There is a Blue Buffalo dog food commercial that talks about how inside the soul of a puppy, people will find a wolf. Sure, it’s savvy marketing, but it works nicely to express to all of us that there is something primitive and unrestrained in an animal, a place, or in us. A good word for that uninhibited desire stretching out to every boundary that it touches is wilderness. We can see this in animals, people, and in nature.
If you love the wild in yourself, like the wild in the dogs I described, then you have to embrace it as much as you can. Unfortunately, not all of us can do that for many reasons. Some of these include lack of confidence, health issues, perceived time constraints, and not knowing how. There are ways to remedy this, but they can all fit under one header, which says raise up the people around us to be better for their world. Let them see the fire in themselves, and good things will come.
To this end, Jack London once said, "I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time." It it my belief that everyone has that right if they want it. If they don't, well we can't make them, but if people want to live strong and give back to themselves and the community, then we should help them do this.
But will it be enough?
Fortunately, even if we only get to their words years later, we can still listen wisely to the voices of the past so we won't make the same mistakes again. When we do this, we can't apologize for someone else's mistake, but we can do our best to learn from it so we don't repeat.
But this brings us back to where we are now with the decisions that compromise our individual rights and our own personal wilderness. Many times this exists in utilitarianism, but other times, it exists in the will of a bull in the china shop looking to impose its desires on anyone around it to make things right for it by any means necessary. Here, then, we need to ask why is this thing acting as it does? Can we rationalize its will or is it out of control?
Here we must realize that, like it or not, forced change by people who know better than us must be implemented through government authority to make things like this happen from time to time. Such is the fact that things like eminent domain and police enforced authority are the drawback to even something that can be so positive for so many people as utilitarianism, no matter what we believe when we get the dirty end of the stick. Hence, we live in a paradox of free will to object and necessity to do anyway.
This brings us back to the thought of government / private industry trying to do whatever with the best possible results. Intentions mean nothing when better actions could mean everything.
Now, we face the same thing at the resurrected Dakota Access Pipeline as it looks to help foreign markets with their oil issues. Energy independence or short term sales to benefit investors?
However, when it comes to other issues, we must decide what's right and where it's right and make the best choices for the most land, animals, and people that we possibly can save with the time, effort, and money we can muster.
And for as happy as that should make me, the future state of the wilderness in nature and in society and myself is breaking my heart. In just my three main issues of concern, they are affected more than they have ever been in my life because we have a president that needs to be Stone Cold Stunnered by the ghost of Teddy Roosevelt.
Here, I begin my discussion of concerns with nature since that's my favorite way to relax. For years, things have been done on the down low in secret (kudos to Larry Laruso on sharing this link, which exemplifies one of them), and I guess that what we don't know doesn't hurt us, especially for people looking for a reason to get upset about everything, but the more we learn, the more we realize that an administration that embraces their questionable agendas openly won't need to hide programs like these.
Simply put, we are facing an administration looking to give Sean Hannity every wish that he and his ilk, as well as Ya’All Qaeda, have ever had for the environment so that they can continue to reap its every benefit with no regard for environmental balance. I write this not to stand opposed to the necessary and appreciated act of ranching (or farming or hunting or fishing), but to say that sometimes, ethics demands that we consider others before our selfish ways consume everything without regard for next year, next decade, or next century. Thus, do we need to engage in hard and fast strip mining of our resources or can we do things realistically and minimally?
Does he really think we're too dumb to get that this is what privatization really means (Holiday Inns, Burger Kings, and oil wells inside the gates)?
In thinking about the shortsighted-ness of this knee jerk reaction, Heaven forbid that a person from Pennsylvania is given a say over how Utah and Wyoming take care of the lands that were created and maintained with federal taxes for all of America to use. I mean it’s not like the Organic Act says anything about this ("the Service thus established shall promote and regulate the use of the Federal areas known as national parks, monuments and reservations…by such means and measures as conform to the fundamental purpose of the said parks, monuments and reservations, which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations").
If only Gustaf Nordenskiold was still alive, he could plunder the rest of Mesa Verde for pennies on the dollar to pay off our national debt, Antiquities Act and Native Americans be damned.
Nevertheless, THAT TIME IS HERE because he has arrived at 3 things I really do care about. This is not to say that I don't care about the others, but these things are personal
However, while schools and nature will exist in some way or the other (hopefully) the destruction of Obamacare by any means necessary and with whatever eliminations possible scares the poop out of me. Here, I'm not alone. Whether it's for reproductive care or keeping college kids on their parents' insurance until 26 (or something else), there are good things in there despite the cost and the fines (unless someone doesn't want to pay for his or her employee's birth control pills or have to pony up for benefits after government assistance opportunities, then it's EE-VILLL).
As I am diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, I now have a pre-existing condition. Can I trust the government to include this existing law and other facets of the bill I like in the new one while removing only the fine and the price gouging done by insurance companies (like that done in Toledo during the water crisis and by some Toyota dealers during Cash for Clunkers) who chose to see this law as a cash cow since they were mandated to take high-risk people on board (and find ways to profit just like property insurers did when they managed to conveniently deny people coverage with convoluted language after Hurricane Katrina)? Can I hope that I am not job locked or stuck in a world of hurt if I'm not able to work? While I have good insurance now (THANK YOU, GOD), what if bad things come or change needs to happen? I need to be eat healthy, take medicine, stay positive, and be active so I can keep making a difference and not progress to darker stages of my disease. Can the government help me do this or should they take me to the glue factory now?
My own senator who I voted for (never again), Pat Toomey, compared me to a burned-down house by saying, "So we have a system in collapse .. and figure out what's a better way to go forward. When we talk about reform, sometimes I hear people say we have to keep coverage of pre-existing conditions because, we've got to keep that. And when I hear that, I think that we're missing something here and here is what I'm getting at. There's obviously a number of Americans who suffer from chronic expensive healthcare needs. They have had these conditions sometimes all their lives, sometimes for some other period of time. And for many of them, the proper care for those conditions is unaffordable. I think we agree that we want to make sure those people get the health care they need. Now one way to force it [coverage] is to force insurance companies to provide health insurance coverage to someone as soon as they show up, regardless of what condition they have, which is kind of like asking the property/casualty company to rebuild the house after it's burned down. But that's only one way to deal with it."
There's a lot of things I can still do. Really.
Besides, I didn't try to get this disease. This isn't from smoking crack, hiring male prostitutes, building a meth lab, participating in mixed martial arts, getting blown up by illegal firecrackers, worshipping Satan, supporting Black Lives Matter, donating to Planned Parenthood, or hiding undocumented immigrants (all things that any good Tea Party senator might object to and blame for my situation like conditions of the past, which were blamed on evil behavior by the fundamentalists of their day). Currently, a new theory says that Parkinsons begins in the gut. That's a far cry from devious behavior that should see me ostracized by the current regime, let alone anyone. The same can be said for other pre-existing conditions, birth defects, and illnesses. Through help, we make lives better. Through education, we defeat them. Through understanding, we respect those people with them. And let's be honest; when people are disrespecting and leaving others out in the cold, they aren't be utilitarian, compassionate, or just. If all I am is a burnt down house that needs to be relegated to a corner then I'm not interested in the politician, agency, or institution seeing me as that. This is about being a person first. I haven't given up on the wilderness in me despite my need for Azilect and neither should the law.
I'm not alone in this boat. According to The Guardian, 27 out of 100 Americans (do the math over 320 million Americans) have pre-existing conditions. We are 1 MEDICAL CATASTROPHE AWAY FROM DEAD BROKE if we don't have medical care. We are 1 MEDICAL CATASTROPHE AWAY FROM DEAD if we don't have the ability to pay for a hospital visit and choose not to go in there to pray for the best or to wait it out. We are 1 MEDICATION THAT ISN'T GENERIC AWAY FROM A PERMANENT FINANCIAL BURDEN if our number comes up in the "my body is wearing out sweepstakes," as all of our bodies, Pat Toomey's included, will do. If this happens, we become a permanent statistic of the welfare state unless the lottery comes up in our favor. Think about that. For an industry (insurance) that asks us to gamble our money with larger premiums for problems (rightfully so) isn't it right to ask them to be responsible to the ENTIRE community it serves, too (not just athletic and youthful types who don't skydive or climb mountains so they can make shitloads of money)? Quid pro quo. Opening a business means you assume risk, not beg the government to save you after a hurricane rains day.
While talk of this happening is in the "don't worry" variety, I could hope for the best, but my tremors and other symptoms as well as my fear of this Breitbart wet dream coming to be real have caused me to feel differently, and so I speak out to take matters into my own hands
I and others like me are the people who need to be the other face of this movement. We are the Never Trumpers. We didn't vote for Hillary, and we aren't sorry for that. While we could have accepted her coronation and disliked much of her adventures these next 4-8 years, we chose the other lesser evil (Gary Johnson, in my case, who I only sort of liked and now like even less). In the aftermath, as we sit back and stare at the remains, we sit here and we get photographic manipulations and stories about time and traffic delays. We know why comparison pictures are posted on social media, and frankly, we don't care either way for how many people did or didn't show up for Trump since we know that Barack was more popular than Trump coming in. It's a scientific fact. It doesn't mean one is better than the other. All the same, we're scared of the alternative facts we're stuck with and the scrapping of civil rights and global warming from government positions as our new leaders eat Member Berries when the change was too much, too quickly.
This leaves us to ponder what we must do.
Those people who do not want this Trump future aren't alone. The whole management team at the State Department said adios. So did the Border Patrol chief as discussion of the wall becomes more real, a statement that just caused Mexico's president to cancel his visit. If this was chosen for them or their choice, the answer isn't clear, but the reality is here, and it's called CHANGE. We're not the whiny millennials with their coloring books crying over Hillary's defeat. It's the whole middle ground that likes individual choice, community, and social responsibility (given and received), which needs to be listened to.
Thus, the response to this is my change as well. I haven't felt this way about realigning my politics since seeing the Democrat betrayal of 2005 (protesting the Republicans to protest party difference as opposed to a better America). At that point, I saw the loss of things we needed to stand for as I walked through the monuments and museums of DC. Now, I feel the same way, but pulled back to the middle in the other direction. As a result, if this new administration is the face of conservative America, then I am not. If the last administration was the face of liberal America, then I'm not that either. Instead, I represent the independent right to choose the parts of both sides I like best to stay moderate and non-partisan. These include community and the right to give my fellow community members the best that we can give to the most who want to contribute to that community. These include the individual rights to beliefs, ideologies, lifestyles, and pursuits that don't harm others. I have no interest in the right to shout fire in a crowded theater, to chain myself to barriers in the middle of a highway, or to open carry AR-15s in public, but I do believe in free, but responsible speech and the right to be armed. Like Shelby Foote, I'm willing to compromise for the right reasons.
Simply put, I want my America back.
In the end, I would rather be mellow and happy with pictures of puppy dogs and joyful kids. I would rather not care about casual issues because we're all big enough to not need a babysitter, but I know that isn't true. We do need a babysitter. The selfish and loud voices have said that the only way we can make a difference is to be more than a slacktivist by giving things a like or a meme post. We have to keep rising up in protest and let our faces be seen and our voices be heard against their screams and tantrums.
That said, we can't let the people in charge get us down. We need to keep being us because really, 2018 is coming really fast. When it does, the majority will be gone, and hopefully, in the meantime, Congress and the Supreme Court will dial The Donald back.