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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Big Picture

It’s been one month since the elections in Israel and, in the best tradition of our screwed-up proportional representation voting system, we still have no government. The outgoing government is still technically in charge – continuity of government and all that - but for obvious reasons it can’t make any major decisions. So everything is on hold until Bibi manages to get his coalition together.

So the rockets keep coming from Gaza. And the Bank of Israel announces that GDP will shrink 1.5% in 2009, the worst year ever. And thousands are being laid off every month. And Iran has attained the capability to put together a nuclear bomb. And Syria and Egypt are becoming best buddies again. And the list goes on and on.

Doesn’t anyone get the big picture? Is haggling over politics the right thing to do now? Is calling for the Navy chief to resign because he went to a strip club the most urgent issue on the IDF’s agenda? I open the news and one of the top items tells me that some third-grade singer sucks his thumb when he sleeps on Big Brother.

I guess this problem is not unique to Israel. I read today that several key appointments at the US Treasury Dept. are being held up because someone didn’t pay Social Security on a nanny 20 years ago. So the US financial system is crumbling but the righteous crusaders for political integrity (an oxymoron if I ever heard one) would rather get buried with it than wake up and get the big picture.

Makes one want to scream: wake up already!

And now for something completely different. Talking of “The Big Picture”, it reminds me to recommend this section of the Boston Globe online.

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