Monday, November 19, 2012

Alguém sabe que bicho é este?

Um animal de corpo mole, com um formato que faz (ou pelo menos faz-me) lembrar um bicho-de-conta, que vive nas rochas à beira-mar.

Ao contrário deste ou deste, aqui nem sei qual possa ser o grupo científico do bicharoco (um molusco? um verme?).

Friday, November 16, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

Rounded Corners

Armistice Day

Armistice Day

PS: Porque é que no fim da Grande Guerra, o armistício foi a 11 de Novembro de 1918 (alemães retiram para fronteira alemã) e o "Tratado" de Versalhes é apenas assinado a 28 Junho de 1919? Foi o tempo do bloqueio de alimentos ser prolongado (centenas de milhares de vítimas civis relacionadas) até alemães o assinarem (já a República de Weimar) ao "tratado".

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A sobretaxa do IRS

movimentações no sentido de a sobretaxa do IRS, em vez de ser 4% todos os meses, ser de 28% sobre os subsídios de férias e Natal, ou  de 60% sobre o subsidio de Natal.
A única "vantagem" que vejo nisso é que as pessoas vão demorar mais tempo a perceber o que lhes aconteceu (talvez a ideia seja esperar que até Novembro haja um milagre e já não seja preciso a sobretaxa?). Só vai "atenuar a quebra do rendimento mensal das famílias do sector privado (salários e pensões)" até ao dia de pagar as sobretaxa sobre os subsídios (regra geral - uma alteração orçamental que não diminua as receitas das Finanças em principio também não vai aliviar os contribuintes).

E ainda por cima vai implicar  aplicar regras de cálculo diferentes para o sector privado e para o sector público (p.ex., eu, como trabalhador de um "Estabelecimento Público Empresarial" com um vencimento mensal de 1.373 euros, não vou receber subsídio de férias em 2013, logo não me poderiam aplicar a taxa sobre esse subsídio), complicando ainda mais o sistema.

Friday, November 09, 2012

O resultado mais importante das eleições nos EUA?

Colorado And Washington Are The First Places In The World Where Weed Is Truly Legal, por Michael Kelly (Business Insider):

The marijuana legalization initiatives passed this week in Colorado and Washington state are completely unprecedented around the world, according to a leading drug policy expert.

Beau Kilmer, Codirector of RAND Drug Policy Research Center and coauthor of Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know, told BI that what happened on Tuesday "was really groundbreaking. No modern jurisdiction has removed the prohibition on commercial production, distribution and possession of marijuana for non-medical purposes. Not even Holland."

Kilmer explained that while many people think marijuana is legal in Amsterdam, the governments have simply decided on a formal policy of not enforcing the law against small transactions (...)

Marijuana being illegal keeps prices inflated as an extra price has to be paid to compensate for the risk of arrest and incarceration. The big difference with the initiatives in Colorado and Washington, according to Kilmer, is that the risk cost "goes away with legalization."

So the wholesale price of the drug will drop and an entirely new system will emerge, but what it looks like depends on how it's regulated.

Over the next year the state liquor board in Washington and the Department of Revenue in Colorado will make key decisions such as how marijuana is taxed, the type of grow operations that will be allowed, how large they can be and how many commercial producers are allowed in each state.

(Note: In Colorado it will be legal to privately grow up to six plants—with no more than three being mature at any given time—while in Washington it will still be illegal to grow at home.)

"If production moves from basements and backyards to industrial farms and huge greenhouses … we would expect the production cost to plummet," Kilmer said.

But don't expect the federal government to be quiet. Several government departments including the DEA, the IRS and the Department of Justice will still have a hand in shaping the market and Kilmer said that it will "be interesting to see how these agencies react to this."

Kilmer noted that the agencies have a number of options—like signaling that they will target big operations or those who openly advertise their product—and they probably won't completely crack down or be completely hands-off.

"So much depends on not only the federal response but the type of production [the state regulations] allow," Kilmer said. "Ultimately that will influence the retail prices and the tax revenues."
Um comentário de um leitor:
How can it be considered "truly legal" when it is still completely illegal on the federal level?

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Prémio Nobel da Paz, parte II

Hours After The Election And Already A New Bolder Approach To Syria (Associated Press, via Business Insider):

The developments came within hours of President Barack Obama's re-election. U.S. allies anticipate a new, bolder approach from the American leader to end the deadlocked civil war that has killed more than 36,000 people since an uprising against Assad began in March 2011.

U.S. officials said Patriots or other assets could be deployed to Turkey's side of the border for defensive purposes against possible incursions, mortar strikes and the like.

But Washington isn't prepared to send any such equipment inside Syria, which would amount to a violation of sovereignty and a significant military escalation, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Like Britain, American officials are considering meeting with rebel military commanders. If the contacts were to happen, they would be most likely conducted by Robert Ford, the former U.S. ambassador in Damascus, who is currently in Doha for Syrian opposition talks, a U.S. official said. But no final decision has been made.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Um sinal?

Estão dois missionários mórmones à porta do meu prédio.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Thursday, November 01, 2012

McGovern II

George McGovern Reconsidered
by Tim Kelly, October 31, 2012

But McGovern was no radical leftist. His politics were more reflective of the progressive populism of the American Midwest than of the radicalism of Columbia or Berkeley. Sure, more raucous elements had gotten a foothold within the Democratic Party, but they were rallying behind a man they thought was right on the critical issue of the day: America’s ruinous war in Vietnam. McGovern himself was rather conservative in his lifestyle, demeanor, and overall outlook. He was in many ways the embodiment of the conservative ideal. As Bill Kauffman wrote in the American Conservative (TAC):

In the home stretch of the ’72 campaign, McGovern was groping toward truths that exist far beyond the cattle pens of Left and Right. “Government has become so vast and impersonal that its interests diverge more and more from the interests of ordinary citizens,” he said two days before the election. “For a generation and more, the government has sought to meet our needs by multiplying its bureaucracy. Washington has taken too much in taxes from Main Street, and Main Street has received too little in return. It is not necessary to centralize power in order to solve our problems.” Charging that Nixon “uncritically clings to bloated bureaucracies, both civilian and military,” McGovern promised to “decentralize our system.”
McGovern had this to say about war and the state:
All my life, I have heard Republicans and conservative Democrats complaining about the growth of centralized power in the federal executive. Vietnam and Cambodia have convinced me that the conservatives were right. Do they really believe their own rhetoric? We have permitted the war power which the authors of the Constitution wisely gave to us as the people’s representatives to slip out of our hands until it now resides behind closed doors at the State Department, the CIA, the Pentagon and the basement of the White House. 

Bill Kauffman made this very point in his TAC profile of McGovern:
McGovernism combined New Left participatory democracy with the small-town populism of the Upper Midwest. In a couple of April 1972 speeches, he seemed to second Barry Goldwater’s 1968 remark to aide Karl Hess that “When the histories are written, I’ll bet that the Old Right and the New Left are put down as having a lot in common and that the people in the middle will be the enemy.”
“[M]ost Americans see the establishment center as an empty, decaying void that commands neither their confidence nor their love,” McGovern asserted in one of the great unknown campaign speeches in American history. “It is the establishment center that has led us into the stupidest and cruelest war in all history. That war is a moral and political disaster — a terrible cancer eating away the soul of the nation.… It was not the American worker who designed the Vietnam war or our military machine. It was the establishment wise men, the academicians of the center. As Walter Lippmann once observed, ‘There is nothing worse than a belligerent professor.’” 

There was a joke in the 1960s that went something like this: “In ’64, I was told that if I voted for Goldwater, we’d be at war in Vietnam. And they were right; I voted for Goldwater, and we went to war in Vietnam.” Well, a similar joke could have been made regarding the ’72 election: “In ’72, I was told that if I voted for McGovern, we’d retreat from Vietnam, the welfare state would expand, and the economy would tank. And they were right; I voted for McGovern, and we retreated from Vietnam, the welfare state expanded, and the economy tanked.”

imigração + secessão = problemas

Tal como o foi e é em Israel.