A Note on Moral Relativism in Contemporary Banana-Republican Guilty Pleas

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Omitted from broadcast commentary as posted to YouTube — is it really the version that aired? — but published in the
O Povo newspaper: “When Lula pointed to corruption under Cardoso …” Lula is a whore! (And so was Cardoso!)

“The folklore of corruption is good business — for the corrupt. –Elio Gaspari.

And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. –John 8:2-11

If you cannot mount persuasive arguments, then make sure that your opponent is not able to make her own argument. Shift the focus of the debate: change the subject, preferably to a subject in which you are in the right; dwell on how much you know, on how hard you have worked to get where you are, on how your work is unjustly devalued and despised. Or simply lead the debate into a blind alley from which it cannot escape. In that case, both parties lose, but this is a better outcome for the party who was going to lose in any event.–InfomediaTV (a Porto Alegre-based Microsoft stealth-marketing contractor)

We are all prostitutes / Everyone has their price. –The Pop Group

In Brazilian public discourse — over the gazillion-jigawatt megaphone, at least — one of the most commonly used David “Fear and Misinformation Abound” Sasaki-style FUD memes you hear over and over and over and over again is the notion of a ladrão chamando ladrão de ladrão. “A thief calling a thief a thief.”

We have seen a number of really prime specimens recently:

In the case of “Veja mud-wrestles the sex senator,” this recent statement by the embattled president of Brazil’s senate leaped out at me in this regard:

“There is no more tolerance in this country for these kinds of billion-dollar deals and these greedy companies that, breaking the law and harming the national interest, make a fortune on concessions they got from the Brazilian state. Now that is a promiscuous relationship between the public and the private sectors in its most perverse form.”

Aside from invoking the Biblical principle of “let he who is without sin cast the first stone,” Calheiros also invokes a dueling folklore here: The folklore of the evil corporation.

Rohter could not have hammered on the “let he who is without …” principle more insistently in his apologia pro vita sua and desabafo to the Estado de S. Paulo last week.

He practically tattoos John 8:2-11 on his forehead, like some latter-day version of Max Cady, as portrayed by Robert de Niro in Scorsese’s Cape Fear.

For a man who represents the legendary New York Times, invoking the standards of fairness governing a catfight in a bordello seems to be setting the ethical bar awfully low for himself.

Can’t wait to read the guy’s tell-all book pra inglês ver.

Oscar Maroni is a São Paulo hotelier and nightclub owner recently arrested for allegedly confessing that “deluxe prostitution” goes on in his Bahamas club in the Southern Zone of Sampa. His apologia pro vita sua is a classic of Brazilian YouTubery, I think.

Just a thought. On the banana-republican guilty plea — “filibustering while changing the subject” — see also

Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt: An Essential Bibliography

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