To Hell With The Rabanut

אהוב את המלאכה
ושנא את הרבנות
ואל תתוודע לרשות

That’s Avos DeRebbi Natan. Love work, hate the Rabanut, and don’t say anything to the authorities.

Or in libertarian language: Love working in the private sector. Hate the Rabanut. And don’t let the government know how much stuff you or anyone else has, because the bastards will take it all.

Recently, there was a big breakthrough for freedom in Israel. Who would have thought? It was somehow ruled legal to issue private kosher certification, not sanctioned by the state. Amazing! Now people can actually choose what kosher certificate they want, which they trust, which they don’t, which they want to picket, which they want to praise, which they love and which they hate. Which certification they consider to be, of their own free will, ultra mega crazy whopping kosher up all the halachic chumra wazoos, and which is basically the same as a bacon cheeseburger on Pesach that also happens to be Yom Kippur.

Choose. What a concept.

Up until now, choosing was illegal. And the Rabanut, the official state sponsored body of piggish control freak “Rabbis”, is really pissed off. Because they will no longer have a monopoly on the Kashrut industry, so they can’t charge as much, because when supply goes up baby, price comes down. The Rabbis don’t like this.

You may ask, how then is there a Badatz kashrut industry, if private certification is illegal? Because, the best thing about Haredim, the so called “ultra orthodox” is that they are not afraid of the State. And that is the best thing about them. Unlike the religious Zionists who are nearly 100% state worshipers, the Haredim will not be pushed around. Yes, they will demand money from the state and leverage their power to get more of it. But so does every single other sector in Israel. I don’t love them for that. But at least they won’t be pushed around.

So when the Rabanut of the State of Israel originally said they control all of the kosher certification industry in Israel, the Haredim basically gave them the finger and continued with their own certification, which was then incorporated into the State kosher certification system because the State knows it cannot fight the Haredim on this. If you can’t destroy them, assimilate them into the system. Give them a piece of the State pie and they’ll shut up.

It’s the same with marriage. When the Rabanut originally said they control all of marriage in the State, the Haredim basically gave them the finger again, said “screw you State, we’ll marry ourselves” and the State couldn’t fight them, so the Haredim have their own Edah Haredit marriage license program where you don’t have to go through any Rabanut bullshit.

I know this because I myself got my state marriage license (which I now regret, it was before I was a libertarian) through Edah Haredit. All I did was pay them 400 shekels and give them a note from Rabbi George Finkelstein that I was Jewish and so was my wife to be. And I said, “What do I have to do now?” And the guy with the big beard said, “Everything kehilchasa.” Everything according to Jewish law.

I said OK. Then we got married. Then I went back there to pick up my license. And that was it. No getting a Rabanut approved Rabbi. No Rabanut agent spying on my wife as she goes to the Mikva before the Chupah and signing off on it. No handing in any kosher certificate to the state spies. No prima nocta to the local “Chief Rabbi”. Nothing. Just 400 shekels and a letter.

Rabbi Seth Farber, no relation, has this whole organization called Itim that is designed to guide people through the disgustingness that is the Rabanut gauntlet to get married. I say to hell with State marraige altogether and do whatever you want, but nobody, absolutely nobody, should ever voluntarily go through that crap when you can just go through Edah Haredit and do nothing.

So anyway…back to Kashrut. The Rabanut is fighting back. Nobody should be allowed to choose. Choosing your own kosher certification is dangerous. It will lead to the end of the Jewish People as we know it. Just like it did for the 2,000 years when there was no official state Kosher monopoly. (I really despise these people.)

I didn’t read the article, I don’t want to, but I read the headline. Bagatz, Israel’s Supreme Court, is allowing the Rabanut to represent itself as they challenge the legality of private kosher certification.

Hate the Rabanut. May you bunch of Hillul Hashems who do nothing but make people hate Judaism and Halacha, lose badly.

Greece Pays IMF Back with IMF Monopoly Money

This is great! I love it. It’s so insane even I didn’t think of this. So apparently, all IMF countries have this account of IMF monopoly money, its own IMF currency, that is actually the IMF’s money that I guess can be exchanged for currency at an agreed exchange rate upon joining the loot ball.

The money can be used in emergencies as effectively an IMF loan, and must be replenished within 30 days (June 11) by the IMF rules. I would guess the funds are supposed to be used for emergency defense, or natural disasters or whatever. But Greece drew down €650M in IMF monopoly money to repay…

the IMF itself.

As Zerohedge puts it:

In sum: the IMF paid itself on behalf of Greece and will now be forced to pay itself back for paying itself later this month. Or, put differently, Greece has prepaid the IMF with IMF money it doesnt have.

This isn’t any more crazy, really, than the idea of the IMF bailing out Greece so Greece can pay the IMF.

Here’s a piece out this morning even more instructive of the Klein Bottle of finance that the Greek State just did:

Earlier today, we learned that, contrary to what Greek government officials had been implying for the better part of a week, Athens did not have enough money to make a €750 million payment to the IMF on Tuesday. Instead, Greece borrowed most of the money (€650 million according to unnamed officials) from its IMF SDR reserves. This money must be paid back within 30 days. This effectively means that the IMF paid itself and it sets up a hilariously absurd scenario wherein assuming Greece manages to convince creditors to disburse a €7.2 billion tranche of aid later this month, the IMF will send money to Greece, who will send it right back to the IMF to replenish an IMF fund, which was drawn down by the IMF to pay itself back for money it loaned to Greece a long time ago. Put simply: Greece has taken circular funding schemes to a whole new level.

But that’s it though. Greece has about €50M in cash left, and after that, it’s game over people. The IMF has said it is not going to participate in another Greek bailout just so it can pay itself for even longer. By the end of the month, the first domino, finally, falls, and the chain reaction begins.

What is it with Bill Gross and his Morbid Death Blogs?

I like Bill Gross. He’s not exactly an Austrian economist, but with him it’s like Kol Dodi Dofek, the Voice of my Beloved Knocking. (No, Bill is not my beloved, it’s a concept people.) His voice knocks truth even though he doesn’t get the whole picture. מציץ מן החרכים. He stumbles onto truth when he’s being sincere. But he’s been extremely morbid lately as if he’s on his deathbed, and very open about it too.

He was the head of PIMCO, formerly the largest bond fund, which basically kicked him out because he couldn’t stop saying the truth that bonds were garbage. Last week or thereabouts he came out with this really morbid post about death and bonds and the end of all things. It was widely syndicated and I saw it everywhere. The best line from that post was this:

Funny how bonds were labeled “certificates of confiscation” back in the early 1980’s when yields were 14%. What should we call them now?

He was talking about negative yields, how basically people are now loaning say $100 to a government only to get back $98 in ten years. Negative interest, which makes no logical sense, unless people are assuming all banks will fail so they can’t put their money there.

The first paragraph of that post was especially gloomy. Here it is:

Having turned the corner on my 70th year, like prize winning author Julian Barnes, I have a sense of an ending. Death frightens me and causes what Barnes calls great unrest, but for me it is not death but the dying that does so. After all, we each fade into unconsciousness every night, do we not? Where was “I” between 9 and 5 last night? Nowhere that I can remember, with the exception of my infrequent dreams. Where was “I” for the 13 billion years following the Big Bang? I can’t remember, but assume it will be the same after I depart – going back to where I came from, unknown, unremembered, and unconscious after billions of future eons. I’ll miss though, not knowing what becomes of “you” and humanity’s torturous path – how it will all turn out in the end. I’ll miss thatsense of an ending, but it seems more of an uneasiness, not a great unrest. What I fear most is the dying – the “Tuesdays with Morrie” that for Morrie became unbearable each and every day in our modern world of medicine and extended living; the suffering that accompanied him and will accompany most of us along that downward sloping glide path filled with cancer, stroke, and associated surgeries which make life less bearable than it was a day, a month, a decade before.

It’s like modern Poe. Creepy stuff. And now he’s out with another one of these deathbed rants, even though I haven’t heard anything about him being sick. Saw it on Bloomberg, “The Amount of Money I’ll Give Away is Staggering, Even To Me”. Well, OK Bill, we get it , we’re all going to die, but what is going on with you? Why do you have to be so public about all of our imminent deaths?

Gross is the Bond King. He knows it’s all a sham and it’s about to break. Maybe he’s a little ashamed of being a part of this whole global scheme of governments borrowing and then taxing you to pay back the interest it owes you on its bonds.

Can Greece Pay Up €750M Tomorrow?

Yanis Varoufakis says it can be paid. Many aren’t too sure about that. But even if it is, there won’t be enough money left to pay Greek bureaucrats, who will have to be issued IOU’s, which will start circulating as a parallel currency, which will be a de facto exit from the Euro. I went over this in my column for  TheStreet.

The Greek government passed a controversial bill on April 24 mandating local governments to transfer idle cash reserves to the Greek Central Bank. From there, the funds can be borrowed by the state to (theoretically) squeak by its upcoming IMF bill, totaling €967 million ($1.05 billion): some €201 million of interest payments, due by May 6, with a €766 million principle payment coming up on May 12.

The problem is, the bill might be far too little to help.

It looks like the Greek State will barely get through May 6, but after that, the numbers are disputed, and time is of the essence. While the government estimates the idle cash seizure move will net anywhere from €1.5 billion to €2.5 billion, secondary reports of local Greek media claim that only €160 million has actually been collected from local authorities, hospitals, universities and municipalities.

Whether the Greek State defaults to the IMF or defaults to its own bureaucrats doesn’t matter. They want to spend more money and the people who print the money don’t want to give it to them. So they’ll have to print their own. That is the meaning of Grexit.

Watch Italian bonds. They’re next.

A Conversation I had Years Ago with Feiglin Sheds Light on Greece

I remember it was April 28, 2010. Happens to be the Gregorian date of my Savta Betty’s Yahrzeit. The last time I wrote a post about her it was for when my daughter Dafna Betty was born. A lot has happened since then. I said there that if I had a son I’d call him Fry, and I did have a son, thank God, and I called him Fry (Efraim), after Phillip J. Fry my favorite cartoon character, and Avraham, after my Sabba. Since then I also now have a niece named Lila, which is close enough to Leela from the same cartoon, so there’s now Fry and Lila, which is almost perfect.

But anyway, on April 28, 2010, I was finally released from prison, AKA the army, after six months of wasted time. The very next day, I went to Herzliya to hang out with Shmuel Sackett in front of the Herzliya Likud branch. It was a Likud central committee vote about postponing the Central Committee elections. All that seems so remote now as I couldn’t give a crap about Likud anymore.

To the point finally, I love ramble writing. We lost that vote. Moshe Feiglin was considering leaving the Likud then. We spoke for a few minutes a few days later and he said to me something like this:

“Look if we leave Likud, Netanyahu will have a party, Ketzaleh (then head of the extreme right wing National Union party) will celebrate, but one thing will remain: Reality. And the reality is, we need Jewish leadership.”

And so it is with Greece. I can’t find a single main stream media source that doesn’t baffle you with bullshit about this whole thing. Nothing written in the mainstream says anything about reality.

The reality is, the Greek government wants to spend money, and it has no money, and it can’t get any money. That’s reality. Whatever Tsipras and Varoufakis and the rest of those wacknut clowns claim is “just” and “fair” and whatever other label they want to put on it, there’s nothing left. They spent it all. That’s it.

Money may be fiat these days, but it still represents tangible wealth, of which there is only a finite amount that cannot be printed into existence. It has to be produced. And government doesn’t produce anything. The only tangible things it produces are designed to destroy wealth, like armies and weapons. And spies and drones and prisons.

So however long this drags out, reality will remain. Greece wants to spend money that it does not have. After all the games and all the tricks and all the blabbering about justice and fairness and values and morality and all the other crap pulled out of Greek politician’s asses, it’s either there or it isn’t, and it just ain’t there.

The reality is, Greece will default. And further out, all governments going deeper and deeper into debt will default. It’s simply reality. It cannot be stopped by sophistry and Orwellian equivocation and fancy meaningless language fed to the mainstream media. No one, nothing, can stop it.

And once it starts, the dominoes will fall very quickly. Reality will always stand in the way of bullshit. No exceptions.


Six Days Until Greece Defaults

Things are starting to fall into place. We almost have another gold flag today. We may yet if gold turns positive by the end of the day. It is barely down.

Stocks are way down. Bonds are down hard. Dollar is tanking.

Gold is even. But oil is up.

In any case, this will all get much worse come Tuesday May 12, when Greece has to repay €775M to the IMF, but probably does not have the money to do so. According to Zerohedge, there will be no deal by Monday, May 11. Here ZH isn’t just speculating, but quoting a source. So they’re probably right here.

Further evidence for no deal by Monday is that Tsipras and his Syriza socialist wacknutters just reversed a measure passed by the previous government to fire 15,000 useless bureaucrats. They will now be rehired, because putting human robots on the payroll of a European backed bailout is the moral thing to do, I guess.

I’m sure the IMF will be really happy about this. You have no money but you hire 15,000 people to do nothing but shuffle paper and screw up the economy. There’s no way Greece is getting any more money. Forget it.

We’re 6 days away from D-Day, finally, on Greece.

Hasta La Vista, Eurozone.