Some Anarcho Capitalist Revulsion at the Election Process

I got back from voting this morning in Karnei Shomron. Some of it is a very different feeling from last time, and some is the same. What’s different is there is not much a sense of urgency that Feiglin get on the list this time. There are no T-shirts, a little less excitement, and a general malaise as to why the Likud is doing this again. Feiglin is not running for Likud Chairman so this is all a bit dull. The point of Moshe getting on the list in the first place was for people to get to know him. Now they do. Getting back in is less important, because when the SHTF, the people now know who to turn to, regardless of whether he’s in this time or not.

What’s the same is the same exasperated feeling that all these people, all these politicians, all these sign waving sheep have no idea what they are saying or why. This may as well all be in a schoolyard playground as we all huddle around the “popular kids” none of whom know what is about to hit them. I feel like I’m in a Vonnegutian timequake surrounded by walking primates pushing platitudes, none of which mean anything at all.

My phone has been so inundated with mindless text messages that I turned it off. This game is so tiring, emotionally draining, and I feel dirty playing it. It’s as if I was forced into a kindergarten, into the body of a 5 year old, and told I had to pick 11 snot-nosed kids to run the country. I want to say something intelligent to the children so they stop acting like such idiots, but I know they’re all 5-year-olds and they won’t understand a word I’m saying. The kids all team up making “deals” with one another and I have to go along with this mindless board game. So I just pick 11 of them and go home.

The system is probably coming down sometime this year. I don’t know how bad it will get but the catalysts are all lined up. Oil could do it. Greece could do it. Russia could do it. The amount of investment the US has made in shale oil is enormous, on par with the investment in real estate before that crashed and brought the financial system to its knees. Billions in loans were given to shale companies that can now no longer repay them. We’ll start to see this infecting the banks pretty soon. From there, whoever is on the Likud list will not like the boat they’re sailing.

Yes, I hope Feiglin makes it on in a high spot. But if he doesn’t, I’ll know he’s been saved from getting on this ride until the boat sinks. It could go either way, and whatever happens, God will sort it out.

I’ll just say, I doubt there is any “political activist” in the entire country that loathes election day as much as I do.

According to Shai Galili, Moshe Feiglin is Still Running for Likud Chairman

Again from News1, Galili responding to some other lawyer’s claim that Netanyahu did nothing wrong:

“טענתך זו לא ניתן לקבל. תחילה, משום שבין אם מותר היה לעובדים השכירים האמורים לסייע לפעילות פנים מפלגתית של יושב-ראש המפלגה בבחירות המקדימות ובין אם לאו, אין הדבר רלוונטי לעובדה כי מדובר “בתרומה אסורה” מהמפלגה למר נתניהו בכובעו כ”מועמד”. באשר, מועמדים אחרים שעדיין (עד היום) רשומים ככאלו, כגון מר משה פייגלין, מר יואב
קיש ומר דני דנון, לא זכו לעובדים שכירים מטעם המפלגה, שיעמדו לרשותם במסגרת הבחירות המקדימות בהיקף זהה או בכלל – ולפיכך, בהתאם להגדרות שבחוק המפלגות, המדובר “בתרומה אסורה” מתאגיד, לכל דבר ועניין”, קבע.

Your claim is unacceptable. First, because even if it was permitted for party workers to help with a Chairman’s primary campaign or not, it is irrelevant to the fact that it is “forbidden help” from the party to Mr. Netanyahu insofar as he is a “candidate”. Whereas, other candidates that are still (until today) officially listed as candidates, like Mr. Moshe Feiglin, Mr. Yoav Kish, and Mr. Danny Danon, were not able to hire party workers for this purpose that would help them with their primary campaigns equally or at all, and therefore, according to the Parties Law, this is considered “forbidden help” for all intents and purposes.

Grab another bowl of popcorn folks, because here is Galili’s words on sending Netanyahu to prison:

Shai Galili threatens to send Netanyahu to prison

Because of this, and without any choice given the current circumstances, I must exercise my authority according to section 28 of the Political Parties Law, and advise the disqualification of your client’s candidacy (Mr. Netanyahu) in the upcoming primaries on December 31.

Only due to “Do not place a stumbling block before the blind” (Leviticus 19:14) I will point out that my decision is being given from my statutory and official authority from the Political Parties Law. That said, I ask you to turn your client’s attention to the fact that ignoring my order could be considered a violation of section 287 of the Punitive Code of 1977:

He who defies a lawful order given by a court or bureaucrat or a person acting in an official manner under proper authority is subject to a 2 year prison sentence. 

I would appreciate confirmation of your receipt of this letter.

Sincerely,

Shai Galili, Esq.

Likud Comptroller

What a world, eh?

HOLY CRAP Shai Galili Threatening Netanyahu with Two Years Jail Time

This is getting quite surreal. I don’t know what’s up with this guy Shai Galili but I’m really starting to like him for his crazy spunk. He’s now threatening Netanyahu with two years in prison if he doesn’t remove his candidacy for Likud Chairman.

From News1:

מבקר הפנים של מפלגת הליכוד הודיע (יום ד’, 24.12.14), כי הוא פוסל את מועמדותו של יו”ר הליכוד, בנימין נתניהו, לבחירות המקדימות שצפויות להתקיים ב-31 בדצמבר.

הצעד נעשה על סמך סעיף 28 לחוק המפלגות ובעקבות ממצאים המוכיחים לדברי המבקר, עו”ד שי גלילי, כי נתניהו עשה שימוש במשאבי המפלגה לצורך קידום מועמדותו. לדבריו, על-פי סעיף 287 (א) לחוק העונשין, התעלמות מההנחיה, עלולה להיחשב כעבירה שבצידה שנתיים מאסר.

Likud Party Comptroller Shai Galili announced today (12/24) that he has disqualified the candidacy of Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu from primaries that will take place on December 31. The move was made according to chapter 28 of the Political Parties Law, and due to evidence proving the Comptroller’s claims, Netanyahu inappropriately used party resources for his own campaign purposes. According to Galili, according to chapter 287 of the punitive code, ignoring the order could be considered a criminal offense and would lead to a two year prison term.

WOW! I would LOVE to see Bibi arrested.

Bring out the popcorn! Go Shai!

BOOYAKASHA Netanyahu Disqualified and Feiglin Still Officially a Candidate

Shai Galili, apparently one of “our men” within the Likud, just disqualified Netanyahu from running in the race for Likud Chairman. Now, before we all get too excited or lament the fact that Moshe Feiglin already “dropped out”, check out this link, the list of official candidates for Likud Chairman. Moshe’s name is still on it.

The questions now are two. First, will this “disqualification” really stick? It would be a miracle. My mind doubts it, but it is the 8th night of Chanukah and the oil is still burning. Second, will Feiglin jump back in with only a week to go, considering he is still, according to Likud.org.il, officially a candidate?

This whole thing is really weird, to say the least. After all the bullshit that Netanyahu has pulled, he’s going to get disqualified for giving a political speech at Likud headquarters? Galili may have something else on him that he’s saving.

Here’s to hoping.

 

EUROZONE CRISIS 2.0 Greece Teetering Again…Surprised?

The global financial system is like a lake right before a limnic eruption. I just learned about this phenomenon from Scishow.

A limnic eruption is when a lake explodes. Carbon dioxide leaks into it for centuries from magma below, and if the lake is stagnant and the water doesn’t circulate much, any little thing can set it off. When it does, all the dissolved carbon dioxide below wells up to the surface and the whole lake blows up, together with a cloud of carbon dioxide that suffocates everything within a several mile long radius.

Anything can set off a chain reaction that will bring down the entire global sovereign bond market. I don’t know when it will happen, but the next thing in line as a candidate to light the fuse is, once again, Greece.

I just read a particularly horrendous article in The Guardian about this. The situation is like so. Two years ago or whatever it was, Greece agreed to a giant bailout in return for cutting its budget. Unemployment is above 25% in Greece and poverty is in the 40% range.

The point of cutting its budget is obviously to lower its debt, for the government to spend what it takes in only, and – a totally radical idea – run surpluses to actually pay some of it back, like normal people in debt do. Instead of Ponzi Scheming your way into “rolling over” the debt, meaning paying back old debt with new debt.

So here’s what the “Austerity” in Greece from “draconian” government budget cuts looks like since 2012.Greece Debt

Since “Austerity” began, the debt went up.

The problem now is that Greece is having trouble naming a president. There is one final round to do this on December 29, and if their politicians fail to name a head politician, a party called Syriza will likely come to power in snap elections (like the ones here in Israel on March 17). Syriza wants no more “Austerity”. Meaning, they want to spend more.

Well that’s nice, but more of what, exactly? Euros? You’re being cut off. Drachmas? Who the hell is going to trust that piece of paper when you can’t pay back a damn bond? Look for money, you ain’t got none. Comb the desert like they did in Spaceballs, and “We ain’t found S$*T.”

I will pick apart the worst parts of this guy Owen’s gross follies, but in a general sense, his problem is that throughout the whole piece of garbage, he equates prosperity with government spending. Because the government cut its budget, that’s why people are poor.

Prosperity is proportionate to economic freedom, not government spending. Greece has very little of the first, and a LOT of the second.

Real government austerity would be cutting the bureaucracy down to bare bones nothing. Let businesses start up with no papers, no permits, no nothing. Let people work with no documents, no restrictions, no rules except no slavery. Open up your borders to all imports, all exports, lower taxes to almost nothing except to keep courts and an army running. Default on all bonds and let the bondholders take the losses. Let money arise organically and stop printing it. That’s all you have to do. Greeks are not idiots. They know how to produce things. They have simply grown accustomed to government handouts and now that the pig trough has run dry, they want more but there is nothing left.

Here are some of the worst lines from the article:

What misery has been inflicted on Greece. One in four of its people are out of work; poverty has surged from 23% before the crash to 40.5%; and research has demonstrated how key services such as health have been hammered by cuts, even as demand has risen.

Owen doesn’t understand supply and demand and monopolies, while he probably opposes the latter in word, but not in deed. When a single entity is in charge of providing a service and others forbidden by government from competing, or if one single entity is heavily favored and subsidized by government over potential competitors, that is a monopoly. In a monopoly, supply and demand do not work because the price mechanism is broken. So the monopoly, like a health services monopoly, can cut services even when demand rises, and make the same amount of money because it can charge whatever it wants. There are no competitors. This is what happens in monopolies. The solution is to get rid of the monopoly, end government health services completely, and let anyone treat anyone however they choose.

This though, is the worst:

Syriza’s manifesto proposes that repayment of debt could come through economic growth, rather than from budget cuts. It wants a European new deal backed up by an investment bank; an all-out war against the tax avoidance endemic in Greek society; an emergency employment programme; a raised minimum wage; and the restoration of collective bargaining.

How in hell are you going to pay back 175% of your entire economy through “growth” while at the same time supporting a massive-sized government that got you bankrupt in the first place?! Even worse, if you’re complaining about 40% poverty, how is an “all-out war against tax avoidance” going to make anyone richer?! They’re in poverty as it is, and you want to end tax avoidance? Meaning that if these poor poverty-stricken people pay more taxes to YOU, Syriza, everyone will be richer?

An “emergency employment programme”. That sounds terrifying, especially when it comes just before “a raised minimum wage”. When 25% of the entire country is unemployed, you want to make it even harder for people to get a job?! Here’s my “emergency employment programme”. Zero taxes or regulations on starting a company. Zero restrictions or regulations on hiring people. That’s it. I have a better idea than increasing minimum wage. Make it a law that employers must keep hiring until unemployment reaches 0%, or else they go to jail. How about that?

Here’s just wacky psychobabble:

That’s why Greece desperately needs solidarity. Firstly, there’s a point of principle: to defend sovereignty and democracy from attack, whether from within or without. But a Syriza government could spur on other anti-austerity forces across the continent.

Can anyone extract any meaning from these sentences? Greece needs solidarity. OK. Sounds all nice and cheerleadery. “Defend sovereignty and democracy from attack from within or without” – do these words say ANYTHING? What do they mean? They mean nothing. It’s just meaningless pep talk from a sophist. “Anti-Austerity forces across the continent” – WHAT austerity? THIS?

Eurozone Government Spending

Austerity is when spending goes down, not stays the same.

Is it THIS?

Debt to GDP Eurozone

Isn’t debt supposed to go DOWN when you’re being “austere”? Isn’t that the DEFINITION of austerity?

So how could Greece be a limnic explosion? If Syriza is elected, they will try to increase government spending with money that does not exist, and get kicked out of the Euro for trying. Greek bonds will default, banks holding those bonds will need bailouts or crash, and the bonds of other weak Eurozone governments like Italy and Portugal will plummet, pushing yields up to the point where the Ponzi Scheme no longer works because there are no new suckers to buy the new bonds and roll over the debt.

From there, once a country the size of Italy goes down, that’s a LOT of bonds, and the whole global financial system could explode, suffocating all those who have not insulated themselves from the explosion.

Will this happen? Yes, eventually and soon. Will it necessarily happen this way? No. But we’ll see.

 

HYPERINFLATION Belarusian Madness Triggers another Weimar

I checked out Zerohedge today, as I tend to do at least once a day, and saw the news that Belarus had a sudden 30% collapse in its currency, the Belarusian Ruble. For those who don’t know Zerohedge, it’s a good resource, but don’t take it too seriously. According to Tyler Durden, the sky falls every day. It will at some point, but we’ll all see it when it starts, and we won’t need Zerohedge to tell us it’s happening.

When the dollar falls 10% in a day, we’ll know we’re there.

Anyway, I don’t usually read full Zerohedge articles, just the snippets on the homepage to get a feel for what’s going on in wacky world of Keynesian finance. Anything especially interesting I double check at RT, which is sort of like a toned-down Zerohedge, libertarian-leaning news outlet that is favorable to Putin. I found at RT the reason for the sudden 30% drop in the Belarusian Ruble.

The national currency lost 30 percent of its value shortly after the country’s national bank introduced a 30 percent tax for individuals and businesses purchasing foreign currency. The Belarusian ruble reached 14,150 against the US dollar, and 17,400 against the euro, with the net cost of $1 amounting to 11,000 Belarusian rubles, and €1 to 14,000.

It’s really beyond words how stupid central banks are. In order to protect its currency, the central bank of Belarus instituted a 30% tax on people who want to sell it. This, they thought, would prevent people from selling the currency and stabilize its exchange rate.

Instead, what happened is that all the demand to sell the Belarusian Ruble for foreign currency translated itself into a demand to sell the Belarusian Ruble for any physical asset anybody could get their hands on in Belarus.

Electronics Store in Belarus, December 2014

You can’t legislate prices. Not wages, not exchange rates, not anything.

Feiglin Drops Out, and Why I am Now $100 Richer

I was as surprised as anyone else when I saw the news this morning that Feiglin dropped out of the race for Likud chairman to focus on getting a top 10 spot on the Knesset list. I spoke with him this morning for a few minutes and while I don’t agree with the decision, there is something cooking. That’s all I will say. This happened after a 5-judge panel on the Likud court accepted Netanyahu’s appeal to unite the Knesset list and chairmanship races on the same day, despite this being against the Likud constitution. Any American libertarian will know how useless constitutions are in terms of stopping government power anyway.

Here’s what I think goes down from here. First, speaking for myself, I will not be voting for any party in the general elections on March 17th. I will be taking a trip to Bnei Brak that morning to visit the Satmars along with a fellow non-voting Satmar friend of mine, hand in my Teudat Zehut and driver’s license, and take the $100 promised me by Teitelbaum not to vote. So will my wife, and $200 is not bad for a day’s not-voting. I wasn’t going to vote anyway even without the money. The money is just an extra perk I may as well take.

Say what you want about the Satmar and I certainly do not subscribe to their lifestyle, but they do not accept government money. They and I are on the same wavelength there, and I highly respect them for that.

I refuse to vote for my own slavemaster. I will also not vote against Likud out of respect for Moshe.

Though I will be voting for Moshe Feiglin, Amir Weitmann, and Shay Malka for the Knesset list in the primaries on December 31. I will fill the rest of the slate with no-name candidates with no chance. I will not vote for any incumbents, period, not Yariv Levin, not Hotobeli, not Danon, not Edelstein, nobody, nor anybody that Manhigut Yehudit makes any deal with. Forget it. I’m sick of the games. As for Likud Chairman, I will write in none other than Ron Paul, just because.

Beyond that, my not voting it is a tactical move. Bibi has to lose these elections. He cannot be Prime Minister again. When he loses, he will be blamed, and rightly so. He will then resign, following which Feiglin will run, and win. A monetary crisis will arise, new elections will be called, and in the midst of the crisis he will take the reigns. I hope I’m right. I am not a profit.

I only hope that this is not a case of what happened in this week’s Parasha.

ויהי מקץ שנתיים ימים. Why did it take two years? Because Yosef lacked faith and asked the butler for a favor. I would have liked to see Moshe run anyway, even if it risked his Knesset seat, because in my opinion it doesn’t matter if he gets into the Knesset or not this time.

And that’s OK. Because what matters now is that Netanyahu goes down. His time is up.

Why Moshe Kahlon is a Total Fake

Sometimes dirty politicians are caught at the right place at the right time, and everybody thinks they’re a hero. This is the case with Moshe Kahlon, another Likud politician who left the party to form his own Kulanu party. Others who left have been Lieberman, Bennett, Livni, and Sharon. Kahlon is a two-bit loser lacking any guts or backbone, that was shoved in the right office at exactly the right time to make one move and now people worship him.

What people think he did was introduce competition into the cellular market, thereby lowering prices. If he had done this, it would have been a good thing. Unfortunately, this is only partly true. He did allow other phone companies to exist (amazing) thereby increasing competition. But there was one caveat that nobody seems to care about that will bite everyone in the ass very soon.

They never tell you this detail in the media, because the media is stupid. But Kahlon’s “reform” goes like this. Companies have a finite amount of time to start up and get as many customer as possible. In order to enter the market they have to pay a huge deposit to the Misrad HaTikshoret or whatever department is the overlord of the phone market. And then the 4 or 5 (forget how many) companies with the most customers gets their deposit back from the overlord government department.

This, of course, encourages rock bottom prices at a loss for the phone companies because they are trying to stay alive in the race to be allowed to continue operating. My phone bill, for example, is 10 shekels a month with Golan Telecom. They are charging ridiculously low rates because the owner, Something Golan, wants to be in the running to survive and get his deposit (bribe) back from the government.

After the time limit is up, which I believe is at the end of 2015, the remaining companies will then jack up prices to higher than market rates in order to make up for their losses in trying to bag as many customers as possible within the time limit. There will STILL be a lack of supply because other companies will STILL be banned from the space and forbidden from competing with the survivors.

So much for Moshe Kahlon, who, if he had any guts, would have simply closed his department and allowed anyone to start a phone company at any time anywhere.

All a government minister has to do in order to really succeed is close his office, lock the doors, and never show up.

Unfortunately, that is not what Kahlon did.

CURRENCY COLLAPSE Russian Ruble crashes, only backing with gold will save it

In what is the first major crash in what will likely be a series of currency collapses in the coming year, the Russian Ruble crashed another 20% today against the dollar, the euro, and even 13% against the shekel. Now is the time to buy Russian goods if you know of any good Russian equivalents to Amazon. They want your currency and will sell you stuff cheap.

If you’ve never seen a currency collapse before, this is what it looks like on paper:

Russian Rubles per USD
Russian Rubles per USD

Putin is trying to save the currency by raising interest rates, but it is doubtful that will work at this point. This is crisis of confidence in paper, and the only way to reverse it is to get rid of the paper, meaning back it with something real. Make it exchangeable for some unit of something at a fixed ratio and don’t cheat.

If Russia makes the Ruble convertible into gold – and it certainly can do this given the amount of gold Russia has been buying of late, it will stop the Ruble collapse in its tracks and reverse it.

When people stop believing in your paper, the paper returns to its intrinsic value of zero. If you turn that paper into gold, the paper becomes something. But then, of course, you cannot print anymore. If Putin wants to save his economy, he has to give up the ability to print money.

Otherwise, Russia will default again, just like it did in 1998, and Fight Club style, everyone’s savings will be entirely lost and the country will start over again.

The wonders of fiat money.

HUGE It looks like Netanyahu Really Lost the Mercaz Likud Vote After All

Well well well…isn’t this just beautiful? Though a final decision has yet to be made by the Likud court, it looks like that Central Committee vote that Netanyahu “won” last week really was a loss.

Here’s the article from Haaretz.

First of all, last week a Mercaz meeting was called that took place in Ariel. I was not there, but a neighbor of mine who is a Mercaz member described what happened as completely insane. Danon, who headed the meeting as chairman, completely and totally ignored those present. Apparently, he even hired 15 bodyguards during the meeting to ensure he wouldn’t be physically mobbed. He was booed fiercely by the crowd because they had voted down Netanyahu’s proposals, which where three:

  1. To push up the primaries to December 31 from January 6.
  2. To unite the Chairman and Knesset List elections and hold them on the same day.
  3. To allow Netanyahu to personally name 2 of his lackeys to the list.

The crowd was clearly against it, but Danon called for a secret ballot on the matter, which requires a certain amount of signatures which were not collected. The vote was appealed by Feiglin since there were no signatures for it, but that appeal was overruled.

Then Netanyahu “won” the vote 1567 to 835, because the ones that don’t show up to Mercaz meetings are the ones that support him, because they’re lazy, whereas we Feiglinites are motivated up the wazoo and would show up to a Mercaz meeting in Ramallah if we had to.

So, Feiglin and his sidekick Michael Fuah, a Manhigut Yehudit cofounder and the political brains behind the whole operation starting from the late 90’s, appealed to the Likud court again, but this time the appeal was a bit different.

The Likud Constitution states that the Knesset list election and the Chairmanship elections must take place on different dates. It also says that Knesset list elections must be “fair and equal”, which precludes Netanyahu from naming them personally. So, in order to change the Likud Constitution, you need a two-thirds majority. Count 1567 to 835 and it’s 41 votes shy of that majority.

The appeal is basically saying that since Netanyahu did not get his two-thirds majority, he in effect lost and cannot name candidates to the list, nor hold chairmanship and list primaries on the same day.

Now, even though a final decision from the court has not come in yet, it seems that Netanyahu is really nervous about this, because his men are talking personally with Fuah to find a compromise before the court rules.

This comes as an especially sweet victory for me because I remember four and a half years ago the Mercaz vote to postpone Mercaz elections. Netanyahu wanted to postpone the Mercaz elections precisely because he knew he’d lose control of it, and Netanyahu won that vote by getting over two-thirds to then change the constitution.

I remember going home that day after hanging out at the Herzliya Likud branch with Shmuel Sackett all day and feeling, for the first and thankfully only time, dejected and out of hope. For a few minutes I really thought that we could never win and Moshe had no chance of ever becoming prime minister.

I soon recovered, and now we really have stopped the Netanyahu steamroller. By 41 votes.

If the decision comes in to reverse the vote, it will be a real momentum changer in the party.