The Highway to god knows where
The Headlines are being pumped out by the smugly and cooperative media in the USA – GM is going to switch over to all electrical car and truck production by 2035, Ford is going to follow suit.
We are going to see the end of the internal combustion engine and move forward to the bright, renewable, ever clean future. The wind and the sun will pour their energy into our electrical system and we will gratefully take this bounty and go about our lives singing praises to Nature and all her wonders.
But to what end does this tale of idyll lead us to?
Let us advance into the real world.
Electrical vehicles rely, completely on operating systems – complex programs that balance loads and needs, power consumption and so on.
When you decide you wish to upgrade your Tesla for more features – Tesla tells your operating system that you are now allowed to use the enhanced features.
In the idyllic world of the future there is going to be a cost of upgrading the country’s Electrical supply infrastructure to replace the daily 2.65 trillion Kwh of electricity generated by fossil fuels (63 % of the total) and the 168 billion Kwh currently consumed by gasoline and diesel powered cars. Currentl solar and wind supply 363 billion KWhs a day.
I leave you to do the maths on this. It is going to require a 50% increase I solar and wind production to make up the energy load transferred to the generating systems by the demands of electrical vehicles that have replaced the internal combustion engine vehicles in our idyllic future. It is going to take 700% increase in wind and solar generation to replace the fossil fuels that underpin the grid.
That leaves a lot of room for discussion right there. But I want to drill down on another aspect.
Road infrastructure is financed mainly by the federal gasoline tax.
What will finance that infrastructure if there is no gasoline being used?
Well. Hmm. It is somehow going to have to be tied to the electric vehicles themselves.
But, of course! The software! It already contains all the information needed, it knows how far you have traveled and will happily keep that total available for any tax agency who asks for it.
Without a series of governments bound and determined to respect the Bill of Rights and respect the privacy of the citizenry I foresee the following scenario unfolding in front of us.
The first step will be explaining – just as I have done here – that with the gas tax dwindling rapidly there needs to be a new source of funding for roads and surely, the fairest way to do that is to just a fixed mileage rate? Equality all round! The rate will be meticulously worked out the first time around to demonstrate the absolute fairness of it all and all cars will be retrofitted with new software which automatically reports your mileage, once a week, to the tax authorities.
Now to make it easier and to reduce costs, the government will mandate that you must have a certain amount in the account of course so that payment is automatic.
But what about people who don’t pay? Or let the bills build up? No worries the government will come along – and in the name of fairness for all – software will be installed that will shut you off if you cannot pay. But the good news is that as soon as you do cough up they can turn you back on again promptly (for a small fee of course).
But we’ll all be paying the same rate! Fairness all round! Or will that solid statement stand for more than a couple of years while lobbyists for various interests ensure a way for ‘deserving” people to get a discounted rate? Politicians, city councilpersons. The list will grow – because it always does.
And, of course safety! Software will be inserted which will force your vehicle to adhere to speed limits broadcast to it. The next step will be to install a stop switch in the software that can be activated by the police. End of all car chases of course – there will not be many anyway because cars will no longer be able to exceed the speed limit.
Once it starts, it will not stop. Advance will follow advance. If you find this hard to believe consider this most people carry smart phones with them that they never turn off and which records their exact position many times a day. Now there is nothing overtly nefarious about that – your phone needs to know where you are in relation to telephone masts so you can use your phone. But how you use your phone, what you buy with it, what sites you visit on line, who you call who calls you so on and so on. It tracks it all.
Nothing I have said about electric car software is out of range of current software. In fact I am probably selling it short.
What I do know is that once government finds ways to tax, it does not give them up easily. When people find out how simply things can be enforced simply by turning of switches in software they will agitate to start doing it.
After all who would have thought that people would go trawling through a persons posts/tweets/messages/texts to find things to use to get them banned from jobs, forced out of jobs?
Who would have thought that a country where debate and freedom of speech are a cherished foundation of the country itself find itself in a position where people who cannot win arguments by force of logic and persuasion merely get their friends in power to shut of the place to debate?
If it can be done – sooner or later the temptation will be too great,.
So Biden has been sworn in as President.
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 me, quite easily, with something semi-good.
I have already noted the same slavering and emoting about how wonderful it all is 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.
Humor, the forgotten tool
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.
A Royal Druid
Prince Charles is the “heir to the throne of Great Britain”. That means that he has been standing around for a half century waiting for his Mother to pass on so he can have a real job.
In an article in the Daily Telegraph January 11th 2021 by Victoria Ward he is quoted :
It would seem that lacking his Mother’s status as the Head of the Church of England Charles is putting himself in the running for Chief Druid.
It takes a bold and supremely plankish man to announce that the answer to the pandemic is to blame ourselves and accept the Green devolution.
The Five Horsemen of the Technopalypse
Like Ringwraiths sent out 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.
And the supreme irony…
Amazon announces :
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.
What can I do? First steps
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.
The excrement on the boot that is on the throat of the Internet
Google, the boot on the throat of the internet
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.