Some American friends have asked me about Jair Bolsonaro and how he got elected President of Brazil. It is more complicated than my particular knowledge, but here is a brief synopsis.

Brazil was founded as a colony of Portugal, and was effectively used for its natural wealth to enrich Portuguese rulers. That type of exploitation remained even after the splitting off from Portugal and forming its own country.

The country was initially ruled by the wealthy — coffee and agriculture for example — and by the richer states in the south. This effectively continued through some feeble attempts at democracy…


[In case you are not familiar with the phrase "Hold My Beer," it is basically a competition of one-upmanship (outdoing your adversary), most often in something dangerous and/or stupid. For more, click Hold My Beer, or visit YouTube.]

Brazil, a Brief History of (Recent) Corruption

Since I moved to Brazil in 2011, the government here has continued to outdo itself, and the USA under Trump, has so far, proven to be no match. But that hasn't stopped each side from saying HOLD MY BEER!

  • Mensalão: a corruption scheme where the ruling PT party paid opposition party members to vote with the PT. [My favorite part of this…

I was looking back to my archives and realized I had gone too dark. My readers were basically saying, "enough with the brain surgery, who hasn't had that." "Brazil not what you expected? Too bad, neither is Des Moines." OK, I get it.

An American in Moscow

(Bear with me). As an American who grew up during the Cold War (Google it you darn Millenials), I had heard so much about the Soviet Union, and seen so many photos, that it was as if I knew the place. Then in the early 90s, I was working in Ukraine (not for the CIA, or is…


Two articles ago, I opened the Brain Surgery series with an article on Bad Career Choices. This episode is a partial update, but first let me get you up to date.

When we last left our protagonist (Protagonist, I'm such an author now), I had moved to Brazil in the hopes of new beginnings. Unfortunately, I erred on the side of too many new beginnings.

[Since I still live in Brazil, just like Joe Friday in Dragnet (click the link, the theme song is cool), "the names have been changed to protect the innocent."]

Brazilian Career

  1. The Internet Company: I started working…

So I believe that after my Most Recent Article I was supposed to write about the Brazilian work experience, but just having suffered the 7th Career Catastrophe* since arriving here in Brazil, I am going to swerve and write about empathy.

  • * I am thinking of writing a Career Counseling book titled How to Avoid Career Catastrophes by the Master (of committing them)" Catchy?

Empathy

It was not like I did not have empathy, but after undergoing a major surgery — hence the Brain Surgery in the title — I have a greater appreciation.

The key is not only having it…


For those of you who missed the original post explaining this series, then click Intro Post for a two minute explanation.

WILfBS Lesson 1

If you are working as an Independent Consultant*, DO NOT HAVE BRAIN SURGERY.

'* [Advertisement: Since Independent Consultant is often a euphemism for Unemployed, I would seriously consider any job leads my readers may have, USA or Brazil, or anywhere not on the travel ban list. Click my name for my Linkedin: Martin Greenblat. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming]

No, not because I lacked health insurance. Fortunately, my wife has a reasonable plan, although not the "Pay…


So this is actually a true title (you may insert joke here about not having anything to operate on). A year ago I had to have a tumor (benign) removed from my pituitary gland. Turns out having one is not a good thing as it gave me Cushing's Disease.

I won't go into details on the disease, other than that it causes a bunch of issues that long term will shorten your life — high blood pressure, weight gain, diabetes…

What is really difficult is the recovery. Now this isn't one of those "I saw the light" blog posts, as…


Walk This Way

For those of you that know me, especially my Brazilian friends, you are perhaps aware of my feelings about Disney, at least my smarmy ones.

  1. It's fine and worthy of a visit or two if you have kids.
  2. It's not fine to go 10 times in 10 years.
  3. It's not fine if this is the only part of 'America' you know.
  4. It's not fine if you are 20 somethings with no kids.
  5. It's not fine for Honeymoons.
  6. It certainly is not fine to get married there.

However, as a self proclaimed hypocrite, I just spent a week plus in Florida…


What if…..

About 18 months ago I wrote a blog about why I was here in Brazil instead of the San Francisco Bay Area. Basically, it explained that I was not normal and always wanted to do the unconventional.

In a recent discussion with my mother regarding my ‘normalness,’ she did admit that I had some behavioral issues as a child. She surmised that, perhaps, this was the first sign of my being ‘’not normal.’’ We laughed recounting my numerous tantrums (although she did not find them so endearing back then).

Continuing, she said that once I got through that…


51 is a Famous Brand of Sugar Cane Alcohol whose consumption is normally NOT a Good Idea (Boa Ideia)

So last week was my birthday. In general, I don’t really care about my birthday, except I prefer to have them to not having them.

Ironically, for someone as outspoken as I am, I actually shy away from the attention it engenders. This is so true that I have not accessed Facebook or LinkedIn since Thursday night the 22nd.

But since I am sure all are curious, I really enjoyed my Birthday weekend, and, of course, I find it essential that you share with me via this blog post.

What is in it for you my reader? Basketball tips, The…

Martin Greenblat

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