Monday, 26 December 2011

For a Public Audit in Portugal (follow up from the Dec 18 article) - Auditoria Cidadã à Divida (ai sim?)

I feel an obligation to translate my last post in this blog on December 18th however, due to the amount of time I suspect for me to take to translate my own words I'll first write the "follow up article" (as promised) in both languages and later post a translation of my thoughts on the mentioned date.

- Sinto-me na obrigação de traduzir o que escrevi no último artigo contido neste Blogue, do dia 18 deste mês, no entanto, como sei que é uma tarefa que irá demorar um bocado a fazer, vou primeiro escrever o seguimento que na altura prometi fazer. Depois, e de seguida, traduzir-me-ei.
Peço desde já perdão por ainda não apresentar o anterior artigo,
ou a quase totalidade deste, em Português. Espero muito em breve corrigir este mal.

(Margarida Costa)

- In Lisbon (S. Jorge Theatre) on the 16th and 17 of this month I attended an event that had been set up to give an initial boost in the implementing a Public Audit.

Among those speaking were: Maria Lúcia Fattorelli (two excellent articles regarding her work
LINK 1 and LINK 2 .. there are others),
Costas Lapavitsas (Link 1 and Link 2)
and Éric Toussaint (Link 1 .. Link 2 - and Link 3) , each bringing their experience, expertise and knowledge to the benefit of listeners achieving a richer and more focused outlook.

To understand the importance and scope of the matter I Leave a highly informative documentary (74 minutes, all very worthwhile) regarding what has happened to Public Debt and why. Some of the speakers that were in attendance in Lisbon can also be heard herein
(Costas Lapavitsas & Éric Toussaint)

Debtocracy : World - European - Greek

Debtocracy International Version

(an international version with the original spoken languages and subtitles thoughout in: French, English, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, and German)

The first time I had seen the above documentary was in an excellent post written by a friend in the end of June, an act of civic duty and will to see the world more acceptable to her fellow man. She took it upon herself to fully transcribe into Portuguese what is said therein (useful as one can thus more freely access any topic within the sequel regardless it's precisely timed "minute & second"- a very helpful tool).
Alice Valente Alves - 29 June - A Democracia é uma DIVIDOCRACIA - Debtocracy - (Filme e Texto)
Other than the obvious worth of my friend's post I mention it also to exemplify that which I see on the part of individual citizens (some of which I know) trying their best to work for the greater "good", obtaining no "political" or economic dividends from said sense of duty, people who are truly worried with the abhorrent onset of dehumanization.. vile (mis)appropriation of public assets amd the transforming of all our collective monies into a safeguard of PRIVATE (corportate) institutions, the very same ones that had caused all this nonsense and crisis to begin with.

Their motivation is by no means a small one, I must add. It is the non-acceptance of the enslavement of others. We are all being treacherously "sold", the future of society, of our children's children's children and the "Welfare State" all taken like fatted calves

As is well known and documented, it was the private financial sector (in the IMF, Private Banking, Insurance.. etcetera..) that collapsed, crashed and burned in 2008.
Not a breath was held nor syllable spoken regarding "sovereign debt" until Lehman brothers and the likes took a dive.
How convenient it is, and has been since, for these bloodsucking culprits to transfer and transform "their" problem into a "public" (taxpayer's) problem.

There is nonetheless an inability to not be able to manipulate, mistaken, or confound all of the PEOPLE all of time.

I leave the LINK to the article I wrote a week ago, on the 18th

Enablers and the politics of Debt - The Death of (kratos, κράτος) to the Demos (Δῆμος) - Democracy

It is far beyond my linguistic capabilities to be able to fully describe the shock I had received by the end of Saturday's meeting at the mentioned theatre (the event's second day) upon realizing how truly "sick" and on its deathbed our democracy is. More than causing revolt, I was truly saddened to see at the very heart of those whom allegedly would have us believe they truly wish to help the nation and their fellow citizens actually show the very same symptoms of what they profess to wager war against!
I regret to say (to conclude, at least for the time being) that there is no seriousness whatsoever in their intentions.
I shall explain my reasons in saying so.

The first speaker, whom I had never had the pleasure to have seen or heard of before, on the first day made a lengthy discourse in which she seemed to be addressing herself to a half-witted, mentally handicapped audience.
I had to bear though the deal in order to listen to the other two guest speakers who were scheduled to partake in the opening night (Costas Lapavitsas & Éric Toussaint) who I must add weren't so quick to judge everyone in the audience as being dumber than a bucket of hammers.
As expected the two spoke well and were to the point.

******* (please see note at the bottom of this article)

Overall the first day was pleasing and made me feel the need to attend the whole of next day's events. I was eager to see how things would unfold and how serious the ones proposing such an audit in Portugal were in seeing things through.
On the following Saturday I was a bit put off by seeing people speak and having their discourse interrupted and shortened (the two previously mentioned gentlemen and some of our own), not giving them time to fully speak their points to a reasonable degree. Their information was vital not to mention the fact that their discourse was vibrant and alive. I can't begin to understand the reason for such happening nor any benefit whatsoever therefrom.
But on the whole I was pleased to see a large theatre packed to the brim full of people who are interested and willingly eager to participate for the "greater good" of their nation (some from diverse political factions, others belonging to none). It was heartwarming to see, rejuvenating and for moments gave one a sense of heading for a better future (so very difficult to feel in this day and age). But the dream was completely shattered by an event occurring at the end of the day.

This man (it took me a while to come to write this follow up mostly on account of trying to find the identity of the man, a person whom I had also never seen before ). He seemed to unnerve some of the Portuguese moderators to an uncanny degree - António Brotas.
I could not account for the uneasiness and never for a moment had I, or anyone else for that matter, seen the person intervene in an "uncivilized or undemocratic" fashion throughout the day. Moreover, having enlisted himself to pose (as many others had) an addition or alteration to the proposed summary document for the conducting of said audit, he desperately tried before everyone's eyes to speak. He waited, and waited and waited... Personally most people I know, myself included, would've blown their top but he remained resilient, resolved and withstood whatever necessary unequal treatment so as to make a point he felt as being important come across. His civility was truly remarkable.
My friend left her seat. She was also unfamiliar with this man but she just couldn't stand the unequal treatment anymore and suspected as did I the reasons for fearing his words (as any thinking person should, sooner or later). I remained..
It was more than an undemocratic and unfair treatment of another. It was intended to be humiliating (this at least seemed to be the purpose)
- there in front of the entire theatre packed audience. I and any who wish to recall that ending note saw as plain as day the Portuguese moderator who wants us to believe that there there is civic duty, justice and true concern for her fellow citizens
manipulate things in hopes of gagging his words/thoughts.
Her fear was paramount and I'm led to conclude that her colleagues for the most part shared in the very same dire fear because it took quite a while for any to react or put a stop to what was becoming an "incident" of poor citizenship and democratic procedure.
Naturally, people had constantly interrupted before and not one was treated in such a manner. After a while as if it were an act of grand kindness another moderator said "Oh its true, his is listed for speaking and even if he weren't our posture is a democratic one. So let us let him speak"
(condescending and visibly uncomfortable in my opinion not only due to the amount of time taken to react, but because he most certainly felt the need to do so due to some of us speaking out inquiring a justification as to why we could not hear this particular man's words)

Finally the gentleman was permitted to speak and here are his words (I took it upon myself to record his actual words, having had so much anticipation due to said humiliating incident. Looking back, it wasn't he who was humiliated but rather the audience and those who conduct or perpetuate this type of discrimination)

«I propose that at point 6.1 of this document we add that we need to have a Public Audit of the National Budget at least since 1986. I'd rather it be since 1976 but understand that it may be too much to ask for now. I myself had been in office but I think that it is of vital importance for the matter at hand to see how these Budgets were made and met, or failed and thus "altered" - and why»

It is obvious to anyone objectively listening that he meant - since we started to receive monies from the European Union (at the time called CEE in Portugal, or EEC) - so that we can have grounds for "renegotiating" or calling debts acquired due to manipulative Euro dismantling of our economy (in wrongful action and campaign from the EU, or on the part of whomsoever in Portugal's political leaders that succumbed to said wrongdoings or corruption even), even though as he had said he would personally prefer them to include previous years including the time he had been in office.
How on earth do these people expect to have a Public Audit prove and/or give reason for "renegotiating", or the existence of an "Odious Debt" (for instance) to save us as they so love to say they want?
It's as if they're only "in it" for placing the laurel leaves upon their heads (this is truly a travesty as they are playing with the poverty of a nation and destroying perhaps the only democratic tool that can be used to fix this "cruel, unjust crap" that has most likely been wrongfully imposed upon all of us)
It seems then that the only purpose behind this particular venture is the "climbing" of the ladder of power within this or that political party - simultaneously not willing to make liable any past colleagues and/or rulers, nor their "accepting" Opposition for their actions that have lead us to the present. Nor does there seem to be the will to actually reveal the necessary proof of our taxpaying money having been misused or wrongfully applied. After the man spoke the audience burst into an ovation, but the more intelligent moderator ( the one who let him speak) quickly intervened and responded with a purely manipulative "Oh, that's all very fine and dandy but it's much too much to audit unfortunately". Sooner or later anyone looking at what had been and is proposed as being the subject of the Audit can see how ridiculous the justification is, even though at the time (having seconds to respond) it was a brilliant manoeuvre as he wanted to get the matter quickly dismissed. The less intelligent moderator quickly jumped at the opportunity and after the relaying of the false notion of it being too much to audit, asked the audience to vote in the following manner

«Who here votes that the document not be altered as requested and thus wish to have things move along, not wishing excessively or needlessly burden said Audit with such time consuming things?»

- For some reason there is great fear that the public find out what indeed has been done to our taxpaying money. The fearful moderators belong to the Party known as PS but apparently so is the man whom they so fear.
Another moderator belonging to the BE (party) didn't add to the attack but she shrugged her shoulders and "washed her hands" of the matter.
Odd, isn't it?
I shall not dwell any more on the subject but I do advert that he or she - that whomsoever reads this, should bear in mind that any one or any group of citizens can propose a Public Audit (with or without so much "media circus-type horsing around") and that not all feel the need to receive political dividends or favour. Some people actually love and care for their fellow man.

I leave the proposed Documented Summary of the resolutions for the conducting of the Public Audir - where you can view the section 6.1 (if this link should for any reason disappear I have a copy of it's contents)

I also leave the document made prior to the proposed and accepted changes that where made by many in the audience with the obvious exception to the incident I mention above (for some mysterious and fashionably occult reason)
December 4th version of said document
If for any chance this link ceases to exist (or should become "modified") I have also taken the liberty of keeping a copy (actually more than one copy)
The date on these downloads inequivocally and clearly stand as proof.

I highlight the fact of the only thing altered in section 6 being the omitting of
« 6.1 e) giving a full public account during and throughout the entire process of said Public Audit »

[in Protuguese: "assugurar a informação pública ao longo de todo o processo de auditoria" ]

and the omitting of section 6.2

«It is within our objectives that we, the IAC, support the initiatives taken "Locally" as well as those conducted by groups/sectors of citizens that wish to promote the study and transparency of the use of Public monies»

[in Portuguese: No quadro dos seus objectivos, a IAC apoiará a iniciativa local e sectorial dos cidadãos e cidadãs, orientada para o escrutínio e transparência das contas públicas ]

Amazing isn't it? Omitting these two points stikes me as being... well its much too obvious isn't it? The example I give, these two points I saw altered leads one to inevitably conclude a "boycott" to say the least.........

Let me ascertain that I hold not contempt of all that are present in our political parties, I do respect and admire a small lot from a variety of different factions. Nonetheless It sorrows me beyond words to see how some bring down the very things they say they love "Democracy" and the "caring for their fellow citizens"

Democracy to be true and meaningful in any sense of the word must come from "down" (the governed) - "up" (those who govern), and also
laterally as well as bilaterally.

- and I say:


I leave a quote attributed to many across the globe along the ages:
« You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time. »

Presently I must resentfully admit that there is no seriousness in this quest for making a PUBLIC AUDIT in Portugal.

I hope with all my heart to be proven wrong, but I'm 99.99¨9 % sure I'm not and this knowledge makes me unbearably sad.

I hope all had a safe and loving Christmas and that 2012 (despite what I say) brings the necessary and honest solidarity the world needs and a reason to smile.

"The Tree of Common Knowledge" © G. Almeida

Note: *******
(Added the day after first publishing this article. Today being already the 27th and not wishing to alter the original post, I place this here at the bottom. It is regarding the opening night)

I recall that at the time I was particularly impressed with C. Lapavitsas's words. He kept mentioning something that was never addressed by others (the word "default" seemed to not arouse curiosity that day or the next) as to what the true outcome would be, or how one deals with as he put it - the country's need to "default". He kept repeating this was a necessity and indeed inevitable for some of our European countries. Some of the questions that raced in my head had to do with this topic.. He had said that the "creditors" can but will not let us "default", and if they did it would truly mean disaster (If I recall correctly) ..
- that it should be done by the "debtor" (us in our case) and not the "lender"so as to enable a fairer, more acceptable "renegotiation".., or if you will, to not be forced to pay "debt wrongfully acquired " and so forth..
(* I recalled at the time how Iceland had done something like this 3 years ago... )
I truly had "zillions" of questions regarding the subject.. but I didn't want to hog time and cut myself short so as to allow others to pose their questions.

Nevertheless, still regarding "default" or "renegotiation", it is in my opinion beneficial not only for those who were wronged and "force fed" debt in a wrongful (deceptive) manner but to those whom are amongst the creditors (one can only pay if one actually has money......... )
You can't force dead men to pay.
If one takes away another's livelihood, starving them and their children, what indeed is to be expected other than receiving bones and ashes of the dead and hungry?

At the end of this opening night and its three speeches we were allowed to enlist ourselves in order to ask 1 question each (so as to not take too much time). I was first. The myriad of questions I had on my mind I  FRANTICALLY   reduced to one.. To save time I even blurted it out in English directed and directly to
Costas Lapavitsas so as to further reduce time taken up by me.
What I asked, and the response, is in the last article I had written on the 18th of this month (link* Enablers and the politics of Debt - The Death of (kratos, κράτος) to the Demos (Δῆμος) - Democracy)

(extra note: now regarding Maria Lúcia Fattorelli - chief coordinator for the Brazilian Public Audit)

- I saw her speak on the second day of the event and although I was truly grateful of her insight, and experience, I wanted to hear more - much, much more.  It was truly nerve racking to see her race though her informative diagrams (having to skip a number of them). The highly valuable information she brought plus her natural capacity to communicate made me wonder, even before the "António Brotas" incident mentioned above, if there was truly a desire to inform and aid our comprehension of precisely what is at stake.

I leave you with a sample of her thoughts (video-clips in Portuguese)

(parte I - part one)

(parte II - part two)


Sunday, 18 December 2011

Enablers and the politics of Debt - The Death of (kratos, κράτος) to the Demos (Δῆμος) - Democracy

First of all I wish to say how glad I am to have heard Éric Toussaint, Maria Lúcia Fattorelli, and most of all Costas Lapavitsas.
There was a moment, one of the times I spoke to him ( after his having sat at my table for coffee during an intermission), when he asked me if Portugal's democracy has a problem. All I could utter was a "yes" with a heavy heart. I cut myself short so as to speak of other matters that a friend of mine also wanted to ask about. There were so many things on my mind to ask always........

I was (and am) also very interested in trying to understand a term he had at that moment coined "green growth"...
but back to the matter at hand.

I hope no one minds if I speak of the weekend's event in Lisbon later.. I have too much to say and am temporarily incapable of summing up my thoughts.

This will be written in two parts. Today's blog first goes to the recent past before addressing the above event.

For now I'll leave a video-clip from a couple of weeks ago with Costas Lapavitsas words concerning current affairs that I had just viewed today and after first having written down my thoughts below.


I give a rather clumsy sum of my thoughts regarding these present day foreign debt "crisis" that shrewdly took the fall for the real culprit of 2008's crash.. (private banking and other financial institutions), crisis that gives so much profit from stealing from so many and a very rough outline of only some of the steps I find important in the coming to this point from the 80s and on.

In these past months Europe has:
killed an already deathly ill Democracy,
what was left of sovereign will has been forsaken,
political parties in power as well their opposition in practically all instances are not only "enablers" they are the vehicles by which countries are bled to the marrow, by those who each day profit from mass public Debt (High Finance: Banks, Insurance.. IMF).

If you wish please view the GUIDA FINE ARTS link to a post written on
Thursday March 24th, (Quinta-feira, 24 de Março de 2011)-

ok - some ABCs about the IMF // FMI em miúdos, para quem por razões que só deus sabe, dúvidas ainda tenha..

Lets see if we get our facts straight. It was not due to sovereign debt but rather to Banks (Lehman Brothers and others) that in 2008, the proverbial Bubble was burst, as all surely recall.
It was due to the fraudulent actions on the part of High Finance (owners of "non-existent" monies).

So why the insistent "political" issue constantly brought to the table by ruling European political groups and opposing parties as if it were. White-washing history in such a way is not only the way of furthering political parties discredit, keeping all on the cheating undemocratic road to perpetuate the Neo-Liberal bleeding and hurting of their own peoples (to whom they thus show no respect for whatsoever), but reveal a human quality all of us share yet those of us who care for others keep under constant introspective supervision, the lust for power (a desire that is incompatible with democracy) - a will to oppress, or if you will - the "fascist in all" as Michel Foucault viewed in a preface he wrote for Gilles Deleuze 1972 book Anti-Oedipus

I no longer question that which so seemed to hurt other philosophers such as 18th Century's visionary Spinoza, among so many others
or rather: the desire of self repression, (*see Spinoza's views on "The Rise of Liberalism") where the victim not only blindly concedes in agreement to his or her oppressor but actually (out of a form of Stockholm Syndrome, that has existed way before said affectation) helps in his/her own "self- annihilation". It is my belief that this goes beyond the "Judeo-Christian" tradition of self-hating , auto-punishing, ethic and the politics of self-pity...........

We are all lead to such by the greedy hand of those who "run" practically all but 7 countries in the world, through High Finance (owners of corporate media etcetera). I'm far to hurt by our present political party system and their falsities, that kill democracy right from the "ground" up (the only way a democracy should be practiced, unless you do not believe in "the people" and fear them.. Then you must call what you want something else)

Greece, the nation that gave us Democracy is ironically the first place such a form of rule has been attacked and had their sovereignty handed to Non-elected officials, the rest of Europe either follows or is soon to do so, a fact that is more than obvious.

Even if we wish to re-negotiate, review our Euro-presence (I recall the recent intolerable the German blackmailing and bullying Greeks out of a national referendum - how more undemocratic can you get??????????????!!!)

- Then an all sorts of politicians and political commentators publicly come stating on corporate media how this was not only tolerable or normal but worse even, speaking with an unacceptable "superiority complex" professing the above victimizing, looting of peoples to be acceptable all the while letting out here and there an "Oh, don't confuse us for the Greeks, we're not like them" ... blah blah blah as if it were unacceptable to be.. where has this intolerable arrogance come from???!! Personally I'd be proud to be from a nation that can be compared to another where even though High Finance is literally killing and starving their children, they fight for their rights... THEY ARE NOT BROKEN, they fight like no others in the streets to regain sovereignty that has been stolen from them.

By the way, I add that this was one question I asked Mr. Lapavitsas (mentioned above) the first time I saw him speak. I asked - even if a public audit is made, how can one implement the wishes of "the people" in an undemocratic Europe (giving him the recent example I just spoke of above)...... I'll now return to what I was saying

Germans....??? It is easily proven that their economic growth is not fruit of "PRODUCTIVITY" but rather due to at least a decade of frozen worker's wages.. it has been at the sake of promoting with Maastricht & LIsbon Treaties in the EU (thus over decades) a fall in other country's exports ruining the future of their economies while easily protecting their own exports... this is not Productivity dear friends but exploitation of the common man (the so called working class). We're all familiar with the rise of Chinese economy and how it has come about, aren't we???

These people (in their said political parties + commentating "experts") only want power and see not that they will never be granted such a thing by High Finance... they are but vehicles to the annihilation/domination exploitation of their own people.

There are few exceptions to what I just stated, and respect, true respect & desire for democracy never seems to come from any party whatsoever, only specific people.
I even recall a president, from the recent past of my country (Portugal) feeling bad about the political strata not being capable of convincing people (tired of false promises and incoherence) to vote, he is an exception.
(the only politician I have heard to date that even though winning an election, his second mandate, was sad that more hadn't voted........ from no other have I heard anything of the sort.)
He was for example the face of our nation at the UN back just before the birth in 2002 of East Timor (this is an example of a citizen's respect for the job he was given as a political "institution", as well as one of the rare moments I see politicians truly caring for one's fellow man) I believe there are more, but they are oh so very scarce.
I can't say the same for the present occupier of the role, nor the political party in charge or its opposition.

The three parties that have governed Portugal since the late 70s have not only served Neo-Liberal wishes and dismantled what gave us economic health (especially from the 80s on) They served the purpose of making German economy grow at the expense of the other European nations. They are the cause, as are their counter parts - whether from larger economies or smaller ones, of the demise of the European dream. The "European Social State" we've all payed taxes for is ripe to bleed of its money and hand over to those which collectively bully all, stealing the future of our children, our children's children, our children's children's children.

This weekend I was so pleased to see a theatre packed with citizens in Lisbon, all of them interested in discussing the necessity of a Public Audit, but there is a horrifying underlying truth.......... it almost paralyzes any belief that such things as regaining sovereignty, democracy and such would ever be possible....

I'm far to hurt by it to presently denounce it, but I tell you this, ruling political parties and there alternating opposition manipulate and spoil Democracy.. they tolerate it not...

Back to the subject of the Neo-Liberal, the Postmodern perspective (A trend that came to full Adulthood in the 80s and 90s, Reaganomics/THatcheronomics..., and that as with any other trend comes gradually from before and gradually gives way to others afterward)

LINK to another past article in this blog written in October of 2007
em breve / coming soon - Reality

At the time many were the voices that said - Oh my!! Now they're going to stick it to the people.... let others be punished for said fraudulent actions - some said we would start to witness that which has happened.

Plus we were all familiar with the fact that at least since the 70's entities such as the Federal Reserve in the US
were told that if there's not enough cash around, "make more", all going down as the fight between both sides of the Warsaw Pact (Cold War) reached for the heavens LITERALLY speaking.
(This is just to name one institution in one country, and especially from the time of Pres. Ronald Reagan during the 80s and on, + Maggie Thatcher, + the construction of a Europe meant to have all other nations thereof import German items thus strengthening German growth at the cost of others...... 1986 and on.. although it truly seems to come from the beginning of the decade - ie. in Portugal the dismantling of "Lisnave" by Prime Minister Balsemão in 1982 for instance............)
( the absolutely incompetent economic policies that were employed by the nation from 1986 and on as we "sailed using the EU flag - selling and privatizing banks, depleting fishing & agricultural industries and so forth - as enabling and even promoting EU turning us into a gigantic beach resort...

Oddly this weekend's event made all too evident that there is no political will on the part of any, thus showing either a lack of courage and a will to perpetuate the certainty people have that those in public office shall never to be held accountable..

Parties that have ruled alternately, PS/PSD & CDS since then, all seem to be suspiciously frightened to promote an audit of government budgets from 1986 and on. It seems to me of utmost importance if we are to prove the existence of "bad debt" Especially since nobody asked its citizens wanted things that would crucially affect their livelihood and future since Maastricht and on... ) I will speak of this in a latter article. For now I'm too angered by the attempt to control such things as the will to have a public audit on the part of political parties. They only prove beyond a shadow of a doubt just how undemocratic they are. I repeat I shall speak of it later, as I shall mention two other things I found odd........

Here is an article (in POrtuguese this time - at a time the country under the current opposition's rule first began to contact the IMF... and Presidential Elections were held 23 de Janeiro - Estamos quase a celebrar mais um dia de todos os santos.. pois Coitadinha dela, da democracia, que 'jaz morta e arrefece'..
Tivemos de Abril 1974 a Nov. de 1975 um cheiro dela, mas foi alvejada.. e mortalmente ferida. E sobre a presidência..

- where I explain some of the main reasons that Democracy in my opinion has been agonizing in the West.
In this case it is regarding one of our prime enablers (written in Portuguese)
He is however not alone....... he is one in a long line of enablers from over the past 3 decades.

All have enabled a

"laundering" of toxic assets (from private sectors) into public debt
A prime sample is Banks that brought to the world recession are not only being pardoned but they are given even more of OUR assets, and helped to profit with the deal.......
This is truly insane and ever more present and the latest fad (royally screwing thus their taxpayers - in Portugal BPN for instance, a major fraud ridden hole from a Bank, and a small bank compared to others present in the country),
- Through this enabling all creating an exponentially growing public debt at the sake of such policy -
They continually put "healthy" tax-paid monies into TOXIC assets (bad debt)
weather they are mandated by their people to do so or not.

In Portugal public sectors are being sold, privatized at an astonishing rate, such as Public Health, Transportation, Water, Electricity (all being sensitive and strategic to the nation, as it is with any other country)

Governments keep purchasing (injecting) our money into private sectors, purposely sold at a minimum after rating agencies days prior lowering so their clients can buy, then those who took our money in the first place

(coincidentally? out of incompetence? corruption? ..many or some of all these reasons are perhaps at work.)

Said public sectors are sold for beans I repeat (and always ironically after some rating agency lowering stock value so as serve their clients well, the same clients that around the planet profit from said crisis they created, the same ones that taxpayers constantly bail out everywhere..

it is so fiendish + wrong a deed and in so many ways so, that I'm rendered
speachless....... !)

This is truly vivid in Portugal for instance, and I'm very sad to admit proof being far too easily found at hand for any one with half a mind to do so..........

Ok I'll just bring one, a prime example out of mo many we hear every day, from the end of this past October ( LINK ). The state sold a public hospital for 11 million (to private owners) who inturn on the very SAME DAY sold it for more than double the profit .. for 21 million to be more specific.

I wish to come back to speak of "default" and the democratic tool put to us "Public Audit" at a later date.

I thought I would not come back to this blog for a lengthy period, and such shall most likely occur after I post a follow up of this article as I have mentioned.

The reason is that more than not believing my opinion to matter or have any importance whatsoever to anyone, this I admit to feel most of the time and can cope with, it is because I sincerely doubt anything I say has impact on anything.

I care for people and believe I always shall, it is part of my genome, thus the reason I write, but I feel I must go back to other forms of using my energy to aid my fellow Man.

I also wish to make clear that I maintain what I say at the beginning of this article.

THank you for reading.

Margarida Costa

I give you my name so as to make myself accountable for what I say and do
(I would thus never fit in a political party..........)
in an age that all prudence would have me mask myself.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

December 8 - Holiday / Dia da Conceição

É o dia da São!!! :)

Today being a holiday and also the birthady of a very dear friend,
São Correia, I leave a picture of her and that of two musicians:
Bird & Gillespie - these two came to Lisbon days ago and posed just for me : )
whereas the picture of my friend I confess having had to resort to "theft" (after attaining a "licence to steal")

Yes it's her birthday and believe you me when I say it puts a smile on the faces of many.

Among her many activities, she teaches and exerts a truly strong & profound influence upon student and community alike. Everytime I see people complain about youths being this or that, (teachers, coaches, and many others)
regarding their acting like ruthless cut-throats, bullies or such, I think of her.
She not only doesn't complain, or give up on kids, she truly makes a difference, probably not realizing the impact she has on so many.
It's a wonderous thing to see this kind of human being at work, and to call her a friend, well, that's a blessing.

I now go to the picture below.. Gillespie & Parker

Back in the 70s I met these two at school, they were responsible for the bulk of the first years of my music education. I've always wanted the chance to boast this truth - In the school's Music Department the teachers were in fact
Gillespie and Parker :)
They really were :)

(D Gillespie & W Parker)
- the first being the Department Head and my teacher for most classes over a four year period and the latter completely possessed/overwhelmed by J S Bach I must add - and thank goodness!

The Atlantic is a "playground" (so it seems), my soul forever floating to and fro from one side to another in an endless multifaceted journey irridiating the shadows that mirror my inner being.
(a perfectly normal thing to feel for anyone, I know and probably the reason such sentiment seems vivid and alive)

On another note, yet still on the subject of "soul",
It has also been 7o years last September since the birth of a man I had not yet celebrated. This seems quite absurd since his music is one of my "mainstays". It is also fitting for the day, as is mentioned above, is the birthday of a truly lovely soul and her cherished life partner is a master of the genre (musical genre also Hehehe..).
So I'll leave a little Otis to warm things up a little.

Desejo a todos um bom feriado.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Rui Vasquez - Artwork ( + Trio: Sharrock / Puschard / Godard )

Decades ago I had the pleasure of becoming a fan of his work, a sentiment that remains to this day.

Rui Vasquez

Author: Rui Miguel Pinto Vasquez:
- "Untitled"
- 65 cm
- Terracota engobe

Obra de: Rui Miguel Pinto Vasquez:
Titulo: Sem titulo, Tamanho: 65cm,
Técnica: Terra-cota engobada

I also leave you with other images of some of his work in addition to three musical video clips I enjoy.

On an entirely different note, and having absolutely nothing to do with the artist or musicians at hand I leave a quote that has been on my mind since the "official busting of the proverbial Bubble" in 2008, and relative to that which has in my opinion come to be from the 1980s on....
- I leave said quote because the foundations of that which so many had fought & died for is laid waste in my opinion.

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender." - Churchill

Contrary to the work above (music & art) the present is not a pretty picture at all in Europe and one must not forget one's past, lest their be the cruel repetition of unholy deeds.
Recent law and action in this continent unfortunately proves what I say.

News in Portuguese from December 1 - Hungria passa lei que pune os Sem-Abrigo - LINK

- In English - Hungary bans the Homeless - LINK (BBC)

I also saw a bulletin from the above artist's wife's FB wall and leave you with it
(in Portuguese - 11 mitos sobre a FOME - LINK
- in English - UNESCO - on Hunger - LINK - regarding the subject of world hunger. One should bear and in mind that 1 in every 7 humans is starving and that the famished are spread across the globe. In the USA alone there is an estimated 50 million.. )

Many are the manoeuvres in today's world that not only ruin economies they cast intolerable suffering upon others, upon fellow Men.. This must be stopped.

In keeping with the month at hand - I also leave continued blessings and wish all a safe December.

Desta vez, como escolha musical deixo algo que me parece ligar bem com os trabalhos deste escultor, algo que me foi enviado como presente por uma pessoa amiga, que sabe que gosto bastante, entre outras musicas e linguagens, deste tipo de coisa.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Para o Natal, neste que é possivelmente o nosso último Dia da Restauração / The first of December - my Christmas post (This is perhaps the last time the nation of Portugal is allowed to celebrate Independance Day, or if you will "The Restoration of the Portuguese Sovereign Crown")


(Brief note in English)

This post contains a short story in Portuguese written by a friend. For the time being it shall remain in the original tongue but as soon as I get a chance I shall write it out in English.

For now it stays thus and accompanying it here on today's post is a heartwarming piece of music. Please enjoy!
I shall also place links for places where one can give aid and help ease the burdens of the homeless or more fragile members of our society. PLease take a look and see if it gives you any ideas on how to help. Believe me, even one hour serving soup to whom ever needs it is more than rewarding.

Have a safe December.
Love G.

Trago-vos algo escrito há muitos anos por um amigo. Confesso que tive de fazer uma grande birra para poder trazer isto aqui. Felizmente consegui.. Depois de lerem acho que me entenderão.
Aproveito para também deixar mais umas coisas enquanto vos desejo uma época natalícia mas digna, fraterna, e repleta de calor humano.
Segue o conto de José Pires F e por cima do mesmo, outra obra de natureza diferente e de beleza impar, (como sempre, acho que não sabe compor se não "preciosidades") para lhe fazer digna companhia, do nosso Eurico Carrapatoso.

Demos de caras no virar da esquina e assustei-me sem saber se havia motivo. Era alto, magro e envelhecido pela pobreza visível nas mãos inchadas das frieiras e nos lábios gretados pelo cieiro. Olhou-me. Primeiro com cara de poucos amigos, mas ao ver-me assustado depressa mostrou um sorriso tranquilizador. Compreendi que a carantonha inicial com que me tinha brindado se destinava a afastar possíveis e inesperados inimigos. Reparei, olhando-o agora mais calmo, que nos braços e na cara as impigens abriam feridas, eram as feridas da pobreza que o marcavam e marcam muitos sem-abrigo nos Invernos rigorosos.

Perguntei-lhe sem grande convicção se precisava de ajuda. Ele tirando a boina suja e safada do muito uso, abanou a cabeça num movimento concordante. Arrependi-me de imediato ao ver-lhe grandes peladas na cabeça e a visão da dentadura negra e desfalcada com que me brindou.Ele avançou um passo e eu recuei um outro, ele então recuou mas eu não avancei, estava bem assim. Naquela confortável distância lancei-lhe algo contrariado a pergunta: - E precisas do quê? Ele olhou-me de novo sem falar e com a mão que antes tinha no bolso do casaco fez um gesto que entendi como um vai-te lixar.

Compreendi que o meu recuo anterior, embora instintivo e talvez por isso, lhe tinha transmitido a mensagem errada do que eu era. Eu simplesmente não esperava aquela situação, não estava preparado, tinha sido apanhado de surpresa. Quem se julgava aquele esfarrapado sujo e doente para me julgar a mim? Recuou nos passos mas um pouco de recuo nos gestos não lhe faria mal algum.
Dispus-me a sair dali e ataquei a intenção em passo rápido quando, ele num sinal de dedos me pediu um cigarro. Naquele momento e pela primeira vez tive pena de não ser fumador, não era, em consequência não tinha cigarros. Ele com novo gesto de mão despachou-me como se dissesse que não era ali desejado.

No dia seguinte voltei. Vinha preparado com um maço de Marlboro no bolso e estava desejoso de ver a cara dele quando lho mostrasse. Agora que já lhe podia dar alguma coisa queria ver se me mandava lixar.
Procurei-o sem resultado, vi nas ruas por perto se lhe encontrava sinal mas nada, devia andar por outros sítios, pensei. Convenci-me que voltaria por ali e nos três dias seguintes voltei com o maço de cigarros no bolso, mas tinha desaparecido.

Finalmente, ao quarto dia, avistei-o ainda ao longe. Estuguei o passo sempre com o olhar a vigiá-lo não fosse ele desaparecer mais uma vez e aproximei-me. Quando se virou vi que não era o mesmo, este era mais novo e sem os sinais de doença do outro, era também mais forte e mais agradável. Olhou-me e sorriu de imediato dando as boas-noites. Aproximei-me ensaiando um sorriso e sempre preocupado em não demonstrar receio. Então, quando estávamos à distância de um braço, cumprimentei-o e estendi-lhe a mão com os cigarros. Ele com o gesto de os aceitar, agarrou-me o braço e desferiu-me um violento soco bem no meio da cara.

A pancada foi tal que fiquei um bom bocado atordoado, devia ter-me partido o nariz, pensei meio zonzo e com dores enquanto o agressor aproveitava para me aliviar da carteira e outros pertences. Felizmente um grupo de Skin Heads que descia do Bairro Alto, ao verem o que se passava, puseram o agressor em fuga seguindo-o em grande correria na direcção do Cais do Sodré. Após os ver desaparecer e ter recuperado a serenidade necessária, desloquei-me com alguma dificuldade à esquadra da zona com o propósito de receber os primeiros socorros e, principalmente, para apresentar queixa devido aos documentos que o agressor levara consigo. Um dos agentes quis vir comigo ao local e apercebi-me que se passava mais alguma coisa quando me pediu para no dia seguinte me apresentar na Judiciária.

Depois de uma longa conversa com o agente destacado para o caso, fiquei a saber que o larápio agressor do dia anterior era suspeito de ter morto um sem abrigo. Os indícios apontavam para a possibilidade de ser o mesmo que procurei.
Ao ver que a informação me abalara disse-me que os familiares do homem vinham a caminho para a identificação, mas era necessária também a minha confirmação de que era aquele homem que eu procurara e que tinha visto naquela noite. Movido pela curiosidade acedi deslocar-me com um agente à morgue para a necessária identificação.

Acabados de chegar fomos informados que o irmão do sem abrigo já o tinha identificado. Dirigimo-nos à sala onde estava o cadáver e ao transpor a porta dou de caras com o meu pai que, lavado em lágrimas, me olhou surpreendido.Atónito, instantes depois e pela sua boca, fiquei a saber que aquele sem abrigo era seu irmão, portanto meu tio. O tio mudo desaparecido e de quem eu ouvia falar desde que me lembrava.

Fazia dezoito anos que nunca mais soubéramos dele, agora, devido a um papel encontrado no bolso do casaco onde alguém tinha escrito que ele era o José Emanuel Laranjeira e que procurava o irmão António Leonardo Laranjeira tinha sido identificado.
Quando interiorizei a informação, já sabia que era essa a ajuda que ele queria. Ao avançar para mim preparava-se para me mostrar o papel, e eu, seu sobrinho, tinha recuado com medo. Instantes depois compreendi finalmente que não era medo. Era algo pior, mais profundo e enraizado, era um mal de alma. (José Pires F)
photograph by G. Almeida - November - 2011

Food Bank For New York City

UK - The Food Bank

Liszt & Kagel in two performaces musically linked in both composition and interpretative quality

I've posted at least one of them before (Liszt) and the other (the Kagel piece) I performed in front of (for) a beloved teacher 20 years ago.
This is my way of trying to keep my mind on a pleasant note on this "Independance Day" (December 1st), apparently the last to be celebrated (so say the rulers of this land), just as or even more bizarrely shall happen with the 5th of October - the day that celebrates the Proclaiming of The Portuguese Republic.

I'll make another post after this with something also to commemorate the holiday. For now I just want to bathe my ears and heart in this...

I'll also leave here in this post a picture I took with a representaion of one who's lifetime was cut short 75 years ago, yesterday on the 30th of November, at the age of 47. - the man of many faces - the man who was multitudenous and plural.
Fernando Pessoa June 13, 1888 - November 30, 1935 photo by G. Almeida