March 2012

Real life warriors and an evening that changed me.

A few nights ago I was invited to a small dinner at a friend’s house. It was an intimate gathering of a group of high-level individuals, all active in their communities in areas ranging from education to charity to Israel. Each person was asked to introduce themselves and share what it is that they are involved in. It was inspiring and a little bit intimidating to hear some of the achievements of those 20 or so individuals.  But it was when the main event started that we were really floored.

Present at the dinner were two women, Nonie Darwish and Wafa Sultan.

Wafa Sultan is a Syrian born and raised medical doctor and psychiatrist. She left Syria and moved to the US in 1989. Nonie Darwish is the daughter of Commander of the Egyptian Army Intelligence (The ‘Fedayeen’) in Gaza, who was killed by the Israeli Defense Forces in July 1956.

Both women have left their countries (Nonie also converted to Christianity) and are now the strongest voices educating people on Islam, its doctrine, essence and intention.

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SOPA opera, a letter to Technology Giants.

In the first ‘all-in’ battle between Hollywood and New Technology, New Technology won hands down. In past days, Hollywood got a rude awakening. This is what happens when the new bigwigs in town get upset. Internet giants all rallied against SOPA, and with a clear message to the public "they are breaking the internet", they buried the anti-piracy bill within 24 Wikipedia-free hours. ”In excess of 160 Million people saw the banner on Wikipedia.” Thus spoke Wikipedia.
 
There is no doubt that SOPA was a clumsy bill. Allowing an IP owner to provide a “good faith belief” letter and force an internet platform to shut down a possibly infringing site without any court sign off is clearly not going to work. This is not how the Hive-Minded Internet is built. It is comically unenforceable.
However, world-wide copy right infringements need to be harnessed and eventually stopped. Piracy is affecting everyone.
 
Ticket sales of big budget Hollywood films may be up, but big budget films are not the whole industry. The expansion of piracy and illegal downloads which is causing a decline in general revenues, is hurting the middle class of Hollywood, much like the middle class of America. We are talking about writers, cinematographers, producers, actors, grips, sound, editors, transportation, catering, and wardrobe. We are also talking about everyone those people will or will not hire for lack of cash. Doctors, shops, and small businesses etc.
 

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