August 18, 2016

em Português

When you think the web is bloated (and it is), remember: there were no ad blockers in 1964.

First 24 pages of a New York Times edition, from October 1964.

August 18, 2016   ·   em Português

May 30, 2014

em Português

Mayor Bloomberg wrote an op-ed titled “Don’t Major in Intolerance” denouncing the latest protests of students against commencement speakers that led to colleges rescinding the invitations or the speakers withdrawing themselves.

I too believe that the freedom of speech is inviolable and a pillar of democracy. But when students protest against a speaker like Condoleezza Rice that is not an act against liberty and constitutional rights.

Secretary Rice, one should note, does not lack outlets for expressing her ideas or views. Quite the contrary, like most high profile commencement speakers, she has more exposure than most. So what about students protesting? Well, in a normal conference, one could just not clap, boo her, or simply leave. However, in this case it’s a commencement ceremony. It’s their own party, to celebrate their achievements and mark the start of their new lives. Why would they choose to boo someone at their own event, or even consider not attending?

Furthermore, a commencement speech aims to inspire and lead through example, emphasizing moral and ethical values. I do think Secretary Rice has many merits as a person and a scholar. But why would I want a member of an administration that admitted to lying to the world and the UN with the purpose of starting a war, to pontificate to me on moral and ethical values, at my own commencement ceremony? And don’t make this a right-versus-left issue. I would expect the same reaction by the same students to Tony Blair.

Mayor Bloomberg remarks, “I believe that a university’s obligation is not to teach students what to think, but to teach students how to think.” In my view that’s exactly what the students did here. At the end of this educational step – a significant one – they chose to act against ideas they don’t agree with, that were about to be forced to them at their own celebration. If these acts represented the opinion of the majority of the graduating class, then my salute to them.

May 30, 2014   ·   em Português

April 16, 2013

em Português

Today, Danijela had just arrived from New York City and we went to have something to eat at a Thai place, next to our place, in Fenway. The day was nice and warm, with Spring finally showing herself here in Boston. During lunch we heard two explosions. I thought it was strange and maybe they were from some nearby construction. But today it’s a holiday, so it probably couldn’t be from one. Today was marathon day — the Boston marathon — and earlier there had been a Sox game. There were plenty of people on the streets, enjoying the holiday and the weather. I had passed over the runners that were going through the Commonwealth Ave. tunnel a few hours later. Danijela, who is Croatian, said the booms sounded like this cannon in Zagreb that goes off every noon. I only realized what was happening a few minutes later when the 8 o’clock news were showing in Portugal and some friends were calling to know if we were ok. Only then I knew there had been a bombing at the finish line, two blocks away from our previous apartment, in front of the Portuguese consulate, in front of the window of a shop where I bought a pair of glasses. The remainder of the day was depressive. It is not that the magnitude of the the attack was enormous, but like a shooting at a school, it was perpetrated against a community of people that had peacefully gathered. A day when people stop, go outside, enjoy life. And now we all feel a little less safe, in a world that definitely did not need this.

April 16, 2013   ·   em Português

April 13, 2013

em Português

Oh my, it’s Portugal in the spotlight! But… wait… why are the lights being turned on in Paris and Barcelona after Madrid or Lisbon? Oh my, it seem the Earth spins the other way around! But then again, it’s right at the end of the clip. Is it the Sun that’s acting up? I think the good people of Universal are universally confused.

April 13, 2013   ·   em Português

April 10, 2013

em Português

Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing (with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them) conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.
Washington, The Farewell Address

April 10, 2013   ·   em Português

September 21, 2012

em Português

Test of multilingual. Not really available in English. Yet.

September 21, 2012   ·   em Português