Monday, February 8, 2010

Quite A Rise From Public Buses

OK, granted that my memory is longer than some of you have been alive...

Way back when, one of the big perks for MK's, Members of Knesset, Israel's parliament, was a free, all comprehensive bus pass.  Our lawmakers could ride for free on public transport all over the country.

In those days few Israelis had drivers licenses and many fewer owned cars.  In the 1970's most drivers on Israeli roads were the first generation in their family behind the wheel.  It was one of the accepted reasons/excuses for the horrendous driving.  I was terrified by what I saw on the roads and decided that I wasn't driving in Israel, the reason I never got an Israeli license and let my New York one expire.

Things have changed here.  We have modern thoroughfares, driving licenses and cars are taken for granted.  MK's don't take buses, and now if they fly, we the taxpayers have to fork out for business class.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

this actually doesnt bother me, at least too much. it is kavod for the state.
i wonder if us senators get the same perq.

Batya said...

There was a time when Israel's leaders were modest as a principle. We've gone from King David's style to King Saul's, total reverse of the Bible.

Anonymous said...

"Kavod for the state"??????????

What a farce! It's a waste of Israeli taxpayer's money. And so many of these trips and the ever-expanding entourages that swell their ranks aren't necessary.

What pomposity!

Keli Ata said...

Anonymous--yes, of course they do. They take private planes to go on vacations and bring their families and friends along, too. In NYS Charles Schumer is the biggest offender in that regard. He's spent over $100,000 a year traveling to parts of NYS.

Honestly, the state isn't that big that he or any other politician needs a private plane.

It's even worse at the federal level and all of it at taxpayers' expense.

Keli Ata said...

Ah ha Batya. So it was true about driving in Israel lol. The worst driving I've ever seen are people driving in traffic circles. Nobody understands that the person in the circle has the right of way.

Anonymous said...

Generally, I have no right of way problems here in Israel when I'm in the circle.

My biggest problem are cars that only yield at stop signs and cars that plow ahead at yield signs.

Keli Ata said...

As a pedestrian what bugs me the most about drivers are those idiots who think the Right on Red laws means they can turn as fast as they like and forget about me crossing the street.


Do they have Right on Reds in Israel?? Craig Ferguson said they don't in Europe. I was wondering if they do in Israel.

Batya said...

Well gang, if you've started on pet peeves about drivers makes lives awful for pedestrians, I'll add mine. Here in Israel people park half on the sidewalk. Try walking safely. It's a challenge. I'm tempted to scratch the cars.

Anonymous said...

Keli, no right on red anywhere in Israel.

Batya, there is insufficient street width, parking space and pedestrian sidewalk width in Israel, certainly so in Jerusalem.

The government is as stingy with public property as it is in the allocation of private property. Rule of thumb: sell minimum of land, pile in maximum of tenants, reap maximum profits per square meter. Quality of life is irrelevant, according to government standards.

Anonymous said...

Oh......

When can I start submitting woman driver jokes?

:)

No?

Alright.

Sorry. Couldn't resist!

Batya said...

Shy, what are you a male chauvinist?

Anonymous said...

"Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritation and resentments slip away, and a sunny spirit takes their place."
- Mark Twain

Batya said...

It's healthy to laugh, but one must appreciate the joke.