I've really enjoyed getting caught up on the news and innuendo (but I repeat myself) online, after being at home and more or less ignoring what's been happening.
One thing we did see at home is that while Venezuela's in the news of late, as they're Feeling the Bern of socialism, there hasn't been as much attention focused on Brazil, where the government, led by President Dilma Roussef, a communist and former terrorist (who was naturally placed in charge of Brazil's state run oil company, Petrobras, prior to being president...
Well, have you heard about this? Petrobras has been exposed for major corruption- over 100 billion US dollars down the memory hole, and half the standing government is implicated. Last week, Roussef was impeached, and in 6 months she'll face a senate trial. There's a strong feeling that she's a puppet, with former President Lula Da Silva, a socialist former union leader (the man who appointed her to head Petrobras) elbow deep, still calling the shots.
The call for impeachment was already in the air, but when investigators started closing in on Lula, Roussef attempted to appoint him to a governmental cabinet position that came with prosecutorial immunity, which would have made him bulletproof. The attempted appointment was blocked by government, and this seemed to have been the last nail in the coffin. The impeachment vote happened, and Roussef is out. Of course, the interim leader, her political opponent, was her Vice President, and he too is under investigation.
I never allow the TV to be on when we're eating a meal at home- I make a point that we sit down and eat as a family. We might be eating hot dogs and hamburgers, but we're eating it off of good plates and silverware, with the table properly set... but I made an exception when all this was going down in Brazil- we ate and watched the action, my wife and kid translating the bigger words for me.
Honest to God, the drama of all this, and the utter ridiculousness, it was like watching one of their soap opera novellas.
As things wound down, and shockingly, Roussef initially refused to step down, but was escorted off peacefully, surrounded by her cronies, we gave up on the TV, but it was pretty exciting.
I'm slightly optimistic here. Brazil has a chance to make some positive changes and join civilized humanity, rather than being a banana republic with mines and oil instead of bananas. Getting over spending Other People's Money will be hard, and the people have gotten used to socialism after 30 years of indoctrination- it's cheaper to buy a poor man's vote than a wealthy one's, for certain, and Brazil has an ample supply of poor, plus, on top of that they have this really awful variety of morality, where, if no one sees you sin, it's not really a sin, and from the top down in their culture, this has poisoned them and made efforts at democracy almost impossible. I mean, their counterculture is Christian evangelism.
Even religion is poisoned there. My own Catholic faith, which has certainly got very little room to throw stones, is absolutely openly corrupted in Brazil. I walked out of the cathedral church of St. Bonfim in Salvador, in the state of Bahia, physically nauseated. People were being encouraged to buy their way out of sin and illness. Shit that was a big part of causing the fucking Protestant Reformation, for God's sake, still going on. A big chunk of what little respect I had left for my own church died that day. Now I view Catholicism the same way I view the United States. Wonderful, except for the people that run it.
Anyhow, Socialists and Communists have been calling the shots politically in Brazil for the past generation, and the graft that is so openly accepted seems to be getting harder to get away with as Other People's Money starts running out. The Olympics is coming up, and I suspect that's going to make things rough in Brazil- aside from the fact that it has been a running money-redistribution scheme for the pals of the folks in Government, and now the country has no money and massive unemployment now, and between Zika and pollution and other nice things that are going to be an issue, too, daylight is a hell of a disinfectant, and there's more opportunity for Brazil's corruptocrats to have a Come To Jesus moment. Amidst the chaos, there is opportunity for positive change.