The Most Dangerous Word in American Politics

•November 4, 2012 • Leave a Comment

It’s not Debt, or Jobs, or Abortion, or Bailout or even Obamacare.

It’s Gerrymandering and it is the reason why the US is stuck.

It’s the process by which districts are redesigned to favor one political party. These districts, then, send representatives to the House, as congressmen.

Gerrymandering is killing the US. The whole thing about bi-partisanship won’t happen until we change gerrymandering.

The moment districts become heavily favoring one agenda by gerrymandering, they tend to elect more radical candidates. Dialogue, debate and compromise become non-existent words. As a result, Congress is full of people that, even if they wanted to compromise, wouldn’t. And wouldn’t because if so, they would not be elected in their respective districts.  It’s a survival problem. Basic human instinct.

Iowa is trying to change that by putting in the ballot the two top-voted candidates in the primaries, even if they belong to the same party. In that way, there would have to be a cross-the-aisle approach to be elected because supporters of the opposing party would favor the moderate candidate. It sounds complicated, but it’s not, I’m just not good in explaining…

The point is this country will not go far if gerrymandering persists. People fought hard in the past for the values that built this country and we shouldn’t let a made-up word, that was first shown in a cartoon in 1812 – referencing Massachusetts Governor Gerry highly partisan re-districting process – dictate were we go from here.

I never thought I’d say that but I hope we start looking at Iowans as trendsetters (all do respect to my Iowan friends)…

The United States: Where all Votes Are Not Equal

•November 4, 2012 • Leave a Comment

If you are a Republican in Illinois or NY, don’t worry…choosing your president is not for you. If you’re a Democrat in Texas or Utah…don’t bother either, electing the president is someone else’s job.

This is all because of the famous Electoral College, which is something that makes no sense, at all.

The truth is that in the most democratic country of the world – the “leader of the free world” – one vote is more important than another one.

It should be changed. The US correctly and admirably praises its Constitution but knows it wasn’t perfect when written. Proof is that it was changed few times, to end slavery, to allow women to vote, even to change how Senators were elected (curiously, the constitution had Senators being appointed by state legislatures and Congress thought direct vote was better…)

Granted, Electoral College could still be representative of direct votes, but each state controls the apportion of its votes and all but Maine and Nebraska mandate a winner takes all votes. Even if that is changed, the Electoral College is still an archaic and unfair system.

There has not been much noise about this problem because it rarely affects the outcome of the election. It might happen again in 2012, though, the same way it did in 2000 – when George W. Bush became president even though Al Gore had more popular votes. There is a clear possibility that Romney gets more votes but Obama is elected. Or vice-versa. Either would not be good.

Yes, I am biased. When Brazil ended its military dictatorship, in the 80s, one of the first things we got rid of was the Electoral College, in favor of direct vote. We wanted everybody’s voices to be heard, we wanted true Democracy, like the US had… you know what I mean…

State Farm – 9/11 Tribute

•June 6, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Partnership for Drug Free America

•August 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment

BrahmaSutra Case Study

•August 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment

What I do

•July 15, 2010 • 1 Comment

I wonder, I decide, I do.

I wonder about why, I wonder about how and I wonder about what if. I wonder so I can understand things I can’t understand otherwise. I wonder so I can play with what is not around, with magic, with randomness, with confusion, with logic. I wonder because that is the only path to wisdom, because it is fun, because it is difficult, because it helps me seeing better. And then I wonder about why again.

I decide. I know eventually we need to pick one door, open it and keep going, so I decide. I decide because I believe in choices, because I control my destiny and maybe because I am not afraid of taking the blame. So I decide. I decide because I can decide, because I want to decide and, at the end of the day, because someone has to decide. Funny thing, though, not everybody is ready to do it. So I do it.

I do it. I bring it to life. I say it, I write it, I draw it, I talk about it. I do it because if it stays inside, nobody sees it, nobody can do anything with it, nobody cares. I do it because it doesn’t exist if it is not done, does it? I do it so we can agree on it, or not. I do it so we can dialogue, learn, grow. I do it so you can see, understand and, more than anything, believe in who I am and what I do.

ZIMBABWE is not ARIZONA

•May 13, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Imagine a white man born in Zimbabwe and Robert Mugabe, the country’s black president, comes up with a law that says: “this is our country. If you don’t look like us you’re probably illegal. My police can now check your papers and if the officers are not happy, Zimbabwe can kick you out.” How would the white Zimbabwe man feel about being doubted every day he walked out of his door, having to prove his patriotism to the other guy that just happens to have a different skin color.

I’m worried that around 50-60% of Americans support the Arizona Law. I ask them to try to understand it before supporting it because what it does is that it creates a caste system where different ethnicities have different rights. It is obvious that this country needs a better immigration policy and that both republicans and democrats have been avoiding, since at least 2001, dealing with it. However, generating fear amongst an ethnic group that is as patriotic as any other one is a very dangerous premise. We all (should) agree that the white ethnicity is not the only true American one but, in reality, this is what this law is stating. This law does not address the root of the problem, it just stereotypes the consequences of it.

At least the Zimbabwe story is not, yet, true…

Barulhinho Bom – 4 / O Barulhinho

•May 13, 2010 • 2 Comments

Tem gente que não escuta o barulhinho.

Na maioria das vezes é porque essas pessoas não têm capacidade auditiva, não no sentido de escutar bem, mas sim a capacidade de perceber o mundo å sua volta.

Isso não quer dizer que estar concentrado nos impede de escutar um barulhinho bom. Não, nada disso. Jornalistas, por exemplo, conseguem manter a atenção no seus textos mesmo com o caos da redação. A mesma coisa nas agências de publicidade, onde profissionais criam, criam e criam com todos os tipos de barulho por trás. Não é disso que estou falando.

Estou falando de egoísmo. O egoísta não escuta barulhinho bom. Pro egoísta, qualquer barulho é ruim. É ruim porque não é barulho feito por ele, pelo contrario, é barulho que desvia a atenção da única coisa que lhe importa, seu próprio nariz. O egoísta nao me entende. O invejoso também não. Porque, pro invejoso, barulhinho bom é competição. Ele quer sempre derrotar o Barulhinho Bom.

Só que a gente não derrota o barulhinho bom. Ele sempre vai estar por aí. A gente tem que apenas decidir se queremos escutá-lo ou não.

Barulhinho Bom – 3 / O Silêncio

•May 13, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Tem silêncio bom, e tem silêncio ruim.

O silêncio bom é aquele que faz sentido: é a noite calma, sem tosse; é a ausência de trilha sonora ou de diálogo quando tudo que a gente precisa é drama; é a trilha sonora que a gente nem percebe. Isso tudo é silêncio, tudo isso é Barulhinho Bom. Mas há tambem o silêncio errado…que é exatamente a ausência do Barulhinho Bom. É o silêncio da dúvida, da exitação, de que algo errado aconteceu, ou esta para acontecer. O engracado é que a gente consegue distinguir.

Quando o Thomas está quieto, da sempre pra saber se é silêncio bom ou silêncio ruim, se é traquinada boa ou se esta escondendo alguma coisa por medo, receio ou qualquer outra razão. Meu trabalho é fazer com que o silêncio seja sempre bom e que, mesmo que ele tenha dúvidas, nunca o faça escondido. Quando a Liz não chora ou não faz comentários no meio do filme, o silêncio é ruim. Quando ela resmunga, balbucia ou suspira…o silêncio é bom.

Mas o que quero dizer é isso, que o silêncio faz barulho. E muitas vezes, esse barulhinho é bom.

Barulhinho Bom – 2 / O Choro

•May 13, 2010 • 1 Comment

O barulhinho da tristeza é o choro. Mas há choro que nao é de tristeza.

Quando lembro da minha mãe, que morreu de cancer há alguns anos, eu choro baixinho, só pra mim. Choro de chorar mesmo, com lágrimas e tudo. Choro de tristeza e de saudade, mas choro tambem pra celebrar a mulher que ela foi e o exemplo que ela ainda é. Esse choro está sempre ali, quietinho dentro de mim, fazendo um barulhinho pra me lembrar, sassaricando, indo e vindo, fazendo toc-toc no coracao. Esse toc-toc é um barulhinho bom. Nunca reclamei e acho que nunca quero que ele vá embora. Minha mãe eh uma das grandes razões pela qual estou aqui e não há razao pra evitar falar sobre ela. Pelo contrario, quero sempre ter essas memórias perambulando pela minha imaginação e me ajudando a continuar meu caminho.

Quando o choro é assim, o choro não é de tristeza. É choro feliz e esse choro, mesmo que chorado e sentido, é barulhinho bom.

 
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