With all the gay marriage obsession it’s a wonder I’m still a religious Jew

Self-defined religious that is. People can call me whatever they want, but I still believe the Torah was given at Sinai, in some form at least, by God, that Moshe (Moses) existed, and that this was a historical event.

In any case, the longer I remain a remain a libertarian, the farther my former frum(ish) persona is left in the distance. The less I can take Rabbinic figures seriously because they’re focused on such nonsense. I’ve had this conversation with my wife many times. I can’t take Divrei Torah or Halacha Shiurim seriously anymore. They all seem like a joke to me. Here we are pining over some detail and trying to extract some intellectual opium over it by coming with whatever Svarah, and meanwhile the biggest global theft in the history of the world is happening under our noses and all the religious leaders coming up with the Svarahs have no idea that it’s even happening.

My feed is full of gay marriage comments. Gay marriage. Gay people reading this should rejoice in my next statement: Gay marriage does not matter, in the scheme of things. It’s nice that gay people can now inherit or visit their sick spouses or whatever it is they want to do. It’s a tiny injustice that is now undone. But it’s the government giving gay people a crutch after breaking their legs. Thank you. Whatever. I suppose if I were gay it would matter more to me on a personal level.

Meanwhile, humanity is being slowly led like sheep into the financial gas chambers and nobody realizes it. If you think what’s happening in Greece is intense, imagine it happening globally.

I remember a shiur I once had in college on Emunos Ve’Deos by the RaSag. Sa’adya began his work by saying something like, “If we all stole from one another, nothing would be left.”

That is essentially what we are all doing. We are borrowing from the future to consume in the present (for this is debt) and it’s going to end. It is very hard to take religious figures seriously when they are focused on such issues as the sexual acts between consenting adults.

It’s the equivalent of religious pornography. Watching porn is fine. It’s just stupid, and in the long term harmful, and if you really get into it, self-destructive.

Religious leaders need to come to terms with the correct position. That is, if God says he’s going to kill you for consensual homosexuality, then let Him do it, and leave us Rabbis alone about it. We’re not interested in religious pornography. We should all really be concerned about the fact that everyone is stealing from everyone else, and we’re about to run out of pie.



COINCIDENCE? The Greferendum Will Take Place on the Fast of 17 of Tamuz

I looked at the calendar just now and noticed that the Greek Referendum, or the so-called Greferendum on Eurozone membership is going to take place on 18 Tamuz. The fast is postponed one day because the 17th of Tamuz falls out on Shabbat.

I also noticed that the 4th of July falls out on 17 Tamuz this year. The 17th of Tamuz marks the beginning of the ominous 3 weeks from 17 Tamuz to 9 Av, when Jews are advised to pretty much hunker down and don’t take any major risks. On 17 Tamuz, the walls of Jerusalem were breached, Moses broke the Tablets, Apostemos burnt the Torah, an idol was placed in the Beit HaMikdash, and the daily offering ceased.

I also noticed that last Friday, the day that Alexis Tsipras called off negotiations on the bailout and called for the Greferendum was the 9th of Tamuz, which is the original fast day that we now observe on the 17th of Tamuz.

This could all be nothing, but it could mean something. I guess we’ll find out in a few days. The financial world is hanging by a hair. And yes, I could be wrong.

IRONY of Ironies: Greece may not even have the money to hold a referendum!

Zerohedge is reporting that FAZ, a German news agency, is reporting that the referendum may be moot simply because the Greeks have no money to logistically carry it out.

I can’t imagine that if the referendum actually happens, the Greek people will turn it down and say no to the deal. They’ll say yes. Losing access to their savings outright is too frightening for anyone. And I cannot imagine that if they say yes, the Troika will say, “Nope, sorry, you’re a week too late,” and cut the country loose. They’ll give them the money eventually and Grexit will be avoided.

BUT. If the referendum doesn’t actually happen in the first place because the Greek government is so bankrupt that it can’t even hold a referendum, then Grexit is entirely possible, and this is the end.

And it will be their fault too, because they have waited so long to actually ask their people.

So let’s sharpen it. If the referendum happens, collapse will be averted. If it doesn’t because they are so completely bankrupt, then this is the endgame.

Bond Attack on Italy and Spain Begins

Spanish bond yields jump
Spanish bond yields jump

Yields are falling in the stronger economies and surging in the weaker ones. Bloomberg:

Spain’s 10-year bond yield jumped 14 basis points to 2.25 percent, set for the biggest increase since June 15. The yield on Italian 10-year bonds climbed 14 basis points to 2.29 percent, having earlier surged as much as 57 basis points.

“The market is seeking haven assets as some investors perceive Grexit risk as being higher now,” said Vincent Chaigneau, London-based global head of rates and foreign-exchange strategy at Societe Generale SA. “That said, we expect to see some stabilization soon. If the Greeks vote to accept the creditors’ deal, then talks can resume and I think most of them still want to remain in the euro zone.”

The Greeks will vote next week to stay in the Eurozone. If that quells bond markets, it may avert a collapse for a while. If it doesn’t, then this is the end game. Unless China keeps crashing and bringing down other markets with it anyway. China is down another 3.5% today.

What Happens When Greece Can No Longer Pay Riot Police?

Headline article on Business Insider today is “Greeks are Withdrawing Money from ATM’s Faster Than They Can Be Replenished”.

The accompanying picture is a bunch of Greek State soldiers with riot gear. The minor danger here is that the riot police will get out of hand and start beating or shooting protesters when things get really desperate.

But the major danger is this: What happens when the Greek State can no longer pay its own riot police?

What happens when these people aren't paid?
What happens when these people aren’t paid?

Greece Defaults in Three Days, Global Collapse May Begin July 1

This will be the ultimate test for the global financial system to date, since the 2008 financial crisis. I turned on my computer Motzei Shabbos and it took me a few minutes to make sense of all the headlines. Apparently, what is happening is this.

Greece’s creditors want spending cuts, Greece says only tax hikes. That I already knew. Then the creditors, the “troika” or the “institutions” or whatever you want to call them, say “No, we’re serious, it’s either spending cuts or default.”

The official bailout expires June 30. Tsipras and Varoufakis said OK, we’ll do a referendum to see if the people want spending cuts or default. Tsipras and Varoufakis ask for a few weeks extension to the official bailout program which expires June 30, because they cannot organize a referendum by then.

And the troika says no, no extension.

So the referendum is meaningless.

Therefore, Greece will default for (nearly) certain on June 30. Now, here’s the interesting part. If the global financial system is as unstable as I believe it is, there will be a bond attack in Spain and Italy. If that bond attack is not quelled within a week, it will spread to Portugal and Ireland. Or it could be Portugal and Ireland first and then Spain and Italy. Point is, there will be a bond attack somewhere and interest rates will skyrocket for some Eurozone country deeply in debt.

If that is not quelled by massive money printing the likes of which have never been seen, you’ll start to see the carnage cross oceans.

Basically, it comes down to this. If the global financial system can withstand the first few weeks of this default, then there will be no global financial meltdown. If it can last the first 2 weeks, then collapse is another 10 years away. If in the next two (maybe three) weeks we see interest rates skyrocketing globally, then this is the end of the current global monetary system. I honestly don’t know. But everyone knows what I’m rooting for.

Let’s see what happens. And prey for the Greek people. No matter what happens globally, they are going to be starving in the streets because of government restrictions on their economic activity, AKA capital controls. They will lose their savings, but anyone with gold and silver will be OK. (And lead.) If you have any family in Greece, tell them to get out of the country in any way possible right now. I mean right now, don’t even sleep on it. Boat, plane, walk across the border to Macedonia, it doesn’t matter. Just get out.

Supreme Court Gives Liberty to Gays, Slavery to Rich

Today the Supreme Court declared gay marriage legal throughout the US. That’s very good. People should be allowed to sign whatever contracts they want with whoever. The most important aspects as I understand it is that gay couples can now have visitation rights at hospitals, power of attorney, and inheritance rights with whoever they want.

At the same time, the Supreme Court has also legalized Obamacare, or a massive theft from the rich to the poor. It will collapse.

Bob Wenzel notes at EPJ the similarity between Chief Justice John Roberts and Mussolini:

“Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote in a 21-page opinion, which sounds like it came straight out of Mussolini economics.

From My Autobiography by Benito Mussolini:

I have wanted the Fascist government, above all, to give great care to social legislation…I think that Italy is advanced beyond all European nations; in fact, it has ratified laws…for obligatory insurance against tuberculosis…All this shows how, in every detail in the field of labor, I stand by the working labor…from insurance against accidents to the indemnity against illness.

Chief Injustice Roberts was on the wrong side of both these issues. He voted against gay marriage but for Obamacare. Sad to see that gay people won’t be enjoying their marriages very much through their new hospital visitation rights when the healthcare system in the US completely implodes because of people like Roberts.

I myself am against all state marriage. But if gays want to be taxed more so they can be hassled less on inheritance and power of attorney and visitation, then go for it.


Has Someone on Huffington Post been Reading TJL?

This blog on the Huffington Post was published on the same day my blog was published on Times of Israel, and then republished here after the editors there took it down. It supports a free market in organs.

Why We Need a Market for Organs

By Sabrina Zurga

Over 123,000 people in the U.S. need organ transplants. But in 2014, only 28,953 transplants were performed. Every day, 21 people die because they cannot secure an organ for transplant– and this number is on the rise. Even with countless celebrity-backed public service announcements urging the public to become organ donors, the supply of organs is nowhere close to matching the demand. If we continue to rely on donations alone, there is little we can do to help patients in need of organ transplants.

A burgeoning black market for organs fills this gap between supply and demand. Patients from more affluent countries like the US, Canada and the UK travel to countries like China and India to buy organs illegally. In 2011, the FBI discovered the first US based organ ring in Brooklyn, New York. Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, an Israeli citizen, confessed to arranging illegal kidney transplants and pocketing approximately $410,000 in brokerage fees. He was sentenced to two and a half years in prison. None of the organ recipients were prosecuted…

I can only hope I helped inspire that piece. Thanks Sabrina, in either case.



In Defense of the Confederate Flag

Jewish Confederates

Before someone accuses me of being pro slavery, I point you to my previous post supporting reparations for descendants of slaves. Personally, if I were a descendant of a slave (which I am, just much farther back) or a Holocaust survivor (which I am not) I wouldn’t accept any reparations. But I support those who wish to claim them from whoever they can prove owe them.

Before I get into the whole argument over the flag, the basic point is the confederate flag stands for things other than slavery, which it does stand for, for some. Not for me. For me, and for others, it stands for secession and independence, which I support. I do not own a Confederate flag and have no intention to buy one. It reminds me of slavery even though I do not see that as its central message, so it makes me obviously uncomfortable to see it.

There were many confederate soldiers who were fighting for their freedom from Lincoln’s tyranny who did not support slavery. Not the least of which many of the Jewish confederates. Some Jews did support slavery. That is horrible. Others didn’t. Both fought Lincoln’s invading army. Conclusion being anyone should be allowed to wave a flag. If politicians want to pass a law forbidding the flag from being waved from tax-funded buildings, or their own homes, fine. I support that. Politicians can ban anything they want for themselves. But not for other people.

So, to begin.

Something funny happened last night. I was out to dinner in Tel Aviv with Moshe Feiglin and the rest of the Beth David staff (new company I’m working with on a gold initiative) and someone asked me if I heard about the whole thing with the Confederate flag. Truth is, I had only vaguely heard some controversy around the flag lately, but had no idea where it was coming from so suddenly. I don’t pay attention to silly controversies about pieces of cloth.

He told me that it was because of the Charleston shooting. Amazingly, I hadn’t heard much about that either. I knew there was a shooting and people were killed. I didn’t even know it was a black church, or that the sick murderer that did it was a fan of the Confederate flag. That’s how under a rock I am in my own world. I ignore the main stream media as best I can. I don’t visit Israel news websites because I don’t care whats going on in politics and I don’t want to know. Unless there’s a war and I need to know safety information, I don’t touch main stream media.

Every time something horrible like this happens, like a shooting of innocent people by a crazed murderer, there is a kneejerk reaction to direct it into some fruitless symbolic act of vengeance, in this case passing a law to ban a bunch of flags. That’s not so bad. Worse would be to itch for more gun control. That’s like passing a law forbidding shooting up black churches, and mandating a very very very death penalty for it.

I don’t want to turn this post into a gun control debate. I’ll only say that the highest murder rates in the country are in the cities with the toughest gun control laws. (I’m talking to you, Chicago.) And that practically everyone in my city is armed, many carry openly, and nobody shoots each other. And there are no gun accidents.

Here are the stupid things to do when a crime like this occurs:

1) Call for more money for better government education against shooting innocent people in churches

2) Call for a ban on guns

3) Call for a ban on a flag

4) Call for a ban on the brand of underwear the shooter was wearing at the time of the crime

If you’re going to tell me that the flag represents hate and underwear is underwear, I say that hateful people that would murder are not going to be swayed by a flag anymore than by their own underwear. If you take the flag away from these people, they will not suddenly become good people. They will buy the flag on the black market. The Confederate flag is not somehow infecting good people to turn them into murderers.

Here are some legitimate ways to expend energy, but which will accomplish nothing in the end:

1) Conduct a rally, invite Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, and let everyone express how against the murder of innocents everyone is. I understand these rallies. They are legitimate. I may even be tempted to attend one. They are simply large funeral processions, sadly. Potential future murderers don’t attend these things. Those that would, will never murder anyway. People can vent and go home.

2) Write open letters to the community addressing the victims, about how against murder we all are, and that we won’t tolerate murder. Letters are nice. They are necessary to a point. I understand why they are sent. I fully support these letters. They will still accomplish nothing long term. That is the truth.

3) Pen articles expressing how wrong it is to kill innocent people and how murder will not be tolerated. We all know this. I support these articles because sometimes they help in calming emotion. But there are evil people in the world and they don’t care about articles. The good people already know not to kill innocent people.

Here are some constructive things to do to prevent this from happening again:

1) Pass a law allowing people to arm themselves openly, even in churches.

2) Get rid of all taxes whatsoever on places of worship and their employees so they can afford to hire private security. Full, 100% tax and regulatory exemption. No sales tax on anything they buy, at all. No property taxes. Nothing. Total 100% tax haven. No forms to fill out, no bureaucrats interfering with ANYTHING. ZERO. I’m the treasurer of a shul. I know the crap you have to go through to stay legal. Get rid of it all. Will people use this as a front to escape taxes? Yes. Good. The more the merrier.

3) Get rid of all State welfare and drug laws. Much of the hate against blacks by murderers stems from these two things. They have also destroyed the black family unit. If no one – black or white – gets any welfare from taxpayers, and there is less crime stemming from drug laws, there is much less resentment in society. This has a much better chance of stopping the next murder spree than banning a flag.

It is impossible to say how one would have behaved or thought had he lived in a different century. But, knowing what I know now, had I lived in the 1860’s in the South, I would have taken up arms as a Confederate soldier to defend against Lincoln. I would also have been a vocal opponent of slavery, and possibly even an operative of the Underground Railroad, had I had the courage. Had I lived in the North I would have protested the invasion of the South, dodged the draft if I could, and deserted or mutinied if they dragged me into battle to murder Southern secessionists.

I’m not going to go into why the War Between the States had (almost) nothing to do with slavery. It was a war over tariffs and taxes. Lincoln was a white supremacist who said clearly, on many occasions, that he supported slavery. He voted for the Fugitive Slave Act, forcing runaway slaves back to their cruel masters. He did not free the slaves he could have freed. He only passed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, in the middle of the war, while losing the war, and looking for any way to increase support for himself. He was an evil man to the core.

Almost everyone in the North were white supremacists as well. Almost everyone hated blacks back then. Not just in the South. There is no way that Lincoln would have been able to mobilize hundreds of thousands of white racists to risk their lives fighting and dying for the freedom of black slaves. The “Civil War” was about taxes. And State glory. If it were only about slavery, Lincoln could have easily negotiated a deal to buy out all the slaves without killing a single person. It was not about slavery. It was about “saving the Union”. In other words, control.

If you want to read more about this, take a look at The Real Lincoln, and Lincoln Unmasked. Find them on Amazon.