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

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

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, Hanania 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. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

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Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com
Ray Hanania