quinta-feira, novembro 30, 2006

"Ma réponse est oui"

A la question "Etes-vous candidat à l'élection présidentielle ?", Nicolas Sarkozy déclare simplement : "Ma réponse est oui." Soulignant que "cette décision l'engage", le ministre-candidat, affirme qu'il s'agit du "choix d'une vie. C'est une lourde responsabilité vis-à-vis des Français auxquels je demande de me faire confiance" , ajoute-t-il.

[Via Le Monde]

terça-feira, novembro 28, 2006

Os Melhores Blogs 2006

Embora não goste muito deste tipo de rankings, a verdade é que não resisto a este tipo de coisas. Embora muitos mais merecessem estar nesta lista, tive que cumprir as regras... O Bodegas e o blog da Revista Atlântico por regra não estão presentes em nenhuma categoria, tal como o Geração Rasca, o blog que está a organizar a iniciativa... Aqui fica o meu destaque:


Melhor Blog Individual Feminino:
Bomba Inteligente
Controversa Maresia
Miss Pearls

Melhor Blog Individual Masculino:
A Causa foi Modificada
Blue Lounge
Portugal dos Pequeninos
Rua da Judiaria

Melhor Blog Colectivo:
Cinco Dias
O Amigo do Povo
O Insurgente
Small Brother
Sociedade Anónima

Melhor Blog Temático:
A Cidade Surpreendente
Da Literatura
Margens de Erro
Mitos Climáticos
O Jumento
Ponto Media

Melhor Blog:
A Destreza das Dúvidas
Cinco Dias
Miss Pearls
O Insurgente
Portugal dos Pequeninos

Melhor Blogger:
André Azevedo Alves (O Insurgente)
João Gonçalves (Portugal dos Pequeninos)
João Luís Pinto (Small Brother)
Pedro Correia (Corta-Fitas)
Rui de Albuquerque (Blasfémias)
Tiago Barbosa Ribeiro (Kontratempos)

Afinal não é apenas aqui...

Um dia teria que ser...

Já aqui referi que sou um pouco reticente em comentar temas religiosos e políticos no mesmo espaço, principalmente quando estão ligados. Porém, nos próximos dias não parece haver outra maneira. Sobre a viagem do Papa à Turquia: O lado político da religião.

Picture of the Day - Ceasefire

quinta-feira, novembro 23, 2006

E então os eleitores?

A propósito da "limpeza" que ocorreu na bancada do PCP na AR, Jerónimo de Sousa vem acusar a deputada Luísa Mesquita de violar "um compromisso político e ético" com o partido, dado que esta se recusou demitir. E o compromisso que a deputada assumiu com os deputados que a elegeram não conta? Porque razão se ignora este compromisso, por sinal bem mais importante que uma purga marxista dentro do partido?

Joschka Fischer

Independentemente das simpatias políticas e ideológicas de cada um, a entrevista (no Público de hoje) a Joschka Fischer, ex-Ministro dos Negócios Estrangeiros Alemão, é recomendada a todos aqueles que se interessam sobre o problema nuclear iraniano e a crise no Médio Oriente e respectivas repercussões a nível mundial.

Curiosamente, verifiquei que em diversos aspectos estou de acordo com Joschka Fischer. Logo que tenha oportunidade, devo voltar a este assunto.

No comments

Contra os Espanhóis?

«Basta perguntar aos bascos e aos catalães se não querem ser independentes. Nós que temos a independência, temos o dever de defendê-la», declarou. [D. Duarte]

quarta-feira, novembro 22, 2006

terça-feira, novembro 21, 2006

Eyes on 2008 - John McCain

"I also want to thank you and everyone at the Federalist Society for your commitment to the subject of this year’s conference, limited government, and to the rule of law.

I thought I would begin by sharing with you a few thoughts about last week’s election from a Republican’s point of view.

The voters obviously wanted to get our attention last week. While I would have preferred a gentler reproach than the one they delivered, I’m not discouraged nor should any of us be. Democrats had a good election night. We did not. But no defeat is permanent. And parties, just like individuals, show their character in adversity. Now, is the occasion to show ours.

The election was not an affirmation of the other party’s program. Try as hard as I could, I couldn’t find much evidence that my Democratic friends were offering anything that resembled a coherent platform or principled leadership on the critical issues that confront us today.

Nor do I believe Americans rejected our values and governing philosophy. On the contrary, I think they rejected us because they felt we had come to value our incumbency over our principles, and partisanship, from both parties, was no longer a contest of ideas, but an ever cruder and uncivil brawl over the spoils of power.

I am convinced that a majority of Americans still consider themselves conservatives or right of center. They still prefer common sense conservatism to the alternative. Americans had elected us to change government, and they rejected us because they believed government had changed us. We must spend the next two years reacquainting the public and ourselves with the reason we came to office in the first place: to serve a cause greater than our self-interest.

Common sense conservatives believe that the government that governs least governs best; that government should do only those things individuals cannot do for themselves, and do them efficiently. Much rides on that principle: the integrity of the government, our prosperity; and every American’s self-respect, which depends, as it always has, on one’s own decisions and actions, and cannot be provided as another government benefit.

Hypocrisy, my friends, is the most obvious of political sins. And the people will punish it. We were elected to reduce the size of government and enlarge the sphere of free and private initiative. We increased the size of government in the false hope that we could bribe the public into keeping us in office. And the people punished us. We lost our principles and our majority. And there is no way to recover our majority without recovering our principles first.


While times may change, the values and principles for which we stand do not. Your work and the mission of the Federalist Society is critical to ensuring that our nation remains faithful to the self-evident truths and enduring principles that have always made the American experiment an inspiration and example to the world.

Ideas like “limited government” or “the rule of law” can sound pretty abstract when we talk about them here in Washington in the halls of Congress. And it’s a measure of how divided our politics have become that they are often taken for partisan “buzz words.”

In fact, they are ideas worth fighting for; worth dying for. And Americans have fought and died for limited government and the rule of law for well over two hundred years, in places as close to home as Brandywine Creek and as far away as Iwo Jima, at Gettysburg and Khe Sanh, at Kandahar and at Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

So it’s important that we remind ourselves that limited government and the rule of law are more than the arid cliches of partisan political debate. In fact, they are the essential underpinnings of our freedom, and the principles for which the Federalist Society has been fighting since its formation over 25 years. To lose either would be to lose freedom, for they are our strongest bulwarks against tyranny. People are suffering today physical and emotional agony, terrible loneliness, and even death to advance those ideals in countries where the power of the state observes no limits, where human dignity is denied the respect and the protections that must form the basis of morality, in any culture, any religion, and any society.

We should never forget their sacrifice and purpose. In the name of those brave people, I want to share with you today my understanding of and support for these vital ideals.

The genius of our founding fathers wasn’t that they were better people than those who came before them; it’s that they realized precisely that they did not have a greater claim to virtue, and that the people who followed them weren’t likely to be any more virtuous than they were. That critical insight led them to realize something important about power: if its exercise isn’t limited, it will become absolute. Power always tries to expand. It’s a law of nature, of human nature.

As James Madison wrote in The Federalist No. 51, “[w]hat is government but the greatest reflection of all on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, no internal or external controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

The Founders saw the truth of this insight play out in their lifetimes, in the arbitrary exercise of power by King George III, and in the ominous rise to power of Napoleon in France. Our parents’ generation saw it in the rise of Hitler and Stalin, and in the post-war twilight struggle against communism. We’ve seen it in our generation in the reign of the Taliban in Afghanistan, of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, of Kim Jong Il in North Korea and the reign of the mullahs in Iran. We see it most starkly today in Osama bin Laden’s vision of a global medieval caliphate.

There are cultural differences in other parts of the world, to be sure, and we must adjust our tactics based on our understanding of those differences. But there are some basic underlying truths: unlimited government confers unlimited power on its leaders to impose their will on others. That’s one truth. Here’s another: people generally don’t want to live their lives in the crosshairs of government oppression. They want to be free to make for themselves and their children, by their own decisions, talents and industry, a better future than they inherited.

The solution that our founders devised guides us to this day: limited government. Understanding the natural tendency of power to expand, the founders designed our government to restrain it.

They created a federal government of enumerated powers, of three branches whose reach was limited by the powers of the other branches, by the powers reserved to the states, and by the rights reserved to individuals. They divided the power to make war between Congress and the Executive, making the President the commander-in-chief but giving Congress the power to raise and fund armies and declare war. They gave Congress the power to raise and appropriate money to support the government but the president the power to spend. They gave the President the power to negotiate treaties, but the Senate the power to ratify or reject those treaties. They gave the President the power to appoint judges, but the Senate the power of advice and consent.

They enumerated certain baseline individual rights, but instructed that this list was not exhaustive, and they provided that the rights and powers that were not enumerated were reserved strictly to the states and the people.

They created courts of limited jurisdiction, which could hear only “cases or controversies” “arising under” the Constitution. The further development of the common law we inherited from England, and the scope of the individual rights reserved to the states, were questions left to the individual states, removed from the jurisdiction of the federal courts.

By limiting government in these ways, the founders attempted to ensure that no one branch could dominate the others, that the federal government could not usurp state powers, and that one individual asserting his rights could stop the entire machinery of government from taking away his freedom.


History teaches us that without the rule of law there is nothing – no form of oppression, no form of physical suffering -- that people will not inflict upon one another. I know this to be true. I see it in the appeals I receive every day from supporters of human rights advocates around the world who have been imprisoned, tortured and murdered for daring to challenge the tyranny of their governments. I have seen it in countries such as Burma, where I have met with the woman who willingly surrendered the privileges and comforts of life in the West but has, on behalf of her people, refused to surrender voluntarily her inalienable right to freedom. And I saw it many years ago, as I watched men deprived of every liberty, who were routinely tortured, maintain their dignity and their loyalty to their country, and its ideals. That is why, I have been outspoken in opposition to using torture against our enemies. The moral strength that enables people to stand up to tyranny in other countries resides in their conviction that were the situation to be reversed they would not avail themselves of the abuses of power that they have suffered.

We, Americans stand for something in this world. We stand for a vision of human happiness and potential, of human freedom, based on limiting the powers of government and respecting the rule of law.

Those are the ideals I fought for in my youth, and that I fight for today, at less personal risk than faced by the Americans who now stand a post in foreign countries in defense of our interests and ideals. We best honor those who are fighting and dying in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan by not losing our way.

We honor them by insisting in our every action, from the appointment of federal judges to the trial of enemy combatants, that our ideal of limited government under the rule of law continues to be respected.

So let’s resolve here today not to lose our way. We’re in one heck of a mess in Iraq, and the American people told us loud and clear last week that they are not happy with the course of this war. Neither am I. But let’s be clear: that’s the limit of what they told us about Iraq and the war on terrorism.

The American people didn’t tell us to forget the people we lost on 9/11, who were going about their lives free to work and dream and love, unaware that they were the intended victims of a jihad. They didn’t tell us to forget the sacrifices of our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, or to choose a course that would imperil their mission.

They didn’t tell us to abandon our friends in remote parts of the world to moral monsters like Osama bin Laden or to apostles of hate like the Taliban who oppress everything they cannot understand.

Above all, they didn’t tell us to forget our ideal of limited government.

I think the American people want us to reaffirm who we are. So let’s do that today, my friends.

We are a nation that limits the reach of government because government by its nature will, if permitted, limit the reach of the human heart.

We are a nation that limits the reach of government because we understand that no government should have a right to impose itself between human beings and their lawful aspirations to make of their lives what they will.

We limit government because the greatness of our country, our productivity, resourcefulness and compassion, is not a product of the state’s decrees or prerogatives, but derived from the free exercise of the rights and responsibilities of liberty.

We are a nation that limits government so that government cannot limit us.

I believe this notion of limited government will stand as our lasting contribution to the world. We are proof that people can frame a government to serve as an instrument of the people, not the other way around.

And by our actions both at home and abroad we will prove once more, as we did in the last century, that regimes like the Nazis, or the fascists, or the Soviet Union, or the Taliban, which place the interests of the state or a movement or a cause above the rights of the people, is on the wrong side of history.

America must remain ever vigilant in the preservation of our governing ideals. You must continue your good work in service to that essential work, because you know something that we here in Washington too often forget: that neither the courts, nor Congress nor the President can make us a great country. Only the American people can do that, if we, all three branches of government, safeguard their rights, which we have sworn an oath to do.

The endless ranks of Americans who have died in service to that ideal, and who fight to defend it today, demand of us, who do not share their sacrifice, that we use our talents and industry to keep that ideal inviolate within the boundaries of the country they have loved so well.

I thank you for keeping faith with their faith, and for lending your hearts and minds to the enduring and noble cause of preserving in our time the greatest experiment in human history: government of the people, by the people and for the people.”

Senator John McCain

segunda-feira, novembro 20, 2006

1001º Post - Atlântico

Uma feliz coincidência. Nada melhor para comemorar o 1000º post neste blog do que a apresentação de uma novidade. Aceitei o convite que o Paulo Pinto Mascarenhas me endereçou e a partir de hoje passo a escrever para o excelente blog da Revista Atlântico.

Este blog continuará activo. Só que a partir de agora poderão ler-me em dois espaços. Aproveito a oportunidade para agradecer uma vez mais ao PPM, e... passemos aos posts!

domingo, novembro 19, 2006

1000º Post

J. Turner, The Fighting Téméraire tugged to her last Berth to be broken (1838)

sábado, novembro 18, 2006

Liberalismo, segundo AA

António, apenas não coloquei a Helen Swiden no post abaixo, pois ela felizmente é uma realidade económica... Estamos esclarecidos?

Mitos Económicos

(Texto publicado na Revista Dia D, no dia 17 de Novembro de 2006)

Em meados de Agosto, encontrei-me com um colega que não via há algum tempo. Com ele, estava um amigo de nacionalidade sueca, que estava a passar férias na Madeira. Com uma tarde livre pela frente, falámos sobre os mais diversos assuntos. A dada altura, o meu colega pergunta-lhe com que idade saiu de casa. Ele responde com naturalidade: “18, mas a minha irmã saiu com 16”. Movido pela curiosidade, não resisti a perguntar se era habitual na Suécia, os jovens saírem de casa dos pais tão novos e se não tinham problemas em sustentar a sua nova casa? A resposta foi instantânea. “Nenhum problema. Sabes que na Suécia é muito fácil arranjar casa e mantê-la. O governo ajuda imenso as pessoas. Ajuda tanto que os jovens quase nem têm vontade de trabalhar”. Na altura, não pude deixar de sorrir para o Mike e ponderei lançar-me num feroz ataque contra esse modelo económico. O meu colega pareceu ler-me os pensamentos e rapidamente desviou a conversa.

Em Portugal, o modelo económico sueco é visto com uma profunda admiração e reverência. O Primeiro-Ministro, José Sócrates, não se cansa de louvar o modelo nórdico, como exemplo de um bom estado social. Curiosamente, os suecos parecem já não ter tantas certezas sobre esse modelo de desenvolvimento, dada a derrota dos Sociais-Democratas nas recentes legislativas suecas.

Fazendo uma análise atenta aos índices económicos da Suécia ao longo do tempo, reparamos que o desenvolvimento económico está aquém daquilo que se publicita. Nos últimos 50 anos, a economia Sueca tem vindo a entrar em declínio, chegando a ter uma recessão em 1990. A taxa de desemprego tem vindo a aumentar, mesmo com os artifícios que o governo inclui para “esconder” a verdadeira taxa. A razão para este aumento é de todos conhecida: a excessiva regulação laboral a que o país está sujeito. De qualquer das formas, a economia sueca tem permanecido estável desde o período de estagnação, no qual foram implementadas reformas de modo a liberalizar o mercado sueco. Neste aspecto, a Suécia pode ser olhada com inveja pelos restantes congéneres europeus, pelo grau de liberdade económica do seu mercado e pela elevada qualificação da sua mão-de-obra. Porém, todos estes bons factores são minados pelo agressivo clima fiscal e pelos custos do seu modelo social.

Se até agora, o mercado liberalizado sueco tem conseguido aguentar o peso do Estado na economia, a situação não conseguirá permanecer estável por muito mais tempo. A principal razão para esse colapso, caso não se actue, é explicada pelo Mike. A construção do Estado social, com os seus generosos benefícios sociais e à custa de uma elevada carga fiscal, conduziram a uma alteração da moral social. A responsabilidade social, o pilar sobre o qual deveria ser assentar este modelo, foi relegada para um segundo plano. Com tantos benefícios e direitos sociais, a cultura do trabalho e da responsabilidade individual tornou-se secundária. Entrou-se na era dos direitos e terminou a era das responsabilidades.

Mesmo com as dificuldades que a Economia sueca começa a enfrentar, não tenhamos dúvidas que esta continua a possuir um enorme potencial económico, assente numa grande competitividade. O seu futuro depende da coragem para reformar o seu modelo social, pois é disso que a sociedade e a economia sueca necessitam.

A propósito dos "Mitos Económicos"

Algumas pessoas levantaram algumas dúvidas e questões a propósito do meu artigo na Revista Dia D, nomeadamente o Rui Fonseca.

Algumas notas:

1. Embora tenha referido no artigo que tinha ponderado lançar-me num "ataque feroz" contra o modelo económico sueco durante a minha conversa, achei que o artigo era claro na medida em que a minha crítica focava apenas uma parte da estratégia de desenvolvimento sueco. Aparentemente houve quem não achasse.

2. No meu texto não nego que a Suécia constitui um dos países mais desenvolvidos no Mundo, ao contrário do que muitos ficaram a pensar no meu artigo. Para aqueles que não acreditam, sim, eu considero a Suécia um país muito desenvolvido em inúmeras áreas. Mais, chego a referir que a estabilidade económica da Suécia e o desenvolvimento do seu mercado, deveu-se em grande parte a reformas que liberalizaram o mercado, tornando-o bastante competitivo. Sim, neste aspecto concordo contigo Rui, temos muito para aprender com a Suécia.

3. A construção do Estado Social e os problemas que este coloca a médio e longo prazo a uma economia com muito potencial, como a sueca, foi o que pretendi analisar no artigo. Apenas.

4. Já estou habituado aos epítetos "ultra-liberal", "neo-liberal", "radical-liberal", etc. Muito sinceramente, não ligo muito a rótulos, principalmente ideológicos. Dado que as minhas posições não se enquadram em nenhum ideologia de forma perfeita, essa é para mim uma questão secundária. Ainda hoje, fui considerado um social-democrata...

5. Adorava visitar a Suécia.

domingo, novembro 12, 2006

Eyes on 2008: Rudy Giuliani

It is now more apparent than ever that the Republican Party urgently needs strong, charismatic leadership as it licks it wounds after the 2006 elections. Consequently, there is no better choice for the 2008 Republican presidential nominee than former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Most of the liberal pundit-ocracy says Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is the favorite for the 2008 nomination, and that Rudy’s positions on social issues will prevent him from getting past a primary. But those people are wrong.

Giuliani consistently beats out McCain in polls of favorability, name recognition and potential voting in 2008. He almost always finishes number one or two in not only mainstream polls, but also, more importantly for the primary, in polls on conservative Web sites where Newt Gingrich and Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) are near the top. The base may disagree with some of Giuliani’s social positions, but they do like him as a person and a leader — something that cannot be said about McCain.

Two factors will turn Giuliani’s social stances into a non-issue. Giuliani isn’t a senator with a long history of established, controversial votes (but who is?); his stances are largely artifacts leftover from his days as a pragmatic mayor of a very liberal city. In a Republican primary, it will be very easy for Giuliani to move back to the center-right on social issues. Also, Giuliani has proven that he is truly a fiscal conservative, something that has become a rarity in either party.

The second issue is simpler: The 2008 election is not going to be about social issues; it’s going to be about how the United States is going to handle the continued threats from violent Islamic fundamentalists. Ever since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Giuliani has proven his courage and strength in times of crisis and that he understands what is at stake for the world.

His leadership will not falter, and he is capable of correctly making tough decisions as evidenced by his refusal to accept a Saudi prince’s $10 million offer after criticizing U.S. foreign policy. Unlike the Democrats, Giuliani is not going to settle for appeasement of the terrorists.

Giuliani hasn’t officially declared his candidacy for president, but delaying his announcement is beneficial because his name recognition isn’t going to get much higher. His actions certainly convey a desire to run; his Solutions America PAC funded Republican candidates across the country. Giuliani himself appeared with candidates from Arizona to Pennsylvania and many places in-between, and he spent the final night in Iowa — home of the nation’s first presidential caucus.

Giuliani has had some personal troubles, but the Democrats don’t have any moral ground on which to stand and criticize him. Remember, if Giuliani, McCain, Gingrich, Allen and Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.) run in a GOP primary, “the only guy in the GOP field with only one wife would be the Mormon,” said Kate O’Beirne of National Review.

Imagine this: Giuliani brings with him all of the positive aspects of the Republican Party without carrying any of its baggage. He wins New York’s 31 electoral votes versus any Democrat — including Hillary — and with a charismatic, midwestern or southern running mate, Giuliani walks into the White House with hardly a fight. 2008 presidential dropout Mark Warner (D-Va.) was the Democrats’ only long shot to stop him.

Rudy Giuliani cleaned up the city of New York and is more than able to tackle the problems facing our country today. America needs strong, charismatic leadership, and Giuliani is the man to provide it.

Eric Rodawig

[Via The Hoya]

sexta-feira, novembro 10, 2006

quarta-feira, novembro 08, 2006

A primeira baixa

EUA - Eleições II

Os democratas são os grandes vencedores das eleições para o Congresso, conseguindo até desafiar os Republicanos no Senado. Os dois lugares que vão decidir o Senado ainda estão por atribuir. Nancy Pelosi está de parabéns pela maneira coesa com que guiou os democratas nestas eleições e pela maneira como capitalizou o descontentamento com a política externa da Administração Bush. Porém, não creio que esta vitória dê azo a uma grande mudança na política americana, principalmente ao nível da política externa. O problema chamado Iraque, é agora um fardo tanto para o Presidente como para os democratas. A oposição de bancada acabou. Os democratas precisam de colaborar activamente com Bush para encontrarem uma solução estável, tentando (se possível) manter um low-profile, já que em dois anos existem presidenciais. No fundo, não creio que Bush deva ter muitas razões para estar preocupado. É ele quem continua a dirigir o país. Agora, possui alguém com quem partilhar os possíveis erros e vicissitudes das suas políticas.

terça-feira, novembro 07, 2006


Discordo. O simples facto de Pinto Monteiro ter insistido com o nome de Mário Gomes Dias para Vice-PGR, apenas demonstra que o seu cargo irá ser exercido com força e determinação. A PGR precisa de eliminar definitivamente a atmosfera de indecisão e ineficácia que Souto Moura criou. Este é um bom começo.

EUA - Eleições I

Os democratas parecem estar à frente nas sondagens para o Congresso, embora a luta seja mais renhida pelo controle do Senado. Atirar palpites neste momento é inútil. Esperemos pela divulgação dos resultados, principalmente nos quatro estados onde o controle do Congresso se joga.


Mesmo com alguns problemas técnicos (ainda não consigo fazer o meu login no blogger e aceder ao meu dashboard), lá consegui arranjar uma maneira para publicar os meus posts...

Espero que a situação seja normalizada rapidamente e que o blogger me responda em breve com a solução para este problema... Entretanto, vamos lá actualizar este espaço...

quinta-feira, novembro 02, 2006

Coisas que ainda me surpreendem (II)

O Ministério da Economia convida um ex-Primeiro Ministro para uma conferência, onde este último tece rasgados elogios à política económica do governo...

Coisas que ainda me surpreendem (I)

António Guterres falar sobre mediocridade em Portugal...

Vingança Económica

Uma barbaridade, duas barbaridades, três barbaridades, ... Ainda não se habituaram?

Sobre isto, apenas digo: Muito sinceramente, já não tenho paciência...

quarta-feira, novembro 01, 2006


Para os interessados nas eleições para o Congresso dos EUA, julgo que vale a pena consultar esta sondagem da Reuters.