The states of insanity

Authoritarianism / quase and outright fascism is sweeping the world.

There is the Trump disaster show in N. America. See what the fuck happened today
There are some highly unpleasant political actors in Europe.
There is egoistical clown show of Brexit and Britain
And here in Brazil we have a postmodern hyper-realistic shit show which is causing death and misery.
From Brazil the fallout is global because if the Amazon rainforest is destroyed we all go.
Today Dom Phillips in the Guardian reports on Amazon gold miners invading an indigenous village in Brazil after its leader is killed.
The related stories on that page are worth a read as well.
There is nothing accidental about this devastation that is happening; it is policy.
and Sam Cowrie reporting for Al-Jazeera has being doing some excellent work
Remember this horrific quote from the Bolsonazi:
It’s a shame that the Brazilian cavalry hasn’t been as efficient as the Americans, who exterminated the Indians.”

Trumpism with its heavy messonaic undertones is destroying what was good about America.
Brexit will let millionaires become billionaires, and deprive young people of the opportunity of living in Europe in a greature culture.
England, because Scotland and probaby N. Ireland will depart, will become a wasteland for the exploitation by the city of London as the country becomes more of a fiscal offshore paradise for the looters of other nations.

Brazil is becoming willingly isolationalist and very divided along political ideology with less and less common ground.
Agribiziness and Mining fill the coffers of the ruling cliques as long as any restraints are lifted.
Hence destruction of the Amazon is to the benefit of both interests.
Education for the masses is being eradicated thus ensuing a slave class for exploitation in the future.
New minister of education Abraham Weintraub, who has slashed budgets to Universities by 30% achieved a 0 in his overall school grades.
Weintraub is an economist and conspiracy theorist with no experiance of education administration.
The military, quite vocal pre elections and still with a heavy hand in government have recently been very quiet. This is un-nerving and we can only assume that they are in accordance with the ongoing shit show.
Bolsonaro like Trump lies incessantly and has a new inanity every day; the frighting bit being that they are often highly vicious.
He has nominated his not very intelçligent son as Ambassador to the USA, with zero diplomatic training; luckily he has no horse to my knowledge otherwise it would be given a ministry.
Which on second thoughts would probably be better than some of the present incumbents.
The aim of the Bolsonazi administration, Like Trump in the North , is to gut the ministries and turn everything into a profit centre.
Forget about safety nets. Forget about the poor.
This is an experiment in pure red and raw capitalism the like of which has not been seen in the modern age. In fact the far right yearns for a mythical Medieval age and Deus Veult.

Stupid Rules OK !
I mean really what is it with these authoritarian fascists that they loathe education?
Intellect is something to demean?
Science is wrong if it shows crazed belief is in error. What kind of populace wants to be run by such backward looking neanderthals?
The answer unfortunately is quite a few.
The masses in their ignorance listen to the demagogues and pastors and completely ignore what is good for themselves.
The thinking is that If I associate with the rich even if they are totally corrupt it will rub off on me – is it this thinking driving some of the worlds largest and some of the oldest “democracies” back to the middle ages, and the middle ages is definitely where a certain segment of Brazilian society wishes to be in their fantasy land.
The state is supposedly there to serve the people not enrich these miserable human beings who are ruled by bigotry, hate and greed and miss the legality of outright slavery.

Todays politics seems to be driven by hate and profit. A hatred of the poor, the non white, the not strictly gendered, any form of compassion.
The wealth gap in all these societies is greater than ever before and growing. Acute poverty is growing again in Brazil.
This is the country it is to be remembered where the new public enemy Number One Lula Ignacio da Silva, who was the spearhead for bringing 12 million out of poverty is still behind bars.
The prime mover of his conviction and sentence Justice now Minister Moro achieved this at the insistance of, and aid of the Americans.
Many suspect that Moro works directly with the CIA to further american business interests in Brazil.
He is now threatening Glenn Greenwald of the Intercept by publishing a Decree Authorizing Summary Deportation of “Dangerous” Foreigners.
The Intercept has lead the reporting on leaked messages which show Moro to have been anything but impartial in the conviction of Lula.
He has also been discovered to be protecting Bolsonaros milicia involved son.
Then just today Bolsonaro threatens to jail Greenwald for the crime of being a journalist

Yesterday 27 July would have been Marielle Franco’s 40th birthday. Instead it was 500 days since her unsolved execution.
Quem matar e quem mandou matar Marielle? Who killed Marielle is now probably known, who sent the killer is not, but the suspects are very close to power.

Marielle Franco is now bigger than Marielle Franco but Justice is still required.
Who sent the killers of Mariele is the cry on the streets. Brazil may have (fraudulently) elected a fascist, but we resist.
The cover up and obfuscation runs high in both the police forces and political organisations and at the back of everyones mind is the burning question
is the President of Brazil and / or his family directly or indirectly involved in the assassination of an elected black femaile gay politician who stood up vocally for the rights of minoroties

Meanwhile if you like or are interested in samba and have Spotify; here you are.
And here is a wonderful Twitter thread on Mangueira’s deconstruction of History and in Praise of Marielle and other black heroes.


         Marielle – Sempre Presente

100 Days of Chaos

100 Days of Chaos or Welcome to “Politics the New Way”.

It’s an accepted practice to give an incoming administration 100 days “of grace” but where to begin with this clown show of a clusterfuck that is the new Brazilian government.
The consensus for what it is worth is that this was a protest election in that the majority vote was against PT and the left, rather than pro the Bolsonazi.
So where does it all stand after 100 days.
Hardly standing is one answer.
There are more military involved in this government than in the dictatorship.
Hang on we have been told that there was no dictatorship, History is being rewritten, in public and in the schools.
Spokesman, and leading the cult of personality is the revisionist, misogynistic, homophobic, racist president whose personal and family life is now shown to have extremely close ties to an alternative and powerful
form of government, especially in homebase Rio de Janeiro; and namely the Milicias who are not just a parallel power; they are the government.

Behind this clown show there is some serious deconstruction going on to appease the business backers.
Pesticides, some of extreme toxicity and previously banned are now legitimate.
The Amazon is now ripe for exploitation by agricultural and mining interests and violence and death is on the rise.
Again of course militias and private pistoleros are involved.
Gun ownership laws have been relaxed.

Many people more than suspect the assistance and appeasment of both American big business and government in this destruction.
Notably Bolsonaro and his justice Minister Sergio Moro made an unprecedented visit to CIA headquaters on his recent US trip, an event largely ignored the mainstream media.
Moro has stayed very quiet during these first three months not commenting on obvious corruption and human rights abuses
As usual it is Rio de Janeiro in the spotlight.
The army recently killed a (black) driver of a family car, which they mistakenly identified, by firing 80 round into it. The word fusilade has been banned from official reports.
The army investigates the army.
Not one government official either local or national commented.
5 days later the Bolsonazi announced the Military killed no-one, and that the military are part of the people, and the people do not kill each other
Governor Witzel has snipers firing into favelas but denies knowledge of how many have been killed, either by them or from gunfire from the close overhead helicopters.

Just so that we are 100% sure of what is going on the President’s son Eduardo Bolsonaro, Federal Police officer, Evangelist and Federal Deputy is now formally allied with Steve Bannon as the representative
in South America for his fascist group “The Movement”.

The fight back has begun and probably warrants a post of it’s own
However just a taster:
is definitely coming from the people ignored and prejudiced against by the ruling elitist white ruling class.

It is now more than a year after the assassination of Marielle Franco and her driver Alexander Gomes.

There are as yet there are no clear answers but inquiries are leading extremely close to the President’s family and associates.

Of course it’s all just coincidence.

Beyond Magic Realism

If this was a novel people would shake there heads and say nah..Not Really.
But this is beyond Magic Realism, this is Brazil.

The only reason I repeat the following is because it is already out there.
I have no idea any longer about what is fact, what is alternative fact, what is misundestood to be true and what is undeniably false.

Jair Bolsonariro has stomach cancer. The Bolsonazi stabbing was theatre serving to get him off the stage because of his incompetance in any public appearance.
He has recently undergone chemotherapy at the Einstein hospital.
Adelio his assailant has not been heard from, and as to who is paying the lawyers this is unknown.
So is there a plot to remove the leading candidate and boost his possibilities thus allowing the military to creep back into power? Many consider it only a matter of time before General Hamilton Mourãu assumes the Presidency as the present regime implodes with infighting and corruption charges.
Meanwhile the sons are clinging to the reins of power like shit to a shoe.
And a very nasty bunch they are.

I know some people read this so I thought I would try and look at a bit of background.

Brazil is complicated at the best of times and finding clear intelligent journalism even in Portuguese is difficult and to find intelligent, different fact filled reporting and analysis in English is a challenge.
Why is this important you may well ask.
Brazil with its vast agriculural and mineral resources is a major world economic player. In the political field not so much, but what happens in Brazil will have repercussions elsewhere.
Politically the country was / is a corrupt and sordid mess and clarity and transparency is not exactly a mainstay of government. In the 2017 rankings of Transparency International Brazil ranked 96 out of 180. Reaching its best level in 2012 just after the Lula years.
Reporters without Borders ranks Brazil 102nd out of 180 a country where 42 journalists have been murdered in the last 28 years and where 57 enviromental activists were killed in 2017.

Brazil is now entering dark days as the population, revolted by the blatent corruption of the Temer years, and virulent hatred of the left stoked by the USA and MSM has resulted in the Bolsonazi clown show which could well self implode before too long. The forest fire this will ignite will probably be extinguished by the military.
Hence dark days.
For those wanting more depth I suggest Perry Anderson in the LRB.
In order to try and find some clarity among english writing journalists I offer the following.
I am lucky in that I have to rise to no standards in my writing conforming only to my own rather low ones and conform to no editorial judgement and I and have no deadlines except those imposed by myself.
Apart from a few notable publications I find that in this day and age that it is often better to follow the writers rather than the outlets.
Unfortunately the best move on, so I am constantly looking for others who will fill the gap with some indepth reckoning and explanation.
This is especially so here as bureaus sent their best or most promising journalists to cover the country during World Cup and the Olympics and then moved them on. Twitter plays an important part. It is a fire hose of information both true and false, true and misleading or outright propaganda.
Some international publications are notorious for this although there is still interest in their content.
Firewalls are another problem not only for the fact that they bar me from their content but also that they then end up preaching to the converted.
Until such time as a micropayment system is introduced so that individuals can read what they want rather than read what the the publishers wish them to, I will be abstaining or waiting for outclips from others.

I have to be very careful about drawing simularities or parallels between Brazil and other nations because cultures are so different.
There are now 3 power lobbies in Brazil coaligned under the Bolsonazi.
The Military who have 7 ministries are hugely influential and have already exercised veto over American military bases on Brazilian soil.
It should be noted that the Bolsonazi idolizes the Trumpian mannikin.
There are over 49 high ranking military individuals in this government and in some areas the military can be effectively said to be in power.

The Evangelicals who are completely unhinged also pay a large part.
This has parallels with the USA and the rise of the Dominionist beliefs held by Pence and Pompeo.

We are almost 50 days into the new government which has been characterized by the President being mostly in hospital and his VP General Hamilton Morau though not officially in power frequently calling the shots to neutralize otherwise radical decisions.

Some ministerial scandals from a bunch that would make mediocrity shine:-
Damares Alves The Evangelical preacher and minister for Minister of Human Rights, Family and Women has had ridicule heaped upon her criticizing the Church for “letting the theory of evolution enter schools”
She has stated boys wear blue and girls wear pink and is obsessed with pedophiia stating that in Holland they masturbate babies 7 months old.
On top of this there is The Gay Kit and now the Macumba kit inventions
There is also a brewing scandal about an native Indian child she adopted., some say absconded where the paperwork is not in order.
Even more worrying is that She is also involved in impeding an investigation into torture.

Ricardo Sallas is minister for the Environment
He is accused of altering the management plan for a protected area in the Tietê River with the “clear intention of benefiting economic sectors”.
Sallas went to Amazonia for thr first time only last week.
Whilest there he declared Chico Mendes to be “unimportant”.
A reminder about Chico Mendez, assassinated environmental activist (twitter thread unroll)

Ernesto Araújo Foreign Minister had a father who was a former Attorney General and during his term actively avoided extraditing Gustav Franz Wagner, a Nazi officer responsible for 250,000 deaths between 1942 and 1943, and who was living in Brazil during the military dictatorship.

Ricardo Vélez Rodríguez, minister of Education and himself a Colombian,
has been reported to the Supreme court Brazilian tourists “Canibals” who steal from hotels and rob life saving equipment from aircraft

It is very strange then when I can only cheer for
VP General Hamilton Mourao who is referred to as being the only adult in the room as the Bolsonazi catches up with his cabinet.

But by far the most intriguing and dangerous scandal involves the oldest son Flavio and brings it all back to this complicated city Rio de Janeiro.
Flavio Bolsonaro is involved in a corrupt lickback scheme involving a family retainer and is also accused of employing the mother and daughter of a Milicia leader. There are many documented sympathies of the Bolsonazi clan with the militias in Rio.
The Militias executed an elected Parlimentarian, Marielle Franco and her driver Anderson 11 months ago and no one has yet been found responsible.
There is very obviously extreme obfuscation at high levels. In Rio de Janeiro the militia is not a parallel power. It is the State

The unspoken question is did the now President of Brazil have knowledge about this assassination.?
The hate towards PSOL – Marielle’s party from the Bolsonazi factions was never hidden. Marieele Franco was an outspoken, courageous, black , gay Politically elected woman from the Favelas who worked tirelessly to try and better the lives of those less fortunate in society.
Jean Wyllys, a gay congessman has fled Brazil in fear of his life following death threats towards him and his family. He was also a member of PSOL

This is not normal; but many fear that this is just the beginning

In Rio the police have been given approval of a shoot to kill policy by the Newly elected Bolsonazi supporting governor Wilson Witzel; as has been shown by the recent execution of 13 not entirely innocent youths in the Fallet/Fogueteiro favela in central Rio a week ago.
Summary justice with governeral approval is not good democracy
They were only no good poor people goes the thinking much the same as that of the arrogant Fábio Schvartsman, President of Vale, the owner and operator of the mine and tailings dam in Brumidinho that collapsed and where deaths now number 166.
He is the only person who remained seated during a minutes silent to the dead. What a complete arsehole.

It is in this tense atmosphere that the Brazilian film Marighella
premiered in Berlin yesterday with the producers worried about possible censorship in the movie being shown at home in Brazil.

Meanwhile let’s get real it’s Carnaval time again and Mangueira and their Samba honouring Marielle.

The Lull Before the Storm.

Send in the Clowns

Christmas is sort of over but the Magic Reality continues in the lead up to the new Regime.
This year it was sort of the Christmas that never was. Very few houses were decorated and not many lights. Normally Cariocas go ape shit and there are multiple strings of flashing lights in every apartment block. This yeah Meh!
They know what is coming. This could well be the lull before a particularily virulent storm.
Amid the chaos Eduardo Bolsonazi calls for the death penalty for traficantes as his father president elect Bolsonazi snr says in his Twitter account that the death penalty issue will not be debated in his government. Well I suppose it’s one way to try and faze the opposition if you support the militias, but wait aren’t they one and the same now?
Just more bullshit populist politicing.

I’m just off into speculation here; but there are many rumours about the association of the Bolsonazis together with Rio governor elect Wilson Witzel with the Milicias.
Bolsonazi definitely doesn’t think badly of them;
And there is this from the Camera dos diputados. (scroll to translation)

The Zona Oeste of Rio is under Militia control and it was the Milicias who assassinated Marielle Franco.
This version given out by the military is disputed by Marcelo Freixo
himself the target of a newly discovered assassination plot.
All this is in the lead up to what we have to look forward to:
License-to-Kill Policing to Get a Trial Run in Rio de Janeiro.
In 2018 so far in Rio state 100 Police have been killed and they in turn have killed over 900 people.

In april The Intercept published (only in Portuguese unfortunately) a thorough investigation into the Milicias assuming control of Rio de Janeiro.
and has just run a very informative investigation project on the end of the notorious Amigos dos Amigos cartel in Rio de Janeiros and the over sixty of favelas affected.
A highly visual presentation which takes a while to load but is worth the wait.

Last week was also the 50th anniversary of the Institutional Act 5, the 1968 “coup within the coup” which ushered in an even more brutal and repressive phase of the Military dictatorship
The ghost of this repression still looms large. Jair Bolsonaro’s victory in the Brazilian presidential election marks the triumph of a new, digital form of totalitarian movement in which the masses are the driver of their own manipulation. But this doesn’t make it less harmful than traditional fascist models. Bolsonaro has been explicit that he will only grant rights, be they political or to life itself, to those who will fall in line.

The hard right supportors of the Bolsonazi all have little Brazilian and Israeli flags on their twitter handles – very strange.
He idolizes Trump whose star is about to go underwater, and also the soon to be convicted criminal Netanyahu who is selling weapons and technology to the new regime to be.
Like Trump they use Twitter as an official form of communication. To get an idea of the transparency of this the Bolsonazi and his sons have just blocked Leandro Demori executive editor of the Intercept Brazil, and several of his reporting staff for questioning deliberate lies.

Meanwhile the Rapist João de Deus withdrew 35 million from his accounts and ran away before he could be arrested only to give himself up a day later. This internationaly known, celebrity visited healer / medium / scammer enticed one of his victims back by telling her if she didn’t return for his “ministrations” her cancer would come back.
An all round shyster as told by swedish journalist Henrik Brandão who interviewed him a few years ago.
The number of his accusers for rape and sexual violation now exceeds 300.

Lastly some local news from Dona Marta – half a km from where I live and which used to be a calm and peaceful favela much visited by tourists.
Many of the community, located in Botafogo, ran out of electricity for three days after cables were shot down during a gun battle with the security forces. The heat has been in the 30’s during the day.


Policy? What Policy?

Guess who is going to rule us now?   

Jair Messias Bolsonaro;  the Messiah for Evangelicals and Conservative Catholics.

It’s all been moving quite fast as usual but not in a totally coherent way. Such is Brazil.
The actual answer to who rules in January is actually an unknown as there is a lot of infighting going on already and Policy is only something a real government does.
Apart from turning back the clock to 1964 and enrichinging their friends at the benefit of everyone else; which they all seem to agree with; a Policy as a whole for Brazil, one of the world’s largest economies just doesn’t exist.

As The Intercept rightly points out, with some detail; Jair Bolsonaro Promised to End Corruption in Brazil — Then He Appointed an Extremely Corrupt Cabinet.

Back on 29 October The Independent announced that Fascism has arrived in Brazil – Jair Bolsonaro’s presidency will be worse than you think.

The incoming Bolsonazi government will be composed it seems of three factions with the Bolsonazi and his nasty offspring making a lot of distracting noise.
It will be fractious so some of those presently in power might not last long and include the outing of the Bolsonazi himself.

There is certainly plenty of opposing Ideology

Reinaldo Azevedo writing in Folha de S.Paulo (translated) describes the main thrust of government to be Police, Chicago and the Barracks

Judicary – Sergio Moro who could turn out to be the golpista extraordinaire 
the real test of his power will come if and when government figures stand accused of breaking the law, for corruption or human rights abuses

Finance – Paulo Guedes – who I wrote about earlier

The Barracks ( Presently 7 ) – 
VP – General Hamilton Mourao –
Defense – General Fernando Azevedo e Silva
Internal Security – General Augusto Heleno – was convicted in 2013 by Brazilian’s federal accountability office for authorizing illegal grant agreements for the 2011 Military Games.
Secretary of State – General Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz ex controversal UN commander in Haiti 
Science and Technology  – Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Marcos Pontes – operated a business whilest still serving in the Military.
Mines and Energy – Admiral Bento Costa Lima Leite
Infrastructure & Transport – Tarcisio Freitas – former Army captain

Then there are the Evangelicals who are completely lunatical together with Foreign Minister Ernesto Aruajo

Women’s Issues and Human Rights – Damares Alves – a prolife women belong in the kitchen pastor.
Education – Ricardo Velez Rodriguez   cuckoo ultraconservative philosopher. 

Foreign Minister – Ernesto Araujo who is more than slightly cuckoo and very evangelical.and anti globalist who believes climate change is a Marxist plot and calling it ‘dogma’ and bemoaning the ‘criminalisation’ of red meat, oil and heterosexual sex.

The rest: Chief of Staff – Onyx Lorenzoni who  confessed to using slush funds on his campaign, in November.

Minister of Citizenship – Osmar Terra – 

Agricultural Minister  – Tereza Cristina the poison muse and friend to big agriculture and pharmaceutical companies.

Environment – Ricardo de Aquino Salles

Of The Bolsonazi siblings Flavio is already fingered as having dirty hands
and then there is the question of all those apartments.
What will Mr Moro do then?
and Carlos, the social media manipulater tweeted that the death of his father was of interest to persons close by .    Roughly translated:
The death of Jair Bolsonaro concerns not only the declared enemies, but also those who are very close. Mainly after your tenure!
It is easy to map a transparent and willful person. I have always done my part exhaustively. Think and understand the whole storyline!

Can I really find myself cheering for the Military ?
Well not really but they seem halfway sane compared to what else has been let out of the cage.

The only answer is Resistência.

It has now been 269 days since Marielle Franco and her driver were assassinated and justice is no closer. The Bolsonazis are Rio de janeiro politicians. We can see where their interests lie.

Marielle Franco – siempre presente.

We are already in the “Bad Times”

The political hangover. Its been a rough week.

The state of immediate shock seems to be wearing off and everyone seems to have a sort of grin and bear it look about them.
Six weeks to go to Regime change.
Just to help the gloom and doom it’s rainy season here in Rio prior to the heat of summer. Damp everything and wet shoes.
Walking home is a bit of an assault course of avoiding the puddles as you are never quite sure how deep they are when manoevering out of the way as the traffic throws up waves of water over the narrow pavements where the battle of passing umbrellas is going on.
This morning the sun is sort of out and it’s warm and I remember why I enjoy living here.
I shall go to a concert at the foot of the Moro a bit later. Local kids all good musicians all from the “wrong side of the tracks”.
There is a lot of fortitude and grit there. I hope their lot doesn´t get worse but I fear it will.
In Bolsonaro’s 81-page Plan of Government, “the word ‘culture’ appears only once.”
The Ministry is threatened to be absorbed into that of Education for which in turn he has announced plans to merge the Higher Education Ministry with the Ministry for Science, Technology, Innovation and Communication, a cost-saving measure that could undermine Brazil’s current role as Latin America’s scientific powerhouse.
Before plunging into economic recession in 2015, Brazil spent 1.3% of its gross domestic product on science and technology research – by far the largest share in the region.
With the rabid puritanical evangelists demanding a say in policy this is all shaping up to be straight out of the Handmaid´s Tale.

For those wanting the inside baseball of how the Brazilian Political system works I can recommend this Spotify podcast.
I don´t wholly agree with it, and find the take by Muni Jensen slightly elitist.
However I fully agree with the statement that
It’s the bark that summons all the other rabid dogs to the yard. Even in the absence of policy.
The idea that this government will end up being just right of Centre is, to me laughable but then American Centralists are right wingers in most other places and not a vestige of socialism is permitted.

From May 2017
Temer’s interim government worked hard to roll back thirteen years of reform by instilling policies which “represent a shift toward a neoliberal economic policy
by the old elite that ousted elected president Dilma Rousseff.”
As Jonathan Watts at The Guardian then noted, the interim government has made moves to “soften the definition of slavery, roll back the demarcation of indigenous land, trim house building programs and sell off state assets in airports, utilities and the post office. Newly appointed ministers also are talking of cutting healthcare spending and reducing the cost of the bolsa familia poverty relief system.”
According to Greenwald, these moves serve as an effort to “impose a right-wing, oligarch-serving agenda that the Brazilian population would never accept.”

Well we have moved even more right since then which with hindsight was probably the plan all along.
First remove Dilma and then jail Lula the only creditable opposition leader.
Neo Liberalism marches on and Paõlo Guedes of Chicago school infamy and who taught at the University of Chile during the Pinochet terror heads up the new financial superministry and is here to lead the charge.
The fact that he is facing a fraud investigation is very normal for a Brazilian Politician.

It should be noted that in spite of all the hype the Chigago Boys did not save the Chilean economy with repression for the majorities and “economic freedom” for small privileged groups being two sides of the same coin.

Just an aside that last week was the 3rd anniversary of the worst enviromental disaster in Brazils history.
Samarco knew of and predicted the dangers and yet no one has yet been held responsible. As a result a class action has been opened in Liverpool for about UKL 5 billion against The Anglo-Australian mining company BHP Billiton.

The transitional Bolsonaro regime is not really sure what it’s up to as yet there have been more than a few hiccups.
The head of Brazil’s Senate, criticizing the incoming Bolsonaro team: “These guys don’t come from politics, they come from social media.” (Twitter).
The promises of political renewal, leaving behind “old-school” politicians and pursuing national sovereignty, now sound like ideals that are far away from the group that will take office in January.

First the Agricultural ministry was going to be merged with the enviromental ministry. That was short lived as agribiz saw its bottom line being hit.
The new agricultural minister Tereza Cristina the first woman in the Cabinet is commonly know as “Musa do Veneno” for her heavy support o the pesticide industry.
This will speed up the loosening of Pesticide laws with the expected dire consequences.
Her predecessor under the usurper Temer was Blairo Maggi the soya king who has the previous distinction of being awarded the Greenpeace Golden chainsaw award. So it’s all signs of businness as usual but with fewer restraints.

Bolsonazi has alienated China which looking at Brazil’s export map seems to be a self inflicted wound.
And in Trumpian style he is attacking the press with specific ire for Folha de São Paulo. Before too long we will have a government fully run on facist twitter.
To his credit he has now included 3 more women in his transition team. The fact that they are all military personel is just something else to loose sleep about.

The next ongoing shock to social order beside pension reform will probably be his insistence on liberating gun laws, another failed policy in the making but his hard core storm trooper base will love it.

Finally from this morning’s news a newly elected Congressman taunts human rights groups as police drag blood-splattered bodies into pick-up trucks in Rio. The Congressman was elected on the pro-guns ticket of Brazil’s fascist president-elect and is a former porn star; pro-life but asked his ex girlfriend to have an abortion because they just had “casual sex” and he didn’t register the kid that is now a grown man.

How do the people stop this shit?


(I shall continue to refer to Jair Bolsonaro as the Bolsonazi because according to his own stated views this is exactly what he is as are so many of his despicable base).

Dies iræ, dies illa

On 1 January Brazil will enter 1964 or somewhere very close.

Dies iræ, dies illa
Solvet sæclum in favilla,
Teste David cum Sibylla.

Day of wrath and doom impending.
David’s word with Sibyl’s blending,
Heaven and earth in ashes ending.

03 Nov. 2018 and it’s the end of the the first week of the Transition of the Bolsonazi regime.
Grim days indeed.
It’s as if all the lights have gone out and left a few candles flickering

What do we know so far?
Sergio Moro the driving judge behind Lava Jato has accepted a super ministry definined by himself.
The fact that he was judge who imprisoned Lula, who the polls had way ahead in any election, of course had absolutely nothing to do with this and we should not assume that it does.
Ha fucking ha.
I hope he starts cleaning the Augean stable which is Brazil’s political political set up from the top, and soon.

Meanwhile what’s up in Rio, this glorious but tarnished city with its evangelical mayor Crivella, nephew of the awful but powerful Edir Macedo, crook and leader of a huge Evangelical sect / scam and owner of a vast communication empire Rede Record which is fast becoming the Bolsonazi’s Fox news.
The Bolsonazi is a Rio Politician and three of his rather nasty sons are also elected politicians.
Second son Carlos, a Rio councillor whose hobby is knives was behind the huge WhatsApp disinformation | Fake News campaign which is still going strong.
Then fresh from São Paulo we have the evangelical Wilson Witzel, a relative unknown as governor.

The dynamics in Rio are polar opposites with the Bolsominos loathing the left, not just the corrupt PT but also PSOL which is formed of activist progressives who actually consider the good of the city for its six and a half million inhabitants and nearly 17 million state inhabitants.
Marielle Franco the assassinated city councellor was a member of PSOL and the majority of my friends are PSOL supporters.
The Bolsonazi in his winners speech broadcast on Facebook threatened :
“These red outlaws will be banished from our homeland. It will be a cleanup the likes of which has never been seen in Brazilian history,”.

Witzel and Flavio the eldest Bolsonazi son are shortly off to Israel to buy armed drones, as used against Palestinian resistance and innocents alike.
As well Witzel has announced that he wants the completely inefficient Military occupation to be continued until at least October 2019 and aided by his intention of bringing in snipers to sort out the bandits.
Stand by for heavy collateral damage.
From a 1999 Bolsonazi interview on Brazilian television.
“Elections won’t change anything in this country. It will only change on the day that we break out in civil war here and do the job that the military regime didn’t do: killing 30,000.
If some innocent people die, that’s fine. In every war, innocent people die.”

So if you are poor and probably black and living in a favela your changes of being blown to bits have just gone up exponentially,
especially if carrying an umbrella.

Economically the future looks confused.. what a surprise. There was an amazing lack of clarity or even ideas in his campaign.
Paulo Guedes, himself under investigation and who taught at the University of Chile during the Pinochet era is a Chicago School alumunus. He is known to be abrasive so that will be interesting.
Bolsonazi has already stated that Mercosur isn´t important, is picking a fight with China – Brazils largest trading partner and by stating the movement of the Israeli Embassy to Jerusalem has alienated the arab middle east countries to which Brazil exported USD $17 billion last year. Privatization is in the air so selected noses will be at the trough and this administration will benefit from a upsurge in oil production,
or at least from that part not sold off to foreign interests. (There are over 400 public companies).
Pension reform, which is overdue is also in the air but as usual will first effect the lower income populace most.

The Amazon seems fucked.
even without the merging of the Ministries of Environment and Agriculture. The indigineous people will suffer with Agribiz and Mining interests heavily on his side.

The ingrained conservatism is set to reverse the Country with the far right ready to roll.

By the end of next week the Ministerial occupants should be clearer. Like the Trump regime to the north, Bolsonazi will bombast and the men and women behind the curtain will wreck as much of civilization as they possible can, probably in God’s name.

Very Close to the Edge

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
George Orwell

This is the Anti Election. Brazil is at the Crossroads.

Erich Fromm published Escape from Freedom (pdf) in 1941
When Fascism came into power, most people were unprepared, both theoretically and practically.
They were unable to believe that man could exhibit such propensities for evil, such lust for power, such disregard for the rights of the weak, or such yearning for submission.
Only a few had been aware of the rumbling of the volcano preceding the outbreak

Brazil’s elections are for the President, Vice President and the National Congress.
Elections for state Governors and Vice Governors, state Legislative Assemblies and Federal District Legislative Chamber are held at the same time.
The first round had no outright presidential winner so will lead to a run off in two weeks time and this has already led to many family fights and much grief among friends and colleagues.
The polorization is intense. Violence against the left is rising with over 50 incidents reported in the last week including the murder of a 62 year old Capoeira Maestre.

On the Right is the racist, mysogonistic, homofobic torture admiring Bolsonazi and his family and to the Left is the tainted PT who with their leader Lula in jail is now headed by Haddad the ex mayor of São Paulo, but apart from that relatively unknown.
Centre left and trailing by a wide margin was probably the most sensible of the lot, Ciro Gomes.
Unsettling times. Dangerous times and ripe for exploitation by the unscrupulous.

Foreign Policy magazine consideres that Jair Bolsonaro’s Model Isn’t Berlusconi. It’s Goebbels.
The far-right Brazilian leader isn’t just another conservative populist. His propaganda campaign has taken a page straight from the Nazi playbook

Vincent Bevins; acclaimed and respected journalist has extensively researched Jair Bolsonaro.
Brazil has been a democracy with direct presidential elections since 1989, but for the preceding quarter-century it was ruled by a brutal military government.
Bolsonaro is not merely nostalgic for that era; he would reintroduce the dictatorship’s political ethos, preserved and intact, into modern Brazil.

As Aneurin Bevan so presciently put it:
Fascism is not in itself a new order of society. It is the future refusing to be born.

When fascism comes to America Brazil, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” – Sinclair Lewis
Cross out America and put in Brazil – Edir Macedo, Evangelist bishop and owner of the communications empire Rede Record who has put his resources firmly behind the Bolsonazi.

Eliane Brum -award winning Brazilian Journalist:
Jair Bolsonaro is the monstrous product of the country’s silence about the crimes committed by its former dictatorship.

Ernest Hemingway sums up the feeling of many who must now hold their noses and vote for Haddad to keep the fascists at bay.
Are you a communist?”
“No I am an anti-fascist”
“For a long time?”
“Since I have understood fascism
– , (For Whom the Bell Tolls)

or in todays mode “I do not fight fascists because I will win. I fight fascists because they are fascists.” – (Chris Hedges, Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt).

It will be an uphill struggle with the first poll showing Bolsonaro leading Haddad 58% / 42 %

The election is being fought on Social media as Bolsonario will not debate his opponent due to “Medical Restrictions”.
The abrupt forceful rise of the far right shows the complete disaffection of the populace with the venal self serving and often criminal politicians of the past.
The question is will this election solve any of that or lead to more of the same but with fascist inclinations.
As noted above violence against leftists is rising and I wonder if we are due a major incident.
Terror and assassination and mysterious accidents are far from unknown in Brazilian political life.

Fascism is not defined by the number of its victims, but by the way it kills them. (Jean-Paul Sartre)

The Generals are no longer in the background.
Gen. Antônio Hamilton Mourão is running as the vice president.
.. if the judiciary “couldn’t be able to heal the existing politics in the country, this would be imposed by the army through a military intervention
and now after the first round are showing their true colours…..and then there are the Milicias who will feel that they are being given free rein should Bolsonario win.

According to Alfredo Valladão, a defence specialist quoted by the Economist
The army will take its own decisions”, not bow to Mr Bolsonaro, he says.
Indeed, if Mr Bolsonaro wins, its resistance to complete civilian control may prove to be a restraint on him.
The army would feel forced to intervene, Mr Valladão adds, only if Brazil slid into large-scale political violence
Fascism is a lie told by bullies – Ernest Hemingway
Which once more sets the scene for false flag destabiliazation events.

The following is worth bearing in mind: –

The keystone of the Fascist doctrine is its conception of the State, of its essence, its functions, and its aims.
For Fascism the State is absolute, individuals and groups relative
. – Benito Mussolini

Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the development of humanity, quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace. – Benito Mussolini

Why nationalize industry when you can nationalize the people? – Adolf Hitler

The struggle between the two worlds [Fascism and Democracy] can permit no compromises. It’s either Us or Them! – Benito Mussolini

2018.11.04 Edited to remove an untruth.

So, why do I live in Rio de Janeiro?

There is good and bad everywhere so its all a question of weighing the options.
As an aquaintance of mine who lives between Rio, London and Miami so succintly puts it “There is a lot of shit around everywhere but I kind of like this shit here best”.

Rio de Janeiro the Cidade Maravilhosa

Why Rio? Why not? Its probably the most visually stunning city I have ever been to.

It’s a city and all cities are complicated, some more so than others so there needs to be some clarification.
I live in the comfort bubble of Zona Sul in Botafogo, almost in Humaita, two blocks away from the city´s major cemetry and overlooked by the hillside favela of Dona Marta two blocks in the other direction.
The favelas have the City´s best views and worst services having been totally ignored by the politicians for too many years.
Founded of neccessity and exploitation, their whole history is complex.
It’s not a crime to be poor but many Rio politicians, and also the Police, like those in the USA treat them as if it is.
To their eyes it is better to ignore the problem than resolve it.

Until they built the apartment block across the road I could see Christo from my veranda.
I live in the middle of a city that doesn’t really sleep, yet as my second floor apartment in an old vila is back off the street, tranquility reigns,
until the neighbours have a party or the helicopters of War overfly the area.
This part of Botafogo has everything within ten minutes walking distance, buses, metro, supermarkets, laundry, cinemas and theatres, music clubs, you name it, we have it.
The cross streets are luxouriously treelined and the paraqueets squabble noisily.
Every now and then a toucan puts in an appearance as do Micos, little marmosets, but that is more towards the cemetry and the forest.
The streets are a mix of old and new buildings. The main thoroughfares were the only way from downtown to Lagoa and Copacabana and Ipanema before the tunnels.
Some of the older quasi palaces still survive, especially on Rua São Clemente, set back in their own gardens.
Here on Rua São João Batista there are still buildings dated 1890
Voluntarios de Patria the main artery leading to the Metro is a hive of commerce both formal and informal.
This is part of what I love about the city. I am sure there is an informal regulation of the street commerce in that the street vendor pays off someone for his / her patch.
This can be from coffee and sticky cake to socks and elecrical equipment. In the evening there are popcorn sellors and soup caldrens, hot dogs and acaje.
At weekends the BBQ churrasqueiros pop up by the botecos with Picaña and linguica (steak and sausage).
And then there are the street markets.

The beach, when needed is a 10 minute bus ride away. This has its own rhythm. No need to take anything, its all there, chairs and sumbrellas for hire, drinks, alcoholic and non from wandering vendors or the barraco.
The Rio Beach is not quiet, it is a hive of activity, Açai, Queijo Coalho,
Caipirinha, Maté, beer, fresh sanduiche, pasteis, kangas, sunglasses, suncreams, jewellery, hats, and more all being hawked energetically under the blistering sun
which shimmers off the waves and oiled flesh of trim and the not so trim alike.
The ‘orla’, the seas edge is busily taken up with walkers, incedibly talented players of “altinho” or keep it up, frescobal, or kids digging holes in the sand.
The vibrancy of this city is amazing.
The pavements are frequently full, people wander between the traffic, street people ask for handouts normally unagressively.
Grafitti is the broadcaster in the street, frequently political and often with bitter-sweet humour,
and then there are the murals,
When it all gets too much I can go back to my cat and quiet apartment and listen to samba, because last but not least the Music. It’s everywhere.
Get out of the metro on the way home from work and there might be a good rock n´roll band covering Hendrix.
Wander down the street a bit and you moght find a couple of drummers beating out an infectious rhythm or a saxophanist playing reggae.
From the exquisitely talanted Yamandu Costa to the biggest party in the world – Carnaval the City rocks and sways
I will leave you with some Maracatu and the Bateria of Portela

Light rain, chirping birds and distant gunfire

Light rain, chirping birds and distant gunfire.

In 1967 The Mamas & the Papas sang some wonderful harmonies about the darkest hour just before dawn

On Saturday I awoke in the half light to light rain, chirping birds and distant gunfire. Second day runnung.
The city is at war with itself. The politicians have completely failed at a federal, state and local level.

Corruption is rife. The poor suffer.
The middle class shrinks
The rich get richer and run away.

This morning – Tuesday – there were shootouts in five favelas just in Zona Sul.

The ‘war’ is complicated. The motivation is power and money through control of territory.
Milicias, Traficantes, Police, Army, Politicians.
Life on the “asphalt” in Zona Sul continues as normal but in the favelas and outside of this bubble and in the burbs it gets a little bit grimmer by the day.
The wife of an aquaintance (admittedly a princess who lives in an ivory tower) refuses to go to or from the airport after dark.
Hold ups and shootouts are a daily occurence but have been all the time I have been here, however now the frequency is intensifying.
What are the powers that be doing about it?
Not a lot.
When will it end?
It won’t until very many problems are solved.
In no particular order
Complete reform and training of the Police forces.
Legalization of Marijuana.
Acceptance of Black people as other than 2nd class citizens
Being poor is not a crime.
Investment in infrastructure in the favelas.
A purge of the old guard politicians who treat Rio de Janeiro as a private fiefdom.
Streamlining and reform of the legal system.

An extraordinary story was published in Globo last week suggesting that Marielle was assassinated by an elite murder squad.
This story has not been touched on by any other publication.
The article gave past history of this group and is a frightening read.
Since Marielle’s execution a Journalist aquainatance of mine with good sources into the mechanisms of power here in Rio told me that she is much more circumspect now about what she publishes.
Freedom to write what one thinks is definitely becoming more difficult as more and more journalists self censure.

Below follows translations from a coouple of Globo articles

Paywalled link
“RIO – In the trail of the investigation of the murder of councilwoman Marielle Franco, police discovered the existence of an elite group of killers in Rio.
Formed by police officers and former police officers, among them an active major and a former officer of BOPE,

The group is highly specialized in executions to order, leaving no clues.

The participation of this group, known as the Escritório do Crime, is one of the hypotheses raised by the police to explain the degree of complexity in the
solving of the murders, which are now five months without solution.

The alleged involvement of the Escritório do Crime, in the deaths of Marielle and her driver Anderson Gomes does not negate the main line of investigation so far:
that the executor could be the Orlando de Oliveira Araújo, militiaman, the Orlando de Curicica, who is in the federal prison of Mossoró, in Rio Grande do Norte.
The suspicion is that the group of killers would have assassinated the councilwoman when it was contracted by Curicica, but the police do not rule out the possibility of another principal.
The proliferation of hypotheses involving this crime indicates how much the investigation of these assasinations still struggles to reach a solution.

Police have unconfirmed information that Marielle’s death would have cost about $ 200,000. (approx USD $63,000) ( According to these reports, the gang even asked for more money after the huge repercussion of the case.
The figures are in line with what the murder syndicate would charge: homicide ranges from $ 200,000 to $ 1 million, depending on the profile of the victim and their relevance.

If the involvement of the Escritório do Crime was confirmed, Marielle’s death would be one of their boldest but not their only acts: the gang performs “services” throughout the country and charges a premium
for actions outside Rio. Car journeys, carrying heavy weaponry and ample ammunition, increases its level of exposure.

The main police track to link the Escritório do Crime to Marielle’s execution comes from questioning a member of the gang. Although he denied that he was in Estácio, where the councilwoman was killed, on the
day of the crime, cell phone antennae crossed with a device used by the suspect indicated that he was in place on the day and time of the murder.

Another relevant fact, which reinforces the group’s participation, is that the Cobalt car used by the assassins passed through Itanhangá, before continuing to ambush Marielle.
A local city hall camera spotted the vehicle. On this route lies the Favela of Rio das Pedras, one of the strongholds of the killers.

The professionalism of the Escritório do Crime ends up being their signature, just one of the traces followed by the police. Just as they do not use their personal cell phones (the criminal’s device located by the
police was not in his name), they have the ability to make a prior withdrawal from inside information, such as whether or not security cameras are working.
Because they are police and former PMs, they know the administrative machine well and have a large network of informants.

Even the cloning of the cars is done by members of the gang, who maintain absolute secrecy about the actions. If there is the slightest suspicion that, internally, someone can betray them, the informant is eliminated.

At the head of the group is a former Bope officer. Members of the criminal organization are well-trained and able to spend hours in a car, for example.
That was what happened in the vigilance made while Marielle, on March 14, gave a lecture at the Casa das Pretas, Rua dos Invalides, in Centro, moments before being executed.
To avoid trips to the bathroom, criminals often urinate in bottles in the car itself.
If they are approached by the police, they present the corporation’s portfolio – there is always a PM in the car. If this occurs, abort the mission.

From the Bicho to the militia
The members of the group began acting as bicyclists’ security guards in Rio in the early 2000s, with the mission of securing the power and territories of their bosses.

Shortly thereafter, according to investigations, the former officer of Bope decided to create his team of rental killers, to assassinate the offenders of the offenders.
They would eliminate anyone as long as they paid them well. In the beginning, it was enough to have the description of the car of the victims, time and place, for the execution “service”.

Before long, the pack leader was no longer just a security guard, becoming the owner of his own business, exploiting the Bicho game and the slot machines.
The former officer became a militiaman, expanding his business into the construction sector and even selling gas stolen from Petrobras pipelines in the Baixada Fluminense.
Even so, death by order continued to be the most profitable business. Police assigned to the group dozens of homicides, both in the state and abroad, which remain unresolved.

List of murders without solution.

The murder portfolio assigned by the police to the Office of Crime is extensive.
One of the deaths that would be in the group’s account is that of the president of Portela Samba School, Marcos Vieira de Souza, known as Falcon, 52, in September 2016.
He ran for a seat of councilman for the PP and was executed in his electoral committee, in Oswaldo Cruz, in the North Zone, when his security guards left him alone for a few minutes.
It was long enough for two hooded men to enter the scene and assassinate the candidate with rifle shots to his head.
Neither did the presence of cameras in the place inhibit the action.

Another homicide attributed to the mercenaries is that of the retired PM sergeant Geraldo Antônio Pereira, in the parking lot of a gym in Recreio, in the West Zone, in May 2016.
At the time, the Capital Homicide Office (DH) reported that the main line of investigation was the dispute over the exploitation of slot machines in the region.
Pereira, while on duty, worked as a police officer assigned to the Anti-Sequestering Division (DAS).
In June of last year, the victim was a prostitute and Haylton Carlos Gomes Escafura, 37, the son of the bicheiro José Caruzzo Escafura, the Piruinha.
Once again, the crime was committed by two men who went up to a room on the eighth floor of a hotel in Barra da Tijuca, where the victim and his companion, 27-year-old PM Franciene Soares de Souza, were staying.
All crimes remain unsolved. ”

2nd Article

Five months after the deaths of alderwoman Marielle Franco (PSOL) and driver Anderson Gomes, a line of investigation gains strength:
the crimes may be linked to a group of killers known as the “crime office”.

The group is made up of military police officers, former police officers and militiamen.

In June, the Homicide Division took the testimony of an officer of the Military Police and another suspect in the gang.
The survey of telephone antennas searched the cell phone of one of them, in the same area of the crime, nine days before the murders.

On the night of the crime, on March 14, according to police, the antennas record the two phones used by the suspect in Jacarepaguá, in the West Zone of Rio, where he lives.
In a statement, the suspect denied any involvement in the crime.

He said he did not go through the area where Marielle and Anderson were killed, despite the record of the cell phone antenna the week before the crime.
The day after the deaths, the suspect boarded a flight to Fortaleza.

The locations where the killers car spent hours before the killings are another reason for the police to link the group to the crime.
The gang known as “crime office” has a stronghold: a condominium near the radar that caught the Cobalt silver, on March 14 at 17:34 in Itanhangá.
The vehicle ascended the top of Boavista and passed at 18:02 on the corner of Conde de Bonfim and Uruguaio streets in Tijuca, as RJ2 showed last May.

The Homicide Division even made searches for cameras in this condominium, where the group usually meets to plan the killings.
And there are not a few deaths that may be related to the so-called crime office.

Police suspect the group has participated:
The murder of the president of Portela, Marcos Falcon
From the contraventor Aílton Scafura, in a hotel in Barra da Tijuca
From Marcelo Diotti da Mata, in the parking lot of a restaurant in Barra da Tijuca, just over an hour after the murder of Marielle
The Execution of the retired sergeant of PM Geraldo Antônio Pereira.
The participation of the “crime office” in the death of Marielle removes another line of investigation of the Division of Homicide: the one that clears the responsibility of the militiaman Orlando Oliveira de Araújo, known like Orlando Curicica.
Police sources did not believe Orlando would hire the members of the office because he was very close to Geraldo Antônio Pereira.
The sources also say that he would have sworn viguta to the gang that would have killed his friend.

Marielle – Sempre Presente

© Copyright 2007 . Thanks for visiting!