Bar Refaeli on trial for keeping her own lunch money

I like Bar Refaeli. She’s not exactly a principled libertarian as far as I can tell, but she doesn’t let the State push her around. A few years ago she got in trouble for draft dodging, AKA refusing to be a hired gun for politicians. Not even that really. A hired gun at least makes money.

She has a sour reputation in Israel because she’s a משתמטת, which is a bad word that means you don’t serve in the army. I went to the army but I can’t say I ever served. All I did was read books and pretend to push hummus around a giant fridge. I’m not proud of it. I’m proud of draft dodgers.

Now Bar is being harassed for not paying her taxes. She reportedly cried during a several hours long investigation at her house that lasted until midnight, poor girl. If I were her, unattached, and the State of Israel was harassing me, I’d get out of the country. She should get out for her own safety.

Bar Refaeli produces things, unlike politicians. She sells bathing suits and clothes and whatever else she looks good in, to people who want to buy this stuff. While she may not be a Jewish role model in terms of modesty and showing up in tabloids every now and then (she’s married to a nice Jewish boy now, so that’s good) , she deserves respect as a draft dodger and tax evader. Those are badges of honor in my book.

Terrorism is only when Muslims kill people, otherwise it’s just crime

After the shooting rampage yesterday in California, I saw a tweet from CNN quoting the FBI as saying that it is “unclear if the shooting was terrorism.”

I always ask the “war or terror” people what terrorism is. They usually say violence for political gain. Well, if that’s true, then everything the US Army does is “terrorism”.

The assertion that it is “unclear if the shooting was terrorism” proves one thing though. That the real meaning of “terrorism” is when Muslims murder people for religious reasons. Otherwise, it’s just “crime”.

Why Adele is Just as Awesome as Amy Lee

A few months ago I wrote a post about Amy Lee, praising her for her music but most of all for being a normal person.

Adele fits that category too. I’ve known about her for years but her latest single Hello got me interested in researching her a bit. Apparently, she’s pretty freakin’ normal too. She’s engaged with a kid at 25 (she had a kid at 25, she’s older now), she’s plus size and not a perfect music star body type, but she has lost significant weight since whenever it was she came out with Rolling in the Deep. So it’s not like she’s let herself go or anything like that. Her soon to be husband looks like a fun character goofball type.

You can tell her hair is usually crazy and requires a lot of taming for the stage. Everyone in my family has crazy hair, except me because I cut it off and my son doesn’t have any hair.

When she gets on stage she just sings. She doesn’t womp around on stage, and she wears very nice dresses. She’s a talented enough singer that she doesn’t have to distract you with dance moves. It’s rare that a singer just sings these days. Her performance is almost entirely in her face. The entertainment is to just listen to her and watch how her own music affects her and let it affect you. She feels like a throwback to the 20’s or 30’s with a modern twist. Just beautiful music.

Most importantly, she’s considered a recluse among the famous people community. She doesn’t want anything to do with that and would much rather just live a normal life.

This quote, for example, is gold:

“I think it has a lot to do with becoming a parent,” she added. “When I was turned 25 I was quite shocked. I didn’t think I was old or anything like that, I just couldn’t remember where the last five years had gone. I think it’s the same that happened with every area of my life: My real life, my career, obviously becoming a mom, and stuff like that. It was not remembering very much of it because so much happened and it frightened me.”

The 27-year-old singer also shot down claims that she was a “recluse,” instead revealing that she just won’t give into the Hollywood spotlight.

“I’m not blinded by the persuasion of fame,” she said. “Fame is not real, so how am I suppose to write a real record for anyone to enjoy if I’m living a very fake life?”

Wow is that relatable or what? Also a wysiwyg woman, which is obvious from her stage name, just Adele. She was discovered after she put a demo on Myspace in 2006. (What the heck is Myspace? Hehe…)

I’m more into the louder rock/metal music but I recognize her songs are great. So I searched around for metal covers and I found this TOTALLY AWESOME GUY from Norway. His facial expressions are so nuts it’s great! Cracks me up…

Mark Zuckerberg to give $45 billion to “promote equality”

Mark Zuckerberg is giving away $45 billion worth of Facebook stock to some amorphous causes, most of which don’t sound very encouraging at all. Zuckerberg is a focal point of government attention because through him, the State can pretty much monitor everything about your life at all times.

Donations in and of themselves are not noble. It depends what you’re donating to. If he’s donating to government entities as he has done in the past, it would be better if he kept the money and invested it in private ventures. Remember that market investment is a higher level of morality than charity, and Mark is definitely violating halacha by donating 99% of his wealth. Not that he cares about that at all I’m sure.

Keep in mind also that if he doesn’t donate the $45 billion, some other part of the profit-driven economy will get it and produce something with it. Privately invested, the $45 billion would increase production and raise living standards for a lot of people. Given to charity, it will be consumed and benefit much less people.

I still believe giving to charity is a moral imperative, but it is also very dangerous. It’s not like him giving it away is only beneficial. It is harmful to those who would have otherwise gotten the money through business transactions. Zuckerberg is not creating wealth by donating it.

In any case, his donation aims to: “advance human potential and promote equality…focusing on personalized learning, curing disease, Internet connectivity and community building.”

This all sounds very liquid and vaguely nice, but considering Zuckerberg’s history donating to government institutions like public schools, I fear most of it will be wasted.

There’s nothing wrong with the stuff he wants to promote. It’s just that when you don’t give specifics and you have a history of cooperating with government, you’re probably not going to do much good.

The best thing Zuckerberg could do to promote these causes, a real concrete way he could do it is fund what I call “anti-lobbying”. Lobbying is the most effective way to further your agenda if you’re a big corporation who wants to shut out competition and squeeze consumers. So anti-lobbying could go a long way in making the world a much better place.

Here are some examples:

You want to promote personalized learning? Anti-lobby for the repeal of mandatory government education laws and the end of all public schools. That will open up the education market to all kinds of alternatives that will develop on their own. If that’s too ambitious, anti-lobby legislatures for strong freedom to home-school laws at least. Laws that increase liberty are not really laws. They are anti-laws.

You want to promote equality? Anti-lobby for freedom of currency laws so savers no longer suffer inflation and central banks lose their monopoly power over money. Anti-lobby for the abolition of all laws that favor one group of people over another. Anti-lobby for the end to minimum wage laws that make it illegal to hire low skilled workers. Or at least to lower minimum wage to a level where it wouldn’t affect anyone. There are so many things.

Want to cure diseases?Anti-lobby for the abolition of the FDA and the total and complete legalization of all drugs. If that’s too ambitious, anti-lobby for the restriction of FDA powers to only monitor safety but not efficacy. Phase 3 efficacy trials account for 90% of the costs of drug development. If FDA powers stopped at phase 1 and efficacy were tested in the field, drug development would speed up by a factor of 100x or more.

Want to promote humanity Mark? Don’t promote equality. Promote liberty. And give at least $1 billion to the Mises Institute.