What can I do? First steps

Easy does it!

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.

Listen up!!!! Most IMPORTANT

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.

British Fishing Industry – Part 1

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.

Until then…

The Cloudy Atmosphere

I read an article today on Ars Technica a site I keep track of though I find it inadequate in many respects, not because of bad writing – the article itself is well written – but because the people writing and editing on this site very rarely try to present a rounded picture.


The article is about how Climate Change and tackling it have become more important to a majority of Americans and how there is a majority who favor supporting the expansion of renewable energies and increasing government regulation to encourage it;

While it's intriguing to see how many people accept reality, it’s the questions about energy policy that produce the most interesting answers. When asked about whether the US should prioritize developing wind and solar energy or expanding oil, natural gas, and coal, 79 percent chose renewables. That’s considerably higher than Pew’s polls from just a few years ago. That number is the partly due to strengthening support among Democrats, but it’s also the result of growth among Republicans in the last few years—65 percent of whom chose renewables.

This seems like a fairly innocuous commentary – borne out by surveys. The USA is becoming more “Climate Aware”!

But is it really? Did the survey ask the key question – what are you willing to pay in money or inconvenience to achieve the improvements you say you support? How much more per gallon on gasoline? What percentage increase in your electricity bill? What increases in your personal taxation will you support to do this? That is the key about support.

Like a lot of conservatives I am a fan of doing more with less. If we had the money our house would be solar powered and off the grid. As it is we are on our own well and we have a septic system and, should good fortune smile we would install solar not because of fears of Climate Change or Ars Technica articles – but because it is neater and more self reliant. Though I say that in the sure and certain knowledge that, should it become viable for people in our kind of demographic to afford a full off the grid solar set up we would immediately be attacked for the materials used in the panels.

It is easy to get people to say they support programs and initiatives that they do not have to personally pay for. I myself am totally willing to enact a hefty tax, payable by journalists and leftist think tanks exclusively, to fund better gun safety and training in schools. I have my doubts that it would pass, though it should.

I stopped listening to the left and the likes of Ars Technica on the day I realized that they are opposed to Nuclear Power which is the ONLY mass scalable energy supply that has a viable, no emission future.

It has never been about “climate”.

A test is a test…

Boeing may be feeling somewhat slighted. They launched a test flight of their Starliner capsule to the Space Station on December 20th.

HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 24: A mockup of the Boeing Starliner spacecraft is seen inside the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility during a media preview for an upcoming public open house at NASA’s Johnson Space Center on October 24, 2018 in Houston, Texas. The public open house will celebrate NASA’s 60th anniversary and the International Space Station’s 20th anniversary. (Photo by Loren Elliott/Getty Images)

The launch went fine but the main boost failed to fire as scheduled in order to push the capsule to the correct course to the Space Station. This led to bringing the capsule back to earth successfully and safely without it making it to the Space Station.

Safely landed

From the reactions in the media one could be forgiven for thinking that this was just a gnats hair away from a total catastrophe.

Which kind of makes me wonder what the media thinks the point of testing actually is?

Something is tested because the performance of the system under “test” is not yet proven to be reliable. That’s why it is being tested.

So Boeing tested their system – it did not perform as expected. Of course it did show that, had the capsule been manned, the crew inside would have been perfectly safe and would have been returned to earth unharmed along with the capsule.

And now – investigation of the error will, hopefully, reveal not just why the error happened but whether there are underlying assumptions which helped bring the error about and the system will be corrected to take care of it. Making it safer and more effective.