BRAZILIAN ELECTIONS. The elections in Brazil -- where Lula is headed for a run-off on October 29, have received some attention in the U.S. news media, but of course that coverage fails to make much of the context clear. Fortunately, we have a resource in an American academic blogger who goes by the handle Mr. Trend. Currently doing field work in Brazil, he's written on the racial context of the Brazilian electoral process, on the scandal affliciting Lula, on the debates and first round results, and finally on mainstream media coverage and what's at stake in the election.

It's good stuff. I wish that he would write a bit about the foreign policy differences between the candidates, if any are evident. Brazil is a rather important player in South America, and has been pursuing a somewhat more assertive defense stance in the last decade. In particular, Brazil continues to make noises about building a nuclear powered submarine. Nevertheless, we can't have everything we want, and Trend is a good resource.

--Robert Farley