29 Jun 2012

Mr. JULIAN ASSANGE - Paying for saying the truth

Mr. Julian Assange

Everybody knows who is Julian Assange: a courageous Australian man who spilled the beans about the dirtiness that happens behind the scenes concerning wars and political interests as a whole. Mr. Assange, funder of WikiLeaks - a site that denounces all means governments of all around the world use to get what they want, chiefly the United States - is almost 600 days detained without any legal charge in Great Britain! Yes, in England! The same country who in 2000 decided that the Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet should be freed (he was arrested in the UK at the request of Spain on murder charges).
 
So, we can see that the UK releases assassins (General Pinochet, Saajid Muhammad Badat, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, etc.) but imprisons a man who all he did is to show to the world how wars and conflicts are made - by writing on a web page!
WikiLeaks came on the spot and started a global debate over its role in the release of thousands of confidential messages about the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and the conduct of American diplomacy around the world. Almost at the same time, whilst WikiLeaks was disclosing all those secrets, Mr. Assange was accused of sexual assault in Sweden, embroiling him in a lengthy extradition battle.
By observing it, it’s easy to understand what is behind these accusations: the CIA.
I’m not into theory of conspiracy and I also not watch conspiratorial films, but by evaluating the kind of “damage” he caused to the US Government’s image is easy to understand why he was under house arrest without any charges against him. WikiLeaks brought the US up before the world by presenting facts of prejudicial interests to the American Government. Is it possible that an unknown man until a few years ago was accused of sexual assault in Sweden just after the information about Iraq and Afghanistan was leaked? Coincidence?
Such an attitude of Britain also exposes the power the US has over the UK and other “associates” like Australia. We see that the Australian Government does not do anything to - at least - try to protect its citizen. Australia looks more like a puppet of America that prefer to stay away from the case to go ahead and try to rescue Mr. Assange. It means that after being extradited to Sweden, if it is the case, for sure Mr. Assange will be bound for the US as soon as his “trial” finishes in Sweden - and he will never see the free world again.
 
It’s easy to figure out Mr. Assange being handcuffed and chained 23 hours per day with two marines on his heels, as if he was the most dangerous man in the world. Of course he would face a trial in the US, as well; a military one with no civil rights and, perhaps, in Guantanamo, a no one’s land where everything is possible.
By reading American and British newspapers such a The New York Times and The Guardian, is quite easy to see that there’s almost a common sense that Mr. Assange is a sort of “spy-terrorist-enemy” of the United States. The American press sees him as the worst man on word for disclosing thousands of secret documents on the Iraq War and Afghanistan. No one of them thanks Mr. Assange for blabbing to the world the dirtiness of interests behind the scenes that lead men to kill men.
There’s also rumours that a “secret grand jury hearing" in Alexandria - an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia - has been considering a Justice Department bid to charge Mr. Assange with espionage and other crimes... It actually sounds weird. Why a small town in the US would have interest in arresting an Australian man? By learning how the CIA works it is easy to understand how it will be handled: to receive the founder of WikiLeaks in American soil, it’s necessary to have an accusation against him so, the theatre was shaped up. It also demonstrates that as soon as Mr. Assange gets in the Swedish hands he will be passed on to American hands.
Mr. Julian Assange has denied all accusations and affirmed it is part of a conspiracy to silence him. A British court ruled in November 2011 that he could be extradited, and on 14th June 2012, the Supreme Court denied his final appeal and said that barring a last-minute intervention by the European Court of Human Rights, he would be on a plane to face his accusers by midnight on 7th July 2012.
About a week later, Mr. Assange sought asylum at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. According to statements from the embassy and officials in Quito, Mr. Assange wanted “protective asylum” from the Swedish and American governments.
Scotland Yard, the British Police, has said that Mr. Assange violated his bail conditions by seeking asylum at the Ecuadorean Embassy and is subject to arrest when he leaves the embassy. In other words, he should stay quite and accept all allegations and should not use all his means to keep himself free, giving him in to the Britsh authorities (them to Sweden an so to the US).
In a statement, the British Foreign Office said Mr. Assange was “on diplomatic territory and beyond the reach of the police” as long as he remained in the embassy. If Ecuador denies his appeal for asylum, he will have to leave the embassy and will face arrest and imprisonment. On the other hand, Mr. Assange will have to make a run bound for Ecuador, evading the hands of the British police. Even so, it’s hard to believe that the United States would allow such a happening. It’s well known that the US does not respect treaties when it is of its interest and as Ecuador sees the United States as an empire avid for dominating the world, It’s possible to make an assumption that Mr. Assange would make a stop in some American airport due to “technical problems” in the airplane which would transport him to Ecuador.
 
Whilst Ecuadorean Government decides about Mr. Assange’s future, all the world just watch without any interest about what will happen to him. The only country which pictures Mr. Assange as the Evil, is the United States of America. The same country who invades countries to “impose its concept of democracy” and kill men in name of freedom.
The error of Mr. Assange? Not publish WikiLeaks before the wars; thousands of lives might be saved. However, kudos for him, after all, he exposed the truth behind the curtains of political decisions around the world.
I hope he may remain free and keep using his knowledge to reveal us what’s the real interest behind all wars.
As for Australia, Mr. Assange's motherland, keeps playing dead to please its master, the United States.
Thanks for reading.

14 Jun 2012

MAKING PROFIT IN BRAZIL


Are you willing to make loads of money in Brazil - quick

See the formula to the success:

If you are a man:
  • be a politician;
  • be a politician’s friend;
  • be a football player;
  • be a singer and sing only wicked songs (harmony isn’t necessary);
  • evade taxes by illegal means.

If you are a woman:
  • show your ass on TV;
  • shake your ass anywhere, in public;
  • be a high-class prostitute;
  • evade taxes by illegal means.


A Brazilian funk dancer

By following the above tips, your chance of getting a quick success are really high! Nonetheless, if you want to rise money by the normal mean (studying and working a lot) so you also have a chance of triumphing - but you will sweat a lot.

That’s it. Welcome to the jungle.


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9 Jun 2012

XUXA - ABUSED (AND ABUSER)

I have already written about censorship in Brazil (you can see by clicking on this link) but I would like to talk about it again, due to a polemic revelation one of the most influential Brazilian TV presenter - Brazil's children's television show host Xuxa Meneghel - made last month about being sexually abused until the age of 13. “I was ashamed, kept quiet, I felt bad, I felt dirty," revealed Xuxa, who didn't go into detail about the abuse, but said it occurred many times. The disclosure was broadcasted on TV GLOBO, the dominant Brazilian TV and which one Xuxa works for, in a programme called Fantástico.

Xuxa - "Amor Estranho Amor" (in English, "Love Weird Love")
I was also shocked by the announcement, but not with the same emotion million of people demonstrated towards her, but because Xuxa, before being famous, made a sex film involving a boy aged 12 years old (in Portuguese, the film is entitled “Amor Estranho Amor”). The film, that is censored by Brazilian Justice due to a petition filed by Xuxa, is not allowed to be commercialised in Brazil. Xuxa pays monthly an amount to the film producers (the value is unknown) and so, the producers do not publish the film.

Xuxa also has made some requests to Google Brasil, asking for not having her name associated to words such as “pact with the evil”, “paedophilia”, “naked” and “Amor Estranho Amor”. However, “Google Brasil” did not accept her requests alleging that Google is not responsible for the searches.

It’s impressive that a country which has lived in a military dictatorship years ago, still lives in the shadows of censorship! In Brazil, if you have money, you are able to buy the “Justice” and so, to shut up several mouths!

As you can see, even the “victims” become aggressors...

Click here to go to the Blog main page.
Thanks for reading.

8 Jun 2012

SAO PAULO'S TRAFFIC AND THE WORLD CUP IN 2014


After two months without writing here, due to my busy work, I’m back and ready to put into words my thoughts.

Today, I would like to talk about the chaos I may predict will occur here in Sao Paulo, during the World Cup. But I’m not going to talk about violence; I will talk about our terrible traffic.

With more than 7 million vehicles circulating on the streets every day, only in the Capital, it’s easy to realise that traffic here is chaotic. According to Time Magazine, São Paulo has the world's worst traffic jams! During the rush hour, we spend several hours to run few kilometres (as an example, from my home to my work, is about 12 kilometres; in the rush hour I spend one and a half hour to go to work - a route that I should drive in 20 minutes if there was no jammed traffic) or several minutes to drive a handful of metres.

View of "Avenida 23 de Maio" during rush hour.
Thinking of it, it’s not secret that Sao Paulo will have trouble in receiving tourists during the mega event in 2014 as it is the World Cup! If we, paulistanos*, have problems to move around, let alone the tourists!

The problem goes further than simply wasting time in the traffic.
Have you ever imagined to be standing up several hours on a crowded bus? Or have you ever figured out how is to be pushed out of a train due to the amount of people entering into the wagon you are in? Unfortunately, those uncomfortable situations are part of paulistanos’ day-to-day and, I see no radical change in our public transportation services until the World Cup.

On the tube
Sao Paulo is overpopulated because people from all corners of Brazil comes up here to  study, to find a better job, a better life; Sao Paulo is different from the rest of Brazil. 
While a huge part of Brazil still lives in the shadows of rogue governments which do not give people education, Sao Paulo has a high level of educated persons who do not allow to be tricked by those kinds of governments. The consequence of it, is a city which does not stop and never sleeps and is always overcrowded, in reason of this uncontrollable immigration.

"Sé" - The most overcrowded underground station
But let’s leave political problems aside and think in public transportation only.
Despite the “high level of education” of the people, the traffic is turning normal people into monsters. Drivers are always peeved and tenses. There’s a constant war against motorcyclists (most know as “mad dogs” or “motoboys”) who usually do not respect signalisation and ride their motorcycles throughout the “corridor” that is formed between the cars (it is forbidden by law, but traffic control is not enough to restrain million of motorcyclists doing so every day).

"Motoboys" overtaking cars in a dangerous way.
Pedestrians also suffer with all this mess and always pay a high price for this chaos. Only in the State of São Paulo, in 2011, there was an average of 1.800 running overs monthly! Of course it doesn’t mean dead toll, but an expressive number of them lost their lives in the traffic. If we consider that there’s 7 million cars riding on the streets only in the city, the number is proportionally low, but the value of a life is priceless!

Zebra crossings seldom are respected. Drivers are always in haste and are egoistic. As I said before, all education goes downhill when the subject is traffic and It affects mental and physical health, as well. We get stressed, tired, ill, and so forth, because the traffic.
Changes ahead?
Perhaps.

A touristic map of the "Metrô" of São Paulo
New undergrounds (subways) are being built as well as new projects to deal with the chaotic system of transportation. Will they be ready on time for the Cup? I hope so, since tourists deserve a good stay in our city. However, as it is still under construction, and at slow speed, all I can do is to hope they work it out - and quick!

For the time being, we keep surviving in this jungle of stones.
Let’s wait and see.

*Paulistano: a person who was born in São Paulo.