Nitzan Horowitz: Without Government, There Would be No Cultural Activities At All!

There’s this whole totally unnecessary controversy right now in Israel about some play about some Arab who kills some soldier and the State having to subsidize the play but not wanting to, and somehow not subsidizing a play with with tax money is tantamount to violating free speech.

If that’s so, what I’m doing right now is not free speech because the government isn’t paying me to do it. I can’t tell if the people who say these things are actually that stupid, or they are just incredibly dishonest. Probably a mix.

Then there’s another play about Yigal Amir somewhere that other people don’t want to be subsidized. And again, both sides hate each other.

Here’s an idea. Don’t subsidize any play whatsoever, and let people watch or not watch them, and leave us all alone. Ah, but then there will be no more plays at all, in fact no cultural activity at all, says Nitzan Horowitz! Wow!

Moshe’s pretty good in this one. Horowitz says something like “If you take away state money from cultural activities, you could say the same about education, housing, and everything else!”

Feiglin: Yes, exactly.

Horowitz: Then there will be nothing!

Feiglin: So you’re saying that if the Minister of Outer Space suddenly resigned, then the cosmos would stop existing.

Now that’s good stuff.

Only one objection. Feiglin says that no one should be forced to subsidize any plays, and Horowitz correctly says that he shouldn’t be forced to pay for settlers. That’s a good point, and Horowitz is correct there.

Moshe tries to answer with a non-sequitur, saying that he doesn’t pay for settlers because settlers are more productive than other sectors. But that’s nonsense. He pays for their protection and everything else public in Judea and Samaria regardless of how productive they are, and he shouldn’t have to because he has a moral problem with where they live. Moshe can’t say that though because then he becomes an anarcho capitalist so he has to say something illogical to keep his minarchy intact.

The other nutty thing about this video was the subtitle that appears around minute 4: “Privatization of Culture: A good solution or morally bankrupt?”

Privatization of culture is morally bankrupt of course. Before the State, there was no culture. First there were people who were in charge of everyone who told the little people who they stole from how to do culture. Then they did culture. Without governments, there would be no culture, and we’d basically be monkeys. Yeah. Sounds right. Sometimes I can’t stop thinking how sick this State is.

 

Headline of the Year: Gennimata easily beats off competition to become first woman to head PASOK

Great stuff. Love the picture too. And her name, Fofi.

Gennimata easily beats off competition to become first woman to head PASOK

Fofi beats off competition
Fofi beats off competition
Fofi Gennimata took over as the first female leader in PASOK’s history on Monday after comfortably seeing off her two male competitors to secure the presidency of the beleaguered Socialist party.

The ex-minister immediately said that she would seek to rebuild the once-mighty party and would begin a dialogue with other groups on the center-left of Greek politics. Although she did not name them, her comments suggest that she will reach out to Democratic Left, which was part of the coalition government between 2012 and 2013, and the Movement of Democratic Socialists launched by ex-PASOK chief George Papandreou in January.

Reminds me of this great blooper:

 

Tsipras Insists on Saving Democracy, But Democracy is what is Destroying Europe

I can’t resist. It’s just too poetic.

Tsipras was quoted as penning this rhetorical flourish, not bad for the Rambam at the end of one of the 14 books of the Yad, except full of much more bull:

Those who perceive our sincere wish for a solution and our attempts to bridge the differences as a sign of weakness, should consider the following: We are not simply shouldering a history laden with struggles. We are shouldering the dignity of our people, as well as the hopes of the people of Europe. We cannot ignore this responsibility. This is not a matter of ideological stubbornness. This is about democracy. We do not have the right to bury European democracy in the place where it was born.

Your people’s dignity? What a sick twisted world where “dignity” is defined by how much of other people’s money you can snort up in a bailout to maintain your bloated pensions for people who do nothing but put restrictions on business.

Real dignity, Tsipras my commie buddy, is when you work for the money you earn, it’s from the satisfaction of having created value for the world, of being rewarded for hard efforts pleasing consumers.

As for burying European democracy in the place where it was born, just because “your people” in Greece voted for you to take other people’s money in Germany because you ran out of money in your own country, doesn’t mean doing so is dignified or morally correct. Here is a beautiful paragraph from an FT article penned by a politician of all people, telling the truth for once.

“The game theorists of the Greek government are in the process of gambling away the future of their country,” Mr Gabriel wrote, in a thinly veiled dig at Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister who is an expert on game theory. “Europe and Germany will not let themselves be blackmailed. And we will not let the exaggerated electoral pledges of a partly communist government be paid for by German workers and their families.“

BAM!

Just because a bunch of people democratically voted to take money from people in another country doesn’t make it holy. Maybe democracy will finally die right where it was born, in Greece, with its body decaying out from there and the rotting corpse of democracy that has all led us to unsustainable global debt trying to steal from one another will decay and be gone forever, all while the democracy worshipers, especially in this country where “saving democracy” is the new god of Israel that took us all out of Egypt to be our god, all wonder what the hell happened.

Kahlon Jacks up Taxes on Home Purchases, Home Prices Plunge (HA HA No They Don’t!)

Moshe Kahlon, that fake fraud pathetic slime, has raised taxes on houses for investment by as much as 10% of their value.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon appears ready to make good on his promises to lower housing prices – but critics said that the first move he was making on the subject was actually likely to backfire.

On Sunday, at Kahlon’s behest, the government significantly increased the purchase tax on apartments and homes purchased for investments. The increases will tag between 5% and 10% on the price of an investmentproperty.

The logic goes like this:

Housing prices are too high, so if we all give more money to the GOVERNMENT instead of to the people SELLING THE HOUSE, they’ll go down.

MAKE SENSE?!

It’s not supply and demand! It’s how much money you give to ME, MOSHE KAHLON, INSTEAD OF SOME OTHER GUY! The more you give to ME…the richer everyone will be!

It’s beautiful logic, especially when you’re a dirty scum politician like Moshe Kahlon. Riding in on a wave of popularity after you accidentally did sort of the right thing but have no freaking clue why it worked.

Raise taxes. That’ll solve everything.

Greeks Partying Hard as the Ship Sinks

This is not about the negotiations. It’s actually a dry news story about an actual event that happened and is happening and can be documented, rather than rumors of a report of possible private conversations with intonations and predilections and intimations of something maybe blah blah behind closed doors deal thingee between Greece, and its creditors the CIA, IMF FBI KGB, KKK, ECB, and CBS.

So the Greek public broadcasting station ERT is being reopened. Davka now. Wow. 1,500 state employees hired to spew bullshit about what all the Greek politicians are doing, saying, not doing and not saying so everyone can know. All the time.

I wonder what the hell they’re going to pay the 1,500 bullshit workers with.

Once described as a “haven of waste”, Greece’s public broadcaster relaunched on Thursday evening with a live concert by famous local musicians in central Athens…

“Today ERT is back, once again tasked with providing a service to Greek society of prompt and impartial information. The stakes are high; to show that a public organisation can serve the public interest,” said Tsipras.

It’s thought around 1,500 staff are being gradually rehired as programming progressively resumes.

Reporting from the reopening, Nikoleta Drougka, our correspondent in Athens said: “Here at the ERT headquarters, the mood is celebratory.”

Live it up you wacknuts. Party hard. You don’t have much time to enjoy it, so may as well go out screaming.

It reminds me of that snippet from Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah) where God tells him to redeem a field while the Babylonians are busy burning Yehuda and killing everyone. Yirmiyahu asks what’s the point. God says that fields will still be redeemed in My land, no matter what’s happening.

In Yirmiyahu it’s a sad but beautiful note of ultimate continuity in the face of catastrophe. The meaning is, ultimately, we’ll be back. And we are.

But with his reopening of some stupid public broadcaster, it’s like an dark universe version of that same message. We screwed up. So at least let’s screw up some more before the bell tolls. Have a party. Woo hoo.

My Last Word On Greece Until they Leave the Euro

The back and forth on Greece is starting to drive even me nuts. As we get closer to the deadline of reality (whenever that is), the Greek government – the entire Eurozone really – is acting more and more like a cornered animal, changing its tune and tone every hour instead of every day. It’s getting nuts, and I can’t believe any stories that come out of there anymore.

One hour Greece has a deal. The next hour the IMF is pissed as hell. Then Tsipras is groping Merkel and then Varoufakis is growling at Scheuble, then some Greek unknown official named Somethingopalous Flabargatopolous says something very hopeful, but Jean Claude Van Dam Juncker says “we have to hurry” and Christine Lagarde gets hot flashes while Jeroen Djisselbooger says Greece’s plan is not credible, but talks were “extremely friendly”.

This is a term I’ve actually seen a lot. “Extremely friendly”. Does anyone not an an asylum use that term? “Extremely friendly”? Extreme friends, sounds like a reality show where two friends go into the Outback and see if they can survive dehydration and kangaroo attacks.

I have never been “extremely friendly” with anybody. It sounds frightening.

So whatever happens, happens. I’m done. Everything is smokescreens now. As we get even closer, the story will change by the minute.

Rotem Sela is Awesome, Publicly Breaking the Law of Book Price Controls

This guy Rotem Sela is pretty cool. I know nothing about him, but what he’s doing is awesome. In this video, he’s wearing a shirt that says, “Books at illegal prices.” I’ve written about this minimum book price law twice, here and here. It’s a law that says prices on books by new authors must be above market level, in so many words.

By doing that, they make the books impossible to sell, putting new authors completely out of business.

It makes me want to cry how politicians just simply refuse to understand supply and demand, no matter how simple it is. Supply and demand meet at the market price. Make the market price illegal, and you have a surplus, meaning unsold stuff. The producers of the unsold stuff lose money. They stop producing it.

That’s it. That’s it that’s it that’s it. There’s nothing else to it. Same with minimum wage. Make market price wages illegal, and you have a surplus of workers, AKA permanent unemployment. That’s it that’s it. Nothing else to it.

Moshe Feiglin wrote a pretty good post today explaining the bad effects of the minimum book price law, but he still talks in socialist jargon and it bothers me. This paragraph, specifically, was pretty crappy: (worst parts in bold)

הכוונה היתה טובה – אין ספק (גם מרכס לא חשב להרעיב מיליונים). הרי סופרים מתחילים מקבלים גרושים ואת כל הרווח גורפות הוצאות הספרים המשומנות – אז למה לא בעצם? לקחת מהעשירים ולתת לעניים? מה יותר פשוט מזה. החוק עבר ברוב כמעט מוחלט

The intention was a good one, no doubt. (Marx wasn’t trying to starve millions either.) Of course beginning authors get peanuts and all the profit goes to the fattened book publishers, so why not price controls? Take from the rich and give to the poor? Nothing simpler than that. The law passed easily.

The implication is that, indeed, it would be nicer if authors got more money, but they don’t, and people are greedy, and there’s nothing we can do about it. These “reluctant libertarian” positions I call them are really annoying. It WOULDN’T be “better” if authors got more money. They get the money they get because that’s the market price for it. That’s it.

There is no and there cannot be any value judgement about what market prices are. They just are. They take into account what people want or don’t want and how much they are willing to pay, the supply the demand and the meeting point between the two.

And how does Feiglin know how much “profit” (by which he means interest) goes to the book publishers and how little goes to the authors? Has he looked at their profit margins? Does he see definitively that if the fat book publishers gave more of their fat profit to the sickly authors, they would still be net positive?

Whatever. He sneaks in these wacky sentiments sometimes when he makes a good point. And it’s annoying.

So Rotem Sela is breaking the law publicly and challenging the State in the open. I like this. Let’s see if he gets thrown into the Gulag by our enlightened lunatics in the Knesset. Also, interestingly, if you’ll notice he wording at the beginning of the video – “How did banks become so hated by the public?”

Good segway.

Greece Proposal Rejected Again as 5.2 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Athens

According to WSJ, Greece’s latest proposal to get its hand on more bailout money was swiftly rejected.

BRUSSELS—A compromise proposal sent by Greece on Tuesday as part of an effort to unlock an impasse with creditors over its bailout program drew a swift and negative response from officials at the European Commission.

President Jean-Claude Juncker told other commissioners at the EU executive arm’s weekly meeting that the proposal appears to backtrack from an agreement on budget targets struck between him and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at a meeting last week, a person familiar with his remarks said.

In the meantime, a 5.2 magnitude earthquake hit Athens this morning.

Foreshadowing.