quinta-feira, 29 de janeiro de 2015

Israel Sobreviverá a Obama?

Israel, um país minúsculo, cercado de inimigos.

O renomado historiador de questões militares Victor Davis Hanson escreveu um excelente artigo sobre a deterioração de dois pilares que sustentam a existência de Israel, entre três pilares.

Vejamos parte do artigo.

Can Israel Survive?

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East and North Africa. Eight million Israelis are surrounded by some 400 million Muslims in more than 20 states. Almost all of Israel’s neighbors are anti-Israeli dictatorships, monarchies, or theocracies — a number of them reduced to a state of terrorist chaos.
Given the rise of radical Islam, the huge petrodollar wealth of the Middle East, and lopsided demography, how has Israel so far survived?
The Jewish state has always depended on three unspoken assumptions for its tenuous existence.
First, a democratic, nuclear Israel can deter larger enemies. In the Cold War, Soviet-backed Arab enemies understood that Israel’s nuclear arsenal prevented them from destroying Tel Aviv.
Second, the Western traditions of Israel — free-market capitalism, democracy, human rights — ensured a dynamic economy, high-tech weapons, innovative industry, and stable government. In other words, 8 million Israelis could count on a greater gross domestic product, less internal violence, and more innovation than, say, nearby Egypt, a mess with ten times more people than Israel and nearly 50 times more land.
Third, Israel counted on Western moral support from America and Europe, as well as military support from the United States.
Israel’s stronger allies have often come to the defense of its democratic principles and pointed out that the world applies an unfair standard to Israel, largely out of envy of its success, anti-Semitism, fear of terrorism, and fondness of oil exporters.
Why, for example, does the United Nations focus so much attention on Palestinians who fled Israel nearly 70 years ago but ignore Muslims who were forced out of India, or Jews who were ethnically cleansed from the cities of the Middle East? Why doesn’t the world worry that Nicosia is a more divided city than Jerusalem, or that Turkey occupies northern Cyprus, or that China occupies Tibet?
Unfortunately, two of these three traditional pillars of Israeli security have eroded.
When the United States arbitrarily lifted tough sanctions against Iran and became a de facto partner with the Iranian theocracy in fighting the Islamic State, it almost ensured that Iran will get a nuclear bomb. Iran has claimed that it wishes to destroy Israel, as if its own apocalyptic sense of self makes it immune from classical nuclear deterrence.
Symbolism counts, too. President Obama was about the only major world leader to skip the recent march in Paris to commemorate the victims of attacks by radical Islamic terrorists — among them Jews singled out and murdered for their faith. Likewise, he was odd world leader out when he skipped this week’s 70-year commemoration of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Obama is not expected to meet with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who will address Congress in March. An anonymous member of the Obama administration was quoted as calling Netanyahu, a combat veteran, a “coward” and describing him with a related expletive. Another nameless administration official recently said Netanyahu “spat in our face” by accepting the congressional invitation without Obama’s approval and so will pay “a price” — personal animus that the administration has not directed even against the leaders of a hostile Iran.
Jews have been attacked and bullied on the streets of some of the major cities of France and Sweden by radical Muslims whose anti-Semitism goes unchecked by their terrified hosts. Jewish leaders in France openly advise that Jews in that country immigrate to Israel.
A prosecutor in Argentina who had investigated the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 — an attack widely believed to have been backed by Iran — was recently found dead under mysterious circumstances.
Turkey, a country whose prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was praised by Obama as one of his closest friends among world leaders, has turned openly non-secular and is vehemently anti-Israel.
Until there is a change of popular attitudes in Europe or a different president in the United States, Israel is on its own to deal with an Iran that has already hinted it would use a nuclear weapon to eliminate the “Zionist entity,” with the radical Islamic madness raging on its borders, and with the global harassment of Jews.
A tiny democratic beacon in the Middle East should inspire and rally Westerners. Instead, too often, Western nations shrug and assume that Israel is a headache — given that there is more oil and more terrorism on the other side.

quarta-feira, 28 de janeiro de 2015

Desunião Europeia - Texto de George Friedman

George Fridman, fundado do excelente site Stratfor Global Inteligence, escreveu sobre a crise na Europa. É realmente um texto bem interessante.

Vou colocar parte do texto aqui, leiam todo no site

The European Union, Nationalism and the Crisis of Europe

Last week, I wrote about the crisis of Islamic radicalism and the problem of European nationalism. This week's events give me the opportunity to address the question of European nationalism again, this time from the standpoint of the European Union and the European Central Bank, using a term that only an economist could invent: "quantitative easing."

European media has been flooded for the past week with leaks about the European Central Bank's forthcoming plan to stimulate the faltering European economy by implementing quantitative easing. First carried by Der Spiegel and then picked up by other media, the story has not been denied by anyone at the bank nor any senior European official. We can therefore call this an official leak, because it lets everyone know what is coming before an official announcement is made later in the week.

The plan is an attempt to spur economic activity in Europe by increasing the amount of money available. It calls for governments to increase their borrowing for various projects designed to increase growth and decrease unemployment. Rather than selling the bonds on the open market, a move that would trigger a rise in interest rates, the bonds are sold to the central banks of eurozone member states, which have the ability to print new money. The money is then sent to the treasury. With more money flowing through the system, recessions driven by a lack of capital are relieved. This is why the measure is called quantitative easing.
The European Central Bank is providing the mechanism for stimulating Europe's economy, while the eurozone member states will assume the responsibility for stimulating it — and living with the consequences of failure. It is as if the Federal Reserve were to print money and give some to each state so that New York could buy its own debt and not become exposed to California's casual ways. The strangeness of the plan rests in the strangeness of the European experiment. California and New York share a common fate as part of the United States. While Germany and Greece are both part of the European Union, they do not and will not share a common fate. If they do not share a common fate, then what exactly is the purpose of the European Union? It was never supposed to be about "the pursuit of happiness," but instead about "peace and prosperity." The promise is the not right to pursue, but the right to have. That is a huge difference.

The anthem of the European Union is from Beethoven's 9th Symphony, which contains these lines from the German poet Friedrich Schiller:
Joy, beautiful sparkle of the gods,
Daughter of Elysium,
We enter, fire-drunk,
Heavenly one, your shrine.
Your magic binds again
What custom has strictly parted.
All men become brothers
Where your tender wing lingers.
I wrote in my new book, Flashpoint: The Coming Crisis in Europe, that Europe is about:
"…the joy of joining men into a single brotherhood, overcoming the divisions of mere custom. Then there would be joy. Brotherhood means shared fate. If all that binds you is peace and prosperity, then that must never depart. If some become poor and others rich, if some go to war and others don't, then where is the shared fate?"

A Crisis of Brotherhood

Europe's crisis is not ultimately an economic one. Everyone — families and nations — has economic problems. The crisis is not war, which tragically is as common as poverty. Europe's problem is that it promised a joy beyond custom, a joy yielding brotherhood and abolishing war, and a promise based on prosperity, which is a promise so vast it is beyond anyone's hope to make perpetual. Neither perpetual peace nor perpetual prosperity can be guaranteed, therefore the joy that would overcome custom and bind men in brotherhood is a base of sand.

In the European Central Bank's compromise with Germany, we can see not only the base of sand dissolving but also the brotherhood of Europe falling apart. At the heart of this promise is the idea that Germany will not share the fate of Greece, nor France the fate of Italy. In the end, these are different nations. Their customs can be overcome by the joy uniting them in brotherhood, but absent that joy, absent peace and prosperity, there is nothing binding them together.

The test of the American Republic came when the idea that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights was juxtaposed with the brutishness of slavery. Prior to the revolution, these United States were divided into sovereignties so profound that many states saw themselves as individual nations not bound by the promises of the Declaration of Independence. They believed themselves free to withdraw from the federation if displeased by others' moral interpretations of the Declaration. What ensued was the Civil War, which was fought, as Abraham Lincoln put it, to test whether a nation so constituted could long endure.

In Flashpoints, I wrote the following:
"We are now living through Europe's test. As all human institutions do, the European Union is going through a time of intense problems, mostly economic for the moment. The European Union was founded for "peace and prosperity." If prosperity disappears, or disappears in some nations, what happens to peace?...That is what this book is about. It is partly about the sense of European exceptionalism, the idea that they have solved the problems of peace and prosperity that the rest of the world has not."
But if Europe is not exceptional and is in trouble, what comes next? The history of Europe should give us no comfort.

Editor's NoteThe newest book by Stratfor chairman and founder George Friedman, Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe, will be released Jan. 27. It is now available for pre-order.

terça-feira, 27 de janeiro de 2015

70 anos de Liberação de Auschwitz. Prisioneiro 16670

Este blog começou no dia que eu visitei os campos de prisioneiro de Auschwitz. Hoje faz 70 anos de liberação destes campos.

Em homenagem, aqui vai um vídeo sobre o patrono deste blog que morreu em Auschwitz: São Maximiliano Kolbe, que morreu no Bloco 11, Cela 18.

O filme erra ao dizer que ele morreu no Bloco 13, como eu lembrei no site The American Catholic, mas isso não tira a beleza do vídeo.

segunda-feira, 26 de janeiro de 2015

Europa está Morrendo.

Há vários sentidos para dizer que a Europa está morrendo, culturalmente é o mais preocupante, mas aqui falamos sobre o projeto de União Europeia.

É um texto do The Telegraph, que fala da baixíssima popularidade (recorde) da União Europeia entre os europeus.

How the European dream is dying, state by state

As the victory of the anti-austerity Syriza party in Greece shakes financial markets across Europe, find out how the EU project is slowly falling apart in the ten major member states and two cities which form its heart.

Europe is being swept by a wave of popular disenchantment and revolt against mainstream political parties and the European Union.
In 2007, a majority of Europeans - 52 per cent - trusted the EU. That level of trust has now fallen to a third.
Once, Britain's Euroscepticism was the exception, and was seen as the biggest threat to the future of the EU.
Now, other countries pose a far bigger danger thanks to the political discontents unleashed by the euro.
In Greece, a far-Left Socialist party, Syriza, has swept to power with a political programme that would overturn eurozone policies.
Many believe the Greek revolt against the loss of their economic sovereignty by eurozone diktat from Brussels or Frankfurt is only the beginning.
In France, Italy and Spain, voters are kicking against mainstream parties that they see as upholding EU institutions such as the euro while failing to represent their own people, the voters.
In Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark it is immigration that has become the touchstone for a popular sense that institutions do not represent the people.
Even in Germany the cracks in the European political order are beginning to show.
There are plenty of opportunities for revolt: parliamentary elections take place in Greece, Britain, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Poland, Portugal and Spain. Early elections are also expected in Italy.

sábado, 24 de janeiro de 2015

Pesquisa: Dinheiro não Traz Felicidade, mas Controla (até certo ponto) a Tristeza.

Interessante pesquisa. Ao ler sobre a pesquisa, eu diria que a conclusão é que dinheiro não traz felicidade, mas permite maior controle da tristeza.

Vejam parte do que disse Jesse Singal sobre a pesquisa.

Money Makes You Less Sad, But Not More Happy


For a long time, researchers have been trying to untangle the relationship between money and happiness, and there's mounting evidence that things are significantly more complicated than the reasonable-sounding proposition that more money makes you more happy. Now, in a recently released paper in Social Psychology & Personality Science, a team led by Kostadin Kushlev of the University of British Columbia has added yet more nuance to this debate: Their work suggests that, all else being equal, greater income does reduce unhappiness but doesn't increase happiness.
If this sounds confusing or contradictory, that's because of a common misunderstanding about the relationship between happiness and sadness, which is less straightforward than many people thinkAs Kushlev and her co-authors explain, "happiness and sadness are not diametric opposites of each other." Yes, they're related — it would be hard to be ecstatic and devastated at the same time — but there's evidence that they operate independently in certain important ways. This has obvious implications for the relationship between money and happiness. "In short," they write, "because happiness is not simply the absence of sadness, or vice versa, income may have a different relationship to each of those emotions."
The researchers found that even after things like individuals' stress levels and demographic characteristics were controlled for, wealthier people felt less sad — but there was no connection between income and happiness. But why should the relationships between income and (un)happiness look this way? The researchers have some ideas:To gain a better handle on all this, the researchers analyzed happiness data from 12,291 people who took a 2010 Census survey. The survey in question used a version of the Day Reconstruction Method, which, as the name suggests, involves asking respondents to recount their day in a detailed manner — it's seen as one of the better ways to approach the difficult task of measuring happiness.
Part of the answer may lie in how wealth shapes people’s appraisals of the negative events in their lives. Specifically, to the extent that having more money provides more options for dealing with adversity, wealthier people may feel a greater sense of control than poorer people when difficult situations arise. Coming home to discover a leak in the roof, for example, may be an annoying, but easily resolved stressor for a well-off individual; in contrast, someone who could not afford to have the problem fixed right away might be plagued by this problem for months. The greater difficulty in dealing with such misfortunes may make poor people feel a lack of control over the vicissitudes of life, with greater consequences for sadness than for happiness.

terça-feira, 20 de janeiro de 2015

Mais um ex-presidente de Banco Central admite: Estímulos Financeiros Não Funcionam.

Eu já falei aqui de Greenspan, agora é o ex-presidente do Banco da Inglaterra, Mervyn King, que admite: esse negócio de QE (quantitative easing), jogando dinheiro público no mercado aos montes não dá certo.

Vejam texto do The Telegraph.

More monetary stimulus will not help the world economy return to strong growth, former Bank of England governor Mervyn King said, days before the European Central Bank is expected to decide whether to embark on a massive bond-buying programme.
In his first public speech in England since his term at the BoE ended in June 2013, Mr King said he was concerned about a persistent weakness in global economic demand, six years on from the depths of the financial crisis.
"We should worry about that," Mr King told an audience at the London School of Economics, where he was once a professor.
"We have had the biggest monetary stimulus that the world must have ever seen, and we still have not solved the problem of weak demand. The idea that monetary stimulus after six years ... is the answer doesn't seem (right) to me," he added.
Unlike the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England, the European Central Bank has until now resisted trying to boost the economy by buying government bonds with newly created money, known as quantitative easing (QE).
But months of sub-zero inflation in the eurozone mean that many economists now expect the ECB to announce this step after its first policy meeting of 2015 ends on Thursday.
Chancellor George Osborne and Mr King's successor at the BoE, Mark Carney, have both said they would support such a move.
But Mr King doubted more stimulus would work, noting imbalances such as China's and Germany's large trade surpluses and Britain's low rate of savings.
"There are quite serious disequilibria both between and within economies that, for good economic reasons, are depressing demand. Simply lowering rates even further or adding more monetary stimulus is unlikely to solve that problem," he said.
Under Mr King, the BoE bought £375bn of government bonds between 2009 and 2011. Mr King said this was right just after the crisis, but that using loose monetary policy to bring forward spending was not a long-term strategy.
Mr King also said central bank policy needed to be robust to cope with forecasting errors, and that financial regulation aimed at stopping future crises, such as the US Dodd-Frank Act, should be kept simple to prevent bank lobbyists from secretly weakening it.

(Agradeço o texto do The Telegraph ao site Zero Hedge)

segunda-feira, 19 de janeiro de 2015

2014 foi o Ano Mais quente da História? Não. Que tal lermos as coisas direito?

38% de chance de algo acontecer significa que a grande chance é de não acontecer. E uma amplitude de aumento de temperatura que vai de +0,69 graus Celsius a -0,09 graus Celsius é uma amplitude enorme, basicamente tudo pode ter acontecido. Sem falar que os medidores de temperatura ainda são localizados ainda de forma muito concentrada em alguns países, e não globalmente.

É isso que explicam os analistas do clima que realmente leram o que diz a ONU e a NASA. Há muitos cientistas acusando a ONU e a NASA de tentar enganar o público.

As pessoas/políticos só costumam ler o sumário. E a ONU sabe disso. As pessoas não vão em busca de detalhes. Que tal lermos os detalhes dos achados climáticos?

Leiam também o que dizem os especialistas renomados por serem céticos com relação ao aquecimento global Bob Tisdale, Lubos MotlWilliam Briggs e Lord Christopher Monckton.

Em ciência, deve-se ser honesto, e também ser aberto às críticas para que os achados respondam todas as dúvidas.

O clima é um assunto muito complexo. Mas, supondo que 2014 tenha sido um ano mais quente, vocês lembram se houve repercussão na mídia quando desde 1998 não se observa aumento de temperatura? Não, é claro. Porque não houve repercussão alguma. O clima virou assunto econômico/político.

sexta-feira, 16 de janeiro de 2015

Escandinávia: Alcoolismo, Suicídio, Chatice e até Bestialidade (sexo com animais)

A Escandinávia é muito invejada, especialmente por esquerdistas. Supõem-se que as pessoas desta região vivem o paraíso na Terra. Eu só estive em um país desta região na minha vida, Suécia. E não vi nada de paraíso, nem fiquei tão impressionado com o país, que, para mim, sua capital, tem poucos e fracos pontos turísticos. Eu não achei muito "sueca" a Suécia, se é que vocês me entendem.

Mas o livro acima desvenda a Escandinávia. Vale à pena ver o que escreveu o NY Post sobre o livro de Michael Booth.

Vou colocar aqui parte do texto, leiam todo no NY Post.

Sorry, liberals, Scandinavian countries aren’t utopia

Want proof that the liberal social-democratic society works?
Look to Denmark, the country that routinely leads the world in happiness surveys. It’s also notable for having the highest taxes on Earth, plus a comfy social safety net: Child care is mostly free, as is public school and even private school, and you can stay on unemployment benefits for a long time. Everyone is on an equal footing, both income-wise and socially: Go to a party and you wouldn’t be surprised to see a TV star talking to a roofer.
The combination of massive taxes and benefits for the unsuccessful means top and bottom get shaved off: Pretty much everyone is proudly middle class. Danes belong to more civic associations and clubs than anyone else; they love performing in large groups. At Christmas they do wacky things like hold hands and run around the house together, singing festive songs. They’re a real-life Whoville.
In the American liberal compass, the needle is always pointing to places like Denmark. Everything they most fervently hope for here has already happened there.
So: Why does no one seem particularly interested in visiting Denmark? (“Honey, on our European trip, I want to see Tuscany, Paris, Berlin and . . . Jutland!”) Visitors say Danes are joyless to be around. Denmark suffers from high rates of alcoholism. In its use of antidepressants it ranks fourth in the world. (Its fellow Nordics the Icelanders are in front by a wide margin.) Some 5 percent of Danish men have had sex with an animal. Denmark’s productivity is in decline, its workers put in only 28 hours a week, and everybody you meet seems to have a government job. Oh, and as The Telegraph put it, it’s “the cancer capital of the world.”
So how happy can these drunk, depressed, lazy, tumor-ridden, pig-bonking bureaucrats really be?
Let’s look a little closer, suggests Michael Booth, a Brit who has lived in Denmark for many years, in his new book, “The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia” (Picador).
Those sky-high happiness surveys, it turns out, are mostly bunk. Asking people “Are you happy?” means different things in different cultures. In Japan, for instance, answering “Yes” seems like boasting, Booth points out. Whereas in Denmark, it’s considered “shameful to be unhappy,” newspaper editor Anne Knudsen says in the book.
Moreover, there is a group of people that believes the Danes are lying when they say they’re the happiest people on the planet. This group is known as “Danes.”
“Over the years I have asked many Danes about these happiness surveys — whether they really believe that they are the global happiness champions — and I have yet to meet a single one of them who seriously believes it’s true,” Booth writes. “They tend to approach the subject of their much-vaunted happiness like the victims of a practical joke waiting to discover who the perpetrator is.”
Danes are well aware of their worldwide reputation for being the happiest little Legos in the box. Answering “No” would be as unthinkable as honking in traffic in Copenhagen. When the author tried this (once), he was scolded by his bewildered Danish passenger: “What if they know you?” Booth was asked.
That was a big clue: At a party, the author joked, it typically takes about eight minutes for people to discover someone they know in common. Denmark is a land of 5.3 million homogeneous people. Everyone talks the same, everyone looks the same, everyone thinks the same.
This is universally considered a feature — a glorious source of national pride in the land of humblebrag. Any rebels will be made to conform; tall poppies will be chopped down to average.
The country’s business leaders are automatically suspect because of the national obsession with averageness: Shipping tycoon Maersk McKinney Moller, the richest man in the country before his death in 2012, avoided the national shame of being a billionaire by being almost absurdly hoi polloi. He climbed stairs to his office every day, attended meetings until well into his 90s and brown-bagged his lunch.
Richard Wilkinson, an author and professor who published a book arguing for the superiority of egalitarian cultures, told Booth, “Hunter-gatherer societies — which are similar to prehistoric societies — are highly egalitarian. And if someone starts to take on a more domineering position, they get ridiculed or teased or ostracized. These are what’s called counter-dominance strategies, and they maintain the greater equality.”
So Danes operate on caveman principles — if you find it, share it, or be shunned. Once your date with Daisy the Sheep is over, you’d better make sure your friends get a turn. (Bestiality has traditionally been legal in Denmark, though a move to ban it is under way. Until recently, several “bestiality brothels” advertised their services in newspapers, generally charging clients $85 to $170 for what can only be termed a roll in the hay.)
The flip side of the famous “social cohesion” is that outsiders are unwelcome. Xenophobic remarks are common. At gatherings, the spirit of “hygge” — loosely translated as cozy — prevails. It’s considered uncouth to try to steer the conversation toward anything anyone might conceivably disagree about. This is why even the Danes describe Danes as boring.
In addition to paying enormous taxes — the total bill is 58 percent to 72 percent of income — Danes have to pay more for just about everything. Books are a luxury item. Their equivalent of the George Washington Bridge costs $45 to cross. Health care is free — which means you pay in time instead of money. Services are distributed only after endless stays in waiting rooms. (The author brought his son to an E.R. complaining of a foreign substance that had temporarily blinded him in one eye and was turned away, told he had to make an appointment.) Pharmacies are a state-run monopoly, which means getting an aspirin is like a trip to the DMV.
Other Scandinavian countries (Booth defines the term broadly, to include Nordic brethren Iceland and Finland in addition to Denmark, Sweden and Norway) raise other questions about how perfect the nearly perfect people really are. Iceland’s famous economic boom turned out to be one of history’s most notorious real estate bubbles. A common saying in Denmark about Icelanders: They wear shoes that are too big for them, and they keep tripping over the shoelaces.
Finnish etiquette demands little in the way of conversation (the men, especially, speak as if being charged by the syllable) but much in the way of alcohol abuse. It’s considered poor form to leave the party when there is anything left in a bottle. Although their overall alcohol consumption is near the European average, they binge-drink more than almost any other country on the continent. Booze-related disease is the leading cause of death for Finnish men, and second for women.
The suicide rate is 50 percent higher than in the US and more than double the UK rate. Party guests, even at upscale gatherings, report that, around 11:30 at night, things often take a fighty turn.
It turns out that the “warrior gene” — actually the enzyme monoamine oxidase A, which is linked to impulsive behavior, violence and alcoholism — is especially prevalent in Finland. “Dark” doesn’t just describe winter in the Arctic suburbs, it applies to the Finnish character.
Macho isn’t a problem in Sweden. Dubbed the least masculine country on Earth by anthropologist Geert Hofstede, it’s the place where male soldiers are issued hairnets instead of being made to cut their hair.
But Scandinavian cohesion may not work in conjunction with massive immigration: Almost one-third of the Swedish population was born elsewhere. Immigration is associated in the Swedish mind with welfare (housing projects full of people on the dole) and with high crime rates (these newcomers being more than four times as likely to commit murder). Islamist gangs control some of the housing projects. Friction between “ethnic Swedes” and the immigrants is growing.
Welfare states work best among a homogeneous people, and the kind of diversity and mistrust we have between groups in America means we could never reach a broad consensus on Nordic levels of social spending.

quinta-feira, 15 de janeiro de 2015

Bispos da Venezuela: Condenam Marxismo e Pedem Empresários para Venezuela

Os Bispos da Venezuela divulgaram carta em que condenam o marxismo do governo e dizem que a Venezuela precisa de empresários!

Bom, será tarde demais? Quantos da Igreja caíram de amor por Chaves? Gostei da carta, mas prefiro a definição simples e direta de Dietrich von Hildebrand: Comunismo (ou Nazismo) é o Mal. Não se faz concessões ao Mal. E eles fizeram muitas concessões. Mas vamos lá, é uma ótima carta.

Vejamos a Carta dos Bispos da Venezuela.

Exhortación pastoral: Renovación ética y espiritual frente a la crisis


1. Con profunda y renovada esperanza en Dios, al inicio de este año 2015 los Obispos de Venezuela saludamos a todos los venezolanos, y elevamos nuestras oraciones al Señor por el bienestar y la paz del país. En medio de los problemas que nos agobian, hemos visto en Navidad la luz de Jesús, nuestro Divino Salvador (Lc 2, 9), quien nos anima a ir adelante, en fidelidad a su palabra, para construir un mundo mejor. Confiando en El queremos una vez más compartir con nuestro pueblo algunas inquietudes sobre la actual situación del país, para contribuir a resolver la crisis que enfrentamos.


2. La primera parte del año 2014 estuvo marcada por una fuerte agitación política y social. En esos momentos los Obispos manifestamos firmemente nuestro rechazo a toda violencia, fuera cual fuera su origen y autores, pues ella produjo un saldo de 43 muertos y muchos heridos, lo cual deploramos sin hacer distinción de sectores sociales o políticos; denunciamos el uso excesivo de la fuerza en la represión de las protestas, así como la detención de miles de personas, muchas de ellas todavía hoy en prisión, o sujetas a presentación ante tribunales penales o a otras medidas restrictivas de libertad; y manifestamos nuestras condolencias y solidaridad con las víctimas y sus familias. Hay abundantes denuncias de violaciones de derechos humanos e incluso de torturas a los detenidos, que deben ser atendidas y sancionados los culpables de estos delitos.

3. Esa grave crisis planteó la necesidad de un diálogo entre dirigentes del gobierno, de la oposición y de otros sectores. Gracias, entre otras cosas, a los llamados del Papa Francisco y a la participación del Nuncio Apostólico de Su Santidad, S.E Mons. Aldo Giordano, se dio inicio a un diálogo que lamentablemente no pasó de los primeros encuentros.

4. A esta situación se ha unido en los últimos meses la angustia generalizada del pueblo por la crisis económica que sufrimos, pues se ve sometido a dificultades nunca vistas para tener acceso a artículos de primera necesidad. Una deuda externa gigantesca, que hipoteca el futuro de los venezolanos, la inflación desbordada, la devaluación de nuestra moneda, el contrabando de extracción y el desabastecimiento de productos básicos han generado el empobrecimiento creciente de amplio sectores de la población, particularmente los de menos recursos económicos. Esta crisis se acrecienta por la corrupción administrativa, el centralismo, el saqueo de las divisas del fisco, la reciente baja de los precios del petróleo, y por la ineficacia de las medidas y planes que está aplicando el Gobierno Nacional para enfrentarla.

5. También nos encontramos en una situación de violencia social cada vez peor. El lenguaje ofensivo, la descalificación sistemática a toda opinión contraria, incitan al fanatismo y a la irracionalidad. La crisis de inseguridad pública es intolerable. Lamentablemente los esfuerzos y programas desarrollados por el gobierno para controlar este flagelo han resultado ineficaces. A esto se suman graves problemas en el campo de la salud, como el de epidemias virales no enfrentadas con eficiencia, la carencia de medicinas, insumos y equipos médicos en todo el país. Por otra parte, la muerte de más de cuarenta internos en el presidio de Uribana revela una situación trágica en nuestro sistema carcelario, que debe ser reformado totalmente.

6. El mayor problema y la causa de esta crisis general, como hemos señalado en otras ocasiones, es la decisión del Gobierno Nacional y de los otros órganos del Poder Público de imponer un sistema político–económico de corte socialista marxista o comunista. Ese sistema es totalitario y centralista, establece el control del Estado sobre todos los aspectos de la vida de los ciudadanos y de las instituciones públicas y privadas. Además, atenta contra la libertad y los derechos de las personas y asociaciones y ha conducido a la opresión y a la ruina a todos los países donde se ha aplicado.

7. Esta decisión se evidencia, entre otras cosas, en el desprecio de cualquier propuesta que no sea la oficial, en el desarrollo de una hegemonía comunicacional que entraba y limita la actuación de medios independientes, en el propósito de controlar los sindicatos, en la persecución por vía judicial de la disidencia política, en la multiplicación de leyes, normativas y procedimientos que dificultan la acción del sector privado, incluso de aquellas organizaciones sin fines de lucro que se dedican a promover obras de beneficio social. Así mismo se manifiesta en la reciente designación de los Rectores del Consejo Nacional Electoral, de algunos magistrados del Tribunal Supremo de Justicia y de las autoridades del Poder Ciudadano de acuerdo a intereses partidistas, la cual no refleja la pluralidad política del país y de la Asamblea Nacional, y ha llevado al cuestionamiento legal y ético de los procedimientos usados. De nuevo afirmamos: el socialismo marxista es un camino equivocado, y por eso no se debe establecer en Venezuela.

8. Por todas estas razones proponemos nuevamente el diálogo como la vía indispensable para lograr la concertación y resolver los graves problemas de nuestro país. Ahora bien: un diálogo sincero y eficaz que prevea cambios y acuerdos en bien de todos, solo es posible con una esperanza trascendental que ponga en movimiento a la mayoría de los venezolanos - de todas las tendencias políticas- con los valores indispensables para la regeneración del país. Por otra parte, la Asamblea Nacional debería ser la primera instancia de diálogo y respeto de la pluralidad política de Venezuela.

9. Para lograr la concertación es preciso el respeto absoluto a los derechos humanos, y descartar la violencia excesiva en el control de legítimas manifestaciones del pueblo por parte de los funcionarios del Estado. También es necesario liberar a los presos políticos y no utilizar el sistema judicial para amedrentar e inhabilitar a adversarios políticos. La libertad de expresión y la existencia de medios de comunicación independientes deben ser respetadas.

10. El restablecimiento de relaciones diplomáticas entre Cuba y Estados Unidos luego de 53 años de enfrentamientos, propiciado por la mediación del Papa Francisco, revela que posiciones intransigentes y radicales, son estériles, y finalmente deben dar paso al encuentro y al diálogo.

11. El Gobierno Nacional y todas las autoridades deben asumir su responsabilidad en solucionar los problemas que vive el país, activando los correctivos necesarios para evitar el empeoramiento de la crisis.Los dirigentes de los órganos del Poder Público, más allá de los procedimientos con que fueron designados, deben ejercer sus cargos con imparcialidad y justicia, teniendo en cuenta que Dios y la Patria juzgarán y castigarán a quienes cometan cualquier injusticia y quebranten el juramento de actuar bien.

12. De igual manera los líderes de los diversos sectores políticos, empresariales, laborales y culturales, deben participar en la solución de dichos graves problemas. Los líderes de la oposición están en la obligación de presentar un proyecto común de país y trabajar por el bien de Venezuela, superando las tentaciones de personalismo. El estamento militar debe actuar con la imparcialidad postulada por la Constitución. Las fuerzas políticas y el pueblo venezolano en general deben rechazar todo tipo de violencia. Si actuamos todos con el arma de la no violencia, podremos reconstruir la convivencia social, el orden constitucional y la paz interna de la República.
13. Y cabe subrayar que cada uno de nosotros, como ciudadanos, tiene responsabilidades políticas que no puede delegar. En el ejercicio de esa responsabilidad debemos ejercer y defender activa y firmemente, siempre con medios pacíficos, nuestros derechos y los derechos de los demás, y exigir el respeto a las condiciones necesarias para una convivencia nacional justa, pacífica y provechosa para todos.

14. Una oportunidad estupenda para ejercer esa responsabilidad política en este año son las elecciones parala Asamblea Nacional. Los actores políticos deben postular a personas debidamente seleccionadas y capaces, de alta responsabilidad, cualidades morales y espíritu de servicio al pueblo. Llamamos a todos loselectores a participar, pues del voto de cada uno de nosotros dependerá la composición de la futura Asamblea, factor importantísimo en la solución de los problemas del país. El Consejo Nacional Electoral tiene la ineludible obligación moral de actuar con transparencia e imparcialidad, sin promover cambios que lesionen la justicia y la representación equitativa de la población. Le corresponde también la obligación de perfeccionar el sistema electoral de manera que no haya ventajismos de ningún grupo, y que no se utilicen los recursos del Estado para promover ninguna candidatura.


15. El sistema económico que está imponiendo el Gobierno Nacional es, a todas luces, ineficaz. Es necesario que, dejando a un lado concepciones ideológicas rígidas y fracasadas así como el afán de controlarlo todo, el Gobierno impulse reformas que eliminen trabas a la producción, detengan la inflación, y solucionen el desabastecimiento y la carestía de los artículos de primera necesidad. Entre otras cosas promoviendo la actividad privada en la economía, consagrada en la Constitución.

16. Venezuela necesita un nuevo espíritu emprendedor con audacia y creatividad. Es urgente estimular la laboriosidad y la producción dando seguridad jurídica y fomentando empresas eficientes, tanto públicas como privadas. Pero también es necesario observar una conducta ética, recta y honesta. Recordemos que la corrupción, cobrar indebidamente por cualquier trámite, la especulación en los precios, querer ganar dinero sin trabajar, el fraude, son graves males y pecados que deben ser desterrados de la vida nacional y de la conducta de todos los ciudadanos, en particular de los funcionarios del Estado.

17. Los cuerpos de seguridad deben urgentemente actuar con mayor empeño y efectividad en el marco dela Constitución y las leyes para garantizar la seguridad personal y patrimonial de los venezolanos, combatir eficazmente la inseguridad, y someter a la delincuencia, que tanto dolor causa en todos los sectores sociales. En el mundo obrero hay que respetar y defender los derechos legítimos de los trabajadores a la organización sindical. En el campo de la salud el Gobierno Nacional debe afrontar las graves deficiencias actuales, mejorar la red de los servicios públicos hospitalarios y asistenciales, y solucionar pronto y definitivamente el desabastecimiento de medicinas y equipos médicos.

18. Para lograr una profunda renovación social es preciso que todos fomentemos y apoyemos con fuerza la unión familiar, pues la familia es el núcleo fundamental de la sociedad. Deploramos la emigración de miles de venezolanos, que desintegra las familias y constituye un empobrecimiento de nuestro talento humano.Hay que promover también, a todo nivel, un nuevo clima nacional de convivencia, de fraternidad, de entendimiento, ajeno al enfrentamiento, a la exclusión y a la polarización. Esto es muy necesario especialmente en las comunidades de los recientes desarrollos residenciales de la Gran Misión Vivienda Venezuela, para ayudarlas a convivir como buenos vecinos y hermanos en una situación nueva para ellos.

19. La grave crisis que confrontamos en Venezuela revela una situación aún más profunda: una crisis moral, de valores, actitudes, motivaciones y conductas, que es preciso corregir. Tenemos que superar actitudes como el afán de riqueza fácil y la corrupción, la soberbia política, la prepotencia y el ansia del poder, el egoísmo, la pereza, el odio y la violencia. Y hemos de rescatar los principios de legalidad, legitimidad y moralidad que sustentan el entramado de la convivencia social. Estamos convencidos de que es posible una Patria en la que impere la democracia, con instituciones eficaces y saludables, donde cada persona y la sociedad entera puedan desarrollar sus iniciativas, superarse y comprometerse con la promoción del bien común. Es necesaria la práctica de las virtudes personales y cívicas, de lo cual fue preclaro ejemplo el Venerable Dr. José Gregorio Hernández

20. Por eso, como pastores de la Iglesia en Venezuela, hacemos un insistente llamado a la conversión moral, y al cumplimiento de los Mandamientos de la Ley de Dios. Es necesario que escuchemos y cumplamos la palabra de Dios, camino hacia la felicidad personal y social (Lc 11, 28), que nos invita a reavivar lo mejor de nosotros mismos: el amor al prójimo para construir juntos una Venezuela renovada donde florezcan la vida digna y los derechos de todos.

21. Esta crisis nacional no será resuelta en su totalidad sin una renovación moral y espiritual que lleve a líneas concretas de acción. No podemos creer en Dios y actuar de cualquier manera. Rechacemos la injusticia, la corrupción y la violencia como males morales que hunden al país, y vivamos de acuerdo al proyecto del Reino de Dios predicado por Nuestro Señor Jesucristo. Como nos recuerda el Papa Francisco: “se trata de amar a Dios que reina en el mundo. En la medida en que Él logre reinar entre nosotros, la vida social será ámbito de fraternidad, de justicia, de paz, de dignidad para todos” (Evangelii Gaudium 180).

22. Queridos hermanos y hermanas: este dramático análisis que hacemos con dolor, nace de nuestra cercanía al pueblo que sufre, y de la misión pastoral que nos impulsa a ser promotores de la dignidad humana y de la paz. Nos sentimos solidarios con quienes se sienten particularmente inquietos, afligidos y angustiados por la actual situación. Manifestamos nuestra determinación y compromiso de renovación personal y comunitaria en la línea de las exigencias del Evangelio proclamadas por el Papa Francisco, y de continuar trabajando para llevar firme esperanza y el consuelo de Dios a los más necesitados, en la línea de la opción por los pobres.

23. En medio de esta crisis, proclamamos: Cristo crucificado y resucitado es nuestra esperanza. El venció la adversidad y el mal. El nos da su Espíritu Santo para renovar el mundo. La esperanza no es pasividad ni conformismo. A pesar de las dificultades que se vislumbran para el presente año, los cristianos sabemos que estamos en manos de Dios. En Jesús, “Dios con nosotros” (Mt 1, 23), ponemos nuestra confianza. Sin derrotismo, actuemos con entusiasmo para superar la crisis que enfrentamos.

24. Con estos sentimientos y con gran afecto, imploramos sobre todos los habitantes de nuestra querida Patria las bendiciones de Dios y la maternal protección de María Santísima, la Virgen de Coromoto, patrona de Venezuela. Amén.

A Caridade Satânica.

Baseado na obra de C.S.Lewis, Screwtape Letters, Philip Koloski conta as artimanhas do Demônio no mundo, uma delas é a caridade incentivada pelo próprio demônio.

Vejamos parte do que disse Kosloski sobre esta caridade. Leiam toda a série de artimanhas clicando no link.

The Enemy’s Tactic #6: How Satan Encourages us to be Charitable to People we Do Not Know

What he does is very cunning and on the surface appears to be something good.
Screwtape frames the situation like this:
Do what you will, there is going to be some benevolence, as well as some malice, in your patient’s soul. The great thing is to direct the malice to his immediate neighbours whom he meets every day and to thrust his benevolence out to the remote circumference, to people he does not know. The malice thus becomes wholly real and the benevolence largely imaginary. There is no good at all in inflaming his hatred of Germans [during WWII] if, at the same time, a pernicious habit of charity is growing up between him and his mother, his employer, and the man he meets in the train (28, emphasis added).
What Screwtape is describing is a very familiar scenario.
The Negatives of the Annual Mission Appeal
Every year (typically one or two Sundays a year) we hear from a missionary priest about a faraway land, (usually in South America, Africa or India) who describes the terrible plight of their people.The situation is very destitute and the need is truly there. It is a beautiful action to support them and we should do everything we can to use our wealth to their advantage.At the same time, too often we will give a generous donation from the excess of our wealth to these people in need, but still hold a grudge against our neighbor who never shovels their sidewalks. We have great compassion for the people in Africa who live without clean water, but fail to support the work of the local soup kitchen.
It even gets worse when we give thousands of dollars to a distant orphanage, but do not give anything to a relative who is trying to adopt a child. While the annual missionary appeal is a great thing and should be supported (personally I support the work of Unbound, as a person can support a specific individual and correspond with them over the years; you end up knowing who exactly receives your money and how it impacts them), we hardly ever hear about the plight of our neighbors who are suffering or about all the men and women in our local community who are unemployed and do not have enough money to feed their family. Our charity appears “imaginary” as Screwtape calls it; there is no substance to it. To use modern terminology, it is“charity in the Cloud.”
The Antidote: The Corporal Works of Mercy
The Church provides for us an antidote to our charity that lacks reality. It is called the “Corporal Works of Mercy.” These virtuous actions have substance and help us to lead a charitable and virtuous life. It helps us to see Jesus not just in the pictures we see on the slideshow at church, but also in the real people we see every day. Here are the Seven Corporal Works of Mercy:
  1. To feed the hungry.
  2. To give drink to the thirsty.
  3. To clothe the naked.
  4. To harbour the harbourless. (To shelter the homeless)
  5. To visit the sick.
  6. To visit the imprisoned (To ransom the captive)
  7. To bury the dead.
These are probably some of the most humbling activities a person can do. Very few of us take time to actually feed someone at a soup kitchen or visit a nursing home. Yet these are the people who need our attention. Some of the most profound moments of my life came when I actually helped someone by feeding them, visiting with them or simply helping them. They are literally our neighbors. These acts of Mercy define those who are part of the sheep who go to Heaven:
Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:34-40 RSV-CE)