07/13/2014 archive

2014 World Cup Final: Germany and Argentina

This is the second time that Germany and Argentina have met in the World Cup Finals. In 1986, their first match ended with Argentina winning 3 – 2 against then West Germany. Four years later, West Germany took home the cup with a 1 – 0 win. Today is anyone’s guess, both are strong teams but Germany seems to be the more aggressive and dominated the ball in most of their games. Yet, many are optimistic about an Argentina victory.

World Cup final: Argentina won’t buckle like Brazil, says Pablo Zabaleta

by Owen Gibson, The Guardian

• Full-back says side is too strong to suffer same fate as hosts

• Confidence untouched as team prepares to face Germany

Argentina will learn the lessons of Brazil’s World Cup humiliation and maintain the steely focus that has taken them to the brink of a historic victory in their neighbour’s backyard, according to Pablo Zabaleta.

As Alejandro Sabella’s agent revealed to an Argentinian radio station that he planned to step down after the World Cup final, Zabaleta vowed to ensure their coach went out on a high against Germany .

The Manchester City full-back echoed the surprise of the rest of the footballing world at Brazil’s “strange” capitulation in Belo Horizonte but said his robust and resolute Argentina side would not make the same mistake if they lost an early goal.

“Even if you concede some goals before 15 minutes or 20 minutes you need to keep calm and keep playing in the same way as we have been doing for these six games,” said Zabaleta, whose tears of relief and battered, bruised face after their semi-final victory over Holland seemed to sum up their scrappy, resolute run to the final.

“A football game is just about 90 minutes. If you concede some goals and you try to score as soon as possible, you concede space at the back and you are finished. It was a lesson for us, the Brazil game.”

Joachim Löw can steer Germany to World Cup glory against Argentina

by Zico, The Guardian

The way Germany crushed Brazil makes them favourites in the final but don’t count out some Lionel Messi magic

So here we are: Germany and Argentina, two traditional football nations, will decide the 2014 World Cup and no one can say they don’t deserve to be within one game of the trophy.

While demonstrating different profiles and styles, both negotiated passage through one of the most competitive tournaments in history and we are in for a very special game at the Maracanã. I have the feeling it will be more like chess than the festival of sprints we have seen throughout this World Cup but it should still be memorable.

Just don’t expect a goal festival like Germany v Brazil. In fact, the drubbing delivered to the hosts by Thomas Müller and co was one of the main reasons the second semi-final was such an anticlimax in comparison. Argentina and Holland both entered the game with a risk-averse plan and played pretty tight. Argentina knew they needed to sort out their defence after multiple scares in the group stages but they finally did with the arrival of Martín Demichelis who, alongside Ezequiel Garay, formed a very reliable centre-back pair.

On the Dutch side Louis van Gaal adopted the same strategy and that helped bring about a stalemate. Neither team gave the other space and, while Holland managed to keep Lionel Messi quiet, the Argentinians neutralised Arjen Robben.

Besides the controversy over the costs, construction of the stadiums and ticket scalping scandals, FIFA is also taking criticism over their lack of concern for player safety. UNlke the NFL, FIFA has disregarded the dangers of repeated concussions and returning to play soon after a head injury. They and the fans are far more concerned over the players practice of “diving,” pretending to be injured to draw a foul, as explained in this article from The New York Times.

Shouting About Diving, but Shrugging About Concussions

World Cup 2014: Injuries to Mascherano and Neymar Demonstrate Poor Medical Care

When Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano cracked heads with a Dutch player during a World Cup semifinal last week, millions of soccer fans saw it. [..]

Spectators didn’t need a medical degree to realize that he had hurt his head, and probably his brain, and that someone with a medical degree should properly evaluate him.

But then came yet another example of the dysfunction of FIFA, the sport’s world governing body, and how it is apparently indifferent to player safety, given what it has shown at this World Cup: Mascherano spent about two minutes on the sideline before returning for the rest of the match. That’s about four or five minutes before he should have returned, if he had received a proper neurological evaluation to determine the extent of his injury. [..]

Mascherano’s injury came about a week after the Brazilian star Neymar took a knee to the back in a quarterfinal match and fell to the ground, writhing in pain and saying he couldn’t feel his legs. Medical workers went to him without a backboard and instead rolled him onto a stretcher. Then they jogged off the field with him jostling around and crying out with every step. One person even slapped his right leg several times.

Once again, no medical degree was needed to see that it wasn’t the best treatment of someone who might have just sustained a serious spinal injury. Neymar, as it turned out, had a fractured vertebra.

It’s a wonder what medical protocols FIFA enforces – if it enforces any at all – when the world is not watching. But it’s a good bet that the federation would have snapped to attention if any of those players had faked an injury.

It’s obvious that FIFA needs to catch up with 21st century medical protocols.

Meanwhile, in Italy, there was some speculation on any friendly rivalry between Pope Francis, an Argentinian, and Pope Benedict XVI, a German, since their home country teams are rivals:

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, who has fielded soccer questions this week with a chuckling amusement, doubted the two men would watch the game together, or at all. He noted that Benedict, a scholarly theologian and author of a multipart meditation on the life of Jesus, has never been much of a soccer fan, “though he clearly understands that it’s important to many people.” (In March 2012, Benedict did greet the German star Miroslav Klose at the Vatican.)

The first Latin American pope, Francis is unquestionably a fan, who as archbishop of Buenos Aires cheered for San Lorenzo, a local soccer club. After San Lorenzo won the Argentine championship last year, a small delegation of managers and players came to the Vatican in December to present Francis with a trophy and an inscribed team jersey that read, “Francisco Campeon,” or “Francis Champion.” [..]

And will the pope be watching on Sunday night?

Father Lombardi said the pope “sent the Argentine team his best wishes before the tournament,” but added that Francis watches very little television, “and especially at that hour.”

“Above all,” he added, “I think they both want the best team to win. They’re above partisan passion. In this, they are united.”

There is still time to get yourself some snacks and drinks to get you through to the end of the match. One of the drinks concocted to commemorate the games is the German 71, in honor of the score of the Brazil – German match:

The German 71

1 ounce Monkey 47 gin

1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice

1/2 ounce simple syrup

2 ounces Dr. L Sparkling Riesling

Lemon twist

1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, gin, lemon juice and syrup.

2. Pour into flute or cocktail glass, chilled if you like. Top with sparkling wine. Add lemon twist.

Note: To make simple syrup, combine 1 teaspoon of sugar for each ounce of water. Microwave until hot. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Let cool before mixing drink.

The article suggest not pouring a new drink with every goal if the Germans are on their game again today. Like the team. the drink is more potent than it looks. I do doubt many Brazilians will be toasting the winner with that.

One last note, today is the anniversary of the first World Cup in 1930. The first venue was in Uruguay and the first two matches were played simultaneously on July 13. Those games were won by  France and USA, who defeated Mexico 4-1 and Belgium 3-0 respectively. The first World Cup was won by the host country, Uruguay who defeated  Argentina 4-2 in Montevideo before a crowd of 93,000.

I have no favorite, although this would be Germany’s first cup since the unification and they have shown themselves to be quite formidable. So, may the best team win.  

The Boys are Back

Just a small reminder that TDS/TCR will have new episodes again starting tomorrow.  Usually they suck for about a week after vacation, but your milage may vary.

Next week’s guests are-

The Daily Show

The Colbert Report

As is customary the boys have left a few bread crumbs to tide us over Summer Break.  Stephen?  Only one?  Are you too busy getting ready for your new show? (sniff)

On Topic – Dogs


Party Time

July 4th


On This Day In History July 13

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

Click on images to enlarge

July 13 is the 194th day of the year (195th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 171 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1930, the first two World Cup matches took place simultaneously on 13 July and were won by France and USA, who defeated Mexico 4-1 and Belgium 3-0 respectively. The first goal in World Cup history was scored by Lucien Laurent of France. In the final, Uruguay defeated Argentina 4-2 in front of a crowd of 93,000 people in Montevideo, and in doing so became the first nation to win the World Cup.

Previous international competitions

The world’s first international football match was a challenge match played in Glasgow in 1872 between Scotland and England, which ended in a 0-0 draw. The first international tournament, the inaugural edition of the British Home Championship, took place in 1884. At this stage the sport was rarely played outside the United Kingdom. As football grew in popularity in other parts of the world at the turn of the 20th century, it was held as a demonstration sport with no medals awarded at the 1900 and 1904 Summer Olympics (however, the IOC has retroactively upgraded their status to official events), and at the 1906 Intercalated Games.

After FIFA was founded in 1904, it tried to arrange an international football tournament between nations outside the Olympic framework in Switzerland in 1906. These were very early days for international football, and the official history of FIFA describes the competition as having been a failure.

At the 1908 Summer Olympics in London, football became an official competition. Planned by The Football Association (FA), England’s football governing body, the event was for amateur players only and was regarded suspiciously as a show rather than a competition. Great Britain (represented by the England national amateur football team) won the gold medals. They repeated the feat in 1912 in Stockholm, where the tournament was organised by the Swedish Football Association.

With the Olympic event continuing to be contested only between amateur teams, Sir Thomas Lipton organised the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy tournament in Turin in 1909. The Lipton tournament was a championship between individual clubs (not national teams) from different nations, each one of which represented an entire nation. The competition is sometimes described as The First World Cup, and featured the most prestigious professional club sides from Italy, Germany and Switzerland, but the FA of England refused to be associated with the competition and declined the offer to send a professional team. Lipton invited West Auckland, an amateur side from County Durham, to represent England instead. West Auckland won the tournament and returned in 1911 to successfully defend their title. They were given the trophy to keep forever, as per the rules of the competition.

In 1914, FIFA agreed to recognise the Olympic tournament as a “world football championship for amateurs”, and took responsibility for managing the event. This paved the way for the world’s first intercontinental football competition, at the 1920 Summer Olympics, contested by Egypt and thirteen European teams, and won by Belgium. Uruguay won the next two Olympic football tournaments in 1924 and 1928. Those were also the first two open world championships, as 1924 was the start of FIFA’s professional era.

Due to the success of the Olympic football tournaments, FIFA, with President Jules Rimet the driving force, again started looking at staging its own international tournament outside of the Olympics. On 28 May 1928, the FIFA Congress in Amsterdam decided to stage a world championship itself. With Uruguay now two-time official football world champions and to celebrate their centenary of independence in 1930, FIFA named Uruguay as the host country of the inaugural World Cup tournament.

The national associations of selected nations were invited to send a team, but the choice of Uruguay as a venue for the competition meant a long and costly trip across the Atlantic Ocean for European sides. Indeed, no European country pledged to send a team until two months before the start of the competition. Rimet eventually persuaded teams from Belgium, France, Romania, and Yugoslavia to make the trip. In total thirteen nations took part: seven from South America, four from Europe and two from North America.

World Cups before World War II

After the creation of the World Cup, the 1932 Summer Olympics, held in Los Angeles, did not plan to include football as part of the schedule due to the low popularity of the sport in the United States, as American football had been growing in popularity. FIFA and the IOC also disagreed over the status of amateur players, and so football was dropped from the Games. Olympic football returned at the 1936 Summer Olympics, but was now overshadowed by the more prestigious World Cup.

The issues facing the early World Cup tournaments were the difficulties of intercontinental travel, and war. Few South American teams were willing to travel to Europe for the 1934 and 1938 tournaments, with Brazil the only South American team to compete in both. The 1942 and 1946 competitions were cancelled due to World War II and its aftermath.

The Breakfast Club (Live Aid Edition)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

Breakfast Tunes

Live Aid was a dual-venue concert held on 13 July 1985. The event was organised by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for relief of the ongoing Ethiopian famine. Billed as the “global jukebox”, the event was held simultaneously at Wembley Stadium in London, England, United Kingdom (attended by 72,000 people) and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States (attended by about 100,000 people). On the same day, concerts inspired by the initiative happened in other countries, such as Australia and Germany. It was one of the largest-scale satellite link-ups and television broadcasts of all time: an estimated global audience of 1.9 billion, across 150 nations, watched the live broadcast.

Le Tour 2014: Stage 9, Gérardmer / Mulhouse

Le.  Tour.  De.  France.

Certainly for Stage 8 you can pretty much forget anything that came before the climbing though Simon Yates had a big breakaway and maintained it almost through the first climb, Col de la Croix des Moinats, when Blel Kadri and Sébastien Chavanel started the charge of the mountaineers with a breakaway of their own.  At this point conditions were pretty miserable and it didn’t really stop raining for the rest of the stage.  Speaking of the Mountain men it was the day Alberto Contador started to make his move and I would have expected something more decisive than a 2nd place finish a mere 3 seconds ahead of Vincenzo Nibali in 3rd.  Another interesting story is Sky’s Richie Porte.  Second to team Leader Chris Froome who is now of course out, he had a really good ride, finishing 4th on the stage and is now in 3rd place in the General Classification 29 seconds ahead of Contador.

Andrew Talansky crashed again, this time after tangling with Sky’s Geraint Thomas (along with Yates the only 2 British riders left).  Mathias Frank of IAM did not start and Bart De Clercq of Lotto did not finish.

As always the first day in the Mountains shakes things up a bit.  On the stage it was Blel Kadri for the first French win, Alberto Contador (2:17), Vincenzo Nibali (2:20), Riche Porte (2:24), Thibaut Pinot tied with Jean-Christophe Peraud (2:28), Alejandro Valverde BelMonte (2:36), Tejay Van Garderen (2:40), Romain Bardet (2:48), Sylvain Chavanel (2:54), and Bauke Mollema (2:55).  There were 16 riders between 3 and 4 minutes behind.  In the General Classification it is Vincenzo Nibali, Jakob Fuglsang (1:44), Riche Porte (1:58), Michal Kwiatkowski (2:26), Alejandro Valverde BelMonte (2:27), Alberto Contador (2:34), Romain Bardet (2:39), Rui Alberto Costa (2:52).  There are 7 other riders less than 4 minutes behind.  In the Point competition Peter Sagan (267), Bryan Coquard (156), Marcel Kittel (146), Alexander Kristoff (117), Mark Renshaw (101), and André Greipel (98).  The next nearest (Vincenzo Nibali) is 23 points behind.  In the Climber contest it is Blel Kadri (17), Cyril Lemoine and Sylvain Chavanel (6), Simon Yates (5).  For the Teams it stands at Astana, Belkin (5:23), and Sky (5:31).  Everyone else is over 10 minutes out.  The Youth competition is Michal Kwiatkowski, Romain Bardet (:13), and Thibaut Pinot (1:06).  Everyone else is over 9 minutes behind.

Today is Mountains for real, about 106 miles of them.

Distance Name Length Category
Km 11.5 Col de la Schlucht (1 140 m) 8.6 km @ 4.5% 2
Km 41.0 Col du Wettstein 7.7 km @ 4.1% 3
Km 70.0 Côte des Cinq Châteaux 4.5 km @ 6.1% 3
Km 86.0 Côte de Gueberschwihr (559 m) 4.1 km @ 7.9% 2
Km 120.0 Le Markstein (1 183 m) 10.8 km @ 5.4% 1
Km 127.0 Grand Ballon 1.4 km @ 8.6% 3

The Sprint Checkpoint is after the 2 Category 2s and 2 Category 3s and is uphill on a Category 1.  Pretty tough sprint if you ask me.  They finish flat after a descent so there might be some opportunity there for speed if a rider has kept up to that point.  On La Fête Nationale tomorrow they spend their last day in the Vosges and Tuesday is a rest day.

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with George Stephanopolis: The guests for Sunday’s “This Week” are: Attorney General Eric Holder; Trayvon Martin’s friend Rachel Jeantel on the one year anniversary of his killer’s acquittal.

The guests at the roundtable are: Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol; Republican strategist Ana Navarro; former Obama White House senior adviser David Plouffe; and ABC News’ Cokie Roberts.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Schieffer’s guests are: Ambassador Maen Rashid Areikat, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s chief representative in the United States; and Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX).

On a special immigration panel, the guests are: Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL); Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA); and Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX).

His panel guests are: Jane Harman of The Wilson Center; Nia-Malika Henderson, the Washington Post; Danielle Pletka, the American Enterprise Institute; and Gerald Seib, The Wall Street Journal.

Meet the Press with David Gregory: Sunday’s guests for MTP are: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif; the Obama administration’s Mideast peace envoy, Martin Indyk; The Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg; Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI); and Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX).

Sitting at the roundtable are: former Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-MI); former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA); Stephen Henderson, Detroit Free Press; and Kimberley Strassel, The Wall Street Journal.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Ms. Crowley’s guests are: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ); and Border patrol agent Chris Cabrera.

Her panel guests are Republican Reps. Marsha Blackburn and Aaron Schock; Democratic Reps. Donna Edwards and Beto O’Rourke.

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Gaza: Israel hits security HQ and rocket site

 13 July 2014 Last updated at 06:57


Israel has carried out overnight air strikes against Gaza’s security headquarters and police stations, in the heaviest bombardment since operations began on 8 July.

It also said its troops had carried out a brief raid against a rocket-launching site in the coastal territory.

Israel added that Palestinian militants fired about 90 rockets from the Gaza Strip into its territory on Saturday.

At least 159 Palestinians have died in the air strikes, Gaza officials say.

They are said to include 17 members of one family who died in an Israeli missile strike on Saturday evening.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

Heavy fighting breaks out near Libya’s Tripoli airport

El Dorado in the Amazon: A Deluded German and Three Dead Bodies

Kerry arrives in Vienna for Iran nuclear talks

1,500-Year-Old Claws Intrigue Archaeologists in Peru

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Misogyny and Capitalism

Recent Supreme Court rulings highlight the persistent presence of misogyny in the US.

Megan Amundson, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, expressed her anger over the Supreme Court’s message that “women are second-class citizens, not capable of making our healthcare decisions without the interference of our bosses and complete strangers on the street,” and she encouraged the crowd to send a message back.

This was the most striking language in the buffer zone ruling, to me:

petitioners are not protestors; they seek not merely to express their opposition to abortion, but to engage in personal, caring, consensual conversations with women about various alternatives.

Unbidden strangers given the rights of “counselor.” Since when is anyone who wants to talk to me considered my counselor? Why is the word “consensual” in that sentence? Patients haven’t consented to this counseling. They are hounded by it. This kind of distortion of someone’s behavior and giving it a title which then affords them rights, when they are really just harassing people would never happen if the recipients of said counseling were white males. Where is the autonomy of the woman in this interaction? This is codified misogyny.

In a country which claims to be “democratic” and to believe in “liberty”, how is it that autonomy is not fully respected for all people?

It would seem that something overrides our belief in the respect of the individual which should be inherent to a democracy and our commitment to privacy when it comes to personal liberty. Could that be capitalism?

Will you join me for an exploration of the linkages between capitalism and misogyny?