Tina K. Russell

July 2, 2008

Dear Brazil

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — Tina Russell @ 4:07 am

Wanted – Skilled Workers for a Growing Economy in Brazil – NYTimes.com
After years of boom and bust, the administration of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is projecting a period of sustained growth, with the gross domestic product increasing 5 percent a year, from now to 2010, and about 3 and 4 percent annually for the decade after.

But many companies and economists, including some inside the government, say the dearth of highly skilled labor, particularly engineers and tradesmen, will jeopardize those goals, and Brazil’s economic and political rise.

“The lack of availability of technical ability may be a constraint on growth, no doubt about it,” José Sergio Gabrielli, president of Petrobras, the state-run oil company, said in an interview. “It is a big challenge for the country.”

Brazil, my name is Tina Russell. You may know me as an intrepid blogger who seems to write mainly about international politics, awesome transsexuals, and why Ubuntu is the best thing since chocolate-covered strawberries.

I’m also a rookie Python programmer, and I’m good with XHTML and Javascript. I’m skilled at graphic design and illustration, as well. What more do you need to know? Extend citizenship to me, and I will have the best Carnival costume, I promise, year after year.

(Part of this, yes, has to do with Brazil’s public healthcare. Another part of this is that I am dead serious when I say that, if I get to march in a parade looking like this, I will die happy.)

(After writing that, those visiting the link should know, I read its context on Wikipedia. I’m sad to say that it turns out that the actual Rio parade does not allow nudity; the woman pictured, Viviene Castro, is wearing a 4cm glue-on patch over her vagina. Her samba school was disqualified when the patch gave way to gravity; the judges, apparently, really thought that much of four centimeters of difference. My entire image of Brazil is now shattered! Shattered! Oh, well…)

June 24, 2008

This isn’t just because Tina is very fond of Brazil, promise

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Tina Russell @ 9:27 pm

Obama Camp Closely Linked With Ethanol – NYTimes.com
Ethanol is one area in which Mr. Obama strongly disagrees with his Republican opponent, Senator John McCain of Arizona. While both presidential candidates emphasize the need for the United States to achieve “energy security” while also slowing down the carbon emissions that are believed to contribute to global warming, they offer sharply different visions of the role that ethanol, which can be made from a variety of organic materials, should play in those efforts.

Mr. McCain advocates eliminating the multibillion-dollar annual government subsidies that domestic ethanol has long enjoyed. As a free trade advocate, he also opposes the 54-cent-a-gallon tariff that the United States slaps on imports of ethanol made from sugar cane, which packs more of an energy punch than corn-based ethanol and is cheaper to produce.

Here’s another thing: you don’t eat sugar cane. Much as I strongly feel that the country needs the healing balm of an Obama presidency and needs a McCain presidency like it needs an outbreak of the plague, I do have to call this issue for McCain. I’m sick of free-trade hypocrisy in America, where we tell other countries to drop all their tariffs and subsidies, and then binge on them ourselves when no one is looking. (Both parties engage in this, certainly, and it’s a disaster for developing economies overseas.)

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