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Holland 2, Brazil 1.
In my last post, I noted that soccer is impossible to predict because so much depends on who scores the first goal, luck and poise.
Brazil got the first goal, Holland had a bit of luck (the botched own goal by Felipe Melo to tie the score), but most of all Brazil lost its poise. Felipe Melo got tossed — he “shouldn’t spend his vacation in Brazil,” Ronaldo said on Twitter — and the team generally fell apart. On Holland’s second goal, several Brazilian defenders stood flat-footed and watched Wesley Sneijder score an easy header.
The New York Times said it was “a matchup that was good enough to be the World Cup final.” Really? It didn’t have the look of a classic to me. Brazil never generated any offense in the second half, Kaka was invisible, and Holland never seemed threatened. It looked like a repeat of Brazil’s poor performance against France when it was eliminated in 2006.
All that said, Brazil is my team and I’ll be rooting for it in 2014. But that doesn’t mean I’ll be making excuses now. The better team won, it was as simple as that.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Commentary — November 17, 2015, 6:41 pm
The Clintons’ so-called charitable enterprise has served as a vehicle to launder money and to enrich family friends.
i. stand with israel
I listen to a lot of conservative talk radio. Confident masculine voices telling me the enemy is everywhere and victory is near — I often find it affirming: there’s a reason I don’t think that way. Last spring, many right-wing commentators made much of a Bloomberg poll that asked Americans, “Are you more sympathetic to Netanyahu or Obama?” Republicans picked the Israeli prime minister over their own president, 67 to 16 percent. There was a lot of affected shock that things had come to this. Rush Limbaugh said of Netanyahu that he wished “we had this kind of forceful moral, ethical clarity leading our own country”; Mark Levin described him as “the leader of the free world.” For a few days there I yelled quite a bit in my car.
The one conservative radio show I do find myself enjoying is hosted by Dennis Prager. At the Thanksgiving dinner of American radio personalities (Limbaugh is your jittery brother-in-law, Michael Savage is your racist uncle, Hugh Hewitt is Hugh Hewitt) Dennis Prager is the turkey-carving patriarch trying to keep the conversation moderately high-minded. While Prager obviously doesn’t like liberals — “The gaps between the left and right on almost every issue that matters are in fact unbridgeable,” he has said — he often invites them onto his show for debate, which is rare among right-wing hosts. Yet his gently exasperated take on the Obama–Netanyahu matchup was among the least charitable: “Those who do not confront evil resent those who do.”
Pairs of moose-dung earrings sold each year at Grizzly’s Gifts in Anchorage, Alaska:
An Alaskan brown bear was reported to have scratched its face with barnacled rocks, making it the first bear seen using tools since 1972, when a Svalbardian polar bear is alleged to have clubbed a seal in the head with a block of ice.
A former prison in Philadelphia that has served as a horror-movie set was being prepared as a detention center for protesters arrested at the upcoming Democratic National Convention, and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump fired his campaign manager.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”