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.

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:

https://www.economist.com/united-states/2020/02/13/immigration-to-america-is-down-wages-are-up

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?

https://www.buzzfeed.com/amphtml/gracilianorocha/como-bolsonaro-difamou-sexualmente-uma-jornalista-e-tirou-o?

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:

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2020/02/china-brazil-amazon-environment-pork/606601/

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:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/feb/19/capital-and-ideology-by-thomas-piketty-review-if-inequality-is-illegitimate-why-not-reduce-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:

https://www.npr.org/2020/02/13/805256707/just-plain-ugly-proposed-executive-order-takes-aim-at-modern-architecture?

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:

https://brasil.elpais.com/opiniao/2020-02-12/precisamos-saber-quem-esta-no-poder.html

About the same curious assassination in the English language media:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/09/hitman-with-links-to-marielle-francos-killed-by-police?

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:

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/another-wall-goes-up-for-trump-this-time-in-india-1646124-2020-02-13

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:

https://www.elsoldemexico.com.mx/mexico/sociedad/ambientalistas-fuera-de-la-agenda-con-amlo-4810569.html

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:

https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN2041P4?

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

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/01/there-no-christian-case-trump/605785/?

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

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/feb/08/trump-tan-line-picture-forehead-hair

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!

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/02/10/803394030/michael-pollan-explains-caffeine-cravings-and-why-you-dont-have-to-quit?

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: https://www.currentaffairs.org/2018/10/the-color-of-economic-anxiety

Neither! Discrimnation is a hypocrisy in every world; it is just called caste in India: https://scroll.in/article/802759/beyond-hinduism-is-caste-a-religious-or-a-regional-problem

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: https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/approaching-debt-crisis-vulnerable-britain-and-india-by-kaushik-basu-2020-01

Repito: não são os pobres que desmatam Amazônia; são os amigos dos amigos: https://theintercept.com/2020/01/31/maiores-desmatadores-amazonia/

Are you sure you know the difference between “illegal” and “refugee”? https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/rights-group-138-salvadorans-deported-by-the-us-were-killed-back-home/

This is just silly. Just stop the perversity of (arms) lobby and create a real democracy. You’d stop the economic distortions and war: https://newrepublic.com/amp/article/156417/end-forever-war-keep-dollar-globally-dominant?

When debate is futile: https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/10/06/bertrand-russell-oswald-mosley/

Y “chiquititito” es de Puebla: https://verne.elpais.com/verne/2018/01/30/articulo/1517326334_976812.html

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: https://www.aclu.org/blog/immigrants-rights/ice-and-border-patrol-abuses/ice-plans-start-destroying-records-immigrant

“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: https://open.spotify.com/episode/4Dco3OhfmLZEx5XBw28OyX?si=wPgN_ZtQTRO5dPcgD59AUg

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: https://news.mongabay.com/2020/01/vale-has-filed-hundreds-of-requests-to-exploit-indigenous-lands-in-amazon/ Sobre o que nunca funcionou: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/26/world/americas/brazil-teen-pregnancy-Bolsonaro.html? Sobre o que é uma grande pena: https://theintercept.com/2020/01/29/abertura-comercial-guedes-prejudica-industria-nacional/

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: https://www.thehindu.com/real-estate/how-declining-air-quality-across-india-is-impacting-real-estate/article30114516.ece/amp/?

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: https://theintercept.com/2020/01/18/bees-insecticides-pesticides-neonicotinoids-bayer-monsanto-syngenta/

“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: https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/grim-truth-about-trump-economy-by-joseph-e-stiglitz-2020-01

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: https://amp.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/28/what-plant-milk-should-i-drink-almond-killing-bees-aoe? That includes your clothes: https://www.businessinsider.my/fast-fashion-environmental-impact-pollution-emissions-waste-water-2019-10/?

 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: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/13/like-a-bomb-going-off-why-brazils-largest-reserve-is-facing-destruction-aoe?

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: https://www.npr.org/2020/01/09/794911246/fec-commissioner-rips-facebook-over-political-ad-policy-this-will-not-do

Football, real estate, government contracts: that is how you launder money — big money — in this world …and this kid cracked their code: https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-the-uk/the-hacker-connecting-luanda-leaks-to-corruption-in-european-soccer?

No he is not! Péle is the best! How dare you! Pelo amor de Deus! Don’t even go there with Maradona: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2020/jan/15/peter-shilton-respect-diego-maradona-england-hand-of-god?

Quero que você saiba que tinha um bode no ônibus, tá? https://bandnewsfmrio.com.br/editorias-detalhes/bode-e-flagrado-dentro-de-onibus-do-brt

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 🤔: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/09/politics/virginia-lawmakers-gun-legislation/index.html? and https://www.npr.org/2020/01/20/797895183/richmond-gun-rally-thousands-of-gun-owners-converge-on-virginia-capitol-on-mlk-d?

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: https://theconversation.com/morir-es-un-alivio-33-exnarcos-explican-por-que-fracasa-la-guerra-contra-la-droga-en-mexico-129484? Em português: https://brasil.elpais.com/brasil/2020/01/09/internacional/1578565039_747970.amp.html?

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: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/23/health/ganges-drug-resistant-bacteria.html?

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: https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-asia-india-51076897?

Although I can’t stand the stuff, I suppose I’ll make it a gin tonic for Brexit day: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/jan/17/what-are-you-planning-to-do-to-mark-brexit-day?