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Journalistic Fiasco | Folha & The Volunteers


Crude but effective campaign against the media establishment is that much more effective when the media establishment makes an ass of itself.

Source: Blog da Cidadania (Edu Guimarães)

As I mentioned recently, the FSP had one of its occasional bouts of madness Sunday, relegating highly positive poll results for the incumbent to two column inches and reserving an entire football field to a murky tale of 12 political volunteers in the Thick Jungles of Mato Grosso during the 2010 election.

The top headline in the latest Sunday edition of the Folha de São Paulo should convince you that the media establishment is hell bent on preventing the ever more probable reelection of Dilma Rousseff in 2014, as its own polling numbers show.

In a story headlined “Election volunteers for Dilma were paid ‘off the books,'” the FSP reveals that a desperate attempt is underway to find some means to sabotage Dilma’s reelection.

The newspaper reported having located “12 persons in Mato Grosso and Piauí who say they never worked for free, as volunteers, despite being listed as unpaid service providers in the paperwork handed in to the federal elections tribunal” (TSE). Further down, it confesses it found at least 43 campaign volunteers [in this situation], of which 12 were contacted by the reporter. “

In the far-flung dominions of Brazil, Mato Grosso and Piauí are as about as far as you can possibly get flung without running across a Peruvian pack-mule train loaded up with marching power. Continue reading


Trensalão | Consultants Laundered $52 Million?


Source: Jornal da Mídia.

A snipper of the top story in today’s Folha de S. Paulo. Pro-government bloggers jumped on the story quickly — within the hour, with the complete text — whereas Folha’s crack blogger Josias de Souza waited for the ink on the infographic — above — to dry. I wonder what diagramming tools they use.

Companies accused of fraud in public auctions in the rail transport system of the state of S’ao Paulo paid R$ 52 million in consulting fees investigated by the federal police on suspicion of diverting funds to politicians and civil servants since the late 1990s.

Some of these consultancies were identified for the first time in an inquiry opened by the PF in 2008 to into the business practices of the French engineering firm Alstom and state-owned companies in the electricity and transport sectors.

This year, the PF broadened its investigations to include companies named by Siemens in a confession to antitrust regulator CADE and said to have participated in the results of various auctions held by the Metro subway authority and the CPTM commuter rail system between 1998 and 2008 .

The PF says that it examined the financial transactions of four suspect consultancies and found that they received remittances from Alstom and two other companies accused of cartel formation, Bombardier of Canada and Brazil’s Tejofran.

The police are working with the hypothesis that these consultancies simulated the provision of services and were used to distribute bribes to politicians and civil servants with ties to the PSDB, which has governed the state since 1995

Continue reading

Força Nacional | Ten Years On


The Força Nacional de Segurança Pública (FNSP) is a an elite, model national police force comprising carefully vetted and trained personnel from the police and armed services, under the command of the Ministry of  Justice.

t seems to have been conceived of as a precision tool against more violent forms of corruptions, in many cases of which ultraviolence-prone  police are at the heartof the negative scenario.

That is to say, what do you do when your only recourse against the local death squad are themselves part of the armed anarchocapitalist network?

The force seemed like an intellligent innovation at the time, but it does not command the crime and punishment headlines as the federal police do.

It seems to me like a better solution than using the example of MINUSTAH in Haiti, as some gung-ho Brazilian military wanted,  within the city limits of Rio.  Continue reading

IBOPE/CNI | The Numbers Game



I open up my Sunday edition of the Folha de S. Paulo expecting to see the usual: the latest polling numbers and demographic analysis on the cover and Page 4.

Instead, I find myself adrift in an elaborate editorial package on 12 cases of illegal hiring of election workers by the Dilma-PT campaign in 2010, generally in extremely remote areas.

The PT says, buried on an inside page under the rubric The Other Side,  that the electoral court approved its accounts and that is that.

The strong turnaround in pro-government polling data this week is assigned maybe two column inches, without the right to the Folha’s signature infographics.

The latest Ibope — a local business partner of Nielsen  since 2004, and now in a relationship of coopetition, it seems –indicates a first-round victory for the incumbent were the elections held today, with highly positive evaluations of the government at 54%

Brazilian newspapers can often be extremely biased.  Continue reading

Economist’s Rocket to Rio | The Dirty Blogs React

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Source: Escrevinhador, who admits to having talked trash about the upcoming Economist cover before reading a single word of it.

Been there. Done that:

Rodrigo Vianna now turns his brain, waits forever for Windows to boot and load, and takes on the Dismal Scientist on its own ground.  Continue reading

“Free School Lunch Is a Communist Plot”

IMIL2013 Links2

Brazil’s Instituto Millenium is a neoliberal Cato clone — a think tank founded on the Atlas Toolkit model with extremely close ties to the rarified oligarchy of Brazilian media companies and their principal lobbying groups — ABERT, ANJ.

Now, I recently suffered a horrific CPU meltdown on my Debian Linux box — thanks to AES Eletropaulo, — and have since been trying to reconstruct the system I had up and running for the past several years.

Among other things, the dead machine contains a mass of detailed crawling and spidering results that lend themselves to social network analysis and visualisation.


The Institute made for a useful reference point because it is set up to act as a — where is my Pajek SNA textbook? — Hub? Authority?  That is to say, when you spider it, it yields links to virtually all points on its network, which makes it something like the opposite of a conspiracy.

The software — yEd — enables autogrouping so that you can perform such tasks as developing a roster of sites in a freshly discovered structural group and the degree to which it interconnects — or not — across “organizational” boundaries with others, or shares them in the third degree. They call this analysis of brokerage roles.

As I said before, while woking on this more steadily, we find such networks of networks in our crawing data because these enterprises are organized that way on purpose: a taxonomy of elements in a networked organization with roles defined by, among others, the ECOLEAD program of the EU.

Virtual Organizations 5 of 6.jpg (1595×1467)

Above: Variants on the Collaborative Networked Organization.

But now, let’s get to today’s sermon.

Source: Instituto Millenium

Argument in the WTO is that food programs for students and poor are agricultural subsidies in disguise. Continue reading

Brazilian Police | Between the UPP and the DMZ

Generic detective badge available through police union e-commerce Web site

Generic detective badge available through police union e-commerce Web site

Police militarism is a bad thing. I will leave it to DCM to outline the argument, below.

But just try telling that to a man with a gun in his hand and a police-friendly alderman or deputy on his side.

Is it possible to replace the knuckle-dragging “Operation Armed Peace”  that led to the disappearance of a local man in Rocinha with a model more along the lines of a DMZ?

Rather than the UPP (pacification police unit), a demilitarized zone? Or maybe even just semi-demilitarized?

Source:   Diário do Centro do Mundo.

The slogan heard in the streets alarms passersby, who tend to ask, “And when you get robbed, who are you going to call?” — as though demilitarization of the police implied the total extinction of the police.

That is not what we mean. It is a matter of transferring this “public service” to a police force not modeled after the military.

Under Article 144 of the federal constitution, public security assigns to the judicial police only the power of investigating criminal infractions (which it presents to the prosecutor). The military police are assigned to street patrols and “the preservation of public order.” This in itself is problematic because, obviously, one organization washes its hands of a case the minute it passes the baton to the next.  Continue reading