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.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Perks of my dotage

I got the New Yorker back from the mechanic, again. This time it was a carb kit. While at the mechanic the coil quit so that was replaced along with a wire set. I had noticed a bit of static in the radio that corresponded with the speed of the engine, a symptom of leaking spark wires. Today it runs like a new car. Other than eventually replacing the tires and radio and fixing the speedometer light it is done.

This isn't the kind of vehicle to drive often or much. I am well aware that it is cars like this that helped get us into the current situation with the addiction to oil and the concerns of global climate change. I think of it as a museum piece. It has family history as well as being a representative of a different time and different zeitgeist. I don't defend big vehicles and my daily driver is a little 4 cylinder. I like the Chrysler. It would be hard not to like something that big, comfortable, powerful. Liking it isn't enough reason to drive it on a regular basis.

That beings up another topic. I recently read this quote:
At a conference in London, a Goldman Sachs international adviser, Brian Griffiths, praised inequality. As his company was putting aside $16.7 billion for compensation and benefits in the first nine months of 2009, up 46 percent from a year earlier, Griffiths told us not to worry. "We have to tolerate the inequality as a way to achieve greater prosperity and opportunity for all," he said.

That is palpably fatuous crap. Ever since Reagan talked about "trickle down" economics we've been sold a bill of goods. It made no sense in 1980 and it makes no sense now. There is no evidence that giving huge amounts of money to corporate players produces anything but more greed from those corporate players. It's a vicious boys club. With all that loot they are clubbing congress into more deregulation, hence more greed and grab. The whole notion of trickle down economics, and Friedman economics in general, is a formula for disaster. We would not deregulate liquor, or drugs, or gun use, or dog fighting, or fishing. If we did we'd have more problems with drunks, addicts, violence, cruelty to animals and our lakes, rivers and oceans would soon be emptied by netting for profit. We know this. That's why we have regulations. To fail to deregulate the base of all economic activity, the banks and brokerages, is insanity. To allow corporate players to loot these institutions is allowing them to plunder our safety. Rampant unemployment and a squeezing of the middle class isn't as dramatic as a suicide bomber but it is as disasterous to our security in the long run. Increasing the human misery quotient while plundering at that scale produces despair if not terror. Our government needs to cap executive compensation.

Ask yourself this; would we have gotten a better document than our declaration of independence if we had paid the author more? Would Christ have gotten better deciples if he had offered more money? Would Lenin have done a better job for Russia if he had gotten more money or more power? We need people who want the job more than they want the money. The primary thing against which Christ, and every other major religious figure, preached is the love of money. Those who claim to stand on moral high ground are reluctant to stand against the bankers and brokers. We need to demand better of them or kick them out of office. I like my New Yorker but I don't feel entitled to drive it daily. I'll even melt it down to make more green energy cars if Washington will cap New Yorker's executive compensation. I think my Chrysler is safe from the furnace. I am amazed that there is so little public outrage. We need to demand that our representatives represent US.