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09 November 2005

While Paris Burns...

France to deport foreign rioters

Sarkozy said even foreigners with visas would be expelled if convicted Interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy has ordered the expulsion of all foreigners convicted of taking part in the riots that have swept France for 13 nights. He told parliament 120 foreigners had been found guilty of involvement and would be deported without delay. Police said overnight violence had fallen significantly - although trouble still flared in more than 100 towns. The government has declared a state of emergency in Paris and more than 30 other areas to help quell the unrest.

The northern city of Amiens was the first to impose an overnight curfew under the new powers, which came into force at midnight. The western towns of Rouen, Le Havre and Evreux and the French Riviera region have also said they will implement the measures. However the Seine-Saint-Denis region north-east of Paris, where the trouble started almost two weeks ago, said it would not impose a curfew after violence diminished for a third night running.

Mr Sarkozy told MPs that non-French nationals - "not all of whom are here illegally" - had been convicted of taking part in the attacks. "I have asked the prefects to deport them from our national territory without delay, including those who have a residency visa," he said.


(news.bbc.co.uk)

Are the french riots a sign of things to come?

13 October 2005

Only in Portugal

She was to be arrested. Instead she fled the country for the sun of Brazil. Two years later she arrives in Portugal and is elected Mayor of Felgueiras.

Am I missing something in all of this?

Terrorism

When do we declare war on the greatest terrorist of them all...

MOTHER NATURE

Something to think about...

While they're employed, they demand better salaries, less hours, more perks...
When unemployed they beg for a job...

26 September 2005

Lawyers debate God vs. science
By Jon Hurdle


HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - The lawsuit over whether intelligent design should be taught in schools alongside evolution began in federal court on Monday with defendants' attorneys calling it a scientific theory and opponents saying it was an effort to put God in the classroom. In the first such legal battle, lawyers sparred during opening arguments at Federal District Court in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, over whether the teaching of intelligent design -- an alternative to evolution that involves a God-like creator -- violates the U.S. Constitution. The battle over teaching about man's origins in U.S. schools pits Christian conservatives against educators and scientists in a trial viewed as the biggest test of the issue since the late 1980s. "Intelligent design isn't science. It's old theology," said Eric Rothschild, lawyer for 11 parents who sued the Dover school district of central Pennsylvania over including intelligent design in its ninth-grade biology curriculum.

"It's a clever tactical repackaging of creationism," he said, telling a packed courtroom that the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed teaching creationism in public schools in 1987.

Creationism is the belief that God created the world as told in Genesis. The parents are joined in their cause by the American Civil Liberties Union, America's largest civil liberties group. Pat Gillen, a lawyer for the Dover school district, said intelligent design is anchored in science and is not creationism in disguise. He also rejected the accusation that it was unconstitutional to teach the theory to students.


(reuters.co.uk)


What's next, Teaching Norse, Greek and Roman Mythology in school as Science? If this wasn't a serious court case I would be rolling around, laughing myself to death...

Al-Qaeda suspect jailed over 9/11

Yarkas was convicted of being an al-Qaeda cell leader in Spain

A Syrian man accused of heading a Spanish al-Qaeda cell and helping to organise the 9/11 attacks has been jailed for 27 years in Madrid. Imad Yarkas was jailed along with 17 other men convicted on charges of aiding al-Qaeda. Two men accused over the 9/11 attacks were cleared of murder in Europe's biggest terror trial. A journalist for Arabic TV network al-Jazeera was also jailed for seven years for collaborating with al-Qaeda. The 17 men convicted were sentenced to between six and 11 years in jail for a range of terrorism offences. Among them was Driss Chebli, accused of helping Yarkas plot the 2001 attacks. He was cleared of murder charges but sentenced to six years for collaborating with a terror group.


(news.bbc.co.uk)

How many have gone to jail in the States because o 9/11, or are they all still locked up in Guantanemo?

15 September 2005

Verdade, Verdade, VERDADE

Sérgio Figueiredo
Tribunais e quartéis: close


Os senhores militares dominam o assunto, conhecem muito bem o tema dos "direitos adquiridos". Fizeram, aliás, uma revolução em Abril de 1974 por causa disso. Foram os militares que nos libertaram do regime antigo e acabaram com todos os direitos adquiridos que a sociedade de então mantinha. É mais do que legítimo, portanto, devolver-lhes a questão. E lançar o desafio: quem está disposto a liderar uma outra revolução para acabar com os direitos adquiridos deles? E com os dos senhores juizes, magistrados e funcionários judiciais? Não é Marques Mendes. Não é aquele senhor que substituiu Portas e não recordo o nome. E desengane-se quem espera resposta da esquerda. Os presidenciáveis Louçã e Jerónimo, sempre «anti» tratando-se de fardas, estão indignados, por não deixarem as Forças Armadas desfilar em paz. E, muito provavelmente, não será também José Sócrates. Que foi tão valente a enfiar as duas mãos em todas as colmeias habitadas por estas «comunidades», como incapaz de aproveitar a oportunidade para mobilizar a nação para algo que ela há muito perdeu: um rumo. Um simples rumo.

Assim, parece a Costa do Marfim. Podia também ser o Ruanda, quando a instituição militar desafia a autoridade de um Governo e convoca todas as armas, do activo e reservistas, para as ruas. Também afigura-se a uma qualquer República da América Central, onde os próprios órgãos de soberania se mobilizam para greves. Agora os tribunais, os juízes. Depois quem se segue? O Presidente da República pode fazer greve? O que irrita não é ver esta gente aos berros. Não é ver o Governo isolado. Nem é confirmar a falta de senso e responsabilidade dos Mendes e associados. Nem sequer assistir com estupefacção a esta decadência institucional, a absoluta falta de respeitinho pelas autoridades democráticas. As pessoas perderam o sentido da nação, mas isso não irrita. Preocupa, angustia, desilude. Mas não irrita. O que irrita são os motivos desta crise. Tudo o que está na origem deste ambiente, em que cheira a fim de regime. A Armada em passeata. Tribunais fechados. Sem lhes assistir a razão. Militares e agentes da justiça. Por mais que desfilem de braço-dado com Louçã, por mais comícios que Jerónimo dedique em defesa dos seus «direitos adquiridos», os senhores militares não têm causa alguma. E mentem descaradamente, quando dizem estar a defender a dignidade da instituição militar.

Treta! Estão a defender a vidinha que os contribuintes lhes garantem - uma vidinha, diga-se, que os contribuintes gostariam mas o país obviamente não permite. Há 31 anos lideraram um golpe para conquistar a liberdade. Agora ameaçam o regime para não pagar a conta da farmácia ou ir para casa, com salário completo, ainda antes dos 50. Também a anunciada greve geral na Justiça não é justa. Viu-se coisa igual em 1988. Ano em que Cavaco os sossegou, criando um impraticável regime especial. O mesmo que Sócrates está agora, quase vinte anos depois, a eliminar. E porque a maioria dos portugueses, os tais contribuintes, não percebe e não apoia o Governo? Porque em vez de lhe ter explicado que era justo, apresentaram-lhe isto no pacote das medidas contra o défice! O povo quer um rumo e deram-lhe um disco riscado.

(www.negocios.pt)

If only the politicians would read this one... (sigh)

04 September 2005

The Survival of New Orleans blog

Sig and I went down to the street to head over to Baronne to check out some tenant housing the company owns and make sure the building is still secure. The water down Poydras has receded about one and 1/2 block as you head toward the Dome. Baronne street the water has receded to about 2 blocks down from Poydras as you head to Canal. Still very significant flooding that way and the water is absolutely nasty. The surface is a rust-covered gunk that is difficult to describe; luckily, Sig took some pictures. We saw some signs of looting and there was a car there which had been completely crushed under a wall of bricks which fell down from the 3rd floor of a now-exposed condo. Law enforcement have absolutely lost their minds. Some guy wearing khaki fatigues and black vests which say Police on them have their faces covered in black ski masks and are touting M4-A1s with front hand grips -- like they're some kind of Delta Force operators waiting to hit the tire house. They're guarding the four corners around the Bell South building for crying out loud. And what, they need secret identities? Come on. You can just tell some of these guys have never gotten out before. Now's their big chance to play Army. The police presence is growing and it consists of non-stop driving around the CBD. Dozens and dozens of cars just driving up one street and down the other. We're safe from civil unrest now, that much is certain.


A blog from the City of New Orleans with first hand accounts of what is happening in that suffering city

the Survival of New Orleans blog

They're not giving us what we need to survive'

'They're not giving us what we need to survive'
The Observer


Only now, a week after Hurricane Katrina roared across the Deep South, leaving a trail of devastation across America's psyche, is the true story of the Battle of New Orleans emerging. As convoys of commandeered school buses and Greyhound coaches transported tens of thousands of refugees out of the submerged city yesterday, in a belated and much-criticised relief operation, each vehicle brought with it new tales of horror.

Those trapped inside the two main shelters, the Superdome and the Convention Centre, paint a picture of a city that was subsumed beneath waves of violence, rape and death and accuse the police and National Guard of standing by, ignoring their pleas for help. The claims are rejected by the federal and state authorities, who instead suggest the looting and lawlessness which followed the extensive flooding of the city was the result of a series of isolated incidents perpetrated by a few. But it is clear from talking to survivors that what happened in New Orleans last week was far more extensive, bloody and terrifying than the authorities have admitted so far.

'We had to wrap dead people in white sheets and throw them outside while the police stood by and did nothing,' said Correll Williams, a 19-year-old meat cutter from the Crowder Road district in the east of the city, who waded two miles through waist-high water to make it to the Convention Centre after hearing on the radio it was being turned into a refuge.

'The police were in boats watching us. They were just laughing at us. Five of them to a boat, not trying to help nobody. Helicopters were riding by just looking at us. They weren't helping. We were pulling people on bits of wood, and the National Guard would come driving by in their empty military trucks.'


(observer.guardian.co.uk)

If this is the way that the World's superpower deals with a disaster, then God help us all.

What country is really prepared for a disaster of this size?

20 July 2005

Campos e Cunha resigns

Governo: Sócrates propõe a Sampaio exoneração do ministro das Finanças

Lisboa, 20 Jul (Lusa) - O primeiro-ministro solicitou hoje ao Presidente da República a exoneração do ministro de Estado e das Finanças, Campos e Cunha, a pedido deste, por motivos pessoais, familiares e cansaço, disse à Agência Lusa fonte oficial. De acordo com a mesma fonte, o primeiro-ministro, José Sócrates, "no mesmo momento", propôs ao Presidente da República, Jorge Sampaio, a nomeação de Fernando Teixeira dos Santos como ministro de Estado e das Finanças".

Fernando Teixeira dos Santos presida actualmente à Comissão de Mercados e Valores Mobiliários (CMVM), foi secretário de Estado dos governos socialistas de António Guterres e é professor universitário.

(Lusa)



(Translated Version)
Prime Minister Sócrates asks State President Sampaio accept the resignation of the minister of the Finances

The Prime Minister, today requested that the President of the Republic accept the resignation of the minister of the Finances, Campos e Cunha, for reasons of a personal nature, family and fatigue, according to an official source. This same source also added that the Prime Minister, Jose Sócrates, "at the same time" proposed the nomination of Fernando Teixeira Dos Santos as minister of Finances to the President of the Republic, Jorge Sampaio.

Fernando Teixeira Dos Santos currently presides over the bourse authority(CMVM). He was the secretary of State in the socialist governments of António Guterres and is also a university professor.

Fernando Teixeira dos Santos is the next Minister of Finances

Is it time to open the wallet? Is the Socialist Goverment worried it's going to lose the next municipal elections?

Portugal to have a new Minister of Finances

Seems like the strain of having to take unpopular measures and a growing divide between the Minister of Finances Campos e Cunha and the Prime Minister Socrates have led to the resignation of the Minister of Finances. Seems like the game of musical chairs hasn't ended yet. How long will we continue to be governed by inept politicians?

18 July 2005

Terrorist's "Get out of Jail Free" card.

Germany Frees Terror Suspect From Prison


An al-Qaida suspect was freed Monday after the country's high court blocked his extradition to Spain, ruling that a European Union-wide arrest warrant - heralded as a key step in the fight against terrorism - does not yet comply with German law. The ruling comes as European governments are scrambling to enact legislation following the deadly bombings in London. It also deals a blow to the EU's post-Sept. 11 counterterrorism plans and highlights the difficulties Europe faces in rushing through anti-terror laws frowned upon by the courts and at times angrily contested by civil libertarians. The Karlsruhe-based Federal Constitutional Court released Mamoun Darkazanli, who has German and Syrian citizenship, after deciding that Germany's version of the European arrest warrant introduced last August violates the country's constitution and a suspect's basic rights.

Darkazanli is among 41 suspects, including Osama bin Laden, indicted by Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon, who has been investigating the al-Qaida terror network. He faces up to 12 years in a Spanish prison if convicted of membership in a terrorist organization. Darkazanli, 46, appears in a 1999 wedding video with two of the three Sept. 11, 2001 suicide pilots - Marwan al-Shehhi and Ziad Jarrah - who lived and studied in Hamburg along with lead hijacker Mohamed Atta. The United States has labeled Darkazanli's Hamburg-based trading company a front for terrorism. He appeared on U.S. suspect lists after Sept. 11, but has denied any links to bin Laden or the attacks. Specifically, the German court said the country's legislature failed to provide a mechanism for appeal when making the EU legislation national law, and also had not gone far enough in considering suspects' fundamental rights.

(Guardian Unlimited)

This is how you win the war on terrorism...

Portugal and Iran explore trade ties.

Iran, Portugal stress investments, Trade ties


Head of Iran Chamber of Commerce Industries and Mines (ICCIM) and Advisor to Portuguese Commerce Minister Skopiro explored expansion of industrial and trade ties in Lisbon, according to IRNA. Ali Naghi Khamoushi said that 75% of Iran's trade ties with European nations. "Portugal is absent in this, but today's signing of agreement for a joint Iran-Portugal Trade Council grounds are paved to boost trade exchange." He referred to the suitable geographical location of Iran which has access to the Middle East and Central Asian markets with a population of over 400 mln people. He also called for signing agreements on removing double taxatioan on trade and finance, promotion and support of joint investments and trade, and reducing customs tariffs, as well as cooperation in banking and shipping. The Portuguese official said that Lisbon is keen on exploring new markets for joint investments and trade and supports the proposed joint trade council. He added that Portuguese investors have welcomed closer relations with their Iranian counterparts and are interested in greater presence in Middle East and Central Asia region. The Iranian delegation also visited 'Porto' the second industrialized city in the country and met with several local official industrialists and traders.

(IranMania.com)

Portugal wins Rugby Sevens Final.

Portugal retain Euro sevens crown

Portugal defeated Russia 28-26 in a pulsating climax to the Grand Final of the 2005 FIRA European Sevens in Moscow to retain the trophy they have won for the last three years. Spain won the Plate with a 25-14 win over Germany, whilst Lithuania claimed the Bowl. Portugal topped their group on day one, recording four victories and a 7-7 draw, against Italy. In Pool B, Russia delighted the home fans with five wins out of five, including a 33-7 victory over France. They followed that up on day two by defeating Italy 17-0 in the Cup semi finals, whilst Portugal beat France 22-7

(www.irbsevens.com)

Well done Lads. Pity that the local media aren't giving this the atention it deserves.

17 July 2005

Gravity doughnut promises time machine

Time present and time past

This is where Amos Ori from Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, comes in. He says that according to Einstein's theories, space can be twisted enough to create a local gravity field that looks like a doughnut of some arbitrary size. The gravitational field lines circle around the outside of this doughnut, so that space and time are both tightly curved back on themselves. Crucially, this does away with the need for any hypothetical exotic matter.

Although it is difficult to describe what this would look or be like in real life, Ori says the mathematics reveal that every period of time between when the doughnut was created and the present moment would be somewhere in the vacuum inside the doughnut. All you need to do is work out how to get there.In theory, it should be possible to travel back to any point in time after the time machine was built, reports Ori in Physical Review Letters. One slight snag is that he has not worked out how to generate the gravitational doughnut, although he has some ideas. "It's wild speculation, but you may need to move large masses rapidly in a circular motion," Ori says.
(news@nature.com)

One step closer to opening Pandora's box.

Table-top Fusion?

Is bubble fusion back?

Physicists at Purdue University in Indiana claim to have found new evidence for nuclear fusion in a tabletop device. Yiban Xu and Adam Butt say that firing sound waves into a beaker of deuterated acetone that has been "seeded" with neutrons produces tritium and further neutrons through the process of fusion. Known as "bubble fusion", the phenomenon met with widespread scepticism when it was first reported in 2002. The new results are likely to be just as controversial.

Yiban Xu and Adam ButtSonoluminescence describes the process whereby bubbles in a liquid emit tiny flashes of light when they are forced to expand and collapse by sound waves. Some physicists believe that the pressures and temperatures inside the collapsing bubbles could be high enough to initiate nuclear reactions. If achieved, such fusion could lead to a new clean energy source.
(PhysicsWeb)

I need one of these toys...

It´s all in the genes...

Scientists Find 'Hangover Gene'
This mutation is no party, Japanese team say


Many hangover sufferers looking for someone or something to blame can now point the finger at their own genes, according to a new study. Mutations in a specific gene inactivate a key enzyme and slow the elimination of acetaldehyde -- the first product of alcohol metabolism -- from the body, say Japanese researchers reporting in the July issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Their study of 326 Japanese female and male workers found that those with a mutated, inactive form of aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) -- an enzyme that plays an important role in the elimination of alcohol-induced acetaldehyde -- are more susceptible to hangovers and facial flushing when they drink. This mutated form of ALDH is called ALDH2. People with the inactive form of ALDH2 needed to drink "significantly less" than those with active ALDH2 to trigger hangover, study corresponding author Masako Yokoyama, of the Mitsukoshi Health and Welfare Foundation, said in a prepared statement.
(HealthDay News)

When can we expect the anti-hangover pill?

25 May 2005

As novas medidas do Governo

Medidas de emergência para reduzir o défice Governo congela carreiras na função pública até 2006 25.05.2005 - 11h43 in Jornal Público
Cristina Ferreira, Eduardo Dâmaso

O Governo anuncia hoje, no Parlamento, as medidas aprovadas para controlar o défice das contas públicas. Os impostos vão aumentar e a função pública verá as carreiras congeladas até ao fim de 2006.
Estas são duas das medidas aprovadas ontem pelo Conselho de Ministros destinadas a evitar que o défice público de 2005 dispare para 6,83 por cento do produto interno bruto (PIB), como prevê o relatório da comissão Constâncio. Do lado da receita, as propostas que o ministro Luís Campos e Cunha levou para a reunião apontam para o aumento dos impostos. A criação de um imposto único extraordinário, o aumento da taxa de IVA normal de 19 por cento para 21 por cento, a passagem de alguns produtos da taxa intermédia de IVA (12 por cento) para a taxa normal e o agravamento dos impostos sobre os combustíveis, o tabaco e o álcool foram medidas analisadas.A criação do imposto único, extraordinário e de emergência, surgia ontem como uma hipótese forte, dados os seus efeitos imediatos. Todas as pessoas pagarão uma soma determinada em função do rendimento declarado e durante um determinado período. José Sócrates anunciou ontem à noite, na reunião da comissão política do PS com o grupo parlamentar, que iria aumentar os impostos. "Vamos cumprir o nosso programa eleitoral com uma excepção: o aumento dos impostos", declarou Sócrates na reunião.Para a função pública o Governo deverá avançar com o aumento da idade de reforma de 60 para 65 anos. O regime de segurança social da função pública deverá convergir gradualmente para o regime geral da Segurança Social, medida que será introduzida durante dez anos, a um ritmo de seis meses por ano. Actualmente, os trabalhadores do Estado reformam-se aos 60 anos, desde que tenham 36 anos de contribuições. A lei permite ainda que se aposentem antes dos 60 anos, desde que abdiquem de uma percentagem da pensão por cada ano de antecipação.Os salários e pensões dos empregados do sector público administrativo representam cerca de 15 por cento do PIB, contra 11 por cento de média comunitária. Uma fonte importante do aumento das despesas com pessoal tem sido a progressão de carreiras dos setecentos mil funcionarios públicos. Teoricamente, as progressões nas carreiras não são automáticas, mas na prática acabam por sê-lo. A explicação é simples. As progressões nas carreiras estão dependentes da avaliação. Como a regra na função pública é atribuir classificações máximas aos funcionários, estes acabam por ser sempre promovidos. O congelamento das carreiras exigirá a suspensão do decreto-lei que define a progressão da carreira do funcionalismo público, criado no tempo do ex-primeiro-ministro Cavaco Silva.Em 2002, e já com o objectivo de conter o défice orçamental, a ex-ministra das Finanças Manuela Ferreira Leite chegou a ponderar o congelamento das carreiras, mas isso acabou por não acontecer. Contudo, a não abertura de alguns concursos produziu efeitos semelhantes. A medida mais emblemática adoptada por Ferreira Leite para controlar o crescimento das despesas com pessoal foi o congelamento dos salários públicos acima dos mil euros. Dados que têm sido divulgados pelo ex-ministro das Finanças Henrique Medina Carreira, indicam que entre 2000 e 2004, contando já com os dois anos em que vigorou a medida introduzida por Ferreira Leite, a despesa da Função Pública aumentou em média anualmente cerca de 600 milhões de euros, quando antes o acréscimo era de 1200 milhões de euros."Concordo com a aproximação do regime da Caixa Geral de Aposentações ao regime geral da segurança social, até porque faz sentido aumentar a idade da reforma tendo em conta a evolução demográfica", afirmou ao PÚBLICO o economista do Grupo Mello, António Nogueira Leite. "Também estou de acordo com a supressão dos "automatismos" da função pública, pois não faz sentido as progressões nas carreiras sem estarem ligadas a coisa nenhuma. Se as medidas de José Sócrates forem estas então eu estou de acordo."Outra medida apresentada por Sócrates é o aumento da taxa do IVA de 19 por cento para 21 por cento. Alguns produtos taxados a 12 por cento poderão sofrer aumentos. Tudo indica que a maioria dos produtos com IVA a cinco por cento não sofrerão acréscimo. Também os impostos indirectos, como os que abrangem o tabaco, álcool e combustíveis poderão subir. "Percebo a necessidade de aumentar os impostos face à emergência do problema, mas do ponto de vista duradouro não é a melhor solução, pois vai permitir ao Estado ter mais dinheiro para gastar. E dentro de algum tempo haverá necessidade de voltar a subir os impostos", disse o economista Vitor Bento, presidente da SIBS. "A redução estrutural da despesa nunca se consegue se não se discutir quais as funções que o Estado deve ter e a sua extensão", adiantou. Vítor Bento disse ainda concordar com o congelamento das carreiras e o aumento da idade da reforma do funcionalismo público, Também deverá constar do programa de combate ao défice do Governo a introdução de portagens em certas Scut.O adiamento da construção do novo aeroporto de Lisboa, apesar de esta depender essencialmente de dinheiros privados (project finance) e de fundos europeus, deverá estar a ser estudada. E a linha de TGV que irá ligar Lisboa a Madrid (projecto construído com dinheiros públicos) poderá manter-se como uma prioridade de Sócrates.

24 May 2005

Battle Royale

V.A.T. (I.V.A.) is going from 19% to 21%.

So much for campaign promises...

23 May 2005

My Poor Portugal

Poor being the operative word, of course...

The latest Portuguese Deficit as presented by the Governor of the Reserve Bank this afternoon is 6.83%. Seems like we Portuguese are in for another rough ride. Pretty nostalgic stuff. When Durão Barroso came in to office we also found out that the deficit was a lot higher the the previous goverment had stated...

This is how you weasel out of complying with your election promises!

19 April 2005

Prophecy of St Malachy

I discovered this interesting article about a 11 century Irish Bishop's prophecy concerning future Popes.


The most famous and best known prophecies about the popes are those attributed to St. Malachy. In 1139 he went to Rome to give an account of the affairs of his diocese to the pope, Innocent II, who promised him two palliums for the metropolitan Sees of Armagh and Cashel. While at Rome, he received (according to the Abbé Cucherat) the strange vision of the future wherein was unfolded before his mind the long list of illustrious pontiffs who were to rule the Church until the end of time. The same author tells us that St. Malachy gave his manuscript to Innocent II to console him in the midst of his tribulations, and that the document remained unknown in the Roman Archives until its discovery in 1590 (Cucherat, "Proph. de la succession des papes", ch. xv). They were first published by Arnold de Wyon, and ever since there has been much discussion as to whether they are genuine predictions of St. Malachy or forgeries. The silence of 400 years on the part of so many learned authors who had written about the popes, and the silence of St. Bernard especially, who wrote the "Life of St. Malachy", is a strong argument against their authenticity, but it is not conclusive if we adopt Cucherat's theory that they were hidden in the Archives during those 400 years.



Pope 263 John XXIII (1958-1963)
107 Pastor et Nauta (pastor and marine)
Hist.: prior to his election he was patriarch of Venice, a marine city, home of the gondolas

Pope 264 Paul VI (1963-1978)
108 Flos florum (flower of flowers)
Hist.: his arms displayed three lilies.

Pope 265 John Paul I (1978)
109 De medietate Lunæ (of the half of the moon)
Hist.: Albino Luciani, born in Canale d'Agardo, diocese of Belluno, (beautiful moon) Elected pope on August 26, his reign lasted about a month, from half a moon to the next half...

Pope 266 John Paul II (1978-2005)
110 De labore Solis(of the eclipse of the sun, or from the labour of the sun)
Hist.: Karol Wojtyla was born on May 18, 1920 during a solar eclipse. He also comes from behind the former Iron Curtain (the East, where the Sun rises). He might also be seen to be the fruit of the intercession of the Woman Clothed with the Sun labouring in Revelation 12 (because of his devotion to the Virgin Mary). His Funeral occurred on 8 April, 2005 when there was a solar eclipse visible in the Americas.


Pope 267 ???
111 Gloria olivæ
The Benedictine order traditionally said this Pope would come from their order. (April 19th 2005: Pope Benedict XVI)

Pope 268 ???
In persecutione extrema S.R.E. sedebit Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oves in multis tribulationibus: quibus transactis civitas septicollis diruetur, & Judex tremêdus judicabit populum suum. Finis.
(In extreme persecution, the seat of the Holy Roman Church will be occupied by Peter the Roman, who will feed the sheep through many tribulations, at the term of which the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the formidable Judge will judge his people.)


(Source: catholicpages.com)

Are we living in the final days, or is this coincidence...

Me, I prefer to think it's coincidence.

Also:
bibleprobe.com

13 April 2005

Quotes:


Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.
-- Rich Cook


Those parts of the system that you can hit with a hammer (not advised) are called hardware; those program instructions that you can only curse at are called software.
-- Unknown author


Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.
-- Pablo Picasso

03 April 2005

Pope John Paul II - Goodbye Holy Father









Goodbye John Paul II. May you enjoy you well deserved rest in Heaven.

31 March 2005

ABORTION AGAIN...

Once again the battle is waged to relax Portugal's Abortion Legislation. Once again the shouting hits the streets, the indignation, insult, accusations and general free-for-all. And once again I’m perplexed. I can't understand the importance given to the abortion debate. maybe I'm just an ignoramus...

With so many causes to fight, so many problems affecting hundreds of thousand and yet we continue to treat a "minor problem" ( 1- How many woman have stood trial for aborting? 2- How many have gone to jail for aborting?) as if it was the most urgent and decisive problem facing Portugal. We have a floundering economy (which affects us all), soaring unemployment (which affects hundreds of thousands), deficient health-care system (which serves millions) to name a few.

Or are many looking for their place in the spotlight?

25 March 2005

Taking the fun out of Science...


Taking the spark out of science
Health and safety fears are squeezing practical experiments out of the classroom.
by Josie Appleton


Health and safety concerns are putting a dampener on school science practicals. A survey of teachers and scientists finds that everything from keeping snails to swabbing for cheek cells, running model steam engines to burning peanuts, is now being avoided because it is seen as too risky. The result is that children are being turned off science - with experts fearing for the next generation of chemists and physicists. Julian Wigley, who has taught science at a Birmingham comprehensive for the past decade, says that he has noticed a 'move away from experiments considered too risky'. When practicals are carried out, they tend to involve kids observing the teacher rather than doing it for themselves. According to Tony Ashmore, head of education at the Royal Society of Chemistry, 'experiments are more often demonstrated than carried out - and teachers are more cautious about what they might demonstrate'. The Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) has noted a decline in science practicals, and an increasingly 'narrow and mechanistic' approach, with teachers doing the bare minimum to fulfil national curriculum requirements (1). Risk assessment procedures encourage teachers to stick to standardised experiments rather than try anything a bit different. Children's curiousity is curtailed, says Wigley. 'In the old days, when kids asked "what happens if...?", teachers could often say "try it out". Now they might say "I will tell you what happens", and draw a diagram on the board.'


(From www.spiked-online.com)

How does one teach Science without practical experiments which are one of it's basic tools?

24 March 2005

O Novo Codigo da Estrada


A revisão do Código da Estrada, ferramenta fundamental para concretização do Plano Nacional de Prevenção Rodoviária, tem como objectivo reduzir a sinistralidade rodoviária e incide nos comportamentos de risco mais adoptados pelos condutores, no transporte de crianças em segurança, na maior protecção jurídica dos peões e no agravamento das sanções aplicáveis às infracções que mais contribuem para a sinistralidade - nomeadamente a velocidade, o álcool e o desrespeito pelos peões.

Pretende, ainda, introduzir normas processuais especiais, visando maior celeridade na aplicação efectiva das sanções, de forma a reduzir significativamente o tempo que decorre entre a prática da infracção e a aplicação da sanção, garantindo-se o seu efeito dissuasor.

Considerando que, através da Lei n.º 53/2004, de 4 de Novembro, a Assembleia da República autorizou o Governo a proceder à revisão do Código da Estrada, cuja publicação está prevista para o início de Janeiro de 2005, importa divulgar as principais alterações previstas.

Assim, tendo por base o projecto que resultou da autorização legislativa da Assembleia da República:

1. Os condutores de velocípedes, de veículos de tracção animal e de animais que circulem numa rotunda, deixam de ser obrigados a ceder a passagem aos veículos a motor que nela pretendam entrar.

2. Para efeitos de mudança de direcção deixa de existir o conceito de placa de forma triangular.

3. A sanção pelo excesso de velocidade é agravada e distinta quando ocorra dentro ou fora da localidade:










































































Automóveis ligeiros, motociclos



Automóveis pesados



Dentro das localidades
 

Dentro das localidades
 

Até 20 km/h



60 a 300 euros



Até 10 km/h



60 a 300 euros



20 a 40 km/h



120 a 600 euros



10 a 20 km/h



120 a 600 euros



40 a 60 km/h



300 a 1500 euros



20 a 40 km/h



300 a 1500 euros



Mais de 60 km/h



500 a 2500 euros



Mais de 40 km/h



500 a 2500 euros











Fora das localidades
 

Fora das localidades
 

Até 30 km/h



60 a 300 euros



Até 20 km/h



60 a 300 euros



30 a 60 km/h



120 a 600 euros



20 a 40 km/h



120 a 600 euros



60 a 80 km/h



300 a 1500 euros



40 a 60 km/h



300 a 1500 euros



Mais de 80 km/h



500 a 2500 euros



Mais de 60 km/h



500 a 2500 euros




A velocidade mínima nas auto-estradas passa de 40 para 50 km/h.

4. A ultrapassagem de veículo pelo lado direito passa a ser sancionada com coima de 250 a 1250 euros.

5. A paragem e o estacionamento nas passagens assinaladas para a passagem de peões (passadeiras) passa a ser considerado contra-ordenação grave.

6. O desrespeito da obrigação de parar imposta pelos agentes fiscalizadores ou reguladores do trânsito, pelo sinal de STOP ou pela luz vermelha de regulação do trânsito passa a ser considerada contra-ordenação muito grave.

7. O desrespeito pela linha longitudinal contínua passa a ser considerada contra-ordenação muito grave.

8. A condução sob influencia do álcool, considerada em relatório médico, passa a ser classificada como contra-ordenação muito grave.

Taxa de álcool
Coima

0,5 a 0,8 g/l
250 a 1250 euros

0,8 a 1,2 g/l
500 a 2500 euros


9. Os condutores detectados a circular em contramão nas auto-estradas ou vias equiparadas serão submetidos a novos exames (médicos, psicológicos ou de condução)

10. Sempre que exista grande intensidade de tráfego o condutor deverá circular com velocidade moderada. Caso não o faça cometerá uma contra-ordenação grave.

11. Os agentes de polícia passam a poder desrespeitar sempre regras e sinais, independentemente da urgência da missão. Acresce que se alarga essa permissão aos condutores de veículos em missão urgente de interesse público. Não se encontra regulamentado o que se entende por missão urgente de interesse público.

12. O arremesso de qualquer objecto para o exterior do veículo é sancionado com coima de 60 a 300 €.

13. Nas situações em que é obrigatório o uso do sinal de pré-sinalização de perigo, quem proceder à sua colocação, à reparação do veículo ou à remoção da carga deve utilizar colete retrorreflector. Ainda não se encontram regulamentadas a cor nem as características do colete. A não utilização do colete é sancionada com coima de 120 a 600 euros.

14. A utilização de telemóvel durante a condução, só é permitida se for utilizado auricular ou sistema alta voz que não implique manuseamento continuado. A infracção a esta disposição passa a ser considerada contra-ordenação grave.

15. É proibido o transporte de crianças com menos de 12 anos e 150 cm de altura, no banco da frente, excepto se se tratar de bebés (menos de 3 anos) utilizando sistema de retenção virado para a retaguarda. Neste caso, não poderá existir airbag activado no lugar do passageiro.

16. Será apreendido o documento de identificação do veículo detectado a circular desrespeitando as regras relativas à poluição sonora, do solo e do ar.

17. É considerado estacionamento abusivo o de veículos ostentando qualquer informação com vista à sua transacção, em parque de estacionamento, pelo que fica sujeito a remoção pelas autoridades.

18. A circulação de veículo sem que tenha sido submetido a inspecção periódica obrigatória será sancionada com coima de 250 a 1250 euros.

19. A circulação de veículo sem seguro de responsabilidade civil será sancionada com coima de 500 a 2500 euros.

20. São criadas as subcategorias de veículos B1, C1, C1+E, D1 e D1+E.

21. Passa a ser considerado requisito para obter título de condução saber ler e escrever.

22. A condução de quadriciclos passa a ficar dependente da titularidade de carta de condução.

23. período do "regime probatório" é alargado de dois para três anos.

24. A carta de condução provisória caduca se o seu titular for condenado pela prática de um crime rodoviário, de uma contra-ordenação muito grave ou de duas contra-ordenações graves.

25. Reintrodução de um dístico ("ovo estrelado") a colocar na traseira dos veículos conduzidos por titulares de carta de condução com carácter provisório. Ainda não se encontram regulamentadas as características desse dístico.

26. Se em qualquer acto de fiscalização o condutor ou o proprietário do veículo tiver coimas em atraso, terá de proceder ao seu imediato pagamento. Caso contrário, será apreendido o título de condução ou os títulos de identificação do veículo e de registo de propriedade.

27. O pagamento voluntário da coima passa a ser efectuado no acto da verificação da contra-ordenação. Se o infractor não pretender efectuar o pagamento voluntário imediato da coima, deve prestar depósito, também imediatamente, de valor igual ao mínimo da coima prevista para a contra-ordenação praticada. Esse valor será devolvido se não houver lugar a condenação. Caso contrário, será apreendido o título de condução ou os títulos de identificação do veículo e de registo de propriedade.

O prazo para pagamento voluntário das coimas, bem como para apresentação de defesa é reduzido de 20 para 15 dias.

28. O prazo da sanção acessória para os condutores reincidentes é elevado dos actuais 3 para 5 anos.

29. Deixa de haver dispensa da inibição de conduzir, nas situações em que o condutor não tenha praticado qualquer contra-ordenação grave ou muito grave nos últimos cinco anos, passando a ser aplicável o regime da atenuação especial.

30. A competência exclusiva, para determinar a cassação do título de condução passa dos tribunais para o Director-Geral de Viação.

31. Nas situações em que haja lugar a apreensão do título de condução, o prazo para entrega às autoridades foi reduzido de 20 para 15 dias.

32. O prazo de prescrição do procedimento por contra-ordenações leves é elevado de 1 para 2 anos, contados da data da contra-ordenação.

33. As cartas e licenças de condução apreendidas ou cassadas por força de decisão judicial, passam a ser entregues obrigatoriamente na Direcção-Geral de Viação, para efeitos de controlo da execução da pena ou da medida de segurança aplicada;

34. Atribuição à Direcção-Geral de Viação das seguintes competências:

a) emissão de licenças de condução de ciclomotores, de motociclos de cilindrada não superior a 50 cm3 e de veículos agrícolas, bem como para a matrícula daqueles veículos e de triciclos de cilindrada não superior a 50 cm3, que actualmente é exercida pelas câmaras municipais;

b) organização dos registos nacionais de condutores, de infractores e de matrículas de veículos;

35. As autoridades de fiscalização do trânsito ou seus agentes, podem proceder à apreensão do veículo que circule sem os sistemas, componentes ou acessórios com que foi aprovado, que utilize sistemas, componentes ou acessórios não aprovados, que tenha sido objecto de transformação não aprovada, que falte a inspecção extraordinária ou a inspecção para confirmação da correcção de anomalias;

36. Os pais ou tutores de menores habilitados com licença especial de condução serão responsáveis pelas infracções por estes praticadas;

37. A determinação da medida e regime de execução das sanções terá em conta os antecedentes do infractor relativamente ao diploma legal infringido ou seus regulamentos;

38. Os limites mínimo e máximo da caução de boa conduta são alterados para, respectivamente, € 500 e € 5000;

39. Passa a ser possível a imposição de medidas cautelares quando tal se revele necessário para a instrução do processo ou para a segurança rodoviária e ainda quando o arguido exerça actividade profissional autorizada, titulada por alvará ou licenciada pela Direcção-Geral de Viação;

40. Previsão da possibilidade de pagamento da coima em prestações, pelo período de doze meses, desde que o seu valor seja superior a 2UC e cada prestação mensal não seja inferior a € 50;

41. A entidade administrativa passa a poder alterar, após a decisão, o modo de cumprimento da sanção acessória;

42. Passa a existir inadmissibilidade de recurso de decisões judiciais proferidas em sede de impugnação judicial de decisões administrativas,

43. Passará a haver a possibilidade de recurso da decisão do director-geral de Viação que determine a cassação do título de condução, com efeito meramente devolutivo e apenas até à relação;

(Fonte: www.anieca.pt)

18 March 2005

To Shakespeare After Three Hundred Years


Bright baffling Soul, least capturable of themes,
Thou, who display'dst a life of common-place,
Leaving no intimate word or personal trace
Of high design outside the artistry
Of thy penned dreams,
Still shalt remain at heart unread eternally.

Through human orbits thy discourse to-day,
Despite thy formal pilgrimage, throbs on
In harmonies that cow Oblivion,
And, like the wind, with all-uncared effect
Maintain a sway
Not fore-desired, in tracks unchosen and unchecked.

And yet, at thy last breath, with mindless note
The borough clocks but samely tongued the hour,
The Avon just as always glassed the tower,
Thy age was published on thy passing-bell
But in due rote
With other dwellers' deaths accorded a like knell.

And at the strokes some townsman (met, maybe,
And thereon queried by some squire's good dame
Driving in shopward) may have given thy name,
With, "Yes, a worthy man and well-to-do;
Though, as for me,
I knew him but by just a neighbour's nod, 'tis true.

"I' faith, few knew him much here, save by word,
He having elsewhere led his busier life;
Though to be sure he left with us his wife."
--"Ah, one of the tradesmen's sons, I now recall . . .
Witty, I've heard . . .
We did not know him . . . Well, good-day. Death comes to all."

So, like a strange bright bird we sometimes find
To mingle with the barn-door brood awhile,
Then vanish from their homely domicile -
Into man's poesy, we wot not whence,
Flew thy strange mind,
Lodged there a radiant guest, and sped for ever thence.

----------by Thomas Hardy

14 March 2005

THE DAWN


Murky and venomous my words have been,
Echoing a ill and dwindling world.
Visions of demise and continual injury
Have been scrawled upon these vacant sheets.

Too long my heart has poured forth fury.
Ache and loss have intertwined.
My children born have lived incased
On lonely paper in impotent rage.

But now!...

Finally this bitter spell does break,
The past, its hold relinquishes.
No more my days lived years before.
The future now my soul does call.

O glorious day, marvelous night
That holds my passions and buries my pain.
My heart leaps forth wanting to live,
As once it was and once more shall be.

My body animated by an unworldly force
That raises my banner to challenge the world.
It was, shall be, as if never once broken,
Whole once more to face the dawn.
--------- by Arlindo Costa

HOPE:


I know now,
That hope does rain
Upon the countenance
Of recognition.

The passing moments
Into years do race,
Between the trivial
That hides the ache.

Across barrens traveled,
To find the radiance of belief,
Slowly pouring it's life-giving stream
From source in you, to sea in me.

Upon a wave I leap,
Forward destiny awaits,
Behind me grays
Loves and hates uncounted.

Oh blessed hope, unforeseen joy,
From defunct life, is born anew.
Spreading it's wings
To liberate me.

You entered the frame
Changed the scene
From a moribund drama
To an enchanting reprieve.

And now to the future,
I begin to see
That circles and wheels
This life has been.
------- by Arlindo Costa

11 March 2005

Lista oficial de secretários de Estado do XVII Governo Constitucional



Gabinete do primeiro-ministro:
Secretário de Estado Adjunto do primeiro-ministro, Filipe Baptista.

Ministério da Administração Interna:
Secretário de Estado Adjunto e da Administração Local, Eduardo Cabrita.
Secretário de Estado Adjunto e da Administração Interna, José Magalhães.
Secretário da Administração Interna, Ascenso Simões.
Sub-Secretário de Estado da Administração Interna, Fernando Rocha Andrade.

Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros:
Secretário de Estado dos Negócios Estrangeiros e da Cooperação, João Gomes Cravinho.
Secretário de Estado dos Assuntos Europeus, Fernando de Oliveira Neves.
Secretário de Estado das Comunidades Portuguesas, António Braga.

Ministério das Finanças:
Secretário de Estado Adjunto e do Orçamento, Manuel Baganha.
Secretária de Estado do Tesouro e Finanças, Maria dos Anjos Capote.
Secretário de Estado dos Assuntos Fiscais, João Amaral Tomás.
Secretário de Estado da Administração Pública, João Figueiredo.

Ministério da Presidência:
Secretário de Estado da Juventude e do Desporto, Laurentino Dias.
Secretário de Estado da Presidência do Conselho de Ministros, Jorge Lacão.

Ministério da Defesa Nacional:
Secretário de Estado da Defesa Nacional e dos Assuntos do Mar, Manuel Lobo Antunes.

Ministério da Justiça:
Secretário de Estado Adjunto do Ministro da Justiça, José Conde Rodrigues.
Secretário de Estado da Justiça, João Tiago Silveira.

Ministério do Ambiente, do Ordenamento do Território e do Desenvolvimento Regional:
Secretário de Estado do Ambiente, Humberto Rosa.
Secretário de Estado do Ordenamento do Território e das Cidades, João Ferrão.
Secretário de Estado do Desenvolvimento Regional, Rui Baleiras.

Ministério da Economia e da Inovação:
Secretário de Estado Adjunto da Indústria e da Inovação, António Castro Guerra.
Secretário de Estado do Comércio, Serviços e Defesa do Consumidor, Fernando Serrasqueiro.
Secretário de Estado do Turismo, Bernardo Trindade.

Ministério da Agricultura, do Desenvolvimento Rural e das Pescas:

Secretário de Estado Adjunto da Agricultura e das Pescas, Luís Vieira.
Secretário de Estado do Desenvolvimento Regional e das Florestas, Rui Nobre Gonçalves.

Ministério das Obras Públicas, Transportes e Comunicações:
Secretário de Estado Adjunto das Obras Públicas e das Comunicações, Paulo Campos.
Secretária de Estado dos Transportes, Ana Paula Vitorino.

Ministério do Trabalho e da Solidariedade Social:
Secretário de Estado da Segurança Social, Pedro Marques.
Secretário de Estado do Emprego e da Formação Profissional, Fernando Medina.
Secretária de Estado Adjunta e da Reabilitação, Idália Moniz.

Ministério da Saúde:
Secretário de Estado da Saúde, Francisco Ventura Ramos.
Secretária de Estado Adjunta e da Saúde, Carmen Pignatelli.

Ministério da Educação:
Secretário de Estado Adjunto e da Educação, Jorge Pedreira.
Secretário de Estado da Educação, Valter Lemos.

Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Ensino Superior:
Secretário de Estado da Ciência, Tecnologia e Ensino Superior, Manuel Heitor.

Ministério da Cultura:
Secretário de Estado da Cultura, Mário Vieira de Carvalho.

04 March 2005

O Proximo Governo de Portugal

Primeiro-ministro - José Sócrates.

Ministro de Estado e das Finanças - Luís Campos Cunha.

Ministro de Estado e da Administração Interna - António Costa.

Ministro de Estado e dos Negócios Estrangeiros - Diogo Freitas do Amaral.

Ministro da Defesa - Luís Amado.

Ministro da Economia - Manuel Pinho.

Ministro do Trabalho e da Segurança Social - Vieira da Silva.

Ministro da Justiça - Alberto Costa.

Ministro da Saúde - Correia de Campos.

Ministro da Agricultura - Desenvolvimento Rural e das Pescas, Jaime Silva.

Ministro das Obras Públicas - Mário Lino.

Ministro da Educação - Mária de Lurdes Rodrigues.

Ministro do Ensino Superior e Ciência - Mariano Gago.

Ministro da Presidência - Pedro Silva Pereira.

Ministro dos Assuntos Parlamentares - Augusto Santos Silva.

Ministra da Cultura - Isabel Pires de Lima.

Ministro do Ambiente - Francisco Nunes Correia.

26 February 2005


The word "politics" is derived from the word "poly", meaning "many", and the word "ticks", meaning "blood sucking parasites".
Larry Hardiman

What´s New?


Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule--and both commonly succeed, and are right.
H. L. Mencken

21 February 2005

103 555 votos em branco

1.81%

Socrates is the new Portuguese Prime Minister.

Anxious Portuguese swing left
By Alison Roberts BBC News, Lisbon



Jose Socrates triumphs - but the honeymoon may soon be over.
Portugal's Socialist Party has swept back into power after three years in opposition, with its biggest ever election win. The Socialists, who will need to act decisively to reinvigorate the ailing economy, secured 45% of the vote. Outgoing Prime Minister Pedro Santana Lopes's centre-right Social Democratic Party secured just 28%, and its coalition partner for the past three years, the right-wing Popular Party, 7%. In his victory speech, Socialist leader Jose Socrates pledged to restore confidence in the country and its institutions, but said little about his policy priorities.


The single biggest factor in the Socialist win was the unpopularity of the incumbent administration

news.bbc.co.uk

Now with an absolute majority in the National Assembly, Socrates has no excuses if he is unable to accomplish what he has promised...

20 February 2005

First projections for the Portuguese Elections.

Seems like the next Portuguese Prime Minister will be Jóse Socrates with an Absolute Majority in The National Assembly.

Elections


Vote for the man who promises least. He'll be the least disappointing.
Bernard Baruch


Democracy consists of choosing your dictators, after they've told you what you think it is you want to hear.
Alan Coren



"Elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody."
Franklin Pierce Adams

And the Winner is...

A pity, because the more things change, the more they will stay the same.

10 February 2005

North Korea rattles its Saber

North Korea Says It Has Nuclear Weapons and Rejects Talks
By JAMES BROOKE

Published: February 10, 2005


OKYO, Feb. 10 - In a surprising admission, North Korea's hard-line Communist government declared publicly today for the first time that it has nuclear weapons. It also said that it will boycott United States-sponsored regional talks designed to end its nuclear program, according to a North Korean Foreign Ministry statement transmitted today by the nation's wire service. Pyongyang said it has "manufactured nukes for self-defense to cope with the Bush administration's undisguised policy to isolate and stifle" North Korea, and that it will "bolster its nuclear weapons arsenal." The statement, considered a definitive policy pronouncement, said that North Korea, led by the reclusive dictator Kim Jong Il, is pulling out of the talks after concluding that the second Bush administration would pursue the "brazen-faced, double-dealing tactics" of dialogue and "regime change."

(www.nytimes.com)

Well this is one problem that seems to have no end in sight. I would be suprised if they didn't have nuclear weapons and short of nuking them I doubt there is much that can be done about this particular problem.

Round one to Pyongyang

A Profound Quote

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.

- Niels Bohr

09 February 2005

Sócrates and the Priest

Eleições: Sócrates contra posições do pároco da Igreja de São João de Brito


Fátima, 07 Fev (Lusa) - José Sócrates considerou hoje "infeliz" o apelo do pároco da Igreja de São João de Brito de Lisboa, o padre Loreno, para que os portugueses não votem em partidos defensores do aborto, eutanásia e direitos dos homossexuais.
Na sua homilia de domingo, transmitida em directo pela Antena 1, o padre Loreno defendeu que a vida humana vai da concepção à morte e referiu que a ética cristã reprova que seja equiparada à família "uma união de um homem com outro homem" ou de "uma mulher com outra mulher".

Falando aos jornalistas em Fátima, após uma reunião com empresários da região, o secretário-geral do PS repudiou as posições do pároco da Igreja de São João de Brito. "Foram declarações muito infelizes, mas que o PS não valoriza, porque essas declarações não representam a posição da Igreja Católica", respondeu o líder socialista. Em declarações à agência Lusa, o porta-voz do PS, Pedro Silva Pereira, acrescentou que a posição do padre Loreno "não é representativa" e que "as relações entre o PS e a Igreja Católica são normalíssimas".

(LUSA)

"essas declarações não representam a posição da Igreja Católica"

And I suppose that means that the Catholic Church supports abortion, gay marriages and euthanasia?

06 February 2005

What Work Is

Philip Levine


We stand in the rain in a long line
waiting at Ford Highland Park. For work.
You know what work is--if you're
old enough to read this you know what
work is, although you may not do it.
Forget you. This is about waiting,
shifting from one foot to another.
Feeling the light rain falling like mist
into your hair, blurring your vision
until you think you see your own brother
ahead of you, maybe ten places.
You rub your glasses with your fingers,
and of course it's someone else's brother,
narrower across the shoulders than
yours but with the same sad slouch, the grin
that does not hide the stubbornness,
the sad refusal to give in to
rain, to the hours wasted waiting,
to the knowledge that somewhere ahead
a man is waiting who will say, "No,
we're not hiring today," for any
reason he wants. You love your brother,
now suddenly you can hardly stand
the love flooding you for your brother,
who's not beside you or behind or
ahead because he's home trying to
sleep off a miserable night shift
at Cadillac so he can get up
before noon to study his German.
Works eight hours a night so he can sing
Wagner, the opera you hate most,
the worst music ever invented.
How long has it been since you told him
you loved him, held his wide shoulders,
opened your eyes wide and said those words,
and maybe kissed his cheek? You've never
done something so simple, so obvious,
not because you're too young or too dumb,
not because you're jealous or even mean
or incapable of crying in
the presence of another man, no,
just because you don't know what work is.

The Hollow Men

by T.S. Eliot


Mistah Kurtz -- he dead.
A penny for the Old Guy

I

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

II

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death's dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind's singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death's dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer—

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom

III

This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man's hand
Under the twinkling of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death's other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.

IV

The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death's twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.

V

Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o'clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.


05 February 2005

Unnamed Lands

by Walt Whitman

NATIONS ten thousand years before These States, and many times
ten thousand years before These States;
Garner'd clusters of ages, that men and women like us grew up and
travel'd their course, and pass'd on;
What vast-built cities--what orderly republics--what pastoral tribes
and nomads;
What histories, rulers, heroes, perhaps transcending all others;
What laws, customs, wealth, arts, traditions;
What sort of marriage--what costumes--what physiology and phrenology;
What of liberty and slavery among them--what they thought of death
and the soul;
Who were witty and wise--who beautiful and poetic--who brutish and
undevelop'd;
Not a mark, not a record remains--And yet all remains.

O I know that those men and women were not for nothing, any more
than we are for nothing; 10
I know that they belong to the scheme of the world every bit as much
as we now belong to it, and as all will henceforth belong to it.

Afar they stand--yet near to me they stand,
Some with oval countenances, learn'd and calm,
Some naked and savage--Some like huge collections of insects,
Some in tents--herdsmen, patriarchs, tribes, horsemen,
Some prowling through woods--Some living peaceably on farms,
laboring, reaping, filling barns,
Some traversing paved avenues, amid temples, palaces, factories,
libraries, shows, courts, theatres, wonderful monuments.

Are those billions of men really gone?
Are those women of the old experience of the earth gone?
Do their lives, cities, arts, rest only with us? 20
Did they achieve nothing for good, for themselves?

I believe of all those billions of men and women that fill'd the
unnamed lands, every one exists this hour, here or elsewhere,
invisible to us, in exact proportion to what he or she grew
from in life, and out of what he or she did, felt, became,
loved, sinn'd, in life.

I believe that was not the end of those nations, or any person of
them, any more than this shall be the end of my nation, or of me;
Of their languages, governments, marriage, literature, products,
games, wars, manners, crimes, prisons, slaves, heroes, poets,
I suspect their results curiously await in the yet unseen
world--counterparts of what accrued to them in the seen world.
I suspect I shall meet them there,
I suspect I shall there find each old particular of those unnamed lands.

The Road Not Taken

by Robert Lee Frost


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


What road will Portugal take?

You must Pay!

AU: Pay up for slavery


Addis Ababa - The African Union plans to relaunch attempts to gain reparations for the countless Africans who were abducted from the continent and sold into slavery over the centuries, the pan-continental body said. In a statement released late on Friday from its headquarters in Addis Ababa, the African Union said its executive Commission would push the issue, and would also call on African parliaments to do so. "In the coming months the Commission will relaunch a committee on repairing the damage caused by slavery," said spokesperson Adam Thiam. He added that the AU was calling on African countries to take measures to outlaw slavery like those adopted by France in May 2001. The new French law classifies both slavery and the slave trade as a crime against humanity.

www.news24.com

This is A Good Idea. Just imagine, the Ndebele asking the Zulus for reparations as thousands where killed, the Chinese seeking compensation from the Mongols, the Scottish seeking compensation from the English etc. There would be very few countries in the world that would escape without paying up to someone. Africa needs help, but there are other ways to ask for it...

04 February 2005

Algumas Ideias sobre a Politica Portuguesa.

1)Estou muito preocupado com a falta de medidas concretas apresentadas pelos partidos nesta campanha eleitoral. Como muitas vezes referido, não basta dizer o que vai mudar, é necessário dizer como vai mudar. Dizem que vão pôr a economia a crescer, vão diminuir em X números de desempregados, vão melhorar a saúde, vão corrigir as desigualdades entre litoral e interior, etc. mas poucas vezes explicam como vai ser feito. Infelizmente isto também é notado noutros países além do nosso.

2) O sistema de eleições precisa de mudar. Quero votar num deputado para a Assembleia da República. Não consigo entusiasmar-me com a ideia de votar numa lista! Quem é o meu representante? Círculos uninominais já! Isto também devia abrir a porta a mais independentes a concorrerem à Assembleia da República. Deve haver uma responsabilização directa do deputado pelos eleitores que o elegerem.

3) É necessário mudar o funcionamento da Assembleia da República. A substituição de deputados deve ser proibida. No caso de um deputado deixar a Assembleia da República deve haver eleições no seu círculo para eleger um novo deputado. Cada deputado também devia ter a liberdade de votar pela sua própria consciência, independentemente da cor política e do sentido de voto do partido.Quantas vezes num mandato, o deputado é visto no seu círculo a falar com os seus eleitores?

4) Um dos grandes males da nossa política é o número de promessas feitas pelos políticos, para serem eleitos, que acabam por nunca serem cumpridas. A falta de verdade na política está a destruir a crença do eleitorado nos seus políticos.

22 January 2005

Bush bloopers

'Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.'
'We cannot let terrorists and rogue nations hold this nation hostile or hold our allies hostile.'


'Well, I think if you say you're going to do something and don't do it, that's trustworthiness.'

'The benefits of helping somebody is beneficial.'

'[We will] use our technology to enhance uncertainty abroad.'

'...more and more of our imports are coming from overseas.'

'If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow.'

'There is no doubt in my mind that this country cannot achieve any objective we put our mind to.'

'It's hard to be successful if you don't make something somebody doesn't want to buy.'

'I had the opportunity to go out to Goree Island and talk about what slavery meant to America. It's very interesting when you think about it, the slaves who left here to go to America, because of their steadfast and their religion and their belief in freedom, helped change America. America is what it is today because of what went on in the past.'

'I think war is a dangerous place.'

'Sometimes, Washington is one of these towns where the person - people who think they've got the sharp elbow is the most effective person.'

'I know the human being and fish can co-exist peacefully.'

'I have said that the sanction regime [against Iraq] is like Swiss cheese. That meant that they weren't very effective.'

'Will the highways on the Internet become more few?'

'Drug therapies are replacing a lot of medicines as we used to know it.'

'I think if you know what you believe, it makes it a lot easier to answer questions. I can't answer your question.'

'We don't believe in planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans.'

'It's clearly a budget. It's got a lot of numbers in it.'

'We want our teachers to be trained so they can meet the obligations, their obligations as teachers. We want them to know how to teach the science of reading. In order to make sure there's not this kind of federal — federal cufflink.'

'I've been to war. I've raised twins. If I had a choice, I'd rather go to war.'

'You're working hard to put food on your family.'

'I think it's interesting. I'm a follower of American politics.'

'I'm the master of low expectations.'

'I'm a patient man, which is hard for me to believe.'

'It's amazing with the software that has been developed these days that enable a camera to distinguish the difference between a squirrel and a bomb.'

'Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream.'

20 January 2005

D. Sebastião ainda não regressou?

Refrescante artigo de opinião publicado ontem, no Jornal de Negócios.

Mais contras que prós
de Sérgio Figueiredo
sf@mediafin.pt

As lideranças. O país descobriu recentemente que parte dos seus problemas reside, não na raça lusitana do povo que tem, mas sobretudo na mediocridade de quem o lidera. Não conheço quem, seja político, seja empresário, seja gestor, seja até jornalista, que discorde desta ideia. Estranhamente. Porque muitos aceitam e repetem este argumento sem perceber que estão a falar de si próprios.

Artigo Completo

19 January 2005

A Teoria da Conspiração do Presidente - Parte II

"Neste momento começa a ser nítido o golpe político que alguns prepararam para fazer regressar o PS ao poder", acusou Santana Lopes, Presidente do PSD e Primeiro-Ministro demissionário.

"Deram-nos posse e depois disso, ao fim de quatro meses, o PS já tinha novo líder, já podia disputar eleições", prosseguiu, acrescentando que "eleições decididas na secretaria... não vale".

"Vou pedir um verdadeiro levantamento nacional contra este embuste político que tentaram criar em Portugal", afirmou Santana Lopes.

Se repararam na frase em negrito, tentem agora lembrar-se de como o Governo dele foi eleito... . Ah, é verdade, que cabeça a minha! Ele não foi eleito.

17 January 2005

Quotes of the Week

When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. - Franklin D. Roosevelt

It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer. - Albert Einstein

13 January 2005

PSD quer limitar poder presidencial de dissolução do Parlamento

"O PSD vai propor a limitação dos poderes presidenciais para que não seja possível um Presidente da República dissolver o Parlamento de forma "discricionária"." in Jornal Público, de 13.01.2005

Seria surpreendente, se o Dr. Santana Lopes não viesse com esta proposta. Mas, será que ele já pensou numa situação diferente? Um presidente social-democrata e um governo e maioria parlamentar socialista? De certeza que, defenderia, então, mais poder presidencial, nomeadamente o poder de dissolução do Parlamento.
Parece-me que, ao defender-se uma revisão constitucional para proteger os interesses de um só partido, encontra-se minada a própria implementação da Democracia.

12 January 2005

Ministro da Saúde reconhece que proibição do tabaco não abrange restaurantes, bares e discotecas

"O ministro da Saúde reconheceu hoje que as novas medidas anti-tabágicas deixam de fora os restaurantes, bares e discotecas, ao contrário do que tinha anunciado em Novembro passado, mas negou um recuo do Governo nesta matéria.
Luís Filipe Pereira justificou a alteração na proposta legislativa com a intenção de conciliar o interesse dos fumadores com a vida empresarial."

Bem, nesta lei, os interesses comerciais não deviam ser os primeiros a considerar, mas sim os últimos. Afinal, a ser assim, para que é preciso uma lei anti-tabagista?