Do We Belong Here?


By Woody Powell Was it Darwinian; descent from an ape-like ancestor bipedaling onto the scene, erect and dominant pushing nature around making massive nests where little else survives?   Or did we descend from a glorious ancestor alien to the planet and then begin our despoilation of a foreign nature?   Does it matter? Whether we evolved into an alien presence or started out that … [Read more...]

Brazilian Torturer Found Murdered

At approximately four o’clock this past Thursday afternoon [4/24/14], Paulo Malhaes, a retired officer who served in the seventies during the years of Brazil’s military dictatorship, was murdered at his small farm near Rio de Janeiro. Malhaes had become infamously well-known in recent weeks for his lurid testimony before the Brazilian Truth Commission, in which he described how the bodies of opponents of the … [Read more...]

The Night of the Generals: When Brazilians Were Tortured and Disappeared.

Paul Malhaes FEA

Brazil' 64 Coup #2 "The Face of Evil,” flashed the eye catching headline in Brazil’s major daily on a morning late this March, and the accompanying photo of Army lieutenant-colonel Paulo Malhaes, retired, could not have portrayed a more convincing ogre had it been photo shopped by central casting.  Malhaes, a self-described torturer and murderer operated in the early 1970's, the most repressive period in Brazil’s … [Read more...]

Brazil’s 1964 Coup: What ‘Communist Conspiracy’?


It all began with Cuba in 1959. That was a line in the sand for Tio Sam. Kennedy launched the Alliance for Progress in ‘61, and caudillos throughout South and Central America lined up for lessons on how to prevent their own homegrown communists from reproducing what Fidel and El Che had brought down from the Sierra Maestras. The School of the Americas’ manual of torture, originally drafted in Scotland and likely … [Read more...]

Rio de Janeiro in 1964…

            Rio de Janeiro in 1964 remained the de facto seat of the Brazilian government and home to its corps of international diplomats.  Despite the fact that Brasilia, the modernist architectural ghost town erected in the scrublands of the country’s isolated interior was designated Brazil’s new capital in 1960, the foot dragging went on for years before the embassies and the governing bureaucrats … [Read more...]

The Chomsky Thread

The long stream of commentary and observations which follows was prompted by a series of staccato exchanges on email between Professor Noam Chomsky and me, Michael Uhl.  In the first exchange I received some unanticipated support from Chomsky about my critique of Nick Turse's book, Kill Anything That Moves.  But it is the second exchange that I would really wish to bring to the attention of a larger, albeit highly … [Read more...]