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Same as it Ever Was

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"For a multitude of causes, unknown to former times, are now acting with a combined force to blunt the discriminating powers of the mind, and, unfitting it for all voluntary exertion, to reduce it to a state of almost savage torpor. The most effective of these causes are the great national events which are daily taking place, and the increasing accumulation of men in cities, where the uniformity of their occupations produces a craving for extraordinary incident, which the rapid communication of intelligence hourly gratifies. To this tendency of life and manners the literature and theatrical exhibitions of the country have conformed themselves."

William Wordsworth, 

Preface to Lyrical Ballads

1800

 

Image by " target="_blank" rel="noopener">Gerd Altmann from " target="_blank" rel="noopener">Pixabay

 

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Small Towns In Texas And Personal Friends

When we lived in Texas in the early 1990s, we found a house in a small town in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. We liked it there because the schools were excellent and the price of houses was still affordable.

Still, in spite of the many churches in the area and the good district, people used to say that small towns in Texas in general, and our area in particular, were run like old boys' clubs.

I never believed it, especially since the people we met, our friends, were just like us: professional, hard working, and devoted to their children. Many of them were active in the school and in different activities of the PTA.

But about a year after we settled there, I was involved in a car accident. In a four-stop intersection, a car failing to stop, hit my car. Luckily I was alone in the car and no one got hurt. The other car was a mini van, and it was barely scratched. We exchanged details, and as my car was damaged, I decided to sue the driver of the other car for the deductible on my insurance.

On the appointed day we met in court. I came on my own, it was, after all, a very straightforward matter. The other driver came with her husband, who was very chummy with the judge. Apparently they knew each other and seemed like good friends.

In the short time that passed from the accident till the trial day, the couple managed to sell the mini van and got a new car. Since it was in the days pre smart-phone cameras, it was no longer possible to see any evidence of the collusion and to explain to the judge what had happened exactly.

It took only minutes for that judge to rule in favor of the other party. Needless to say, none of my friends was surprised, I was stunned.

After several occurrences like that, I was relieved when we moved away and no longer lived in a place where the old boys system could affect the outcome of the simplest case of traffic violation.

However, this anecdote is not that different from the embarrassing opinion article  and television appearance of the doctor friend of the Shalom family who denounced the unfair treatment of the couple, and lamented their plight as an orphan (Silvan) and a widow (Judy).

Even if it is conceivable to imagine such gestures on local Television in small towns in Texas, we shouldn’t tolerate them here in Israel.

It is bad enough to think that for years people knew about Shalom’s secret hobby, and no one was brave enough to come forward and speak on behalf of the women he, allegedly, abused.

We are used to seeing  and hearing  upscale lawyers arguing of behalf of famous and infamous clients in an attempt to sway public opinion in their  favor. However, inviting personal friends to speak on national television, and appeal to viewers to feel sorry for fallen celebs, is not only manipulative and parochial, but it makes the media almost a partner in crime

The essay appeared in the Times Of Israel

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/small-towns-in-texas-and-personal-friends/://blogs.timesofisrael.com/small-towns-in-texas-and-personal-friends/

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A Senior Intern: Stereotypes And Reality

 

I know from experience that as they get older, women and men tend to become transparent. To women it  usually happens somewhere between 50 and 60 years of age,  and about a decade later to men, since in their 50s many of them are still at the prime of their career.

From there it is only a small leap to becoming a full blown nuisance,

Please keep reading in the Times Of Israel

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/a-senior-intern-sterotypes-and-reality/

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