I wrote previously of my desire to rid myself of the blight of 24/7 news: radio, TV, internet, smartphone, and more.
While I have not completely succeeded, I have been able to radically cut down on TV, radio, and Internet news consumption. I make it point not to run to the radio during the day to catch the news on the hour. In the evening, I endeavor to watch just the main points of the news; turning out where possible the political drivel.
I am guilty of scanning the headlines of various newspapers on-line in the morning and late at night, however, I make it a point not to open any political-related articles.
And yes, I am having withdrawal symptoms.
On a positive note, I no longer have to read about, see, listen to the further adventures of Bibi and Benny, and, no more Three Stooges. They don’t give a monkey about the people of Israel, and I don’t give a hoot about them.
That said, I did see a headline about Litzman being summoned to see his “boss”. No, not the prime minister of Israel but some “Grand Rabbi” who, it’s reported, instructed him (Litzman) to give up the health ministry portfolio and demand instead the housing ministry. (It’s important to understand that with the religious and Haridim parties, the political hacks take their orders from “Grand Rabbis”, “councils of Sagas” and other equally out of touch bodies comprising of geriatric rabbis who are out of touch with the modern world. They may take the oath of allegiance to the State of Israel but their orders come not from the prime minister of the people of Israel but rather from these order-givers and string pullers. It’s well to remember when voting for a religious or Haredi party, what you see is not what you get.)
As for Litzman and his gang. Maybe this is a sinister plot for the Haredim to slowly take over Israel. First, they screw up the health ministry, now they are going to screw up housing. Penny to a pound, if Litzman is confirmed as housing minister, he’ll prioritize Haridem needs at the expense of the secular, Arab communities and other sectors. Advice for Litzman, if he wants to solve the housing problem for the Haridm, bulldoze Bnei Brak and Mea Shearim, and build cheap housing across the Green Line, as far away from Tel Aviv as possible.
And no more Amir Peretz, the guy is disillusioned if he thinks that Bibi will allow him to be the “voice of reason” in the new cabinet, that he’ll be the stop to Bibi’s plans? The only thing that Amir Peretz has achieved is the decimation of the Israeli Labour party. He should be proud. No idea what Merav Michaeli will do now, she has made it clear she will not join a Bibi-led government. Meretz will no doubt move to scoop-up the many thousands of outraged Labour votes.
No more Naphtali Bennett and his whining about being sidestepped by Bibi, and his desire to be in government, at any cost. In a way is unfortunate as both he and Ayelet Shaked, despite their right-wing stances, are good guys. Rafi Peretz and Bezalel Smotrich are another story. Delighted not see or hear them. And that includes Yair Netanyahu.
And no more Trump. I feel sorry for the American people faced with the choice of a sitting president that turns press briefings into confrontational sparing matches, who thinks that press briefings are a waste of his time, and considers that throwing out sarcastic one-liners is acceptable.
In the other corner, we currently have, a 78-year-old former VP who, by all accounts, often forgets his lines, when he does remember, often mumbles responses and at times looks at his surrounding as if he does not know where he is.
What a choice!
Just maybe, if the national committee of the Democratic party had the guts, they would convince Joe Biden to stand aside and draft in someone 10/15 years younger, with experience to challenge Donald J. in November, assuming, of course, the elections go ahead. The question is, would someone like Andrew Cuomo be willing, for the good of the country, to step in and take up the gauntlet?
Another wonderful benefit is that I no longer have to watch/hear the confrontational interviews on TV. To be sure, a challenging interviewer asking probing, thought-provoking questions is a pleasure to witness. What happens, however, is that the interviewer asks the interviewee a question and before they respond with a dozen words, they are interrupted and bombard with either a follow-up question, the same question asked a different way or interrupted to clarify a point. Why not, having arranged to interview someone, do just that and let them speak. True, the interviews are not abusive or degrading as they are so often with Donald J’s press briefings when he goes after journalists, but harrying an interviewee as I witnessed some weeks ago with Aryeh Deri when he was asked at least five or six times the same question. I’m no fan of Deri but I felt his anger at this useless assault. When he refused to answer any more questions and broke off the interview, the Channel 11 interviewer, when the camera cut back to her, simply shook her head in bewilderment, as if she had no idea why Deri did not want to continue the interview.
So, have I stuck my head in the sand hoping the world goes away? Hell no. I have however changed my reading habits. I still have my Kindle and “real” books but I’ve also returned to reading well-written, quality articles (not on politics or related fields) from a diverse range of publications including the UK Guardian newspaper and the New Yorker magazine (both online). And I’ve come across a wide range of articles on travel, history, geography, and much more.