Monday, September 10, 2012

Changing Oracle-validated....

So, I'm installing Oracle RAC on OEL6 using OVM (wonder if I can fit any more acronyms in there)... now supports OEL6 and Red Hat Linux 6 as well.

In doing so, I went looking for the old oracle-validated RPM and found there was none. Looking around a bit, I found this link ... bottom line they have renamed oracle-validated to oracle-rdbms-server-11gR2-preinstall... 

So, if you go looking for Oracle-validated when doing on OEL6, you will need to look for something new... :)

yum install oracle-rdbms-server-11gR2-preinstall

That's the ticket...

Figured I should blog something Oracle related... Your probably sick of hearing about my irritating airport experiences.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Flying.... Good grief... Do we really have no manners...

I fly a lot. In doing so, I've really started to get frustrated with people and their total lack of manners, compassion or just following the rules. Some people just act like animals, idiots or are just plain rude to others. I think it's getting worse too, not better. Some of the behaviors that I notice that just irritate me:

1. Line crashers. This isn't just a problem on the airlines. What is it about some people that make them think that they are so special that they can just cut in front of other people. The other day, at the airport, two ladies and then myself were in the "Sky Priority" for boarding first class. I noticed this guy positioning himself, craftily, to crash through us in the non Sky-priority line, so he could get into the plane first. I then noticed a lady doing the exact same thing. Sure enough, as soon as they called for boarding, these two jokers just slam through the non Sky-priority line (which the gate agent is supposed to close but did not) and press themselves in front of us.

Now I realize some might say, "Poor baby.... you were in first class and someone crashed the line" but this happens be it in first class or coach, it's just that my latest experience was in first class. There just seems to be this select group of people who are just plain rude.

Now.... I have little patience for this kind of behavior. Usually, when I get on the plane, if I'm in ear shot of the moron(s) I'll say something about people who just can't seem to wait their turn. More often than not, they will either try to pretend to ignore me, or their busy talking loudly on their cell phones...

Which also is quite rude:

2. Loud cell phone talking - Do you *really* think I give a CRAP about your phone conversation? Do you really think any of the people within about 100 feet of your loud, obnoxious and irritating voice really give a CRAP about your phone conversation. Next time your on the phone, either keep your voice down or tell them you will call them later. I don't need to hear about your drug strung up kid, your one-million dollar deal or whatever else it is that is so important to you that you think you need to push it onto me and everyone else.

3. Please, for the love of GOD, when you get out of your seat, don't use my seat (and often my hair and some part of my head) as leverage to get up or sit down. You don't need to pull, push, tug or beat on my seat back, yours will do just fine for all of these jobs. I'm sick of having my head hit by idiots who feel like they need my head, head-rest and seat to help themselves up. Usually it's not the old and infirm that do this. More often than not it's the big idiot who was on the cell phone earlier and who crashed the line. I'm just saying.

4. I have decided that the seat belt sign on the airplanes is interpreted by some people to mean, "You need to go to the bathroom". Why do I think this? Because as soon as the thing goes ON (for example in turbulence or we are starting to descend) - it never fails that there is someone who makes a bee-line for the bathroom on the plane. I'm fairly certain that the sign means to put-on your seat belt, not take it off. I'd really rather not have you stumbling around the cabin and landing in my lap because you lost your balance when the turbulence hits.

Likewise, why is it that people feel that they should un-buckle themselves BEFORE the sign goes off and the plane comes to a complete stop? Hey, look outside that thing called a window already. If we are not at the gate, it's probably a good indication that we will be moving again. If we are at the gate, and the sign does not go off, we probably will be moving, if only slightly. SIT DOWN you idiot, and leave your belt on. You would not believe how many times I've heard the flight attendants get on the PA and tell people to sit down because the seat belt sign is still on.

5. Please refrain from loud and obnoxious conversation after sitting down. Most people have figured out how to communicate with their seat mate quietly and without aggravating those around them. Then there are those that seem to feel like we ALL need to hear their latest tale of the poor girl they shagged and left.... or of the cows they just sold... or of their business success... or whatever it is. Often the discussion is a drunken one, or rude, or both. Trust me.... the people around you, for the most part, DON'T WANT TO HEAR YOUR STORY for the entire 2.5 hour flight.

It's likely that your seat mate does not either to be honest.

Ok.... that's enough for now.... :)

I guess that I should write something on Oracle someday, eh?

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Life is short....

I was reminded yesterday that life is short and a great gift. A friend of mine, Jodie, died yesterday morning. She had struggled for quite some time with Kidney issues and finally succumbed to the disease.

In the light of her death I'm reminded that life is short and that in it, there are no guarantees. Time ticks on and we are subject to it. As such, I find myself thinking about so many things and wondering about the meaning of it all.

In my mind, it's weird to think that before 1965, I did not exist and as such I didn't care if I was alive or not for I was not conscious of life itself. Now, having been born and living in the world, conscious of all that is in it, I find that I rather like life and the idea of leaving it does not appeal to me in the slightest - Heaven notwithstanding. I find myself a bit shell shocked at the death of Jodie... saddened and reflective about a great many things.

So, I hope that you will look at your life and remember that it is finite.... make the best of it, and be the best you can be. Try to throw off the shackles of the past that hold you back and look forward to the future. Look forward to being better than you were. Look forward to being happier than you were. Look forward and then make it happen. See the future and make it so.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Are we allowing ourselves to slowly become slaves - at our own hand?

This is a political comment - rant - there is nothing Oracle in it. It represents my opinion and not the opinion of Oracle Corporation, Google, Blogspot, anyone that I work with, anyone in my family, the right, the left, the center, the deranged, anyone in the government, you, my sister, my family, my extended family, anyone in my family bush (it's a bush, not a tree), or anyone else except me. Just me.... All persons are considered innocent until tried in a court of law. No names have been changed, since I am talking about public figures. - Thank you. Your comments most welcome if they have any kind of thinking power behind them. Mindless flames will be doused with a click of the remove comment button. Thank you....

This is also probably the longest post I've written to date. I just feel fired up today and wanted to share what it is I'm fired up about. I hope my thoughts are coherent. I'm a little tired at the moment as I read this

Of late.... the last two years or so.... I've found my passion for things had waned. So much has been going on in my life and I just got tired of looking at things the way I look at them and finding frustration all over the place. It just made me even more depressed, watching where my life was going and watching were this country was going. So, I stepped away from the political arena for a while... Today I find myself feeling compelled to say something.

Today I was reading a news report on the recent Rush Limbaugh scandal, if you can really call it news. I think it's just manufactured political jury-rigging, but that would be the pessimistic way of looking at it. Certainly no one in the "news" business would have a political agenda they were trying to incubate within the confines of a new article, would they? Noooooo, of course not.

After reading the article, I looked at the comments area. In that area I saw comments such as the following:

"Rush Limbaugh is a pig and I want him to die."

"If Limbaugh is continuing his screw-ups then why doesn’t he commit suicide!"

"this guy is really crazy! this is a great example on how the republican base will completely distort the truth just to promote hate and fear!"

These kinds of comments seem so typical of an element of the left. Emotional, without real meaning or purpose and they ad nothing to the overall dialogue and often fixated on the death of the person they disagree with - which I find weird. These comments are simply grade schoolish kinds of responses that, in my mind, mature adults should have gotten over a long time ago. Yet I have known and loved people on the left and the sad fact is that those people really do sometimes sound like this. It seems that they can't really make a rational argument (or are to lazy do to so) and so they just hide behind the emotion, and the anger. That's why they are hard to actually talk to and be reasonable with. Because part of their belief system is wrapped in emotion.... Really, it's so much like a religion of a sort, and why they don't understand the religious types (who have the same tendencies) is beyond me except the beliefs they hold close often philosophically clash. The left's emotional need to "own my body" (bereft of any real logic or evidence) vs. the rights emotional need to "protect that which God has created" (bereft of any real proof of God or his existence - I'm not addressing my own belief or lack thereof of God here - only stating that religion in large part is cult of the mind - plain and simple) just clash. Both have their own emotional needs to fight their fight, and logic does not enter into the discussion because why ruin a good emotional moment with something as simple as logic?

Good God, are we human or animals? Are we really going to allow our emotional tactless belief systems override the better part of reason and common sense. In many cases I fear the answer is yes and it's a damned shame. I think if we could interject reason into more of our thought process and our decision making engine, we would as a society and as individuals make decisions that are more focused, better and common sense and we would actually probably end up hurting fewer people in the process. Emotional based decision making, in my experience, hurts more people than does considered, fact based, decision making. Also in my experience the long term impacts of considered, fact-based, decision making are much more positive than the emotional decision making.

For example, I want that car over there... it costs $35,000.... I want it, must have it.... and so I go sign a note and buy the car and have to pay $639 a month for the next 72 months at 9.5 percent interest. The total interest you would have paid over this time would be over 11,000 dollars!vEven at 0% interest your paying close to $500 a month for the next 72 months for that car. The point is, for the next 72 months you are in bondage to someone for that monthly payment, even at 0% interest... if something happens, they own you and they own your car. How is this now slavery of a sort?

As a result, I've just made an emotion based decision that has put me into a form of slavery for the next 72 months. I've placed myself into fiscal and emotional bondage really. Every month I have to worry about that car payment. I have to worry about will I have a job, can I take that new job, can I take that risk and start a new business that I really want to start. In so many ways, this kind of bondage controls us, our decisions and thinking process. The genesis of all of that control we have just given away for the next 7 years was because of one deep emotional need we had, we needed to buy that new car NOW.

If instead I'd used fact based judgement and saved the money. Let's say I could put away $464 dollars a month for the next 6 years. At that rate, figuring 3% inflation and 1.5% interest, you could buy that 35,000 dollar car for cash in 6 years. You would owe nobody a dime after that. If you saved $700 a month (close to your car payment) you could buy the car in 4 years for cash instead of buying the car now and paying it off over 6 years at a higher cost. Save $1000 a month, and that car is yours in less than 3 years. The nice thing is that you own it, free and clear. No one (except the government ... another time and place for that discussion and a thief) can take it from you. (I don't see insurance as slavery, it's protection - not unlike my Walther PPK).

Yet, as I read blogs, and comments on news stories, I see these kinds of emotion based things all the time. Personal attacks (and both the left and right are just as bad) on people (the left attacks Rush or Glen, the right attacks President Obama or Hillary, etc...etc...). It's just so silly. I don't mind fact based types of comparisons (ie: President Obama signed this bill or made this statement) but give me full and clear context. Shine a full light on what was said, not a sound byte and not without complete context.

Even within groups we see them eating their own as evidenced by the "anti-mormon" sentiment some on the right want to display against Mitt Romney or John Huntsman. I'm sorry - Unless you are a member of some religious order who's sole stated purpose of existence is to overthrow the government of the United States, I think religion is a non-argument. If you feel that the person running for office is supportive of human sacrifice on a regular basis, then maybe you should say something... I suspect however that such a candidate would not last long in the primaries. Bottom line, get over yourself and your mind-cultish behaviors that prevent you from making rational choices. You guys on the far religious left are far worse in your emotional and anti-christian attitudes than Romney or Huntsman have ever looked. You embarrass me for all those who call themselves Christian and really give the religious tradition a bad name.

Not to be out-done we saw the left eating their young last election cycle. We say the Obama and Hillary camps just lobbing every missile and nasty comment they could.  In the end they played nice and ended up actually winning. Still, they looked pretty stupid during some of the primary season as do the current crop of right wing folks. I think if I were to vote just based on who was the least obnoxious candidate up to this point (because hell will freeze over before I vote for a socialist like Obama) I think I would have gone with Huntsman - since he's not in the race now, I would have to think that Newt gets my nod for least obnoxious, though he's not perfect. Ron Paul might be a close second.

Local elections are no better of course.... Personally, I tire of politics around voting day. I'm tired of all the mud slinging, half-truths and outright lies and distortions.  I'm sick of candidates who move off their true platforms to capture voters who don't realize they are just nipping at a hook that's there to reel them in. All sides do it... I mean, really.... did people think that President Obama was somehow magically a centrist in the last election? When he talks of evil Wall Street out of one side of his mouth and then surrounds himself with those evil Wall Street bankers... really, what are we to believe?

As for who I'm pulling for? First, I'm a libertarian as much as anything. No one canidate really impresses me, not even the pseudo Liberian Ron Paul. I'll confess that I'm split between Romney and Newt right now... If Ron Paul had any concept of a foreign policy that made sense to me, I'd firmly be in his camp because what I've heard from him domestically is fairly right on target I think. Sanatorium in many ways just rubs me wrong. He is clearly from the "emotional jump before you look - say what you can to get elected but ignore most of your party or reality" Christian side of the right wing and I just can't support him in the primary. However, if he were to get the nomination I'd be right behind him in the election as a concrete block would be better than what we have now.

I'll confess that I hope for a total lock of the Senate and House on the republican side for the single hope of doing away with Obama Care. I think of all the legislation that has passed since I've been old enough to understand such things, this one thing, Obama Care, really has the biggest long term ability of turning our liberty and freedom into a mockery and a joke.  We have already seen that the long term impacts of certain programs in the bill are financially not sustainable. We are already seeing programs established by the bill (such as the current high risk pool) completely not working in the way that was anticipated and already costing much more than was expected. In my mind, Obama Care is a clear poster child for emotional decisions being made without many factual considerations (we need to pass the law to see what is in it) and another law that will slowly, over time, almost in-perceptively take this country into more debt, more disagreement, and provide the government with more control over our lives which is, by definition, loss of freedom. It just is. There is no emotion in that statement, it is just a clear formula -

(freedom=Your ability to speak freely!2(this is squared - this is so important to freedom in my opinion)
+Your ability to act without regret (this is your ability to act on principle with freedom)
+your ability to control your own life and decisions (your ability to control your own health, to save, to build as you see fit, to own land or property, to have a family, childern, etc...)
+ desirable government functions (this would include national defense and things that support and defend your freedoms)
+ the number of choices available for goods and services required to survive
-  (Note that items above are all added together and subtracted from the numbers below)
uncontrollable government interference in your life (taxes, social programs that depend on the robin hood mentality to fund them, uncontrollable government borrowing such that you are in debt)
+willing control given to others (welfare, unemployment, etc)

+your willingness to just let life do what it wants to you (acting or not acting in the light of the items in this formula that can result in less freedom - so the fact that something exist that is negative (such as social security) and not fighting to improve that something - makes the presence of that something even worse - how much worse, you have to decide)
+ the amount of regulation and control that exists over the goods and services you need to live your life

That's my first crack at a definable formula for one's freedom. On the surface it might seem a simple formula but in it's execution it really becomes a complex formula since there are many attributes that can be applied in it's overall calculation. It's a formula of my own making.... I'm open to any suggestions on alterations or additions to it. It also pee-supposes one basic principle - that freedom is a good thing.

Note that in this formula, there is a place for positive and negative numbers. For example, some regulation (which sits on the negative side) I think is a good thing. In the perfect freedom calculation, I could see this being a negative number, indicating that yes, it sits on the anti-freedom side of the equation but that the impacts of ensuring, say, clean drinking water, can be of a positive impact on the overall freedom of an individual. As long as that regulation is not over-bearing or designed to remove freedoms, then it can actually be a good thing.

For me, this isn't about left or right.... it's simply about a principled approach to liberty and freedom and how human beings deserved to be treated. It's not religious based for me, though the notion of freedom may well have some basis in some religious traditions. Instead - for me - freedom is a mature concept. A growing up of humanity from the caveman/nu-cultured/need a controlled society for stability time in our history to the self-enlightened and more mature society that we are capable of producing.  I'm actually not so sure that freedom is "god given" as much as it's evolutionary. It is a sign-post of how we are doing as human beings. Are we really capable of higher levels of thinking and maturity. Can we stand up and use the higher forms of thinking and direct out lives ourselves? Have we advanced beyond the point that we need religion or government to get us to do the right things, and has is suddenly become the case where religion and government are forums to retard our growth and our evolution to the next level?

As with some of my kids.... it was time for them to move out of the house. The doing so was a difficult task for them, for it now required greater effort on their part. Yet in moving and breaking free and moving onto their own lives, they manged to become even freer than they were before. Perhaps it felt free to not have to pay rent or bills or to be able to be less responsible, but at the end of the day, taking on those responsibilities and doing so successfully makes you stronger and also, makes you freer (though in taking on bills, you do submit yourself somewhat to the slavery of the bill, but I think the freedom quotient of the formula more than makes up for the slavery side in this case).

I think that we citizens are allowing ourselves to be lead back into slavery in so many ways. It's a slow and gradual process.... something akin to what we call in the database world "Slowly Changing Dimensions". The thing is that we allow changes to be made that on the surface "sound" good (let's give everyone health care) but in the end, over the long period of time that it takes for these things to really get their hooks into our lives, we don't see the slow, gradual, destruction that takes place.

Like the mountains in the Salt Lake Valley which continue to grow at a very slow (but measurable) pace, the effects of these programs and policies don't appear in an instant. At the beginning things like Like Social Security and Welfare/Medicare sounded like such great ideas. But the truth is that with these programs time has told a different story. A story that some are simply not willing to look at, and the story has an end that is politically difficult to deal with...  so with these things we become slaves slowly, overt time and often without realizing it. Willingly, we have put the next several generations into slavery. We are so in bondage to these things that even when it's clear that they are going to bankrupt us, or that they can not survive in the form given, many can not quite believe it, can not quite accept the cold hard facts that their master is not coming to them to take away what he has given and that the consequences are far heavier shackles than we expected or thought possible.

If only these folks had taken time to plan for their retirement rather that swim in the ethereal joy of guaranteed government retirement. If only they had taken the time to learn basic investment strategies (early learned in a day or two) and applied principles such as diversification and the like. If they had not depended on someone else to provide for their retirement through social security, pensions, and like products that they had no control over, where would they be now? Would they be afraid when the government said they needed to cut benefits? Would they suffer when their companies went bankrupt decades after the promises were made, only to receive a small fraction of what they were promised.

Who will they blame for these failures? The government, the businesses, Wall Street.... There is always someone to blame, but will they point the biggest finger at the biggest culprit? Themselves? Will they blame themselves and recognize that in trusting others to act in their own behalf that they gave away their own freedom and allowed themselves to be whisked into the bowels of slavery and to be controlled by men who's only interest is the bottom line, power and who lack their own moral compass and their own freedom formula is skewed to the point that they will fight for their freedom at the loss of the freedoms of the many who depend on them. As such, the become kings and rulers over us. We hand them the power, no doubt. Once handed to them, it's difficult to get back, but it's possible. It just takes will power. It's not done by the sword (at least, there is no need to do so in this country) but rather by the power of education and making decisions based on that education. The question is, what is more important to you? Your video games and their short term escape which somehow mimics freedom on the short term or your freedom over the long term?

We have given control of our lives to a few decision makers and policy makers who decide what we can and can not have in our life's. We are not only limited in choice but in the choices within that choice. When our ability to choose is restricted, that falls on the negative side of the freedom formula. As it becomes more restricted, other choices go down with it. It's a vicious cycle.

At one time I thought that the American Civil War was about freedom. It was about removing blacks  from slavery and giving them opportunity. History I think proves out that this effort was somewhat successful over time, and yet this great war of emancipation, followed by the Great Depression many years later really opened an avenue to the willing slavery of a larger part of the population.

The Civil War really solidified the power of the federal government over the states and the people. The results of the civil war on our culture and political process are profound and long reaching. Really, in many respects, while the Civil War freed a race, it was the germination of the slavery of a whole class of people.

The Great Depression was the first loud shot heard after the Civil War, where the government decided that it was in a far better place to protect us, and to prepare a way for us than we were. In these two moments in time that we so often hail as historically significant, it may be that we, long term, sewed the seeds of our own eventual demise as a free people. At the time, in our plight, pain and struggle, it seemed easier to take from the government and to allow the government to borrow and tax accordingly. We didn't see the path this would lead us down over the next many decades. We didn't see the future because the present was so bleak. In order to deal with our immediate needs, the pied piper offered us a quick fix - but he didn't mention to us the long term impact of that fix, how it would cause us to be in debt up to our eyeballs down the road or how it would further subject us to the whims of the mother government, which was largely loved and trusted then anyway.

So much more I could say about this. Socialism is not freedom, and when plugged into the freedom formula results in large negative numbers depending on the degree of socialism forced on one person. However, if we changed our way of thinking. If we made our nation a nation of givers and willing volunteers ... if we incentivised giving  rather than forced it through taxation, could we possibly have a different world and also improved freedom? Would we find people freely gave more of their means if we fashioned programs like AFDC, Education, even some form of welfare for those truly who need help or some form of Medicare for those who truly needed help (with must stricter regulations and definitions of who those persons are and an attitude of giving a hand up not a hand out).

What if instead of dreading your tax form, you had a simple form that was like this:

1. enter your income: $_______________________

2. Calculate 10 percent of your income: This amount is required to maintain the federal governments constitutional mandated programs such as national defense, department of state matters, executive branch requirements and certain research that has national security implications: $_____________

3. Enter any amount that you wish to donate to state run social program. This money will be collected by the federal government and is distributed to the states on a simple formula based on that states proportional population: $______________________ The average amount requested from each tax payer based on 2012 projections is 12,500. Please feel free to give any amount, there is no minimum requirement.This is your voluntary tax contribution to the support of the less needy. Please reference the sunshine laws and relevant web pages to see how your donations are being used.

4. take the amount listed in step three and divide it by the amount in step 2. Write the amount as a percentage here. If the percentage is over 50%, then write 50% in the line. ________

5. Multiply the amount in step 3 by the percentage calculated in step four. This percentage should not exceed 50%.. $__________________ (thus, we drive some benefit from voluntarily giving by reducing our total required tax bill)
Note: On page 2-20 of this form (or maybe this is all online) are the various agencies and organizations that you can choose to direct specific sets of funds to. You can direct up to 50% of funds donated to specific organizations or departments. You can also indicate if there specific agencies or organizations that you do not want your donations sent to. This information will be recorded and appropriations made accordingly.

5. Subtract the the amount in step 4 from the amount listed in step 10. This is your total federal tax due. $________

Please write two checks to the Government Funding Service for the amount listed in step 4, and the amount listed in step 5.

Thus, if I made $100k a year my government tax bill would be 10k.
If I made voluntary donations of 6k that year then I get to deduct 5k of that from my federal tax bill of 10k (since it's over 50% I can only deduct up to 50%). total tax bill then is 5k for 100k of income. An additional 6k in donations were added to support government programs. On top of that I could choose to earmark where those funds should be distributed if need be.

To me, this is how you make a government work for you. You determine a basic tax need based on the fundamental nature of the government entity (ie: military, state department, etc..), and then you motivate additional *voluntary* giving which is sweetened by the possibility of reducing your non-voluntary tax liability. People will feel more invested in their government when they can actually send their money to where they feel it needs to go. In fact these agencies might well have their own "election" time programs to try to educate the consumer what they do and who would benefit from these funds. This might cost some money, but I think it's leads to openness and sunshine on what these agencies are doing. It motivates openness on the part of these agencies and will make them more accountable.

No doubt, we might find a few bugs in my plan that we would need to work through, but I think it alone has the power to draw people back into understanding their government and it would be motivation for the agencies to provide information on the programs that they want the citizen to pay for. Indeed..... I think this could be very interesting.

Yes, in this tax payment method you would loose most if not all deductions, but also in this program everyone pays a flat fee and no one is exempt (I can see exempting limited groups, maybe we except the first 10k or so for children working summer jobs, or full time students who work jobs to pay for school all of which I find clearly have the long term potential to stimulate the economy.

I just want to avoid building any constituencies around the tax code as much as possible, so it needs to be all things to all people. Maybe we just blanket exempt those under 18, students in school carrying over 12 hours and making less than, say 50,000 a year. Bottom line is that I want this simplified tax code to stay simple, make as many contribute as is reasonable, but also recognize that certain societal things like going to school rationally need some short term form of relief. We could replace all government backed school loans with such a tax code, or make the voluntary contribution optionally funnel into educational support of some sort.

Ok... so stepping down my soap box for a moment...

The article I replied to can be found here:

My replies can be found there, or you can see them down below.  The comment that really send my blood boiling were those I listed above. How anyone can make those comments and consider themselves a worth human being I don't understand. I have no particular love for Rush. I listen to him from time to time. I agree with him on somethings, don't on others, and often can find times when he purposely or mistakenly mus-represents things (or just as often is mus-informed and misunderstands).

He often does not really listen to the caller but used them as a springboard for his own purposes, which is fine. He's entertainment and he says that clearly throughout his show, but he is also influential and I'm not sure that is always for the best. Yes, I'd gladly stand in line with a weapon to protect his right to express his opinion, and I'd do the same for Bill Maher.... who I can't stand and who I think is the left's equivalent of Rush. As much as rush makes me say, "Oh rush..." sometimes, Maher just torques me off with his stupidity and leftest bents. I see him as part of the establishment that looks down at us and things "Oh... those little people, we must help them..."... which is really code for we need to control them and we need to make sure that we keep them on a leash and collar for their own good. Another name for slavery. In my book.

As for the advertisers who flew the coop.... how can you sit there and not expect some controversy. How can you cow down to the Gloria Allred's and the like.When she comes out of the woodwork I just immediately stop listening because I know that I'm  not going to get any kind of unbiased opinion from her and fairness is out the door.

Anyway.... here are the comments that I made on the aforementioned web page:
Rush no more represents my feelings as a Republican (and more accurately a libertarian) than Jeremiah Wright represents the those in the left (I hope). I’d say he represents a part of the far right which does have some influence with the right in general which is troublesome. Rush is an entertainer, and like many of the “bubble heads” he talks about, he has many of his own “bubble head” moments. It’s the nature of talk radio and what appears to be somewhat of a narcissistic personality.
Still, his point remain valid in some respects. The issue here is not one of “should a woman be able to get contraception”… While there may well be some on the far right that would answer that question with a “No”, most would not. I’m sure we can likewise find people on the far left that would support equally stupid and brainless acts.

The question is… Should I be forced to pay my tax dollars so that the government can provide contraception to someone else. Additionally, the question is, should we be able to force a religions institution to provide contraception if it’s goes against their belief system.

For me, both of these are easy questions to answer. The individual has no God given right to take my money so they will not get pregnant. Having sex is a personal responsibility and (most of the time - I have all the sympathy in the world for a rape victim but I don't see this being about rape victims) an act of CHOICE.

Certainly, I do not think that the federal government has any constitutional mandate to provide birth control for a woman who claims she can't afford it.  I also think that the federal government has no real constitutions right  (or any other kind of right) mandating healthcare. Atbest, such things belong to the states and I'd struggle with a state that wanted to enforce such thins on me.

With respect to religious orginzations…. forcing a religious organization to do something that is diabolically opposed to it’s stated religious beliefs, in as much as those beliefs do not a real and present danger to others (and I’m hard pressed to find harm in this case) is wrong. In my mind, such an act is clearly not constitutional. I’m not a big religious person, but there is a bigger principle at play here. This is a slippery slope and how long will it be before the left decides that it needs to interject that a certain numbed of women need to actually participate in the position of Bishop of priest in spite of the fact that the church doctrine cleanly spells out that men hold the priesthood, and not women. Is it the right of the state, or women in general, to demand that a church change it's doctrine so that it's  more gender friendly if in doing so the church clearly feels that it has commuted some sacrilege or sin. Again, this isn't about freedom, it's about selfishness. In forcing the church to allow women to become priests, the individual is forcing their own individually on others and impacting their believes and faith. This is not freedom for it is taking one persons wants and assumed freedom and forcing them on the rest who strongly believe another way. In that context the one person has stopped over the bounds of Freemon and instead served to use the court, the legislature or simple political power/thread and intimidation to get what they want. The narcissistic one who believes that know best then takes the freedom from the whole of the religious followers... So the freedom of the one becomes the enslavement of the many. I could rant on how the many just allow this to happen to them because they really "don't care" but there is principle at steak and in this light, we all need to stand up and care.

The question is – do we really believe in the principles that we find within the Deceleration of Independence or the Constitution? Do we believe in them enough to put our own petty and selfish needs behind our backs in the pursuit of a principled life based on the concept of freedom and individual rights? Are we prepared to live by the law – and are we prepared to write just law for us to live by? Or do we wish to live the Occupy Wall Street life and demand that we are somehow owed something just be virtue that we live here and others have a lot when we have none?

Shall we slowly chip away at this country with law after law and regulation after regulation such that every human being finally manages to, on day, find that there is no other alternative but breaking the law — for be even the simplest of acts — we have crafted a world where we are all criminals and traitors.

Think that is not possible? Look at the mounds of law we have even now and tell me that you know the law. Tell me that you don’t break some law on a regular basis with assurance. You can’t, for there is no way to truly know the law anymore.
We live in a world where we are being slowly destroyed from within. Under the banner of freedom and justice we are all slowly finding ourselves being moved into another kind of slavery. What are you dependent on? Who is your master? Did you give yourself willingly to that master? Did you give yourself willingly to become a slave.
In the old days, they had to chase the slaves down and capture. Now, they just sit back and watch us come to them. Our leaders introduce new bills and we have no clue what is in them. We have regulatory agencies responsible to no one deciding to put companies out of businesses for so many reasons... Oh! is that an endangered bird flying around your powerplant? You must shutdown the plant totally until they leave. Real story... sad isn't it?

It’s a sad day in history.

Comment #2

You people who say you want to see Rush die, or that he's a pig or an idiot... You are no better than Rush. You are just as shallow minded as you claim him to be. This is school yard behavior, not that of someone with common sense and a brain. Frankly, I find such things coming from the left all the time and to be honest, I find it to be one of the biggest turn-offs. To me, the right can't get beyond some of it's religious power plays and the left can't get away from being emotional, childish and totally incapable of critical thinking.

As much as the religious right sits numbed in their mind-clutic religions, wanting to force us down their path... you folks on the left are so brain dead and incapable of seeing your own short-comings that you resort to name calling because, frankly, that's all you have, most of the time. Both sides I find totally without merit. Left, learn to make credible arguments and fact based statements. Learn what is truly right and wrong and move away from your own special interests that can result in really poor decision

At least the religious right can justify their positions based on their own brand of mythology (it will be curious to see, in 2,000 years, how the major religious movements will be characterized... will they be seen as we see the Greek Gods or the Egyptian religious practices today?). The left just seems to spout our whatever seems to emotionally placate their needs, without considering the overall implications of what they demand.

The right seems like a bunch of old men in concrete boots, unable to listen or consider they may be wrong. Stuck in their ways and traditions.

The left, bereft of tradition, or self-discipline, or life-experience, or responsibility seems to be a bunch of people who just think the world revolves around their needs, that seem to think that somehow they are owed something by virtue of the fact they were born. They want to craft natural rights and demand that they should be given the things they think they are owed. They are lazy and spoiled and don't seem to thing about anyone but themselves. The notion of "Get a job" to me seems to apply here. Instead of spending your time in the park crying because you gave yourself into slavery by willingly taking student loans, get your behind into a business somewhere and pay your life off and regain your freedom.

What happened to the notion of being responsible for your acts, for the things you do? I don't owe any of you ANYTHING, period. It's pure narcissistic selfishness to think I do and to come demand it from me.

As for you people in the government who take advantage of the slavery these citizens are in for your own purposes - shame on you. Shame on you for building systems that maintain this state of slavery. Shame on you for telling those who will listen to you how down trodden they are and how much they are in need of a hand out. Shame on you for playing Robin Hood - Stealing from the rich and giving to the poor - and justifying such an act. Morality is not obtuse, it is black and white. Stealing, be it at gun-point or through the means of the tax code, to then give to others, is wrong.

There are ways to craft a societal structure that could protect and lift up those in need. There is a way to keep them out of the bonds of slavery and give them a hand up and a way to be more productive. In the end, some will always be left behind (they always are) but we could be a better nation, still taking care of our poor, and demand not a dollar from our people in doing so. In the end, the hearts of the people are warmer than we give them credit for being - it's only in the failure to accept this truth that we take from people rather than ask them to give.

All I can say, is that we need to look differently at how we run this country and how we interact with this world. We need to develop firm, ideological principles that give us a base from which all other things spring. Our founding fathers, in the form of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights started this process. We have mis-understood the path that we should have taken, and have gone down a rabbit hole so deeply that it will take a great deal of effort to extract ourselves from it. Extract ourselves we must though or we will simply find - one day soon - that we are all in slavery to someone. Oh.... we will not have chains running from our necks to our wrists and ankles... the chains will be in the form of law which we can not hope to follow, in the form of debt, which we can not hope to pay, in the form of dependency - for the government will have gone "broke" and all that we had/all that we have will be worthless except for our memories. On that day, our servitude will be complete for there truly will be two classes, the halves and the have nots.

Can you see that our own slavery will be our own doing? It will be the result of so many things.... the fact that you would rather watch TMZ than understand what your government is - or is not - doing? That you took on so much debt that you are not in the control of some debtor? That you took on so much student debt that you could not pay it, and then you could not get a job because you were behind on your student debt - and you will blame the government or the employer when the fault is your own.

Oh.... our attention is drawn to the Limbaugh's of the world only in a great effort to draw our attention away from the things that are really important. American - are we really doomed? Can you not see that it's your own apathy and lack of focus and concern for the important things that will -long term- cause this country to become the biggest slave state in the world. One where it's people freely gave themselves and their freedom, one where there still exists the ability to extract yourself from it, but they simply will not do so... for they think they live in comfort but in reality they live in the shadow of what their life could have been - If only they took the time and had the personal drive to care and make something of themselves.

At the end of the day, fight your own daemons that try to lure you into slavery.  Resist the urges for the simple fixes, the light hearted retorts and educate yourself and be prepared to defend your rights and your freedoms and force those who would disagree with you to justify their positions with much more than anger and hated and blabbermouths.  In conversation lead then to places and dazzle them with your insights. Some might be so lost that bringing them out will take a long time. But in the end, the effort is worth it.


Thanks for reading.... I know this was long but I hope it made sense. I hope that it provided some insights into my ideas about what freedom is like. Any comments welcome.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

Engineered Systems - Complexity vs. Simplicity...

Oracle started the Engineered Systems decade (my word!) with the introduction of Exadata. Now we have Exalogic and other machines that provide this engineered system concept that I generically like to call Exa* (Exa-Splat). A lot has been touted with respect to the feature sets of these systems, and I've seen enough POV's now (both first-hand and word of mouth) that I can tell you that the performance improvements are real and significant.

However, I think that the story of Engineered system is about much more than being able to take a query that ran before in 24 hours and now it runs in 3 minutes. Sure, that's great and very important, but there is a strategic reason for Engineered systems and I'm not sure that is getting as much play as it should, because I think it's important.

Does this sound like you? Your environment is this collection of loosely coupled systems. You have these great, powerful database servers but when you look at CPU it's sitting at some number like 20 percent. You have servers all over the place. Your behind on your patching. Your constantly standing up new systems, and all the related infrastructure (network, disk, etc) and it just takes time. Your time to provision has the customers complaining. Your spending all your time reacting to problems, to configuring new environments, to wondering why this switch does not work with this server. You spend a lot of time wondering how to integrate various pieces and which technologies are best and which are certified. If this sounds like you, I call you tactical man. You are tactical in your thinking. Your poor customers really don't have the ability to derive knowledge from you because you are busy standing up systems for them. They are building database designs that are amazingly awful, and you are unable to help them because you have to work on the next fire, the next problem.

Is this you:

(phone rings)
You: Hello
Fred: Hey this is Fred. We need help with a database design. What's this normalization thing?
You: Sorry Fred, I'm working on installing four copies of Linux right now, can't help.
Fred: Hey, I understand, you guys are over worked down there. We will just use Hibernate to generate the schema, no problem.
You: No... wai...
(click on the phone)...

Are you tactical man? I wrote some time ago about the holistic DBA and really... becoming the holistic DBA is all about transitioning from Tactical Man to Strategic Man. The truth is that engineered systems can help you in this transition. How you ask... First, look at this handy dandy graphic I whipped up:

This image is kind of an exercise in simplicity (and my limited graphics design abilities) but I think it makes a point. As we move from higher complexity to simplicity, we move from being tactical (reactive) in our work to more strategic and proactive. Also, look at the graphic... in moving in this direction we reduce the number of people required and we reduce the costs as well.

Engineered systems is part of this drive towards simplicity. With an engineered system, you let the vendor do the painstaking work of finding the right components, certifying them, and making them all work together like a well oiled machine. With Engineered systems we get the benefit of scale.... If one problem surfaces on a given system, because the system are all similarly engineered we can immediately apply the solution to the problem across the various enterprises running that engineered system. No more wondering about this or that combination of hardware, we know (more properly the vendor knows) and the vendor take responsibility for providing that remediation across the platforms that are deployed.

Other benefits include the reduction of the proliferation of systems and hardware, reducing the overall footprint that has to be managed. This reduces costs and allows you to again move up towards the strategic part of the graph. There are a number of benefits with respect to the implementation of  an engineered solution, be it Exadata or even the Oracle Database Appliance. We should not focus on just one part of the equation (performance) when asking ourselves, what do we do to improve productivity and become more visionary?

As a result... the DBA, the network engineer, the storage administrator, the Unix administrator, are all free to pursue tasks further up the scale, moving in the direction of strategic planning, proactive approaches to business problems and helping the customer do it right the first time. In being visionary about the systems we deploy we can improve our ability to react to strategic needs of the enterprise.

I know... this might sound like a sales pitch for Exa* products.... and I do work for Oracle, but everything I've said here is part of my experience, past and present. Tactical man is alive and the costs of keeping him in business are significant. Strategic man needs to be our goal, and with Strategic man comes a host of benefits including lowered costs and a better Enterprise. Engineered systems can help you migrate to becoming Strategic man...

Sure... really.... we all just love installing Linux and configuring Clusters... but is that really best for the Enterprise? I think not.

Writing a book.... Part 2

Greetings all...

So I'm in the middle of my new GoldenGate book. I've written chapters 3,4, and 5 and currently I'm working on Chapter 2. I know, that might not make sense but it did for me... :) At any rate, I've found GoldenGate to be a great little replication product...

I really think that this book is going to be a dynamite book and I think that GoldenGate is going to really come into the Enterprise more and more as time goes on for a number of reasons.

Don't Believe Everything You Read

When you write about a product you come across certain subtitles and problems that kind of make you wonder. In the latest case I was writing about the privileges that are required by the GoldenGate administrator account. I found a bit of a documentation error in that it does not include issuing a grant of the alter any table privilege (or alter table if you prefer) to the GoldenGate administrator account. This privilege is required to be able to issue the GoldenGate add trandata command which enables supplemental logging on a specific object within the database, a requirement for GoldenGate replication. Curious that this was missing.

The Concept of Least Privilege in Oracle Database Security
Even more curious is how my competition handled this problem and this leads to a discussion on the concept of least privilege and how even the most innocent of things can be a really bad. idea. In the data realm, security is strengthened by the notion of least privilege which is where a specific user account is given only the exact privileges it needs. In this day of hacking, break-in's and SQL injection, locking down the database is critical. All to often though, because it's easier, DBA's will grant administrative privileges to accounts, without considering the risks that this entails. The thought seems to be that in granting the DBA role to an account, we are saving time and money by not drilling down into the privileges that are really needed and only granting those specifically required privileges. Of course, we assume just because we have not been hacked yet, that we are immune from such nastiness and as a result we lazily grant DBA to anyone.

Maybe it's not hackers at all we need to protect ourselves from... maybe it's a software bug or design flaw (if you prefer) that we need to protect ourselves from. At any rate, granting DBA privileges willy nilly is just a really bad bad idea. There is a great deal of discussion on least privilege on the internet, and I think the concept is really pretty obvious to anyone of moderate intelligence. At least .... you would think.

Books are things that people read to learn how to do things, and how to do them right. Now, we all make mistakes and I'm the first one to stand up and make the claim that I'm far from perfect. But there are just some mistakes that one should not make. In this case, as I was chasing down the question "Why is the add trandata command not working - Eventual answer is because a privilege is missing from the documentation" I went to look at the competing Oracle GoldenGate works to see if they had anything to say on the topic. Much to my horror, I found both books espousing the notion of granting the DBA role to the GoldenGate administrator account! Holly cow! This is far from the Oracle recommendation and it's just plain bad practice. I had to shake my head after reading that in both books no less.

Back to Don't Believe Everything You Read
Which leads to the another point... about books and web pages.... be careful what you read (especially that Freeman guy, watch out for him). Make sure that you think about what you are doing as you are doing it. Not everyone is the Oracle expert they claim to be, and experts come with varying levels of expertise... I've seen web pages that have listed the "solution" to a specific problem with the Oracle database.... and while the solution stated works it is such a bad practice that the person recommending the change ought to be hung.... Ok, I'm not suggesting lynching be re-introduced as a common practice but maybe we ought to threaten a few people with pitchforks, billy clubs and march on them en-mase. This is where the trusted few really come in and make life better for us all. The Tom Kytes, Jonathan Lewises, Cary Millsaps, and the other recognized names in the Oracle community.

It's also where the Oracle documentation comes in, as well as Oracle support. It's also where YOU come in... Which leads to the last point...

File those SR's!!!
When you run into a problem of find a documentation bug what do you do? Do you find your own workaround and then just move on or do you file an SR on the problem and make sure that Oracle is aware of the issue? Look at how vast the documentation library is and you know the likelihood of incorrect or missing information is quite high. The folks that work on the documentation are amazing and do a great job, but as with any kind of writing mistakes happen... with a product as dynamic as Oracle, things are missed... You are an important part of the improvement cycle, so please, take a moment and file that SR or that Documentation bug and make life for all of us a little better.
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