Opinion: The Blame Game, a Bovine Smidgen

Opinion: The Blame Game, a Bovine Smidgen

Opinion, by Michael Royster RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The media are having a field day with one of President Dilma’s recent remarks concerning the “bos sacrosanctus”. She recently insisted that the entire fault for the current “Petrolão” scandal can be laid at the feet of former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso. Why is FHC to […]

Opinion: The Dark Side of Carnival

Opinion: The Dark Side of Carnival

Opinion, by Michael Royster RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Carnival is all but ended; the only thing left on the agenda is the “Parade of Champions” this coming Saturday, when the top six finishers all get to go out again. This year’s winner (for the thirteenth time) was Beija-Flor, the school everybody loves to hate, […]

Opinion: Too Bovine to Fail, a Smidgen

Opinion: Too Bovine to Fail, a Smidgen

Opinion, by Michael Royster RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL — Yesterday was Friday the 13th. The Curmudgeon is not superstitious, albeit he married his (first and current) wife on Thursday the 11th rather than Saturday the 13th. But Petrobras had a VERY Friday the 13th. The day before, one of its offshore rigs had explosions and […]

Opinion: Water, Water … Where?

Opinion: Water, Water … Where?

Opinion, by Michael Royster RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s Northeast has long suffered from periodic droughts, particularly in the semi-arid region known as the “sertão”. That has prompted tens of thousands of people there to pack up and migrate south to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, where jobs and water were in abundance. […]

Opinion: Bovinity and Puppetry, Petrobras in Brazil, a Smidgen

Opinion: Bovinity and Puppetry, Petrobras in Brazil, a Smidgen

Opinion, by Michael Royster RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Bovinity has been defined as: “the state or quality of being like a cow or ox, especially in the sense of being dull, stolid, and slow-witted.” The Curmudgeon submits that, in a word, Dilma’s been positively bovine about Petrobras. She is over-impressed by its symbolic and […]

Opinion: Fisiologismo 101, a Smidgen

Opinion: Fisiologismo 101, a Smidgen

Opinion, by Michael Royster RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – When you look up this word in Portuguese, you get a short description. If you put it into Wikipedia, but the English language version, the same description is entitled “cronyism”. Both terms mean, essentially, passing out relatively important governmental positions to your political buddies, regardless of […]

Opinion: Impunity 102, a Smidgen

Opinion: Impunity 102, a Smidgen

Opinion, by Michael Royster RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Under long-standing Brazilian administrative law, all companies whose executives have been convicted of corruption of government officials must be declared “inidôneo” (literally “disreputable”) and excluded from performing or bidding on government contracts. President Dilma has publicly advocated NOT applying the bidding and contract exclusion to the […]

Opinion: Impunity 101, a Smidgen

Opinion: Impunity 101, a Smidgen

Opinion, by Michael Royster RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – January 29th, 2014, one year ago, Brazil’s first Anti-Corruption Law (12.846/13) came into effect, six months after it had been voted by Congress. It had three novel and drastic features: strict liability in civil in administrative cases; fines up to twenty percent of annual turnover; and […]

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