Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Servas, Couching Surfing, Hospitality Club, Passporta Servo, Amikeca Reto for Esperanto

Hi, I'm Neil. I am 60 years old and when I was more independent (living by myself) 

hosted dozens of people via Pasporta Servo, an Esperanto language hosting service 

in publication in paper since the 1960's and on-line for over a decade.  Esperanto 

speakers are generally multicultural people who speak several languages, as myself: 

I'm conversant in Spanish, Portuguese, Hebrew and Arabic. Esperanto is the easy 

bridge that facilitates a unique way of meeting the world. I'm sure numerous 

Couchsurfers think similarly to the Esperanto community. The founder of SERVAS 

also took an Esperanto name in sympathy to the easy language. Hospitality Club 

includes an Esperanto translation to its website. Several Esperanto meetings occur in 

New York City monthly and for over a century. We regularly have foreign guests and 

foreign-born immigrant-members in NYC who speak Esperanto.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Linguist and Commentator, Mario Pei

I didn't know that the advocate for multilingualism and Esperanto had a conservative streak until 2015. I suspect this excerpt from a similarly titled book doesn't tell all. (Neil)

The America We Lost

by Mario A. Pei
When I first came to America in 1908, I learned a new meaning of the word "liberty" -- freedom from government.
I did not learn a new meaning for "democracy." The European country from which I came, Italy, was at that time as "democratic" as America. It was a constitutional monarchy, with a parliament, free and frequent elections, lots of political parties, and plenty of freedom of religion, speech, press, and assembly.
But my native country was government-ridden. A vast bureaucracy held it in its countless tentacles. Regardless of the party or coalition of parties that might be in power at the moment, the government was everywhere. Wherever one looked, one saw signs of the ever-present government--in the uniforms of numberless royal, rural, and municipal policemen, soldiers, officers, gold-braided functionaries of all sorts. You could not take a step without government intervention.
Many industries and businesses were government-owned and government-run--railroads, telegraphs, salt, and tobacco among them. No agreement, however trivial, was legal unless written on government-stamped paper. If you stepped out of the city into the country and came back with a ham, a loaf of bread, or a bottle of wine, you had to stop at the internal revenue barriers and pay duty to the government, and so did the farmers who brought in the city's food supply every morning. No business could be started or run without the official sanction of a hundred bureaucrats.
Young people did not dream of going into business for themselves; they dreamed of a modest but safe government job where they would have tenure, security, and a pitiful pension at the end of their plodding careers. There was grinding taxation to support many government functions and the innumerable public servants. Everybody hated the government--not just the party in power, but the government itself. They had even coined a phrase, "It's pouring--thief of a government!" as though even the evils of nature were the government's fault. Yet, I repeat, the country was democratically run, with all the trapping of a many-party system and all the freedoms of which we in America boast today.

Freedom from Government

America in those days made you open your lungs wide and inhale great gulps of freedom-laden air, for here was one additional freedom -- freedom from government.
The government was conspicuous by its very absence. There were no men in uniform, save occasional cops and firemen, no visible bureaucrats, no stifling restrictions, no government monopolies. It was wonderful to get used to the American system. To learn that a contract was valid if written on the side of a house; that you could move not only from city to the country but from state to state and never be asked what your business was or whether you had anything to declare; that you could open and conduct your own business, provided was a legitimate one, without government interference; that you could go from one end of the year to the other and never have contact with the national government, save for the cheery postman who delivered your mail with a speed and efficiency unknown today; that there were no national taxes, save hidden excises and import duties that you did not even know you paid.
In that horse-and-buggy America, if you made an honest dollar, you could pocket it or spend it without having to figure what portion of it you owed the government or what possible deductions you could allege against that government's claims. You did not have to keep books and records of every bit of income and expenditure or run the risk of being called a liar and a cheat by someone in authority.
Above all, the national ideal was not the obscure security of a government job, but the boundless opportunity that all Americans seemed to consider their birthright. Those same Americans loved their government then. It was there to help, protect, and defend them, not to restrict, befuddle, and harass them. At the same time, they did not look to the government for a livelihood or for special privileges and handouts. They were independent men in the full sense of the word.
Foreign-born citizens have been watching with alarm the gradual Europeanization of America over the past twenty years. They have seen the growth of the familiar European-style government octopus, along with the vanishing of the American spirit of freedom and opportunity and its replacement by a breathless search for "security" that is doomed to defeat in advance in a world where nothing, not even life itself, is secure.
Far more than the native-born, they are in a position to make comparisons. They see that America is fast becoming a nineteenth-century-model European country. They are asked to believe that this is progress. But they know from bitter experience that it just isn't so.

This essay appeared in The Saturday Evening Post on July 31, 1952.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Al Green, Jusif Islam, Cats Steven, Seals and Crofts, Religion and Pop Music

2014 Mi interesigxas pri 3 popularaj angla-lingvaj kantistoj kiuj foje anka'u aktivegis inter 3 RELIGIOJ a) evangelia/protestanta eklezio au' b) islama eklezio au' c) bahai kredaro. 
1) Al Green, pastro dum iuj jardekoj, estis jam fama antau' jardekoj por la kanto, Ni Restu Kune (Let's Stay Together).…/xzlrc_al-green-let-s-stay-toge… (Gravuloj festis lian vivon laste cxe Kennedy Centro en usona cxef-urbo.) 2) La islama aktivisto, Jusuf Islam estas konata (kun nomo Cats Stevens) por eble plej fama pac-kanto, Pac-trajno (Peace Train).  Brita civitano (de sveda ka greka gepatroj) li nun spektaklas en Usono. Antau' jardeko Usono rifuzis lian eniron, kredeble pro liaj komentoj pri au'toro, Salmon Rushdie. 3) Bahai aktivistoj Seals en Croft plej famas pro kanto Sumera Brizo (Summer Breeze) .
Nijl ludas cxiujn tri. Koincido.

I'm interested in 3 popular English language singers who were also active in 3 different religions: a) Protestant, Islam and Bahai.

1. Al Green was a pastor. Prior to that is was famous for the song, Let's Stay Together.  He was recently fested at the Kennedy Center in the USA capital.  2) Islamic activist Jusuf Islam was known as Cats Stevens decades ago. He's performing in the USA now. Ten years ago he was refused entrance to the USA possibly for his not very positive comments about author Salmon Rusdie. 3. Bahai Duo, Seals and Crofts were best known for the song Summer Breeze. Neil has practiced all three songs most of his life.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Unitarian "Action for Justice" Committee Supports Boycott of Israel

The Jewish speaker at Community Church says he has to criticize Israeli occupation of Palestinean Territories because American-USA money pays for it. He says that he can't make other human atrocities (ex. Central Republic of Africa) or non-democratic happenings around the world a priority cause so much money is given to Israel in Foreign aid.  He's just being a proud Jew.


Is there a Palestinian-Israeli conflict or an Arab-Muslim vs. Israel Conflict?

He doesn't mention another Arab or Moslem country in distress. Revolutions and counter revolutions. He doesn't mention the fact that most women in Muslim countries have zero participation in their decision-making process.  Half of the women are denied literacy in Egypt, Yemen and Muslim Pakistan. The most prominent Pakistani female politition was killed with nobody brought to Justice.

The United States has been supporting Egypt only second to Israel. Egypt, with over 80.000.000 population is the second largest recipient of foreign aid/military aid. Egypt is nearly half the Arab world. Egypt, for our younger reader, went to war several times with Israel.

What keeps Israeli occupying the West Bank. What dominates Israel's right wing?

One million Jews migrating from Russia (mostly 1970-1990) turned the tide. But what did Russian Jews suffer in Russia in the Soviet Union? Do we have a problem with Russia? The United States is again at war with Russia in Syria. Russia support Bashir Assad while the United States and its NATO ally, Turkey support the Sunni-Domant Free Syrian Army.

In 2000 just before the Second Intifada, Israel was offering the return of 90% of the captured territories and employing hundreds of thousands of Palestinian youth in Israeli industry. I read this in Israeli media with Arab friends while in Israel. The following months ended these offers.

My ex-wife, a religious Jew from Iran, will have nothing to do with this conversation. Nor will most of the 4.000.000 grandchildren of Jews pushed out of Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya (unually known as Tripoli or Benghazi a century ago), Egypt, Yemen and Iraq or out of Muslim countries like Iran, Afghanistan and Turkey. The majority of these Jews lost homes and property exceeding the value of lost Palestinian property.  How many of hundreds of years was present day Israel and Palestine under Ottoman/Turkish control? What's their responsibility in the Palestinian conflict?

Iran, which is a VERY scientific country, uniquely has educated most of its women. They are not in leading positions in government. But I do believe it has half its population hating its own government. More than half.  Its government has repeatedly denied the Holocaust and threatened to wipe Israel off the map.

Now the extremes of Sunni opposition to Iran are also attacking the Free Syrian Army. The USA considers talking to Iran.  All of Europe, the USA and Canada oppose a nuclear Iran. Who trusts Irans claim to use PEACEFUL NUCLEAR, an oxymoron.  I OPPOSE NUCLEAR POWER.

We can let Jewish critics of Israel come in a simplify the extremely unstable Middle East. Israeli is wrong the Arab and Palestinians have always been victim.

EVERYBODY LIKES A BLACK AND WHITE STORY. EASY TO UNDERSTAND. There is no EASY solution in the Middle East. Boycotting Israel, the only country offering leadership position to its women, the only democracy. I acknowledege that the several FEMALE members of the Unitarian Church, who organized the event on Sunday the 13th, 2014 are displaying their TOTAL ignorace of how they would not be accepted in 90% of the Middle East by choose to criticise the only country where they could POSSIBLY live, Israel.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Teddy Lowenkopf in his 60's and 90's in Israel. His writings.

I had the oportunity to spend time with the talkitive librarian of the Galil Region of Israel, Teddy Lowenkopf, when he was about 65 years old and when he was 92 (April 2013): He would talk about many subjects during my visits and he wrote on diverse subject in Esperanto. Why he learned Esperanto to American politics.
Artikolaro de plej agxa israela esperantisto, Teddy Lowenkopf, en kibuco sur Lago Galileo: 

He was still bicycling at age 92. The oldest living male Esperanto speaker in Israel. 

En aprilo 2013 li ankorau' biciklis je agxo 92

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Yiddish and Esperanto

Claude Piron was a highly respected Swiss Esperanto speaker, guitarist, psychologist and UN translator. Later I discovered he had partial Jewish  roots. He wrote on the influence of Yiddish on the International Language.

Gary Shapiro, a journalist who came to several Language Rights events near the UN titled on "Esperanto, the World-wide Yiddish".