Los Dioses del Fútbol

December 18, 2011

Pocas veces en mi vida me he levantado en la madrugada para ver un partido de fútbol.

Pocas veces en mi vida he visto un equipo como el Barcelona.

En realidad, nunca.

Este Barcelona de Pep Guardiola es una leyenda viva. Es fútbol en su mas pura y hermosa expresion.

El Barca es un equipo extraordinario. Futbolisticamente, lo hace todo bien. Pero no se trata de su manera de jugar ni de su talento aunque el Barca lo tiene a sobras. No se trata de una idea de fútbol aunque ellos la tienen, claramente. No importa el rival, el partido ni la Copa en disputa, y menos aun donde se juega. El Barca tiene una forma de jugar espectacular y tiene una mentalidad ganadora pero sobre todo tiene un espiritu que no le permite a sus jugadores traicionar su manera de sentir el fútbol.

Jugar bien al fútbol es un sentimiento.

El Barca nunca se traiciona. De tantas virtudes que tiene esa es la mas Grande.

El espiritu del Barca, que no lo tiene ningun otro equipo en el mundo, es lo que le da la Mistica y Grandeza que tiene.

Y Messi?

Messi siempre esta, con la camiseta del Barca es intocable. Un genio consagrado en la historia del fútbol, con solo 24 años.

Hay gente que aun lo discuten. Pobre ellos.

Messi siempre esta. Con grandes jugadas, golazos inolvidables y historicos. Por todo el mundo.

Seguira el debate para algunos y mientras tanto Messi seguira ganando y haciendo historia.

Igual que su equipo.

Barcelona gano otra Copa hoy. Campeones del Mundial de Clubes.

Y sigue la fiesta.

En Catalunya, alegrias sin fin.

Music Video of the Week

December 16, 2011

Jimmy Cliff – Guns Of Brixton

Jesmyn Ward Interview

December 16, 2011

Jesmyn Ward Talks National Book Award Win and the Will to Write
by Julianne Hing

When Jesmyn Ward’s second novel “Salvage the Bones” was awarded the National Book Award two weeks ago, which she explained to her family as the “Oscars for books,” it immediately propelled Ward, a relative newcomer, onto the national stage. It also shone a light on her story of a poor black family living and loving in a rural backwater Gulf Coast town in the days before Hurricane Katrina.

The place and the people were inspired by her own hometown of Delisle, Miss. In the book, the family of siblings have better things to do than fret about the storm, which is just days away from making landfall. They’re chasing basketball dreams, tending to beloved spouse-pets, and in the case of Esch, the book’s 15-year-old narrator, struggling to accept the new life growing in her.

Ward, who called her recent win “surreal,” chatted with Colorlines.com about conventional depictions of black women, giving life to the stories of people she grew up with, and having the courage to commit to writing.

Click here to view the entire article

Louis Armstrong House Museum

December 16, 2011

Cartoon of the Day

December 16, 2011

A turtle sighting in Brooklyn

December 16, 2011

Here’s a turtle wandering around the Atlantic-Pacific Street subway stop in Brooklyn.

Picture of the Day

December 9, 2011

NEW YORK CITY—Miles Davis, center, on the trumpet with Paul Chambers on bass, Cannonball Adderley on alto sax, and pianist Red Garland, 1958.

Capital punishment slowly loses ground in US

December 9, 2011

The murder of Troy Davis has undoubtedly had an impact on public support for the death penalty.

The shock and outrage over his execution has made many people reassess their position on the issue.

Troy’s case is a textbook example of the injustice so prevalent in the criminal justice system.

For many, this unfortunate reality has been a real eye opener and its made them think twice about the use of the death penalty. For many other people, who’ve never spent too much time thinking about the issue, the Troy Davis case has been an education in itself.

I don’t think the decline of the death penalty in the US is “slow” as the article emphasizes, there is plenty of evidence that shows that it is on a quicker pace. Politicians, police chiefs and the public at large are questioning the death penalty, in theory and practice, more and more every day.

Capital punishment slowly loses ground in US

By Chantal Valery (AFP)

WASHINGTON — With a new moratorium on the death penalty in Oregon and a drop in the number of death sentences and executions, capital punishment is slowly losing ground in the United States.

Oregon governor John Fitzhaber announced on Tuesday that the northwestern state will halt executions at least until the end of his mandate, joining the camp of US states that have effectively shunned the death penalty.

“I refuse to be a part of this compromised and inequitable system any longer; and I will not allow further executions while I am governor,” said Fitzhaber, who said he had come to the conclusion they were “morally wrong.”

The governor suspended the last execution scheduled for this year, halting the count for the number of people put to death in the United States in 2011 at 43.

That total is slightly below that seen last year, and less than half the number of people executed each year in the 1990s. The number of death sentences also has fallen since then by nearly a third.

Only a dozen of the 50 US states conducted executions last year, most of them in the south.

“Slowly, state by state, there is this erosion of support for the death penalty,” Richard Dieter, the director of the Death Penalty Information Center, told AFP.

In all, 16 states have abolished the death penalty or did not re-adopt it after it was restored by the US Supreme Court in 1976. They could be joined as early as next year not only by Oregon, but also by Maryland, Connecticut and California.

“It’s going to take a while — the death penalty won’t end in three years; in 10 years, there’s a possibility,” said Dieter, stressing that it ultimately will be up to the Supreme Court to decide.

Public enthusiasm for capital punishment shows some signs of waning, falling to the lowest level in 39 years, but Robert Blecker, a law professor at New York University, notes that it “remains surprisingly constant and robust.”

Blecker pointed to a recent Gallup poll that found that 61 percent of Americans approve of the death penalty for convicted murderers.

“Americans as a whole favor the death penalty when it is imposed only when there’s absolute certainty,” said David Schaefer, a professor at Holy Cross College in Massachusetts and an advocate of capital punishment.

With the execution of Troy Davis in September, whose case became a cause celebre after doubts were raised about his guilt, “we reached a new plateau in the US critical examination of the death penalty,” said Steven Hall, of the abolitionist StandDown organization in Texas.

“If you have an ideal vision, the death penalty is reserved for the worst of the worst,” he said. But Hall added that the possibility that innocent people are put to death is “an issue that has been a great concern to people.”

New voices also are being raised against the death penalty — prosecutors, former guards and prison officials have protested individual executions on various grounds, denouncing lethal injection as cruel or calling for DNA tests.

Since 1973, 138 inmates on death row have been subsequently found innocent and released, 17 of them on the basis of DNA evidence, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, which says doubts have been raised in three out of four executions.

“If we occasionally, very rarely, execute an innocent person, if the death penalty is more deterrent than life without parole, on balance we will have saved innocent lives,” said Blecker, who supports the use of the death penalty for the most monstrous crimes.

On the other hand, the cost of an execution, estimated at $3 million when all the legal work involved is considered, is three times greater than locking up someone in prison for life, according to a recent study.

“The wheel of justice rolls rather quickly” in certain cases like that of Timothy McVeigh, who was executed in 2001 for the Oklahoma City massacre after only six years on death row, said Schaefer.

But a 10 to 20 year process is more common. Schaefer argues for speeding up that process by “eliminating procedural road blocks that do not depend on the guilt or innocence.”

Copyright © 2011 AFP. All rights reserved

Cartoon of the Day

December 4, 2011