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As Brazil Mourns, Government Neglect and Austerity Blamed for 'Unbearable Catastrophe' of National Museum Fire

As Brazil Mourns, Government Neglect and Austerity Blamed for 'Unbearable Catastrophe' of National Museum Fire

Jon Queally, staff writer

While Brazilians mourn the devastating loss after the 200-year-old National Museum in Rio de Janiero burned on Sunday evening in a giant inferno, critics of the ruling right-wing government lashed out for doing too little to guard the building from a disaster thay say could have been prevented if warnings had been heded and the necessary steps taken to upgrade the facility and protect its millions of scientific and historic artifacts.


Sorry, Brazil. Sorry, Iraq. Sorry, American national parks. Sorry, world’s oceans. Sorry, everyone stuck in a jail.


Sorry people who have to constantly be under the authority of Catholic governments who tell people to have more children, then strip every last resource for their own corrupt greed.


And you don’t think that will happen here?
Wake up! Those in power here care no more for our history, or learning, to forestall disaster, than the Brazilian “government.” They just want more power, more money to store in their vaults, and more control over their Citizens subjects, to see that their plans are not interrupted by them.
*It is way past time to interrupt!


Libraries are closing. As they cull the old books to make room for new ones, or make room for computers, it is interesting to see which books are considered dispensable. Grab them if you can.


Remember to include the disaster the Europeans have bestowed upon the world, not only cathlics but protestants, white people…


There are more books accessible online then ever before, thus eliminating the need to physically go to libraries. Personally, I prefer books in PDF format. They are easier to read, and you can highlight and take notes that are easily retrieved.

Most of the people being exploited in the US are Catholics, Protestants and white people. You’re thinking about the oligarchy who has bestowed those disasters on the world. The only religion they believe in is money. The only color they see is green.


The U.S. National Debt Clock (googled) is at $21,458 billion. The Republican majority recently laid another trillion or so on the clock and gave the money to wealthy people to prop up the stock market this year, probably so that much of the U.S. public would feel more optimistic in an election year.

After 2018?

The National Park Service isn’t going to have money to protect the public’s national parks. They’ll just have to charge outrageous fees and keep most of the proles out.

Next, the firefighting preventative budget is way down. Fire may be a natural part of the ecology, but a real country would be burning prescribed burns to pre-create fire lines in late fall about an hour before a big snowstorm moved in. Sorry, no money to protect your house and your kids.

Did I mention FEMA and Puerto Rico? A year later, something like 20,000 houses have no roofs, and they just got the electricity on (part of the time at least) throughout the colony.

We might as well look at other finance-driven impending disasters too. President Obama raided the Social Security trust fund by declaring a pointedly low social security tax one year. Your social security is still perfectly safe and the books all balance, said the bank robber walking out of the vault with a hand truck full of cash. They can always scream later that Social Security is going to go bankrupt and so we HAVE to do something. This was a rather bipartisan hand in grandma’s purse. Don’t worry, the Republicans are crueller than Obama at this.

Bridges? The government of Italy cheaped out badly. The U.S. isn’t that good with auto bridges. They’re really cheaping out everywhere on public transit, whenever they can steal money. Boston’s MBTA is half-collapsing these days.

Let me tell you about the Federal-State-Local shuffle. That’s where federally mandated financial obligations are downloaded by Congress onto states, then onto local communities. Then Congress can claim that they lowered your taxes and those evil states and local communities are to blame for all your grief. The net effect of dropping more and more burdens on local governments is that they go hog wild on local austerity. Not that many local governments aren’t corrupt too, and mortgaged right up to the hilt so that everybody can collapse at once. Puerto Rico is still bankrupt.

Flint, Michigan’s Republican state-appointed bankruptcy receivers found a novel way to save even more money - they gave lead poisoning to all the kids in town.


conservatives are why the world can’t have nice things
conservatives - bringing death and destruction everywhere we let them breathe

death to all conservatives!

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What you say is true, it is still a shame that the library burned down. It is a piece of Brazil’s history.

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If you have a fairly broad library at home, compare some of the important books with what appears on line, purportedly the same. The Ministry of Truth is still doing its job. History books are really bowdlerized, altering history and biographies to put them in line with 21st century thinking, and usually excoriating those who didn’t have a 21st century opinion of things as they were in the 18th and 19th centuries in which they lived and learned.


Wow…very important point.


While I appreciate you’re position, some of us are old school and like books. In this instance we’re talking about books and other artifacts with great historical value that are lost.

This story brings up a point about fire safety that the public needs to here everyday.
There has never, in the history of the world, ever been a fire death in a structure with a properly operating sprinkler system.
In this tragedy, there were no deaths (that I know of), yet a sprinkler system would have dramatically reduced the amount of property damage also. It’s not like the movies, the only sprinkler heads that open are in areas with fire. so no damage in rooms with no fire. Hopefully I don’t have to preach about the need to maintain fire hydrants, this story should make my point.


Brazil didn’t need this.

The current illegal “government” is already doing what they can to burn Brazilian Culture.

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As a retired firefighter, I can only agree. We rarely had major damage in sprinklered buildings. With a bad fire, you have to augment the flow by connecting to the system and pumping from a hydrant. With no water system, your sprinkler system is just a bunch of pipes stored in the ceiling.
*In this country, there are few things as uncommon as common sense.


As a ex-hose humper for 15 yrs., I couldn’t agree more. Didn’t get too deep into my post, as who would understand it but FF., like you and I.


Yes, and I’m sure the Brazilians and Portuguese from the 1500s - not to mention the indigenous people of that region, had all their culture preserved in .pdf format!

Will a museum curator 1000 years from now even know how to decipher this ".pdf format’ of yours - even if the magnetic, optical, or semiconductor-chip media it is stored on is still readable - which it won’t be - but even if it were, could the way the media itself stores the (also undecipherable) file format itself be decipherable? Writing on paper clay and stone is easily readable by scholars of antiquity going back to the Indian and Mesopotamian, and Egyptian civilizations 5000 years ago. But it took some of the greatest computer science experts in Carnegie Mellon a couple years to merely figure out how to parse and interpret some of Andy Warhol’s artwork in an “obsolete” format on a floppy disc that he did on a “Commodore 64” only 35 years ago!

We can sure be thankful that when Carl Sagan and his NASA team decided to send sounds, symbols, and pictures of who we are to interstellar space on the Voyager spacecraft, with the very remote chance that distant intelligent life a billion years from now might find it, they decided to put the data on an ordinary “low tech” analog phonograph record - with a stylus and cartridge included and simple instructions for interpretation in in a pictographic language.


Do Brazilian ballots allow “write-ins”?

Everyone in Brazil needs to write-in vote for Lula - who is leading by large margin in the polls in spite of being in prison and not being allowed to run.


Austerity, coming soon to a country near you.