Purim Chidushim for 5775

Here a list of new stuff I noticed in the Megilah this year that may be able to help you give a nice, good, drunken Dvar Torah at your Purim Seudah tomorrow. These are preliminary thoughts for development.

First, I noticed that, indeed, it was entirely Mordechai’s fault for endangering the entire Jewish people by exposing himself to Haman as a Jew. When Esther is kidnapped into the palace in a sadistic beauty pageant by a tyrant who wants a new plaything, Mordechai tells her not to tell anyone her nation or her heritage. את עמה ואת מולדתה are the words. כי מרדכי צוה עליה אשר לא תגיד. Mordechai commanded her not to say anything.

Why? What did he fear? Judging by Mordechai’s sitting at the gate, saving of the king, and respect for regulations (not going to the gate when he’s dressed in sackcloth), he was a political animal. So he probably didn’t want Esther to ruin her chances of coming out of this at least alive.  If Achashverosh killed Vashti, who knows what he would do with all the women he didn’t want. If she said she was Jewish, Achashverosh might have killed her.

Second, why, when pestered by the people at the gate as to why he does not bow to Haman, does Mordechai not follow his own advice and shut up about his nation and heritage? כי הגיד להם אשר הוא יהודי. Same words as he uses in telling Esther not to tell anyone. But he tells. Reluctantly, after they ask him again and again, but he breaks. After that, they tell Haman, who decides to go after everyone.

If either Esther had told the king at any point after she was chosen that she was Jewish, or Mordechai had not told anyone that he was, Haman would not have been able to go after the Jews as he did. If word came out that Esther was Jewish, Haman would never have been able to go after us. If Mordechai had kept his mouth shut, he would never have wanted to go after us in the first place.

But because Mordechai tells Esther not to say anything, but he himself doesn’t follow the same prudent course, Mordechai is responsible for this whole thing, and that’s why he rips his clothes. He reverses when he tells Esther to reveal herself at whatever cost.

Amalek vs Agagi, Israel vs Jew

The Torah reading for Purim starts ויבא עמלק ויילחם עם ישראל ברפידים. Amalek vs Israel. Full nation versus full nation. But Haman is never referred to as an Amalakite. He is referred to as an Agagi. Agag is the king of Amalek, just like Yehuda is the king of Israel. So the royal stock of the Jews, represented by Mordechai both as a Benjaminite (Saul) and a Jew (Yehuda) is fighting the royal stock of Amalek, Haman. Two shards fighting one last round, one never to recover (there is no more Amalek genetic line) one to return.

Haman has Esav Qualities

Maharal points out the language of ויבז with both Esav and Haman. ויבז עשו את הבכורה, vs ויבז בעיניו לשלוח יד במרדכי לבדו. Same personality, same language. Further, Esav in meeting with Ya’akov who offers him gifts says יש לי רב אחי, יהי לך אשר לך. I have much my brother, keep what you have. Ya’akov responds with כי יש לי כל, I have everything, please take my gift. Chazal make a big deal about the רב versus כל, that someone who has  רב always wants more, and someone who has כל is satisfied.

Haman has the same language. He tells his family, probably while drunk because he seems to be recounting his entire life story to his family who no doubt know it already, about his כבוד עשרו ורב בניו, his great riches and many sons. Not כל בניו, all his sons, but his many sons, same language as Esav.



Bureaucrat Caught Watching 6 Hours of Porn a Day, Good for Him!

An EPA worker caught watching 6 hours of porn a day since 2010 (it only took 5 years to catch him) with 7,000 videos on his government hard drive isn’t fired because of “Red Tape”. While some are infuriated over the waste of taxpayer money, I would gladly subsidize the porn addiction of any government employee and even pay for his memberships to all kinds of fetish sites of his choice because I’d rather my tax money be wasted on porn than spent on telling me what I can and can’t do with my own body and property.

It’s much more important though for everyone in the defense department to start feeding their porn addictions right now so they stop killing people and trying to start wars with Russia. Imagine if Bush were indulging a porn addiction when he was supposed to be in a meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff about how to invade Iraq.

Hundreds of thousands of lives could have been saved. While this is sort of humor, I’m actually kind of serious.

All government workers should be watching porn, all day, all the time, and doing nothing else. Good for you, government porn addict, and thank you for interfering less in my life! Glad to help!

One sad thought around the Netanyahu speech to congress hype

Netanyahu is going to speak to a congress of baboons today. Or maybe tomorrow. Or maybe yesterday. I don’t even know. But one thing that strikes me as profoundly sad about this whole meaningless hype surrounding a total nonevent of nothingness is how excited everyone is about it, as if Netanyahu blathering to a bunch of panderers is going to change Jewish history as we know it.

The Jewish people have become so dependent and weak that we get excited about Netanyahu flexing his speaking skills? Talk talk talk. And everyone’s inspired by even the prospect of him bloviating with his signature faux emotional pauses. To a group of people who have collectively driven a people into $18 trillion of debt and counting.

It’s just sad. Here’s a status I shared on Facebook about this BS.

I’m so excited about Netanyahu speaking to Congress. It will change everything. Netanyahu will finally do the one thing he’s never, ever done before: Give a speech. Politician to fellow politicians. Historic.

His speech will be so moving that, immediately after the final rapturous pandering applause rally, there will be no more Iranian nuclear program, all Jews expelled by Netanyahu from Gush Katif will be returned, the Wye Accords will be reversed, Hevron will be back in Jewish hands, and Jews will be allowed to pray on Har Habayit.

Thank goodness for Chef Boyardee.

Will Germany Shoot Down the Greek Proposal And Force Grexit?

The thing that really annoys me about all this elitist bull where the media constantly reports about vague snippets about “proposals” and “negotiations” and “give and take” with absolutely no specifics about what is being negotiated is..well, just that. We have no idea what the politicos are really talking about behind closed doors, and nothing is clear.

Greece made a proposal. What’s in it? How is it different from past agreements? What are the hard numbers? What are the objections? What the hell is going on? Nobody can give a clear answer. Only talk in vague generalities about “concessions” and “compromise” but never about what!

So Greece made some kind of deal with Germany. What was it? The only place that tells you anything even meager is Zerohedge, and you never know when the guys over there are being totally crazy or they have real info. So, here’s what they’re reporting.

Greece is demanding that private residences in mortgage default be protected from foreclosure, which will of course clog and paralyze the banking system. Also a gradual raise of minimum wage, which will clog and paralyze the labor market. As well as restoration of collective bargaining rights for unions, which will constrict the labor supply and increase unemployment. As well as wage hikes for the bureaucrat sector. Which will increase the debt load that Germany is paying for.

And Germany, apparently, is going to say nein, according to Zerohedge, tonight.

Let’s see what happens.

Greece Caves, Varoufakis Fails, He Should Resign Immediately

Oh well. I was wrong. I thought I was on to something with Varoufakis but apparently a grasp of basic economics (which Yanis Varoufakis does not quite have) is a necessary condition for having a spine. I thought that maybe it didn’t have to be that way, but he caved to a bailout extension of 4 months, and once you let the door open a crack like that, that’s it. There’s no going back. He’s a politician now. It’s over.

Zerohedge is reporting that Varoufakis actually sent a letter to the Germans sticking to his guns, with Tsipras then overriding that letter when the Germans said no deal. Varoufakis is denying there was ever any wrong letter. Who knows, now that he’s caved and won’t admit it, no one can trust anything he says anymore.

So four months from now this whole thing will repeat again.

Eventually though, reality will express itself with full force and the Eurozone will collapse. We just can’t count on anyone to be honest enough to get the ball rolling voluntarily. It will have to happen by some surprise event now.

The reality is, Greece still cannot pay back its debt, and the Syriza government sure won’t allow the economy to grow by getting out of the damn way. It looks like more debt slavery for the average Greek now. For four more months at least.

If Varoufakis were honest, he’d explain publicly why he has reversed himself from saying “no extension” to “four month extension”. But he won’t. He’s descended into the realm of the politician.

What a Greek Default Means in Simple English

A Greek default, or any government default for that matter, is heavily misunderstood. I’m not speaking in terms of chain reactions here or what it may cause, just essentially what it is.

If a private person defaults, say if I go bankrupt, that means anyone who I owe money to, loses that money that I would have paid them. That’s it. Not one person who did not loan me anything will suffer at all. People who have no financial connection to me couldn’t care less if I default since it has nothing to do with them.

It gets a bit more complicated if I own a business. If I go bankrupt, my business will be sold by force for lack of payment of my debts, someone else will get the business and do what he wants with it, and the cash I got for the sale will go to my creditors in order of liens. All the capital I control, whatever it is, goes to someone else, and the cash goes to my creditors. That’s what happens. No capital is destroyed, nothing changes physically, just ownership titles.

So, if a government goes bankrupt, what SHOULD happen by that example is they stop paying their debts, which are their bonds. Then, by the example of myself going bankrupt and my assets being liquidated and transferring title to some other owner, what should happen and what WOULD solve the entire garbage situation in Greece is for the entire government to liquidate ALL of its asset, everything it owns, and sell it ALL for cash, in this case Euros.

Entire Greek government departments should be sold to whoever wants them for however much is offered. If someone wants the Greek Bureau of Regulation Whatever and to employ all its pointless bureaucrats, then they can. But you know what the problem is here?

If I go bankrupt but I own a business, my business probably makes money, just not enough to cover my debts. It has employees etc. So somebody buys it, maybe lays off a few people, ships up the outfit and makes it profitable

But who the HELL wants a piece of crap bureaucracy? It makes no money, it only obstructs business! So bidding for it would go through the floor and be equivalent to whatever hard assets the Bureau has like computers and real estate and cars and whatever, and all the dumb bureaucrats would be laid off and that’s it. 

The other problem is the government owns the roads, and for some reason everyone is brainwashed into thinking that roads cannot be privately owned because then 1,250,000 people would die on the roads globally every year. But wait, no, that’s how it is now.

So the government owns assets that people don’t believe can be sold, when of course they can and should.

But the worst part of government default is that the government owns the money itselfbecause money is a government monopoly.  So when a government defaults, anyone who holds government money is in serious, serious trouble. They will lose everything. Holding government money is like being a government employee when your employer goes bankrupt. It is bad. That’s why people own gold and silver.

The unique problem with Greece, however, is that the government there does not own the money supply. And that’s why they can’t print the currency to death and need bailouts. Germany and Brussels and the ECB own the money supply.

If this default were honest, everything the Greek government owned or controlled would be liquidated and sold, including the Hellenic Parliament building itself and all the roads and all the military equipment, absolutely everything, with cash raised to pay the bonds. All the bureaucrats would be laid off to find something to do in the economy. All the regulation enforcers would be unemployed. The economy would be freed.

A true, honest government default would be an absolutely great thing for the private citizen, if not for the fact that the government, instead of honestly going bankrupt like any private person and starting over at zero, will immediately set itself up another monetary monopoly, force everyone to use it, and inflate it to death, stealing from everyone just to stay in business.

If Greece starts printing drachmas, they will hyperinflate very quickly. If I were a Greek, I would buy real assets and hide them under the Parthenon. That, or sell all paper assets short now.

When a private person or company goes bankrupt, assets are liquidated and sold to new owners. Employees are let go and must find new jobs. Some stay.

When a government goes bankrupt, they destroy everyone else’s money so they can pay back their debts through theft. Greece is just a tiny little thing, a tiny domino in a line of ever increasing bankrupt dominoes.

When the US goes bankrupt, now that will be a sight to see.

Varoufakis Holding his Own, Germans want him replaced!

The Greek talks with the Eurozone just broke down again. There currently is no way forward. Greek bank runs may start as early as tomorrow. If they do, the Eurozone will disintegrate fast. Most people did not see this coming and thought Greece would cave. But I did. I felt Greece would not cave, at least strongly suspected it. Here’s why.

I don’t have much investment in Yanis Varoufakis other than fascination and an inkling he can hold his own. He’s showing the Eurozone leaders that he’s not a yes man, not a politician, but a guy with principles that won’t break.

Most commentators on my side of the spectrum, the libertarians, armageddonists, preppers and those folk simply assumed that Greece will cave to Troika demands sooner or later, but that’s because they haven’t been following Varoufakis for three years like I have. Or maybe it’s just a 6th sense I have or something that I recognized with Ron Paul and Feiglin, and to a certain extent with Varoufakis. This harks back to my Ron Paul article about soul.

Varoufakis is wrong about a lot of stuff, even about basic stuff, but he has a soul. And he will not break from what he sees as right. Tsipras and the rest of Syriza are all a bunch of politician monkeys and they’ll cave. But Yanis Varoufakis won’t. Interestingly, Varoufakis is not even a Syriza party member.

Bob Wenzel recently quoted Tyler Cowen, a mainstream economist, as saying this:

The Greek government will cave so cravenly on the substance that they want to have it on the record books that they supplied some expressive goods for a few weeks’ time, namely insulting the Germans and claiming that the Troika is dead and buried.

See, that would be true of any Greek politician except Varoufakis. He won’t cave on anything, unless absolutely ordered to do so, in which case he will resign, as he has said explicitly that he keeps his resignation letter in his inside pocket and will submit it the moment he feels he can no longer speak truth to power. Or his version of it anyway.

Even the bloggers on my side of the aisle like Wenzel simply don’t understand this. I covered this in my column two weeks ago at CalvinAyre, where I said the following:

In a nutshell, it’s like this. If just another politician occupied the Greek FinMin seat, eventually he’d be bought off by the Troika, that trifecta of acronyms like ESM and EFSF that hold all the bailout funds, and the proverbial can would be kicked down the road again. But Varoufakis is not just another politician, and that’s what political mainstreamers, as well as Eurozone leaders themselves, just don’t understand. He’s serious. He wants to default, he’s been saying it for years, and he is the only one with the guts and independence to mean what he says and do it.

Varoufakis still may cave. I don’t have as much faith in his strength of character than I do of Ron Paul or Moshe Feiglin, but so far he has been holding up. How much longer I don’t know. But we can safely assume that since he has not yet resigned, he has not caved.

Now, at the prospect of Greece being kicked out of the Euro, Varoufakis could get fired. Once he’s out, if that happens, you can be sure Greece will cave. Tsipras is a nobody, that I’m sure of. Zerohedge is reporting now that the Germans want Varoufakis out. Why? Because he literally is the only obstacle in the way of continuing this disgusting bailout. There is no one else in the way. Just him. Quoting Keeptalkinggreece:

An SPD politician from Merkels’ social-democrat coalition suggested s that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras should replaces Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis as he apparently creates lots of confusion, German politicians cannot understand.

SPD executive board member, Joachim Poß, wrote in an e-mail for his party colleagues:

“Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis has best demonstrated with his performance  until now, that he is not up to the demands of such an office. In the interest of the Greek people and in view of the difficult situation, Prime Minister Tsipras should consider to replace Mr Varoufakis with a political experienced, realistic-efficient person.”

Let me take that last bold paragraph out of Orwellian Newspeak and translate it into Human:

“Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis has best demonstrated with his performance until now that he is not up to simply caving to our demands for fear of being kicked out of the Euro. In the interest of the German government oligarchy and in view of the difficult situation, Prime Minister Tripras should consider to replace Mr. Varoufakis with a politician.”

Watch Greek capital flight tomorrow. It could get intense.