The best I can say about this incoming administration is that I have such low expectations for their performance they should be able to surprise, quite easily, me with something semi-good.
I have already noted the same slavering and emoting about how wonderful it all us from the nation’s mainstream media which in turn convinces me that my low expectations may be setting the bar a little too high. It is a given that the same media who could find no scandals when Biden was last in the Administration are probably going to apply their carefully honed investigative instincts into finding not very much at all about this incoming one.
When Biden was vice-president he preened on video in a meeting bragging about he threatened to withhold US aide from Ukraine if they did not get rid of a prosecutor he did not like. However you might like or dislike Biden, like or dislike the Ukraine – this is a scandal. The main stream media have NEVER covered it. Apparently 60 minutes never heard of the Ukraine.
I do not hold a lot of confidence that Biden has changed and I have absolutely no faith in Harris’ ability to lead anything other than an assault on the civil rights of the black community.
There is a wonderful, but small, concept that has vanished, almost utterly, from American political life.
Self-deprecating humor is its name.
It used to be common for people to make a humorous comment or two about themselves or something that they did in order to show that they did not take themselves too seriously. It was a way of showing that a person could admit they could be wrong, that they could see oddities about themselves and their positions and still communicate.
Now, in the howling world of the Left Fascist Bloc which is seeking control over all speech and thought – this is a revolutionary idea. Admit a fault and the bots, gnats and bloodsuckers of twitter, Facebook Google will pounce on it and try to make it seem like every joke is somehow a weakness to be exploited for political gain. Why do they do that? Because it causes people to watch what they say.
Humor is one of the greatest tools of social interaction. It can make people laugh with you – rather than at you. It can be used to project an atmosphere of broad willingness to change and adapt and with that comes opportunities for agreements.
Without it – it all just becomes balkanized. It becomes the political equivalent of trench warfare. Things move only very slowly with vast effort.
Let’s get back to a world where satire, self deprecation, laughing at ourselves and our own foibles become the norm.
Like Ringwraiths sent our from Mordor the Five Horsemen of the Technopalypse are laying waste to the rights and freedoms of the very people who helped make them successful in the first place.
Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter. An Axis alliance worthy of Mussolini. All run by billionaires. Using their clout and control to subvert any hint of freedom of speech.
Normally, giant corporations acting in concert to corner a market and to deny access to competitions would be in deep do-do with the Government.
But no – they are encouraged by the Government – who are constrained (for now) from passing laws to ban free speech but who have the power to pass legislation to make it easier for “private” companies to do it for them.
It would almost funny, seeing the lefties kowtowing and groveling to billionaires. Antifa and activists being funded by Soros – another billionaire and a hedge fund manager to boot. Yes those black bloc outfits are out there on the streets creating mayhem and destroying private property. All at the behest of their paymasters.
Most of the GOP – with very few exceptions have proven themselves to be too spineless for the battle to come. They cannot be trusted, at all.
It is down to us to gear up for this struggle and get on with it.
I trust that the irony is not lost upon you, dear reader. A service which produces some pretty violent movies and TV series, has decided that it is now going to be the arbiter of what people who rent server space from them are allowed to do.
Seriously, you cannot make this up – I am seriously pissed off that a bunch of billionaires are taking it upon themselves to determine what people can and cannot talk about.
If you ain’t concerned then you are really need to give yourself a slap around the chops and perk up some – you need to be in this fight.
I have had conversations with other conservatives over the past few years about the need to get out of Google and off Twitter and Facebook. I have become, I think, fairly well known for my skepticism about Google and the rest.
When we have had these conversations there have been one or two common themes that come up. The first main objection is that Google has “free stuff” ranging from email, to Google Docs to Youtube. And that “I have used my google email for so long and for so many log ins…”.
Another theme is – “I am on FB just to keep in touch with or reachable by old friends.” or ” I like messenger” .
As regards Twitter most conservatives I speak to have not been on it much and despise it!
But the entanglements can be a real problem. So here is an idea or two to help get you started.
The first thing we each need to do is to lose the idea that “free stuff” is actually free. That “Free email” that Google has just gifted to you? Along with it you have given them the rights to scan the content of your emails.
Google as a company makes its money from selling access and insight to various demographics and user types. Now I am NOT saying that Google sells your personal data – I am not sure that it does. What it does sell is aggregated data and habits that marketers and others can use to target you with ads, suggestions, offers etc.
Google has become extremely wealthy doing this. And they have chosen to use their wealth and their expertise to control the way people think, the way they communicate and whether they will be allowed to talk about things that they wish to talk about. Google are authoritarian, they are not “liberal”. They fund many ideas and projects designed to make each person think in agreement with them.
Google actively censors people and organizations that it disagrees with. It searches out ways to justify banning someone or something but the decision to ban is taken before the justification.
Google has defunded people it does not like from making money getting subscriptions to videos on Youtube merely because it disagrees with the politics of the poster. It does so arbitrarily and on whim and only backtracking when the outcry is too much to ignore.
So how does one start to disentangle oneself from the Death Star of GoogleTwitterFacebook?
This is going to be a bit of a project. It begins with a first step
Step 1. Lose the idea that the internet is full of really great free stuff. It is not. If you are not paying for it and if you are not in control of what you pay for – then YOU are the product that is being sold.
Step 2 : Find an email service that is private and which you pay for.
There is one that I know and have experience with and which I endorse.
Hushmail – it has been around a long time. They actually offer a free service but – there are restrictions. I would recommend their paid service. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not fall back into the “free mindset” maybe test Hushmail for a couple of weeks to see if you can become familiar with it but swap to an account that YOU pay for.
Now, please note , this will require YOU to start paying attention to your email and how it is handled. You will be paying for it and you want it to work for you.
My other suggestion is to do it yourself. Register a domain name for your own usage. Find a web hosting site that is not part of amazon and set up your own email account. It is fairly simple to set up – but it involves you in paying to register a domain and to pay for web hosting. You can usually find deals on the initial domain registration and initial hosting package but be sure to crunch the numbers and be sure to have an idea what the regular price might be.
OK that’s my first first two steps. One involves you adopting a new mindset and the second is going to involve you in actually doing something and it will be both fiddly and frustrating but it will be, ultimately, freeing.
Once you have got yourself your own email and it is working then go to my next steps.
Google have decided that they are the arbiters of internet approvals.
They have decided that they are fully justified in deciding what another company should regulate in it’s own space. They have decided to remove Parler from their App Store because Parler refuses to proactively supervise and ban user content.
This is not how Google wishes the internet to run.
Google are not friends of free expression and free speech. People who work for Google need to seriously examine what they are working for and toward.
Above is a picture of a trawler. Trawlers are fishing boats that pull their nets along the sea bottom and they are mainly concerned with catching flat fish (which tend to live on the bottom) and other, bigger fish that live at greater depths like Cod, Ling and others.
The boat above is a Lowestoft Trawler – all boats that used to sail out of Lowestoft had an LT number. It is a “Side Dragger” which is the type of trawler that streams its net over one side or the other and pulls it along the sea bed. If you look at the picture and just to the right of the number LT 555 there is a device called the “gallows” it is where one of the two steel warps go that hold the net. There is one to the stern of the ship but it is harder to see.
The reason why I have started this blog post in this manner is because – that is the type of trawler I sailed on in the mid 1970’s out of Lowestoft.
It is that personal connection which prompted me to write this blog post.
In the recently concluded Brexit trade negotiations which went into effect in the UK at 11pm December 31st 2020, one of the most hotly contested areas was fishing rights.
I heard today that the total size, employment of the British Fishing industry is now around 10 or 12 thousand people. In the 1970’s it was around 25,000 people. Since 1990 the Fishing fleet has shrunk by 47%. When I sailed out of Lowestoft in 1974 through 76 there were, I think around one hundred trawlers that sailed from the port. When my wife and I stopped by Lowestoft in 2001 so that I could show her where I had worked – there were only three boats left. The big Companies – Boston Deep Sea, East Coast Fisheries, Fleetwood had all gone. The only one left was the small outfit called Colne and they had shrunk dramatically. 3 Ships. That’s all.
So my own observation does bear out the reported statistics.
I actually understand why the British Government felt that they could compromise with the EU on Fishing rights. And it has nothing to do with “betraying the British Fishing Industry”. The truth is that the British Fishing industry needs to be built up – the infrastructure of ships, maintenance, markets, finances need to be re-established. Fishermen need ot be recruited and trained – you could build more boats but who would skipper them?
The fishing industry went for bigger, more powerful trawlers, big stern draggers that could hold much more fish and travel further. Perhaps now the better idea might be to go with smaller vessels, more modern and safer and can be viable with smaller catches.
There are far too many different threads to this story for one posting to cover. My next one on this subject will be about the boat designs a subject which has fascinated me for a long time.