Thursday, February 25, 2010

A message from Portugal

A couple of months ago, I started getting hits from a website in Portugal.  A Portuguese guy named Joao has a (mostly) photography blog called Dois Tabefes and had linked to a couple of my rants.    After I commented on his site a couple of times, I got the following email, which I'm reprinting with Joao's permission. 
You may have read about how the stupendous debts of Greece and Portugal are threatening to blow up the Euro, the European Union, and the entire Axis Of Socialism.  (Go to this chart to see a worldwide ranking.  The U.S. is now ahead of Jordan, Nicaragua, and Tunisia in this ranking of the unfortunates.)  Here's Joao, with his personal testimony about how he escaped the darkness:

As with many other libertarian sites I've been discovering lately (yours was from Cpt Capitalism's blog roll, by the way), I thoroughly enjoy reading it daily. It sure is helpful to me, but I'm afraid it won't be of much help in spreading libertarian sites to my circle of friends. Unfortunately Portugal is a very centre-left leaning country and trying to speak about libertarianism to most people is almost the same as being considered a fascist (40 years of "soft"-fascism sure did a lot of intelectual damage around), so in the end, it isn't surprising at all why Portugal is coming next to Greece in government debt.

Oh, and by the way, I came to get acquainted with libertarianism (and the Austrian school of thinking) in a rather amusing way. First I got into AGW skepticism after some research for an academic work, then I got to find a couple of liberal (not american liberal) portuguese blogs, which have been speaking about that subject, and in the middle I got interested in their posts about economic freedom and liberty, Hayek, anti left-wing rants and so on.

One brief interlude here.  The word "liberal", as many of you already know, has the same meaning in Europe that "libertarian" means in the United States.  The word was highjacked by American Statists sometime in the 1930's, as best I can tell.  Look on the blogroll to your right for the "I am 100% Liberal Quiz" to learn a few things about the word, and about yourself. 

Somewhere in between I got to read Road to Serfdom and now i'm reading Atlas Shrugged daily in my cell phone when I go to my university - I'm currently a Ph.D student in environmental engineering. I've started it in November, read 2/3 of it already and I consider it already one of the best books I've read in my 24-yo short life so far.



Good Lord in heaven !  Can you imagine plowing through Atlas Shrugged on a cell phone?  How many page views would that be? 
Anyway, that's what's going on with one lonely libertarian in Portugal, where the government is spending everyone into oblivion.  Hope you stay in touch, Joao.   
One other thing....I have no idea what this is in these pics, since my Portuguese is a little rusty.  I want one to take cruising in the Trinity river. 


J H P said...

That's something I saw in my first foot walk around Barcelona last Saturday (staying here for the next 3 months). Here's some info about it:

In the middle of the John Galt speech, I've made 14437 pageviews so far :-)

Thank you - I'll post in english from now on!

PS: Here's a great skeptic blog in Portuguese:

Anonymous said...

I haven't gone to the Wiki site yet, so here's my best SWAG.

A wooden submarine, to avoid magnetic and metal-detecting mines.
But can you imagine the work it would take to keep it water-tight?

B Woodman

Anonymous said...

I was half-right.
Yes, it's a submarine, but built during the American Civil War era.
Imagine! It's a very poor day when you don't learn at least one new thing.

And to Joao. Good luck, being the lone voice of prophecy in the wilderness of socialism and Islam.
And enjoy "Atlas Shrugged". I just finished reading it this past month. Outside of the Bible, the most important book I've ever read.

B Woodman

Jay@Soob said...

The comedy here is the EU's expectation that Germany should shoulder the brunt of a financial bailout for Greece. You can imagine the anger on the German peoples part who comparitively lead lives much less subsidized by government. I also get a kick out of Greek protesters banners reading "Put the well being of the people above the market." As the two are mutually exclusive elements of a functioning state.

The Whited Sepulchre said...


Good to hear from you again. Last time I went by Soob, you hadn't posted anything for quite a while. Hope you're doing well, and the bidness about mutual exclusivity is an excellent point.


Jay@Soob said...

Thanks much, Allen. I received and eventually accepted an invite to write for another blog. After a few months, time and subject matter (both blogs focus on foreign affairs and so became intellectually redundant) lent me to back burner Soob. And then take Soob and stick it in the fridge for a while. And then take Soob and trundle down to the basement and settle it into the chest freezer. At some point I'll figure out a new direction for Soob thaw it and write on. Or I may end up sticking it in a jar with some brine and maybe an onion and some spices for the long haul.

As always, you're bringing wit, smarts and all around good stuff here. Even when I occasionally disagree I do so with a grin.