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, December 14, 2011

It is absurd for us to judge the health of our society by the strength of the Dow. How much better if we judged our progress by our adherence to the Tao. It is amusing that they are pronounced the same. Is America on a sustainable path? I think not. We are continuing to act as though there were no end to natural resources even though we know that finite limits will be reached within a lifetime. We have about 5% of the world's population and about 25% of the world's prisoners. We issue life without parole sentences to juveniles and put non violent offenders in the same institutions with the most violent predators. Is it any wonder our court system has a tragic failure rate? A culture where prisons are a growth industry is neither safe nor sane. How bad do conditions have to get before we are ready to take the obvious steps to free ourselves of obsession with the material? How obviously corrupted by money does our political system have to get before we separate money from elections. The idea that money equals free speech means that lack of money equals a lack of free speech. We need public finance of elections and a real system of restraints on lobbying with money. There is ample evidence that those who live more simply and use their life to develop connections to others are happier than those who isolate and acquire. Yet we continue to buy into the myth that more is better. I don't like to wish hard times on America but that may be what it takes for us to restructure our priorities and begin to recognize the value of things more than the price of things, the value of activities more than the wages paid for activities. In this election cycle, endless as it seems, I hope people will begin to ask questions the answers to which represent a real increase in happiness and contentment. Meanwhile I remain a skeptical optimist. A society bent on consumerism and increased wealth, and willing to use military force around the globe to enforce madness, is a context and breeding ground for crime and mental illness. As long as politicians are required to prostitute their values in order to raise the money necessary to get elected we will not get the government we want. We will get the government we deserve. That is a frightening prospect. In my own life I retrieved my welded art objects from the local show. Work on my latest project, a motorcycle based roughly on the Iron Man theme, goes well. I will post a photo soon. My wife is again unemployed for a period and we are enjoying the time to be together, to sleep in and visit friends. Be well, do good, and keep in touch. LN