Monday, December 31, 2018

A remoção da estátua de Imre Nagy na Hungria

Hungarians Fume as Statue of Former Leader Is Downgraded (New York Times):

BUDAPEST — A statue of Imre Nagy, who was prime minister during the 1956 Hungarian uprising against Soviet rule, has stood since 1996 in Martyrs’ Square, adjacent to the country’s National Assembly in Budapest.

Now, it’s gone.

This month, the National Memorial Commission, led by a member of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s far-right Fidesz Party, decided to remove the statue of Mr. Nagy, who was executed two years after the uprising by a Soviet-backed puppet government. (...)

The decision to relocate it drew fierce opposition from many Hungarians who revere Mr. Nagy as a national hero and have pushed back against Mr. Orban’s efforts to create what he calls an illiberal democracy.

“It is outrageous that they removed Nagy’s statue, and it is scandalous that they would remove this statue under the cloak of darkness in a manner the people would not see,” said Ferenc Eross, 72, a retiree. “Imre Nagy bothers them because he was the prime minister of a revolution, instead of a system like the kind we have here today.”
Alguns artigos que escrevi neste blogue sobre a Revolução Húngara de 1956.

Friday, December 28, 2018

A internet em decadência?

Is surfing the internet dead?, por Tyler Cowen:

I saw a few people asking this on Twitter lately, but my views don’t quite fit into a tweet.  Ten to fifteen years ago, I remember the joys of just finding things, clicking links through to other links, and in general meandering through a thick, messy, exhilarating garden.

Today you can’t do that as much.  Many media sites are gated, a lot of the personal content is in the walled garden of Facebook, and blogs and personal home pages are not as significant as before.  Then there is the email subscription newsletter, whether free or paid.  All you can do in fact is visit and a few other sites and hope their proprietors have not been sleeping since you last stopped by.
Ao contrário do que o Tyler Cowen depois diz, eu acho que sim - a internet está-se a tornar menos interessante; um dos maiores problemas é o hábito das pessoas escreverem artigos no Facebook (em vez de os escreverem num blogue ou site e depois postarem no Facebook); outro é a praga dos vídeos - vídeos que se resumem a um gajo a falar, transmitindo exatamente a mesma informação que um texto escrito, mas com a pronúncia e a dicção (muitas vezes má) do autor, demorando muito mais tempo a ver do que se demoraria a ler, sem links para fontes de informação adicionais, sem se puder ver no trabalho e obrigando a desligar a música de fundo (ainda ando a pensar qual o motivo de muita gente publicar vídeos e ter canais do youtube em vez de escrever textos e ter blogues - suspeito que terá a ver com maior facilidade de rentatabilizar monetariamente o conteúdo).

Ainda outros problemas da "Web 3.0":

- os page screens: em vez de linkar para um texto que se está a criticar ou recomendar, postar um screen do texto (torna muito mais difícil descobrir a fonte original e qual o contexto do artigo, e até permite que textos satíricos andem a ser partilhados como se fossem a sério).

- as plataformas tipo "[nome da plataforma].com/[nome do autor]" (twitter, facebook, youtube,etc.) parecem-me ter muito mais problemas de alegações de "censura" versus alegações de "perseguição", com purgas ocasionais, do que as tipo "[nome do autor].[nome da plataforma].com" (blogspot, sapo, etc.). Suspeito que é por as segundas se limitarem a alugar casas com saída direta para a rua (o facto de este blogue estar alojado no blogspot pouco ou nada contribui para que outras pessoas que também tenham blogues no blogspot venham cá mais), enquanto as primeiras são um pátio lisboeta tradicional com uma área de convívio (estar no facebook aumenta a probabilidade de outras pessoas que também estão no facebook me leiam). Isso aumenta, quer o incentivo a banir pessoas (já que um autor chato incomoda mais os outros participantes de uma rede social do que um blogger chato os outros bloggers na mesma plataforma) quer a eficácia de banir pessoas (se o blogspot banir alguém, ele pode ir para o typepad ou para o wordpress que pouca diferença faz; se o facebook banir alguém, ele fica mesmo privado de toda a audiência que o facebook tem cativa).

Também sobre isto (ainda hei de escrever mais alguma coisa sobre este assunto):

I deleted my Twitter account. It's a breeding ground for thoughtlessness and contempt, por Glenn Reynolds:
To read content on blogs, readers had to go there. To interact, bloggers had to read each other’s sites and decide to post a response, generally with a link back to the post they were replying to.

If you didn’t like a blog, you could just ignore it. A story that spread like wildfire through the blogosphere still did so over the better part of a day, not over minutes, and it was typically pretty easy to find the original item and get context, something the culture of blogging encouraged.

As James Lileks wrote, “The link changes everything. When someone derides or exalts a piece, the link lets you examine the thing itself without interference.”

Bloggers often encouraged their readers to follow the link and “read the whole thing.” (...)

In engineering parlance, the early blogosphere was a “loosely coupled” system, one where changes in one part were not immediately or directly transmitted to others. Loosely coupled systems tend to be resilient, and not very subject to systemic failures, because what happens in one part of the system affects other parts only weakly and slowly.
Is Twitter a Breeding Ground for Thoughtlessness and Contempt?, por James Joyner:
While there’s a certain “get off my lawn” quality to we oldsters lamenting the good old days, I share Glenn’s nostalgia for the state of the blogosphere as it was from roughly 2002-2006. There was a communal quality to it that’s long since disappeared and there was indeed, at least among the blogs that I followed, a tendency to “follow the link” and “read the whole thing.”

O mundo dos moderadores do Facebook

Inside Facebook’s Secret Rulebook for Global Political Speech (New York Times):

How can Facebook monitor billions of posts per day in over 100 languages, all without disturbing the endless expansion that is core to its business? The company’s solution: a network of workers using a maze of PowerPoint slides spelling out what’s forbidden. (...)

As detailed as the guidelines can be, they are also approximations — best guesses at how to fight extremism or disinformation. And they are leading Facebook to intrude into sensitive political matters the world over, sometimes clumsily.

Increasingly, the decisions on what posts should be barred amount to regulating political speech — and not just on the fringes. In many countries, extremism and the mainstream are blurring. (...)

For a tech company to draw these lines is “extremely problematic,” said Jonas Kaiser, a Harvard University expert on online extremism. “It puts social networks in the position to make judgment calls that are traditionally the job of the courts.”

The bans are a kind of shortcut, said Sana Jaffrey, who studies Indonesian politics at the University of Chicago. Asking moderators to look for a banned name or logo is easier than asking them to make judgment calls about when political views are dangerous.

But that means that in much of Asia and the Middle East, Facebook bans hard-line religious groups that represent significant segments of society. Blanket prohibitions, Ms. Jaffrey said, amount to Facebook shutting down one side in national debates.

And its decisions often skew in favor of governments, which can fine or regulate Facebook.

In Sri Lanka, Facebook removed posts commemorating members of the Tamil minority who died in the country’s civil war. Facebook bans any positive mention of Tamil rebels, though users can praise government forces who were also guilty of atrocities.

Kate Cronin-Furman, a Sri Lanka expert at University College London, said this prevented Tamils from memorializing the war, allowing the government to impose its version of events — entrenching Tamils’ second-class status.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

A limpeza étnica na Palestina

The 1948 Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine - Ilan Pappe, no

In-depth article looking at the systematic preparations that were made for the ethnic cleansing of over 750,000 Palestinians from what would become Israel in 1948. The article highlights, among other things, the 'Village Files' project between 1940-47, which involved the systematic compilation of maps and intelligence on Arab villages and a series of military plans culminating in Plan Dalet, according to which the 1948 war was fought.

The article is an abridged version of early chapters from Pappe's book, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Cisão no Trumpismo? Provavelmente não

Ainda a respeito distoSyria and the ‘Jacksonians’, por Daniel Larison (The American Conservative):

The “Jacksonian” label has never seemed very useful or accurate to me, and this is a good example of why it doesn’t work as a description of the foreign policy views of a broad section of the GOP. Mead lists a number of reasons why he thinks “Jacksonians” will be angry with Trump about Syria withdrawal, but he is really just projecting the complaints that he and other elite hawks have with the decision onto the Republican rank-and-file. Do “Jacksonian” voters know or care much about the YPG in Syria? Anything is possible, but I don’t think there is much support for that claim. Are they actually upset with Trump for leaving them in the lurch? I very much doubt it. The people Mead insists on calling “Jacksonians” are generally hawkish, but it doesn’t follow that they subscribe to all of the assumptions of elite Iran and Russia hawks.
Eu suspeito que a haver alguma polémica séria dentro do trumpismo será com a retirada do Afeganistão, não com a da Síria - a intervenção na Síria (que muita gente nem sabia que existia) é a clássica intervenção humanitária que não entusiasma nem os anti-intervencionistas ("jeffersoninaos", na terminilogia de Mead) nem os intervencionistas não-humanitários ("jacksonianos", e provavelmente também os "hamiltonianos"); já a intervenção no Afeganistão (contra um inimigo que foi pelo menos cúmplice da morte de 3000 civis norte-americanos) poderá ter um maior elemento de divisão entre os não-intervencionistas ("apanhamos o Bin Laden, já não estamos lá a fazer nada") e intervencionistas não-humanitários ("não estamos lá para promover a democracia ou os direitos das mulheres - um regime ao estilo da Arábia Saudita até não seria mau - mas só devemos sair depois de limpar o sebo aqueles terroristas todos").

O survivalista com uma cabana cheia de armas tem a matemática do seu lado

The Surprisingly Solid Mathematical Case of the Tin Foil Hat Gun Prepper, por Bj Campbell:

There’s a common misconception in the media about the eventuality for which the preppers are exactly prepping. That’s because they’re a diverse group, and prep for many different things. No, they aren’t planning for a revolution to overthrow the government. (Most of them, anyway.) Mostly they’re planning to keep themselves and their families safe while someone else tries to overthrow the government. That, or zombies. (More on zombies below.)

While we don’t have any good sources of data on how often zombies take over the world, we definitely have good sources of data on when the group of people on the piece of dirt we currently call the USA attempt to overthrow the ruling government. It’s happened twice since colonization. The first one, the American Revolution, succeeded. The second one, the Civil War, failed. But they are both qualifying events. Now we can do math.

Stepping through this, the average year for colony establishment is 1678, which is 340 years ago. Two qualifying events in 340 years is a 0.5882% annual chance of nationwide violent revolution against the ruling government. Do the same math as we did above with the floodplains, in precisely the same way, and we see a 37% chance that any American of average life expectancy will experience at least one nationwide violent revolution.

This is a bigger chance than your floodplain-bound home flooding during your mortgage. (....)

“But if one of these things happens, you’re screwed anyway!” Well, sure. The point of disaster planning for a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, or wildfire, is not to be “not-screwed.” It’s to be notably less screwed. (...)

There are certain things in the world you’d rather have and not need, than need and not have. And paramount among those things, given the state of the modern human condition, is a rifle.

Em 1976 ou 77, a minha irmã e a minha prima tiveram uma grande discussão com isso

Trump Tells Kid Calling Santa Hotline That Believing At His Age Is “Marginal”
Que depois passou para a minha mãe e a minha tia - primeiro a minha irmã a dizer à minha prima que quem dava os presentes eram os pais e não o Menino Jesus, e que o que o Jesus dava era saúde aos pais para eles puderem dar presentes (um aparte - esta saída para preservar um pouco de intervenção sobrenatural seria mais difícil se os europeus da bacia do Mediterrâneo nos anos 70 já recebessem os presentes do Pai Natal), e depois a minha tia a dar uma descompostura à minha mãe porque não deixava as crianças sonhar, e no fim a minha irmã acho que ainda foi obrigada a pedir desculpas à minha prima porque lhe mentido e que na verdade era mesmo o Menino Jesus que entregava as prendas.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Criaturas mitológicas

Monday, December 24, 2018

Cisão no Trumpismo?

Duvido, mas....

Trump’s Populist Schism Over Syria, por Walter Russell Mead (Wall Street Journal - quem não tiver uma assinatura, talvez seja melhor abrir em "janela privada):

The conservative opposition to conventional American foreign policy is anything but monolithic. One group of critics continues the Jeffersonian tradition of preserving American liberties at home by minimizing American involvement abroad. Figures like Sen. Rand Paul and his father, former Rep. Ron Paul, speak to this side of the populist coalition. Jeffersonians are skeptical of international institutions and alliances as well as American interventions to protect human rights abroad. They oppose big defense budgets and extensive military deployments and see no reason for an anti-Russia foreign policy. Many believe that Israel seeks to drag the U.S. into Middle East struggles that Washington would do better to avoid. Sen. Paul was quick to announce his support for President Trump’s Syria decision.

The other, Jacksonian wing of conservative populism shares the Jeffersonian suspicion of multilateralism and humanitarian interventions, but is more supportive of the American military and of maintaining America’s reputation for standing by allies. Jacksonians are hawkish about China, Russia and Iran and favor a strong relationship with Israel. This tendency in American politics is represented by figures like Sen. Tom Cotton, a U.S. Army veteran who served in both Afghanistan and Iraq and has criticized Mr. Trump’s Syria decision.

Digo que "duvido" porque suponho que mesmo os "jacksonianos" não se irão incomodar muito com a retirada da Síria - sim, eles não são pacifistas, mas também não são "internacionalistas-humanitários", logo a partir do momento em que quem eles considera o inimigo (o jihadismo islâmico) aparentemente foi derrotado, também não sentirão grande motivação em manter a participação norte-americana numa guerra em que agora o único objetivo seria proteger guerrilheiros de esquerda contra Ancara e Damasco.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Tens alguma fonte credível para o que dizes?

O Paul Krugman deveria ler mais

No seu artigo, The Case for a Mixed Economy, Paul Krugman escreve:

 I’ve had several interviews lately in which I was asked whether capitalism had reached a dead end, and needed to be replaced with something else. I’m never sure what the interviewers have in mind; neither, I suspect, do they. I don’t think they’re talking about central planning, which everyone considers discredited. And I haven’t seen even an implausible proposal for a decentralized system that doesn’t rely on price incentives and self-interest – i.e., a market economy with private property, which most people would consider capitalism.
Coisas que o Krugman poderia ler:

O primeiro é a descrição de uma economia descentralizada, com incentivos de preços, interesse próprio e uma economia de mercado, mas sem propriedade privada dos meios de produção; o segundo até poderá ser visto como uma economia com isso tudo (incluindo a propriedade privada dos meios de produção, com a exceção da terra), mas mesmo assim demasiado diferente daquilo a que normalmente se pensa quando se fala em capitalismo; no terceiro, são apresentadas várias modalidades de organização social, mas o tema dominante é o de uma economia descentralizada sem propriedade privada nem dinheiro.

Poderá dizer-se que tanto o socialista autogestionário como o mutualismo como o anarco-comunismo são absurdos ou impossíveis de realizar, mas Krugman vai mais longe - ele diz que nunca viu mesmo uma proposta implausível para uma economia descentralizada não-capitalista (e parece-me claro que propostas - e até bem pormenorizadas - até existem, independentemente de serem plausíveis ou não).

Estas abaixo não sei se contarão - em rigor, talvez sejam melhor descritas como economias centralizadas mas sem uma autoridade centralizada - mas a título de bónus cá vão:
[Post publicado no Vias de Facto; podem comentar lá]

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Poligrafando o polígrafo

O "Polígrafo" parece ter um padrão - pegar num assunto que é ou está a ser falado, e fazer um artigo, não sobre esse assunto, mas sobre um assunto parecido, e depois dar a sua sentença de "falso" ou "verdadeiro" sobre isso (quando não é sobre isso que se está a falar, e portanto interessa pouco se isso é "falso" ou "verdadeiro").

Agora é com o Pai Natal - hoje decidiram que a prioridade seria desmentir a fake news que o Pai Natal seria uma invenção da Coca-Cola para uma campanha publicitária; mas acho que a história que circula há décadas (acho que a ouvi pela primeira vez em 95 ou 96) não é de que o Pai Natal é uma criação da Coca-Cola, é de que a cor vermelha do Pai Natal é uma criação da Coca-Cola e que antes eles seria verde ou roxo (mesmo hoje ao almoço tive uma conversa sobre isso) - e lendo o artigo dificilmente se chega a alguma conclusão sobre isso.

Sim , eles dizem que "O grande responsável pela imagem de um Pai Natal barbudo, bonacheirão, trajado de vermelho e branco, chama-se Thomas Nast, um cartoonista que nada tinha a ver com a Coca-Cola ", mas a ilustarção que depois mostram é - como seria de esperar num desenho num jornal em 1863 - a preto e branco.

Já antes tiveram um episódio semelhante com o PAN e os provérbios com animais.

Primeiro, publicaram um post com o título "O PAN quer acabar com provérbios como pegar o touro pelos cornos?" e dizendo "Verdadeiro"; pouco depois alteraram o título para "O PAN apoia o fim dos provérbios com animais?", mas mantendo tudo o resto igual (hum..., um site de fact checkers para combater notícias falsas ter que mudar o título dos seus artigos porque o primeiro não era muito rigoroso é mau sinal...).

Mas de qualquer maneira, manteve-se o que me parece o problema principal: sim, é verdade que o PAN e a PETA querem que se deixe de usar provérbios a falar de animais, o que literalmente pode ser interpretado como "O PAN quer acabar com provérbios como...".

Mas para aí 99% das pessoas interpretou "PAN quer acabar..." (e substituir para "o PAN apoia o fim..." não muda muito) como "PAN quer proibir..." (e foi essa versão que circulou nas redes sociais- exemplo), o que não é o caso - os responsáveis do PAN disseram explicitamente que não querem fazer nenhuma lei sobre o assunto; já agora, ao que parece a campanha da PETA também não é para proibir essa expressões mas é apenas uma campanha sugerindo aos professores que ensinem as expressões alternativas às crianças.

Atendendo à ambiguidade da expressão "quer acabar" (e ainda mais havendo já a circular uma "fake new" que interpreta "quer acabar" como "proibir") ou mesmo "apoia do fim" talvez fizesse mais sentido "Verdadeiro, mas...".

De qualquer forma, parece-me o mesmo padrão - fazer um artigo não a esclarecer a questão em que há a grande polémica ("o PAN quer proibir provérbios?", "a cor vermelha do Pai Natal é uma criação da Coca-Cola?") para uma questão adjacente ("O PAN é contra os provérbios?", "O Pai Natal é uma criação da Coca-Cola?"), o que paradoxalmente até pode criar mais confusões - porque algumas pessoas podem ler o "verdadeiro" ou "falso" a respeito da questão adjacente, e julgarem que também se aplica à questão principal.

[Post publicado no Vias de Facto; podem comentar lá]

Friday, December 21, 2018

Brincar aos pobrezinhos

The next time you think about doing a bit of working class tourism and dressing up in 'poorface', read this, por Jack Monroe:

Every now and again, a minor celebrity or institution will announce that they are “challenging themselves” to “be poor for a day” in order to raise awareness of the plight of people living in poverty in the UK. Sometimes this is done through charitable initiatives such as Live Below The Line, which I have done myself for several years running. I use my own experiences of living in real food and fuel poverty as a single mum on benefits to cook and eat for £1 a day, and I write about it extensively. (...)

Poorface is a term that I coined a while back, used to denote the mockery and minstrel performance whereby someone in a position of privilege pretends to be poor for a day, in order to “experience poverty for themselves”. You won’t. Poverty is not a 24-hour challenge. It is a world of endless nothing. It is depression, despair, darkness. It is having no light at the end of the tunnel, like being stuck down a well, waiting to die.

There is no planning for the future because you don’t believe you really have one. There are no savings accounts, no rainy day funds, no contents insurance, no health insurance, no investment in your own self, your own health, because to invest financially, nutritionally, or emotionally is to look forward.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Envy’s hidden hand, por James Suzman:

Rather, it is because envy served an important, if surprising, evolutionary purpose, one that helps us to reconcile this most selfish of traits with the sociability that was so critical to the extraordinary success of our species. If the behaviour of 20th-century hunter-gather societies is anything to go by, over and above its obvious selective benefits for individuals, envy formed part of the cocktail of traits that ultimately assisted Homo sapiens to form and maintain strong social groups. (...)

When in 1964 a young Canadian anthropologist, Richard Borshay Lee, conducted a series of simple economic input/output analyses of the Ju/’hoansi as they went about their daily lives, he revealed that not only did they make a good living from hunting and gathering, but that they were also well-nourished and content. Most remarkably, his research revealed that the Ju/’hoansi managed this on the basis of little more than 15 hours’ work per week. On the strength of this finding, the anthropologist Marshall Sahlins in Stone Age Economics (1972) renamed hunter-gatherers ‘the original affluent society’.

This research also revealed that the Ju/’hoansi were able to make a good living from a sparse environment because they cared little for private property and, above all, were ‘fiercely egalitarian’, as Lee put it. It showed that the Ju/’hoansi had no formalised leadership institutions, no formal hierarchies; men and women enjoyed equal decision-making powers; children played largely noncompetitive games in mixed age groups; and the elderly, while treated with great affection, were not afforded any special status or privileges. This research also demonstrated how the Ju/’hoansi’s ‘fierce egalitarianism’ underwrote their affluence. For it was their egalitarianism that ensured that no-one bothered accumulating wealth and simultaneously enabled limited resources to flow organically through communities, helping to ensure that even in times of episodic scarcity everyone got more or less enough. (...)

Ju/’hoansi egalitarianism was not born of the ideological dogmatism that we associate with 20th-century Marxism or the starry-eyed idealism of New Age ‘communalism’. There was no manifesto of ‘primitive communism’. Rather, it was the organic outcome of interactions between people acting explicitly in their own self-interest in a highly individualistic society. This was because, among foraging Ju/’hoansi, self-interest was always policed by its shadow, envy – which, in turn, ensured that everyone always got a fair share, and that those with the natural charisma and authority to ‘lead’ exercised it with great circumspection. This was best exemplified in the customary ‘insulting’ of the hunter’s meat.

Skilled Ju/’hoansi hunters needed a thick skin. For while a particularly spectacular kill was always cause for celebration, the hunter responsible was insulted rather than flattered. Regardless of the size or condition of the carcass, those due a share of the meat would complain that the kill was trifling, that it was barely worth the effort of carrying it back to camp, or that there wouldn’t be enough meat to go round. For his part, the hunter was expected to be almost apologetic when he presented the carcass.

Of course, everyone knew the difference between a scrawny kill and a good one but continued to pass insults even while they were busy filling their bellies. Hunters rarely took the insults to heart, and those dishing them out often did so through broad grins. This was a performance in which everyone played well-rehearsed roles. But it was also a performance with a clear purpose, as beneath the light-hearted insults lay a sharp and potentially vicious edge.

More than any other food, meat was capable of making the Ju/’hoansi forget their customary good manners, so it required extra diligence in distribution. It also meant that there was a risk that particularly skilled and energetic hunters might begin to consider others to be in their debt, so fracturing the delicate egalitarian balance that sustained band (or small kin-group) life. The insults ensured that individual hunters took care not to be so successful that they stood out or, worse still, began to imagine themselves to be more important than others.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Os 10 piores artigos do Weekley Standard

The 10 Most Appalling Articles in the Weekly Standard’s Short and Dreadful Life, por Jon Schwarz (The Intercept, via Brad DeLong):

THE WEEKLY STANDARD, a conservative magazine founded in 1995 by William Kristol and Fred Barnes with Rupert Murdoch’s money, has expired. Its final issue will be published on Monday.

Most famous for making the case for the catastrophic invasion of Iraq, the magazine was born just one year before Murdoch created Fox News. Both outlets were extremely effective at achieving the same goals via different tactics. Fox was chum for the rubes; the Weekly Standard was chum for Ivy League rubes. Fox pushed mindless belligerence, conspiracism, and a deep hatred for reality; the Weekly Standard did the same thing, but with less cleavage and more quotes from Cicero. (...)

More importantly, as demonstrated by the 10 atrocious articles below from the Weekly Standard’s 23 years, no one should want the magazine’s vicious ideology within a million miles of American politics. If the only paths forward for conservatism are Trump’s and the Weekly Standard’s, then Americans need to smother conservatism as quickly as possible.

So R.I.P. Weekly Standard, 1995-2018. As difficult as this moment must be for all who cared about it, they can take solace in the fact that many publications have been repeatedly wrong, and even humiliatingly ridiculous — but almost no other magazine can be as certain that they truly affected the world by making it far, far worse.

Venezuela - a "mão pesada no combate ao crime" em ação

Venezuela crisis: UN says security forces killed hundreds (BBC):

Venezuelan security forces have carried out hundreds of arbitrary killings under the guise of fighting crime, the UN's human rights body says.

In a report, it cites "shocking" accounts of young men being killed during operations, often in poor districts, over the past three years.

The UN's human rights chief said no-one was being held to account, suggesting the rule of law was "virtually absent".
Quem precisa de um Bolsonaro ou de um Witzel quando se tem um Maduro?

A dificuldade em fazer um golpe de estado na Venezuela

The Challenges Facing a Would-Be Coup in Venezuela, por Imdat Oner (National Interest):

A successful military coup seems unlikely in Venezuela since high-ranking officials in the military explicitly side with the regime

Ainda o caso Tancos

Finalmente li o artigo que o Expresso publicou há umas semanas sobre os informadores da polícia e o caso Tancos - aquilo começa a parecer-me muito, não uma sting operation da policia, mas duas sting operations de duas polícias diferentes, cada qual para apanhar o que acham ser um bando de malfeitores (isto é, os agentes ocultos da outra polícia).

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Relembrando as separações da famílias na fronteira dos EUA

Trump didn’t invent family separation, but his administration was willing to try it, por  Nick Miroff e Sari Horwitz (Washington Post):

It was an idea conceived by senior immigration enforcement officials and U.S. border agents who had confronted the migrant crisis of 2014. By ramping up criminal prosecutions and separating families who entered the country illegally, they said, the government could stop the influx.

Their idea went to top Obama administration officials at the White House and the Department of Homeland Security. Then it went into a drawer, like a blueprint for a weapon too terrible to use.

The Trump administration took office willing to go deep into the government’s immigration enforcement arsenal — even at the risk of triggering a political and humanitarian crisis.

"Déficit de Atenção" e mês de nascimento

Influence of birth month on the probability of Western Australian children being treated for ADHD, por Martin Whitely, Leanne Lester, John Phillimore e Suzanne Robinson (The Medical Journal of Australia):

Four international studies have found that the youngest children in a school class are more likely than their classmates to receive pharmacological treatment for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We investigated whether this late birth date effect applies to children in Western Australia. We compared the proportions of WA children born in the early and late months of a recommended school-year intake who received at least one Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme prescription for an ADHD medication in 2013. (...)

Among children aged 6–10 years, those born in June (the last month of the recommended school-year intake) were about twice as likely to have received ADHD medication than those born in the first intake month (the previous July). (...)

Frances, who led the DSM-IV development taskforce of the American Psychiatric Association, argued that similar findings in North America indicated that developmental immaturity is mislabelled as a mental disorder and unnecessarily treated with stimulant medication. While he considers ADHD a legitimate diagnosis, he asserted that it is overdiagnosed and overmedicated

Thursday, December 13, 2018

O Brexit como um empregado demissionário

Brexit as a bad career move (Flip Chart Fairy Tales): the kind of petulance you hear from the bloke who walks out of his job and then fails to get the better one to which he had assumed he was entitled.

I have known a few such people over the years. Very occasionally they are right but most of the time they get a huge shock. What they fail to realise is that a proportion of their salary is a function of their place in the corporate system. If they have worked in the same company for a while, their progression is based, in part, on their knowledge of that company and their ability to work within it. Likewise, the way they are treated by others is based on their employment status. The fact that they get appointments, sit in the fist class lounge and everybody wants to talk to them at conferences isn’t because they are ‘just bloody good’ it’s because of who they work for. This often comes as a shock to those who go freelance. As a senior executive in PoshBigCo plc, everyone wants to know you. As MD of MeAndAFewMates Ltd, it’s a lot more difficult. (...)

To stretch the jobseeker analogy, all the offers so far have turned out to be worse than his old job. All pay less and have less security and benefits than the one he has just walked out of. The best offer so far is to go back to his old employer as a contractor, only on slightly less money than he was on before and without a seat on the executive team. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

13 anos e uma semana do Vento Sueste

A 5 de dezembro de 2005 comecei este blogue, que faz hoje 13 anos e uma semana (porquê assinalar este dia e não os 13 anos, a 5 de dezembro? porque me tinha esquecido do dia exato e só hoje é que fui ver e vi que já tinha passado).

De qualquer maneira, como de costume, uma seleção de artigos publicados em 2018:

  • Confissão pessoal, sobre as contradições que podem haver os negócios pessoais de alguém e as suas posições políticas 

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

"From the river to the sea"

‘From The River To The Sea’ Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means , por Maha Nassar:

Over the weekend, scholar and social justice activist Marc Lamont Hill apologized for ending his recent remarks at United Nations by calling for “a free Palestine from the river to the sea.” His apology came after three days of furious online attacks and criticism from many people who felt deeply hurt by his remarks.

Critics have pointed to Hamas’s use of this phrase to claim that Hill was either deliberately parroting a Hamas line that calls for Israel’s elimination, or at the very least ignorantly repeating a deeply offensive and triggering phrase.

Yet lost in all these discussions is any acknowledgement of what this phrase actually means — and has meant — to Palestinians of all political stripes and convictions. As a Palestinian American and a scholar of Palestinian history, I’m concerned by the lack of interest in how this phrase is understood by the people who invoke it.(...)

That’s how the call for a free Palestine “from the river to the sea” gained traction in the 1960s. It was part of a larger call to see a secular democratic state established in all of historic Palestine. Palestinians hoped their state would be free from oppression of all sorts, from Israeli as well as from Arab regimes.
Não estou certo que as pessoas não percebam o que quer dizer "from the river to the sea" - na verdade, o que a autora descreve (um Estado único em toda a Palestina, do rio Jordão ao Mar Mediterrâneo) parece-me ser exatamente aquilo em que estão a pensar as pessoas que dizem que os palestinianos querem "destruir Israel".

Tuesday, December 04, 2018