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Gambling as the canary, Why I’m running for Israel’s parliament

TAGs: Editorial, Israel

I’m running for a seat in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, and any Jewish person in the world can vote for me, Israeli citizen or not. Seriously. Before I explain exactly how, here’s why I’m running.

Gambling as the canary, Why I’m running for Israel’s parliamentArguably the most famous Holocaust poem ever written was penned by a Lutheran Pastor. His name was Martin Niemöller. You’ve probably heard his poem before. It starts like this:

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a socialist.”

It continues with trade unionists, then Jews, “Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.” It’s one of those things they make you memorize as a kid, especially a Jewish kid in Jewish day school.

I’m not a gambler, at least not the casino or games of chance or poker type. But I know the poem, and I’m aware enough to know that they come for the gamblers first. They – the ruling class who make their living taxing our work, telling us how to live our lives, how much we have to pay them, who we have to bomb and who we have to hate, who can work in what industry for how much, printing money and devaluing our paychecks when they run out of cash.

They clothe their rationalizations in moralizing terms to make you think they care about you. Gambling is dangerous, they say. It has to be regulated and taxed, they say. So that it is not abused. And by the way, the regulatory fees and taxes all go to them and their budgets, which are never balanced anyway. The ones who get the exclusive licenses to do business without being arrested always have a man on the inside, donating to campaigns, lobbying, buying influence.

First they come for the gamblers, because they’re the easiest to rob, without much backlash. People like Chris Christie, who last year strong-armed Atlantic City casinos by threatening to close them down, taxed them an extra $120 million in order to bail out his bankrupt city government buddies. They spent too much again. Oops. Let’s take more money from the casinos first then. And now, the moralizer is caught sun bathing with his family at a government-owned beach he closed to the public because his buddies in Trenton spent too much again. Oops.

“Did you get any sun today?” he was asked.

“I didn’t. I didn’t get any sun today,” he said.

And then the photos. Oops. And then we’re told he wasn’t lying because, “He had a baseball hat on.” Then he went back to his taxpayer funded beach house to take a shower. His water bill is paid by taxpayers, too. But trust him. Gambling is immoral.

First they come for the gamblers.

They come for the gamblers first because few speak out for them. The ruling class can rob them with impunity because few will defend them when they are harassed. It has nothing to do with morality. It’s just politics. How much can you take before people speak out. And then they’ll come for someone else.

I’m announcing now, here at CalvinAyre, that I’m running for a seat in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset. I will not be a voice for any particular industry or group, but rather for anyone and everyone to do anything they want short of violating the rights of others to do the same. I will represent no one in particular, but everyone who wants freedom. If I win I will be Israel’s voice for liberty, like Ron Paul was in the United States, and I will follow his example. Here’s what I wrote about him on New Year’s Eve, 2011. Reading that may help you understand what drives me.

If I win, I will vote against any law that increases the size or power of the Israeli government, and vote for any law that shrinks it, without exception, period. If any law is proposed to tax Israeli gaming companies for example, I will vote against it. Any law proposed to legalize gaming in any form here I will vote for it. Same for any other industry or any other issue, 100%.

I will not be taking a single shekel in state salary and will instead give it all away to libertarian causes. I don’t take taxpayer money on principle. I just can’t bring myself to do it.

But there’s an exciting twist here. Pay close attention. If you’re Jewish (honors system basis), you can vote for me, whether Israeli citizen, resident, or not. Sounds crazy? Yes, it is, but hear me out. I’m running for seat 10 in a libertarian party called Zehut (identity), currently polling at 12-15 seats for the next elections. That means if I get seat 10 in the primaries I will most likely get in, if the polls are correct. In order to win seat 10, all I need is 250 votes in the primary. That’s it.

Why only 250? Because Zehut is reserving slot 10 to be voted on by the international wing of the party only. There are only 250 voting members of the international wing in the entire world. You can become an international member and become eligible to vote in the slot 10 primary if you are Jewish by pledging to my campaign here. You have until August 3 to pledge. The video there explains it all. Nobody will be charged a dime unless the goal is reached. If you’re not Jewish, you can still support me by spreading the video around and publicizing the campaign, which will help me greatly.

None of the money is going to me. It’s all being used to pay for voting membership for those who pledge. I am not asking for donations. I don’t need them. I’m asking for votes. If I reach 250 I will win the primary. Then, if the polls are correct, I will get that seat come next elections.

I’ll continue to write even if I win. I need to make a living after all and won’t be taking a salary. My expectations? As a single Knesset member I won’t be able to change much in a legislative sense. But I will be Israel’s voice for liberty to the best of my ability. And maybe, hopefully, with your help, I’ll be able to strengthen the liberty movement in Israel. That is my real, concrete goal that I think is actually achievable.

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