quinta-feira, Janeiro 31, 2008

Follow the money

De quando em vez aparece um Das Märchen qualquer que nos alerta para o estado a que chegou este Estado prestador/promotor/financiador/mecenas cultural. Ninguém sabe ao certo quanto custou, embora se saiba que custou imenso a quem teve que chupar a pastilha até ao fim, por obrigação ou cerimónia. E logo se discute o Das Märchen como se este fosse caso único ou, até, o mais preocupante.

Meus caros, pensem comigo, num país em que o episódio Das Märchen acontece, quantos e quantos pequenos e insignificantes Das Märchen acontecem diariamente, sob a nossa vista? São esses milhões e milhões, espalhados por pequenos Das Märchen que deveriam merecer a nossa reflexão e, acima de tudo, investigação.

Sempre tão céleres a escancarar o despesismo estadual, já era bem hora de os jornais se dedicarem a investigar ao certo onde, como e a quem vão parar os nossos dinheiros geridos pelo Ministério da Cultura.

Igualdade desigual

Que a esquerda ache que a igualdade é um valor supremo que justifica que a tudo se recorra para o alcançar, é uma coisa. Agora, que num espaço de horas diga simultaneamente, como faz Vital Moreira, que a promoção da igualdade (ou a luta contra as desigualdades) continua a ser o principal critério de diferenciação da esquerda face à direita e que a esquerda socialista francesa defende privilégios e coutadas profissionais, contra os utentes e contra a economia em geral é coisa que já não entendo. Em que ficamos afinal?

Remodelação Alegre

A influência de Manuel Alegre na remodelação de Correia de Campos tem sido devidamente analisada (ver, por todos, o Pedro Correia no Corta-Fitas). De uma forma ou de outra, não se sabe por quanto tempo ainda, Manuel Alegre tem conseguido acenar com o milhão de votos que obteve e tem corporizado as críticas socialistas ao governo, alertando para a existência de uma esquerda que, não sendo comunista nem bloquista, coloca em dúvida o seu voto em Sócrates.

Ora, se já acho mal um governo de Sócrates, a fingir que é reformista e, vejam lá, a dar-se ares que até tem políticas de direita, pior acho um governo de Sócrates condicionado por esta esquerda que não sabe para onde vai, agarrada a poéticos conceitos políticos já testados e falhados e que julga, apenas julga que saber não sabe, que o sonho comanda a economia.

Confortado com um PSD em frangalhos e com um CDS que não lhe chega ao eleitorado, José Sócrates tem ainda uma suficiente margem de conforto para lidar com estas pressões vindas do Restelo dos Velhos, conseguindo até servir-se delas para se pretender reformista e socialista dos novos tempos. Seria por isso preferível que, estando certo das suas alegadas motivações reformistas, honrasse o que diz ser e rompesse, de facto, em nome do país, com os guardiões das receitas falhadas.

quarta-feira, Janeiro 30, 2008

Imprensa falsa

O Lobi é o nosso Onion.

Obscena #9

Pois que, celebrando um ano de vida, a OBSCENA – revista de artes performativas lança hoje uma versão em papel, para além da habitual edição em pdf, disponível no sítio. 84 páginas e uma tiragem de 5 mil exemplares distribuídos por vários pontos culturais do país, presume-se que também ao novo Ministro da Cultura.

Uma revista de cultura, de qualidade e que sobrevive, que não recebe nem precisa de fundos públicos, é a prova de que o esforço, o labor e a dedicação são inerentes à criatividade humana. E que há sobrevivência onde tantos dizem apenas existir deserto.

Liberalismos

Joaquim Sá Couto e Ricardo Arroja escrevem agora no Portugal Contemporâneo. E o Blasfémias mudou de casa.

Remodelação cirúrgica

Precisando de ganhar a rua, José Sócrates remodelou Correia de Campos, substituindo-a, e isto é importante para o efeito, por uma mulher. Ora, se o primeiro-ministro não nos andou a mentir, o que vai mudar na política de saúde é a forma de a comunicar e explicar. Nada melhor do que uma Ministra, para esse efeito, sem o fardo partidário nem o desgaste político.

Precisando de ganhar as elites, essenciais num ano de pré-campanha eleitoral, José Sócrates não teve outro remédio se não substituir Isabel Pires de Lima. De pouco lhe servirá se atrás da senhora não for também o seu excelso Secretário de Estado, verdadeira razão do descontentamento das elites.

Quaisquer outros Ministros que merecessem ou devessem, em nome do país, ser remodelados não trariam propriamente benefícios para o Governo. Claro que Mário Lino ou Manuel Pinho estão lá a mais. Como está Maria de Lourdes Rodrigues ou Alberto Costa. Mas verdadeiramente se sabe que nenhuma destas remodelações permitiria ao Governo ter necessariamente um ganho de popularidade.

Aliás, em nome da imagem de firmeza do Governo, Maria de Lourdes Rodrigues teria sempre de ficar. Amaciando a política de saúde, José Sócrates tem necessariamente de ter um contra-peso que não desminta a imagem reformista que quer transmitir.

terça-feira, Janeiro 29, 2008

Lliure (5)

Ora, se em ano de eleições Rajoy já se comprometeu a
- eliminar o Canon Digital;
- baixar o IRC espanhol 5 pontos percentuais;
- acabar com a Educação para a Cidadania...

Também se atravessou com medidas muito duvidosas:
- um ministério para a família e bem-estar;
- descontos fiscais só para mulheres...

...e mesmo grande asneiradas socialistas:
- impulsionar um plano tecnológico;
- alcançar o pleno emprego;
- acabar com a desigualdade social.

Ou seja, não há grandes razões para os liberais exultarem com Rajoy - a não ser porque é um mal menor à desgraça que actualmente ocupa o de la Moncloa.

Lliure (4)

Cá por Espanha tenho andado a ver se arranjava pachorra para falar de uma das recentes polémicas políticas, a lei do Canon Digital. O Remixtures faz um excelente resumo:
Esta legislação faz com que os espanhóis tenham que pagar uma determinada quantia adicional de cada vez que compram um produto electrónico que já incorpore a taxa. Por seu lado, os fabricantes e distribuidores são obrigados a distribuírem o montante arrecadado às sociedades de gestão colectiva de direitos de autor. Estas amealham uma parte da soma e alocam o resto aos autores seus associados.

Trocado por miúdos, os "produtores de conteúdos" ganham uma pensão vitalícia.

Ron Paul - Registo da campanha (1)



Microchips Everywhere

"Microchips Everywhere: a Future Vision" (Wired):
With [RFID] tags in so many objects, relaying information to databases that can be linked to credit and bank cards, almost no aspect of life may soon be safe from the prying eyes of corporations and governments, says Mark Rasch, former head of the computer-crime unit of the U.S. Justice Department.

Nota: no ano passado, o Reino Unido discutia se seriam usado RFIDs no Bilhete de Identidade que estava a ser considerado.

Anarchism in America

Via Ação Humana:


Anarchism in America (Documentary) - Part 1 of 8

segunda-feira, Janeiro 28, 2008

Momento Intimista do Dia

Capitalismo selvagem: culpado

"French trader was forced to work 30 hours a week":
FRIENDS of rogue trader Jerome Kerviel last night blamed his $7 billion losses on unbearable levels of stress brought on by a punishing 30 hour week.

Kerviel hid his November losses in a batch of wonderfully fresh croissant
Kerviel was known to start work as early as nine in the morning and still be at his desk at five or even five-thirty, often with just an hour and a half forlunch.

sábado, Janeiro 26, 2008

Paulonomics (4)

"Peter Schiff Named Economic Advisor to the Ron Paul 2008 Presidential Campaign"



Bolhas


"Crash", por João Miranda

Paulonomics (3)



"The Paulonomics Factor" por Donald Luskin (January 22)

Afinal não é John Stossel: "Don Luskin Named Economic Advisor to the Ron Paul 2008 Presidential Campaign" (January 24)

Paulonomics (2)

"Comprehensive Economic Revitalization Plan" por Ron Paul
America became the greatest, most prosperous nation in human history through low taxes, constitutionally limited government, personal freedom and a belief in sound money. We need to return to these principles so our economy can thrive again. When enacted, my plan will provide both short-term stimulus and lay the groundwork for long-term prosperity.

###
Other candidates talk a lot about stimulus packages, but my record stands alone. I have fought for these measures for years as a member of Congress and will make them a top priority as president.

Ron Paul, a 10-term Republican Congressman from Texas's 14th District, is currently the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee's Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade, and Technology. He has been named "Taxpayers' Best Friend" for 10 consecutive years by the National Taxpayers' Union. Ron Paul is also the author of several books on monetary policy and economics.

The Four-Point Plan

  • 1. Tax Reform: Reduce the tax burden and eliminate taxes that punish investment and savings, including job-killing corporate taxes.
  • 2. Spending Reform: Eliminate wasteful spending. Reduce overseas commitments. Freeze all non-defense, non-entitlement spending at current levels.
  • 3. Monetary Policy Reform: Expand openness at the Federal Reserve and require the Fed to televise its meetings. Return value to our money.
  • 4. Regulatory Reform: Repeal Sarbanes/Oxley regulations that push companies to seek capital outside of US markets. Stop restricting community banks from fostering local economic growth.

Paulonomics (1)

Know before you vote

http://knowbeforeyouvote.com/

THE ECONOMY : Official Positions on The Economy | Official Economic Stimulus Plan | 100% Balanced Budget Voting | Never Voted for a Tax Increase | Condemns Cause of Housing Bubble | Eliminate Federal Reserve Monopoly

IRAQ & TERRORISM : Voted Against Unconstitutional Wars | Bring Troops Home ASAP | Understands Effects of "Blowback" | Most Donations from the Troops

IMMIGRATION : Strong Against Illegal Immigration | 100% Against Special Treatment for Illegals

ADHERENCE TO THE CONSTITUTION : 100% Right to Keep and Bear Arms | 100% Limited Government | 100% Against Internet Taxation & Regulation | For Honest Asset-Backed Currency | Eliminate Need for Income Tax

FOREIGN POLICY : End Costly American Imperialism | End Preemptive War Doctrine | End US Interventionist Policy

US SOVEREIGNTY : Promotes USA Sovereignty Over UN

FAMILY VALUES : 100% Pro-Life and 100% Pro-Family

Trabalho infantil

"The Trouble With Child Labor Laws" por Jeffrey Tucker:
You might be surprised to know that the laws against "child labor" do not date from the 18th century. Indeed, the national law against child labor didn't pass until the Great Depression-- in 1938, with the Fair Labor Standards Act. It was the same law that gave us a minimum wage and defined what constitutes full-time and part-time work. It was a handy way to raise wages and lower the unemployment rate: simply define whole sectors of the potential workforce as unemployable.

sexta-feira, Janeiro 25, 2008

Isto segue dentro de momentos

Segunda-feira, para o bem e para o mal, lá vou ter a minha discussão de mestrado. Até lá, duvido que este blogue mexa alguma coisa de jeito. Por isso não deixem de nos visitar. Façam só uma pausa!

terça-feira, Janeiro 22, 2008

Leitura recomendada

"O Estado social está ser destruído por socialistas" por André Abrantes Amaral:
Um fenómeno ainda pequeno, mas da máxima importância. Um facto que pode mudar o discurso político, pois a única forma de apoiar, de estar próximo das populações é, cada vez, através da iniciativa privada. É cada vez mais acreditando na capacidade das pessoas, na iniciativa dos cidadãos, que as populações mais carenciadas são assistidas nas suas necessidades.

Este fenómeno, do Estado social voltar as costas às pessoas, vai ser o motor de uma nova cultura política. Quando tal acontecer, essa nova forma de encarar a vida social será o motivo de maiores mudanças.

segunda-feira, Janeiro 21, 2008

Momento Intimista do Dia

E ele há coisas que é quase como ser apanhado despido pelo filho da pessoa com quem se passou a noite. Minutos que nos rasgam o orgulho e que supreendem a nossa costumeira segurança. Erros que se encontram. E não por nós. Pode passar depressa, se houver benevolência. Esperemos que ainda haja. E sim, tudo isto tem apenas que ver com a discussão da minha dissertação. Escusam de fantasiar. E sim, esta é a JoBeth Williams, uma daquelas actrizes de que tanto gosto e cuja fama passou ao largo. Bela analogia para quem vai discutir uma dissertação. Adiante.

Espaço público

A propósito da absurda ideia de proibir o Papa de discursar numa Universidade, logo começaram a pulular as pseudo-liberais ideias de que a religião, assim como qualquer outro traço que nos individualize, deve ficar fechadinho em casa, para não atormentar o asséptico e neutro espaço público.

O espaço público não tem de ser neutro, como se fosse desligado de quem nele habita ou circula. Natural e desejável é, portanto, que reflicta as composições sociais locais. É assim que se faz uma cidade, uma comunidade, uma vida com os outros. O que o espaço público não pode fazer é obrigar e coagir indivíduos a professarem determinadas crenças ou praticarem determinadas actividades ou adoptarem determinados estilos de vida.

Se o espaço público não deve estar vedado ao beijo de Gaia, e não deve, também não deve estar vedado a qualquer manifestação de crença. São coisas diferentes, muito até, mas comungam da condição de marcarem a nossa identidade e individualidade, que deve ser respeitada quando exercida sem coacção.

domingo, Janeiro 20, 2008

Live free and prosper

Via Johan Norberg,


A graphic summary of the 2008 Index of Economic Freedom from Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation.

15 minutos de fama

Via O Insurgente, "João Pereira Coutinho sobre Luiz Pacheco":
Luiz Pacheco nada propunha que o distinguisse da orgia verborrágica que é própria da catilinária reles. Sem consciência, sem consequência. Não admira que, na hora da morte, o escritor ‘maldito’ tenha sido bendito pela pátria agradecida. Para um ‘provocador’, haverá pior certidão de óbito?

Happy 10th Anniversary, Monica and Bill!


"Happy 10th Anniversary, Monica and Bill!":
Wow, ten whole years. It feels like yesterday to me. The Blue Dress. The Cigar. Linda Tripp. All to be wrapped up in the government-financed porn tome The Starr Report.

Are you getting all misty-eyed? Those were good times. The hearings and impeachment. Floor speeches denouncing the loss of our country's innocence. The befouling of our Nation's Highest Office by tawdriness. That president - that nasty, naughty, dirty boy (h/t Sen. Craig) - brought this country to its knees in shame and utter debasement.

quinta-feira, Janeiro 17, 2008

The best kept secret

Libertarian Foreign Policy in the Hobbesian Crosshairs

"Libertarian Foreign Policy in the Hobbesian Crosshairs: A Reply to Bret Stephens" por Robert Higgs:
Libertarians, however, in .... Hobbesian view, have an unrealistically benign view of their fellow man, especially their fellow man abroad and most especially their fellow man in the Middle East. "Mankind is not comprised solely of profit- and pleasure-seekers; the quest for prestige and dominance and an instinct for nihilism are also inscribed in human nature, nowhere more so than in the Middle East. Libertarianism makes no accounting for this."

This claim is false. Libertarians not only take this aspect of human nature into account; they make it the bedrock on which they found their doctrines. They fully recognize that some men are vicious, vainglorious, and imperious. Further, unlike Stephens, libertarians recognize that the dangers such men pose to society will be magnified enormously in the event that they gain government power and that, indeed, in F. A. Hayek's memorable phrase, the worst will tend to get on top. Our only sure protection against such wicked men in positions of authority is to limit the government's power as much as possible, and thereby to confine the harm that they can do. Far from assuming "the relatively tame aspirations of modern American life" as a "baseline for human nature," libertarians, in proposing designs for optimal government institutions, assume the worst about human nature, including the human nature of their own rulers, and rest their policy proposals on that assumption.

quarta-feira, Janeiro 16, 2008

Momento Intimista do Dia

A arguição da dissertação de mestrado no final deste mês não me deixa tempo para mais nada. Ler, estudar, desesperar. Voltar a um texto que se escreveu há mais de um ano, em pressão de tempo, é uma tortura. Palavras que sabíamos lá estar afinal não estão. Ideias que julgámos lá ter afinal desapareceram. Conceitos que tentámos explicar quase nem aparecem. É quase como voltar a uma casa de infância, que a nossa imaginação encheu de espaços e recantos contra a evidência das quatro paredes sem nada de especial. Mas adiante. Desculpem-me estas ausências e obrigado ao António por assegurar o barco.

Entretanto, porque o meu filme favorito passa hoje, na cinemateca, às 21:30, no ciclo Divas às Matinés, é lá que vou passar a noite. Para descansar da Urgência no Contencioso Pré-Contratual. E para ser feliz por uns instantes. E, quem sabe, para me sentir ready for my close-up. Alguém se junta?

terça-feira, Janeiro 15, 2008

The Fight For Freedom (2) - thoughtcrime

No seguimento "The Fight For Freedom" e via Strix Aluco:


.... The only thing that I have to say to the government about why I publish it is because
it's my bloody right to do so.

Youtube2 : marketing pull, ou tecnologia push?

Quando começámos o A Arte da Fuga, fazíamos por cá uns truques com HTML (a linguagem que codifica as páginas da net), com o objectivo de proporcionar aos nossos leitores a possibilidade de ouvirem algumas passagens de música, frequentemente música erudita, dita "clássica" porque dito assim soa menos piroso a quem não gosta do género.

Esta pequena "vantagem competitiva", que poucos se lembrarão, teve uma vida relativamente curta - não mais do que ano e meio, talvez. Entretanto surgiu o Youtube, e uma carrada de outros serviços de vídeo em flash.

Ora, descobri para aqui umas notas antigas sobre o assunto. Drafts de posts que nunca foram publicados. Escrevia eu que o Youtube ia alimentar-se de videoclips, movieclips, trabalho amador. Óbvio. Previ que o primeiro grande acontecimento público seria o Mundial de Futebol. Dias depois todos os vídeos tinham sido retirados. E previ que o primeiro grande impacto cultural do Youtube seria a sua utilização maciça nas Presidenciais dos Estados Unidos da América.

Parece-me que me enganei. Ainda vamos nas primárias, mas o uso do Youtube não deixa de ser residual. Até a Ron Paul rEVOLution só passa por esforços grassroots, o candidato não produz para o canal de vídeo online, nem sequer tem um videocast.

Diary of the Dead

Global warming hysteria

Unintended Consequences: por Indur Goklany
Global warming hysteria - a boon for the ethanol and other biofuel enterprises - has boosted demand for crop-based fuels worldwide. This now threatens to reverse a half century of gains not only against world hunger, but also in holding the line against conversion of undeveloped land.
Ironically, much of the hysteria over global warming is itself fueled by concerns that it may drive numerous species to extinction and increase hunger worldwide, especially in developing countries. Yet the biofuel solution would only make bad matters worse on both counts.

As long as global warming is hyped as the world's most important environmental problem - as many politicians and environmental pressure groups claim - it will be virtually impossible to rationally evaluate other options in dealing with climate change, or confront the unintended consequences unleashed by global warming hysteria.

segunda-feira, Janeiro 14, 2008

disturbing lack of faith


Day by Day by Chris Muir

The Fight For Freedom

Via EurSoc, "The Fight For Freedom"
A couple of years ago, [Ezra] Levant published the famous Danish illustrations of Mohammed (which sparked the cartoon jihad) in his Canadian newspaper the Western Standard.

A Saudi-trained iman, who has called for sharia law to be introduced in Canada, complained to a "human rights officer". Levant was called in for interrogation. After negotiating that the session be filmed - and republishing the cartoons, this time on his weblog - Levant attended the hearing last Friday. He was clearly determined to use his interrogation to address some broader issues.
"Kangaroo court" por Ezra Levant:
Opening remarks by Ezra Levant, January 11, 2008 – Calgary:

Opening Statement

###
My name is Ezra Levant. Before this government interrogation begins, I will make a statement.

When the Western Standard magazine printed the Danish cartoons of Mohammed two years ago, I was the publisher. It was the proudest moment of my public life. I would do it again today. In fact, I did do it again today. Though the Western Standard, sadly, no longer publishes a print edition, I posted the cartoons this morning on my website, ezralevant.com.

I am here at this government interrogation under protest. It is my position that the government has no legal or moral authority to interrogate me or anyone else for publishing these words and pictures. That is a violation of my ancient and inalienable freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and in this case, religious freedom and the separation of mosque and state. It is especially perverted that a bureaucracy calling itself the Alberta human rights commission would be the government agency violating my human rights. So I will now call those bureaucrats “the commission” or “the hrc”, since to call the commission a “human rights commission” is to destroy the meaning of those words.

###
I believe that this commission has no proper authority over me. The commission was meant as a low-level, quasi-judicial body to arbitrate squabbles about housing, employment and other matters, where a complainant felt that their race or sex was the reason they were discriminated against. The commission was meant to deal with deeds, not words or ideas. Now the commission, which is funded by a secular government, from the pockets of taxpayers of all backgrounds, is taking it upon itself to be an enforcer of the views of radical Islam. So much for the separation of mosque and state.

I have read the past few years’ worth of decisions from this commission, and it is clear that it has become a dump for the junk that gets rejected from the real legal system. I read one case where a male hair salon student complained that he was called a “loser” by the girls in the class. The commission actually had a hearing about this. Another case was a kitchen manager with Hepatitis-C, who complained that it was against her rights to be fired. The commission actually agreed with her, and forced the restaurant to pay her $4,900. In other words, the commission is a joke – it’s the Alberta equivalent of a U.S. television pseudo-court like Judge Judy – except that Judge Judy actually was a judge, whereas none of the commission’s panellists are judges, and some aren’t even lawyers. And, unlike the commission, Judge Judy believes in freedom of speech.

It’s bad enough that this sick joke is being wreaked on hair salons and restaurants. But it’s even worse now that the commissions are attacking free speech. That’s my first point: the commissions have leapt out of the small cage they were confined to, and are now attacking our fundamental freedoms. As Alan Borovoy, Canada’s leading civil libertarian, a man who helped form these commissions in the 60’s and 70’s, wrote, in specific reference to our magazine, being a censor is, quote, “hardly the role we had envisioned for human rights commissions. There should be no question of the right to publish the impugned cartoons.” Unquote. Since the commission is so obviously out of control, he said quote “It would be best, therefore, to change the provisions of the Human Rights Act to remove any such ambiguities of interpretation.” Unquote.

The commission has no legal authority to act as censor. It is not in their statutory authority. They’re just making it up – even Alan Borovoy says so.

But even if the commissions had some statutory fig leaf for their attempts at political and religious censorship, it would still be unlawful and unconstitutional.

We have a heritage of free speech that we inherited from Great Britain that goes back to the year 1215 and the Magna Carta. We have a heritage of eight hundred years of British common law protection for speech, augmented by 250 years of common law in Canada.

That common law has been restated in various fundamental documents, especially since the Second World War.

In 1948, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Canada is a party, declared that, quote:

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

The 1960 Canadian Bill of Rights guaranteed, quote

1. “ human rights and fundamental freedoms, namely,

(c) freedom of religion; (d) freedom of speech; (e) freedom of assembly and association; and (f) freedom of the press.

In 1982, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guaranteed, quote:

2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

a) freedom of conscience and religion;

b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;

Those were even called “fundamental freedoms” – to give them extra importance.

For a government bureaucrat to call any publisher or anyone else to an interrogation to be quizzed about his political or religious expression is a violation of 800 years of common law, a Universal Declaration of Rights, a Bill of Rights and a Charter of Rights. This commission is applying Saudi values, not Canadian values.

It is also deeply procedurally one-sided and unjust. The complainant – in this case, a radical Muslim imam, who was trained at an officially anti-Semitic university in Saudi Arabia, and who has called for sharia law to govern Canada – doesn’t have to pay a penny; Alberta taxpayers pay for the prosecution of the complaint against me. The victims of the complaints, like the Western Standard, have to pay for their own lawyers from their own pockets. Even if we win, we lose – the process has become the punishment. (At this point, I’d like to thank the magazine’s many donors who have given their own money to help us fight against the Saudi imam and his enablers in the Alberta government.)

It is procedurally unfair. Unlike real courts, there is no way to apply for a dismissal of nuisance lawsuits. Common law rules of evidence don’t apply. Rules of court don’t apply. It is a system that is part Kafka, and part Stalin. Even this interrogation today – at which I appear under duress – saw the commission tell me who I could or could not bring with me as my counsel and advisors.

I have no faith in this farcical commission. But I do have faith in the justice and good sense of my fellow Albertans and Canadians. I believe that the better they understand this case, the more shocked they will be. I am here under your compulsion to answer the commission’s questions. But it is not I who am on trial: it is the freedom of all Canadians.

You may start your interrogation.

Good clean — barely illegal — fun at nazis (2)


Springtime for Hitler, The Producers (versão de 2005)


Good clean — barely illegal — fun at nazis

Yes we call it fascism

Suponho que fosse inevitável. Mais cedo ou mais tarde, os policiadores da palavra iriam reclamar que a pureza da palavra "fascista" estava a ser diluída. Que tinha de ser tirada do mercado de ideias e reservada para designar os alguns regimes totalitários ou ditatoriais perdidos na História. E que acções individuais não podem ser classificadas por fascistas. No fundo, é o mesmo movimento que julgou classificar o nacional-socialismo de "pró-capitalista" e portanto "de direita" só porque não se conformava com a pureza dos ideais soviéticos, ou que se revolta com paródias a Hitler e convive com o facto dos outros socialistas terem morto pelas suas ideias substancialmente mais.

Um Governo que proclama que a liberdade é dada pelo Estado, que treina polícias económicas com técnicas paramilitares e faz sair polícia normal à rua com equipamento de choque por dá-cá-aquela-palha, que centralizou as polícias secretas, que interfere em projectos editoriais dos media, que interfere no funcionamento da banca privada, que decide o que se proibe ou não em propriedade privada, que lançou o policiamento do "saudável", que elimina o segredo bancário, que mina o segredo profissional em nome da colecta fiscal, que ocupou as mais altas instâncias judiciais.... está acima da crítica hque aponta que estas medidas iliberais de engenharia social e económica são fascismo.

sábado, Janeiro 12, 2008

Vertigo

Free societies allow people to make decisions that others don't like

"Smoking Bans Are Dangerous to a Free Society's Health" por Thomas A. Firey:
Proponents justify a ban by arguing that .... smoke is a health risk. But all sorts of human activities are risky .... In a liberal society, people are free to make their own risk and lifestyle choices - including whether to smoke.

Ban supporters respond that smokers inflict harm on other people, including bar and restaurant employees and other patrons. But again, all sorts of activities impose risks on others, and again, those people bear those risks willingly .... Why shouldn't we allow people to choose to patronize or work in smoking bars and restaurants?

Ban supporters may dispute this, arguing that our society has health and safety regulations to protect people from risk .... Most health and safety regulations are justified because they protect people from hidden risks. For instance, government inspects restaurant kitchens because patrons can't. Bars where smoking is permitted are hardly hidden risks.

Accountability

"the word", Pedro Arroja no Portugal Contemporâneo:
Do not try in Portugal to make people accountable - the word does not even have a Portuguese translation. They will avoid and evade accountability by all means. That is why they love fiscais so much. If they did something wrong it was not their fault, it was the fiscais´s fault not to have prevented it. Fiscais are themselves unaccountable by being part of the government apparatus.

Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Movies

"11 Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Movies and Counting":

Blade Runner (1982)
Total Recall (1990)
Screamers (1995)
Total Recall 2070: Machine Dreams (1999)
Impostor (2002)
Minority Report (2002)
Paycheck (2003)
A Scanner Darkly (2006, Animated)
Next (2007)
Radio Free Albemuth (2008)
Owl in Daylight (2009)


(aqui, site de PKD)

sexta-feira, Janeiro 11, 2008

Dasex do Dariz

Hoje vou estar no Descubra as Diferenças, às 19:00, na Rádio Europa, com o Paulo Pinto Mascarenhas, o Henrique Raposo e o André Abrantes Amaral. Os temas são qualquer coisa como isto:

O fim do referendo ao tratado: depois de muitas notícias contraditórias, José Sócrates anuncia que irá submeter o tratado apenas a ratificação parlamentar. O primeiro-ministro e o PS acrescentam que a promessa eleitoral era só para referendar o tratado constitucional - e este é outra coisa bem diferente. Em que ficamos? O que ganham e perdem os partidos da oposição, o PS e Sócrates?

A propósito da lei do tabaco, mas também da lei dos partidos e de outros gestos governamentais, regressou o tema da claustrofobia democrática, com António Barreto a quase chamar fascista ao primeiro-ministro. Estamos perante um método e um estilo ou é pura coincidência?

Banco de Portugal revê em baixa a previsão do crescimento económico para 2008. O ministro das Finanças diz que os resultados têm sido sempre melhores do que as previsões dos mais diversos organismos nacionais e internacionais. Desculpas de mau pagador? Ou o Orçamento de Estado e as reformas continuam a ser insuficientes?

Depois de Iowa, muitos pensaram que as primárias norte-americanas teriam consagrado Barack Obama como o candidato dos Democratas, Hillary Clinton ganhou em New Hampshire e já dada como a preferida. Por seu lado, John McCain, pró-intervenção no Iraque, surge com mais força entre os Republicanos. A procissão ainda vai no adro? McCain vs. Hillary, quem é o melhor candidato?

Emissão também disponível online em http://www.radioeuropa.fm/ ou através da powerbox da TV Cabo.

Mensagem de Ron Paul aos fiéis

"Message from Ron Paul: Onward!":
This movement has always operated on two tracks -- intellectual and political, and must. The first and most important is the intellectual. Such heroes of freedom as Ludwig von Mises, Hayek, Henry Hazlitt, Murray Rothbard, and so many others .... have helped build the foundations of freedom, prosperity, and peace. We carry on their work, to change hearts and minds.

The other track is political. Here too, we have touched millions with our ideas, and recruited many, many thousands -- not only in Meetup Groups and as voters, but as sympathizers and future voters too. Walter Block was kind enough to call this effort the most important in the long history of libertarianism ....

But we can never forget that this is a long struggle. Many great men and women have lived and died in this cause. I have been deeply involved in it all my life. It is a matter of educational work, and elections. We may not accomplish all we want, in one or even two elections. But we will accomplish it. Young people now living will see the free society that you and I dream of, as their everyday reality, an America at peace, prosperous and free, with the federal government chained down to the Constitution ....

Nova pergunta para o referendo europeu

Concorda com o estabelecimento de uma União Europeia à margem dos cidadãos?

quinta-feira, Janeiro 10, 2008

Boas e más notícias para os socialistas

A boa notícia é que a América está a morrer.

A má notícia é que a culpa é do socialismo.

Douze points...

Quando colocamos uns quantos blogues à votação, há sempre um ou outro que não tem muito que ver, que só lá se colocou por gozo, ou até para dar número redondo de opções. Espero que não tenha sido por nenhum desses motivos que o Daniel Oliveira nos colocou, a par dos grandes dos grandes, em competição pelo título de melhor blogue de direita. Estamos, neste momento, em último lugar, ao estilo de Portugal nesse grande e afamado certame que é festival eurovisão da canção. Não sei o que isso quer dizer mas seguramente que havemos de ganhar o prémio dos mais bem vestidos ou da melhor interpretação ou qualquer outra coisa para servir de consolo. Ide pois até lá. E votai em consciência, meus irmãos.

Poeira

E com um novo aeroporto se abafam todas as notícias, crónicas, opiniões e críticas relativas ao expresso, textual e integral incumprimento de mais uma promessa eleitoral do governo: o referendo europeu.

quarta-feira, Janeiro 09, 2008

Two roads to serfdom

"Clinton and Giuliani Would Grab Even More Power Than Bush Did" por David Boaz, leitura integral recomendada:
Clinton calls herself a "government junkie." She says, "There is no such thing as other people's children" and promises to work on "redefining who we are as human beings in the post-modern age."

Running for President, she's full of ideas about how to use the power of the federal government. Indeed, she says, "I have a million ideas. The country can't afford them all." That's good to hear. But the ones she apparently thinks we can afford still include a national health care plan, a $50 billion program of energy subsidies, more money for local schools and local roads and bridges, a bailout fund for mortgage borrowers, $25 billion for "American Retirement Accounts," and more. She still has the government junkie's love for a nurturing and nannying government.
.... throughout his career Giuliani has displayed an authoritarian streak .... ....
.... he tried to repeal the city's two-term limit on mayors. When that effort failed, he tried to get the legislature simply to award him more time in the job after the 9/11 attacks.

Now, as a presidential candidate .... He defends the Bush administration's domestic surveillance. He endorses the President's power to arrest American citizens and hold them without access to a lawyer or a judge. He thinks the President has "the inherent authority to support the troops" even if Congress cut off funding for the war, a claim of presidential authority so sweeping that even President Bush and his supporters have not tried to make it.

sobre o gold standard

Greenspan gets it?" por Max Raskin:
In his autobiography, former Randian Alan Greenspan says he has, "always harbored a nostalgia for the gold standard's inherent price stability--a stable currency was its primary goal."

A stable currency implies that its purchasing power would remain the same. But under a gold standard, there would be a trend for prices to fall as production and innovation would not be set off by increases in the money supply (or very minor increases).

If this fact was explained to the American people, maybe they would not "have tolerated the inflation bias as an acceptable cost of the modern welfare state." ....

Diz que disse*

O Bruno Gonçalves linkou, e o Paulo Tunhas reforçou a utilidade do link, para um texto de James Kirchick publicado na The New Republic e dedicado, segundo o seu autor, a mostrar o escondido passado de Ron Paul. Lê-se o artigo e, como sempre que se trata de denegrir Ron Paul, não se encontra uma única linha assinada ou subscrita por ele.

Em vez de termos acesso a decisões, discursos ou votações de Ron Paul (e que são aos milhares, prontas a ser escrutinadas de alto a baixo) temos acesso a newsletters que Paul não escreveu, não subscreveu e por várias vezes repudiou. É sempre assim com Paul. Nunca lhe atacam as palavras ou os gestos próprios. São sempre as do apoiante, do financiador, do tipo que lhe vende a fruta.

Inteligentemente, e mostrando que conhecia o teor do artigo para o qual linkava e que mais não era do que um punhado de coisas que não podia ser atribuída a Ron Paul, o Bruno Gonçalves intitulou o seu post de “O Passado do Movimento Ron Paul”, assim afastando a espada sobre a cabeça do candidato, transferindo-a no entanto para a nossa. Pois que nós somos, modestamente pois então, um movimento de apoio a Ron Paul (presumo que já tenha passado a estranheza a todos quantos na blogosfera se riram deste blogue e hoje se dedicam diariamente a clamar ufanamente o seu apoio a um ou outro candidato).

Mas ao afastar a espada de Ron Paul, o post do Bruno deixa de ter qualquer utilidade.

Por um lado porque, pegando no artigo linkado, o Bruno se escusou ao trabalho de ir verificar em toda e cada uma das declarações de Ron Paul, desde que nasceu até ao presente momento, algo que pudesse, de alguma forma, dar conforto ao que vem escrito por Kirchick. Isso sim seria de grande utilidade. Seria perda de tempo, claro. Mas as conclusões seriam de grande utilidade, uma vez que os textos de Ron Paul, bem como os seus discursos ou votações, desmentem linha por linha as acusações do texto linkado.

Por outro lado, porque o Bruno não considerou importante verificar se o artigo em causa era recente, se já tinha sido desmentido, se a história já tinha sido apurada, qual o calibre do seu autor ou da revista em causa. E neste afã passou ao lado das explicações de Paul, da demissão do autor da newsletter e do requentado da história.

Ainda por outro lado porque, olhando para os apoiantes dos restantes candidatos, Rudy incluído, o que não falta por aí é gente doida a dizer coisas que não fazem sentido nenhum, demonstrando à saciedade que, numa eleição como esta, é o homem que conta e não o lunático que se dedica a oferecer pins e a escrever merda atrás de merda durante a noite. Aliás, engraçado será o futuro de todos nós, que diariamente escrevemos na blogosfera, quando em 2043 formos confrontados com o que escrevemos em 2003...

Finalmente, porque o Bruno perde cada vez mais tempo com um candidato alegadamente irrelevante em vez de explicar, ao certo e em pormenor, por que razão deve Rudy vencer sobre, por exemplo, McCain. Isso sim será um post interessante e útil. Pois que é de ideias próprias de candidatos que estamos a falar, seria bom que disse se falasse de facto.

Dito isto não posso concordar, nem sequer ao de leve, nem sequer de raspão, com aquilo que o Carlos Novais aqui escreve sobre a Atlântico. Não me parece que a Atlântico, em qualquer um dos seus suportes seja a casa de algum do pensamento proto-neo-conservador trotsky-cons. Nem penso sequer que essa caracterização assente no Bruno Gonçalves. Basta aliás ler os seus posts para perceber que ela pouco ou nada tem que ver com o Bruno, que muito gosto de ler, mesmo quando discordo. Tratou-se, aqui, de um post mais rápido que a sombra. A todos já nos aconteceu o mesmo. Não me parece que seja crime.

Além disso, tanto quanto percebo, e alguma coisa percebo que aquilo é também a minha casa, a Atlântico é um espaço que muito honra a liberdade. Onde todos escrevem as suas ideias, as debatem, as confrontam e as sindicam sem qualquer restrição que não a manter-se a revista como espaço de debate de ideias. Em Portugal, sinceramente, não conheço outro órgão editorial onde visões ideológicas tão diferentes convivam, sem competir espaço nem direcções, tachos ou condecorações. E se isso não vai bem com a visão de Ron Paul para o Mundo, não sei o que é que vai.
*originalmente publicado no http://portugal4ronpaul.blogspot.com/

Electoral Compass USA

Compare as suas convicções políticas (relativamente a um contexto americano) aos candidatos à nomeação partidária para a presidenciais 2008 dos USA: Electoral Compass USA

Croc Hillary

Carta de Donald J. Boudreaux ao Wall Street Journal:
Surely I'm not alone in being horrified by the soaring narcissism and arrogance that Hillary Clinton revealed yesterday during her tearful moment in New Hampshire ("Tears Have Turned Campaigns," January 8). She confessed that she could not maintain her brutal campaign pace if she "didn't just passionately believe it was the right thing to do." The Senator continued: "I have so many ideas for this country, and I just don't want to see us fall backwards as a nation. This is very personal for me."

No one person is as important to a free country as Ms. Clinton fancies herself to be. More fundamentally, her burning "personal" desire to subject all Americans to her "many ideas" is evidence of a frightening itch to be a social engineer. Anyone itching as badly as Ms. Clinton claims to itch to rule over others should never be trusted with power.

terça-feira, Janeiro 08, 2008

Lliure (3)

"En febrero comienza la libertad de horarios comerciales en el centro de Madrid" (Libertad Digital):
El concejal de Economía del Ayuntamiento de Madrid, Miguel Ángel Villanueva, ha adelantado en declaraciones al programa Hoy en Madrid, de LDTV, que la libertad de horarios comerciales en el distrito de Sol será realidad a partir de febrero. En su opinión, esta iniciativa además de hacer competitiva la ciudad como destino turístico, va a "ayudar a generar riquezas y puestos de trabajo". Efe adelanta que la Comunidad de Madrid dará mañana luz verde a la iniciativa.

Quem é que vai ficar para trás com uma cidade de Madrid mais interessante para madrileños e turistas, quem é, quem é?

Uma verdade inconveniente

"Anthropogenic Continental Drift: An Incoherent Truth" no The People's Cube:


A new menace to the planet has been discovered and validated by a consensus of politically reliable scientists: Anthropogenic Continental Drift (ACD) will result in catastrophic damage and untold suffering, unless immediate indemnity payments from the United Sates, Europe, and Australia be made to the governments of non-industrial nations, to counteract this man-made threat to the world's habitats.

Sowell sobre Iowa

What Does It Mean? de Thomas Sowell:
By far the best presentation as a candidate, among all the candidates in both parties, is that of Barack Obama. But if he actually believes even half of the irresponsible nonsense he talks, he would be an utter disaster in the White House.

Among the Democrats, the choice between John Edwards and Barack Obama depends on whether you prefer glib demagoguery in its plain vanilla form or spiced with a little style and color.

The choice between both of them and Hillary Clinton depends on whether you prefer male or female demagoguery.

###
Temperament is far more important for a President than for a candidate. A President has to be on an even keel 24/7, for four long years, despite crises that can break out anywhere in the world at any time.

John McCain trails the pack in the temperament department, with his volatile, arrogant, and abrasive know-it-all attitude. His track record in the Senate is full of the betrayals of Republican supporters that have been the party's biggest failing over the years and its Achilles heel politically.
McCain's betrayals include not only the amnesty bill but also the McCain-Feingold bill that violated the First Amendment for the illusion of "taking money out of politics." His back-door deal with Democrats on judicial nominations also pulled the rug out from under his party leaders in the Senate.

The White House is not the place for a loose cannon.

Esta noite (2)

Na continuação...


###

O costumeiro interesse público

A lei do tabaco apareceu em todo o seu esplendor como a mais completa encarnação do interesse público. Ora, se é de interesse público que se trata, coisa que diz respeito a todos e por todos deve ser sentida, é com algum espanto que se assiste ao triste espectáculo de convocar um grupo técnico consultivo da Direcção-Geral da Saúde para determinar se o fumo nos casinos faz menos mal aos não fumadores que o fumo nos restaurantes.

Ou aquilo que está em causa é o interesse público, em toda a sua extensão e vigor, e as excepções à lei não se compadecem com compadrios ou afinal de contas aquilo que temos aprovado é uma espécie de capricho legislativo sujeito a interpretações correctivas à medida que o senhor inspector-geral da ASAE vai sendo apanhado a prevaricar.

Isto não retira qualquer razão aos protestos do presidente da Associação Portuguesa de Casinos que tem vindo a fazer notar que os seus clientes são, na maioria, fumadores e que, nessa medida, se for obrigado a cumprir a lei, terá grande prejuízo. Acontece é que tais protestos e preocupações são extensíveis a todos os outros proprietários, não se vislumbrando aqui qualquer excepção qualificada dos casinos.

Para ler e ouvir

Quando o tempo falta para escrever no meu blogue, resta sempre algum minuto para ler os blogues dos outros. Os que já cá estão e os que acabam de chegar. Entre estes, valendo o todo o meu silêncio, o Senhor Comentador, do Carlos Quevedo, para onde vos remeto a toda a velocidade.

segunda-feira, Janeiro 07, 2008

O Tratado da Liberdade de Étienne de La Boétie

Quem era Étienne de La Boétie?
LA BOETIE’S Discourse has a vital importance for the modern reader--an importance that goes beyond the sheer pleasure of reading a great and seminal work on political philosophy, or, for the libertarian, of reading the first libertarian political philosopher in the Western world.

For La Boétie speaks most sharply to the problem which all libertarians-indeed, all opponents of despotism-find particularly difficult: the problem of strategy. Facing the devastating and seemingly overwhelming power of the modem State, how can a free and very different world be brought about?

How in the world can we get from here to there, from a world of tyranny to a world of freedom? Precisely because of his abstract and timeless methodology, La Boétie offers vital insights into this eternal problem.
La Boétie was also the first theorist to move from the emphasis on the importance of consent, to the strategic importance of toppling tyranny by leading the public to withdraw that consent. Hence, La Boétie was the first theorist of the strategy of mass, non-violent civil disobedience of State edicts and exactions.

O seu a seu dono

O Pedro Magalhães escreve hoje um interessante artigo no Público, no qual procura refutar os argumentos que considera provindos dos liberais que se opõem à recente lei do fumo nos restaurantes e espaços fechados. Discordando em grande parte da forma como refuta os argumentos que selecciona, tendo contudo a concordar que os argumentos em causa são mancos na hora de contestar a lei e que não conseguem, por só, fornecer suporte suficiente e coerente para demonstrar como a lei em questão é repressiva das liberdades individuais.

Acontece que me limito a concordar nessa conclusão apenas porque o Pedro Magalhães deixou de parte os argumentos que são, na minha opinião, decisivos e que oferecem o suporte suficiente para demonstrar a repressão escancarada na letra da lei. É que, ao contrário do que parecem indicar os argumentos seleccionados pelo Pedro Magalhães, a oposição liberal a esta lei não procura fazer vingar o direito positivo de alguém fumar em determinado sítio em prejuízo dos direitos positivos dos demais a um ambiente sadio.

Trata-se, isso sim, de fazer respeitar o direito de propriedade dos donos dos restaurantes e dos espaços fechados, afirmando que é a eles que cabe definir, para além do estilo de serviços, do preço a praticar ou da decoração a adornar, se o seu restaurante deve ou não aceitar (não-) fumadores e em que circunstâncias.

Porque aquilo que esta lei vem conferir é uma espécie de direito do cliente que não passa pelo estrito e escrupuloso cumprimento da relação contratual que naturalmente se estabelece entre o dono e o cliente: o dono dizendo o que tem para oferecer, e em que condições, e o cliente aceitando ou rejeitando.

Esta distorção da realidade natural não prejudica apenas o espaço de actuação do dono do restaurante, que vê a sua liberdade de gerir o restaurante limitada num aspecto essencial. Prejudica também o próprio espaço de liberdade do cliente, que vê limitada a possibilidade de optar e de escolher um restaurante e que tem o Estado, qual grilo falante no seu ombro, a fazê-lo por si.

Não está em questão que um restaurante sem fumo não possa ser mais agradável que um restaurante com fumo. A questão é que esse juízo deve ser feito pelo dono do restaurante, que avalia o sucesso do seu produto, e pelo cliente, que avalia a justeza do preço pedido. O Estado aqui não deveria ser chamado para nada. Ou melhor, deveria ser chamado para regular conflitos oriundos de violação da relação contratual estabelecida. Como igualmente poderia ser chamado a estabelecer quais as informações mínimas que devem ser expostas para que o consumidor esteja informado.

Água na fervura

José Delgado Domingos, nada mais nada menos do que professor catedrático jubilado do IST e novo Presidente da Agencia Municipal de Energia e Ambiente da CML disse, sem rodeios, em entrevista ao DN, aquilo que por aqui já várias vezes se deixou referido acerca do so called aquecimento global:

Mas afinal, na sua opinião, existe ou não aquecimento global provocado pelas emissões de dióxido de carbono das actividades humanas?
O último relatório científico do IPCC refere, por exemplo, que na Antárctida o aumento da temperatura precedeu o aumento das emissões de CO2, mas depois isso é omitido no relatório dos decisores políticos. Recentemente descobriu-se que afinal houve um erro em considerar que em 1998 foi o ano mais quente nos EUA desde que existem registos; de facto, o ano mais quente foi 1934. E agora sabe-se, depois de um grande escândalo, que no século XV ocorreu um crescimento abrupto de temperaturas idêntico ao que se verifica actualmente.

Então em que ficamos? Existe ou não aquecimento global, na sua opinião?
Tm ocorrido um aumento da temperatura, até 1998, mas não se pode garantir que, nos próximos, continue e que esteja apenas associado às emissões de CO2.

Guia para fumadores (e não fumadores, tipo eu)

O Francisco José Viegas está a elaborar uma lista, mais ou menos actualizada, de restaurantes e bares que mantêm zonas de fumadores nas suas salas, de acordo com a lei. Pode dar jeito para marcar jantares sem bufos atrás de cada coluna. Em Lisboa, por exemplo, a lista inclui: Snob, Café de São Bento, Procópio, Lamosa (R. Salitre), Blues Cafe, Bar do Bairro (sala própria), VirGula, Coccinella (Paço de Arcos), Finalmente, Lips (Os Balões), Galito (Carnide), Pinóquio, Papo Cheio, Cervejaria Trindade, Lábios de Vinho, Mercado do Peixe, Eclipse, Doca de Santo, Gambrinus, Delfim, Capricciosa, Portugália (Cais do Sodré e Almirante Reis), Pizaria Lucca, Olivier, Buddha Bar, Solar dos Presuntos, Stop do Bairro (Campo de Ourique) Restaurante Alfândega, Santo António de Alfama, Grande Elias, A Severa, República da Cerveja (Parque das Nações), Belém Bar Café, Pátio do Lenhador (Cascais), A Tasca do Careca, Piazza di Mare, Via Graça, City Café, Ladeira, The Taste Maker, Dois ao Quadrado (Sintra), Forno Velho, Fonte da Arcada, Chimarrão (Monsanto), Pastelaria Flor das Avenidas, Marisqueira O Nunes, Orange, O Cantinho dos Caracóis, Mata-Bicho (Carcavelos), Solar Pombalino, El Corte Inglés (restaurante do 7º piso), Culto da Tasca (Sintra), Café Astória (Parede), Suave, Peixe na Linha (Parede), Rodelas, Fox Trot, Brasileira do Chiado, People (Campo Pequeno), O Funil, Old Vik Bar (Av. Roma), La Moneda, Japa, Pabe, Masstige, Caruso, Os Arcos (Paço de Arcos), Casa da Dízima (Paço de Arcos), Come Prima, Visconde da Luz (cascais), Café Inn, La Moneda, Gemelli, Faz Figura, Mah Jong, Incógnito, Bica do Sapato (espaço próprio), Cup&Cino (Entrecampos), Maria Caxuxa.

Esta noite

Um dia antes das primárias de New Hampshire, Ron Paul vai ao Jay Leno Tonight Show. Ou seja, hoje, às 23:35 ET.

sexta-feira, Janeiro 04, 2008

worse than the original weakness


AYN RAND's message to the GOP CANDIDATES

A Resposta Socialista para Tudo

National Grocery Reform" de Richard E. Ralston no Capitalism Magazine:
One of the great scandals of our age is the fact that America spends more on food than any other nation. Many political leaders are now calling for urgent reform to bring spending on food under control. Even worse, while the result of this uncontrolled spending includes the fact that many Americans are overweight, some Americans do not have enough to eat.

Leading liberal candidates now point to what they see as the heart of the problem: corporate "greed" in the form of grocery stores and restaurants operating on a for-profit basis ....
Across the political spectrum, there is a developing consensus that the only appropriate response to the fact that some consumers cannot afford groceries is to impose a single, regimented, government-controlled food system on all citizens ....

Rumor has it that the clincher for those proposing socialized grocery plans was stated recently by one of the presidential candidates: "The ideal thing about these proposals is that if we can somehow get this to work for groceries, we can apply it to health care."

O vencedor da noite (2)


Huckabee, milhões de pequenas partículas suspensas em Bonomia

Do Political Machine:
By and large, if you switched these speeches-had Obama deliver Mike's in his robust tenor, and told Mike to give Obama's the folksy treatment-it might not have made much of a difference which one each man delivered.

O melhor Commencement Speech

"The Neal Boortz Commencement Speech de Neal Boortz:
I am honored by the invitation to address you on this august occasion. It's about time. Be warned, however, that I am not here to impress you; you'll have enough smoke blown your way today. And you can bet your tassels I'm not here to impress the faculty and administration.

You may not like much of what I have to say, and that's fine. You will remember it though. Especially after about 10 years out there in the real world. This, it goes without saying, does not apply to those of you who will seek your careers and your fortunes as government employees.

###
This gowned gaggle behind me is your faculty. You've heard the old saying that those who can - do. Those who can't - teach. That sounds deliciously insensitive. But there is often raw truth in insensitivity, just as you often find feel-good falsehoods and lies in compassion. Say good-bye to your faculty because now you are getting ready to go out there and do. These folks behind me are going to stay right here and teach.

By the way, just because you are leaving this place with a diploma doesn't mean the learning is over. When an FAA flight examiner handed me my private pilot's license many years ago, he said, 'Here, this is your ticket to learn.' The same can be said for your diploma. Believe me, the learning has just begun.

Now, I realize that most of you consider yourselves Liberals. In fact, you are probably very proud of your liberal views. You care so much. You feel so much. You want to help so much. After all, you're a compassionate and caring person, aren't you now? Well, isn't that just so extraordinarily special. Now, at this age, is as good a time as any to be a Liberal; as good a time as any to know absolutely everything. You have plenty of time, starting tomorrow, for the truth to set in. Over the next few years, as you begin to feel the cold breath of reality down your neck, things are going to start changing pretty fast .. including your own assessment of just how much you really know.

So here are the first assignments for your initial class in reality: Pay attention to the news, read newspapers, and listen to the words and phrases that proud Liberals use to promote their causes. Then compare the words of the left to the words and phrases you hear from those evil, heartless, greedy conservatives. From the Left you will hear "I feel." From the Right you will hear "I think." From the Liberals you will hear references to groups --The Blacks, The Poor, The Rich, The Disadvantaged, The Less Fortunate. From the Right you will hear references to individuals. On the Left you hear talk of group rights; on the Right, individual rights.

That about sums it up, really: Liberals feel. Liberals care. They are pack animals whose identity is tied up in group dynamics. Conservatives and Libertarians think -- and, setting aside the theocracy crowd, their identity is centered on the individual.

Liberals feel that their favored groups, have enforceable rights to the property and services of productive individuals. Conservatives (and Libertarians, myself among them I might add) think that individuals have the right to protect their lives and their property from the plunder of the masses.

In college you developed a group mentality, but if you look closely at your diplomas you will see that they have your individual names on them. Not the name of your school mascot, or of your fraternity or sorority, butyourname. Your group identity is going away. Your recognition and appreciation of your individual identity starts now.

If, by the time you reach the age of 30, you do not consider yourself to be a libertarian or a conservative, rush right back here as quickly as you can and apply for a faculty position. These people will welcome you with open arms. They will welcome you, that is, so long as you haven't developed an individual identity. Once again you will have to be willing to sign on to the group mentality you embraced during the past four years.

Something is going to happen soon that is going to really open your eyes. You're going to actually get a full time job! You're also going to get a lifelong work partner. This partner isn't going to help you do your job. This partner is just going to sit back and wait for payday. This partner doesn't want to share in your effort, just your earnings.

Your new lifelong partner is actually an agent; an agent representing a strange and diverse group of people. An agent for every teenager with an illegitimate child. An agent for a research scientist who wanted to make some cash answering the age-old question of why monkeys grind their teeth. An agent for some poor aging hippie who considers herself to be a meaningful and talented artist ... but who just can't manage to sell any of her artwork on the open market.

Your new partner is an agent for every person with limited, if any, job skills; for every person who ignored all offered educational opportunities, dreaming of nothing more than a job at City Hall. An agent for tin-horn dictators in fancy military uniforms grasping for American foreign aid. An agent for multi-million-dollar companies who want someone else to pay for their overseas advertising. An agent for everybody who wants to use the unimaginable power of this agent's for their personal enrichment and benefit.

That agent is our wonderful, caring, compassionate, oppressive Imperial Federal Government. Believe me, you will be awed by the unimaginable power this agent has. Power that you do not have. A power that no individual has, will have or should have. This agent has the legal power to use force – deadly force – to accomplish its goals.

You have no choice here. Your new friend is just going to walk up to you, introduce itself rather gruffly, hand you a few forms to fill out, and move right on in. Say hello to your own personal one ton gorilla with a gun. It will sleep anywhere it wants to.

Now, let me tell you, this agent is not cheap. As you become successful it will seize about 40% of everything you earn. And no, I'm sorry, there just isn't any way you can fire this agent of plunder, and you can't decrease it's share of your income. That power rests with him, not you.

So, here I am saying negative things to you about government. Well, be clear on this: It is not wrong to distrust government. It is not wrong to fear government. In certain cases it is not even wrong to despise government for government is inherently evil. Oh yes, I know it's a necessary evil, but it is dangerous nonetheless ... somewhat like a drug. Just as a drug that in the proper dosage can save your life, an overdose of government can be fatal.

Now – let's address a few things that have been crammed into your minds at this university. There are some ideas you need to expunge as soon as possible. These ideas may work well in academic environment, but they fail miserably out there in the real world.

First – that favorite buzz word of the media, government and academia: Diversity!

You have been taught that the real value of any group of people - be it a social group, an employee group, a management group, whatever - is based on diversity. This is a favored liberal ideal because diversity is based not on an individual's abilities or character, but on a person's identity and status as a member of a group. Yes – it's that liberal group identity thing again.

Within the great diversity movement group identification - be it racial, gender based, or some other minority status - means more than the individual's integrity, character or other qualifications.

Brace yourself. You are about to move from this academic atmosphere where diversity rules, to a workplace and a culture where individual achievement and excellence actually count. No matter what your professors have taught you over the last four years, you are about to learn that diversity is absolutely no replacement for excellence, ability, and individual hard work.

From this day on every single time you hear the word "diversity" you can rest assured that there is someone close by who is determined to rob you of every vestige of individuality you possess.

We also need to address this thing you seem to have about "rights." We have witnessed an obscene explosion of so-called "rights" in the last few decades, usually emanating from college campuses.

You know the mantra: You have the right to a job. The right to a place to live. The right to a living wage. The right to health care. The right to an education. You probably even have your own pet right - the right to a Beemer, for instance, or the right to have someone else provide for that child you plan on downloading in a year or so.

Forget it. Forget those rights! I'll tell you what your rights are! You have a right to live free, and to whatever wealth you are able to produce with your labor. I'll also tell you have no right to any portion of the life or labor of another.

You may think, for instance, that you have a right to health care. After all, Hillary said so, didn't she? But you cannot receive health care unless some doctor or health practitioner surrenders some of his time - his life - to you. He may be willing to do this for compensation, but that's his choice. You have no "right" to his time or property. You have no right to his or any other person's life or to any portion thereof.

You may also think you have some "right" to a job; a job with a living wage, whatever that is. Do you mean to tell me that you have a right to force your services on another person, and then the right to demand that this person compensate you with their money? I can't wait for you to point that one out for me in our Constitution. I sure would like to be a fly on the wall when some urban outdoorsmen (that would be "homeless person" for those of you who don't want to give these less fortunate people a romantic and adventurous title) came to you and demanded his job and your money.

The people who have been telling you about all the rights you have are simply exercising one of theirs - the right to be imbeciles. Their being imbeciles didn't cost anyone else either property or time. It's their right, and they exercise it brilliantly.

By the way, did you catch my use of the phrase "less fortunate" a bit ago when I was talking about the urban outdoorsmen? That phrase is a favorite of the Left. Think about it, and you'll understand why.

To imply that one person is homeless, destitute, dirty, drunk, spaced out on drugs, unemployable, and generally miserable because he is "less fortunate" is to imply that a successful person - one with a job, a home and a future - is in that position because he or she was "fortunate." The dictionary says that fortunate means "having derived good from an unexpected place." There is nothing unexpected about deriving good from hard work. There is also nothing unexpected about deriving misery from choosing drugs, alcohol, and the street instead of education and personal responsibility.

If the Left can create the common perception that success and failure are simple matters of "fortune" or "luck," then it is easy to promote and justify their various income redistribution schemes. After all, we are just evening out the odds a little bit, aren't we?

This "success equals luck" idea the liberals like to push is seen everywhere. Democratic presidential candidate Richard Gephardt refers to high-achievers as "people who have won life's lottery." He wants you to believe they are making the big bucks because they are lucky; all they did was buy the right lottery ticket. What an insult this is to the man or woman who works that 60 hour week to provide for a family.

It's not luck, my friends. It's choice. One of the greatest lessons I ever learned was in a book by Og Mandino, entitled "The Greatest Secret in the World." The lesson? Very simple: "Use wisely your power of choice."

That bum sitting on a heating grate, smelling like a wharf rat? He's there by choice. He is there because of the sum total of the choices he has made in his life. This truism is absolutely the hardest thing for some people to accept, especially those who consider themselves to be victims of something or other - victims of discrimination, bad luck, the system, capitalism, whatever. After all, nobody really wants to accept the blame for his or her position in life. Not when it is so much easier to point and say, "Look! He did this to me!" than it is to look into a mirror and say, "You S.O.B.! You did this to me!"

The key to accepting responsibility for your life is to accept the fact that your choices, every one of them, are leading you inexorably to either success or failure, however you define those terms.

Some of the choices are obvious: Whether or not to stay in school. Whether or not to get pregnant. Whether or not to hit the bottle. Whether or not to keep this job you hate until you get another better-paying job. Whether or not to save some of your money, or saddle yourself with huge payments for that new car.

Some of the choices are seemingly insignificant: Whom to go to the movies with. Whose car to ride home in. Whether to watch the tube tonight, or read a book on investing. But, and you can be sure of this, each choice counts. Each choice is a building block - some large, some small. But each one is a part of the structure of your life. If you make the right choices, or if you make more right choices than wrong ones, something absolutely terrible may happen to you. Something unthinkable. You, my friend, could become one of the hated, the evil, the ugly, the feared, the filthy, the successful, the rich.

Quite a few people have followed that tragic path.

The rich basically serve two purposes in this country. First, they provide the investments, the investment capital, and the brains for the formation of new businesses. Businesses that hire people. Businesses that send millions of paychecks home each week to the un-rich.

Second, the rich are a wonderful object of ridicule, distrust, and hatred. Few things are more valuable to a politician than the envy most Americans feel for the evil rich.

Envy is a powerful emotion. Even more powerful than the emotional minefield that surrounded Bill Clinton when he reviewed his last batch of White House interns. Politicians use envy to get votes and power. And they keep that power by promising the envious that the envied will be punished: "The rich will pay their fair share of taxes if I have anything to do with it.'

The truth is that the top 10% of income earners in this country pays almost 50% of all income taxes collected. I shudder to think what these job producers would be paying if our tax system were any more "fair."

You have heard, no doubt, that in America the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Interestingly enough, our government's own numbers show that many of the poor actually get richer, and that quite a few of the rich actually get poorer. But for the rich who do actually get richer, and the poor who remain poor ... there's an explanation -- a reason. The rich, you see, keep doing the things that make them rich; while the poor keep doing the things that make them poor.

Speaking of the poor, during your adult life you are going to hear an endless string of politicians bemoaning the plight of the poor in America. So, you need to know that under our government's definition of "poor" you can have a $5 million net worth, a $300,000 home and a new $90,000 Mercedes, all completely paid for. You can also have a maid, cook, and valet, and $1 million in your checking account, and you can still be officially defined by our government as "living in poverty." Now there's something you haven't seen on the evening news.

How does the government pull this one off? Very simple, really. To determine whether or not some poor soul is "living in poverty," the government measures one thing -- just one thing. Income. It doesn't matter one bit how much you have, how much you own, how many cars you drive or how big they are, whether or not your pool is heated, whether you winter in Aspen and spend the summers in the Bahamas, or how much is in your savings account. It only matters how much income you claim in that particular year. This means that if you take a one-year leave of absence from your high-paying job and decide to live off the money in your savings and checking accounts while you write the next great American novel, the government says you are 'living in poverty."

This isn't exactly what you had in mind when you heard these gloomy statistics, is it?

Do you need more convincing? Try this. The government's own statistics show that people who are said to be "living in poverty" spend more than $1.50 for each dollar of income they claim. Something is a bit fishy here. just remember all this the next time Peter Jennings puffs up and tells you about some hideous new poverty statistics.

And please remember this: The average person in this country described as "poor" has a higher standard of living than the average European. Not the average "poor" European, the average European.

Why has the government concocted this phony poverty scam? Because the government needs an excuse to grow and to expand its social welfare programs, which translates into an expansion of its power. If the government can convince you, in all your compassion, that the number of "poor" is increasing, it will have all the excuse it needs to sway an electorate suffering from the advanced stages of Obsessive-Compulsive Compassion Disorder.

Well, it looks like I'm about to be given the hook. The faculty looks a little angry. I'll bet they've already changed their minds about that honorary degree I was going to get. That's OK, though. I still have my Ph.D. in Insensitivity from the Neal Boortz Institute for Insensitivity Training. I learned that, in short, sensitivity sucks. It's a trap. Think about it - the truth knows no sensitivity. Life can be insensitive. Wallow too much in sensitivity and you'll be unable to deal with life, or the truth. So, get over it.

Now, before the dean has me shackled and hauled off, I have a few random thoughts.

# You need to register to vote, unless you are on welfare. If you are living off the efforts of others, please do us the favor of sitting down and shutting up until you are on your own again. To the welfare class I say that we're taking care of you we would appreciate if if you would just stay out of our way so we can get the job done.

# When you do vote, your votes for the House and the Senate are more important than your vote for president. The House controls the purse strings, so concentrate your awareness there.

# Liars cannot be trusted, even when the liar is the president of the United States. If someone can't deal honestly with you, send them packing.

# Don't bow to the temptation to use the government as an instrument of plunder. If it is wrong for you to take money from someone else who earned it -- to take their money by force for your own needs -- then it is certainly just as wrong for you to demand that the government step forward and do this dirty work for you.

# Don't look in other people's pockets. You have no business there. What they earn is theirs. What your earn is yours. Keep it that way. Nobody owes you anything, except to respect your privacy and your rights, and leave you the hell alone.

# Speaking of earning, the revered 40-hour workweek is for losers. Forty hours should be considered the minimum, not the maximum. You don't see highly successful people clocking out of the office every afternoon at five. The losers are the ones caught up in that afternoon rush hour. The winners drive home in the dark.

# Free speech is meant to protect unpopular speech. Popular speech, by definition, needs no protection.

# Finally (and aren't you glad to hear that word), as Og Mandino wrote,

1. Proclaim your rarity. Each of you is a rare and unique human being.

2. Use wisely your power of choice.

3. Go the extra mile ... drive home in the dark.

Oh, and put off buying a television set as long as you can.

Now, if you have any idea at all what's good for you, you will get the hell out of here and never come back.

Class dismissed.

First They Came For The Smokers

"First They Came For The Smokers" no EurSoc:
It's no-smoking time in Europe. However, many German pubs and restaurants have resisted strongly the new ban on smoking which came into effect, technically, on 1 January.

Because Germany is a federal nation, the states within the federation have wide-ranging constitutional powers to circumvent decrees from Berlin or Brussels.
The reason behind these measures is not exactly fear of loss of potential revenue. It is fear of something else. The reason is a resonance of very bad memories.

It is because the last crackdown on smoking was ordered by a certain Herr Adolf Hitler.

The Media’s Top 10 Economic Myths of 2007

retirados do Business & Media Institute:

10. Airlines are solely to blame for the unfriendly skies.
Media myth: Blame the airlines for all those flight delays; never mind the obsolete government-run agency creating the gridlock.

9. Consumer spending is the be-all, end-all of the economy.
Media myth: Without excessive consumer spending – especially at Christmastime – the U.S. economy will collapse.

8. The stock market is trouble, whether it goes up or down.
Media myth: One day the stock market can’t sustain growth; the next, we’re just one drop away from another crash.

7. Anyone who ‘denies’ global warming shouldn’t be taken seriously.
Media myth: Global warming could cause a ‘century of fires,’ just as it has created allergies and ended winter fashion. If we don’t do something now (i.e. spend hundreds of billions of dollars), it’s only going to get worse.

6. You’d better not eat/drink that!
Media myth: Forget the right to eat as you please; the nanny-state knows better.

5. Most Americans are losing their homes.
Media myth: Americans everywhere are losing their homes to foreclosure, and the housing bust is going to ruin the economy.

4. “Going Green” is good for America and business.
Media myth: Businesses are much better off if they go green, and that’s what people really want anyway.

3. Lenders are responsible for everyone’s debts.
Media myth: Drowning in red ink isn’t your fault; blame the guy who loaned you the money.

2. Free health care would be great!
Media myth: To save our children and the 47 million uninsured Americans, and to keep up with the rest of the world, we must have government-run health care.

1. The U.S. Economy is in recession.
Media myth: The U.S. economy is nearly in, or is in, a recession.

Abject rejection of the free-market*

Mike Huckabee foi claro vencedor no Iowa no que não pode senão ser considerada uma clara derrota para todos os que apoiam Ron Paul. Não tanto pelos resultados de Ron Paul, que os dois dígitos não podem ser considerados um mau resultado, mas porque Huckabee está longe, muito longe, de ser um adepto de governo limitado e de políticas de clara redução da carga fiscal.

Veja-se, por exemplo, o que dele disse o The Club for Growth, um grupo de pressão low tax:
Nominating Mike Huckabee for president or vice-president, would constitute an abject rejection of the free-market, limited-government, economic conservatism that has been the unifying theme of the Republican Party for decades.
Ou veja-se a reles nota atribuída pelo Cato Institute a Huckabee no seu Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governors: D.

*post originalmente publicado aqui.

Bom ano novo!


fonte: John Cox

Ordens profissionais, profissões livres

A revista Atlântico deste mês já está nas bancas, cheia de motivos de interesse. Entre eles, perdoem-me a imodéstia, está um artigo que escrevi a meias com o André Abrantes Amaral, intitulado Ordens profissionais, profissões livres:

No que respeita às profissões liberais, e a pretexto de uma necessidade de evitar o descontrolo e manter e assegurar qualidade no exercício da profissão, o Estado limitou-se a delegar nas ordens profissionais as arrogantes atribuições de que se julga investido. Delegação essa que, sem surpresas, transfere para elas o monopólio que tradicionalmente encontramos no Estado. Razão porque temos apenas uma ordem para cada profissão, da qual não se pode fugir e para a qual não se pode deixar de contribuir.
E eis que, ao invés de as transformar num espaço de liberdade, o Estado permissivamente contribuiu para que as ordens profissionais se transformassem em agências certificadoras, com o exclusivo poder de decidir, ao certo, quem pode exercer determinada profissão e em que termos.