If we need to “wean ourselves off oil”, government should lead the way

Chris Huhne, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary reckons: “getting off the oil hook is made all the more urgent by the crisis in the Middle East.” My response is simple: if it’s so important to stop our dependency on oil, YOU go first. Please show us how it’s done. And you can start by getting rid of the current tax on fuel.

Tax on fuel in the UK is the highest it has ever been. For every litre of petrol (unleaded average at present is 131.38p), 58.95p is tax. And 20% of the final price includes VAT (also a record high of 20%). There are those who vilify the oil companies when they see the exorbitant profits they are enjoying. Let’s think about this for a moment: the oil companies are the ones who scan the earth for oil (drilling locations are heavily restricted due to “green” regulations), construct oil platforms, drill for the oil, refine it, ship it around the world, and deliver it to your local petrol station overnight, and require all the overheads of any business, versus: a government of powerful vote-whoring politicians who are practically answerable to no-one, with a track record of breaking promises, lying to your face, taxing you at every single possible opportunity, more than doubling the price of petrol itself, and invading your privacy. If we are going to point fingers, let’s be honest over who the real villains are.

Another obvious (and pretty silly) myth being perpetuated here is that oil is an addiction we can just get over. No, we can’t. And we shouldn’t. The quality of life we enjoy in the West is dependent on our demand for power. This isn’t something to be guilty about, but proud. It’s what separates us from savages in other parts of this world. There is no viable efficient practical alternative to oil as a power source at this moment in time. If and when the circumstances necessitate a shift, you can be sure that private companies (the ones who meet our demands now) will find the answer. That is how it always works. That is the only way it can work. (Even if somehow it doesn’t work out, the government does not hold the keys to a golden room where all our necessities are stored for emergencies. The power to tax is not the power to create.)

Incidentally, having a job title with the words “energy and climate change” seems like a contradiction to me. It’s like being a pro-Semitic Nazi or an anti-abortion individualist. The cult of climate change is fundamentally opposed to human well-being and industry. All this meddling in the economy simply wastes taxpayers’ money by pushing impractical “green” alternatives that can’t meet our demands. Why don’t these politicians realise that you can’t force a shift in the market, and if you do, the laws of economics will only come back to bite you? You can say we need to get away from oil all you want. For that matter, you can say we need to get away from our reliance on oxygen – but wishes aren’t horses. (Interestingly, other governments in the past like Soviet Russia and North Korean have had a desire to “wean” their citizens off another commodity they were heavily reliant on: food. It sort of worked; they ended up running out of food anyway, but had several million less mouths to feed.)

The current fuel costs are crippling businesses and draining investment capital – the very thing that would be used to fund any change in the energy industry in the future. This is the unconscionable irony for governments and ecologists alike: if you care about the future, leave private companies free to exploit the present.

Pope blesses “Confessions” iPhone app

I think it’s so great that the Catholic Church is keeping with the times and embracing technology! As if making confession in person for the sin of enjoying your life to a man who’s never lived one wasn’t enough, you can now do it with a Pope-endorsed iPhone app!

I can’t help but wonder if this first for the Church would’ve been less appealing if it already had a stranglehold on the minds and bodies of everyone. I mean, if the iPhone existed several centuries ago, would the Pope endorse the beauty of new technology to reach those in need of confession, or would it send thousands of men on a Holy Crusade to invade a foreign land? I’m just saying…

Where was this harmony of Church and science 500 years ago? I think I hear Galileo spinning in his grave.

And I can’t help but wonder if this adoption of the modern might be a glimpse of things to come? Might the Church also repeal its superstitious protection of a particular type of human cells? Might it also accept the technological wonder of contraception and all the benefits it brings? In the developing world where birth control and AIDS are real problems, I’m sure a condom is more use than the Confessions app on an iPhone.

And are priests allowed to own iPhones? I propose that all Catholic priests be given iPhones with the Confessions app! I wonder what that might look like…

The perfect solution to anyone who dislikes Apple’s monopoly

As most people know, there is a class action lawsuit against Apple for locking its phones to one service provider in the US: AT&T. It did the same in the UK when the iPhone was released, choosing O2 over competitors. Apple has also been criticised, and looks to have legal action being taken against it for “its absolute control over what applications iPhone owners can and cannot install on the gadgets.”

Should Apple not have absolute control over its own property? Does anyone think that a company as massive and successful as Apple would take any major business decision unless it thought it was in its own self-interest as a company? So, these attempts to bring legal actions against Apple actually represent a demand to make Apple act NOT in its best interest. But why? Why should a company not act in its own best interest? The same interest, by the way, that produced the iPhone and other such inventions in the first place.

Communication companies that did not receive exclusivity agreements with Apple, and developers whose apps won’t work on the iPhone bemoan the fact they’re being “locked out” of the party. Well, they are right. They are. But there is a simple solution to their problem that has been there from day one, a solution that doesn’t violate anyone’s Rights, doesn’t stifle innovation, doesn’t punish success simply for being success, and doesn’t offer yet another innovative company up on the altar of anti-trust altruism:


Oh, what’s that? You can’t? So Apple must produce, so that you can dispose? Apple must create, so that you can use? Apple must sacrifice, so that you can benefit?  There is only one real practice resulting from this sentiment; a practice has been supposedly outlawed against individuals in the entire civilised world: SLAVERY.

(If you really don’t like Apple and want their smartphone “monopoly” broken, vote with your wallet; do what I did and buy an Android phone.  I’d recommend the HTC Desire.  Same features as the iPhone 4; hundreds of pounds cheaper.  And it probably won’t blow up on you either.)

Right to Broadband introduced

Finland makes broadband a ‘legal right’


Truly and utterly despicable.  And the British government has made similar promises.

The word “Right” gets bandied about so much by vacuous collectivists that it has lost all its true meaning today.

There is no “right” to broadband anymore than there is a right to a washing machine or mobile phone.  In fact I’d bet good money that no bureaucrat or “intellectual” or tax-dodger could even define the word “Right”.  If I had to guess, I’d imagine they’d say something like “I need it, therefore I have a Right to it”, which of course is totally evil, but it explains a lot.

Having a right to the property of others means that others have no right to their own property.  Either all rights exist or none of them do.  Introducing a legal right to the property of others is basically saying that NO ONE has any rights, unless the government decides they do.  It can mean nothing else.

And if you want to know why our governments are allowed to get away with such evil statist anti-human control, here’s the answer:

“A poll conducted for the BBC World Service earlier this year found that almost four in five people around the world believed that access to the internet is a fundamental right.”

People are much easier to control when they deliver themselves in chains to the jail.

Planetarium for your PC

I came across a piece of software this morning that is a must, if you like astronomy or planetariums!

It allows you to scan the heavens in 360 degrees, external to earth. It’s also in real time so you can see the earth as it would look in space right now, and where day and night are.

Here’s the link: http://celestia.sourceforge.net/ (opens in new tab)

And here’s a screenshot from my computer of the earth in space at this moment in time, 12.42 pm GMT:



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