“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

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In December 1922 the travel book “Alexandria” by E.M. Forster was published, shortly after the author received a regretful letter from the publisher. There had been a fire in the warehouse and the entire edition had been burned. Fortunately, it had been insured, and they got a substantial check in compensation. A few weeks later Forster received another letter from the publisher, the books had been found intact, in a cellar which had escaped the flames. This created an awkward situation because of the insurance money and they had taken the only way out, they burned the books deliberately.

No evidence of direct Russian involvement in MH17
. Russia supplied air defense systems to the separatists and sent crews train them. Putin moved from being an effective, sophisticated ruler who ruthlessly uses power to being a dangerous incompetent supporting a hapless insurrection with inappropriate weapons. MH17 likely shot down by pro-Russian rebels by accident.

European political experts think a strong neighbourhood policy and a new European sphere of influence that will provide more security in Europe. Not only airlines are at risk, also merchant ships in the Red Sea and the Strait of Gibraltar, Europe should take the lead in the battle against the uncontrolled proliferation of missiles, a convention about anti-aircraft missiles should be agreed with regional powers.

Nós por cá tudo bem

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São Símaco não estará de braços abertos a receber Teodorico depois deste degolar Odoacro, ainda que lhe agradeça os serviços. No debate sobre as razões da queda Roma, este episódio é muitas vezes referido como o momento chave, o rei bárbaro ocupa o lugar do último imperador romano.

O resultado das eleições, pode parecer a tempestade perfeita mas foi a benção à muito desejada pelos principais grupos politicos no Parlamento Europeu, “Democrats must respect the verdict of the people. There is only one possibility how the will of citizens can be respected. They must declare immediately that they will support Jean-Claude Juncker as the next President of the Commission. Together the two parties have an absolute majority, but Liberals and Greens are likely to vote for the candidate of the majority as well. They must do this, for otherwise national governments will seize the opportunity and nip the tender beginnings of European democracy in the bud(…) What Europe now needs is not more of national governments messing up Europe. Enough of Merkel, Sarkozy, Hollande, Berlusconi, Samaras, Cameron and Orban. Let Europeans govern Europeans. That is democracy, that is liberty and equality. That is the way forward for Europe.

O projecto esteve sempre à beira do colapso e as crises foram  o combustível que a mantiveram em marcha. A luta pelo reforço do poder do Parlamento contra o poder exercido  pela Comissão ganhou no Domingo um novo fulgor. Líderes nacionais de legitimidade abalada defendidos pela guarda pretoriana da orda de baderneiros. Pagará Bruxelas a ingratos?

Imagino-os em divergência de como cruzam os braços

wet-bedO meu modo de dormir nada tem de especial ou característico que mereça aqui uma referência especial. Talvez apenas valha a pena citar o pormenor que até tarde, mesmo já depois dos vinte anos, acontecia por vezes que urinava na cama. Mas isto verificava eu de manhã com mágoa; procurava emendar-me mas era inevitável.

A espaços vou dando conta da campanha europeia, no burgo e um pouco por todo o lado, concluo, ja ter assistido a “blha-blha-blha-blhàs” mais inteligentes entre petizes a encherem baldes, com forma de castelo, agitando desajeitadamente ancinhos. Quando deixarem as botas ortopédicas ficarão com os pés sem defeitos. Metem-me nojo os cruza-braços eleitos.

E agora para algo completamente diferente : em Espanha foi reenvidicada a Declaração Europeia dos Direitos do Homem para se esquivar ao serviço eleitoral e vir a Lisboa ver a bola e dois ayuntamentos andam desavindos por causa de algo que aconteceu à 500 anos.

The unemployed themselves are not represented among experts and decision-makers who have paid jobs

“(…)exit of the crisis must hinge upon a deliberate backing of a new, balanced, environmentally sustainable growth model, guaranteed by financial stability and built upon the European welfare state. Achieving this growth model requires the culmination of the Single European Market in sectors such as energy, telecommunications, services and the creation of a truly European labour market. Greater integration of EU markets and greater backing of strategies to innovate and foster good public education will help improve productivity and growth. An active industrial policy must also play a leading role in changing the productive model. It is important to also stress that sustainable and balanced growth cannot be achieved unless social inequalities are drastically reduced.”

These resolutions describe detailed goals of social reconstruction clearly dependent on public initiative and implementation. But they give no indication of the number of jobs created and how much financial sources are needed.

We need to stop trying to be right all the time and try to just be cool. Accept that this is not a logical argument winnable by facts.

Solanum lycopersicum L.

In light of new genetic evidence, the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature has been revised in respect of the botanical name for the species tomato. This will now be known as ‘Solanum Lycopersicum L.’. In order to reflect this change the European Commission published Implementing Directive 2013/45/EC. This Directive requires Member States to update their domestic legislation to take account of this change of name of tomato.

“Decreto-Lei n.º 34/2014 – Ministério da Agricultura e do Mar – Transpõe a Diretiva de Execução n.º 2013/45/UE, da Comissão, de 7 de agosto de 2013, que altera as Diretivas n.os 2002/55/CE e 2008/72/CE do Conselho e a Diretiva n.º 2009/145/CE da Comissão, no que diz respeito à designação botânica de tomate, procedendo à segunda alteração ao Decreto-Lei n.º 329/2007, de 8 de outubro, à segunda alteração ao Decreto-Lei n.º 257/2009, de 24 de setembro, e à terceira alteração ao Decreto-Lei n.º 88/2010, de 20 de julho”.

“Dado o valor que a minha palavra tem não estará à espera de resposta”

If a snake bites your neighbour, you too are in danger

1390996819_europemapfinalfinalUSESwitzerland practices a kind of direct democracy, which means the people is called several times a year to vote directly over initiatives and to make parliament or executive decisions binding. Matters otherwise decided by the political class, in advanced democratic countries, are subject to the direct judgment of citizens. Last weekend the Swiss rendered a decision regarding the unlimited entry of persons from countries that are members of the European Union – in which Switzerland does not participate, result of another popular vote that was strongly opposed by the elites. Should Switzerland, as a sovereign state, assert the right to control its immigration and to set rules for residency?

Additionally, a larger issue hovered behind the vote. It involved resisting the growing power of “Brussels” to centralize and bureaucratize Europe. Almost all the newspapers and the electronic media, as well as the executive, predicted the end of civilization should the people vote wrongly. That forecast was given support by threats fired off by the EU, which claimed that the screening of entrants involves a violation of bilateral Swiss-EU treaties. The threatened consequence: economic retaliation that amounts extortion by a promised boycott.

The story also reveals a sizable gap between the people and the ruling elites that claim to represent them. The difference expresses a crisis of contemporary democracy. This makes Switzerland into a place where one can hear the people’s voice about matters elsewhere are judged too complicated and delicate to be determined outside of governing clans.

Why not start really at the top?

Diablo-Tunnel-1the anti-corruption movement causes much more psychological stress, even anxiety or paranoia in all strata of Chinese society: Everyone knows someone who is corrupt, but few want to get involved in any of this. That’s because China is not only cracking down on corruption, it is simultaneously going after the activists, democrats, and dissidents. China is an economic superpower – rich and mighty. But there also loom deep-rooted political and social maladies which if not treated properly might compromise the country’s former economic successes. While the year 2013 saw over 110,000 cases of corrupt officials, Xi’s campaign, now going into its second year, shows no sign of weariness. In fact, everyone seems suspicious, and the public can’t wait to hear about the latest scandal or obscenity. Yet while punishing some individuals for obvious misconduct is in itself wise and recommendable, the campaign lacks major reforms of the system. Just this month another activist, Xu Zhiyong, was sentenced to four years in prison. He demanded transparency and the disclosures of politicians’ assets and earnings.

Corruption across EU ‘breathtaking‘ – EU Commission”…with the anti-corruption package, the Commission is pursuing a coherent approach for shaping EU policies on the fight against corruption. In addition to stronger monitoring and the proper implementation of existing legal instruments, the Commission foresees a wide range of EU-level actions to adequately tackle corruption…

We’ll have a therapy for corruption perception anxiety disorder before anything changes.