Fight the Future

Returning to America and the (Un)Affordable Care Act

Photo: Hoshino Ai - CC0
Photo: Hoshino Ai - CC0

I worked in the American health insurance industry during the original Affordable Health Care (ACA) debates back around 2009. I watched a lot of money spent on completely wasteful projects as the entire industry lobbied against a public single-payer option. In January of 2016, I returned to the States after being outside the country for four years. I hadn’t been required to obtain insurance via the ACA while living outside the US. When I looked at my options upon returning, I discovered that many of the fears concerning the Affordable Care Act had proven to be true. All my current options for health coverage, both via my employer and the ACA, either leave me paying more than I ever have in my life for terrible coverage, or paying very little for preventative only care.

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All Trump, All The Time

H.R. 170 Will Allow Large Companies to Consolidate Talent in the Tech Industry

US Passport

Congress is considering a bill that will increase the minimum wage for H-1B visa holders to $100,000 per year. This is an attempt to discourage businesses from hiring immigrants who require sponsorship, instead of hiring American workers. At least that’s what congress says H.R. 170 will do. However, I think what we’ll actually see are large companies in tech hubs like the bay area, Seattle, Chicago, New York and others, start to absorb the largest swatches of the immigrant talent pool, while shorting smaller companies and public sector jobs from the same access to skilled workers.

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The Fallout of American Anger

Anti-Trump Graffiti on a Bus Stop
Anti-Trump Graffiti on a Bus Stop

In January of 2017, three black eighteen year old males and one black eighteen year old female abducted a white, mentally handicapped man of the same age. The four of them abused him for somewhere between one and two days. They made him drink toilet water while yelling, “fuck trump” and “fuck white people.” They broadcast this on Facebook’s live streaming service. The kidnapping, abuse and hate crime charges they face could put them away for years. We are looking at the effects of the false left right paradigm, and of government propaganda, directly turning Americans against one another.

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Does Voting Make a Difference?

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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