article from January 7, 2012
By Jamie Douglas
As the New Year begins, Brazil is bursting at the seams. The world’s financial wizards deposited a record US$65.2 billion in the fizzling economy during the past year, an increase of 168% over 2010. Why fizzling? Just like when you open a bottle of sparkling wine, it has a lot of little bubbles, which fizzle out after a while. The champagne bottle named Brazil has now been open for several years, benefitting mostly from China’s oversupply of US dollars and that country’s need to plan ahead for the future by assuring abundant raw material and food supplies for its ever-growing population. But China’s overheated economy is starting to feel the pinch of the global slowdown and returning cycle of recession, and after stockpiling hundreds of millions of tons of raw minerals and signing very long-term contracts with developing nations, it is possible that a saturation point is approaching.
Meanwhile, Brazil will need to increase its availability of electricity by 56%, according to a study released January 4, 2012, by the state-run EPE, the energy research corporation. It forecasts a consumption increase from the current 472,000 gigawatt-hours (gwh) to 736,000 gwh. That is a helluva jump, equal to three times the capacity generated by Itaipú, the world’s second-largest hydroelectric facility after China’s Three Gorges Dam. Itaipú generated 92,245 gwh of electrical current last year, putting it in the number-one slot worldwide for electrical generation.
Brazil is counting very strongly on three major manmade ecological disasters to avoid the coming brownout: the Belo Monte, San Antonio and Jirau hydroelectric projects, the first one being very strongly opposed by humanitarians and ecologist worldwide, as well as the native aboriginal tribes having lived off that land for eternities. There are court battles going on, lives have been lost and more will be lost; but in the end, the “greater good” will be the evil winning the day.
Argentina military reassignments
Most of you probably know that La Cristina, current figurehead of the Kirchneristas in Argentina, underwent a full thyroidectomy on Wednesday, Jan 4. According to her doctors, it was a full success, or as the official release stated, with “no inconvenience or complications.” Early detection is the best way to beat cancer, and in the case of cancer of the thyroid, the survival rate is over 90%. I am very happy for her as well as me, as her continued incompetent flailing is giving me fodder for writing on a daily basis.
What many of you have probably not heard about is that one of her last acts in exercising her executive powers before going under the knife was the abrupt cashiering of 36 military generals and admirals. An official announcement in The Gazette on Monday declared that Chief of Staff Operations Commander Jorge Telado will be retiring effective immediately and that he has been replaced by Kirchner loyalist Brigadier General Humberto Claudio Trisano.
The next day, The Gazette announced the forced retirement of twelve army generals, ten air force generals and thirteen navy admirals. Obviously Madame Fernández de Kirchner is somewhat aware of her nation’s circular history, and she most likely preempted what may have been the whispers of Argentina’s next military coup d’état.
Wisely, she confirmed in their positions the armed forces chief of staff, the army commander and the air force chief, all three avowed loyal Kirchneristas.
Just when I thought it was getting interesting around here!
San Rafael, Mendoza
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