Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bandalheira - Carnaval 2006 Ouro Preto

I am the dude who gives you the thumbs up!

Saturday afternoon on the ponderosa

A few years ago, the parks was cutting all sorts of trees down, and I begged them to keep this guy - the oak, with great silver/aluminum colored leaves. He was up inside an ugly old cottonwood. I almost had to tie myself to him from gettgin cut... they relented, and I am so glad! He has grown a lot this year.

These only bloom in November, just before Thanksgiving... I had more but the shade is changing things here...

Friday, November 20, 2009

University of California Fee Hikes

Hi All,

Please feel free to forward this about to your students, fellow
faculty, past/present/prospective parents and students of the Calif.
public university system. My sole desire right now is to inspire
people to use the portals of democracy that are in place to have our
voices heard. We cannot stand idly by and allow public education in
this state to disintegrate. This is a call to action.

Below you will find my email to my representative of the 47th District
of the California State Assemblywoman, Karen Bass. The content is in
regards to this week's UC Regents decision to raise UC fees by 33%
next year, which lead to an inspiring and powerful student protest at
my home campus (UCLA) over the past three days. To learn more read the

I passionately encourage you all to write to your representatives.
Whether you are a graduate, a current student, a prospective/future
California college student, or simply a California resident this issue
effects you and we must take a stand. Write from your heart and demand
a better future for this state, which absolutely depends upon
affordable access to public education.

If you do not know who is representing you, you can find out who your
representatives in the house are by simply entering your zipcode:
and your representatives in the California state senate and assembly:
and of course your senators are Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer,
and their contacts can be found at:

There is a huge journey ahead of Californians to fix a very broken
public school system, but do not be disheartened to the point of
inaction. Every voice can make a difference. "You don't have to see
the whole staircase, just take the first step." -MLK


Speaker Bass:

I would like to know your stand on the current situation at UCLA and
your position on the rising costs of public education.

I am a California public school student through and through: I
attended grade school in Fontana, CA, junior high and high school in
Claremont, CA, I received my AA from San Diego City College, my BA
from UC Berkeley, and now I am in the first quarter of my MFA at UCLA.
Since my SD City days, I have also been pursuing my education as a
single mother, and fee hikes have always had a strongly adverse effect
on me, my son, and my ability to pursue my education.

I want to know what you plan to do to stand up for the public
university system in California and the student body that lives and
learns in your district. The University of California's website boasts
about the economic contributions of the universities and its students:

But now the system is burdening its students with unprecedented,
crushing economic hardship. In your vision statement on your website,
you say yourself, "In the end, we as a society will be judged on how
we treat our people—be they young children in the foster care system,
students trying to get an education without excessive debt, or the
elderly who just need a little help to stay independent in their own
homes." So, I ask, what actions will you take to hold the UC system
and the state of California accountable in making strides toward
affordable access to public education? What will you do to remind
these institutions that we, the students, are the future of the
economic wellbeing of this great state?

Thank you for your time,

Nicole G
MFA Candidate, UCLA
Los Angeles resident 90025

"I Deserve Health Care"

Show support for students and workers in the U of Califonia system fighting to save public education []
Sent: Friday, November 20, 2009 5:55 AM

Dear Daniel Orey,

Yesterday at UCLA, amidst chants of "We Shall Overcome" the
University of California Board of Regents, except for the
student member, voted to increase student fees by 32 percent, or
$2,500. This drastic increase triples the total cost of a UC
education from a decade ago. The vote was met with a torrent of
protest by those whom the decision directly affects.

While the increased cost presents an insurmountable barrier to
college access for thousands of students and potential students,
it's only the tip of the iceberg. Nationwide, states are
balancing budgets on the backs of students and workers; slashing
higher education funding, raising tuition and fees and massive
layoffs. Students need financial relief now more than ever,
which is why the Senate must pass a companion bill to the
Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA). This bill
makes the largest higher education investment in American
history by eliminating wasteful government subsidies to banks
and allocating the estimated $87 billion in savings into
low-interest, secure federal aid. We also need a national jobs
program and a new stimulus plan that funds our states and public

If California has taught us anything, it is that amount of fee
hikes states and regents will impose on students to mitigate
budget shortfalls is limitless. It is time for students and
workers from across the country to get together and demand the
prioritization of funding for the public sector and the right of
an education.

Take action now by signing the petition below and start
organizing on your community by joining us next December 1st @
9pm est- 6pm pst for the continuation of our conference calls
with students across the country sharing and learning strategies
to fight budget cuts and layoffs.

For more info send an email to with your name and
Sign this petition either via email (please see directions
below) or via the web at:

Visit the web address below to tell your friends about this.

We encourage you to take action by December 19, 2009

Stand in solidarity with students, staff and faculty fighting
for public education in California

If you have access to a web browser, you can take action on this
alert by going to the following URL:

Just choose the "reply to sender" option on your email program.

In the past two days, students, staff and faculty from the
University of California system have been rallying, striking and
organizing to stop the fee hikes proposed by the Board of
Regents. Sadly this afternoon we saw that the regents blatant
disregard and decision to pass the tuition hikes on the backs of
students and workers.
But this is not the end; is just the beginning of the struggle
against the privatizations of our universities.
Join students from across the country and tell UC students,
staff and faculty that they are not alone, that this is a fight
of all. Tell them we will be looking at our legislators and
asking them for the full funding of the public sector specially
our education system.

Tell students, staff and faculty at the UC system that the
student labor movement stands behind their valiant efforts.


If you received this message from a friend, you can sign up for
Student Labor Action Project at:


This message was sent to To modify your email
communication preferences or update your personal profile, visit
your subscription management page at:

To stop ALL email from Student Labor Action Project, reply via
email with "remove or unsubscribe" in the subject line, or use
the following link:

Click on the link below for more information
from your union, online activism and benefits.

Three from Buzz

Worst than the 1930s: Mortgage Delinquencies Reach Record High

John Shadegg Uses Kidnapping to Scare Us, Yet He 'Kidnapped' Baby for Prop to Win the BuzzFlash GOP Hypocrite of the Week Award Rep. Shadegg kept bringing up kidnapping as a threat against those involved in trying terrorism suspects? Why is Rep. Shadegg so intrigued about kidnapping? Perhaps because Rep. Shadegg knows a thing or two about kidnapping. After all, Shadegg was the representative who kidnapped, er, "borrowed" Maddie, daughter of his chief of staff, to use as a prop to argue against health care reform.

What are they smoking? Poll: Majority of Republicans Believe ACORN Stole the Presidential Election

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Best of Show Fall 2009 Gingko Madness CSUS

I entered it here:, wish me luck and... vote for me!

Lessons from Brazil

Why is Brazil's economy bouncing back while other markets stumble?


"Of historic importance." That is how Dilma Rousseff, Brazil's chief of staff, described the country's victorious bid in early October to stage the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Rousseff -- a likely candidate in next year's presidential elections -- declared that "Brazil was no longer a country of the future," referring to a popular saying Brazilians use to describe their homeland after decades of missed opportunities despite vast economic potential. Rather, she said, Brazil is now a country "of the present" -- a view shared by many as revelers packed Rio's beaches to celebrate the victory.

jump here to read the full article here

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Thanksgiving story

A piece from a book I am writing, I hope you enjoy it! Leave a comment and let me know what you think!


O Dia de Ação de Graças

Today’s mini-fact: Did you know that there are two countries in the world named after an extremely annoying but tasty bird indigenous to the Americas? Yes! Turkey and Peru!

Just so you know… Thanksgiving is not a holiday in Brasil. The last Thursday of November is just like the third one, a warm and very pleasant spring day, with possible showers, and flowers blooming everywhere. There is no Macy’s day parade in Brasil on that Friday. But really, they are ok about it.

After a few weeks of living in the Aparthotel Flomon, I was moved to a great little apartment on the top floor and in the back. It had a big back window that afforded a varsity view of the whole city, and when the weather was nice I kept it open. One could hear the sinos and buses and a dog.

The dog was owned by a senhora viúva, in the house three floors below and across the alley. It was a chocolate Weimaraner. When looking up how to spell Weimaraner on the internet I found that they are,

tireless, versatile hunting dogs with the skills needed to find, point, track, and retrieve birds and other small game. Weimaraners are also wonderful pets. They’re loving, fiercely devoted companions - quick to learn and eager to please[1].”

They forgot to mention that they never stop barking, or why a senhora viúva would want one.

After so many years of traveling in Brasil, I had felt I was accustomed to noise… but soon this dog got on my nerves. The dog would sit out on the patio of the house below by idyllic abode and just bark. He barked at people walking by, trucks going by, birds flying by, the sun, the moon, the rain, the trees, time going by… he just barked, 24/7. His tiny little senhora viúva would go out occasionally and tell him to be quiet, which never worked.

Overtime, I noticed that the dog noticed me when I opened the window. One day, as I was eating a line or two of bolachas Maria while looking out the window, and watching a sunset, I had thought that the dog was asleep, but I soon realized that, in fact, I was being watched. I looked down, saw the dog, and absent mindedly threw it a cookie. It gave me a tiny woof of thanks and remained quiet. I thought to myself,

“Ok we can work with this”

So I threw it another cookie, which was met by yet another quiet woof. Thus began our relationship, I hear barking, I open the window, the dog stops barking, and sits and waits for a cookie.

I understand, sometimes we all just need to be noticed.

A few weeks later, Milton came to visit for his Thanksgiving week, as he was in Sacramento, and I was in Ouro Preto on a visiting professorship. We told my colleagues that we would cook a turkey, and that Milton would bring stuffing (they were fascinated by this particular USAan ritual that they had heard of and seen on film, but never witnessed). I was just too glad to share this special day and initiate them into the rituals of pie and turkey and graças. So it was decided that we would host one, at Roselli’s house, as she had a large table and best of all, a maid to wash things up afterwards.

One tiny problem arose. Where to cook it? Brazilian stoves, and the one I had in my apartment was no exception, are tiny little things barely enabling the cook to bake a pie, let alone a peru. So Milton and I asked the guy in the padaria in the downstairs supermercado where we could get someone to cook us a peru.

You need to know that in Brasil padarias are often engaged to cook big things that aren’t part of a churrasco. All you do is take it, they cook it and you retrieve it after paying a set price. Pretty handy actually, and probably why you never see oven cleaner commercials on Brazilian TV.

But in Ouro Preto, if you ask to do things out of season, you are often met with a “no can do”. Perus are cooked only at Christmas, if ever, and it wasn’t Christmas, so no one was going to cook one for us because it wasn’t done in November. But of course, no one would tell us that. Our question was met in a singularly Mineiro fashion,

“Não é aqui, mas eu sei de uma padaria que pode fazê-lo” (Nope, not here, but I know a bakery that does...)

So off we trudged down the hill to the next padaria we could find… and to the next one, and to the next one , each one saying no, they can’t but the next one does… the route gave Milton a good taste (pun intended) of every bakery in Ouro Preto. I know this for a fact, as Marger was driving me somewhere this last summer, and I said, Milton & I missed that padaria when we were looking for a place to cook a peru, when she said,

“Mas este padaria é nova, Daniel” (but this bakery is new, Daniel)

At the last padaria of the tour, we were given a phone number of a senhora who is known to cook big things... like a peru. Mind you, we haven’t gotten a peru yet, we are just looking for a place that cooks one. So we called her. And she gave us an address, which was weirdly close to my house on Rua Alvarenga. When we got to the address, one that seemed more like one in Harry Potter - between the one and the other, yet not there at all, there was nothing, but an alleyway, the very same alleyway that ran behind my apartment and where the annoying Weimaraner lived. So we walked up the alley, and lo and behold, it was the very same house!

We knocked, she laughed, we laughed and the dog woofed! We arranged for her to cook our peru.

“Oh and by the way where do you get a peru in Ouro Preto?”

She told us that they sold them in supermercado … if we just got it and she would be able to cook it for us tomorrow.

So off we went in search of a peru, and soon we were beginning to trace the steps we trudged earlier, this time from açougueiro to açougueiro instead of padaria to padaria. After realizing we where retracing our paths and neither of us wanted to do that again we decided to rethink this whole thing. Perhaps we were committing yet another unintentional act of cultural chauvinism by well meaning North Americans? Then a light bulb went on, and we looked at each other and at the same time said,


Come to find out, there was not a peru to be had in Ouro Preto, they are something just not eaten a lot in Ouro Preto. But we did though find a chester was a substitute that would just have to do. So we found the largest freaking chester possible. To be honest, I was shocked that a chicken that size could even walk. The senhora didn’t want to do the stuffing, as she had never done that before and really had no idea what we were talking about.

“E fácil, vc pega essa mistura, mexe na panela, e colca o recheio o dentro do chester e... (“Its easy, you take this mix, and cook it on the stove, then stuff it inside the chester and…”)

I saw that look of “what are you talking about?” in her eyes. So we settled for making the stuffing at the friend’s house on the stove, it was “stove top stuffing” and well, what would they know anyway right?

Thanksgiving Day came; I heard the dog, so I rolled up the window. Threw him a cookie, and clapped three times. In Brasil, you often clap in front of a house instead of knocking on the door; the senhora viúva opened her door, and looked up and down the street until I said, from the 3rdfloor above her,


She looked up and told me to give her another 1/2 hour. And Milton said,

“Daniel, você está parecendo um mineiro!”


Memo to Warren Buffett: Put Down the Pom-Poms and Tell Us the Truth About the Economy


AP/Jin Lee

Arianna Huffington: Difficult times need wise men to tell difficult truths. And, for many years, Warren Buffett has done just that. So it was deeply distressing to listen to him last week joining in the economic victory lap the Obama administration is taking -- accentuating the positive and ignoring the negative again and again and again. His cheerleading would have been okay if it had been accompanied by some ideas -- any ideas -- for what steps need to be taken to help bring the economy back. But the dose of truth-telling we so desperately need was absent. Instead of raising his prophetic voice to sound the alarm about the rising tide of unemployment, foreclosures, and bankruptcies Buffett sounded a trumpet blast: "behold and rejoice."

Click here to read more.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Did Christianity Cause the Crash?

America’s mainstream religious denominations used to teach the faithful that they would be rewarded in the afterlife. But over the past generation, a different strain of Christian faith has proliferated—one that promises to make believers rich in the here and now. Known as the prosperity gospel, and claiming tens of millions of adherents, it fosters risk-taking and intense material optimism. It pumped air into the housing bubble. And one year into the worst downturn since the Depression, it’s still going strong.

jump here to read the article in the Atlantic

Schmidt Calls Palin's Memoirs "Total Fiction"

To read Sarah Palin's shockingly shallow Going Rogue, one is immediately struck by how nasty and vindictive Palin is, and that her book is little more than a veiled mechanism for settling scores with old foes who have triumphed over her throughout Palin's lifetime.

Is Palin really going rogue? Hardly. Getting even is more like it.

jump here to the full article

by Jeffrey Joseph

In another victory for journalistic integrity and reason, Fox News lost yet another couple of viewers thanks to a simple dialogue between a thoughtful reader, her daughter, and her formerly Fox-viewing parents. When Fox News ignores a speech from the president as the other major media outlets cover it live, people start to get suspicious, and soon afterward, they change the channel.

jump here to full article

Daily Gingko Report

Noon / Lunch break Park Shots

Student & Faculty Protest

Student & Faculty Protest
At CSU Board of Regents Meeting
Reverse Budget Cuts & Tuition Hikes

Tuesday, Nov. 17, 11am
CSU Chancellor's Office
401 Golden Shore, Long Beach 90802
Map and Directions

Join Students Fight Back, faculty unions and other community-based organizations for a protest at the CSU Board of Trustees meeting. It’s the final meeting of the 2009 year.

The CSU Trustees don’t care about students, faculty or campus workers. They have pushed the state budget crisis onto our backs.

They voted to layoff faculty, institute furlough days, and nearly double student tuition and fees. Meanwhile, they haven’t done anything to meet our education needs. From Chancellor Reed on down--the Trustees should be held accountable. Thousands of students have responded to this crisis with walk-outs, sit-ins and mass demonstrations. We need to keep up the pressure to push back the cuts and hikes, and to win the quality education we deserve.

On Nov. 17, students at Sacramento State, San Diego State and elsewhere will also protest in solidarity with the Long Beach action. All students, faculty and community supporters throughout the Southern California area are invited to attend. UC, CSU, Community College and K-12 students and faculty must unite to fight back!

The Nov. 17 action kicks off a week of student-led actions to win back our public education system. In the following days, Students Fight Back will join students and faculty at UCLA for a UC systemwide strike. Now is the time to struggle.

We must make our voices heard. Education is a right! Click here to join Students Fight Back.

Get involved with Students Fight Back: 213-251-1058 or email

Sunday, November 15, 2009

NASA 2012: Beginning of the End or Why the World Won't End?

Remember the Y2K scare? It came and went without much of a whimper because of adequate planning and analysis of the situation. Impressive movie special effects aside, Dec. 21, 2012, won't be the end of the world as we know. It will, however, be another winter solstice.

Much like Y2K, 2012 has been analyzed and the science of the end of the Earth thoroughly studied. Contrary to some of the common beliefs out there, the science behind the end of the world quickly unravels when pinned down to the 2012 timeline. Below, NASA Scientists answer several questions that we're frequently asked regarding 2012.

jump here to read the entire article



Our Drug Puppet Congress

The New York Times reports that 42 members of the House read health care reform statements into the official record that were ghostwritten by lobbyists from pharmaceutical giant Genentech.
E-mail messages obtained by The New York Times show that the lobbyists drafted one statement for Democrats and another for Republicans. The lobbyists, employed by Genentech and by two Washington law firms, were remarkably successful in getting the statements printed in the Congressional Record under the names of different members of Congress. Genentech, a subsidiary of the Swiss drug giant Roche, estimates that 42 House members picked up some of its talking points — 22 Republicans and 20 Democrats, an unusual bipartisan coup for lobbyists. In an interview, Representative Bill Pascrell Jr., Democrat of New Jersey, said: “I regret that the language was the same. I did not know it was.” He said he got his statement from his staff and “did not know where they got the information from.”
One lobbyist shrugged off the revelation, saying, “This happens all the time. There was nothing nefarious about it.” Right. Daily Kos diarist Bink rants:
They just said what they were told to say. And they aren't embarrassed about it at all. Oh, joy. That's bipartisanship for you! No reason to bring the concerns of your constituents to the table when your words are already being written for you by one of the biggest companies on the globe. Both Republicans and Democrats. If the Congress was an honorable institution, this would be a scandal. The members involved would resign.

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thanks to JMG
Copyright 2011 by Daniel C. Orey All rights reserved. No part of this website may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.