Shkoyach Europe! EU Parliament votes to drop charges against Ed Snowden

Well here’s some good news and rare praise from me to a body of politicians. According to RT, the vote was 285 to 281 in favor of dropping charges.

Liberty activists will go gaga over the fact someone is being nice to Snowden, but I think the real significance here is that the world is getting less and less afraid to stand up to the US Government. They are weakening. Russian jets just buzzed the USS Ronald Reagen, some warship or other. China is threatening a passing US warship as it sails by some manmade island chain. And now Europe is raising the middle finger to the American State.

Raise it high. Keep it up. Good job Europe!

World War III Sabre Rattling Between Gog and Magog (US and Russia) in Syria

I’m not typically a wolf cryer about World War III, but this is nuts. Some idiot named Ash who is the “defense” secretary of the US, is saying that there should be US troops in Syria. While Russia is over there. Fighting.

On the pretense of fighting “ISIS”. So in order to defend Americans from ISIS, they need to invade a country that has nothing to do with America, making sure they risk a real war with a nuclear power while doing it. A nuclear power that really does have the capability of hitting American soil.

Russian and US troops fighting in the same country is a very bad idea. These people are insane and they are threatening the existence of all humans on Earth. They can send troops anywhere they want without even so much as a vote. The power they have to endanger us all is mind numbing.

These people are crazy. They’re dangerous psychopathic crazy people. I don’t know what else to say.

Praying on the Temple Mount is Now an Economic Commodity worth ₪2,000

A group called חוזרים להר or “Return to the Mount” led by Refael Morris is apparently offering 2,000 shekels for every Jew that is arrested praying on the Temple Mount.

This is an absolutely fantastic idea, and though I cannot participate, I contacted the guy and suggested he start a crowdfunding campaign to raise money and up the grant to a serious amount. I will let you know what he says. I would gladly contribute to the fund and encourage all to do so as well, when and if a crowdfunding campaign begins.

There’s nothing better than externalizing a very precious good by attaching a monetary value to it. Let’s do it!

If he doesn’t start the campaign I’ll do it myself.

Strange Connection with Irwin Schiff’s Funeral

Transporting myself from 2007 to now, I’ve come very far. I would not recognize my life at all if I had teleported here from 8 years ago. Stranger still are the connections I’ve made.

One is a Chabad Rabbi who I somehow made contact with after my Yanklowitz piece on organ sales. This guy runs runs around testing matching donors and he needs money to do this. He found my piece and contacted me. He is a libertarian Chabad Rabbi.

We talked, and I gave him some money and will continue to donate to his organ donation causes, because as much as I hate hypocrites who donate but rail against organ sales (Yanklowitz no longer falls into this category as he has changed to an organ sales supporter, thank God) I do fully support voluntary organ donation since it is a great thing. Exchanging organs for love (or whatever it is you get from donating) is just as wonderful as exchanging organs for money.

So anyway, this Rabbi and I became acquaintances. And the other day he messages me out of the blue that he is the Rabbi who happened to speak at Irwin Schiff’s funeral, which I wish I could have attended. It would have been so meaningful to me both as a Jew and a libertarian to be there, and to be menachem aveilim on all cylinders.

I discovered that a mutual acquaintance of ours, who is involved in the Feiglin movement, suggested to the Schiff family that this Rabbi officiate at the funeral. The Schiffs wanted a likeminded Rabbi to speak, and this guy was the one.

It’s just great that the libertarian movement in the US and Israel is connected at these critical “pressure points”. I love it.

The coolest part, which I will not share photo evidence of out of respect for the privacy of spirituality, is that I have a picture of Peter Schiff with tefilin on. It is not doctored or photoshopped. It’s Schiff wearing tefilin.

From what I know of Schiff, his family is not religious, but he and his family are infused with Jewish identity. That is what matters most. I am told that a gentile drove three hours to speak out of the blue at the funeral, promising to keep up the fight against the income tax and broke down crying. What a perfectly beautiful Kiddush Hashem, on every single level.

The whole Schiff family makes me proud to be a Jew.

FACEPALM Electrical Outages Due to Monopoly, You Idiots

Yesterday some kind of whacknutty tropical like squall came zooming through Israel. My 16 month old son got a bit scared, and a friend dropped off her baby as she was doing some errand or other. The two babies sat in my wife’s lap huddling with her as I ran about shutting windows.

The power went out, but we have one of those emergency LED lights. On may way to the gym this morning, I saw a car smashed in half by a downed tree. But otherwise, Karnei Shomron has been pretty good with electrical issues, as monopolies go.

So in times like this, I do check the main stream garbage media for safety reasons. On the front page of Ynet, one of the absolute worst news sources of any country, I see this pathetic headline. I don’t click on these things, just check if there’s anything I need to know.

Here’s the headline:

רבבות עדיין בלי חשמל: “מדינת עולם שלישי”
30 אלף משקי בית עדיין ללא חשמל מאז אתמול בבוקר. לני, אימא לשניים מרמת השרון: “חברת החשמל כל הזמן אומרים שעובדים על זה. בינתיים, חייבים למצוא סידור לילדים”. אלפים חתמו על עצומה לתביעה ייצוגית. ראשי הערים של כפר סבא ורעננה קוראים לנתניהו להתערב ולהקים ועדת חקירה

Here’s a quick lesson in economics. When an entire industry is monopolized by tax funded state-privileged talentless fattened lazy ass jerks who can charge you whatever the hell they want for electricity but whose “workers” get free electricity and all competition in the entire country is outlawed, your service is going to suck. And the only thing you’ll be able to do, instead of switch electric companies, is to sign petitions like a chump. Just thank God these schmucks are not given a monopoly over the food industry, or we’d all have starved to death long ago.

And you can save Netanyahu the trouble of spending my money to put together a group of politicians meant to “investigate” this amazing occurrence. The reason it happened is because the electricity industry is a giant State cartel. There. Investigation finished.

Solution? Sell off the infrastructure to private companies, return the proceeds to taxpayers, and let the private sector fix it. Whoever fixes it first gets the most money, and we can all stop signing petitions and begging Netanyahu to “get involved”.

And the next time there is any prolonged power outage, you can switch electricity providers, just like you can switch internet providers or cell phone companies now if there are any outages. What an ingenious concept.

Star Wars, the Jedi, the Dark Side, and Libertarianism

Stream of consciousness ahead. Be warned.

I’m not a Star Wars nerd. I don’t follow it intensely (or at all really), I don’t know all the names and trivia of the whatnot, and I don’t read the fan fiction. I’m just an average guy who likes Star Wars, as are most of us. I saw the new Episode VII: The Force Awakens trailer and it inspired me to write this. I write stuff. It’s what I do when I’m inspired. What can I say.

I love nights. I love being alone. I of course love being married and having kids as well, thank God, and only love being alone when I know the loneliness can end at will. But I’m a night person. The darkness and the loneliness activate me, make me think. I’m a Dark Side guy.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been watching the Star Wars movies, 3, 4, 5, and 6 so I don’t come into the 7th one forgetting the whole story. I skipped the first two because they stunk. Now, I don’t normally think about Star Wars at all, but there is something to be said about the most successful movie franchise in all of movie history. It hit something. It’s a beautiful work. I’m no film critic, and I don’t break down films frame by frame. But I do break down concepts. The concepts of Star Wars hit something very deep in human nature, otherwise they’d be Die Hard, or Terminator, or some other popular trilogy that’s pretty cool but not amazingly magical and inspiring like Star Wars.

Mark Hamill, the guy that plays Luke Skywalker, is not the greatest actor. He is the ultimate typecast. He didn’t get anywhere big in his career, ironically thanks to playing one of the most iconic characters ever. And yet, someone like him, who frankly is not the best, to play a role like that and to succeed so magnificently, he is the only one ever to do that. In that sense he is the best actor ever.

Now as to Star Wars itself. I saw the trailer for Episode VII. It gave me goose bumps. Strange for something fiction. But there’s something there. The bifurcation of good and evil through “the force” is something that really is inside us. While the movies make it into something that can move objects at a distance, the force does exist. There is action at a distance in quantum mechanics and it is observable through the double slit experiment, so perhaps one day when our brains evolve to those pulsating cartoons, we’ll be able to use the force like Jedi.

The problem is that the movies simplify the force and bifurcate it absolutely. The Jedi are never allowed to use their negative emotions, and any move in that direction means they’ll become a Sith. This is a consequence of Christian theology that simplifies reality into a children’s game. There is the Jedi, and the Sith, the Dark Side, and never the twain shall meet. The Force suddenly becomes something that can move objects and divide good and evil in straight lines. (There is a straight line, but it’s not what the Jedi say it is.)

The fact that the Jedi can never use their destructive emotions shows that they are weak characters. That’s why they never have much of a personality.

The Jedi act as priests, never marrying, never indulging in the their own physicality, never existing purely as human beings, never indulging in their feelings. They are “out of this world” and therefore any touch with ambition converts them to the Dark Side. The Dark Side is portrayed as emotion, hate and anger, rather than strictly a lust for power and control over others.

I have ambition. A lot of me is motivated by the dark emotions of hate and anger. As Darth Sidius, the Emperor, says, it makes me stronger. It gives me focus. But that doesn’t mean I go all bat crazy and start killing people. It depends what your ambition is. If it is to rule, libido dominante, then you’re just a politician.

Libertarian ambition is to destroy power. Depending on personality, different people are driven by different emotions, usually having to do with enneagram typology. I am driven by a combination of hate, anger, love, and hope. All emotions combined into one, that’s what motivates me. Everything that is human, from negative to  positive, the light side and the dark side, that’s what propels me forward. That’s why you’ll see a lot of sarcasm here but then again a lot of hope for the ultimate goal, which is no power over anybody, liberty for all. It all combines together.

The Sith have a point. One should not neglect the passionate aspects of existence. It does make you stronger. It does give you focus. The rage, the hate, the anger, it can all be used positively. Directed towards good. The Jedi have a point, too. The destructive aspects of human personality, which are the same rage and hate, must not be used to simply destroy. They must be harnessed towards constructive ends.

But then again, the “letting go” of all that we fear to lose, as Yoda says, can also be destructive. It will lead to atrophy and the lack of a will to get up in the morning and fight. Indulge to much in letting go of your Yetzer Harah, in rabbinic jargon, or evil inclination, and there will be nothing driving you in the end.

Chazal say that without the Yetzer Harah, nobody would get up in the morning. Humanity needs both the light side and the dark side. The challenge is not to deny the dark side. The challenge is to use it for good.

Of course, Anakin Skywalker is the Jesus figure who was immaculately conceived and whatever. There’s something in Christianity about Jesus fighting the devil or something and overcoming in the end (maybe I’m making that up, I’ve never read their book) and I guess that’s what Anakin fighting Darth Vader means, and then dying killing the Emperor etc.

If Star Wars were written by a Jew with Rabbinic conceptions, the Jedi would be masters of the Dark Side as well, except they would be able to control the Dark Side rather than be controlled by it. They would also be married and have personalities rather than being stoic priests.

They also would not be beholden to “republics” and politicians.

The same theme runs throughout the X Men franchise with Magneto vs Professor X. Magneto is Dark Side, Charles Xavier of the Light. The force in X Men is mutation, same stuff.

As good as Star Wars is, its heroes are not well rounded. They are priests, and they are weak. A true hero would not shy away from any aspect of existence, but utilize all of it towards one goal.

In the end, the good goal is liberty. The evil goal is power. As long as you know that simple truth, the Dark Side is no threat to changing you.