Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Politically Correct GPS

 We are, as always, having a wonderful and meaningful time during our stay in Israel.  We have rented a car, which we drove from the airport.  For $5 a day we added on a GPS device (with an English option), which all in all has been extremely helpful.  We were able to go visit my wife's plemenitza last night, who had some of her brothers and sisters and their families over; about 25 persons, mostly below the age of 10.  Religious Jews, making lots of kids, to catch up on that setback from Hitler's failed master plan.

Proportionately speaking, there seem to be a lot less shmucks on the roads of Israel than in America.  Not that there are zero; not by any means.  But the drivers here know that they are driving in order to get to some place, and that there are others with whom they share the road.

Okay, so we did encounter a shmuck last night on a narrow Jerusalem street, who was going in the opposite direction from us, and who refused to pass us so that we could proceed, even though he had clear road ahead of him beyond the constriction his car occupied.  While my Hebrew comprehension is good when I read the written word, my conversational Hebrew leaves much to be desired.  This particular driver sounded as though he was from somewhere in the former Soviet Union.  So I spoke to him in Italian.  Well, I didn't actually speak to him, I just gave him a hand gesture used by my Italian-American friends to indicate disgust and dissatisfaction.  Then, the drivers of the cars that had lined up behind him began to grow impatient, and they all started hitting their horns.  Eventually he moved, thereby unblocking me and the cars behind me.  I suppose that a shmuck driver level of zero percent is, as a practical matter, unachievable.

Some of the traffic circles in Israel (which the GPS people call "roundabouts," and which in Hebrew are called "kikarim") no longer exist, and, conversely, some of what were ordinary intersections have been made into roundabouts, and the GPS has not yet been updated.   These are but minor glitches, which we are able to surmount with a small dollop of common sense.


Except that political correctness has really, really made bollixed up our routine today.

This morning, we checked out of our hotel in the Holy City of Jerusalem, and proceeded to visit my wife's friend (whose late mother was a client of mine), who lives in an area considered the Jordan Valley, which Kerry and Obama are pressuring Israel to give to the terrorists in the so-called peace process.  The GPS informed us that the location was out of its range (though it did get us there).

That wasn't so bad, at least not at that point.  We had a delightful visit with our friend until noon, when she had to leave for her job.  We then proceeded to visit our son, who currently is based out of a locale in the north of Israel.  Instead of taking us up the usual road that parallels the Jordan River (which is in the politically incorrect territory), the GPS routed us out west through Tel Aviv, then up the coastal highways, and then back inland near Haifa, easily adding more than an hour to our trek. 

Actually, I sort of understand this.  I can easily envision some attorney for the GPS manufacturer sending out a memo expressing concern that some American tourist who gets routed to an Arab village will sue the GPS people.

[I shall not now comment upon the number of carbon debits the global warming apostles should claim from the GPS people on account of the increased fuel consumption from the politically-correct GPS.].

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  • At 06 June, 2014 15:42, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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  • At 06 June, 2014 16:37, Blogger Expatriate Owl said…

    Incunabula is the term used to refer to books printed with movable type printing before 1500. There are a number of them still in existence today, many in very good condition.

    But it seems that the ones that have remained intact are, in many cases, the ones that received little wear and tear because they were useless.

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    The Internet is still a relatively new information technology; therefore, much of the information on it will be of questionable utility.


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