Category Archives: Society

The reality may differ

I’ve been watching the American crime drama TV series “The Rookie” lately and it’s very enjoyable. Apart from the action and partial comedy you see in it, it’s kind of more realistic than other police dramas I’ve seen. I’ve seen “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” for example and that was kind of comedy that you don’t get the feeling of real police work being done.

Spoiler alert! In the episode eight of the season one, officer Nolan shot someone dead. He chased the man and when the man turned back and pointed his pistol at him, John shoots the man in the chest and the man drops dead. It happened very quick and the episode showed John Nolan in shock and in a very uncomfortable upsetting mood.

Now I know it’s not the case for every police shooting and homicide done by cops, you should know that by reading my previous posts condemning police brutality, but we should consider that many of the shootings and killings by cops are probably done in situations like this one. I’ve been thinking about this and imagining myself in a situation like that and I think I wouldn’t have done anything differently. I tried to convince myself that I could duck down or something like that but realistically I would’ve not.

The situation showed in the episode was so intense and quickly escalating that it would’ve left any of us doing the same thing officer Nolan did, that’s if we didn’t freeze from shock. That’s hard work done by cops. They put themselves in danger for the sake of our safety. Of course that many of police officers are corrupt and do harmful things, such as abusing their power and misusing their position but generalizing officers is wrong.

And I should also mention that the movie doesn’t make me a fan of cops. It won’t change my opinion that the policing done by cops is not wrong and the methods and how they do their job is correct. I still believe the system is flawed and the job they do does a lot of harm to many people but I also believe there’s hope and they do a lot of good work and their hard work should be seriously considered.

That was just one example for me. An example of what I have believed for so long and how I came to realization that the truth and reality may differ and being absolutely sure of something may be wrong. The reality may differ and that’s a true statement for 99 percent of the time.

I always have believed that people should have an open mind and be accepting of one another no matter what are our differences and I always believed that we should change our minds when new evidence is provided and I believe it’s one those times. I regret that for a while I called cops ‘thugs’ or ‘pigs’. Of course many of them deserve such calling but that’s unfair to those officers who are good.

This is not just about cops, it’s about any time I’ve generalized a group or people or a matter. It’s about me not trying hard enough to correct myself and act good even though I knew better than that. It’s about trying hard enough from now on to be a better person and not to judge people based on what I hear or see because the reality may differ. It’s not about cops, it’s about people and matters in general and the ability to accept that I may not be able to judge accordingly and be smaller than a bigger matter.

Conspiracy theories

I believe in conspiracy theories. I do. I have my own conspiracy theories such as all things happening to Trump right now are planned by DeSantis to sabotage orange man’s candidacy or every government official around the world is a clown in disguise of a normal human being. Not just normal clowns who do makeup and dress those colorful clothes, I respect them, I mean those who were born as a clown. Like born from a clown mother and father with their baby-clown clothes on them already when they were delivered.

However, I have some proof for my latter theory. Recently, Kandiss Taylor, a GOP district chair in Georgia, claimed the earth is flat on her podcast, Jesus, Guns, & Babies, alongside fellow flat-earther David ‘Flat Earth Dave’ Weiss and Matt Long. She said “the people that defend the globe don’t know anything about the globe” and “If they knew a tenth of what Matt and I know about the globe they would be Flat earthers.”

How cool is that? A GOP official currently in office claiming the earth is flat. But what got my interest is this part: “I turn on the TV, there’s globes in the background … Everywhere there’s globes. You see them all the time, it’s constant. My children will be like ‘Mama, globe, globe, globe, globe’ — they’re everywhere. That’s what they do, to brainwash.” She also continued, “for me if it’s not a conspiracy. If it is real, why are you pushing so hard everywhere I go? Every store, you buy a globe, there’s globes everywhere. Every movie, every TV show, news media — why? More and more I’m like, it doesn’t make sense.”

That’s the general idea and thinking behind these conspiracy theorists and mad people. Now I get it. If they’re saying black people or Jews are controlling the world or there’s a vast conspiracy and plot against white people, it’s because they see Jews and black people in streets. They really think the Jewish idea or not-being-white is being pushed to them simply because they see a Jew or a non-white person.

And who are this “They” they’re talking about? There’s a deep-state council or organization that controls these? Like there’s a group of people sitting in a penthouse in downtown Manhattan deciding the next thing people should believe? And their position is passed to their children? Sweet mother of God.

What an idiot. You’re the head of GOP in Georgia, who the hell is running the conspiracy if it’s not the government you’re leading. How you can be a conspiracy theorist and high up in governmental affairs I have no idea. They’re always babbling about “the deep state” and “drain the swamp”, but these people ARE the deep state up to their waists in swamp water.

It’s no shock that Taylor is a supporter of Trump’s theories as well, one of them being that United State’s 2020 election was stolen. Similarly claiming the election was “rigged” after she lost the primary, receiving only 3% of the votes. Yet she made no claims of a fraudulent election process when she was elected as Georgia’s District 1 chair.

These clowns always fascinated me but now I understand the thinking. If you regularly see something, no matter how obvious or normal that is, it’s being pushed to you. Globes are being pushed to you, not being white is being pushed to you, water, water is being pushed to you, and let’s say cheese and eggs, those are being pushed to you too. Why would you see eggs in every store you visit if they’re not brainwashing you to eat more and more eggs?

Or why are we seeing a lot of water recently? Are they trying to make us drink more water? I would start the “Don’t Drink Water” campaign in Georgia if I see water one more time. It’s definitely some brainwashing going on with the water. Let’s stop drinking water.

Taylor used her 2022 campaign to promote additional conspiracy theories, claiming the GOP leaders were secret communists and Democrats were satanic pedophiles. GOP, which she holds an official office within it, is moving forward with secret communist leaders. It’s like being an atheist priest. You only can be a cunning clown to be able to hold an official place within a party, running for office within that party, trusting the voters to share the same values you share with them within that party, yet calling the leaders of that party exact opposite of what you are.

I still can’t fully understand these people. It’s so hard and complicated to match what they say and what they do.

Free software, free society, in practice

It’s been hard times for Internet and my people. Internet situation is getting worse every day and people are facing more shutdowns and censorship. These shutdowns are not even reported because the regime is switching its form of censorship from a blacklist type to a whitelist type.

It means that every site and service is blocked by default unless it’s whitelisted. This way the regime can still claim the internet is working while also denying access and preventing people from using a service.

However, people are still resisting this. Using free (libre) tools and services, many are helping others to gain access to free Internet. I now see people providing VPNs to each other. These VPNs are created using open protocols and free (libre) programs. Young and unexperienced people are now trying to learn more about how networks work and they are teaching each other about these so more and more people can access free Internet.

I see people brag about how they’re using open source software and they are very happy about beauty of it. The same people who were denied access to services because of sanctions or even censorship now are building their own tools.

I try to teach them about the philosophy of free software and the movement behind it and how they are basically advocating for the same principals I fight for and I see the pride in their eyes.

I, now, am seeing the motto of our movement. I now see “free software, free society” in practice and I see it by my own eyes how free software, its philosophy, and programs built under free licenses are actually working and taken in action to help people fight for their rights and freedom and let me tell you something, I’ve never been more proud of myself and every single person in this community.

This is our work in practice. This is what we’ve been telling people all these years in action. This is thousands (if not million) of people actually using and advocating for free software in order to fight tyranny and in order to achieve an live in a free society. Every time we advocated for software freedom,, every time we refused to use a proprietary software, every single one of our actions have been resulting and leading us to this.

It’s such a beautiful time for our movement and you probably didn’t know about this. This may be happening, and I believe it’s happening, every day somewhere and we don’t notice it but we should be very proud. I know it’s there, I know it’s happening, and I am proud. You should be too.

The effect of condition

Entrepreneurship is like one of those carnival games where you throw darts or something.

Middle class kids can afford one throw. Most miss. A few hit the target and get a small prize. A very few hit the center bullseye and get a bigger prize. Rags to riches! The American Dream lives on.

Rich kids can afford many throws. If they want to, they can try over and over and over again until they hit something and feel good about themselves. Some keep going until they hit the center bullseye, then they give speeches or write blog posts about “meritocracy” and the salutary effects of hard work.

Poor kids aren’t visiting the carnival. They’re the ones working it.

The above is a comment on a Hacker News post. An screenshot of this lives on my computer and I think about it once in a while.

Internet has been down for the past week here and many people were suffering in various ways. Even many email services were hard to access. We use VPNs to connect to different online services and every VPN works on specific ISPs so we have to change VPNs based on what operator or ISP we’re using.

I, for example, have promised people that I do certain work and failed to hold my promise. This of course just one example. I know a lot of people who missed their deadlines and their reputation was hurt, and they have suffered financially and in many other ways.

Now imagine a young person in his twenties trying to start a business providing products. Born in a poor family and living in a country with no free Internet, no free flow of information, and certain limitations on accessibility of resources which are imposed by government.

This person was born into this. He had no saying in the situation he was born into. He didn’t choose his country or family or even the time of his birth. However, the conditions he was born in has serious effects on his life.

He probably has to commit a lifelong effort to just stay alive. He probably will never meet his goals and will never even be able to dream about success the way a Swiss boy or a French girl dreams or thinks.

Success is not purely the result of hard work. It’s based on many things and one very important one of them is the condition people are born in and have to live with. The reality of life is that nothing is guaranteed because of your motivation, hard work, genius, or skills, and your condition and your situation in life is one of the most impacting aspects.

The purpose of AI

About a year ago when we talked about artificial intelligence and machine learning, what we meant was a machine getting used to some routines or somehow understanding an algorithm and order of matters happening so it can respond in a certain way. That may sound complicated but in comparison to what we are experience right now, it’s quite simple.

What we have right now is marvelous and very much advanced. Of course it will improve day to day and maybe another year from now what we currently have may seem even stupid but we got to compare it to what we had before to see how much progress we made.

However, the real purpose of AI and the path we’re going is not exactly what I believe we had in mind when we first started working on it. We built artificial intelligence to make our lives easier so we can be able to focus on what truly matters to us as human race. I believe when we started the machines and when we first started to replace part of the labor and work with automatons what we had in mind was to finally replace humans with machines not in what we enjoyed doing but in what we believed is exploiting our essence.

Today, with all the improved codes and computers running AI, we are forgetting what we had in mind when we first started. We are now experimenting with artificial intelligence that writes essays and articles for us. We are experimenting to hand over what we were pleased to do to a robot. Writing an article had a purpose of sharing ideas and teaching people of a point of view. Now we are training robots to prove points for us, like if we’re in a war.

We are not all internet trolls who are fighting and trying to win an argument at all costs. We are people of reason and intellectual who have good will and intentions in our souls and bodies, so we don’t need a robot to write an article on our behalf and prove, in any way, that our point is valid. What is the point of that article if it prevents us from thinking?

We are now experimenting robots and so-called intelligence that is creating art for us. Art used to be an escape for us humans. It was a form of creation that made us feel needed, made us feel empowered, it gives us a way to invent a new reality for ourselves in which everything’s placed according our will and ideas. And the satisfaction was not from the result or what others would see, it was from the work we put in it and every detail that we thought about and cared deeply with passion to create a thing with our bare hands.

Now there’s a robot that will learn from what others have created and you just tell it to create a portrait of unicorn with purple scary eyes and it will give it to you in few seconds. Where is the fun? Where is the satisfaction? Who is the real artist here? Is it you? Is it the robot? Is it the creator of the robot? Or is it the actual creators of portraits that the machine learnt from them?

Machines supposed to write our emails and clean our houses and run our factories and bring us food so we can focus on art and philosophy and everything else we enjoyed. We are going to the wrong end on the wrong road. We weren’t supposed to create machines that mass produce art so we can focus on labor, it was quite opposite.

I believe it is wrong and it should be prohibited. We all have seen movies like Matrix that machines finally enslave the human race and forced us to do the labor but what we’re doing now is to do it voluntarily. We were frightened that machines some day can think for themselves and purge us all or force us to give up on what we truly loved and now we are happily training them to do what we love and replace us where we love to be and force us to where we always hated.

This article could be produced with an AI. I just needed to write a question that “how modern AI will act like Matrix and replace us from creators of art and put us to labor instead?” and it would most probably write the same arguments. It’s nice because then I could argue that even the machines know it but happily machines don’t think.

They don’t think so they should not be put in a position to decide for an important matter. Happily, we’re not there yet but we have started to put them in an important place to think instead of us and replace us in where I consider one of the most important aspects of humanity which is art.

Instead of developing intelligence to create art, we should use this intelligence to better our farming and food producing and solve human crises like hunger, education reform, environmental issues, and freedom-related matters.

I believe that is the true purpose of AI and that is what we need to do.

Aim for freedom tech

While people are still publishing their end-of-the-year lists and new year resolutions, and while people are still debating about whether social networks should provide a safe space or a complete free speech environment, many people around the world are struggling to connect to internet.

The situation in Iran is terrible right now. Internet is heavily censored and people are facing shutdowns on a daily basis. Almost all popular messengers, including WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal are blocked and there are reports of instances of federated messengers, such as XMPP and Matrix, being blocked as well.

Almost all popular social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and many instances of Mastodon are blocked and people can’t use them freely. Even if they can use them, their posts may be used as evidence of criminal activity, labeled as “action against national security” or “combat against God” or even “insulting the supreme leader.”

The free VPNs and anti-censorship tools are blocked as well, ironically. No popular VPN is working as intended and people rely on paid domestic VPN providers which on many cases are very dangerous. They either give away users’ data to authorities or are designed as spyware. This leaves people vulnerable to a lot of harm simply for trying to connect to free internet and get free flow of information.

The goal of every developer focused (or even not focused) on human rights should be providing and developing tech that can help people access free internet and information. Anti-censorship tools and new tech that can send and receive data.

One example of this effort is the awesome project of Toosheh. They are a satellite filecasting technology deployed in Iran and the Middle East that use common satellite equipment to deliver digital content without relying on access to the Internet. I have no idea how many people receive information and needed stuff from this project but this is a very useful and helping project.

In recent days, I’ve heard WhatsApp is deploying a feature that lets people connect to the messenger using proxies. This probably is the same effort done by Telegram and Signal. Many people in Iran are using MTProto proxies to be able to connect to Telegram and communicate with each other. Telegram is the second (if not first) most used messenger in Iran. Similar proxy feature was added to Signal but I doubt that many people use it. WhatsApp providing proxies will be very much appreciated by the public as many people rely on WhatsApp to communicate with each other.

As much as I advocate for free (libre) technology and software, in this situation, connecting people is far more important to not only me but everybody who is concerned with the situation we are facing in the country.

If you’re a software/hardware person or a techie, you surely can help developing tools to help people not only in Iran, but every other place or people needing tools to access basic available daily stuff such as a social network or a communication tool or even reading an article and getting information. You can contact your friends discussing the needs and required tools to get started. The simplest act can be running Snowflake extensions and help people connecting to free internet using Tor.

As I said, this is not just a matter of Iran. There are many reports of internet shutdowns or heavy censorship in India, China, countries of Middle East, Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil, and many others. So, please, if you can do something about it, many people will appreciate your efforts.

You are worthy

Watching Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, I know all those saviors needed one thing to become a hero and that was being worthy of helping people and selflessness. What made those people recognized as heroes is that they put aside their differences and accepted their weaknesses yet became whole as a team, became strong, and defeated most impossible enemies.

I love Marvel movies because they make me feel hopeful. They teach us something that maybe other movies can’t even mention and that’s how a simplest act can make an impact complex and big enough to save the entire world.

Most of the times I hear people worrying about not being enough to do something or not being worthy of acting in defense of people, I just remember how some normal human beings with just one or two special talents could save the world in our favorite movies.

It’s true that those are just movies but the lesson we learn from those movies are real. I believe millions of people fighting against a common enemy are far more stronger than a team of 10 people with robots or magic.

These fighters for freedom are worthy. Worthy of lifting Thor’s hammer, worthy of becoming an Avenger, and worthy of becoming the leaders of war for freedom.

I remember someone telling me a wonderful story about our true value: a while back someone gave a watch to me. He handed me a wristwatch. I opened the box and it was a beautiful watch. It wasn’t super fancy but it was attractive. I brought it to home and put it in my desk drawer.

Couple of months later I opened the drawer to take something out and I saw the watch sitting there. I looked at it again and I thought it costs a few hundred bucks but for some reason I did a web search for its price and when I did I nearly passed out. The exact watch came out, it was worth over 10 thousand dollars.

It was from a very famous prestigious watchmaker. I’ve seen a lot of other watches that cost several hundred dollars but because of the manufacturer this watch was extremely valuable. You could put it side by side of other watches and you wouldn’t see much difference. Looked average, ordinary, copied. On the surface it looked the same.

But what gave it its value was who made it. Sometimes we don’t realize who we are because we see other people just like us. We may look average, ordinary, like nothing stands out but there’s something about us that makes us extremely valuable.

We’re not a copy, or a knockoff, we are original. We can’t get any more prestigious than what we are now. Nothing is more valuable than what we are.

Never think of yourself as worthless or incapable. You are capable of holding an entire chain together and doing the impossible. Simplest act from you can affect the whole system, the whole universe, and result in doing the absolute impossible.

You are not a single person, you are what the chain needs to remain intact. You, alone, can’t do anything but you are what the chain needs to remain intact. You may be the first part of the chain or the last one, either way, you are doing greatest work you can.

Never think of yourself as worthless or not valued. Never think that you are alone or you can’t do anything because you feel lonely in your situation. Think about how you inspire others or how you can start something amazing enough to change everything.

Everybody is a genius

Everybody is a genius in their own way but it’s the injustices imposed on people that make it look different.

Let’s create an imaginary jungle. We have a lot of different animals in the jungle. We have monkeys, we have tigers, elephants, lions, fishes, penguins, etc.

All those animals have unique abilities and all of them are genius in their own way. The problem is that we want to enforce equality in a wrong way. If we measure the genius of animals but asking for one exam, say climbing a tree, then we’re giving advantage to monkeys and imposing injustice on fishes.

The fish can’t breathe in the air. The tiger may be able to climb a tree but not as good as the monkey. The elephants are dumbest in this measure because they can breathe in the air but can’t even jump.

This injustice makes them unequal.

I believe the only way we can have equality is to treat everybody with justice. All animals are equal in the way we treat them and that is with justice. If we measure how genius is a fish by its ability to swim, and measure how genius is a monkey by its ability to climb a tree, and measure tigers by their ability to run, then we can have a jungle of genius animals with everyone in their designated role and responsibility.

Our societies are very much like jungles. We measure everybody with the same test and we get the same results for it every time. People have their differences and these differences doesn’t make them dumb or incapable, but makes them unique and special in various matters. The situation people grow in has a lot of impact on them and the way they behave is very much affected from it.

When we constantly do a wrong test on wrong people, they will live a life believing they’re stupid. We know people have different set of skills and we know they behave differently in a same situation. Yet, instead of taking advantage of their skills to get the best complex of results, we try to force them behave and react as we desire. This will fail.

A lot of genius people have been wasted. Many artists are victim of not having a chance to glow and dying without ever finding out their true potential. Many athletes were placed in wrong positions and were eventually ruined. Many engineers failed to do what they truly capable of because of wrong tests and measurements imposed on them in schools or colleges.

Diversity is beautiful. It’s empowering. It gives societies ability to benefit from different and unique set of skills different people have. However, you can’t benefit from these skills and abilities if you try to make everyone and everything look the same. It ruins everything and turns into a disaster.

Iran is a beautiful example of diversity working well. We have Fars people, Turks, Lurs, Kurds, and Arabs living together with no problem. Every one of those people have unique culture, unique physique, unique set of moral values, and unique environment which makes them capable of accomplishing unique tasks. The result of integrating those people had made an amazing society of which everyone is benefited and satisfied.

People benefit from what they can’t have themselves on their own and are satisfied by tasks accomplished by ones who have capabilities. It’s because we expected and understood what those unique cultures and people have and integrated them into a working society. We don’t change them, we don’t colonize them, we don’t divide them, we integrate them into our diverse and capable society. It has been working for more than 3,000 years and it’s still working.

Today, there are protests in the country started by death of a Kurd girl, Mahsa Amini, who was reportedly killed by morality police. Fars people, Lurs, Turks, Arabs, Baluchs, and everybody else are protesting among their Kurd brothers and sisters in solidarity. They see themselves as one nation, one people, and one society not with differences, but with unique characteristics.

Is freedom more important than safety?

Every freedom we surrender is a freedom our children will never know existed. History shows humans are willing to die to gain freedom. For thousands of years, as much as we know about myths and legends of wars, people were willing to fight to death to gain freedom and liberty. Either they liberated themselves from external forces or local dictators, people who fought were seen as heroes and those who surrendered were seen as cowards and unworthy.

Is freedom more important than safety? I believe it doesn’t even depend on what you call safety. I know dictators that will protect their citizens from anything, but no person feels safe. Living in fear of losing everything with a simple mistake is more unsafe situation than fear of losing your life to an army of invaders.

Today, we see Ukrainians fighting against Russian invaders. They are willing to die but not lose their liberty. People in Iran are protesting against violations of their liberty and personal and societal freedoms. Many are killed by the cops. There are thousands of marches and protests in United States every year against tyrannical laws and rules and I’ve seen people arrested, tear gassed, and getting shot for that.

For human beings, life without freedom is not worth living. Safety has become a keyword for tyrants to violate our liberties. By safety, the dictator means “keep being alive” and that’s wrong. Safety has a lot of meanings and is multi-dimensional.

Economical safety, emotional safety, health and environmental safety, humanitarian and freedom safety, and protection against anything that can take these away are kinds of safety a human being needs, and without any of them, you’re not safe.

A right is a right when you have it, if anything can take it away, it’s just a privilege and an illusion. Safety is a keyword for that illusion to make you emotionally prepared to lose your rights. And when you lose any of your rights, any, you’re no longer free.

I am a fan of free software. A software is free when it gives the user the four essential freedoms. The four freedoms are 1) freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose; 2) freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish; 3) freedom to redistribute copies so you can help others; and 4) freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others.

A program is free when it gives you all these freedoms. Even if you lose one of these freedoms, the program is considered proprietary. A proprietary software violates users’ rights. It gives privileges to some people but violates others. That’s wrong.

Now I know many (if not most) free programs are gratis (meaning free of cost) but sometimes having these freedoms costs you money. Sometimes it costs you effort and work, and sometimes it costs you giving up something else, such as comfort of using a nice interface or smooth progress of work on a proprietary program. I am willing to give up that comfort and pay money to have my essential four freedoms. I know a community of very nice and hard-working people who think the same as me on this.

I believe free programs are much more safe than proprietary ones. When a program is free, and lets you express and practice freedoms, it gives you ability to change it so it works and behaves as you wish. If it has security vulnerabilities, you can fix them yourself or hire someone to do it for you. If there’s a backdoor or a violation of privacy, you can close that door and stop the violation. If there’s a behavior you don’t like, you can change it.

You may not want to change anything but the freedoms are still there to assure you one important matter: it’s you who is in control.

A proprietary program doesn’t let you practice your freedoms, therefore you’re reliant on the developer, the master, to grant you what you need.

I believe this effort, to have software freedom, is much similar to life. In life we sometimes need to give up on some comfort to gain freedom and that freedom eventually leads us to a safe society with individual liberties that collectively will create a safe society where there’s comfort and safety.

I believe safety is a result of freedom. Safety without freedom is an illusion, is a violation of whatever humans stood for, for thousands of years. It’s freedom and personal liberties that brings us safety, not vice versa.

There’s no middle!

Debates are often viewed as two opposing sides finding some common ground in the middle.

However, this framework presumes that both viewpoints are valid and equal when in reality not all viewpoints are, or should be, considered as such.

And sometimes when you concede ground to meet in the middle, you still end up losing. And losing is the correct word. In political debates when you don’t achieve what you’re fighting for, which should be people’s benefits and rights, you’ve lost your fight.

The middle between civil rights and genocide, which means both sides have given up some grounds, is murder. No matter what you achieve, you’re responsible for the murder.

People may have some in common with their political opponent but it’s exactly the differences that matter. Common ground of believing in women rights’ to vote means nothing if one side of the debate is Hitler.

I’m sure we have all some stuff in common with Hitler. Charlie Chaplin had a mustache in common. Animal lovers and pet owners have something in common with him. Hitler even did some good stuff when he was in power.

Hitler instituted anti-animal cruelty laws. He was a well known animal lover, and was accompanied frequently by his pet dog, Blondi, which he killed near the end of the war to test a cyanide capsul to see if it would work if he ever needed to commit suicide.

Hitler instituted laws to prevent smoking in public. He abhorred smoking, and as Führer made laws that made smoking in public illegal in many places.

Hitler helped to start the automotive company Volkswagen. He was a primary endorser of the Volkswagen Beetle, a “people’s car” intended to be affordable for all Germans.

Hitler started the first major construction of the Autobahn, plans for which were divised and badly started by the Weimar Republic. The Autobahn is a prominent highway in Germany today.

Hell he even started the tradition of Olympic runners carrying the torch to the Olympic stadium and lighting the Olympic torch. While people forget the origins of this tradition, Hitler started it as a marketing tool for Germany.

But the fact that he killed millions of people, did war crimes, and committed genocide prevents us from making him an ideal in out political positions. Hitler will always be remembered as a monster he was, no matter how many animals he saved or how many poor people he rescued.

When we talk about political debates, it’s not the wins we care about, because the wins were our basic rights, but it’s the losses that matter, because those are rights we lost.

You either have your abortion rights or you don’t, there’s no middle. Part of your rights is not enough. You either have all of or you have nothing. You either have your freedom or you don’t, there’s nothing in the middle.

Don’t get tricked by those who urge you to sacrifice your rights to accomplish something. It’s a trap to lessen your freedom, trick you to accept less, and finally abolish your freedom completely.

You remember the campaign Jon Stewart promoted years ago? It was “The Rally to Restore Sanity” which was all about people being more moderate. The message of the rally was that if the media stopped giving voices to crazy people on both sides, maybe we could restore sanity.

It was an urged non-partisan cooperation between moderates on both sides. What they forgot was that Obama tried that and found out there are no moderates on the other side.

Jon Stewart believed that the national convention is dominated by right-wingers who believe Obama is a socialist and people on the supposed left (Democrats) who believe that 9/11 was an inside job.

But there weren’t any Democratic leaders who said 9/11 was an inside job but Republicans who think Obama was a socialist? All of them.

It was official Republican policy to claim Obama is a dangerous socialist. Like tax cuts pay for themselves and gay men just haven’t met the right women.

As another example of both sides using overheating rhetoric Stewart cited the right acquainting Obama with Hitler and the left calling Bush a war criminal. Except for thinking Obama is like Hitler is utterly unfounded but calling Bush a war criminal is the opinion of General Antonio Taguba who headed the Army’s investigation to Abu Gharib.

Republicans keep staking out a position that is further and further right and demand the Democrats meet them in the middle, which is now not the middle anymore.

That is why healthcare reform is so watered down. It’s Bob Dole’s plan from 1994. Same thing for cap and trade, it was the first President Bush’s plan to deal with carbon emissions. Now the Republican plan for climate change is to claim it’s a hoax.

Two opposing sides doesn’t necessarily have two compelling arguments. Martin Luther King spoke at that mall in the capital and he didn’t say those southern sheriffs with the fire hoses and the German Shepherds have a point too. He said “I have a dream”, they have a nightmare.

This isn’t Team Edward and Team Jacob. Liberals and Progressives must stand up and be counted and not pretend that we’re greedy or mean or shortsighted as they are and if that’s too polarizing for you and you still want to reach across the aisle and hold hands with someone on the right, try staying there, because they suit you more.