Daily Archives: July 23, 2006

The Mid-East

According to Webster’s Dictionary:

Main Entry: Sem·ite
Pronunciation: ‘se-“mIt, especially British ‘sE-“mIt
Function: noun
Etymology: French sémite, from Semitic Shem, from Late Latin, from Greek SEm, from Hebrew ShEm
1 a : a member of any of a number of peoples of ancient southwestern Asia including the Akkadians, Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Arabs b : a descendant of these peoples
2 : a member of a modern people speaking a Semitic language

Based on my father originally being from Jordan, I am a semite and not anti-semitic. I have now and in the past have had friends who are Jewish. I am not prejudiced against anyone. However, having said that it doesn’t mean that I can’t be opposed to the policies of various governments (including the United States, Great Britain, Israel, Syria and Iran as well as many others) regarding the situation in the Middle East. All of these governments have behaved in a consistently stupid way for the last six decades. One look at the misery and suffering of the people on all sides in the Middle East should be all the evidence that someone needs that politics and religion should not ever be mixed. I have not written much recently about the current war in Lebanon because every time I think about it, I find myself getting sad and angry and feeling helpless.

I am still trying to organize my thoughts and figure out how to articulate my feelings. I will be writing more on this in the coming days. But for now I am afraid that the Bush administration will be providing no positive leadership on this conflict. In fact they are providing negative reinforcement by encouraging the Israelis to continue. Bush and his Christian extremist supporters believe that this is all part of the “inevitable” end-times and they want this to happen. Until someone moves into the White House who actually believes in the Constitution this will not change. Unfortunately the Syrians and Hezbollah and Hamas are not doing anything to help the situation either. As long as there have been governments that see themselves as defenders of a faith, whether it be Christianity, Judaism, Islam or any other, they have also been oppressors of the “other”. Governments MUST be secular, in order to for people to be treated fairly, freely and with justice.

Open source and free software in ypsi

If anyone in the Ypsi area is interested in learning about some of the free and open source software applications that are available let me know. There are a lot of great free tools available that I think most non-geeks are probably not aware of. If there is enough interest I’ll look into maybe getting a room at the Library or somewhere where I could do a little seminar. You don’t have spend 100’s of $ buy software like MS Office or Photoshop and you don’t have to download such software from file sharing sites. You can use programs like OpenOffice or GimpShop. Even if I don’t get enough interest for a group I’d still be happy to give individual advice if you have any questions about programs to use for various tasks. You know where to find me if you’re reading this.