Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sustainable Green Living



I watched the movie Garbage Warrior a while back and have since been become increasingly interested in sustainable green living. Particularly in Earthship home designs but also looking at other ideas like underground housing as well.
If you are not familiar with either of these I urge you to take some time to learn about them.
The basic idea of both designs is to use the constant temperature of the ground to keep your home at a livable temp year round with very little if any supplemental energy usage for heating or cooling. A utility bill reduction of 75% is not unheard of and quite a few are completely off the grid.
They also incorporate ideas like greenhouses inside your home to grow fruits and vegetables and reusing water from sinks in your greenhouse. Most also incorporate water catchment systems to capture and use rainwater.
The sad part is that from what I can tell there is virtually no investment into these technologies. Just a handful of people building houses to test their theories and tweaking designs along the way in order to improve them. Not only that but they are having to fight building codes all along the way just to be able to experiment.
So at a time when our politicians are telling us we can no longer keep our houses at a comfortable temperature and that utility bills will have to be increased in order to force us into saving electricity we have a few rebels having to fight the system to provide people with a low cost alternative that will allow them to keep their house at a comfortable temperature and drastically reduce the amount of gas/electricity that they use. At a time when in many parts of the country we have restrictions on how much water they can use we have people building homes that will capture rainwater and use it for household purposes but they are having to fight the same governments all along the way.
Those of you that read the blog know that I am about as far away from an Al Gore type as you can get, in fact I think global warming is a hoax.
I also know most people pushing this technology are on the opposite end of the political spectrum from me but that really doesn't matter.
The fact is that this technology makes sense, I am in no way saying that we need laws mandating these ideas but I am saying that this is supposed to be a free country and if a man wants to build a home like this he should be allowed to do it.
I am also saying that if our politicians want to tell us we need to be green they should take the handcuffs off and let us be if we want to be.
Would the earthship not be a model for public housing ? People without homes could build a home themselves and grow a good portion of their own food. Why not take the areas of cities like Detroit which are vacant , bulldoze the old homes and let the people build their own and take care of themselves ?

Think about it , a home that is paid for because it was built mostly by the owners labor, that provides 50% of your household food from the greenhouse inside and has a utility bill reduced by at least 75% , is that not the American dream ? If not maybe it should be. I see no reason why liberals and conservatives don't get behind this movement and together force our politicians to do something about it. Now that would be true bipartisanship.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Immigration Reform

Since it is in the news so much lately it is time for The Department of Common Sense to tackle this issue.

1. Build a wall across our entire southern border.
2. Fine employers who hire illegals.
3. Create a simple path to legal citizenship.
4. Create a tax structure that recognizes the benefits that a person gets from citizenship and requires people to earn it. ( No free rides )
5. New citizens will be probationary for ten years.
6. Discourage illegal immigration.

1. Build a wall,
We all know that there is a problem with illegal immigrants at the border. A fence is very easy to get around but not an adobe brick wall. Free building materials to make adobe brick are all along our border with Mexico. Why not take all the leftover FEMA trailers from Katrina, spread them out along the border and let immigrants move in them and earn their legal citizenship ?
Provide them with food ( we are already doing this with millions of illegal immigrants ) and let them build their own section of the wall with adobe bricks. I am thinking something about as big and thick as the Great Wall of China. Seems like a win/win to me. We get a great border control tool and immigrants truly earn their citizenship. Working on the wall would earn the new citizen the right to be taxed normally but they would still have to meet other requirements I will touch on later.

2.Fine employers,
I am thinking something along the lines of $50,000 fine per illegal.
$40,000 paid by the company and $10,000 paid by the employee that hired the illegal.
I know the argument that some employers don't know , I will address that later as well.

3. Simple path to citizenship,
One year work visa's will be given to just about anyone that wants one. You can only get one in your life and after the year is up you must become a citizen or go back to your country.
To earn citizenship a person must demonstrate a mastery of the English language.
They must also demonstrate knowledge of American History and a willingness to adhere to the values and principles this country was founded on.
With this in place an employers will know that an employee will have to have a mastery of our language or a green card in order to work. Yes it is possible that an illegal would have a mastery of our language and on the rare occasion that happens the employer would not be fined.

4.Tax structure,
Lets face it , this is the best country on earth and if you want to come here you have to earn it.
New citizens will be taxed $10,000 per year or 40% of their income ( whichever is greater) for 10 years after that they will have earned their citizenship completely.

5. Probationary period,
While here on a work visa or probationary citizenship any felony conviction will result in immediate deportation.
Failure to pay the probationary citizenship income tax will result in immediate deportation.

6. Discourage illegal immigration,
It is already established in other laws that assets gained from illegal activity will be seized. We should do the same with illegals.
If you are caught in this country illegally the government will take everything you have before they deport you. Cash, cars, jewelry , everything but the clothes on your back. Might also be a good idea to pick a good remote desert site for our deportation depot. Remember we want to discourage people from coming here illegally.

That is all I have for now but I think it is a good start and addresses most major concerns around this issue.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

"Contract From America"

Well the tea party finally has a real platform.
Looking it over all I can say is , what sane person could possibly be against this ?

(1) Require each bill to identify its constitutional authorization

(2) Defund, repeal, and replace government-run health care

(3) Demand a balanced budget

(4) End runaway government spending by imposing a statutory cap limiting growth in federal spending

(5) Enact fundamental reform to simplify and lower taxes

(6)Create a Blue Ribbon task force that engages in a complete audit of federal agencies and programs

(7) Reject cap-and-trade

(8) Pass an “all of the above” energy policy

(9) Stop the 2011 tax hikes

(10) Stop the pork.