Thursday Night News

It started as a secret protest, a spoon full of sugar to help the medicine go down. The indiscipline of kicking back and having a drink during the week made it easier to swallow the week’s collection of poisonous news and information for which there was no time when trying to live a life of discipline.  Personally, I would much prefer a life dedicated to reading fiction rather than non-fiction, yet I find it irresponsible not only to run from the information at hand in such a complicating world, but also to hide and not share a take on it. To make it easier, I casually curate until (not every) Thursday, when my mind and body are already tired of the week’s rigor of being a good boy.
Because I’m not good; I’m bad.

So in winter it is a glass of wine; spring and autumn, beer; and vodka for the heat of a tropical summer to swallow the ails of this world, weeding out a garden of journalists pining for attention in an effort to grasp where we are going and where we’ve been. Considering there is no longer even a consensus about the past, divination of the future is none the easier, but it is certainly, shall we say, more ‘palatable’ with some poison.
The investigation has not always been toxic, actually. I’ve come across some nutritious reads, whether em português, other times en español, or in the English language that dominates world news.  I sometimes decipher just enough French or Hindi to get another perspective.
It has been the way I get around the incessant and annoying media all week, separating articles of interest for just one night, passing on what I learned – or didn’t learn – because having an opinion is much harder work than most imagine.

March 25, 2021

Tem que QUERER socorrer o povo do vírus. Tem que QUERER frear o desmatamento da Amazônia. Pode fingir muita coisa nessa vida, mas o desejo não. O mentiroso se delata não pelas palavras, mas pelas ações – ou a falta delas!

Para o preguiçoso que não quer entender nada, era só não mexer e apoiar aquilo que sempre dava certo. Era só copiar o exemplo. Não! O caminho mais curto é pela vaidade e preconceito, aquilo que nem sei se tem fundamento ou não, nem quero saber! Tá…..

Preparándome para vivir la crisis perpetua:

Wow! This girl has talent:

March 18, 2021

Is China a “threat”? What does threat mean? A threat to whom? A scholar reframes China v. USA in a surprising slap. It was an eye-opening explanation I think everyone should watch, because it splashes far beyond the Pacific divide. It involves Latin America, the Middle East, coronavirus, economic development, and the integrity of any country that looks after its interests. Amazing!

Chomsky siendo Chomsky para explicar el estado del mundo:

You thought you were free and had so many rights as an American? Think again:

I can never express enough how important it is to listen to her and to aspire to something greater than we have now:

Bolsonaro is a threat to the world for much more than coronavirus! His denialism extends in many directions, not the least of which is in the Amazon, but he is doing a fine job of destruction in all arenas:

Call Mitch McConnell’s bluff and leave him sucking his thumb:

March 4, 2021

Let me get this straight: the king of Saudi Arabia is responsible for slaughtering an American journalist (among many other crimes), yet it is Putin who gets a slap on the wrist for poisoning a dissident, and Iran that gets bombed in Iraq? Yet everyone is ruffled about the Dr. Suess and Governor Cuomo?

Did I miss something?

I looked for answers to the disappointments from the new administration, but I couldn’t find much buried under all the latest cancel culture urgencies. If anyone has a take to get me around the new foreign policy chessboard, it will be greatly appreciated.

That said, I did read other things this week…

The lucidity of Yuval Noah Harari is always a pleasure, especially when it brings surprising optimism when assessing humanity after one year of the pandemic:

Uma opinião que nem Bolsominion nem petista vai gostar:

“But many Brazilians have little faith in a government led by a president who has sabotaged lockdowns, repeatedly downplayed the threat of the virus and promoted untested remedies long after scientists said they clearly did not work.”

A população brasileira se tornou —e grande parte se submeteu— a ser cobaia de um experimento de perversão inédito na história:

Of course, this news isn’t really news and it shouldn’t hurt a bit if one actually values the truth:

“Be it Hindus and Christians in Pakistan, Muslims, Dalits and other minorities in India… Palestinians, Rohingya refugees. It is not religion, it is the exploitation of power, it is just elites vs the poor and minorities.”

I can’t believe how close yet so far México:

Conclusiones nada sorprendentes pero interesantes:

It is hard with pigeons, but I certainly agree about birds. Beautiful interview!

February 25, 2021

I think I would do anything to get out of a republic and into a democracy! Anything! It would require radical thinking and Hélène Landemore has got this:

No meu mundinho maluco, vejo uma ligação direta entre os fiascos do Texas e da Petrobras na semana passada. A raiz está em uma guerra entre visões partidárias sobre se deveria haver mais ou menos estado nas vidas dos cidadãos — sem uma discussão honesta sobre o valor do investimento do estado na economia e nas vidas dos cidadãos. Dito isso, tirar o financiamento público da BBC seria um crime. Por mais difícil que seja calcular o valor público de tal investimento estatal, não pode haver dúvida de que ele move a economia, da mesma forma que o investimento estatal na criação, digamos, do GPS ou da internet promoveu a tecnologia que revolucionou a economia. Mais uma vez conosco para explicar, Mariana Mazzucato:

In my little crazy world, I see a direct link between the fiascos of Texas and Petrobras this past week. The root lies in a war between partisan visions of whether there should be more or less state in the lives of citizens — without an honest discussion about the value of state investment in the economy and the lives of citizens. That said, defunding the BBC would be criminal. For however difficult it is to calculate the public value of such state investment, there can be no question that it moves the economy, in much the same way that state’s investment in creating, say, the GPS or the internet have promoted the kind of technology that revolutionizes the economy. Once again with us to explain, Mariana Mazzucato:

Considering the Great Midwestern topsoil is waving good-bye, I am so glad that Mexico has had the good sense to protect its native species in its native soil:

I find the Texas energy fiasco fascinating. “It is not just our energy infrastructure that is unprepared for climate change. It is our political infrastructure. It is our social infrastructure. It is our psyches”, write Ezra Klein:

Now that was S-E-N-S-A-C-I-O-N-A-L!

February 18, 2021

O que mais me revolta é que a lista inclui muitos proponentes do “estado mínimo”, aqueles que muito apoiam o corte de “privilégios” de funcionários públicos e do povo, mas não os “privilégios” que lhes permitiram acumular tais fortunas:

Não importa o quanto busquemos justiça, acho que o melhor que fazemos como humanos é nos vingar. Como simples mortal, confesso que fiquei alegre com a prisão de Daniel Silveira por motivos óbvios; no entanto, isso não quer dizer que eu não veja como a Suprema Corte pode ser tão mortal quanto eu:

Eu apenas deixaria claro que as armas e o desmatamento não são apenas fetiches do Bolsonaro, tenho certeza que lobbies, até estrangeiros, pagam bem por sessão de sadomasoquismo:

Sempre disse que a melhor forma de combater o tal de fake news é lendo ficção – “ficção de verdade” – porque só a arte conduz à autorreflexão que é a maturidade.

O livro dele deve ser muito bom, viu?

Does size matter when it comes to State? After 40 years of neoliberalism that has even deregulated democracy, globalized markets but not labor, and that failed the tests of natural/climate disasters and COVID, I can’t believe this is still a question. This eternal struggle between ‘big state v. small state’ was already a political imbroglio without those who do not understand the difference between government and state—throw in fake news from Fox on, say, the power outage in Texas, and it is an issue that drives me to drink!

The big, fat lie of Fox:

Please hear Mariana out:

Progressives have to put money where their mouth is:

The history of NYC’s Penn Station is Homeric tale that is a portrait of how Progressives often undermine themselves:

On the Endless Borders of the American Empire:

Speaking of borders:

February 4, 2021

Do you know what FASCISM means? I thought I did, but actually I didn’t. Now I do– after listening to this phenomenal interview that just opened my eyes about what Trumpism really means and how in fact it happened. I cannot recommend it enough:

The power of storytelling to clarify the gravity of the Capitol riot:

Her predictions are always right because she has a brilliant mind! This academic has incredible insight as to how a sociologist was able to see the pandemic evolving by the analysis of “systems”, which includes media:–yVYiIVBCag

Do you think money is just money? In other words, it doesn’t matter if it is made from capital or the value of your labour? If so, you had better think again. I think Branko Milanovich is one of the most brilliant minds in economics today:

Foram duas opiniões esta semana me lembraram como é importante prestar atenção não nas palavras daqueles de quem você espera uma atitude, mas em suas ações, como eles agem– ou não:

January 28, 2021

Sitting on the other side of the world or not, it might seem like a battle that is not related to you, but that’s very wrong. The deregulation of the Indian agricultural industry– one of the world’s largest and which represents the livelihoods of over half a billion people– will most certainly affect you, because it will affect the planet. Since we’ve already seen the mess that “Chicago-school”, free-market capitalism has done to the world by deregulating everything (including democracy itself!), concentrating money and power in the hands of a few and leaving everyone else to fend for themselves, I encourage you to understand why the great protest continues:

Watching that infamous group of white men ransacking the US Capitol seemed like the culmination of many things I am still processing, but it immediately remitted this brilliant essay on the psychological predicament of men:

¿Cómo hacen estos reporteros de Sinaloa para escribir sobre tráfico de drogas, señalar la corrupción de las autoridades y seguir sonriendo? (Uno de los mejores relatos que he leído! El arte de escribir, puro!):

January 21, 2021

For many of you, the nightmare of the last four years might have ended yesterday, but unfortunately it will (potentially) continue for me for another two. That is because two years after Trump’s election I witnessed the nightmare repeat itself here in Brazil with the election of the “Trump of the Tropics”, Jair Bolsonaro.  I say ‘potentially’ because Bolsonaro is doing a much better job of getting himself impeached than Trump; however, Brazilian institutions are much weaker than the American ones that seemed to have (barely) weathered all the bullying.

That said, the vision of Jeffrey Sachs on how important the fall of Trump is for the world is not to be underestimated, neither is his novel pinpointing of “ethnic chauvinism”:

Not just the Trump era, but all such regimes were always going to end in violence, which is why I humbly say I was hardly clairvoyant in predicting the Trump era would end with a violent clash. Historian Rick Perlstein explains much better than I ever could, putting into context how violent we have always been:

It has been said that it is this account of the Insurrection that will go down in history. It is truly an incredible piece of narration (audio available):

The story of how one man went from attending President Barack Obama’s inauguration to dying in the mob protesting Donald Trump’s election loss during the Capitol insurrection is a portrait of what happened to America:

This passage in history is hurting so much because we are aspiring to something much greater in embracing plurality, multiculturalism—everything that is difficult—which explains the ‘revolt against the future’, according to Anand Giridharadas:

In my estimation, Biden’s government has two years to deliver the love, or much worse than Trump can happen. It is a tall order and it requires a New Deal. Biden’s first one hundred days will be telling:

Lúcido foi o “Vacinação de compadrio: Imunização à brasileira será marcada pela desigualdade e pelos antigos vícios da nossa vida política” por Monica Baumgarten de Bolle:

December 31, 2020

The best podcast I listened to this year was actually from last, but Ezra Klein reposted his interview with Alison Gopnik, declaring it might be his own, all-time favorite, because it changed the way he thought about love. Why? It’s because the philosopher and child development specialist’s parable for how there are two kinds of parents trying to construct the future of their children— “carpenters” and “gardeners”— served in a much broader discussion on current economic, cultural, linguistic, interpersonal and political challenges, as well as an inquiry into our very existence. It is 90 minutes and I listened twice, taking notes, as if studying once again. Wow, what a woman! You won’t regret the time investment!

I get Glenn Greenwald’s contempt for the media and the Democratic Party, but I not only disagree with the famous journalist I admire, I see where this master of calling out hypocrisy fails to see his own bias. Let’s assume he’s right: the media colluded to elect Biden and stifle the investigation of Biden & Son: under the circumstances, wouldn’t you? I mean, why insist on holding Biden to a higher bar of ethics than Trump right before the election? Does he really think there is more indications of corruption from Biden than from Trump? Really? Forget the so-called “Russiagate”, even without it there is a plethora Trump has to answer for. I read Greenwald’s “censored” story: I found it a poorly written ramble about himself. I thought at the end he would at least reveal the facts about the Biden investigation—the least I would expect from the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist. There were none. There was just a list of (legitimate) questions to be answered. I also didn’t see a story, and that is probably (one of) the reasons why the editor of the Intercept threw it out. Why NPR threw it out. Why everyone threw it out. And now an outlet of his choice for a TV interview—anchorpersons cooing and coddling him in agreement—calls NPR “disgusting”: Is that ethical media behavior? He has always said journalists should be adversarial. Is there more evidence of media collusion than evidence of Trump’s corruption, Glenn? Or does media simply rejecting you suffice for evidence? His hatred of Biden and the Democrats is palpable. After everything they did to Snowden and to perpetuate the Forever War, his perspective is comprehensible. I get it. I just wonder if he gets that for however important Snowden and US press independence might be, these times are so unbelievably trying that those priorities might not be mine or yours. Everyone has their “favorite fights”, which might require Sophie’s choices. He calls out ‘wokeism’ but can’t seem to see his own. Regardless, his wrap up of year’s media recklessness is important:

Has Modi and his government completely lost their minds? Rebuild the capital—the seat of government of India—why?? Is Delhi not polluted enough? Is it not chaotic enough? Who will get the contracts? And how? And why should the people of India pay for it? Is there an excess of money, of resources? Is there not any priority more important? Everything is ok: people have health, education, security? Do Indians have clean water and sanitation? Weren’t toilets for everyone promised? Has the holy Gangā been cleaned, its water pure once again? Does everyone have access to electricity? Rebuild the capital? Really??? How is the air quality in Delhi these days?

Do you know anything about Sudan? South Sudan? Neither did I. And that is why I always take the time to read stories from the places I know nothing about. It never ceases to amaze me how much you learn about your own world when exploring others. Please take this trip to discover: “If the development strategy for South Sudan read something like a fading mission statement found in an abandoned space colony, whose occupants had all been killed in an alien attack, this was partly a reflection of how little we knew.”

I’m at a lack of words at the end of the year to describe how brilliant is this eye-opening essay from one of America’s finest, novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen. It is a state-of-the-union address from the incomparable eye of literature when answering the question about what writers will do in the post-Trump future.

O caso de Belo Monte é (e será ainda estudado como) um dos maiores crimes na história do Brasil. Se você não sabe porquê, nem mesmo como aquilo te afeta e se conecta ao TUDO—com suas muitas consequências ainda por vir—por favor leia uma das melhores jornalistas do planeta!

December 17, 2020

The title arrested me as I scrolled: “Afghanistan needs truth before it can have reconciliation”. I found it arresting because it applies to much more than just one broken world. It applies to worlds much closer to me, ones that are also torn, dilacerated, divided. It resonated because it is something I have been thinking about for some time: nothing can be fixed without a value for the truth. We’ve become a world where winning is more important than the truth, where being right is more important than the truth. Before the US can heal, before the world can heal, we’re going to have to go back and take a look at the ugly things that happened, the things we refuse to admit. Take a few moments to travel to another world to get on the outside in order to look in through the window:

Bolsonaro saiu do armário? Como assim? Em algum momento ele estava? Para mim, ele sempre foi uma das personagens mais sinceras. Até Trump tem esperteza suficiente para mentir, mas Bolsonaro? Não. Ele não te responde e te xinga, mas mentir, não. Nada dele me surpreende porque ele sempre foi autentico. Eu sempre acreditei nas palavras todas dele, desde antes da sua eleição. Quando falou que não entendia nada de economia, eu o acreditei. Quando falou que preferia o filho morto do que gay, eu o acreditei. Quando xingou a jovem repórter que apurou o duvidoso patrimônio dele antes da eleição, eu também o acreditei, e desde então, ele continua xingando e não respondendo nenhuma investigação. Nunca entendi como uma pessoa ‘anticorrupção’ podia acreditar nele, do mesmo jeito que não compreendia como economistas neoliberais podiam achar que Paulo Guedes ia conseguir “vender tudo” (como se fosse a única cura para o país!) A corrupção dele, a inépcia, a ignorância, tudo foi anunciado! Agora esta matéria mixuruca, insinuar a falsidade dele como ‘estatista no armário’? É demais! Estatista, neste momento, seria bom. Ele nunca tinha um plano para Brasil.  Nunca pretendia governar para todos os brasileiros. Ele mandou tudo avisado. No meu ver, não é para ninguém ficar decepcionado com ele.

¿Por qué los pueblos indígenas siempre están en el mero camino del “desarrollo”? Se puede encontrar la misma historia y polémica en los EEUU, Brasil, India, por todas partes. Que coincidencia, ¿no? ¿Crees tú en la coincidencia? Mejor pregunto si crees en el “desarrollo”, uno que nomás sucede con contractos millonarios en tierras de pueblos sin voz, sin poder:

December 10, 2020

At first, I agreed with Obama. He was talking strictly about language and not policy. When you use catch phrases like “defund the police”—or even “Black lives matter”— you lose people. He’s not wrong. But then there was the swift response from Progressives that is no less wrong: there is no difference between language and policy—using nice, soft, insipid language on the fallacious pretext that it’ll bring people to the Center (that doesn’t exist) will only help them to ignore you the way they always have. If life were just a choice between right and wrong, it would be easy. Choosing between two rights or two wrongs is prickly:

Another thing I still can’t get my head around is the all the vicious infighting among Progressives on another use of language: hyberole. Is it correct to say, is it strategic to say, is it unethical to say, Trump opened “concentration camps” and is attempting a “coup”? All of that is beside the point in this brilliant essay:

The nonagenarian lucidity of Chomsky: “Trump might set up what he claims is an authentic government in Mar-a-Lago, with Mitch McConnell’s Senate in his pocket and a furious popular base. The next step would be to make the country ungovernable, a specialty that McConnell has been perfecting for a decade and that an accomplished demagogue like Trump can manage reflexively. Everything that goes wrong can be blamed on the treacherous “elites”:

Eye-opening interview into the world of journalism from the award-wining British journalist who always turned in the opposite direction of power to get the story:

Meritocracy is a fallacy and it entrenches inequality, investigates the brilliant Anand Giridharadas when interviewing one of the greatest political philosophers of our time, Michael Sandel.  Don’t miss this interview!

Hasta los físicos y filósofos más adeptos, por favor, ponte un trago antes de leer este ensayo sobre la sincronicidad. Heavy! Prepárense para contemplar por que ‘nada es por acaso’.

I remember the Lake. So sad to hear how it is being transformed:

November 19, 2020

Do you know the story of the Frog and the Scorpion? It follows that a scorpion cannot swim and asks a frog to carry it on its back across a river. The frog hesitates, afraid of being stung by the scorpion, but the scorpion argues that if it did that, they would both drown. The frog sees the point and agrees to transport the scorpion. Midway across the river, the scorpion stings the frog anyway, dooming them both. The dying frog asks the scorpion why it stung despite knowing the consequence, to which the scorpion replies: “I couldn’t help it. It’s in my nature.” That is why it is so important to hold the outgoing administration accountable for its misconduct, in order not to raise any more scorpions:

With the election safely won and the necessary gloating waning, it is time for some surgical analysis, because the Right and the Left side of the Body Politic hadn’t actually so clear, and curiously, neither was the polarizing media that has been covering it. Now, both writers and readers seek more independent venues:

“Nunca desperdice uma boa crise”, escreve Mariana Mazzucato. Para mim, ela é a mais lúcida economista da sua geração:

If one country spends trillions on wars and another trillions on itself, who would you wager wins in the end?

November 12, 2020

Machiavelli was right: destroy your enemy; don’t wound them, or they will come back. That is why I say forget the post-election “unity” cliché. The American people aren’t coming together. By the time Obama realized this, his wounded enemies abounded, and it was too late. They regrouped under Trump…and here is where we are.

Annihilate the enemy by spending money on them, just like they have always spent countless cash on fighting all their imaginary enemies—both internal and external—for which, Lord knows, there has never been a lack of resources. The only shot at uniting the American people is by delivering the chance of equity through health, education, and jobs via a green infrastructure program. Four years is not a lot of time, but that is all there is, because Trump and/or Sons will be back shortly, meaner than ever, and no I will not be coerced into voting for an “experienced moderate” again because it is a “moral duty” or “the end of the world”. If the time will have been wasted practicing nothing more than being ‘nice’ while keeping the lucrative hypocrisy machine running, I’ll sit out the next election, thanks.  I mean it. I know: you don’t like “radicals”, but now it is your turn not to have a choice. You are warned:

That said, this is the path, laid out by one the world’s finest:

Quero que vocês saibam que os meus irmãos indianos me avisaram que o filho do presidente do Brasil é corrupto, tá? Só passando o recado, caso você o perdeu:

“No U.S. presidential election in living memory has been so closely watched in Brazil as this one. Through social media meltdowns and televised debates, countless Brazilians came away from the coverage bewildered … Brazilians were rapt by the electoral contest because its outcome is likely to have significant consequences for domestic politics in Latin America’s largest country”

The following article was published in Harper’s Magazine in 1964, but it has never been more poignant than it is today. It explains the history of the Radical Right, which I found surprisingly older and deeper than I had imagined:

Não li o livro, mas muitos já me disseram que nada publicado até agora dá uma visão igual de nítida daquilo que sempre foi tão opaca: Rio de Janeiro.

With this last journalist, there is a total of three that have been killed in the last two weeks, joining the dozens over the years, since the War on Drugs was declared in 2006, which has killed around 250,000 Mexicans. Stop and think about what that means, and then find the numbers from Iraq or Afghanistan: you will be floored, and wondering why Latin America is the last of US foreign policy concerns:

I confess that the Pandemic has not been that hard for me, but it has been difficult to see what is happening to friends and colleagues with small children. It is really not easy:

¡Que ganas de ver esta película!

October 29, 2020

As a pessimist prepared for everything, I won’t be shocked by an Election Night without a Concession Speech, but that won’t make the lack of one any less disturbing. So then what? This explanation was quite eye-opening, looking into a system that is even more arcane than I had ever imagined:

Yes, that’s true: Latin America is usually the least of US foreign policy concerns, yet ironically it is the one that most affects Americans. So a “reset” would be welcome, but I really do not want to see a return to the past along the lines of Obama/Biden. Besides, I cheer for a progressive movement in which the US would lead by example, purging its own “embezzlement, price-gouging and graft”, ending the inanity of the war on drugs, and pursuing the most equitable society possible at home.

“The abuses we’ve seen in US policing have deep, homegrown roots, but I am convinced that they are also partly a result of the militarization of law enforcement born of the Iraq War and America’s other overseas interventions” (This essay was astounding!)

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An incredible saga of a brave Iranian scientist who faced the very worst of America:

October 8, 2020

If nature is “free”, how to make a living tree more valuable than a dead one?

Sometimes, democracy must be defended in the streets. Are you ready?

Chomsky says it is not too late (yet):

Capitalism after the Pandemic requires a new social contract and “Collective Value Creation”, according to the brilliant Mariana Mazzucato:

Trees worth more dead than alive are the major reason why the Amazon is disappearing faster than ever, but there is another reason, and he has a name:

Whatever you do this week, don’t miss this one: “As actions common to all classes, eating, drinking, defecation, and fornication find their lowly record in graffiti-like form”

September 17, 2020

What happens if Trump loses but refuses to concede? The Financial Times studies the scenarios:

Do You Speak Fox? How Donald Trump’s favorite news source became a language:

Is America a myth?

El lítio em México: ¿qué futuro tiene en un país que apuesta tanto por el viejo petróleo?

Prefiero a mis pozoles vegetarianos, pero yo no juzgo a nadie:

September 3, 2020

“Fascism is cured by reading and racism is cured by travelling” — Unamuno

I’d say Unamuno got it the wrong way around: Fascism is cured by travelling and racism by reading. I think have to get around a bit to truly see how “the law is for you and not for me” in some places more than others, and how reading provokes the kind of inward look that locates the inevitable prejudices within every individual. That internal search doesn’t take intelligence; it takes wisdom. But I couldn’t agree with Unamuno more when saying that “above all things, intelligence is despised by fascists”, because it really does not take much to see the hypocrisy in clamoring for “law and order” while respecting nothing of the kind.

Take a moment for the Steve Inskeep’s short essay on how Trump cannot support the rule of law while ignoring it:

Você votou em Bolsonaro, mas nunca parou para entender a lista de laranjas, fantasmas e rachadinhas do clã? Tudo bem. Agência Publica compilou uma lista didática e completa:

Either way, I do not think the country will tolerate a President delivered by Supreme Court this time. I don’t want to even think about it:

Fascinating path of COVID research:

Ezra Klein with a very raw look as to why Trumps approval rates remain solid:

It is amazing how one single product can tell you so much about the world we live in:

August 20, 2020

This might have been the delightful hypocrisy of the week, if it weren’t for Bannon:

Bannon e Bolsonarismo 😉:

What if Trump won’t leave?

How COVID-19 signals the end of the American Era:

It is better to study a bit about anti-trust law before having an opinion about Big Tech:

Time is up for the planet that won’t wait for the likes of Trump and Bolsonaro:

I repeat: time is up for the planet and you are next…

No, many of us don’t like the term “Latinx”. For me, it is the cultural imposition of English on Spanish that is insupportable:

August 6, 2020

Você não gosta de ONGs por quê? Porque são de pessoas, assim, ‘diferentonas’, fazendo o bem só para causas, digamos, ‘especificas’? Bom, o meu problema com os ONGS é outro—até porque eu realmente acredito que é para julgar uma sociedade pela forma como trata os seus membros mais fracos. Minha dúvida é como apoiá-los. Tem que ser um ONG? Cadê o Estado? Por que o Estado falta tanto na saúde, educação e meio-ambiente do seu povo que precisa delegá-los a terceiros? E agora que não pode ser ONG, tem que ser igreja?  Por que o Estado precisa conceder contratos às igrejas, heim?

Pain is a sign that something is not aligned, we say in yoga, which is an analysis that reaches far beyond merely working through breath and body. When your thoughts, actions and words are not aligned it will cause a painful division in you, because nothing hurts more than our little hypocrisies, especially when treating others in ways we do not wish to be treated. And just like individuals, when nations don’t walk their talk, it causes an agonizing division in society like the one underway in the US. What’s the solution? Reconstruction! There are simply some times when we have to stop and try again, and again, until we get it right:

Chicago artist’s tackle of urban segregation is genius! (Miss you Chi-Town! 😉):

Os problemas da polícia dos EUA vai muito além das fronteiras:

I don’t not mean to tell you that I told you so, but actually I do—your hygiene theatrics are stagey and unconvincing:

He postado bastante sobre la economista Mariana Mazzucato y su visión de como aprovechar este momento para reconstruir el capitalismo…. que jamás iba a incluir un proyecto catastrófico como lo de Xochimilco ☹

Stop everything for the best dressed man in Africa:

July 23, 2020

Portland, Afghanistan and El Salvador have something very sinister in common. They are just some of the many stages where something called a ‘half-value’ is being played, whereby the US professes, for example, values for freedom, equality, self-determination and the pursuit of happiness—in theory—yet in practice they are values for some people, but not for others. The problem with a half-value is that it is worthless; it leaves you with no value whatsoever, because a value, in order to be a value, has to pass the test of reciprocity, which means, for example, if I do not want to be told lies, I cannot tell them. If I do not wish to suffer violence, I cannot inflict it. Otherwise, I’m left with a worthless half-value. And if I’m particularly stubborn, I’ll try to uphold it, forcing myself into heinous, disgraceful and dangerous gymnastics to disguise my hypocrisy by blaming, gaslighting and even eliminating others.  But, in the end, the truth is always revealed, as all history and all literature have only ever taught us.

That said, and since the US Congress is once again passing a YUGE increase of its military budget (whereas there is, apparently, a negotiable need for health, education and social services—in the middle of the pandemic!), please read “America’s Policing Problem doesn’t stop at the US Border” and “The American Police Should Know Where Rome Went Wrong”, because violence is not power—it is its opposite:

Eu te digo mais: o Brasil não só “precisa de um SUS no transporte público”, precisa urgentemente tutelar um certo ministro que os colegas dele, os Chicago Boys, já tinha compreendidos—bem antes da pandemia—que o venerado ‘mercado’ e o glorificado ‘setor privado’ deles não serve para resolver as questões mais importante para um povo: Saúde & Educação…. e Transporte. (Não esqueça que em Chicago nosso transporte é público-público e não público-JacoboBarata!)

If you have a value for free speech, know its limits:

If you haven’t seen AOC’s speech in response to the unapology after being called a “fucking bitch”, stop everything to witness the beauty of not being a victim and finding the opportunity to make your enemy better. It will be historic. It is amazing!

I still don’t like dhokla, but I’m always rethinking food for the future of the planet:

Sin pecado concebido:

July16, 2020

“Já estávamos de quarentena!” respondi ao amigo que me perguntou o que eu achava dessa pandemia toda. Foi o meu jeito cínico de falar o que o recolhimento me fez refletir: ficar em casa não é difícil para mim não, até porque eu já tinha deixado de fazer muito programa nesta cidade, ou por medo ou pelos preços, ou até pela preguiça de fazer aqueles cálculos todos de horário, transporte, etc., nesta cidade violenta. Chama-se DESIGUALDADE—maior praga que existe! Rio de Janeiro está entre as 10 mais desiguais do mundo:

The strategy is the same as Trump’s: you stop testing, the numbers disappear, and “POOF!” the problem magically disappears—except it doesn’t. So Bolsonaro’s government firing the scientist responsible for reporting that total Amazonian deforestation was up 25% on last year’s monstrous figures was hardly surprising:

If you have a strong opinion about the police, I will assume you already know the history of how the police were invented, where the idea came from:

Incredibly eloquent article on the blindness to India’s human tragedy in the middle of the pandemic:

Since farmers and animal rights activists are coming together to fight big factory farms, there is no better time for you to study about how this evil is connected to much more than animal cruelty. It is connected to human cruelty in many more ways than you can imagine:

Although it is impossible not to react to all the racism and ineptitude from such asinine leaders, do not lose sight of the corruption past the smoke screen, because they know exactly what they are doing—whether it be giving loans to their friends or hiring them:

Physics and Philosophy catching up with Vedanta 😉:

July 9, 2020

Does free speech include the right to tell lies, spew hatred and incite violence? The answer seemed obvious to me, but I confess I’m in a tailspin. Who decides what can be said and what cannot? I understand that free speech has never been absolute; there has always been censorship. I understand that there are laws on libel and defamation. I know that if I do not want to be censored, I cannot wish censorship on others.  I know that everyone keeps dirty things inside, opinions they should keep to themselves, but the electronic world is unforgivingly fast and enticing.  I know that journalists need clicks, so they often cross the line of reporting, concluding that something is “racist”, “misogynist”, “genocidal” or “bigoted” as early as the headline, before I have a chance to digest what happened and judge for myself. I often agree with them, but I also know that such premature ejaculations give the opposing team reason behind their rejection of “mainstream news”, their accusation of “fake news”—their creation of fake news—in a bonfire of vanities among people fighting to be right (or to get clicks), which is apparently more important than the pursuit of knowledge.

What a mess! I’m glad I discovered that Brazilian cabernet franc is marvilhoso (don’t tell anyone!) because I need quite a bit after swallowing Politico’s defense of Mark Zuckerberg,  and sorting through the kerfuffle caused by Harper’s surprising letter endorsed by some the world’s most famous intelligentsia against “cancel culture” and the “wokeism” (don’t worry: I didn’t know what the word meant till now).

What is more: the debate has taken such a center-stage that it eclipsed the US biparitsan approval of a massive military budget for the Forever War and the imminent destruction of the Amazon and its indigenous peoples, as well as other serious calamities at hand.

I’ll just get myself another glass, but if you have any light on free speech, I’m all ears. I’m lost.

It made me rethink my conclusion:

Yet Facebook felt the need to do this:

The surprising letter:

I found this convincing:

The counter-argument (I did not find so convincing):

Please help to put pressure:

June 25, 2020

This brilliant history of Fascism in the US has added to my hunch that, come November, Trump will give the country its ultimate challenge. All indications are that he cannot win the election, and I am quite certain he will not accept the results… and the ground has been prepared:

Quando os “bancos”, o “mercado” ou “investidores” não gostam dum certo candidato, É NELE QUE VOCÊ TEM QUE VOTAR! Taokey? Não esquece disso. Nunca!

It is hardly the only overlooked role in police-reform debate, but according to this well researched essay, it is the pernicious trigger-happiness of the US that makes a huge difference in the way the nation polices itself:

Stiglitz on exactly what kind of economic stimulus we need to get us through the pandemic:

June 18, 2020

Queiroz preso no Brasil! 😊 DACA & LGBT rights protected in the US! 😊

This week has seen the uncanny binge of good news, which is all the more reason not to let your guard down. The destruction of Amazonia is largely underway and we still may have great disappointment over Trump v. Deutsche Bank.

Do not miss this amazingly masterful essay on this “unpresidented” moment in history:

I know. It’s dinner time and you’re hungry and just don’t care, but you really can do something to stop unspeakable destruction in Amazonia and it starts with what not to eat:

Quiero que sepan una vez y por todas que no existe “discriminación inversa”:

It is not about how and when to REOPEN; it is unfortunately about how and when to RECLOSE:

Here’s to more Dolly Parton and less Confederates!

June 11, 2020

Every time I see ANTIFA, I just can’t help it. I immediately remember KAOS (anyone old enough to remember “Get Smart”?) and I snort ‘n chuckle. I mean… there is nothing funny about this constant fabrication of an enemy to keep the gears grinding, but these bully boys sniveling that there might be other bullies on the playground is marvelously pathetic. ‘I decide who plays in the street! There is a rebel amongst us!’ They delate themselves hilariously.  Why the hell would anybody want to be anything but antifascist?

Not only is “An Open Letter to All the Future Mayors of Chicago” the most eye-opening class on racism and policing I have encountered, it is a lesson in beautifully carved writing. Facts, number and prose meet in an unwavering argument. If you read one thing this week:

Uau! Uau! Não há democracia com racismo: Pode parar tudo para contemplar o que significa esta onda mundial de combate ao racismo para o Brasil. A arte de Eliane Brum:

Could you imagine if the Civil Rights Act of 1965 were getting revoked, black people were getting evicted in masses when their property wasn’t expropriated, their religions prohibited, and they were being mass murdered when not infected with coronavirus and the gov’t was lying to world trying to mask the numbers? You’d call that genocide, wouldn’t you? It would be analogous to what is happening in Brazil with the peoples of Amazonia at this very moment, while the world is preoccupied with “other issues”—which is why this NYT article on the calamity of Brazil seemed to overlook a genocide. I lack words to describe the meltdown happening around me:

Why are stocks soaring in the middle of a pandemic?

Believe me: Trump and the Republicans will pull all the levers and push all the buttons to “postpone”, stymie, bamboozle, if not stop the election in November:

Please, please, please find 30 minutes for The Economist asks: Jeffrey Sachs to gather a vision of the whether globalization is still worth the risks, as well as of the structure for the next steps of the future:

June 4, 2020

Over the last forty years, the police have been overburdened with managing the ills of society, says Alex Vitale, author of The End of Policing, in an NPR interview: “Part of our misunderstanding about the nature of policing is we keep imagining that we can turn police into social workers. That we can make them nice, friendly community outreach workers. But police are violence workers. That’s what distinguishes them from all other government functions … They have the legal capacity to use violence […] That’s what really is at the root of policing. So if we don’t want violence, we should try to figure out how to not get the police involved.”

Agência Pública compilou, didaticamente, todos os pedidos de impeachment de Bolsonaro:

Were I the editor of the New Yorker, I would change the title to the present perfect tense: Has America become a banana republic?

Do you know the history of infiltrators and provocateurs in protest and riots in America? If not, I suggest reading the Intercept. It explains a lot about what happened this week:

Judging by the swift accusation against Antifa, I knew the White House was lying, but nothing from Trump or his government surprises me:

May 21, 2020

  • I burst into tears again for Thursday Night News. It was because of this story of Jyoti—the 13-year-old Indian girl who carried her injured father on the back of her bicycle for more than 1200km—that I cried tears of joy. This is the India I know and love and miss so much! It is the India that taught the world dharma, that most elusive of words, roughly meaning to do one’s duty, to fulfill one’s role in life, to do what is right, to serve this universe in the project that is humanity—unwavering and fearlessly—like my beloved Lord Hanuman, whose leap to do what must be done cannot be stopped. Ever! I wish Mr. Modi understood what dharma means, because he would have thought about his role when leaving millions of migrant workers, like Jyoti’s father, stranded without food and transport when he put a nation under lockdown with just a four-hour notice. If he doesn’t, he can sit at the feet of Jyoti, she has so much to teach us all:
  • Creo que el coronavirus ha llegado para revelar y corregir, a duras penas, muchas cosas erradas en el mundo, incluso el individualismo descontrolado de la mente occidental. La mejor periodista de Brasil con su visión lúcida en “Hay que superar el pensamiento occidental: No se puede crear otro mundo con la misma matriz que nos ha llevado al abismo”:
  • So you have an economic religion, whereby you thought government spending was like household spending: either you have money or you don’t, or you surpass your credit limit or you don’t. It should be so simple. No need to be confused about the path forward for a country that’s broke. The Daily’s podcast breaks it down in twenty minutes with “Can Government Spending Save the Economy?” :

May 14, 2020

Would Trump be so stupid as to shirk US debt to China as punishment for COVID-19? Unfortunately, he might be stupid not to if he is to have any shot at re-election other than usurping the vote. If you are still on Team Trump, I suggest you brush up on your economics, because China had already spotted this stroke several moves ago, and is already structuring a new global currency based on—believe it or not—confidence in the Chinese government to replace the US “dollar dominance” over the global economy. As far as I am concerned, China has already won the game, but if you care to watch until the check-mate, be my guest, I’ll just get myself another drink:

Impressionado com o intelecto e o comando lindo da língua portuguesa, eu já era fã da Elaine Brum quando começou a insistir que o Brasil precisava voltar ao passado, para fechar o capítulo da ditadura para não cair de novo no mesmo erro. Achei apelativo, tal receita emotivo demais. Vi ao redor problemas presentes, mais agudos, e um futuro sem horizonte. Como eu estava enganado! Aqui estamos tropeçando nas mesmas pedras no mesmo caminho.  O artigo dela de hoje é também puxado nas emoções, mas, como sempre, lúcido. Ainda mais chocantes são os incríveis histórias de Bolsonarismo por Fernando de Barros, “Dentro do pasadelo” na revista Piauí, e por Ivan Carlos Lago “O Jair em todos nós”, um soco no estómago que é preciso:

When young, we had to declare our favorite popstars, sports teams, etc. Today, for however unfortunate it might seem, I believe we have to declare our favorite economist. For me it would be hard to choose, but I guess I must declare my admiration of Mariana Mazzucato, who was making a lot of noise this week about how to seize the moment offered by coronavirus to structure all the inevitable bailouts at hand to create a more equitable society and free ourselves from all the little hypocrisies in our twisted version of capitalism:

Among the little hypocrisies unveiled by coronavirus has been the true cost of this brief moment in human history in which a percentage of humanity has been able to eat what they want, where they want, when they want and how ever they want. It seems to be coming to an end, which will be painful for some, but will be celebrated by people like me.  If you think you already know the true cost of industrialized farming, you think it is not related to coronavirus and you think eating animals every day is a right, DO NOT read the incredible article of New York Review of Books “The Sickness in Our Society”. On the other hand, if knowledge is more important to you than taste, please proceed:

Mexican lucha libre wrestler sews masks to fight coronavirus:

April 30, 2020

Like moths, we go directly to the flame in front of us, oblivious to everything else happening around us in the dark. It might indeed be impossible to do otherwise when a raging fire like coronavirus is in front of us, but in an effort not to lose sight of the other imminent dangers lurking in the dark, I peeked at what the looters are doing while we are hypnotized.  This week’s prowl included sighting another fire, one that is raging hotter than ever while no one is looking at the Amazon Forest, the destruction of which will most certainly release the next pandemic (I assume that you do know that there will be others, don’t you?); and it also included some thugs I found in the shadows—the usual suspects—conducting business as usual when not raiding everything they can before making a dash for the door, leaving us to choke to death. Unsurprised by the thugs’ insistence that their profits gets privatized and their losses get socialized in this moment of tragedy, I am growing ever more concerned how such hypocrisy and myopia will play out in the large and complicated democracies of this world, especially with inept and divisive “leadership” of countries like the US, Brazil and India.:

My reading over the last two weeks involved some apologies. Arundhati Roy was on my secret list of greatly admired writers who fell from grace when they opened their fat mouths. Her opinions of India and of Hinduism had been so nasty and disrespectfully imbalanced… but now I see she was right about many things:

I had been up to here with numbers (!), having long since observed how it doesn’t matter how many die as long as it is not in one’s household. Shannon Pufahl’s brilliant essay on the etymology of numbers in the New York Review of Books, “Numbering the Dead” was an awakening! Don’t miss it:

I repeat that quarantine is a good time to practice fasting. Not needing so much energy from food and health permitting, skip a meal, preferably dinner, and you will start to learn the invaluable knowledge of identifying the differences between hunger, thirst and anxiety. The effort may lead you to contemplate the connection between body an mind, which might even lead you to meditate on the connection between oneself and All That There Is. Kaveh Akbar’s meditation on her Ramadan fast in the Paris Review was sweet:

Almost twenty-five years in a country where the only cocktail is a caipirinha, I’m on the outside looking in on this bizarre revival of the cocktail, but not on the human need for ritual:

the need for ritual

April 9, 2020

“I put them in the refrigerator” is my translation of the Brazilian expression to describe what you do to people you are angry at but cannot openly fight. You put them in a place to chill where no one can see them – especially you. It is a great place to forget them, so they can shrivel and mold away into something unrecognizable. Of course, you can also take them out again once you’ve cooled off. That’s what I had done to the Economist and the Atlantic. Although publications I have always admired, let’s just say they ticked me off for some frivolous opinions regarding the “feasibility” of a social state. The upheaval of COVID-19 is doing a brilliant job of punishing such opinion-makers for their hubris, unearthing the skeletons of hypocrisy.  

That said, the Economist’s frigid callousness was once again as refreshing as it was insightful when covering the pandemic without pandering to emotion:

I’ll never forget what he did to Bernie Sanders, but David Frum wrote an excellent summary of incompetence and bad faith:

¡De acuerdo, Ken Loach! “Solo lo público nos sacará adelante”:

I’m wondering how long it will take for people and for nations to realize that only cooperation and not competition will get anyone or any nation through this test of cornoavirus:

Oi? Federal money to pay pastor salaries and church utility bills?

Every cloud has a silver lining:

April 2, 2020

My face when reading how we have leaders that still haven’t quite understood the magnitude of this moment in history. It took world wars to create societies based on cooperation that reigned for some fifty years until competition returned for a forty-year gig, exacerbating the mess we are in. Only cooperation will do now and nothing else. The minimum state is gone and nothing less than the welfare state will do. You would think this would not be so difficult for the so-called intellectuals, the so-called leaders, to understand. But there are those whose contempt is blaring. They don’t want to help people. They think this crisis is just another item to throw into the ideological arena. They hate poor people. They hate them. And they still think money and power will protect them from a microbe in a world without nurses and doctors; transport and those responsible for producing and distributing food. Let’s see next Thursday Night and the Thursday Night after that!

I stand with Yuval Noah Harari: Coronavirus does not mean humanity must choose between health or privacy. And global problems can only be solved globally, by the solidarity of humanity, with honesty and dedication to the Truth—not to individual agendas. Such smallness will only make things worse:

Why does the truth need to be censored? Why? Why can’t someone say  what is true, what is happening? Someone please explain this to me; it is something I have never been able to understand. Why fear the truth? Why can’t we speak what is fact? Why is doing so punishable—often more so than lying? It is something I have always wondered, whether it be all the “classified information” held by people we pay to decide what we “cannot know” or whistleblowers like these brave doctors and nurses:

Estupefato, eu fico, ao ver pessoas que ainda acham que pandemia pode ser amenizado — ou não — conforme as linhagens ideológicas prediletas. Bravo, Monica de Bolle, f***-se o estado mínimo!

I think all Americans should read this article without prejudice and regardless of whether or not you like Bernie Sanders. It is a brilliant essay on how the truth of America has been revealed in just two weeks:

And on the global level, “viral inequality” is about to reveal much more about what we’ve become:

Worse than Trump seemed unimaginable until Bolsonaro arrived on the scene. How to even begin to illustrate the ineptitude, the laziness, the delusion, the lack of intellect, the hate of intellect, the pitifulness, the bareness, the bankruptcy, the depravity…

Falando do Bolsonaro, o discurso de que ‘acabou a corrupção no governo’ sob análise:

“Os desmatadores ilegais, contudo, não estão em isolamento como recomendam os governos, e tendem a aproveitar o eclipse institucional provocado pela Covid-19 para agir”:

Plastic Wars: Industry Spent Millions Selling Recycling — To Sell More Plastic” Why am I not shocked? Are you?

They survived the Spanish flu, the Depression, the Holocaust and they having something beautiful to share with you:

March 26, 2020

An man collapses in the street. You run to him in a show of good faith. You feign holding him, but actually you pickpocket his wallet and his phone in a flash before you scream for others to guard him while you run off for help. Yes, there are those that low — and they are running our country:

I was hoping for a plan like Denmark’s complete freeze of the economy. The one annouced by the US government is a far cry and it was mired in the incessant battle between those who want to help people and those who are ideologically opposed to helping people; they are committed to helping (their) companies:

I was wondering how long it would take for those always wanting to privatize profits to want to socialize losses. I’d say that took about a New York minute:

“Se usamos a palavra guerra, precisamos olhar cuidadosamente para o inimigo. É o vírus, essa criatura que parece uma bolinha microscópica cheia de pelos, quase fofa? É o vírus, esse organismo que só segue o imperativo de se reproduzir? Penso que não. O vírus não tem consciência, não tem moral, não tem escolha.” Vai, Eliane Brum! Fala tudo! Manda ver:

As if the violence and destruction in Amazonia weren’t enough, not only will coronavirus be reaching indigenous peoples, but the world will be looking the other way while the pillaging continues:

I had heard of but never paid much attention to the science of loneliness. Its potential role during the coronavirus quarantine is as frightening as it is fascinating:

The last thing the world needs this week is another wannabe epidemologist pitch, but I am really questioning the efficay of quarantine:

It is hard to imagine a culture more beautiful than that of Iran! Stay strong, you’ll get through this!

I would probably call this one “Chronicle of a Death Foretold“. Don’t miss this one:

March 19, 2020

I am crying as I write these words, because at this very moment the four boys are being hanged in a Delhi jail. Everything came back to me from eight years ago. I will never forget that day for as long as I live. I didn’t understand why traffic had stopped in Chandni Chowk and why there was a candlelight vigil walking up and down the street. The police were everywhere. The military had been deployed to control the crowds that had come to central Delhi to lynch them. I remember the faces of hurt and disgust and of rage. At home, no one could eat. It was then that they explained to me what happened: it was more than just another rape; it was an unspeakably violent gang rape on a bus. I cannot bring myself to repeat what they did to her and how she died from the mutilation. It became to be known as the Nirbhaya case. It was the day India changed forever, because it was the day that Indian women had had enough and they started to find their voice. It was also the day that changed my vision of what Justice means; it was the day I started to truly contemplate what I had thought was the easiest to understand of the 20 values that Krishna teaches us in the Bhagavadgītā. I want them dead; I want them spared; I want their families not to suffer; I want Nirbhaya’s family to no longer suffer. AHIMSA, non-violence, the refusal to harm others, is not even remotely as simple as it sounds:

The Nirbhaya case briefly took my mind in the direction of the past and the present in a way that this week’s most significant event could never, because it is one that impounds futures both imminent and distant momentously. The coronavirus has completely upended my life and that of millions of people around the world in just a week. There is no longer a horizon; there is just uncertainty. I confess that it is just as fascinating to me as is it alarming and uncomfortable.  So now what? Dunno. But I do know that every cloud has a silver lining. In my unwavering belief that “no hay mal que por bien no venga” – that there is always something good to come from any evil – I cannot help but to appreciate how this limit has arrived to make us question everything, to topple what we had taken for granted and what we thought was true. Watching, for example all the neocons, neoliberals, libertarians, Republicans and conservatives scramble to try to save a religion of competition to remedy the ails of the world has almost brought me to giggles. When everyone is the same boat, it is now clear that only cooperation – not competition – will get us out of this mess. How poignant. That is why they no longer have any choice but to sit down and listen to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and sincerely consider the importance of the Green New Deal, because – in light of all the trillion dollar bailout pledges swooping around like eagles – there is no longer anything too unrealistic, too expensive, or too “radical” when you ass is on the line:

More on the advantages of coronavirus:

This just might be the answer we have been looking for, not only to heal racism, but a lot of the other -isms of this world. I liken it to what we call in Brazil “sincericide”, a kind of brutal truth-telling of what is really inside you. I think it has the potential to be much more productive than that reckless, feckless experiment at neurolinguistic reprogramming that we call “politically correctness”, which is so draconian in its insincerity that it has divided us:

¿Por qué me reí tanto esta semana a pesar de los pesares?

Caracas! Pegaram o Dinossauro! Coitado!

March 12, 2020

Neither coronavirus nor the stock market crash signal the end of the world to me, but ATLÉTICO MADRID BEAT LIVERPOOL IN LIVERPOOL! Now that is reason enough to believe the end is near, so this Thursday Night News has gone cold turkey—or should I say hot turkey? Hot ginger, lemon & honey to keep lungs warm and hydrated, ready for the attack. A little ayurveda won’t harm you, but Diego Simone most certainly will.

What will also harm you is ignorance. That is why I really did try to control myself; I really did try not to chuckle and snort—really I did—when I saw the pictures of Fábio Wajngarten, the top communications aid of the Brazilian President (whose communications company had windfall profits after he hired himself!), who is now diagnosed with coronavirus, standing happily next to Messrs. Trump, Pence and Bolsonaro. The latter who just did a live tiny desk concert to speak to the nation donning a face mask and the former who childishly refuses to get tested. Please be good; never wish ill of anyone; please do as I say, not as I do; and please don’t laugh:

Brazilians are much safer and protected than Americans from the coronavirus pandemic—a fact which has been the most poignant takeaway for me this week. There is still a national public health system that, for as precarious as it may be, is still there. It has real information, in real time, and it has a plan. They have already calculated when and where the peak will be and what they will need, and they are on the move. Yet there are other places in the world I also know well, places where people feel that is safer NOT to vote for a national public health system, or that it is somehow safer if a central bank unloads trillions for prop up the financial sector on a bad market day or that we’ll be safer with an unlimited military budget. Ok… I hope they are right and I am wrong; however, I don’t believe in coincidence: the Universe is delivering this limit at a political crossroad, in which the world is divided into teams of economic religions, complete with all the little hypocrisies that can be found in any religion. That is why I encourage you to listen to professor Jeffrey Sachs with Medhi Hasan on Deconstructed with “Capitalism v. Coronavirus” and the cited article in the Atlantic, because “There Are No Libertarians in an Epidemic”:

Lembra dos 39kg de cocaína que viajava no avião da comitiva presidencial? Bom, eu também:,995a8dfbd93a2df61fb439ab93e2b77d5eyec6ya.html

March 5, 2020

If “radicals” have to prove how they are going to pay for “free things”, why don’t “non-radicals” have to answer how they are to pay for “free” wars. Feel “free” to sit down:

Some news is so horrible that it is good. Funny how that works when crooks get caught: you learn about a horrendous crime, such thousands of illegal shipments of Amazonian wood reaching American and European ports, yet it brings to light a corrupt regime that is breaking, subverting and undermining a nation’s own legal framework for protecting the world’s greatest forest and its indigenous peoples. I doubt the government will punish them, because they were appointed by our leaders to conduct this business. That is why I beg you to discover where your meat comes from, where your food comes from, where your gold comes from, where your wood comes from, because these thugs will be more than happy to tear up the entire forest to supply the manufacturing of the many things you consume. As the failed war on drugs has proven, there will always be a supply for a demand. Call your congressman, check the origin of the things you buy, see if your investment portfolio includes companies in commodities (mining, shipping, lumber, meat, oil, chemicals/pesticides) and tell your broker you care:

Cá entre nós: é pra deixar o Homem trabalhar, eh?

Repito: é pra deixar o Homem trabalhar, eh?

Jamais poderia compilar uma lista melhor de informação sobre o desgoverno ambiental do que AROEIRA. Favor o segue no Twitter para saber tudo que está acontecendo, inacreditávelmente:

If you think they are a problem in the West, you have no idea what they are doing in Brazil:

Arundhati Roy’s essay is not only a call-to-arms for all Indians, it is a plea to humanity, everywhere, in this divided world. Stop everything to read “We are sick” by one of the world’s great writers. It is bone-chilling:

Confesso que já fui Bolsominion—na Índia. Ou seja, eu apoiava muito o primeiro ministro lá, até a reeleição dele, quando enxerguei no grande engano. A pesar de alguns errinhos de contextualização que não atrapalham a análise, Rosana Pinheiro Machado fez uma incrível investigação da grande semelhança política dos dois países que não são nada parecidos:

Do you want your needs dependent upon a global supply chain that your country does not control? In the forty years of globalization, no one cared. In light of pandemics – and I would add climate crisis – both Trump’s and Sander’s argument for local productive capacity is on the menu:

Con la frente marchita
Las nieves del tiempo
Platearon mi sien.
Que es un soplo la vida
Que veinte años no es nada
Que febril la mirada
Errante en las sombras
Te busca y te nombra.
Con el alma aferrada
A un dulce recuerdo
Que lloro otra vez:

This is an outrage! No, no, no! There is no reason to look for meat substitutes. Learn to cook beans correctly and with the right vegetables for flavor. No you won’t grate onion and garlic: Chop them with a knife! No you won’t use canned beans: you will soak red kidney beans for two days and boil them like your ancestors! No you will not put soy sauce in your beans: you will use celery, double the cumin, and few karipata leaves and/of bay leaf! For God’s sake!

February 27, 2020

Say what?? What Bernie Sanders should have said about socialism and totalitarianism was to reply with a question: “And what about Saudia Arabia? Let’s talk about state ownership of the means of production supported with US money and arms to exterminate dissidents!” I’m mad at Bernie Sanders for falling for this cheap, pathetic red-baiting on Cuba; I’m proud of him this past week to go forward with the courage to confront the American fairy tale, calling the US, as a possible candidate, “imperialist” and “corrupt”. It is. It always has been. And that doesn’t cancel out all the wonderful things about the nation and its people; the same way the atrocities of the socialist revolutions of China, Cuba and Russia do not cancel out their efforts to create more equitable societies. All men, all nations have their hypocrisies. They do not have to be “cancelled” for their past follies. As for socialism? I’m perplexed that the New Yorker and much of established media are actively undermining the difference between socialism and the social democracy promoted by Bernie Sanders, which has proven itself in many a nation, whereas all the data is in – along with the published mea culpas of the world’s most famous economists – on the adverse effects of neoliberalism over the forty years it has reigned.  Bernie Sanders is by no means radical: he is not questioning capitalism; he is asking for the regulation we once had to protect markets and citizens that made a nation thrive. He is not promising “free things”: he is exposing the very neoliberal hypocrisy of trillion-dollar subsidies and unlimited budgets for oil, arms, corporations and the wealthiest amongst us, whereas health and education are somehow negotiable. Oi? That’s radical? If this red-baiting is the best argument they can come up with to cancel Sanders, I invite you to support him (and/or Elizabeth Warren) along with me.

The author made just one little mistake of context about Carnaval: Samba has always meant resistance, ever since samba was invented. Actually, the various forms of Brazilian music and merriment have always meant resistance. But, yes, the last couple years have inevitably evoked the tradition of taking revenge for a week on, shall we say, our unscrupulous leaders:

Me había fijado, hace muchos años, como no se ve mujeres em México. No sé como explicarlo. Ando por las calles de mi Puebla y ellas están, pero no están. Es como se estuvieran escondiéndose a cada paso; no me miran; evitan todo contacto con extraños; miran al suelo; sus movimientos en público son una mezcla de vergüenza y miedo, acorraladas. No andan con la alegría y seguranza que tienen en unas otras tierras que conozco. Después reconocí el mismo aspecto amedrentado en la India, donde recientemente una chica fue quemada viva por el grupo de chicos que la había violada porque ella tenía la audacia de denunciarlos. Fue de ella quien me recordaba al enterarme de Ingrid. Espero que el paro sea eficaz:

Eso dedico a mis muchas protegidas allá em México, la más absoluta y mejor definición de feminismo. (Link en español):

More than yet another reason for the Green New Deal, this news changes so many things about the world energy matrix:

Para insultar, é preciso vocabulário!

February 20, 2020

Trump fans: although correlation doesn’t imply causation, you could probably, safely, celebrate that the drop in immigration has resulted in significant wage increases across the US. Happy? I wouldn’t start clapping your hands just yet, because results produce other results. Of course, that means you’d have to do some studying – without memes. Ready? The Economist will give you a few articles a month for free:

Achei a reportagem um grande exemplo. Embora breve e simples, o autor não foi desviado pelas últimas pérolas do Bolsonaro. Recusou-se de ficar remoendo o repúdio e a indignação. Colocou o contexto certo: e os celulares do Adriano?

The commercial relations between Brazil and China might seem far from you, but actually they are on your dinner plate every damn night and it effects the cost of most everything you buy—and that such a transaction is related to the burning of the Amazon forest should be of no surprise to you.  At some point everyone is going to have to understand this relationship; I suggest you begin now:

I almost cried. There is still a little Chicago boy in me, still sitting on the ‘L’, maybe sitting across from these people. It was a city for all of us, yet we were (are) so divided:

I repeat: he will either fraud the election or claim fraud. And it is already happening:

Nothing like data to show how inequality is rotting human society. I didn’t read Capital, so I most probably won’t read his new book, but I will most certainly get the summary of it:

Of course, if data and science cannot help you believe in the climate crisis or gun control laws, yet you are able to see causation between an outbreak of skin rashes from a new skin cream, there is a reason for your delusion:

WOW! Something I finally agree with Trump on:

February 13, 2020

Já pensou que horrível seria se o teu pai morresse envenenado e logo a tua mãe, viúva, fosse casar com o teu tio, irmão dele? Coisa horrenda, né? Seria tão horrenda que você não encararia sequer as dúvidas óbvias: ‘Não, não! Impossível! Não pode ser!’ Pois é… só que é por isso que existem sim os fantasmas e eles são extremamente poderosos porque não morrem. Ficam na sala, inconvenientes, apontando para aquele ÓBVIO por horrendo que seja – bem como o Hamlet descobriu, logo no primeiro ato, quando o fantasma do pai aparece.
Na verdade, os fantasmas são apenas frutos daquela sujeira que cada um de nós leva lá dentro, feitos das nossas mentiras e preconceitos. Quem tiver um compromisso com a verdade, vai se limpando lá no fundo e jamais temerá um fantasma. Quem não tiver compromisso com a verdade, fará tudo para apagá-la – a qualquer custo – como vimos esta semana com a morte do Adriano, uma pessoa que podia ter esclarecida MUITA coisa e agora não pode mais. Então, para aquelas pessoas que muito querem que a morte da Marielle fique apenas um homicídio entre os muitos esquecidos do Brasil: estou vendo vocês vendo um fantasma, tá? Tá com medo? Então, NÃO LEIA a melhor jornalista/escritora do Brasil, porque ela vai te fazer umas perguntas difíceis sobre a tua mãe, o teu tio e o reino da Dinamarca:

About the same curious assassination in the English language media:

And to think I ran from Rio de Janeiro during the World Cup and the Olympics fleeing to India in order not to get slapped in the face with this sickening, cosmetic solution for the poverty! I have so much to say about Trump and Modi that I’m almost speechless. I will just say what I learned in that very same city, Ahmedabad, the city of Gandhi, just six months ago, in the Mahatma’s own words: “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it – always.”  In the meantime, get me something stronger! This is an outrage:

No sabía que México también se sumaba a los números espantosos de ambientalista asesinadas por defender la ecología de Latinoamérica. ¿Que le pasa a AMLO? Ya no le entiendo nada:

4. It can’t ever be reiterated enough that the guns go the México and the drugs go to the US, ok? That is why walls are so lucrative:

I am fascinated by hypocrisy and all that involves the art of moral gymnastics:

So does that mean one day we can subpoena your taxes and your hairline?

I don’t know what the hell they’re talking about! If I cut coffee, I would have a splitting headache; I would vomit and quite possibly have an attack of herpes (it’s on my forehead, ok?) Never go cold turkey!

February 6, 2020

Milwaukee! This essay is so brilliant that I’ve concluded that one must understand Milwaukee in order to understand what happened to America:

Neither! Discrimnation is a hypocrisy in every world; it is just called caste in India:

When you’ve concluded that the economy is doing great, that things are good, you are so sure you understand the current economic situation in the world and you don’t like to be challenged, do not read this:

Repito: não são os pobres que desmatam Amazônia; são os amigos dos amigos:

Are you sure you know the difference between “illegal” and “refugee”?

This is just silly. Just stop the perversity of (arms) lobby and create a real democracy. You’d stop the economic distortions and war:

When debate is futile:

Y “chiquititito” es de Puebla:

January 30, 2020

Now, here’s a test for you. Should ICE: a) destroy records of abuse, sexual assault and death of immigrants under their custody, or b) not destroy them? If you answered A, you are probably part of the many Americans who would like (to regain) the right to discrimiate, the right NOT to treat others the way you wish to be treated. You probably also don’t see any reason that the Impeachment should hear evidence or witnesses. That means you probably only have situational value for the Truth, for non-violence, for human rights, for the Constitution, for human dignity. And having only half-values — by which you can inflict harm on others while remaining unscathed — is having no values at all.
If that is the case, I don’t see how this division among us will be solved intellectually, by merely revealing truth for enlightenment. It hasn’t for the past four years:

“Preposterous” is what I initially thought when hearing the idea of a world without prisons. Considering unique experience and life stories of these two guests on New Yorker Radio, it is hard to argue with them, because, as they demonstrate, prisons do not and have never even passed the test of their own merit. They are an extension of slavery. They are an extension of everything that is wrong with this world. Indeed, it is hard to think outside the paradigm, but please consider “prison abolition” and “restorative justice”. I’m still reeling from this podcast:

Vale tem 236 pedidos para abrir terras protegidas na Amazônia. Uma ministra quer controlar gravidez na adolescência e HIV com “abstinência sexual”. Até pouco tempo atrás, Brasil tinha sido uma referência mundial pelas politicas públicas, bem-sucedidas, para o controle de desmatamento e até tratamento de HIV. O atual governo desmontou tudo aquilo, plagiando o pior dos EUA. Podia ter copiado o melhor dos EUA — o desenvolvimento de tecnologia — mas resolveu desmontar aquilo também: Sobre o que realmente desmata, Paulo Guedes, e não são os pobres, tá: Sobre o que nunca funcionou: Sobre o que é uma grande pena:

I was at a stoplight in the car in Delhi’s suburban NCR area when I was pamphileted an ad through the car window for yet another upscale housing development. When I saw the units included “fresh air”: clean air filters for indoors and outdoor gardens, I almost spit bile. We’re doomed, I thought, We’ll cut the last tree on Easter Island. You can run, but you cannot hide; there are problems we cannot buy our way out of:

It is probably the longest articles I have ever read — even if only diagonally. Parallel, however, was my conclusion: I hope to be voting for Bernie Sanders, because this and other corporate lobby plots have got to stop! For those of you against the Left’s promising “free things”, you are not including in your calculations the many “free things” the wealthy have always received, which includes — but is hardly limited to — all the subsudies for military, arms, fossil fuel, and these chemical industries that are poisoning you:

“I prefer to look at the numbers, Ricky” is the maddening rebutal I get during the weekly debates I have with neoliberal economists. For them, (hateful) words and lies don’t seem to matter much as long as the economy is ok. But, is it? I can’t seem to get a consensus, but if Stiglitz is right, even the US numbers will be against them soon enough:

The point is your consumption will always be cruel, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a way to make it less so: That includes your clothes:

 Why does President Bolsonaro want to make them legal? Obviously he has something to gain in all this destruction. You just have the follow the money. That is why the lie of Paulo Guedes, Minister of Finance, in Davos was even more pathetic: poor people are destroying the forest for food. Really? Poor people don’t have money to transport expensive and heavy equipment into the middle of nowhere. They don’t sign export contracts. They can’t pay for lobby campaigns:

Confused is how I feel on this issue. Like many, I just assumed Facebook is wrong and should be held responsible. However, even the ACLU agrees with Facebook. I’m lost:

Football, real estate, government contracts: that is how you launder money — big money — in this world …and this kid cracked their code:

No he is not! Péle is the best! How dare you! Pelo amor de Deus! Don’t even go there with Maradona:

Quero que você saiba que tinha um bode no ônibus, tá?

January 24, 2020

I wonder if they are actually aware that they don’t want democracy, that they don’t actually want majority rule. I wonder if they are aware that their politicians are handsomely paid by the arms industry that not only sells the guns, but also sells them abroad, wreaking havoc in places for which the very same industry is also ready to sign lucrative contracts to build walls and prisons, to supply military equipment, and to keep out those people suffering in those many places. That is why I am watching closely what is happening in Virginia, because as Gandhi well pointed out, those who hide behind guns are cowards; those who resort to violence are weak; they succumb to fear, and they will always lose to the fearless in the end. Always. And that is why I always remember Gandhi this week we celebrate the true American hero: Martin Luther King. But I also wonder if Gandhi or Luther King knew how much money the people behind the guns make 🤔: and

Orgullo de la mexicana, académica, que se ha dedicado a estudiar los porqués de la violencia en México y Latinoamérica. Aunque tengo mis dudas hasta donde se aplica el discurso “morir es un alivio” para explicar la delincuencia, la investigación de ella es fascinante: Em português:

We are having a water crisis in Rio de Janeiro, whereby the municipal water supply is, arguably, no longer potable. I think I’m inoculated after so much time in India, but not against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. I hate to add another bedbug to keep you up at night, but although you may reside far from the Ganges, you will most certainly have a date coming soon, in the same place where you both drink water and shit—and you won’t be able to buy yourself out of it with a filter:

Why destroy the apartment complex that families had bought? It is already built, right? Why waste the resources? Isn’t it too late? Might as well leave it! …That is what authorities all around the world want you to think when they often illegally and always very quickly approve construction projects on the sly. Never mind about land occupation or whether they have a sewage system. A few profit and the environmental damage devastates many more. I see no other choice but to start demolish more construction projects until people learn:

Although I can’t stand the stuff, I suppose I’ll make it a gin tonic for Brexit day: