[conspire] NYLXS Press Release on the OLPC Project

Ruben Safir ruben at mrbrklyn.com
Fri May 2 14:57:03 PDT 2008

On Thu, May 01, 2008 at 10:49:10AM -0700, Edward Cherlin wrote:
> Rick, I apologize in advance. If you know of a more appropriate venue
> for this sort of meshugas, I would be happy to continue with Ruben
> there.
> On Thu, May 1, 2008 at 5:06 AM, Ruben Safir <ruben at mrbrklyn.com> wrote:
> > >
> >  >   For example, while Americans may understand "jihad" to mean "holy
> >  >   war," it is in fact a broader Islamic concept of the struggle to do
> >  >   good, says the guidance prepared for diplomats and other officials
> >  >   tasked with explaining the war on terror to the public.
> >  >
> >  > (Among other things, that word and others were, of course, not "banned".)
> >  >
> >
> >  This might be a good example of how language shapes culture and reflects
> >  culutre.  The word "Jihad" is not an equivilant of say the word "Mitzot"
> >  neither of which have equivilants in English.
> >
> >  Slice it and dice it as you wish but the word Jihad never has the innocuous
> >  meaning such as you described.
> Hokh mir nit kayne chainig. As the Chinese philosopher might have
> said, "Armed struggle is not struggle."
> You get to decide, do you? Muhammad Yunus's jihad against poverty is
> some sort of cover for an anti-Semitic conspiracy? 

I never said that all jihads are anti-semetic.  Most of the most virulent
of them are.

> Gandhi's
> non-violent jihad against the British? Here is Gandhi's prescription
> for achieving peace within yourself: Find a Muslim orphan of the
> communal violence, and then adopt this child to bring up as your own.
> Only be sure to raise the child as a Muslim.
> > Furthermore, it can not be cleaved from
> >  its overt violent usages.  In fact, the way the word is used both for
> >  daily and inocent  purposes and for violent and fanatical purposes
> >  is more than problematic, its a contributing factor in violent propaganda
> >  in the Arab world.
> So tell me something, Reuven. Both Judaism and Islam claim to be
> religions of peace. 

Citation?  If Judiasm is a religion of peace we certainly are a contenous

If anything, Judaism is a religious of learning and justice.  Peace is considered
a result of learning, although acting for peace is also important.  In a nutshell,
Jewish theology would never try to capture its theology with so simple an expression
as "Judaism is a religion of Peace"

Peace, like nearly everything else in Judiasm, is a conditional goal.  The closest
Jewish expression like this would be that Judiasm is about the Torah.  And Hillel
when forced into explaining it said, (paraphrasing) "The Torah is Do unto others as you would have them
do unto you, the rest is commentary...GO AND LEARN IT"

> A fair number on each side claim that theirs is
> the One True religion of peace, and the other side are lying,
> murderous fascist/terrorist bastards (worse than that, actually, but
> it will do for purposes of this discussion), and so are their
> prophets. Does 'As-salaam alaykhum' in Arabic mean the same thing as
> 'Shalom aleikhem' in Hebrew or not? 

That is a fair translation

> How about 'Pax vobiscum'?

I have no idea since I'm not familiar with it.

> Also, my impression is that some Israelis regard the Palestinians as
> the Philistines, since it is the same word. What do you think?

The Lebonese are most likely related to the Philistines, who were
related to Caanaanites and Catherige.

The Palestinians are majority Arabs.

What do YOU think.

> Here is something that I think about frequently:
> Amos 2:6 (Jewish Publication Society Tanakh), after denouncing Gaza,
> Damascus, and Lebanon, among others (plus ça change,...):
> Thus saith the LORD: For three transgressions of Israel, yea, for
> four, I will not reverse it: because they sell the righteous for
> silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes;

That particular phase is specific about the Jewish poor, but continue...
> Except that today they sell a whole people for the illusion of security.

Ah, now we get to your grudge.  And I'll tell you flatly, nonsense.
First of all, the Arab population in Israel, both on the West Bank and
in Israel and in Gaza was transplanted.  And, in addition, killed my
entire Family which lived in Hebron for nearly 800 years from the time
of the Byzantine Empire until they were slaughtered wholesale, over 600
members stretching out into a vast quarter 3 days of Hebron in 1861 when
3 members escaped to New York, Brooklyn specifically.

This slaughter of Jews in Israel was a fact of the politcal fabric of the
country from the preislamic times and the destruction of the Temple, until
this very day.

> "Those who would give up a little liberty for a little security will
> deserve neither and lose both."--Benjamin Franklin

Franklin wasn't Jewish and this is an incorgrutius statement to the point
you were making.

> The same applies to those who would deny others liberty.

Ah - yeah.  And with this simplification of human affairs, we can make the
whole problem, 2000 plus years of this bloody injustice go away.

Do you actually believe that Jews never lived in Israel or returned
to their land  before 1945.  To believe that is to believe a lie.
In every generation this problem has existed.  It's just been in this
generation that Jews returned and grew in Israel faster than they could 
be killed, thus ending a political threat.

And not only that, but when we get rid of Saddam Hussian, the population of
Iraq will come out singing praises to our armed forces, and Pakistan will
never aim nuclear weapons at India, or have a blood war in Kashmir.

To paraphase someone much smarter than I, "The Problem with (Classical) Librals is
that they actually believe that given their own druthers, human beings would actually
do what's in their best interest, and be benevolent to there fellow man.  It's an
assertion which has been historically proven to be false"

But for what it is worth, I hold no grudges against you and would be happy to
share a bottle of wine, and share a few stories, even if your politics would
likely to get me and my family, both here and overseas, killed.

You heart is in the right place.

> -- 
> Edward Cherlin
> גרשון בן יסעף
> End Poverty at a Profit by teaching children business
> http://www.EarthTreasury.org/
> "The best way to predict the future is to invent it."--Alan Kay

http://www.mrbrklyn.com - Interesting Stuff
http://www.nylxs.com - Leadership Development in Free Software

So many immigrant groups have swept through our town that Brooklyn, like Atlantis, reaches mythological proportions in the mind of the world  - RI Safir 1998

http://fairuse.nylxs.com  DRM is THEFT - We are the STAKEHOLDERS - RI Safir 2002

"Yeah - I write Free Software...so SUE ME"

"The tremendous problem we face is that we are becoming sharecroppers to our own cultural heritage -- we need the ability to participate in our own society."

"> I'm an engineer. I choose the best tool for the job, politics be damned.<
You must be a stupid engineer then, because politcs and technology have been attached at the hip since the 1st dynasty in Ancient Egypt.  I guess you missed that one."

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