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“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.

The U.S. government is questioning social programs and food aid to poor citizens in Brazil, on the suspicion that these represent strategies and mechanisms for funneling indirect subsidies to rural producers, violating international rules. 

Yesterday, the White House asked the WTO to press Brazil for greater transparency over how much the latter has in fact invested in distribution schemes, which have been expanded in recent years. The U.S. government even questions the National School Nutrition Program, which allocates funds to school lunches.

For the time being, the issue has not evolved into a commercial dispute in the WTO. Both the U.S. and Canada brought the subject up during regular meetings of the WTO agriculture committee. Ottawa and Washington had already questioned other aspects of the fiscal incentives that Brazil provides its agricultural producers.

The challenge from Washington is directed at a school lunch program that was expanded in 2009, when the school lunch began using a larger volume of familly agriculture to feed the program. By law, state and municipal governments are obliged to use at least 30% of their federal budget allocation for school lunches to buy from family farmers.

At the time, the ministry of Agrarian Development said the school lunch law opened a new market for products that were difficult to commercialize. Some R$ 3 billion have already been used to feed 44 million public school students. The suspicion, however, is that this is an indirect subsidy to the agricultural producer.

Yesterday, the U.S. government asked Brazil for complete data on how much has been used to buy local products, and to detail the sectors benefited. The U.S. asked Brazil to explain why the amount of public funds in the Food Acquisition Program (PAA) grew substantially in 2010 and asked Brazil to resubmit its calculations on how much it spends to the WTO.

The Brazilian foreign service (Itamaraty) said there was no reason to resubmit the data and said that the increase was merely the result of an accounting method that began to take into account the expenses of the Ministry of Social Development. Government communiqués show that over a period of ten years, PAA received R$ 5 billion in investments. President Dilma has already indicated that her government purchased 830,000 tons of food, spending R$ 1.75 billion. Estimates for 2013 are that it will invest R$ 1.4 billion.

Canada also asked for details on the workings of the Plano Brasil Maior and the fact that producers are allegedly benefiting from tax breaks. Ottawa asked Brazil to explain the financial impact of this government aid program.

Source: O Estado de S. Paulo


Above: Corporate funders, associated projects, and do not forget to correct for the Facebook-Twitter echo chamber effect.

The larger boxes represent organic groupings, which tend to take the form of star alliances. T

he analysis comes as no surprise: the Abril Group of media companies, in partnership with the OESP group, is essentially the mouthpiece of the movement, this 21st Century IPES, this sloganeering machine.

The technical challenge now is using Gephi to reformat GraphML as .paj.

21212.com is a new element in the network, which I last analyzed just yesterday, using NaviCrawler running on Firefox. What is its relation to the network as a whole?

Well, among its partners, it lists one key member of the IMIL project: Endeavor Brasil, whose global programs are bankrolled by the Barons of Bronfman.

An even more interesting connection is the presence of El Tigre, Emilio Azcárraga-Jean, owner of Mexican radio and TV empire Televisa, as chairman of the board of the initiative.


Above, major backers of the Endeavor Global organization.