satan. He is very knowledgeable of the Word, and can repeat scriptures at the drop of the hat. He is a heavy dope smoker and is losing his memory so he can sometimes quote the same scriptures over and over again; which gets very annoying. He watches hours of evangelists on television finding various different ways to find out how they are not preaching what the Word really says. He will write letter after letter trying to show these churches the errors in their ways. He believes the seven letters referred to in Revelations is describing the major denominations out there. When he is not watching television preachers he is watching Fox News, and has some extreme political views as well with various different conspiracy theories, this also causes some heated debates.

On Saturday night he started to go off on his theory for why society has crumbled from within. He believes our downfall has to do when we threw God out of the schools and out of the government. He called us a Godless nation who has turned our backs on the Lord. Warning if we continue to turn our back on God; God will turn his back on us. I listened to his points of view as I always do. I would try to politely interject and give my views. Most of the times I do not bother because he refuses to let me finish a single thought. He is also completely unable to step out side of his belief system and look at things objectively.

It wasn’t until he brought up one of our major downfalls was our acceptance of homosexuality. He went on to say God hates the act, and compared our society to Sodom and Gomorrah. I immediately got filled with agitation, and could no longer hold my opinions back. I asked him why God would create a segment of the population he was predisposed to hate. He told me God does not hate the people he hates the act of homosexuality. I refrained my question asking him why God would create a segment of people who are predisposed to commit acts which he hates. His answer to me was people are not born gay; it is a learned behavior.

I had to scoff at this notion for the silliness it is. I tried to point out the existence of blatantly feminine men and obvious butch females. There is no way these are learned character traits. This has to be something these individuals are born with. We started to really get into it. He gave me the typical Sodom and Gomorrah references and said the famous quote “God made Adam and Eve; not Adam and Steve.”  

This is a great example of why I will never accept the existence of God into my life. The fact people can read a book which teaches them to love their fellow man, yet teaches intolerance over something as trivial as being gay is a complete joke. I do not understand why in this day and age we have had such an issue with gay people getting married. The fact we are still debating the don’t ask don’t tell policy in our military is a joke. I could understand his concern if homosexuals were running around ass raping straight men in the streets. This would cause huge issues and a concern to the public. The facts are these things do not happen in the real world. Gay people are not sexual deviants who are a risk to be free in our society. Our world will not be affected in any way if we allowed gay’s to get married. Gay people deserve the right to go die in unjust wars just as straight men do. These things are facts yet because a book has some references to this as being bad; it cause’s our society to tweak out over the subject. How can my fathers claim that God has been thrown out of the government be true when that very same government is making laws based on what the Bible says?

One final thought. The Bible says one of the reasons for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was homosexuality was running rampant. God decided he hated this place so much he would rain down fire and brimstone. The question I have is why has he refrained himself from destroying us? The fire and brimstone episode was not the only reference to God destroying his children for naughty behavior. Why are we not being destroyed now? This is one of my arguments against the existence of God.

My wife had to have surgery on her mouth to fix two impacted wisdom teeth. Her teeth were not going straight up they were growing sideways pushing at her molars. The dentist told her she had to get this surgery done otherwise she would have severe problems down the line. We have duel dental insurance and at that time health insurance. Between these three the procedure was extremely cheap. The place she had the procedure royally botched the operation and caused a whole new set of problems. She was sent to another dentist, when he saw how badly his colleague screwed up he offered to have all visits with him for free. It was because of this shitty dentistry my wife had to go have a serious surgery because the infection was eating away at her jawbone. After the surgery she had to take hardcore antibiotics through an in-home IV. The whole thing was a complete nightmare, but we did not realize there were other issues to come about. This time it was not her mouth it was the insurance companies screwing up.

When my wife received the first bill she noticed the insurance company did not cover everything they were supposed to. When she called the insurance company she had to jump through all these hoops, talk to many different representatives, and really press the issue until she found out the insurance company miscoded many of the services to the tune of over one thousand dollars. The representative she spoke to said she would make notes in her account and said she would fix it. We also received bills from the dentist’s office after he said all services would be covered. My wife continued to fight this as well. We had to go to some out of network providers specifically for the in home IV antibiotics. We received a referral and before my wife accepted she contacted the insurance company to ensure it would be covered and they gave the okay. Sure enough it was coded as no approval out of network.

She has been dealing with this for months. Every time she calls she has to jump through the same hoops as the time before; only to hear “oh yea we miscoded. We will fix right away.” My wife has been in pain for over two years and she still has nerve damage in her mouth. On top of this she still has to deal with the insurance company which has now sent us to a heavy duty collection company. This has gotten so frustrating for her it will bring her to tears. I wish I had better knowledge of how this all works so I can call and help.

I wonder how many people have to deal with “miscoding?” I wonder how many people just pay their bill unaware they are getting screwed. In the film “Sicko” by Michael Moore it addresses how insurance company employees are trained to miscode varies procedures which would normally be covered. It is no secret insurance companies are crooked. They try to find anyway to get out of covering our healthcare needs. This is no secret yet nothing really gets done to hold these bastards accountable for their crimes against the people. We all pay high premiums month in and month out. For many of us we also have such high deductibles to pay before coverage even sets in.

During the healthcare debate there were a lot of lies, rhetoric and fear mongering going on to try and turn the people against Obama. Some of these same people were the ones who voted for him because of his healthcare reform. I remember seeing rallies were people were freaking out and shouting at people for this reform. I remember people spitting on a sick man holding a sign saying he was dying and has no coverage. I am sure these protesters were either well to do and had cheap coverage, or they were ignorant and had no idea what Obama was actually trying to do. Either way the healthcare bill as it stands sounds like it will do very little to stop insurance companies from bending us over and giving us the high hard one. I am amazed with how crooked people know they are and how much these insurance companies are screwing us; we have yet to rally together and demand change. This is further proof how we are indoctrinated into a frame of mind allowing us to be taken advantage of and just accept it and go about our days. I think we not only owe it to ourselves, but also our children the chance to live in a just and fair society. Don’t you?

I am by far an intelligent person. I accept there are many things I know very little about. I do know this much though; I never take anything at face value. There are so many things to consider when reflecting on the world around us. Very few people take the time to say “hey wait a minute this just doesn’t seem right.” It is because of this lack of mindset many things are allowed to continue to flow as the status quo. The one area I sit and think hard about is politics. I try not to follow 24 hour news stations because I don’t want my opinion to be corrupted. I am amazed how things continue to go in a shitty direction without more outcries from the American people demanding change. Our elected officials would actually work for the people if they knew we could throw their asses out of office. They would be forced to make decisions focused on the progression of our great nation not on the progression of their bank accounts.

I understand and I am fully aware we have the power to elect our politicians. I also understand we have the choice to not vote for them the next time around if they turn out to be complete douches. What bothers me is the time in-between. It is no secret politicians lie during their campaigns. They say what they know the people want to hear. They will tap into our media outlets and use fear mongering techniques to try and sway public opinion. Once they are in office their promises seem to go out the door, because they know their jobs are safe another two or four years. There are politicians who really want reform, but are not honest enough on their probability of following through because of stonewalling.  

I would like to use healthcare as an example of this problem. When Obama was running for presidency the healthcare reform bill he was presenting was in my opinion a perfect fit for our nation. It is a sad state of affairs that we allow the American people to be screwed. Everyone should have affordable and reliable health coverage. This reform bill is a huge reason Obama and other democrats were elected into office. During and after the campaign there were smear campaigns trying to paint this bill in a horrible light. Many paid for by insurance companies and backed by Republicans. Because of these lies and the resistant’s of Congress and the Senate the bill was transformed into a watered down attempt at reform. It is great that reform was passed, but this is a far cry from what was originally proposed.  

These lies and smear campaigns rapidly changed public opinion. The officials who voted against and backed these campaigns should immediately be exposed and removed from office. The only thing which should allow them to stay in office is if their constituents really did not want reform without the swaying of lies. I am hard pressed to believe entire states would be against such a positive advancement of society. If this is truly the case then I have little faith in our future as a nation. These politicians should be exposed not only for the way they vote, but also for their roll in the defecation of this bill and many others our President is trying to pass.

I would also like to use the example of the bank bailout. Many of the same people who were against healthcare reform were the same people for the bank bailout. The American people as a whole were not behind this. They knew we were mortgaging our future generation’s financial progress by such a thing, yet our politicians allowed this to happen. Why? Because they were able to cash in today, and the dept does not directly affect them. Everyone involved in this should be removed from their positions of power immediately; including our president (I think he voted for.) These bastards got rich off this fiasco, and as demonstrated the banks used these funds to pay out huge bonuses and pay for retreats. Our politicians if they worked for us should stand in and demand repayment to the American people.

If our elected officials knew they would be held accountable for their actions and promises we would see greater progress. The American people should have the power to evict our leaders who are making selfish decisions. This should not have to wait two or four years so things can deteriorate further, these things should be done immediately to keep America moving forward.

“The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.”
Karl Marx

I was doing some reading on various government structures and came across oligarchy, and I was shocked on how closely America resembles this type of governmental structure. As I did some more reading I came across a form of government called corporatocracy which actually defined our structure better. Many Americans think they live within a Liberal Democracy which favors the freedom of the citizens of the state. Every 2-4 years we have the freedom to elect new officials whose purpose it is to serve their constituents. These elected officials do not serve us they serve the corporations lining their pockets more than the people. I would like everyone to sit back and ponder this. Do you feel you live in such a nation?

An oligarchy is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small segment of society distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, or military control. These states are often controlled by politically powerful families whose children are heavily conditioned and mentored to be heirs of the power of the oligarchy. In this country we do not have royalty, but we do have great wealth that controls most of this country. I am sure the children of these wealthy people are groomed to take over when they pass. I wonder if the ruling rich can be considered royalty. Who ever controls the country controls the military. The military fights for our safety and well being, but at the same time guarantees there is no possible way the people can revolt.

Oligarchies have been tyrannical throughout history, being completely reliant on public servitude to exist. The corporations controlling this country would not have the means to operate without the people. In the movie “Capitalism a Love Story” by Michael Moore he shows a letter from I believe US Bank sent out to their “Elite” customers stating the only thing standing in their way of a complete “plutocracy” is the American people’s right to vote. A Plutocracy is rule by the wealthy or power provided by wealth. The combination of both plutocracy and oligarchy is called plutarchy.

Robert Michels believed that any political system eventually evolves into an oligarchy. He called this the “iron law of oligarchy.” According to this school of thought, modern democracies should be considered as oligarchies. In these systems, actual differences between viable political rivals are small, the oligarchic elite impose strict limits on what constitutes an acceptable and respectable political position, and politicians’ careers depend heavily on unelected economic and media elites. Thus the popular phrase: there is only one political party, the incumbent party.

Corporate oligarchy (Corporatocracy) is a form of power, governmental or operational, where such power effectively rests with a small, elite group of inside individuals, sometimes from a small group of educational institutions, or influential economic entities or devices, such as banks, commercial entities that act in complicity with, or at the whim of the oligarchy, often with little or no regard for constitutionally protected prerogative.

One of Satan’s greatest deception was tricking the people he does not exist. I wonder if the greatest deception our government has done is tricking us into believing we are truly free.

This is a philosophical question I find intriguing. Would such a law improve our society? Would this law improve the quality of life for our future children? What guidelines should we apply to said law? I am certain there are many pros and cons to such an idea. The main con I see from implementing such a law is it goes against our civil liberties. I am sure it would cause social unrest, and would not be met with acceptance. If we look deeper into this question, we may find that society will improve over time.

If we look at our welfare system, there are a large number of people who are not able to support themselves let alone children, yet these people continue to procreate. In most of these cases we are dealing with addiction, and ignorance, while the children are forced to grow up in unhealthy environments. This unhealthy environment creates violence and the continuation and acceptance of poverty.

 This puts undue strain on our welfare system, often time’s families who need the help of welfare are denied such benefits because they make too much money, but the reality is they make too little to survive. Minnesota Care is a great example of this conundrum. This pattern of having children and being unable to support them is a pattern of poverty, which is passed on to the next generation. It is acceptable to have children young and become reliable on the system to survive; with no reliance an self preservation. If we were to end this cycle, would it be bad for our society? Would it be bad for the children who are forced to grow up in that environment?

I am certain we can agree, it is not in the best interest for poor, single, drug addicted people to have children. Then wouldn’t it make sense for people to prove they can support themselves, and be drug free to have children? Changing this simple trend, would end the culture where having more children equal a bigger paycheck from the government. In my opinion this is the easiest for me to accept, there are other issues not so cut and dry.

Is it wise for dumb people to breed? Is it ok for the mentally ill to risk passing on their illness? What about people who are racist, should they be allowed to give birth to a new generation of hate? Is teen pregnancy damaging to the parent and the child? What would happen if an unregistered person got pregnant? These questions make implementing such a law impossible, because who would say where the line should be drawn.

Being a parent is the most crucial job that anyone can have. Failing as a parent has severe consequences to the child and our society. I think there are people in America who do not qualify for such a large responsibility. I feel regulations in this area are needed, but would be impossible to carry out.