By Chic Hollis – Philosophical Musings
When he was running for election in 2004, Candidate J. F. Kerry alerted us to the fact that our new Homeland Security measures were only inspecting 5% of the containers on the ships docking at our poorly guarded ports of entry. He promised that, if elected, he was going to improve National Security and reduce our dependency on foreign oil without spoiling the natural beauty of polar Alaska.
Since Kerry wasn’t elected, we have made little progress in accomplishing his two objectives. However, here are ten easy steps to reduce our dependency on imported foreign oil and to curb the annoying impediments of more National Security agents without affecting the efficiency of that bureaucracy.
1. Stop buying cheap shoes and clothing, computers, furniture, and other imported goods made in China. This would reduce the number of containers that must be off-loaded at Pacific ports and inspected to see if there are hidden Chinese coolies and other non-English speaking illegal immigrants inside them.
2. Develop inexpensive hand-held MRI scanners (to be made in America to create more manufacturing jobs) for replacing the expensive X-ray machines used for screening cargo containers.
3. Don’t fly anywhere. Help our bankrupt commercial airlines reduce their losses by not buying discounted tickets on the Internet. (Think of the millions of gallons of high octane fuel that will be saved!)
4. Discourage the airlines from giving free rides to those passengers who have “maxed” out their credit cards so that they could earn generous mileage awards.
5. If flying is a must for you, rent a plane. Help the small airports and the American manufacturers of light aircraft instead of the European monopoly that assembles the jumbo Airbus passenger planes.
6. Take the bus like John Madden, the garrulous TV sports commentator, and leave the traffic and parking problems to the bus drivers. This way you get to ride at maximum speed limits in the diamond lanes during business hours.
7. Replace your gas-guzzling SUV with a motorcycle that has a side-car. You don’t need to buy those expensive and fancy car seats for children up to 5 years of age. An additional plus is that you can also use the diamond lanes during rush hours.
8. Use a bicycle (or if you are a senior like me, a tricycle). Bike riders never stop at stop signs and never receive tickets for traffic violations. The only disadvantage is that you aren’t allowed to ride these human-propelled vehicles on expressways. However, you have more time to enjoy the beauty of modern eclectic urban architecture, the humorous graffiti, and the trash blowing around the streets.
9. Eliminate the expensive mandated gasoline additives that significantly reduce miles per gallon of gasoline of all vehicles while minimally improving air quality in some cities. If you happen to live in Los Angeles County, buy a Japanese face mask to deal with those “smoggy days in LA town.”
10. Copy the policy of European hotels of not turning your furnace on until November 1st regardless of how cold it is outdoors. When you are at home at night, sleep in long underwear and wear a sleeveless winter vest for additional warmth in bed.