Now that Steve Jobs is buried, the brutal truth

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Now that Steve Jobs is buried, the brutal truth
By Ray Hanania — Steve Jobs was the child of unwed parents including, remarkably, a Syrian father.

The idea that an Arab would have an unmarried relationship with another woman isn’t that uncommon. Arabs are no different than anyone else, Christian, Jews or Muslims.

What isn’t remarkable and not surprisingly getting a lot of headlines in the fawning and hero-building image that is taking place after the passing of Steve Jobs is that Jobs was a dictator of sorts no different from the dictatorship that now rules Syria with a brutal iron fist, where his father is from.

Steve Jobs was a tyrant. You can see it in his Apple products.

He supported censorship by limiting the freedoms of the users of his products. He developed hardware with software restrictions that prevented and still prevent users from maximizing their experience with Apply products.

And, there is even the story that he ripped off Steve Wozniak, his “I built an empire from my garage” partner, in some business deal, too. I’ll bet there are many, many more.

That’s the real Steve Jobs. But in the glow caused by our addictions to the silicon diodes that he puzzled together to make remarkable but limiting products like the iPod and the iPad, we’ve lost sight of reality.

Hero-worshiping will do that to regular human beings.

First of all, the biggest clue is that he is a billionaire. Has anyone who became a billionaire not done so with the zeal of a plunderer?

Second, his products are built on the concept of selfishness, not human enlightenment. He didn’t invent the iPad to broaden man’s experience in this human world. He did it to make money. And, he did it with an inherent close tie to the same drive that has pushed dictators to brutalize the Middle East, where at least part of him originates.

He’s no Jesus Christ!

I reluctantly have fallen in love with the iPad pretty much the way everyone else has, by surrendering my ethics and morals in order to use it.

Is there any other hi-tech computer-based device that needs a software program that is described as “jail breaking” to overcome its restrictions? No. Just the iPhone. The iPod. And the iPad.

It’s become a phrase synonymous with the censorship that Steve Jobs has inherently built in to everyone of his moneymaking products.

I mean, I like the iPad. But I also like Jordan and Israel and Egypt and even Syria. I may visit those war-torn brutal dictatorships one day again soon. But there is always an underlying fear — and a reality — that one’s rights can be immediately revoked in any and in all of those countries. Yes, even in Israel.

Steve Jobs revoked our inalienable rights of expression and freedom in every product he built. He used brilliant ideas not to expand the minds of mankind, but to expand his checking account.

Who can blame him? It’s his right to be greedy. It’s not a sin. But it’s not a virtue, either.

Steve Jobs was just a man. He was not a God. He was not driven by do-gooder intentions. The overwhelming love for him expressed by so many over the past week reflect not a genuine love for his achievements and the way he conducted his business life, but rather the same emotions felt by people who have been taken hostage by hijackers.

Steve Jobs is much like the leader of the Symbionese Liberation Army there to liberate humanity by imprisoning, raping and pillaging society. The American consumer has been more like Patty Hearst than Patrick Henry. We went along with it and never once really protested or tried to “occupy” any of the computer institutions yelling “Give me liberty, or give me death!”

Give me an iPad and I will shut up. Compromise my ethics. Allow myself to be censored. Pay a fortune for less hardware to get more managed technology. Yes, that’s what it is, “managed technology.”

Let’s speak the truth about Steve Jobs. The hero worship is done.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist. He can be reached at

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites and (Illinois News Network at

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post,, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

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