daniels day2day in garanhuns

Saturday, July 01, 2006

off to another copa..

ok one last post before i leave.. right now i got 45 or so kids running around at the stadium.. they will spend the night there and tomorrow morning at 5 AM or so we leave for arauá, sergipe for a one week tourney, III copa ouro, against similar schools.. this is a good test run for future tourneys.. we get to work out all the kinks and each tourney runs smoother.. now, on the brasil loss.. they played like crap, france was the better team.. but what surprised me was the reaction.. i thought people would be walking around like zombies.. i only saw one guy and a couple girls cry.. the rest, they are partying on like if nothing happened.. they figure, we will celebrate to cheer ourselves up.. pretty intersting.. ok in out for a week..

Run Away! Run Away!

June 26, 2006, 5:49 a.m.Run Away! Run Away!A short history of the party of surrender.By Mario LoyolaThe text of the Kerry-Feingold proposal to withdraw American forces from Iraq contained an element of unintended comedy: The President shall redeploy, commencing in 2006, United States forces from Iraq by July 1, 2007 … leaving only the minimal number of forces that are critical to completing the mission of standing up Iraqi security forces, conducting targeted and specialized counterterrorism operations, and protecting United States facilities and personnel (emphasis added). Since that just about is the mission, the proposal would have had no effect at all on troop levels. So its sole purpose was to serve as a declaration of surrender. Most Democrats, however, preferred the surrender declaration proposed by Senator Carl Levin, which not only did not specify a date, but in fact hardly specified anything at all. This rather effete (and eerily French) inclination to seek defeat has a rich history in the Democratic party, going back at least to the Kennedy administration. Despite sweeping declarations about paying any price, etc., for the success of liberty, Kennedy’s foreign policy was actually based on the notion that war most often results from miscommunication. That, apparently, was his thinking when he reassured the Soviets that we would not attack if they raised a wall in Berlin. (They didn’t know that before, which is why they hadn’t built it). The predictable result, a few months later, was the Berlin Wall, which saved the Communist regime of East Germany from death-by-mass-emigration. What is harder to divine is what Kennedy might have been thinking when he waited until the Bay of Pigs invasion was underway before deciding to pull American air and logistical support. Thousands of Cuban exiles, who were in fact willing to pay any price for the success of liberty, threw their lives away on the beach or rotted in jail for decades. And then, of course, we have the Cuban Missile Crisis, which was caused most fundamentally by Khrushchev’s desire to see if there was any limit to Kennedy’s submissiveness. (Fortunately, there was a limit to the Pentagon’s.) The roots of the Democratic defeat-fetish grew deeper in the weary Johnson years, during which nearly a million American boys were sent to the other side of the world by a president who was driven there almost purely by domestic politics and who appears never to have worked up any real resolve to win. By the time 1968 rolled around, Johnson himself gave up, and withdrew from the reelection battle.Nixon and Kissinger came to office convinced that Vietnam was unwinnable (which, by that point, may have been true) and that the key thing was to surrender without appearing to have done so. They started negotiating with everyone — the North Vietnamese, the Chinese, and the Russians — to try to triangulate a settlement that would bring “peace with honor.” For most Democrats, there was no reason to sugar-coat it — surrender tasted just fine by itself. They put enormous pressure on the administration to withdraw, with or without concessions from Hanoi. In diplomacy, this is called a unilateral concession; in strategy, we use a different term: Surrender.Interestingly, it was at about this time that “neoconservative” Democrats started to give the party a more hawkish tilt. The détente inherent in triangulation brought Kissinger into increasing propinquity (so to speak) with the Soviets, which made some Democrats very angry. Led by Senator Scoop Jackson (and his aide Richard Perle) these Democrats demanded that the Nixon administration extract concessions from the Russians in exchange for the grain credits we were offering them — in particular, that the Russians allow tens of thousands of Jews to leave the Soviet Union. But this hawkish trend faded just a few years later, when the neoconservatives were driven from the Democratic Party by a president for whom defeat was a moral virtue. The basic message of the Carter presidency was that America is on the decline, and we have to accept it. Though the Carter years are really too depressing to think about, I recently came across an interesting and telling anecdote: The Delta Force units that took part in the disastrous Desert One operation were under orders not to use lethal force if they got as far as the embassy in Tehran and encountered a hostile crowd. (As Mark Bowden revealed, they had little intention of following these ridiculous instructions). In fact, Carter has dedicated his entire career to American surrender. After Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait, he lobbied the Security Council to vote against the Gulf War resolution, by writing letters to each of the members. (Only Cuba and Yemen followed his sage advice). More recently, he has worked to establish warm relations with many of America’s enemies, most scandalously Hugo Chávez.After a long interregnum of American victories, Clinton brought the Democrats back to the White House and proceeded to pack as many defeats into eight years as was humanly possible. There was North Korea, Bosnia, Somalia, Iraq, Rwanda, Iraq again, and Kosovo. Bosnia and Kosovo eventually turned into victories, but not before we allowed the Serbs to win. In Bosnia, we actually helped the Serbs by drawing Bosnian Muslims into undefended “safe havens” and then looking on with some concern while the Serbs slaughtered them. In Kosovo, Clinton also tried to lose, by allowing Belgium (Belgium!) to block NATO from planning for the use of ground combat troops even as a contingency. The result was that 800,000 Kosovar Albanians lost their homes, and many tens of thousands their lives, before General Wesley Clark finally pounded Belgrade into submission with air strikes. He was promptly fired. The greatest of Clinton’s achievements in the realm of defeat-fetish was his response to al Qaeda’s declaration of war on the United States. After our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were destroyed, Clinton valiantly lobbed scores of cruise missiles at a milk factory in the Sudan and several empty campsites in Afghanistan. The only effect on Osama bin Laden, besides giving him a reason to laugh at us, was to convince him that we were weak and would quickly accept defeat if we were hit hard enough. And now, with the Iraq war, the Democrats are at it again. Their comparison of Iraq to Vietnam is, to say the least, a stretch. The insurgency in Iraq has failed to achieve a national geographic scope; it has no foreign countries supporting it; it has no political program that anyone can understand; and it does not even have the scant military effectiveness of the Viet Cong. But there is one striking parallel with Vietnam: The Democratic party is once again mired in a race-to-the-bottom debate about how best to make America surrender. As events in the Senate showed last week, there is diversity of opinion among Democrats on that issue; victory, on the other hand, has almost no support within the party. Senators Clinton and Lieberman, among the only Democratic politicians who think that victory is both possible and necessary, routinely get booed at public functions when they even mention the dreaded “v” word.The basic problem for the Democrats is that Americans are not instinctive losers. And because the Democratic base is split between moderates who want to surrender in Iraq, and liberals who want to surrender generally, they can’t exploit the biggest vulnerability Republicans have, which is, of course, the war. Any time the Democrats are forced to take a position on the war, they alienate a part of their base, and embarrass themselves in the process. This is why last week’s defeat of the two surrender declarations in the Senate is such good news for Republicans; the Democrats appear to have made surrender the essential theme of their political platform. As a result, they may yet snatch defeat from the jaws of victory come November. —Mario Loyola is a writer in Washington, D.C.

Friday, June 30, 2006


ok guys i was without internet for a week or so as we set up the new office.. sunday im leaving for a tournament ans will be without internet for another week or so, but after i get back i should be able to update regularly.. miss you all...

Brazilian kids see soccer as a way out of slums

Brazilian kids see soccer as a way out of slums
By Daniela Perdomo Thu Jun 29, 4:41 PM ET
SAO PAULO, Brazil (Reuters) - Vila Brasilandia, an poor, remote neighborhood in Sao Paulo, has been gripped by World Cup fever. Rough portraits of the Brazilian squad adorn walls. Green and yellow national flags hang overhead.
The decorations lend a festive atmosphere to the otherwise gloomy vision of sidewalks cluttered by wheelbarrows, scrap metal, and cardboard.
In the midst of a maze of unpaved roads that don't appear on city maps is the Espaco Crianca Esperanca (Child Hope Space), a project jointly run by a Brazilian group called Sou Da Paz, or I Stand for Peace; the Globo television network; the city government; and UNESCO, a United Nations cultural agency. It offers athletic, artistic, and academic programs to kids and young adults.
Soccer is the most popular activity. Many kids idolize soccer stars who grew up in their neighborhood or others like it where shantytowns mix with working-class row houses.
In a place like Brasilandia, where half of kids under 19 have not completed elementary school and juvenile homicides are routine, the community center offers an alternative to a life of crime, and for a lucky few, a route to fame and fortune.
"Soccer is a way out," said Roberto Carlos da Silva, who coaches field soccer at the Espaco, and has worked with stars such as Deco, a Brazilian who now plays on the Portuguese national team. "The time they are on the pitch, is, more than anything, time they are off the streets."
Just last week, Silva discovered what had happened to a 15-year-old who had not shown up to practice for several weeks. The mother came to let him know that her son had been caught stealing a cell phone and sent to juvenile jail.
The staff at the Espaco hope that involvement in soccer and other activities at the center will make such cases far less common.
"Today's big goal is to transform this place; to bring safety not through walls or armed guards" - a reference to the facility's set-up - "but through well-being and community. And we want to make the kids feel like actors in this transformation," says Rodrigo Damasceno, a project director.
Most of the kids who play soccer come by every day. One of them, 12-year-old Lucas, is considered one of the facility's "revelations." His coach, Orlando Alves Ferreira, a former goalie for Club Portuguesa, wants to show him to scouts once he grows a little more. Right now Lucas is just shy of four feet
Lucas plays forward, scores lots of goals, cheers for the Corinthians club, and knows the name of every player in all 32 teams in this year's Cup. While his teammates say they would like to be firefighters if a soccer career does not pan out, Lucas is unwavering: "I won't be anything else."
The hope is real. The boys know that Viola, who was on Brazil's 1994 winning team, grew up in Vila Brasilandia. Vitor Augusto, 11, who plays on the same scrimmage team as Lucas, says his cousin, Jefferson, 19, now plays for a team in Japan. Jorge Luiz, 13, prides himself on the fact that his father played for Palmeiras' second-division team.
Though Silva estimates that less than 5 percent of the kids he coaches will ever play the sport professionally, he tells his players, "If you don't become a player, at least become a human being."
"Soccer is a beautiful game. It seeps into all areas of your life and can teach you to be an honest, kind, good person," Silva said.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


ok so here in brasil we get these ridiculous two hour lunches, not productive at all, it messes up your day cause while i have tons of crap to get done the whole town pretty much shuts down between 12-2pm, and its freakin nerve racking when you are in a time crunch to get stuff done.. but if you cant beat’em, join’em.. brasil’s national dish, FEIJOADA (say fay-zho-ada, the z in the zho part i pronounced like dge).. it was traditionally served on sunday.. there are various tale as to how this dish came about, all deal back to the slave days, when the portuguese were colonizing brasil, but the one most commonly told says that during the week, the family would give all their leftovers to the slaves.. this would be meats: mostly pork, linguiça (a portuguese style sausage), carne de sol (sun-dried meat, like beef jerky) etc.. the slaves would then save them till sunday, take a big crock pot, make beans (frijoles, or here, feijão quick note on feijão.. here in the northeast, its more the custom to eat the red beans, and in the south, black, however with feijoãda, its made with black beans..) and throw in all the meats, and cook it.. they serve it on a dish, and TOP it off with rice.. for some reason, the custom, at least when ive been paying attention, is to serve the beans/ meat first, and the rice goes on top.. anyways, that’s my culture lesson for today.. if you find a good brasilian restaurant in your area, give it a try, or come visit and you can try it.. here is one recipe here is another and another..