The Weight of Thought

Resplendent in tribal headgear and body point, with bows and arrows held aloft, aiming their weapons at Brasilia’s riot police, these indigenous protesters took on horse-mounted riot police armed with tear gas and shields.
These were the extraordinary scenes just hours before Brazil’s World Cup team began their training for the tournament, as the índios attempted to force their way toward the capital’s National Stadium, firing arrows and throwing rocks.

Brazil’s Senate unanimously approved groundbreaking legislation on Tuesday that guarantees equal access to the Internet and protects the privacy of Brazilian users in the wake of U.S. spying revelations.

President Dilma Rousseff, who was the target of U.S. espionage according to documents leaked by former NSA analyst Edward Snowden, plans to sign the bill into law. She will present it on Wednesday at a global conference on the future of the Internet, her office said in a blog.

The legislation, dubbed Brazil’s “Internet Constitution,” has been hailed by experts, such as the British physicist and World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, for balancing the rights and duties of users, governments and corporations while ensuring the Internet continues to be an open and decentralized network.

Less than three months before the World Cup begins, more than 1,400 Brazilian police and military members have seized control of a network of Rio de Janeiro slums that are home to 130,000 Brazilians, the Associated Press reported Sunday.
As part of the takeover, the latest in the Brazil’s larger “pacification” program the government says will seize control of the favelas from drug gangs, police and military officials will set up “permanent posts” in the Mare slums near the Rio airport, just as they have in other slums across the country.
While slums like Mare have high rates of violence, favela residents and international organizations have raised questions about pacification because of the tactics of police and military members, who operate with little oversight in a country with extremely high rates of police brutality. 20 members of Brazil’s police force, for instance, are already under investigation amid allegations that they tortured and murdered Amarildo de Souza, a favela resident whose death became a rallying cry against police brutality and tactics during the protests that swept the country last summer.

Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, has launched a blistering attack on US espionage at the UN general assembly, accusing the NSA of violating international law by its indiscriminate collection of personal information of Brazilian citizens and economic espionage targeted on the country’s strategic industries.

Rousseff’s angry speech was a direct challenge to President Barack Obama, who was waiting in the wings to deliver his own address to the UN general assembly, and represented the most serious diplomatic fallout to date from the revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Rousseff had already put off a planned visit to Washington in protest at US spying, after NSA documents leaked by Snowden revealed that the US electronic eavesdropping agency had monitored the Brazilian president’s phone calls, as well as Brazilian embassies and spied on the state oil corporation, Petrobras.

Brazil plans to divorce itself from the U.S.-centric Internet over Washington’s widespread online spying, a move that many experts fear will be a potentially dangerous first step toward fracturing a global network built with minimal interference by governments.

President Dilma Rousseff ordered a series of measures aimed at greater Brazilian online independence and security following revelations that the U.S. National Security Agency intercepted her communications, hacked into the state-owned Petrobras oil company’s network and spied on Brazilians who entrusted their personal data to U.S. tech companies such as Facebook and Google.

Brazil’s Congress Votes to Invest 100% of Oil Revenue into Education and Healthcare

For Brazilians and Brazil-watchers alike, the protests this week [and last] have either inspired alarm or inspired hope. On one hand, there are the conspiracy theorists, who think the protests are engineered to impact the presidential elections and are organized by nefarious elements from the extreme left. On the other, some hope this is finally it: a real, nationwide movement to hold the government responsible for security, corruption, and public services. Could it be an end to the usual apathy and complacency, to the shrug and “vai-fazer-o-que” [what can you do] … attitude? Are people finally going to take action? Is this the start of something big?

Those in favor of the protests want them to mean something more. A photo has been circulating on Facebook of a “future” book called “The 20 Cent Revolution: The Protest that Changed Brazil.” And it’s arguably the continuing violence to repress the protests that’s serving as fuel for a movement. But they could peter out after new protests planned for [this] week, or it could become like Occupy Wall Street – where a movement gains a lot of momentum and media attention, but fizzles out and doesn’t actually accomplish much or end in many concrete results.

Photojournalist creatively covers the ongoing protests in Brazil

Amazon Indians from Peru and Brazil have joined together to stop a Canadian oil company destroying their land and threatening the lives of uncontacted tribes.

The abundant resources of their forest home provide the Matsés with a rich and varied diet.

Hundreds of Matsés Indians gathered on the border of Peru and Brazil last Saturday and called on their governments to stop the exploration, warning that the work will devastate their forest home.

The oil giant Pacific Rubiales is headquartered in Canada and has already started oil exploration in ‘Block 135’ in Peru, which lies directly over an area proposed as an uncontacted tribes reserve.

In a rare interview with Survival, a Matsés woman said, ‘Oil will destroy the place where our rivers are born. What will happen to the fish? What will the animals drink?’

According to the Bible, right after God pooped out humanity, He told us, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground… I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth.” What He didn’t tell us was that all this shit is finite—that if we continued to fuck one another silly without contraceptives, eventually the planet wouldn’t be able to sustain the human race. This is yet another reason why God isn’t real, and He isn’t going to save us from anything. So get over it already.

Mother Nature, on the other hand, is one very real and very bad bitch who is capable of shaking Homo sapiens off her topsoil like a nasty case of dandruff. And pretty soon, if things keep going the way they are (and let’s just be honest, they will), the seed-bearing plants will rot, “meteorologist” will cease to be a job description, most everyone will freeze to death, and cannibals will roam free, feasting on any remaining stragglers.  

In recognition of this terrible—but inevitable—outcome, we asked our international offices to put their research caps on and find out which sorts of precious materials and resources their countries were running out of the fastest. We know you only flush for No. 2 and work in a green office or whatever, but the sort of problems detailed below are, at this point, pretty much unfixable. Not much else to do but sit back and watch the long, slow death of the floating rock we call home.