Edward Abbey; Conservative, friend to Barry Goldwater and environmental activist
Death and burial
One final paragraph of advice: [...] It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it?s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.
~ Edward Abbey 
Edward Abbey died on March 14, 1989, at the age of 62, in his home in Tucson, Arizona. His death was due to complications from surgery; he suffered four days of esophageal hemorrhaging, due to esophageal varices, a recurrent problem with one group of veins. Showing his sense of humor, he left a message for anyone who asked about his final words: "No comment." Abbey also left instructions on what to do with his remains: Abbey wanted his body transported in the bed of a pickup truck, and wished to be buried as soon as possible. He did not want to be embalmed or placed in a coffin. Instead, he preferred to be placed inside of an old sleeping bag, and requested that his friends disregard all state laws concerning burial. "I want my body to help fertilize the growth of a cactus or cliff rose or sagebrush or tree." said the message. For his funeral, Abbey stated "No formal speeches desired, though the deceased will not interfere if someone feels the urge. But keep it all simple and brief." He requested gunfire and bagpipe music, a cheerful and raucous wake, "[a]nd a flood of beer and booze! Lots of singing, dancing, talking, hollering, laughing, and lovemaking."
A 2003 Outside article described how his friends honored his request:
"The last time Ed smiled was when I told him where he was going to be buried," says Doug Peacock, an environmental crusader in Edward Abbey's inner circle. On March 14, 1989, the day Abbey died from esophageal bleeding at 62, Peacock, along with his friend Jack Loeffler, his father-in-law Tom Cartwright, and his brother-in-law Steve Prescott, wrapped Abbey's body in his blue sleeping bag, packed it with dry ice, and loaded Cactus Ed into Loeffler's Chevy pickup. After stopping at a liquor store in Tucson for five cases of beer, and some whiskey to pour on the grave, they drove off into the desert. The men searched for the right spot the entire next day and finally turned down a long rutted road, drove to the end, and began digging. That night they buried Ed and toasted the life of America's prickliest and most outspoken environmentalist.
Abbey's body was buried in the Cabeza Prieta Desert in Pima County, Arizona, where "you'll never find it." The friends carved a marker on a nearby stone, reading:
In late March, about 200 friends of Abbey's gathered near the Saguaro National Monument near Tucson and held the wake he requested. A second, much larger wake was held in May, just outside his beloved Arches National Park
"The industrial way of life leads to the industrial way of death. From Shiloh to Dachau, from Antietam to Stalingrad, from Hiroshima to Vietnam and Afghanistan, the great specialty of industry and technology has been the mass production of human corpses."
"With the neutron bomb, which destroys life but not property, capitalism has found the weapon of its dreams."
"Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of a cancer cell."
Abbey once said, "Rich people are not very nice. That's why
they're rich." He also said, "Capitalism: Nothing so mean could be
right. Greed is the ugliest of the capital sins."
"Anarchism is founded on the observation that since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others."
"No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: the officious demands of policemen, government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets."
"Abolition of a woman's right to abortion, when and if she wants it, amounts to compulsory maternity: a form of rape by the State."
"Belief in the supernatural reflects a failure of the imagination."
"Grown men do not need leaders."
"Love implies anger. The man who is angered by nothing cares about nothing."
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds."
"Our 'neoconservatives' are neither new nor conservative, but old as Bablyon and evil as Hell."
"Our culture runs on coffee and gasoline, the first often tasting like the second."
"Power is always dangerous. Power attracts the worst and corrupts the best."
"The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders."
"When a man's best friend is his dog, that dog has a problem. "
"There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience. And then there is California. "
"The missionaries go forth to Christianize the savages - as if the savages weren't dangerous enough already."
"To make the distinction unmistakably clear: Civilization is the vital force in human history; culture is that inert mass of institutions and organizations which accumulate around and tend to drag down the advance of life; Civilization is Giordano Bruno facing death by fire; culture is the Cardinal Bellarmino, after ten years of inquisition, sending Bruno to the stake in the Campo di Fiori; Civilization is Sartre; culture Cocteau; Civilization is mutual aid and self-defense; culture is the judge, the lawbook and the forces of Law & Ordure (sic); Civilization is uprising, insurrection, revolution; culture is the war of state against state, or of machines against people, as in Hungary and Vietnam; Civilization is tolerance, detachment and humor, or passion, anger, revenge; culture is the entrance examination, the gas chamber, the doctoral dissertation and the electric chair; Civilization is the Ukrainian peasant Nestor Makhno fighting the Germans, then the Reds, then the Whites, then the Reds again; culture is Stalin and the Fatherland; Civilization is Jesus turning water into wine; culture is Christ walking on the waves; Civilization is a youth with a Molotov cocktail in his hand; culture is the Soviet tank or the L.A. cop that guns him down; Civilization is the wild river; culture, 592,000 tons of cement; Civilization flows; culture thickens and coagulates, like tired, sick, stifled blood."
"My loyalties will not be bound by national borders, or confined in time by one nation's history, or limited in the spiritual dimension by one language and culture. I pledge my allegiance to the damned human race, and my everlasting love to the green hills of Earth, and my intimations of glory to the singing stars, to the very end of space and time."
"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."
I'll believe corporations are persons when Texas executes one.: LBJ's Ghost
And then there's the national debt(from Wikipedia):
Gross debt has increased by over $500 billion each year since fiscal year (FY) 2003, with increases of $1 trillion in FY2008, $1.9 trillion in FY2009, and $1.7 trillion in FY2010. As of August 3, 2011, the gross debt was $14.34 trillion dollars, of which $9.78 trillion was held by the public and $4.56 trillion was intragovernmental holdings. The annual gross domestic product (GDP) to the end of June 2011 was $15.003 trillion (July 29, 2011 estimate), with gross debt at a ratio of 96% of GDP, and debt held by the public at 65% of GDP.
Together with the budget deficit, the political climate was one of the reasons given by Standard & Poor's to revise the outlook on the US sovereign credit rating down to negative on April 18, 2011. Standard and Poor's downgraded the credit rating by one notch from AAA to AA+ on August 5, 2011, for the first time ever. The longterm outlook is negative and it could lower the rating further to AA within the next 2 years. The downgrade was met with severe criticism from the Obama administration, commentators, and other political figures. The US still has a AAA rating from other ratings agencies.