Tag Archives: corruption

Brazil is everywhere…

Okay, to begin, I need to express my lack of expertise. This is key. I know basic information about the world and the environment, etc., but as I am learning, I like to keep my thoughts and opinions here. If you would like to add anything or suggest some places I can learn more about a post I make, please do so.

Moving on, what is the deal with Brazil?!

Every time I find something interesting happening online, in podcasts, or in the paper, I find that it is often in Brazil.

The tribe that has been photographed from a helicopter in the Amazon was in Brazil. This native tribe was spotted in a fly-over, and when the chopper returned to take more photos (and to scare the living shit out of these people who have NEVER BEEN TOUCHED BY CIVILIZATION) they had hurriedly painted their bodies bright orange or entirely black. It looks like the men (with bows and arrows pointed at the growling demon
in the sky) were orange and the women were painted black.

In other recent news, there are big things going on with the Amazon (in Brazil) as a BBC reporter from The World has just returned from a long trip to the fabled area. He was discussing the science being done above the canopy in the Amazon, collecting air samples since 1998, and measuring how rain actually occurs in the rainforest. They found some cool stuff, and they explain it in detail on The World Podcast with Clark Boyd.

Discussion in the podcast includes the air flow around South America, due in part to the Amazon, and how the moisture finds particles in the air to stick to for the return of water through rain. Since there’s not a TON of pollution above the canopy, scientists didn’t know how the water clung onto stuff that didn’t exist. It’s a scienc-y good story. Check it.

Another story about Brazil, this one in the New York Times, shone some light on the possibility of corruption in the Amazon. This is the main reason I was driven to start blogging at 3am after attending a wonderful wedding party for Dan and Jenna by the lake in Kingsville. I am beat, but I was burning about the way we allow pricks with HUGE companies and capitalist ideals get into office!!

To preface, this dude, the Soybean King, is being seen by scientists as the worst clear-cutting and environment-infringing dudes in the country. He governs the most agriculturized province in Brazil (the Amazon). Yes, I said that the governor of this space of Amazon is the man in charge of the land and agriculturization, and VOILA! he owns the most successful, money-grubbing food company in the whole damn country. Am I shocked by this anymore? No. It seems that somehow, in the grand discussion of democracy, we somehow let these slimy pricks into the highest offices imaginable.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, the president of Brazil is supposed to be some environmental Batman or something, but really, if he’s allowing the “selective” clear cutting of one of the WORLD’S most important ecosystems by a COLLEAGUE and government-mate, how hero-like is he? He’s worse than Robin. He’s not even as valuable as one of the smoke bombs on Batman’s belt. He’s like, maybe the “Batman’s sock” of the environment. Nothing to write to Sao Paolo about.

Back to the story. Dr. Câmara, who heads the National Institute for Space Research in Brazil has been measuring the amount of forest being cut down…but they are cleverer than the Soybean King, Blairo Maggi, gave them credit for, because it can measure the loss even when they perform selective cutting…not quite clear-cutting. This information exchange was immediately attacked by the Soybean King, putting some environmental groups on their heels. The deforestation had been in decline for two years, but then it spiked.

It’s being cut down for crops and livestock! Hello!? We are still cutting down rain forest to grow food when there are grossly obese fools running around North America and Mexico, and diabetics are erupting like mad in India! We’re growing food to put in our gas tanks! Jesus Christ people! Can we leave the goddamn car at home for once!? Frig! The Amazon is going away so we can grow corn for our car (while millions starve worldwide, never mind that estimates say 35 million Americans don’t know where their next meal is coming from) and to fatten cows so we can eat meat. Yeah, we are pounding these chic slider-burgers like an eight-year-old binges on Oreos and we wonder why the world’s weather is getting screwed up. Some day soon, I’m sure, the corporate-interest-owned media will share the big picture with everyone so they can start consuming less (sarcasm).

“Worldwide agriculture, especially livestock production, accounts for about a fifth of greenhouse gas emissions,” says Treehugger.com. Thanks Treehugger. For a clue what I mean about meat and climate change linkage, click the previous link.

So, back to the story. “Marina Silva, Brazil’s environmental minister and a respected rain forest defender, resigned this month. While leaving, she spoke of heavy pressures being exerted by industry-minded governors, including Governor Maggi, to reverse the federal crackdown on destruction of the forest,” reported ALEXEI BARRIONUEVO of the New York Times. Greenpeace gave the Soybean King the Golden Chainsaw Award in 2005 for his role as the worst Brazilian “deforester”.

This guy is IN CHARGE! I find that the answer is in the people’s power over the corporate interest’s power. It starts by NOT ELECTING a machete-wielding agri-giant who would down his mother’s legs if he could make money by planting corn under her. In essence, he IS cutting of all of our mother’s legs: Mama Nature that is…

Someone make me feel better about this. Tell me that people with the opportunity to evade electing a bio-terrorist to power in ANY country where they allow voting will do the right thing when they hit the ballot box. Geez! What are we to do about these mistakes? Oops, we elected a nature-hating, enviro-suck-beast (a terrestrial lamprey) and now we see him for what he is, a low-life opportunist, and we want him gone…what can you do?

I have to go to bed and dream about trees.


Sideways Glance Books

I’m reading a book.

It’s good.

Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins. My brother Todd heard I was reading Democracy Matters by Cornel West, and said with a smirk, “Read this.”

I wonder sometimes, when people hand me knowledge with sideways glances, that they might be working with the divine, as they usually end up being the best books. The sideways-glance books.

It’s not like I need more of a reason to question the voracity of elected officials and corporations for raping the world for all it’s worth, an doing so in the name of nation building and democracy-furthering, but this book lays it out.

Simply put, there are people who go to countries who have little in the way of infrastructure, who want to be more advanced than they are currently. These assholes known as Economic Hitmen, on the payroll of engineering and consulting firms(not the CIA or NSA), go into these countries with orders. Their orders are to overstate the benefits of corporations (U.S.) moving into the area to build power plants and roads, etc. They then convince the World Monetary Fund or The World Bank to lend these countries billions in aid to further these countries, based on the outlandish econometric outcomes forecast by the HITMEN.

The countries almost always end up paying all the loan to US engineering firms (example: Halliburton) and then going bankrupt. This is done by design. It is in the country’s takeover-mentality’s interest to make these developing countries fail. Elite corporate owners and politicians have been in bed with each other since time immemorial. Politicians are bought and paid for in FULL. If it isn’t engineering firms, it’s pharmaceuticals or lobbyists, or any number of people with money to throw at those who hold office. When the countries go bankrupt, they are in debt to the United States…because of their ties with the IMF and World Bank. Then, the U.S. simply demands that they are given the capability to place military outposts in these regions, thus furthering the reign of capitalism and Christianity.

Why would this happen? People have asked me this when they read the book jacket. Well, why do we put it past the sociopaths running today’s corporations that they might actually be more interested in their dollar-worth than a million lives in a third world country?

Is it THAT hard to believe? Really? I mean, if you were a megalomaniac, trying to make as much money as possible to further your genetic seed until the end of the world, do you really give a shit who you snuff out? It’s pretty plain to see that these allegations by John Perkins (ex-Hitman and reformed Hitman) are plausible simply by considering the history of nation-builders. All of the empires of the world have done this kind of “weakening from the inside” tactic, and the U.S. has been masterful at pin-pointing the weakest, in their greatest time of need, and then ballooning their grip on the political and religious landscape by pressuring indebted countries into doing as they wish.

This is, as many will defend, business as usual. Granted. But the faceless, nameless dead and suffering, too depressing to get TV time (unlike Paris Hilton) are a line that never ends. It reminds me of the ants in my garden. I don’t know where they come from, but they JUST KEEP COMING. The countless lives of people who were the victorious at one point. The miraculous connection of sperm and egg to make this unique gift, who then procreate themselves, are meaningless outside of themselves. Their plight is on mute. We are busy reading US Weekly and watching Access Hollywood. While Billy Bush is bullshitting about outfits that Beyonce is wearing to the Grammys, his uncle George is fumbling through the winter of his rule, and continuing to do nothing about the millions of suffering worldwide.

Sadly, I know that everyone cannot be fed. Everyone cannot be living lives we live in North America. But this sense of humanity halts me. I am unable to simply brush aside the cobwebs of turmoil that are being undertaken on behalf of multi-national corporations to the detriment and soul-soiling treatment of those unfortunate enough to be born 6000 miles east or 3000 miles southwest of Grace Hospital, Windsor, Ontario, where I was born.

I tremble for these victims. Victims of greed beyond the usual bling culture I’ve been unfortunate enough to come up within. So much excess. It’s numbing.

If you want a grasp of SOME of the factors involved in the manufacturing of suffering around the world in the last 80 years, pick this book up, as it has more to offer than this bleak reality I’ve unfurled in front of you here. Something to think about though…