Her special world

A few days ago I went to a stand up comedy show in my home town. During the funny and interesting performance of the comedian, I realize that there were a old couple with a special daughter. Everything was normal in that family, but the youngest member has a brain that does not work like ours. She was in her 40s and was probably wearing his mother clothes. Different is the correct word, because she can think as we do, but the construction of the reality and the variables and dynamics of the thinking process are distinct. She is constantly in a different world that we cannot understand, and because of that we called her retarded. What caught my attention was her reaction to the jokes. Nothing, she didn’t move any face muscles. Thought we share the same physical space, we live in totally different worlds. 

The Intouchables, the best friends

There are good movies, there are outstanding movies, there are perfect movies and there is the Untouchables – the story of two unlikely friends. This peace of art is based in a true story, aspect that arouses our attention. The directors, Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, made a good representation of the French social state, as well as the social cleavages. We must reflect about the model of organization that reduces, constantly, the willingness to work. I am totally in favor of the social state,   but a reflection about its sustainability is needed. People should not search for a signature to show in the employment center, ensuring the maintenance to the unemployment benefits. The state need to supervise and avoid these attitudes. In the other hand, the social cleavages block the access to most of the jobs, reducing the possibilities of having a successful career. The movie is a very interesting story that made me think and smile. This is a proof that the European film industry, being not so strong as the American, can do very good things!

The Superpower Attacks Again

Senior military leaders are recommending that the Pentagon’s two-year-old cyberwarfare unit be elevated to full combatant command status, sending a signal to adversaries that the U.S. military is serious about protecting its ability to operate in cyberspace. Created in 2010 at Fort Meade, the Cyberwarfare Unit employs about 750 people — far fewer than most combatant commands — and now reports to Strategic Command, based in Omaha. The new combatant command could enhance the protection of the military forces and the diplomatic realm in the cyberspace. This action emphasizes the importance of this sphere as a strategic priority.

I am OK with the USA’s hegemonic position, but why the military? The US leads the information and technological worldwide market with companies like Apple, Microsoft, Intel… They are the best, they are civilians. For security reasons, the cyberspace must be a concern for all states, but I believe that the military are not the best group to enhance the law enforcement in this field. Leave it to the civilians, and let the military do the real warfare.

Dear America

When I was a child, I saw the United States of America has the greatest country in the world. Movies from Hollywood entered in my mind, as well as rock and pop American stars. American culture is global and reaches every corner in the world – this is your best ruff! When I was in school, I remember to play as Batman, Superman, Flash Gordon, Hulk and Captain America. America gave me my childhood heroes. My great-grandfather lived and worked very hard in the US, the house were I live today is a result of Portuguese hard and proud labor in American land. Although I have never been in America, the US occupies a special place in my heart. Unfortunately, this affectionate picture is loosing brilliance. I am not going to talk about the XXI century wars, the GWOT and the financial crisis, but Owsley. This town in Kentucky stopped in time. Here, 41,5% of the population live below the poverty line, without electricity and piped water. The unemployment is high, due to the failing markets of coal, wood and tobacco. How is it possible? Owsley big event is the high school prom…

 

Africa has a good reason to Smile

Study shows that Africa has water resources underground. Researchers from the British Geological Survey and University College London have for the first time mapped the aquifers across Africa. They estimate that reserves of groundwater are 100 times the amount found on its surface. Some of this water is placed in the driest areas around Sahara. The problem? Some of them are deep – at 100 to 250 meters below ground level. This makes the extraction very expensive. But there is more, unfortunately. The mismanagement and lack of maintenance. Corruption can compromise success and the pumps need maintenance experts.

 

Journalism was assassinated

A newspaper can be a very powerful weapon, having a tremendous impact in the public opinion. In Uganda, the Rolling Stone newspaper featured, in the front-page, a list of Uganda’s 100 “top” homosexuals, with a bright yellow banner across it that read: “Hang Them.” Alongside their photos were the men’s names and addresses. This is not journalism, it is a direct attack to the Human Rights, it is a crime. I do not remember to see such an outrage – a newspaper encouraging the people to kill. Journalism must inform and give the necessary tools to enable the reader to create his own opinion. I must say that this paper distributed in Uganda is not a newspaper, it is an homophobic manifesto devoid of knowleadge and rationality. This kind of behavior reflects a lack of tolerance and respect. Africa really needs to invest in education, because the Rolling Stone’s article send us back the the medieval era.

Pax Romana and the prosperity of the empire

It is easy to fell in love with the Roman empire. It involved near the totality of the “Known World”. If we bring it to the XIX century, it can be compared to the biggest empire ever, the British. In a world were the highest speed was a sailboat or a galloping horse, how could the Romans run that empire. My analysis is based on the behavior of the people. Is it possible to control by force that massive portion of land? No, it is not. The Romans approach, in some provinces, were more political than military. Rome was prosper. In an era were fight was in every corner, must of the times associated with civil war, Rome offered the Pax Romana (Roman Peace), were business and commercial relations were stimulated. European people from the II century could not imagine a world without Rome. I am not saying that there was no crime in the Roman empire, not at all, the banditry was a big problem. But war between tribesmen was less common. People always prefer peace and stability. Despite the cruel Roman approach to insubordination and the struggle for power in the city of Rome, the political apparatus was stabler than the previous political model of tribe and clan. In my point of view, the Pax Romana was one of the pillars of the Roman economic prosperity. The Roman iron fist was better than endless war.

Today is a sad day

This post is necessary. North Korea tried to launch a ballistic rocket under the argument of spacial endeavor. Pyongyang is lost in the past, they did not wake for the post Cold War period. The men in office want to be a nuclear superpower, instead of creating quality of life to their citizens. North Korea is an impoverished nation with a deficit of 400,000 tons of food every year. The launch site cost $400 million and the rocket and payload cost an additional $450 million. So, the impoverished nation destroyed $850 million. The regime propaganda must be very accurate and the regime must be relentless about insubordination, because people might get angry. History shows that most of the fighting rebels join the cause when they have nothing to loose. Hunger could be the ignition.

Photo by AFP:

 

Falkland Islands, the struggle

As in 1982, the Falkland Islands are on the top of the international agenda. That Atlantic islands are sought by Argentina, but the United Kingdom has the sovereignty. In the eighties, Margaret Thatcher led and won the war against Argentina, becoming a patriotic leader and consolidating the Conservative Party Government. Today, President Cristina Kirchner is working in the global sphere to find support and conditions to pressure the British nation in order to, in her words, restore Argentine islands. In 1982, the war was like this:

Photos by Julian Thompson, BBCA Royal Navy Wessex 5 helicopter delivers mortar ammunition to the front line during mountain battles above Port Stanley.

Royal Marine patrol passing the submerged fin of the Sante Fe at South Georgia.

The destroyer HMS SHEFFIELD on fire after being struck by an AM39 Exocet missile fired by an Argentine aircraft.

A column of 45 Royal Marine Commandoes march towards Port Stanley.

Two Royal Marines of 3 Commando Brigade “blacked up”.

The flag is hoisted by the 40 Commando, Royal Marine at Port Howard.

Vatican and Cuba

The Pope left Cuba after having a conversation with Fidel Castro. A private conversation is always difficult to scrutinize, but we can think about the symbolic value. The socialist Castro received Benedictus XVI for a 30 minutes conversation. What does it mean? The most relevant revenue is the opening of the regime. The Cuban model is getting older and the economy cannot find solutions to grow. Receiving the Pope is a clear message to the world – Cuban model e changing and  we can start looking for business in that Atlantic Island. We can realize this by looking to the Pope’s speech during the religious ceremonies, when he talked about the failing socialist regime and urged the politicians to avoid lies.

  

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