The Growing Fight Against Censorship on the Web

Politics
Oct 6, 2022
Kiwi fruit

In 2017 Cloudflare, the world’s largest Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack protection provider, decided to withdraw all services from a website they didn’t agree with politically. Their company didn’t operate in a vacuum, as every big tech provider collectively censored that website, making it impossible for them to host their content anywhere on the Internet. Recently, Cloudflare decided to do the same thing to Kiwifarms, days after releasing a statement about their policies and “avoiding an abuse of power.” Cloudflair not only dropped Kiwifarms as a customer, but put up a custom error page defaming them. Kiwifarms released a statement saying Cloudflair was lying about the entire affair, but were unable to keep their website up after being forced to switch DDoS providers. Wikispooks, a comprehensive wiki about three-letter-agencies, went down around this same time period as well.

The types of censorship we are seeing right now is not unprecedented. We’ve seen countless amounts of censorship in the past few years, surrounding everything from COVID-19 and doctors to election fortification to corruption involving the son of Former Vice President Biden. This level of censorship should terrify everyone. In the case of Kiwifarms, the censorship appears to be specifically due to pressure from a trans-activist who openly advocates for giving children prescription hormones without parental consent.

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Forgiving Student Debt is a Massive Wealth Transfer from the Poor to the Rich

Politics
Aug 26, 2022
Photo by Ehud Neuhaus
Photo by Ehud Neuhaus

Former Vice President Biden announced plans to forgive at least $10,000 in student debt for individuals earning less than $125,000 per year, and $250,000 for families. The majority of Americas are concerned that this will drive up inflation. With less than 15% of Americans currently holding student loans, this will be nothing more than a massive wealth transfers from laborers to those in the upper middle class.

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We Forgot about the Monkeys

Politics
Aug 14, 2022
Philosopher Monkey
Philosopher Monkey

At the beginning of this year, a truck filled with nearly one-hundred monkeys, in Pennsylvania, crashed while on its way to a lab. Several of the monkeys escaped. A Danville woman who came in close contact with the animals, soon developed a cough, appeared to have an eye infection and was treated preventatively for rabies. The previous year in November, vials labeled smallpox were found at a research facility in Pennsylvania. Now, the news is filled with stories of monkeypox, and officials are using smallpox vaccines as an untested prophylaxis to prevent infection. These stories might have nothing to do with one another, but with everything that’s happened over the past two years, they are certainly suspicious coincidences.

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The New Political Prisoners of America

Politics
Aug 9, 2022
Prison cells

I grew up during an era where the Bush administration was openly defending its use of torture. Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib became synonymous with the total deprivation of justice and law under the banner of the United States. It was the violation of everything America stood for. There was never a reckoning for this era. Bush and Rumsfeld were never tried for their war crimes, and Cheney, an evil and vile Vice President, now has a daughter who is openly persecuting American political prisoners in her role as the Vice Chair of the January 6th committee. Everything has come full circle, and the gross carriages of misjustice that took place overseas have now come back to our shores. We are in a new era of torture, this time domestically, against citizens who stand against lawmakers desperate to hang onto their power and authority.

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How the Left Celebrate Death

Politics
Aug 2, 2022
Weathered Statue in Graveyard by Sandy Millar
Weathered Statue in Graveyard by Sandy Millar

I was living in Wellington, New Zealand when Margaret Thatcher died. Some people I knew threw a party at Hotel Bristol, a pub on Cuba Street. I knew nothing about Thatcher, but I assumed she must have been pretty bad if friends of mine were singing “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead” in her wake. Today, activist still literally piss on her grave.

Years later in Seattle, I worked with a British woman who grew up under Thatcher. She was horrified when people celebrated the death of someone who was an inspiration to many young women all over the United Kingdom. In the past few years, I’ve become increasingly more aware at how conservatives will simply state the facts, or praise what they appreciate, when an ideological adversary dies. In contrast, progressives and our legacy media will often write horrific hit pieces when someone on the opposite end of the spectrum passes away. It’s truly disgusting, and shows the relative levels of maturity of people on the far sides of the political spectrum.

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Cricket Wireless, AT&T and Planned Obsolescence

Technology
Jul 22, 2022
Cricket Wireless SIM Card

I’ve been on Cricket Wireless since I returned to the United States. Cricket is owned by AT&T and uses its cellular network. Until this year, Cricket worked perfectly and without issue. A few months ago, my phone randomly stopped being able to accept or make calls. Data and texting still worked, but calls were impossible. Cricket support had me change my settings, so my phone defaulted to 4G instead of LTE. They claimed this wouldn’t reduce my speed (which I don’t think is correct), but I was able to make outbound calls. The fix only worked for a few months. AT&T seems to be upgrading their phone networks. In either pure incompetence or an intentional push to force customers to buy new phones, they have made several old devices unusable on all their partner providers. Thankfully, my device still works on the T-Mobile network at full LTE speeds, so I said goodbye to Cricket/AT&T and trashed my old SIM card.

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There is no Safe Stance on Abortion

Politics
Jul 15, 2022
Embryo splitting into multiple cells

I’ve never taken an easy stance on abortion. In high school, and part of University, I was pro-life and an evangelical Christian. Prior to high school, I was pro-choice, and after University, I was pro-baby killing. That has been my stance for much of my adult life. A few years ago, I listened to an interview with Caitlin Flanagan. In her attempt to understand the pro-life argument from a liberal perspective, she discussed the reality of Lysol abortions juxtaposed to images from modern 3D ultrasounds. The recent Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health decision, which overturned of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, is not the end to women’s rights. It is an end to an entitlement that had been legislated from the judicial bench, returning the controversial topic back to the people. The US Congress and the Senate could propose legislation, enshrining some form of abortion into federal law. However, the topic is so divisive any proposals would be unworkable. This means laws about abortion return to individual states, placing such legislation much closer to the control of individual citizens.

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The Coming Dot Com Bust and the Future of Remote Work

Technology
Jun 17, 2022
Graphic of a Downward Stockmarket Chart

In 2000, the world survived Y2K only to be hit by the dot com crash. Some of us who were still in university wondered what the job market would look like when we graduated. We heard tales of recruiting parties, in major tech hubs, where people handed out resumes. The lead up to that bubble came from companies that believed they could sustain themselves with services that were free to consumers, and supported by advertisements. Services like Juno provided free e-mail and dial-up in exchange for displaying ads. Long before the blockchain, we had useless currencies such as Beenz.

The early 2000s led to a lot of consolidation in tech industries. Some of those companies are now turning into venture capitalists, investing in newer startups to hedge their bets against the next big thing. We are in an era of overvalued companies, that are heavily leveraged with investment or debt. When this house of cards eventually does collapse, those venture capitalists, along with angel investors and startup incubators, will be in the unique position to cut off anything they view as non-profitable or unsustainable. We may see large tech investment firms getting to decide which companies will live and die, similar to banks in the 2008 financial collapse.

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Game Reviews: Carto and Far Cry 6

Gaming
May 9, 2022
Carto and Far Cry 6
Carto and Far Cry 6

Carto and Far Cry 6 are vastly different video games. Carto is a fun, whimsical puzzle game with beautifully drawn characters. It’s a game that’s appropriate for a wide range of age groups, and can be enjoyed by adults and children alike. Far Cry 6 is an new installment in a classic series of first person shooters, filled with violent mercenaries and dark comedy. I finished up both of these games a few months ago, and found them both enjoyable and frustrating, for vastly different reasons.

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Diversity Is a Litmus Test

Politics
Apr 21, 2022
Single blue marble surrounded by other blue marbles

If you’ve had an interview recently for a skilled job, either remote or in an office, you may have been asked questions about diversity. If you’ve ever been trained for giving interviews, you may know that, in many countries, it’s considered unethical to ask a potential employee certain questions. Asking about a jobseeker’s medical history, marital status, children or anything else that could be potentially discriminatory, is usually off limits (unless the candidate brings up any of these topics first). The topic of diversity is a way around these ethical limitations. It’s a loaded idea that is never used to promote diversity of thought. Instead, it’s a weasel word, Orwellian newspeak, to pry into the private political views of a potential candidate and ensure they align ideologically with the politics of the company.

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