What to do when a 3 year old asks the ultimate question?

I wasn’t there at the time. I was in my office. And I got this email midday from my wife of the record of a conversation between Dafna and her. Daf (rhymes with laugh) was taking a bath. “Me” means wife.

Daf: Everyone dies….so…..

Me: So what?
Daf: So what’s the point?
Me: The point of what?
Daf: The point of everyone.
Me: Very big question for such a small Daf.
Daf: Yeah, I know.
I have of course comes to terms with my own answer to this question. But comment below as to your suggestions for how to handle this with a three year old if/when it comes up again.

Greece Raiding Pensions, This is What Will Happen Everywhere

The evil of social security and other government-mandated savings programs is that when the government runs out of money, they will take it all.

All of it will be gone. When the Federal government can no longer sell bonds to pay its existing bonds in its $18,000,000,000,000 Ponzi scheme, everything will be gone. Anyone with any savings in any government program will have nothing.

From The Telegraph:

Greece plans to raid coffers as creditors dash hopes of resolving cash crisis

Athens could force pension funds to transfer assets to the government as desperate Greeks tout possibility of delaying IMF repayments

That’s Newspeak. Here’s what it means, sans Orwellian crap:

The politicians who force pensioners to save money through their programs will force the people who they made save that money to give them that money in order to pay back the megapile of tax loot made up of loot donations from every developed State in the world.

Because God forbid the IMF, an institution that never earned a damn thing for providing something to consumers in the marketplace, should lose money.

Rav Uri and Ronit Sherki’s Son Murdered

Rav Sherki is one of the few Rabbis I look up to, and can stand to listen to. I have many of his shiurim on my phone. I’ve gone to his home for the annual Manhigut Yehudit Sukkah party for many years. I recognized the picture of his son Shalom in the paper, though I’ve never spoken to Shalom. I see Ronit at almost every Manhigut Yehudit event I attend.

Shalom, Shalom Sherki

Shalom is dead now. He was murdered in an intentional car crash at the bus stop he was standing at on French Hill in Jerusalem.

The man who rammed the car into him is in the custody of Shabak.

Some people don’t like how cynical I am. But I am who I am. I can’t give any words of comfort other than to say Rav Uri, Ronit, and the rest of his family, as well as I and everyone else in Manhigut Yehudit and now in Zehut, know what has to be done. Only we know what has to be done. Nobody else does. And we will get it done.

I don’t blame “Arabs” for this. They are who they are. The fact that they are still here is the State of Israel’s fault. I blame the State of Israel.

Now that you’ve been warned of my cynicism, here it is in all its biting disgust and despair.

I wonder what academic degree this murderer is going to get while in the prison that I’m paying for, and whether he will have time to procure enough credits for a bachelor’s degree before being released in Netanyahu’s next good will prisoner exchange.

Shalom Sherki, may God avenge your murder, because the State of Israel sure as hell ain’t going to.

The Global Economy is Within 6 Months of Collapse

I’m feeling more comfortable now giving a more exact time frame for when this all goes down. It’ll happen in the next 6 months.

I still may be wrong because I don’t have a direct line to God, but I’m opening myself up to people calling me a stupid alarmist if I am. I’m confident enough now to risk that.

Greece is going to default sometime in May. Varoufakis is now meeting with a sovereign default lawyer. and the Fed is going to raise rates at some point in June. Those two things together are enough to screw with the bond markets which are showing negative yields for the stronger States like Switzerland and Germany. Negative yields mean that people are paying governments for the privilege of lending money to them. German 4-year bonds are yielding -.2%. That means people are giving Germany $100 for the privilege of getting back $99.80 in four years.

People think I’m insane. That’s insane. It’s about to reverse.

Price inflation will follow a bond slaughter, indebted countries will be applying all their tax revenues to debt service, meaning all your taxes go to banks. And of course, precious metals will explode very suddenly.

Let’s give it a 180 day countdown. It’s tax day isn’t it? April 15?

April 15.

180…

Is Pacquiao vs. Mayweather Really Good vs Evil?

The quick answer is no. But the point of this post isn’t to answer that question, but to rebut the argument that “Manny Pacquiao is a shithead, too” because of certain things he’s done in the political arena or things he said.

An article was written by somebody named Diana Moskovitz, who certainly sounds like one of those leftist Jews that think anyone who votes against any government subsidy is evil. Jews are so annoying. (I can say that, Diana, because I am a Jew. Otherwise you’d probably send me to jail for hate speech or something.)

She starts out the article with a fair enough point about Floyd Mayweather, who by all indications is a real schmuck.

The many failings of Floyd Mayweather to follow the basic rules on how to be a good human being are well documented. He’s a serial woman beater who once evicted his father and pleaded no contest to threatening his children. His odiousness speaks for itself.

So fine, Mayweather is an asshole. From what I’ve heard, and seen, and how he presents himself and responds to questions, I can’t stand the guy.

Pacquiao is much more mild mannered, sounds more humble, is clearly religious (that’s not inherently a good thing, religious people scare me sometimes) but for a Jesus guy he is careful not to mention “Jesus” when he invokes God, which is often, and that cozy’s me up to him. If he were to mention Jesus all the time I’d definitely get annoyed.

But then Moskovitz tries to argue that Pacquiao is a “shithead” using very bad examples. Here are the worst of her “examples”.

1) He spoke out against gay marriage. That’s equivalent to threatening your children and beating your wife I guess. I spoke out against. I speak out against all state-sanctioned marriage.

2) He was a mostly absent congressman in his home country. This is a crime? To be an absent congressman? To not participate when the rest of them spend their time telling people how much money to give them and how to run their lives? Halevai all congressman should be mostly absent all the time!

3) He did not step in when some guy got fired after he said that Pacquiao’s basketball career was a joke. Lack of evidence is not evidence of a lack. Who knows what Pacquiao did behind closed doors, and even if nothing, it’s not his responsibility to tell a private company what to do. If badmouthing Manny Pacquiao causes that company to lose revenue, then the person who made that comment should be fired for the sake of the company, and the people in it who may lose their jobs because some other guy insulted the most popular and beloved man in the country. What’s the matter, Diana, you have no empathy for the poor Filipino’s who could have lost their jobs had this guy not been fired or insulting Manny Pacquiao’s basketball career? This is beating your wife and threatening your children?

4) Allegedly mauling a fellow politician – I can’t say anything that bad about mauling politicians. It sounds fun to me.

5) He owes tens of millions in back taxes! That’s a crime! He owes taxes! This is equivalent to beating your wife and threatening your children! Tax avoidance is not only not a crime, it is an absolute good.

6) He “he fought against legislation in the Philippines that would mandate sex education, subsidize contraception, and expand family-planning offerings.” He basically voted against government-funded abortions. Or in even less Orwellian language, he voted against forcing other people who believe abortion is murder to fund the abortions of the sexually irresponsible. Orwellianly stated as “expand family-planning offerings”.

My God the bullshit code is getting more complex by the day.

And that’s evil. When some politicians want you to fund someone else’s abortion, if you say not, you’re a child threatener and wife beater.

The only thing Diana Moskovitz had on Pacquiao was that he cheated on his wife. That is a bad thing. But it is NOWHERE NEAR the disgustingness of Floyd Mayweather.

Raspberry on Temple Mount Makes Shrieking Allahu Akbar Arab Girl Giggle

The girl who I raspberried is to the right of Natasha's head.
The girl who I raspberried is to the right of Natasha’s head.

What a day. We decided to do the impossible and take a whole family of 5 to Har Habayit – the Temple Mount – in the thick of Hol HaMoed Pesach, on the day of the massive Bircat Kohanim. I left for the mikveh at 5am, and we left the house by 6:21am, and found parking by Liberty Bell Park at 7:30. We got to Sha’ar HaMugrabim by 8:15 after making sure all the kids bladder tanks were empty.

By 8:15 the Kotel Plaza was crowded, but nowhere near as crowded as it would be an hour later. There was nobody at Sha’ar HaMugrabim. The Gentile tourists passed us as they always do, while we went through the wringer, as always.

My two girls were really excited because I explained that we were going to Hashem’s house, and almost everyone else was only going up to the door and stopping there. We were going inside. My wife and I explained that when they go to a friend’s house, they don’t just stay at the door. They want to go inside to say hi and play.

The older one asks why they all wait at the door. I say because they are scared of Hashem and think He’ll be mad at them if they go inside. I say there is nothing to be afraid of, as long as you are nice, like at a friend’s house.

We wait for an hour. The 9 month old baby is taking it pretty well, crawling all over the floor picking up pebbles and trying to eat them. The two girls are a bit restless but they’re doing ok. Tanks have been emptied, no peepee emergencies.

The police tell us we are not allowed to eat, so my kids cannot snack. But the guards are allowed to smoke cigarettes right in front of my kids. And eat. They are The State. We are Their Slaves. That’s how IT GOES.

Some secular guy joins us and explains to me that Jews aren’t really allowed to go to Har Habayit “Din Torah” because they’ll get Karet, religious excision, or however it’s translated. I tell him that the way he dresses is assur and he’s getting Karet because he’s dressed like a goy, and is עובר חוקת הגוים. I point to the Haredi kid in the black kaputteh and hat in front of me and say, “He’s OK. You’re not. Dress like him or you’re getting Karet. Din Torah.”

He tries to defend himself and I keep saying Karet Karet Karet, sorry. Nothing you can do. Those clothes, Karet. Eventually he leaves me alone.

The State tells us we are not allowed to go the full route around the Mount. We are only going one gate length to the left and leaving. One guy encourages us to argue with the police up there. I see this as totally futile and will just get them in trouble. If all the sea of Jews hanging around dallying at the Wall decided to join us, then we could do something. But we are only a group of 10, my kids included. Everyone else is staying at the door.

Predictably, the ones that argued got kicked off and banned.

One Jewish lady somehow manages so walk past our guard. She is caught at the top. Our guard is chewed out for letting the woman pass. “If she looks Jewish, you have to stop her! If you don’t know how to do that go home!”

We are finally allowed up after an hour of having goyim step over us. One of them had asked us, “What are you all waiting for?”

“We’re Jews,” I say. “We go to the left.”

The trick to going to Har Habayit is keeping focused on the positive. The positive is, we are The Few. The tiny sliver that will go inside, and thank God for at least that. I’m excited to go up now. We get moving, up the bridge.

By this time, about 9:30am, the Kotel Plaza is totally, absolutely packed. From the Wall all the way back to the stairs, all the way up them, there is no standing room. We lonely souls trot up the bridge, looking down at the sea of Jews all waiting at the wall of the House but dare not go inside. They are afraid. Afraid of God. I am, too. But I have to go in. I don’t get much religious inspiration these days from almost any religious activities. I’ve always been a rationalist, not a mystic. Not so spiritual. But when I go up there I am a religious being. I’m scared, but I know I have to go.

Why is it that everyone asks why we go to Har Habayit and what are you supposed to do up there, but nobody asks why we go to the Wall, and what we’re supposed to do down there?

There’s a picture at my neighbors house of the Kotel. On top, on Har Habayit in the picture, is the completed Beit HaMikdash, as it should be. But there’s something seriously wrong with the picture. The people in the painting are still praying at the Wall, and no one is on Har Habayit itself, in the picture of the future. The Wall obsession, this strange disease, is so prevalent it has infected even our messianic art visions of the future.

We continue up, and I show my kids the sea of Jews below. They oooh and ahhh. We continue up, and the Allahu Akbars begin. As we head left, they get louder. My older daughter on my left, my second daughter on my right, holding each by the hand as the screaming Arab women close in. The baby is on my wife’s back behind me. The girls are a bit taken aback, but they do not cry. I tell them people will scream at them but they will not hurt them. I promise them. They don’t want us to be in Hashem’s house but they will only scream, not hit. They hold my hands tight.

I try to point out the Dome of the Rock to them, the place where Hashem’s House used to be and will be again. The screams of the Arab women are deafening.

I’m not sure if my girls can even hear me. But they do not cry. Neither does Fry, the baby.

At the peak of the screaming, I spread out my arms, still holding my girls’ hands, trying to take up as much space as possible, as if to suck up all the screaming with my body and absorb it, take strength from it, soak it in and have it energize me. I’m starting to like it. In a sort of masochistic way I guess. I want the Allahu Akbars to get louder and they do.

And then I notice a little girl, right on front of me. Just a bit bigger than my 4 year old. She must be either 6 or 7, nothing more than that. The look in her eye is of pure hatred. She’s shrieking. I’m still walking, and the space between us narrows. She’s right in front of me now.

I look at her, I smile.

And I blow her a raspberry.

And she giggles.

And then she continues shrieking.

We take a picture and head off, stepping backwards off Har Habyit, and begin dancing.

Chag Sameach.

Tziv and Daf

Manny Pacquiao, Boxing, Libertarianism, and the Non Aggression Principle

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao

Last week I wrote an article tying in the upcoming May 2 fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao and the economy. It got 2,000 likes, thank God. I’m not into boxing beyond being a Rocky fan, though admittedly I’m not as much a Rocky fan as my brother is.

$300M is expected to flow through this fight from all sides. It will be by far the biggest boxing event in world history. Floyd Mayweather is undefeated, though a bit cocky. Manny Pacquiao has 5 defeats, he’s a Filipino, a deeply religious guy, and seems more humble. Arguably Pacquiao is the better boxer despite 5 defeats, but we’ll see on May 2. I don’t know who will win, but I’m rooting for Pacquiao.

Since writing that article I became more interested in these two boxers and boxing in general, looking into styles and strategy and what it takes to win a fight. Then I came across a snippet on YouTube of Pacquiao being the subject of a 60 Minutes episode in 2010.

Boxing is fascinating. On its own it’s certainly a violation of the non-aggression principle, but because it is mutually agreed upon beforehand, there is no problem with it. If two guys agree to fight each other under certain circumstances, then the whole thing is voluntary and totally legitimate.

Dr. Walter Block uses the example of “Murder Park” where murder is allowed, which is also fine provided that Murder Park is private property and clearly demarcated with visible and obvious warning to anyone who enters. Breaking into someone else’s property at night with a weapon is also grounds for being killed as well, so while Murder Park sounds sick, it really is the same principle as breaking and entering.

Anyway, watching this 60 Minutes interview I hit something amazing at the very beginning. That is, Pacquiao is so popular in the Philippines that whenever he fights, the ongoing war between the Filipino Army and the Rebels stops because both sides are busy watching Pacquiao fight. 

That’s incredible. It shows the absolute power of the market, the incredible ability of it to stop even vicious wars. When two men are paid to fight for the enjoyment of others, it can stop real, bloody, murderous wars and save lives.

Boxing saves lives. Voluntary fighting saves lives. It’s a fact. There should be more boxing in the world so there can be less wars.

So Mayweather, Pacquiao, please, put on a good show and hopefully you can save thousands of lives on May 2 while wars literally stop to watch you two punch each other. You two deserve all $300M flowing through your bout just for that.