Philosophy and Motorcycles

Philosophy and motorcycles are two of my favorite things in life. This blog will be bits of wisdom gleaned from a misspent youth and an adventurous dotage. People who like/love wisdom or motorcycles, classic or modern versions of either, are welcome to visit and comment.

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Location: Wisconsin, United States

I have been married to the same lovely woman for decades. We have one son, two cats, and live in rural Wisconsin, USA. I ride and rebuild motorcycles, and I am semi-retired. Favorite bikes are Yamaha XS650, FJ1200 and Ducati 900SS. My wife is a home care nurse. I am a Myers-Briggs INTP. She is ESFJ. Our son works at the Apple store in downtown SF and is teaching English as a second language in San Francisco, no grandchildren.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Crito schism

The final argument of Socrates against leaving prison to escape death is that his action would offend the law itself. In doing so he would be contributing to the downfall of the very society to which he had dedicated himself. It would be an insult to the values he had promoted his entire life. What a tragic difference there is between that heroic example and the current state of thinking in our own government. Not only has the current administration offended the law knowingly and willingly there is not yet a strong example of any other branch of government or group of citizens able to bring accountability to the administration. The current example is that of flaunting the law by wire tapping without warrants, a crime and an example of contempt for democracy. Now the senate has joined the open war on American law by voting to grant immunity to the phone companies that went along with this illegal insult to our constitution. I don't support the idea of suing the phone companies for personal enrichment. I do support suing the phone companies to enlist their cooperation in bring to justice those who coerced them into illegal acts, if they were in fact coerced. The terrorist threat mentality has been used repeatedly to rationalize a destruction of the human rights that have represented American freedom since our founding.
I am not surprised that people who show contempt for democracy seek power. I am surprised when that contempt becomes public and they are not called to account for their actions. I am shocked when elected officials vote immunity for the phone companies thereby giving tacit approval to the action. Such actions are a cowardly failure to stand up for the principles they were elected to uphold.

I am not opposed to special powers being given to government in time of crisis. I am opposed to giving any group special powers with no oversight and no input from the people directly affected. Those who show blatant contempt for democracy should not be in positions of trust in a democracy. Power without accountability is and does corrupt both the people who wield it and those who fail to speak out against it. We are acquiescing ourselves into servitude when we allow unchecked power to steal our right to know what our government is doing and to seek our approval to do it. LN

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