Lusitanian Mélange

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Portugal, a country with circa de 5 million emigrants, is suddenly adverse to emigration. Ok, not Portugal per se but the Portuguese Left Wing...
Presently, the Lusitanian territory has tens of thousands of unemployed teachers (I’d provide the exact number, however the site of the Teachers’ Union doesn’t offer a specific figure). Every year, countries like Switzerland, Brazil, Timor and Mozambique (to name a few) ask Portugal for teachers, but most of the teachers simply refuse to emigrate.
Passos Coelho, the Lusitanian Premier, last month explained that there will be an increase in unemployment in the Education sector (since more schools are being closed, as a result of the decrease in birth rates) and, as such he suggested that unemployed teachers should seek a job abroad, with emphasis in Portuguese-Speaking countries. Hysterically, the Left Wing reacted accusing Passos Coelho of not offering hope to the Portuguese teachers – again, does hope pay bills? No, but working abroad might. Plus, the Left is failing to see the strategy behind this suggestion.

I recently read an article that calculated a 10.8% unemployment rate for 2011; however the INE (National Statistics Institute, in Portugal) calculated the 2011 unemployment rate at 12,4%, because it used a new methodology in its calculation (e.g.: the change in the questionnaire). The new methodology suggests two things: 1- the numbers calculated under the old methodology, that set the markets & governments on fire, didn’t represent reality but sheer manipulation; 2- the figures reached by the new methodology, that make us all squirm in our sits, do not represent reality but manipulation, once again...

Last week, I saw the Left Wing standing up for the people for the first time ever.
Context: Portugal doesn’t have analogue TV any longer. As of the 1st of January, DTV (digital television) was introduced; meaning that if a household doesn’t have cable TV, it must acquire a DTV decoder if it wants to continue watching television. The DTV campaign, in Portugal, says “If you don’t have DTV, in January; you won’t see TV at all!” So far, the Operation DTV is a complete disaster since people who have already adhered to it are having a hard time watching the telly.
The Left asked the government (and it was fair enough to recall the Socialist Party its role in this mess, when it governed the country) about the cost involved in acquiring DTV (flat TVs, connection compatibility and such). Now, if a household earns less than €500 (+/- $635) the DTV kit will be subsidised, costing only €40 (+/- $50) – still a lot of money; households earning more than €500 will have to pay €77 (+/- $97) – if they have 2 kids, €77 is a huge amount of money. So, I congratulate the Left for a positive opposition work.

Finally, I’d like to suggest Portugal to open itself more to the world. It is an embarrassment not to have the option to read Portuguese sites (or even literature) in other languages – what is Portugal concealing, or what is it afraid of? Governmental web-pages should be translated into other languages (mainly in English) for purposes of National Interest (cultural dissemination, investment, tourism etc). The world wants to know Portugal in its entirety (not Sintra and Algarve only).
For example, I wanted to share with my readers the links containing some of the data discussed here, but I couldn’t because they are written in Portuguese only...

Portugal: wake up and smell the damn coffee, we’re in the 21st century!

Comments

  1. India is better off. The NRI in the link given stands for Non Resident Indian, ie a bloke who has gone overseas to work.
    http://www.news.saanj.net/nri-money-india-tops-in-nri-remittances-in-world

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  2. The neighbor on one side is an Indian physics professors at the local college. The opposite side is a Chinese educator. We are sorely lacking in Portuguese educators.

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  3. Hello Rummy :D!

    "India is better off. The NRI in the link given stands for Non Resident Indian, ie a bloke who has gone overseas to work."

    Thanks for the link: indeed, NRI remittances are high $58Bn (good for India!).
    Portugal receives around $665Mn (2011 figures) in remittances, which have been increasing every year. Countries like Cape Verde have developed themselves mostly with the help of remittances; so the Portuguese Left is being narrow-minded (with a purpose, of course).

    Rummy, excellent input: thank you so much :D. You are teaching me a lot of stuff.

    Cheers

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  4. Hi Looney :D!

    "The neighbor on one side is an Indian physics professors at the local college. The opposite side is a Chinese educator. We are sorely lacking in Portuguese educators."

    lol that's what our PM is saying. It would be nice to see more Portuguese educators around the world...but some are being narrow-minded *nodding*.
    Our Economy Minister is an emigrant (he lived in Canada until last year when he was "drafted" to serve in the government); our PM's family were emigrants in Angola; our Justice Minister's family were emigrants as well.. even my family were emigrants around the world...so I don't graps quite well the aversion to emigration now (I am sure the Left is playing a stupid angle).

    Looney, thanks for your comment :D.

    Cheers

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  5. "tenths of thousands of unemployed teachers"

    A tenth of a thousand is a hundred. So this means "hundreds of unemployed teachers." Did you mean "tens" instead of "tenths?"

    The States converted to digital TV a while back. It didn't seem to be a big deal. Then again, I didn't watch TV back then.

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  6. Max, I am not even sure if tens of thousands of teachers are really unemployed cause many of the so-called teachers are not even professional teachers; they choose teaching as a way out. But of course, FENPROF must play with this reality for its own political motives. I looked at FENPROF's site and frankly it sucks: not only it doesn't provide the needed information but it also speaks of things unrelated with teaching.

    Emigration: I don't get the fuss cause Portugal has been a country of emigrants since the XV century. This being said, Passos Coelho did well to suggest what he suggested. Hope, who cares about hope? José Sócrates gave Portugal a lot of hope and look where it took us.
    Statistics: manipulative, always.
    DTV: I have cable so I feel for those who don't cause the 4 channels available on DTV are boring.
    Translations: Portugal is under the illusion that the whole world speaks Portuguese. They should use the emigrants to do their translations for them, cause maybe the ones in the "Metrópole" are incompetent.

    One last criticism: Portugal does a poor job marketing itself and an even poorer one in diseminating our culture - shameful!

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  7. Hi Vid :D!

    «A tenth of a thousand is a hundred. So this means "hundreds of unemployed teachers." Did you mean "tens" instead of "tenths?"»

    Yes, indeed it does mean that. I did mean "tens of thousands" and I thank you for pointing that out - the article has been corrected *bowing*.

    "The States converted to digital TV a while back. It didn't seem to be a big deal. Then again, I didn't watch TV back then."

    It's for you to see the cultural differences. In Portugal, everything is a big thing (even if/when it is not).

    Vid, thank you so much for helping me with that mistake and for your comment :D.

    Cheers

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  8. Hi Ana :D!

    "Max, I am not even sure if tens of thousands of teachers are really unemployed cause many of the so-called teachers are not even professional teachers; they choose teaching as a way out."

    What puzzled me is that not even Passos Coelho could tell the exact number, he only said "thousands" which made me wonder, know what I mean?

    "But of course, FENPROF must play with this reality for its own political motives. I looked at FENPROF's site and frankly it sucks: not only it doesn't provide the needed information but it also speaks of things unrelated with teaching."

    Indeed. LOL it doesn't suck, it provides useful information however the site is ill-organised, yes.

    "Emigration: I don't get the fuss cause Portugal has been a country of emigrants since the XV century. This being said, Passos Coelho did well to suggest what he suggested. Hope, who cares about hope? José Sócrates gave Portugal a lot of hope and look where it took us."

    Right? He did. lol lol José Sócrates was the champion of Hope, I am telling you *nodding*. Did you hear that NOW he is studying Political Sciences?

    "DTV: I have cable so I feel for those who don't cause the 4 channels available on DTV are boring."

    lol now that is dismissive, come on, Ana...

    "Translations: Portugal is under the illusion that the whole world speaks Portuguese. They should use the emigrants to do their translations for them, cause maybe the ones in the "Metrópole" are incompetent."

    True. Although there are some Lusitanian companies and institutions that have very good sites in several languages, most governmental sites do not and it is a shame.
    I hear you on using emigrants to serve the nation.

    "One last criticism: Portugal does a poor job marketing itself and an even poorer one in diseminating our culture - shameful!"

    Again, I have to agree, but it is improving. At least they managed to protect our Porto Wine, right?

    Ana, thank you for your comment (controversial and all, which I adore) :D.

    Cheers

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  9. Olá Max,

    Emigration has positive results in terms of cultural dissemination (one example is the Italian Diaspora that has taught us all how to eat pastas and pizzas; another good example is the Irish Diaspora that has spread the Irish cultural in a beautiful way). Having said this, I don't understand what the problem is.

    The Portuguese state should've distributed the DTV kits throughout the country and then bill each household according to their income (either through PT Communications billing or through EDP billing; since not all Portuguese have contracted the services of Portugal Telecom).

    I do think that our country needs to do a better job in marketing itself. By the way, I wish you would write about the origins of Alheira: Portugal now rejects the Jewish origin of the dish (when we learn, in school, that the Jewish community came up with it upon the persecutions).

    This year promises to be good in here ahahaha. Tchau

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  10. Max,

    "What puzzled me is that not even Passos Coelho could tell the exact number, he only said "thousands" which made me wonder, know what I mean?"

    Yeah, it suggests the numbers are being inflated.

    "Did you hear that NOW he is studying Political Sciences?"

    Rita Ferro (the writer) was shocked. She said he should've studied political sciences before governing Portugal and not after he ruined it. And then, from Paris, dressed in black he spits stupid things like "Portugal shouldn't pay its debt. Doing so is childish! At least this is what I learned..." oy oy oy!

    "lol now that is dismissive, come on, Ana..."

    You think?

    "True. Although there are some Lusitanian companies and institutions that have very good sites in several languages, most governmental sites do not and it is a shame."

    I only know one: Delta coffees. All the rest, "sinceramente"...

    "At least they managed to protect our Porto Wine, right?"

    Yeah, after the Spanish and the Chinese started producing it (well, not "it" but a fake version of it).

    Max, yevarekh'kha Hashem!

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  11. Hi Max,

    Portugal is finally getting DTV? The U.S. had a similar thing, offering devices to everyone before the major switch to digital.

    Personally I don't think TV is that important (especially with the plethora of bad reality shows), but I understand that's how some people know what's going on in the world. (minus the slanted agenda of course)

    Don't worry about the links being in Portuguese, there's always Google translator. ;D

    Did you get digitized yet?

    Digital Cheers!

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  12. Hmmm...just wonder in amazement Max that how the operations around the globe function almost alike...its a strange kind of paradox as if manipulation of numbers in Government data, hobnobbing with private enterprises and introducing socially un-feasible schemes, which only allow a few to pocket the money, trying to screen websites in this vast web'o'sphere to suit its self interests...these are just recipes which are so common across the globe and the interesting part is the very opposition parties who shout against today's government policies does the same thing when they come to power. I can only say the dynamics are so similar, we are just moving in tandem so we need a collective awakening of the masses who love to sit back and watch while the drama plays on and on.

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  13. Olá Celeste :D!

    "Emigration has positive results in terms of cultural dissemination (one example is the Italian Diaspora that has taught us all how to eat pastas and pizzas; another good example is the Irish Diaspora that has spread the Irish cultural in a beautiful way). Having said this, I don't understand what the problem is."

    Excellent example, indeed! You know how the Left is: extremely demagogic and always willing to stir the electorate's emotions (I wish they'd want to stir their intellect instead, but I guess emotions are easier to manipulate).

    "The Portuguese state should've distributed the DTV kits throughout the country and then bill each household according to their income (either through PT Communications billing or through EDP billing; since not all Portuguese have contracted the services of Portugal Telecom)."

    That is one great suggestion! And I am sure someone else thought about it, but when certain groups' interests (instead of the people's) get in the middle...

    "By the way, I wish you would write about the origins of Alheira: Portugal now rejects the Jewish origin of the dish (when we learn, in school, that the Jewish community came up with it upon the persecutions)."

    Did you watch that ghastly program on RTP1 as well? It nearly made my blood boil *nodding*. Did you realise that their words were exactly the ones in Wikipedia? How low can the Portuguese go to express their subtle anti-Semitism?
    Anyway, I will think about it and I may write something along these lines: thanks for the suggestion, darling!

    "This year promises to be good in here ahahaha. Tchau"

    LOL you reckon? lol...

    Celeste, thank you so much for you blasting comment (loved it) :D.

    Cheers

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  14. Ana,

    "Yeah, it suggests the numbers are being inflated."

    LOL You said it, not me...

    "Rita Ferro (the writer) was shocked. She said he should've studied political sciences before governing Portugal and not after he ruined it. And then, from Paris, dressed in black he spits stupid things like "Portugal shouldn't pay its debt. Doing so is childish! At least this is what I learned..." oy oy oy!"

    LOL I adore Rita Ferro: she is so outspoken (which is rare in a Portuguese public figure). We can even look at it from another perspective - Sócrates studying Political sciences is an admission to his political failure.
    Oh yes, that statement was the silliest I have ever heard - I even commented that video on youtube, suggesting his need to study a bit further.

    "I only know one: Delta coffees. All the rest, "sinceramente"..."

    Come now, you have the site of Câmara de Sintra which is nice: http://www.cm-sintra.pt/default.aspx

    "Yeah, after the Spanish and the Chinese started producing it (well, not "it" but a fake version of it)."

    That is true, unfortunately. Portugal does need to learn the expression "political preemptive actions"...

    "Max, yevarekh'kha Hashem!"

    Thank you, dear. God Bless you as well!

    Cheers

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  15. Hi Lady A :D!

    "Portugal is finally getting DTV? The U.S. had a similar thing, offering devices to everyone before the major switch to digital."

    Yes, it is. The US was smart...

    "Personally I don't think TV is that important (especially with the plethora of bad reality shows), but I understand that's how some people know what's going on in the world. (minus the slanted agenda of course)"

    I can't get the reality shows either (they are like a bad chiclet: sugarless, flavourless and hard to chew). I hear you.

    "Don't worry about the links being in Portuguese, there's always Google translator. ;D"

    LOL I hear you. But the problem with Google translator is: it doesn't convey the right spirit of the texts.

    "Did you get digitized yet?"

    Oh, I am like Ana: I have cable.

    Lady A, thank you ever so much your awesome comment (loved it) :D.

    Digital Cheers

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  16. Hi Kalyan :D!

    "Hmmm...just wonder in amazement Max that how the operations around the globe function almost alike...its a strange kind of paradox as if manipulation of numbers in Government data, hobnobbing with private enterprises and introducing socially un-feasible schemes, which only allow a few to pocket the money, trying to screen websites in this vast web'o'sphere to suit its self interests"

    You know it! I fell into the web of amazement, myself when I read about the "new methodologies" in the Stats World.

    "(..) these are just recipes which are so common across the globe and the interesting part is the very opposition parties who shout against today's government policies does the same thing when they come to power."

    They perpetuate the manipulation. Power is sweet, mate.

    "I can only say the dynamics are so similar, we are just moving in tandem so we need a collective awakening of the masses who love to sit back and watch while the drama plays on and on."

    Very well said *applauding*!

    Kalyan, you have accustomed us to superb comments: thank you a million times, my friend :D.

    Cheers

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