Fight the Future

The Battle of Tor

Tor Logo

Recently, Seattle police raided the home of a privacy activist who maintained a Tor exit node, claiming they were informed child pornography was downloaded from his IP address. This raid was very unusual in the sense that none of the accused computers were seized. After explaining he ran a Tor exit node and giving up his passwords, the police examined his computers and left. Later it was discovered that the police knew about the Tor exit node and didn’t inform the judge during the warrant process. Given the unusual way in which the raid was executed, it is quite possible this was intentionally a means to harass someone simply for maintaining a Tor exit node.

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Sanders and Hillary: The Continuation of the American Dynasty

Logo for the Democratic Party of the United States

I returned to the United States in 2016, directly into the excessively long election season. I’ve managed to avoid listening to American politics for years, but the other day I was with some friends watching the 4th democratic debate between Hillary, Sanders and some random governor no one cares about. I’ve had friends constantly promoting Sanders, so I was curious if he was different in any meaningful way from the oligarchy I had grown up under. After watching the debates, I realized that Sanders is nothing new or special. He is a breed of the same war mongering that has been part of the American regime since before my birth.

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Propaganda and Cinema

Film Clapper Image

American media has a plethora of films depicting authoritarian states, dystopian societies and Orwellian narratives. I remember when V for Vendetta was released to the theaters in 2005, many of my friends told me that I should really see it. I had read the graphic novel and found that the film held to the original spirit of the comic while relating to the relevant world of today. While it may seem like watching such films raises general awareness about the types of propaganda that influence us, I see it having a counter effect. Derek Sivers once did a short TED presentation on goals in which he said the following:

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The Paris Bombing: a Familiar Narrative?

Map of France by NuclearVacuum (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Map of France by NuclearVacuum (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The recent shootings and bombings in France have left over a hundred dead. This was immediately labeled as a terrorist attack by ever major news feed. Within less than a day, blame was attributed to ISIS and such evidence emerged as suicide bombers being found with passports on them. France declared a state of emergency and the world suddenly declared solidarity in a story that feels downright unbelievable, and may very well be.

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Kogalymavia Flight 9268: Propaganda in the Making

MetroJet EI-ETJ by Sergey Korovkin (CC BY-SA 4.0)
MetroJet EI-ETJ by Sergey Korovkin (CC BY-SA 4.0)

On November 4th, 2015, an Allied Services AN-12B cargo plane crashed while making a flight from Juba to Paloich. Police reported that 41 people were killed in the crash. I found it interesting that many news and media outlets mentioned it was a “Russian cargo plane” even though neither the transport company nor the countries it was flying between had anything to do with Russia. If a 737 crashes, news articles don’t immediately read that an American made jet crashed. If an Airbus crashes, news articles don’t mention a French made jet crashed. They cite the origin country of the airline. Then another plane incident occurred. Metrojet (Kogalymavia) flight 9268 crashes and the United States immediately blames it on an ISIS bombing, a claim Egypt says is premature. What we are seeing is propaganda in the making.

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Paint the Sky with Clouds

Sky over Amsterdam, The Netherlands - 30 June 2015
Sky over Amsterdam, The Netherlands - 30 June 2015

When I visited Amsterdam, I watched the sky fill with long streaks extending for hundreds of kilometers behind air traffic as they carried passengers to the furthers parts of the Earth. I had seen documentaries such as What in the World are they Spraying with interest and discernment. In my own research, I traveled the spectrum of belief and unbelief. I analyzed the arguments and came to my own conclusions. What bothered me most during this journey was the polarizing debates and ad-homonen arguments used to frame the people with beliefs on one side or the other, rather than addressing the facts. Terms like debunking serve no purpose except to discredit the intelligence of a person who makes an argument, simply because one believes he or she is wrong has a predisposition to one’s accepted view of what is true.

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Refugee Propaganda and the War in Syria

I rarely watch mainstream news, but it’s been on at hostels I’ve been traveling through and I am amazed by how much attention is being paid to refugees leaving Syria and entering Europe and how little coverage is given to the actual war. Meanwhile, Obama is echoing calls of his predecessor in regards to Saddam, asking Assad to step down. However, not one mainstream source is asking the question that needs to be asked: how do we stop America, the UK and Europe from funding the terrorism in Syria that is driving people from their homelands?

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Syria

I, Spy

Selective Hearing and the Petrodollar

If you watch the news today, you’ll be told that Muslims are protesting around the world about some movie. This contradicts other accounts that state the original protest in Egypt was not about the film, but a rally to free Omar Abdel-Rahman, also know as “The Blind Sheik,” from a US prison; something President-elect Morsi of Egypt pledged to seek. Libya’s President Magariaf states that the recent attacks on the US consulate in Benghazi were carried out entirely by foreigners and not people from Libya, a similar situation with the Australian protesters in Sydney where many of them were not citizens. The movie itself was not even its original form with much of its dialogue dubbed over and there is considerable suspicion that people may have been paid to be at some of these worldwide protests.

Meanwhile there hasn’t been nearly as much coverage at the protests in China against the Japanese people over Japan’s purchase of the Diaoyu Islands. The islands were privately held by Japanese citizens and the act only seemed to infuriate existing racial tensions. The All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce condemned the act. It’s very interesting to note that only a week earlier, China announced that it would allow trading of oil in its own currency instead of the US Dollar.

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