Data Troll

Musings of a database designer, right-wing constitutional anarchist and overly idealistic schmuck.

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Location: Texas, United States

A middle-aged database designer, specializing in Oracle. I have a teen-aged son and Chinese wife.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Gasoline Price Solutions

What can we as U.S. citizens do to reduce the price of gas at the pump?


We simply don't need them. The argument 'they're safer for my family' no longer holds water; recent studies have shown the increased rollover risk negates other impact injury savings. As for room, my wife's minivan is every bit as roomy and gets 22 MPG. The SUVs and pickups are merely bizarre extensions of the 'Middle-Aged Crazies' which used to be the realm of sports cars (which at least get fair gas milage).

As it is, we are burning the oil our children and grand-children will need and not just for energy. Oil is the primary feedstock for most of the chemical industry and- in that role- there is no equivalent alternative. We can burn alcohol; we can't make a multitude of plastics directly from it.

Basic problem is that we have to quit being so personally selfish. We have to quit using temporary handicap permits as a perennial pass for healthy people to be inconsiderate. We have to quit being excessive consumers, blaming everyone else for gas shortage when the mirror shows the problem. In the mid-70s, the U.S. response to the OPEC oil was to buy cars that used less. The result was price reductions within a few years. We need to try that again.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Format that will Finish the Fossilized Media

This blogging business was a start, one that's gotten better very quickly (this site is positively Stone Age compared to some). But this site is the next step up. Technology has finally made the 'garage (actually basement) newsroom' possible. This is still pretty primitive compared to what will be coming, but remember this site. This is the one that will finally lead to the shattering of the journalist oligarchy that now concentrates more on social engineering than on news reporting. The final step will be consoldation sites, fed by hundreds of 'freelancers'. High competition, low costs, no elitist control. It’ll be great stuff.

On a related note: Bush's picking Tony Snow as press secretary was great! But I have some advice for Tony (who doesn’t?):

- Go to an elementary school (preferably one of those tough inner
    city private ones) and do a question and answer session with them.
- Get a good length of that edited and put into a loop.
- Add several ‘time out’ chairs in the back corners of the White
    House briefing room.
- Show the school film to the press room vultures, tell them this
    is the level of decorum that is expected.
- First ones to violate the decorum, point to the ‘time out’ chairs
    and say the only way to ever get selected again to ask questions
    is to serve a ‘time-out’.
- If the whole room gets rowdy, start the tape in loop and start
    packing to leave the room. If they don’t settle down, walk out
    and end the day’s session.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Solution to Illegal Immigrants

It is time, if people are really serious about doing something about the illegal immigration problem, to go after those people who profit significantly from these illegal workers.

You could start in my own neighborhood. The federal government could go to every house within three miles of mine (including my own) and slap a 10% of appraised value lien on every one of them. Believe me, each one of our homes was at least that much cheaper based on the use of cheap, productive, illegal sub-contracting labor. Then they would go to the builders, slapping a lien worth 20% of their profitability over the last decade, along with continuing penalties of 10% of revenue until they demonstrate that every worker that touches their site is legal; no further hiding via subcontracting.

The money could be used to initiate sweeps through construction sites. All illegal workers would be taken to the border to use their construction skills to work on the border wall, paid for by the ever-growing fines on the previous benefactors of their illegitimate work. Start fines and liens on users of lawn services, small restaurants and their customers, custodial services and their customers (hello, Wal-Mart), hotels and motels and their customers (especially the business travelers), commercial construction outfits. More roundups and on and on…. We’d get a wall built from coast to coast in no time at all. Then we march all the illegal workers- pockets fat with fine money- through the gate and lock it behind them. Problem solved.

Seriously, am I the only one to realize we all are guilty of profiteering from the cheap and very productive labor of hard-working illegal aliens? Sure, we’ve paid more in education and healthcare costs, but the net is a financial positive and that is why it goes on and grows. But it is illegal and something needs to be done.