I read a post on Bill Gates’ blog about polio. It talks about how vaccines helped us survive the disease and easily walk. Thousands of people were infected with polio during time and lost ability to walk or even stand. The suggested cure for polio was a metal tank, an iron lung, a mechanical respirator.

Polio attacks the body’s nervous system, crippling patients. In the worst cases, the disease paralyzes their respiratory muscles and makes it difficult for them to breathe, sometimes resulting in death.

Using changes in air pressure, the iron lung pulls air in and out of a patient’s lungs, allowing them to breathe and stay alive. During the height of the polio epidemic in the U.S. in the 1940s and 1950s, rows of iron lungs filled hospital wards to treat thousands of polio patients, most of them children.

Today, we don’t need iron lungs anymore as there’s an effective vaccine for it. Every person now gets vaccinated against polio and, since 1988, the world decided to eradicate the disease. Polio cases dropped since then by nearly 100 percent.

Before vaccines, more than 350 thousand people were infected in a year, facing horrible consequences and difficulties in their life but now there’s fewer than 200 cases yearly only in two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan, in which extremists force people to avoid vaccines using religious propaganda.

Today, some people are spreading false information about vaccines claiming a vaccine is a conspiracy to turn people to something other than a human or vaccines are tools to impose surveillance on people. Of course some vaccines are not effective, we’ve seen them, but to induce that vaccines in general are harming people, that makes no sense.

I’ve seen the effect of vaccines on people. From influenza to polio to tetanus and Meningococcal vaccines, I’ve seen how they help people live and be healthy and I’ve seen how without them people are harmed and face difficulties, even death.

I’m not yet vaccinated against coronavirus (COVID-19) but I will be when it’s time for people my age. My grandparents and some relatives are vaccinated. They didn’t face any aftereffects. One of my relatives was vaccinated while his family were not, and I’ve seen how all of his family members got sick but he were OK. All of them recovered, happily.

Vaccines are results of scientific works, and I believe in science. People say science is always changing and is not reliable but that’s one reason I support it. Science always changes and gets updated for better. That’s why I rely on it. When it comes to vaccines, science is proven to be always working to get better, from iron lungs to polio vaccines, it’s always working to help people.


Part of this post is taken from gatesnotes.com. Check their terms of use/copyright notice.

Ahmad Haghighi, a Fedora GNU+Linux contributor and ambassador was removed from the project because of his nationality. He mentioned this in a tweet announcing his contributions and posts in “Ask Fedora” are removed. Even the long first post of the Persian Ask Fedora is removed.

Matthew Miller, Fedora Project Leader and engineer at Red Hat said that “haghighi linked to a bio page he created on Fedora wiki which states that his location is in Iran. Once Fedora as a project becomes aware of that information, we have no option. Personally, I do not think this is a good policy. But it is not a Fedora policy or Red Hat policy — we need to do it to comply with the law, which the US government enforces seriously.”

I stopped using Fedora because of the same thing. The fact that Fedora complies with U.S. laws no matter if it imposes injustice on people is very disappointing for me. I know they are forced to do this but that doesn’t mean I can ignore this injustice.

Free software philosophy won’t allow any restriction on using the computer program, but doesn’t say anything about who can contribute on the main project. I believe the base of that is to restrict developers from doing injustices to people and since I believe the philosophy of free software is to avoid injustices, I believe this kind of act is against the soul of software freedom.

This action, whether from U.S. government or anyone else, is very hurtful not only to free software community but to all people and should be stopped. Whether it’s law or not doesn’t justify the action. I understand they’re forced to but don’t ask me to understand I’m considered an illegal being because of my location or nationality.

Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here today? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? and am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?

[…]

The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth [of] July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day?

[…]

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could I reach the nation’s ear, I would, today, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices, more shocking and bloody, than are the people of these United States, at this very hour.

[…]

Behold the practical operation of this internal slave-trade, the American slave-trade, sustained by American politics and America religion. Here you will see men and women reared like swine for the market. You know what is a swine-drover? I will show you a man-drover. They inhabit all our Southern States. They perambulate the country, and crowd the highways of the nation, with droves of human stock. You will see one of these human flesh-jobbers, armed with pistol, whip and bowie knife, driving a company of a hundred men, women, and children, from the Potomac to the slave market at New Orleans. These wretched people are to be sold singly, or in lots, to suit purchasers. They are food for the cotton-field, and the deadly sugar-mill.

Mark the sad procession, as it moves wearily along, and the inhuman wretch who drives them. Hear his savage yells and his blood-chilling oaths, as he hurries on his affrighted captives! There, see the old man, with locks thinned and gray. Cast one glance, if you please, upon that young mother, whose shoulders are bare to the scorching sun, her briny tears falling on the brow of the babe in her arms. See, too, that girl of thirteen, weeping, yes! weeping, as she thinks of the mother from whom she has been torn!

The drove moves tardily. Heat and sorrow have nearly consumed their strength; suddenly you hear a quick snap, like the discharge of a rifle; the fetters clank, and the chain rattles simultaneously; your ears are saluted with a scream, that seems to have torn its way to the center of your soul! The crack you heard, was the sound of the slave-whip; the scream you heard, was from the woman you saw with the babe. Her speed had faltered under the weight of her child and her chains! that gash on her shoulder tells her to move on.

Follow the drove to New Orleans. Attend the auction; see men examined like horses; see the forms of women rudely and brutally exposed to the shocking gaze of American slave-buyers. See this drove sold and separated forever; and never forget the deep, sad sobs that arose from that scattered multitude. Tell me citizens, WHERE, under the sun, you can witness a spectacle more fiendish and shocking. Yet this is but a glance at the American slave-trade, as it exists, at this moment, in the ruling part of the United States.

Frederick Douglass

American authorities seized dozens of news website domain names including Iran state television’s English-language arm Press TV, Yemeni Houthi-run Al-Masirah satellite news channel and Iranian state TV’s Arabic-language channel, Al-Alam claiming they were spreading disinformation. When you visit those domains, you see a takedown notice from U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Commerce.

The U.S. government also took over the domain name of the news website Palestine Today, which reflects the viewpoints of Gaza-based Islamic militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, redirecting the site to the same takedown notice.

I don’t support any of those groups and propagandas, my problem is something else, it’s the power U.S. has over internet, which meant to be for people and decentralized.

U.S. government has power over many internet top level domains. Most of the domains seized appeared to be “.net,” “.com” and “.tv” domains. The first two are generic top-level domains as opposed to country-specific domains, while “.tv” is owned by the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu but administered by the U.S. company Verisign.

Seizing a domain on a major country-specific top-level domain such as Iran’s “.ir” would be apt to produce widespread international condemnation as a violation of sovereignty.

Verisign is also the authoritative registry for the .com, .net, and .name generic top-level domains and the .cc country-code top-level domains.

Verising is an American company, meaning it obeys American laws and court orders, no matter where the client (one who bought the domain) is from or based. It also means U.S. government doesn’t go to the registrar for a takedown, it goes straight to the authority.

When U.S. government wants to take down, for example, example.com, if example.com is registered with a registrar in France, like Gandi, U.S. government should get an order from a French court which is unlikely, but since the authoritative registry of .com, which is example.com’s tld (top level domain), is Verisign, an American company, U.S. government bypasses the French registrar and straightly goes to Verisign and Verisign obeys the order.

This is dangerous. Internet should be for people with no authority. While I don’t support any of those seized websites or their propaganda, I do support an internet where nobody, no government, no person, and no ideology controls it. If U.S. can seize Press TV’s domain because it spreads propaganda against it, can it also seize my domain because I criticize their actions?

Majority of websites are using .com domains, this means U.S. has power on majority of web, at least its names. U.S. claims to be a champion of freedom, free speech within it. However, it acts very differently. Silencing voices and taking down internet websites claiming they spread disinformation is not respecting freedom.

Internet and web should be not controlled.

Close Windows, Open Doors
Picture courtesy of Free Software Foundation (CC BY 3.0 US license)

Two days ago, Microsoft introduced new version of Windows operating system and many seem to be excited and interested. Microsoft did some changes to the user interface and added what seem to be a cool feature, running Android apps, but, after all, it is same old Windows.

New versions of Windows might change the UI or underlying components, but they don’t change the only thing important to know about Windows: it’s nonfree software. Windows is closed to everyone, a proprietary operating system that neither users nor independent experts can view the system’s source code, make modifications or fixes, or copy the system.

This puts Microsoft in a dominant position over its customers, which it takes advantage of to treat them as a product. A nonfree operating system, just like any nonfree software, puts the developer in a controlling position over users’ computing, unlike free operating systems and programs that respect people.

Windows is privacy-violating, discriminatory, and a spyware. However, since a long time ago a group of hackers and a community of freedom-minded people are using and continuously developing a free (as in freedom) and privacy-respecting operating system named GNU, and most of them are using the Linux kernel.

By contrast, free software like the GNU+Linux operating system is developed by professional and volunteer communities working transparently, freely sharing their work with each other and the world. Users have meaningful influence over the software development process and complete choice over what code they run.

This means the software usually treats them with respect. Even if a free software developer took a page from Microsoft’s book and began abusing its users, it would have no way to keep them locked in — when this happens, independent experts copy the source code, remove the offending bits and help people switch to the user-respecting version.

Avoid Windows and install a free and privacy-respecting operating system. Close Windows, Open Doors.

It’s June 23rd, Alan Turing‘s birthday. Turing is considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. He aged 41 years, but would be 109 years today.

Turing was prosecuted in 1952 for homosexual acts; the Labouchere Amendment of 1885 had mandated that “gross indecency” was a criminal offense in the UK. He accepted chemical castration treatment, with DES (a non-steroidal estrogen medication), as an alternative to prison.

Turing died in 1954, 16 days before his 42nd birthday, from cyanide poisoning. An inquest determined his death as a suicide, but it has been noted that the known evidence is also consistent with accidental poisoning.

Today, in a good news, the new £50 note featuring Alan Turing has been released into circulation by the Bank of England. A man who once was persecuted because of his sexual orientation is now pictured and celebrated on the highest bill in England.

Happy birthday Alan Turing, father of our computers.

I’ve seen the above photo (post) and wondered is that really justice? I’ve posted a similar post before but in that post, the situation imposed on people was natural, not human-made. I understand the good intention creator of the photo has but it occurred to me that this is enough for many people.

Just like how most slavery abolitionists stopped after the slavery became illegal, many stop their action when some part of injustice is addressed. In the above photo, the situation is not natural, it’s human-made. The fence is built by humans and it is probably not only for animals, it’s also too keep some people out.

I believe the true justice (in the situation described in the photo) is that they get equal chance, equal opportunity, and equal respect to watch the game from stand among others and get enough/equal chance to contribute to the society they’re in, not to be kept out among animals.

As much as I believe there are serious problems we’re facing today regarding racial inequality and systemic discrimination, I believe those are now at best a side effect of separating people, and not a main concern.

We know racism is just an excuse use for capitalism. Everything would be alright if we put everything back in the hands of people but that is currently impossible because what capitalism does is to move away people from proper education for life and instead educates people about working and providing for the capitalist, the master.

That is why I always say before any action, before doing anything, we need education. In a social problem, every single part of that society is involved but everything can be messed up without every part doing its job correctly and that is when proper education comes in. People need education about social matters, about their lives, about their rights, their being, their true self, and humanity.

We need to do more talking, more listening, more arguing, more reading, more learning, and more educating before doing any action. A revolutionary is useless if the revolutionary has no education. Whenever I talk about revolutionaries I have to explain a revolutionary is not necessarily part of a militia; A revolutionary is a person who either participates in, or advocates a revolution. When used as an adjective, the term revolutionary refers to something that has a major, sudden impact on society or on some aspect of human endeavor and I believe cultural revolution, mind revolution, has far more impact on people than militant revolution.

A system can’t be changed without people being changed. If we put the same minds and the same culture in a new system, all we did was to put people under a lot of pressure and manipulate them for a while.

This is what capitalism wants. Capitalism and the capitalists want us to be separated, to be manipulated and think about side issues. Capitalism wants us to think some of us are guilty of what happens to some others. The capitalist wants whites to think blacks are trying to wipe them out and wants blacks to think every white person is racist. Capitalism wants women to think all men are sexist and wants men to think feminism wants to destroy manhood.

Capitalism wants us separated because with us being separated it can produce more workers to think inside the system therefore capitalism not be threatened. With us separated capitalism will be able to manipulate us to work more for the benefit of the system, the benefit of the master.

When people are separated, they will fight against each other instead of fighting against the system and the capitalist, the master, who put them through all of this. Separating people is dangerous. That is why, for example, I don’t support the Black Lives Matter organization/corporation but I support the movement. That is why I don’t call myself a feminist but I support treating all sexes with justice and believe men and women are equal (in them being humans).