Wednesday, March 30, 2011

twin baby boys have a conversation - part 2

Now, the discussion goes on after dinner about the mistery of the missing sock!!! ;)

twin baby boys have a conversation - part 1

I think they are discussing  what to have for dinner and who is going to do the dishes! :)
What do you think they are talking about?  Add the sub titles! ;)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Washers/Dryers and Dishwashers in BRAZIL

After reading the comment in yellow bold italic below at RACHEL'S RANTINGS IN RIO, I decided to educate myself on the subject of Washers/Dryers and Dishwashers in Brazil.
This information will definitely be useful to me once we are getting ready to move back to Brazil, so I decided to share my findings with you.
Keep in mind every appliance sold in Brazil is MADE IN BRAZIL, which makes them a little bit more expensive than your American counter parts for obvious reasons. Most appliances sold in the United States today are indeed cheaper, but they are MADE IN CHINA and contribute very little to the job situation in the US.
It doesn't bother me too much to buy a MADE IN BRAZIL appliance for more money when I know jobs to make this appliances are employing Brazilians and helping improve the economy.
Brazilian workers have many benefits their Chinese competitors don't have, Brazilian workers enjoy several months paid time off when they have babies, both the mother and the father of the new born, They have a 13th salary, "Fundo de Garantia" which is a hefty amount saved by the company for the employee, sort of like a 401 K, Brazilian companies have to pay "Ticket Refeicao" which means a voucher for lunch. Brazilian workers have the right for transportation to and from work paid by their employers.
The benefits are hefty and they add to the absurd amount of taxes charged by the Brazilian government to keep their fat salaries and pensions and other projects that increase the price of appliances made in Brazil.

So, here we go:
The word for DRYER in Portuguese is SECADORA, for WASHER is LAVADORA and for DISHWASHER is LAVALOUCAS.

LG Washer/Dryer combination to be produced in Paulinia-Sao Paulo

Brazilian Brastemp-Dishwasher
Zoe said...

...Ray, really? I've lived in Sao Paulo for nearly 4 years and my Paulistano husband has lived here since he was born (and we both do pretty well financially) and we only know of one person who has a dryer. And that person (who does happen to be the American wife of a Brazilian) begged for the dryer and then rarely used it because it took 6 hours to dry a few towels. I would like to have a dryer sometimes, but then I remember that I'm being a lot better to the environment by hanging everything up. I'd love a tumble dryer, something I've never seen here. The dryers that work with condensation that I've seen for sale for a small fortune (and that I used to see when I lived in Europe) just don't cut it for me.

This was my reply to Zoe:

Dear Zoe,

Maybe your husband is trying to save some money and is pulling a fast one on you ;)

Visit some appliance stores or just look online, there are all kinds of appliances for all tastes and all budgets too and they are ALL MADE IN BRAZIL, no CHINESE CRAP WILL BE FOUND.
I don't even know where to begin, you really are living in a different reality.

Let me try...
My father was a Quality Control Engineer for a Whirlpool Factory in Sao Paulo in the late 60's all the way into the late 80's when my father changed jobs. That factory in Sao Bernardo do Campo closed and moved to Sorocaba, Sao Paulo interior.
That factory is called Brastemp today! Have you heard about it? Brastemp makes Tumble style Dryer just like the American ones that dry your clothes in about 50 minutes. You can buy several other types of clothes dryer, some more efficient, some less efficient, some expensive, some cheap, there are all kinds of Dryers to choose from. Bosh, Electrolux, Whirlpool, GE, Prosdocimo and Brastemp among others all have appliances factories scared all over Brazil and you can buy Dryers, Washers, Dishwashers, Stoves, Microwaves, Freezer and Refrigerators at stores all around the country.
Some people who live in small apartments in big cities just don't have the space for dishwashers or washers and dryers, but that is not a Brazilian thing. It is a real LUXURY to have a WASHER or a DRYER in your apartment in New York city, Chicago downtown or Boston for that matter, among many other large American cities.
The same thing might happen to Brazil, I don't know if you live in the Dryer twilight zone, that sounded really funny by the way. But please, What are you trying to prove by saying BRAZIL doesn't have WASHERS or DRYERS anywhere? Really?
You can find absolutely everything in Brazil nowadays, you certainly won't pay the same price as things cost in the US because of the simple fact that things you buy in BRAZIL are MADE IN BRAZIL. I just recently found out our Kenmore Dishwasher was MADE IN CHINA!!! That is why appliances here are so affordable.
Countries make choices! The US choose to buy goods MADE IN CHINA and let the AMERICAN factories and JOBS go to Hell in a hand basket. Now we all can buy everything super cheap here, but there is a HUGE price! Slums are forming all over the US, homeless population is at an all time high! Where are the jobs? CHINA!

To be continued...

Gil and Ray said...

Dear Zoe ( Cont... )

I think I would rather pay a little more for things and keep my factories and jobs around.
My mother grew up in Sao Paulo, at IPIRANGA Region. She told they had HUGE GE Industrial type Washers and Dryers at her School. The Catholic nuns used the machines to wash the girls basketball and volleyball uniforms and the gym's towels.
My grandmother in Sao Bernardo do Campo had a GAS dryer in the late 1950's. Her street was one of the first in her town to have piped underground natural gas installed. Most her neighbors already had dryers back then. I don't know if you are aware, but Sao Paulo had HUGE SEARS stores all over the city until the early 90's when Sears was in trouble and left Brazil.
My grandmother bought her washer/dryer and dishwasher at Sears in the 50's, my grandmother also worked at a material factory and needed those appliances to make her life as a single mother possible.
My mother always had all appliances like dishwasher, washer and dryer, my mother was a teacher and also worked hard all the time and needed the appliances to make her life easier.
You probably live in a part of town where people live in small apartments and just don't have these type of appliances. In these areas, you will see lots of laundromats, you know, just like the ones we see all over Manhattan and Boston, where a lot of people don't have apartments that can fit a Washer or a Dryer for that matter.
My brother lives in a small/ NEW apartment downtown Sao Paulo, 2 blocks from avenida Paulista, he has a set of Bosh Washer and a Gas Dryer and also a Brastemp dishwasher, all made in Brazil.
My sister lives in Santo Andre, in Sao Paulo metro, also has a Washer, a Dryer and a dishwasher. My sister actually has my mother's old Kenmore Dryer, bought at Sears in the early 70's, made in Brazil, great quality gas gas/dryer. My mother gave it to her and she gladly took it because it still works great.
I will be sure to take pictures of all my family's dryers/ washers and dishwashers to show you proof, as soon as I visit them.
I guess I will have to write a post about this appliances controversy so folks thinking about moving to Brazil have their expectations in the right place. :)


I have moved to the United States back in 1998, so I thought perhaps a few things might have changed regarding Washers/Dryers and Dishwashers for example, so I decided to do a little research.
A quick Google search brought me the list below, it is a list of ALL the appliances manufactures established in Brazil.
Just to mention a few Washer/Dryers and Dishwashers manufacturers:

1- Electrolux was founded in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1926 and it halted production temporarily during WWII in 1940 to produce air filters exclusively for the war effort, it returns to regular production in 1948 producing Washers and Dryers and vacuum cleaners among other household appliances.
Frigidaire, Gibson, Kelvinator e White-Westinghouse have also operated in Brazil in the past but their factories and operations were purchased and incorporated by Electrolux do Brasil in 1986.

2- CONTINENTAL  is also listed and have recently jointed forces with the German Bosch. However Continental was founded back in 1920 and it grew to be the largest Brazilian appliance manufacturer, it was originally called "Fundicao Brazil", they used to make iron cast wood burning stoves before that, their history goes a long way back. On their website you will find all products available today.

3- BOSCH  do Brasil was founded in 1933, recently jointed forces with the Brazilian "CONTINENTAL". "Bosch" concentrated the production of certain appliances carrying their brand while "Continental" kept others. Bosch has two factories in Brazil, one in the city of Sao Paulo and one in the city of Hortolandia, Sao Paulo state.

4- BRASTEMP is probably the best known appliances manufacturer in Brasil. My father worked at the Brastemp factory in my hometown of Sao Bernardo do Campo when I was growing up. The factory had many plants in my city and closed the largest of them to move production to Sorocaba, Sao Paulo in the late 80's, the executives wanted to move production away from the strong UNIONS in Sao Paulo and prevent the constant strikes for better wages... sounds familiar? The old factory became our town's first Walmart Superstore in the early 1990's.
HERE you can read about Brastemp's History. They produced the first automatic Brazilian Washer in 1959.

5- MAYTAG offers Washers and Dryers in Brazil under the "Tecnowash Brasil" brand and it only has commercial appliances for laundromats or coin operated applications.

6- CONSUL  was founded at the end of WWII, in 1950, at the city of Joinville, Santa Catarina, by Rudolfo Stultzer and his two friends Guilherme Holderegger and Wittich Freitag, yeah, that is how German south of Brazil is, I made sure to write their names here to show you just that :)
The first appliance made was a refrigerator. A few years later they were making 30,000 Refrigerators per year and exporting appliances to other countries.
Stultzer and his friends borrowed money from one of Joinville's richest businessman, Mr. Carlos Renaux, who was also a Consul for Brazil, in Arnheim, Holland, so the three friends decided to name their new appliance brand "Consul" in honor of Mr. Renaux.

7- GE do BRASIL  long story short, GE joined Brazilian DAKO and formed MABE BRASIL, with two factories in Brasil, one in Campinas, Sao Paulo and one in Itu, Sao Paulo and a third factory in San Luis, Argentina, which formed MABE Mercosul, after the purchase of the Argentinian Kronen. The 3 plants in Brazil and Argentina employ 3000 people and produce 2,7 million appliances per year which are exported to 50 different countries around the world.

8- Samsung do Brasil  is somewhat new in Brazil, it sure wasn't there when we still lived in Sao Paulo back in 1998, but it is there now, they actually entered Brazil in 2000, HERE is a historical brief of Samsung Brasil.

9- LG do BRASIL is also new to Brazil. It arrived in 1995 with two factories, one in Manaus, Amazonas where LG makes Cell phones, Laptop computers and notebooks and one in Taubate, Sao Paulo where they make LE and LCD TVs besides Blue Ray DVDs.
LG is now investing 500 million dollars in a new factory in Paulinia, Sao Paulo, where our fellow blogger Nina from NINA DIASPORA OF THE SKY lives.
HERE is the report from a Sao Paulo Newspaper, the new factory will employ 4000 workers and will surpass Petrobras as that town's main employer, the new Paulinia factory will be dedicated to the production of appliances such as Refrigerators, Stoves, Freezers, Microwaves, Washers/Dryers and Dishwashers.

Below is a link that lists all the appliances manufactures present in Brazil, not only the ones that produce washers and dryers and dishwashers but also all sorts of other appliances for your home, the beauty of it, ALL MADE IN BRAZIL:  :)

Now, I have to make a special mention of my favorite appliance of all. It is a miniature WASHER, the add says "Underwear Washer", now, how cool is that, a Washer only for your underwear.
The site says it is formulated for delicate materials like women lingerie and silk, socks and such. It is portable and you can place it over your bathroom sink.
MINILAV 's web site is here.
Below is a picture:

Portable Mini Lingerie Washer-MADE IN BRAZIL
 I really don't understand why some people are under the impression that Washers/Dryers and Dishwashers are not very common in Brazil. They have always been a common presence at my parents house. Our neighbors, friends, relatives, not a big deal at all.
My mother's neighborhood has piped natural gas, my parents have lived in the same place since 1976, it was already there when they bought the place, all our neigbors had gas dryers and most had dishwashers.
Perhaps, the folks who say they haven't seen Washer/Dryers or Dishwashers around live in areas where they are not very common, like near downtown of big cities, where apartments are smaller/older and Washer/Dryers and Dishwashers are somewhat rare, the exact same thing happens in New York city or Boston for example and let me tell you, you won't find Washer/Dryers and Dishwashers in Europe that easy either. Same goes for Toronto or Tokyo for that matter, where these appliances are just a rare luxury.
Sao Paulo and Rio are no different.
You go out to the suburbs and it is a completely different story.
Middle class Brazilians have the same appliances at their suburban homes as American, Canadian or European house holds.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Brazilians are NOT Hispanic!


Please add French Canadians to the Latinos side and REMOVE Spaniards from the HISPANIC side! Thank you

HERE is a definition to the term Hispanic and Latino Americans, that might help you understand this discussion a little better or it will just confuse you completely if you think like I do.

I have been in discussions about the definition of the word "HISPANIC" many times since the first time I lived in the United States back in the 1980's.
The first time I heard it, it didn't make any sense to me.
I  was at a small government agency applying for a Social Security Number because I was going to High School in Oklahoma and needed the document for School purposes.
While completing the form, under the section "RACE", I didn't have any doubts, I checked "White", no big deal, right! But I was quickly corrected by the government agency lady "helping" me fill out the form, she said, YOU ARE HISPANIC, not WHITE!!
I thought to myself, EXCUSE ME! My grandparents came from EUROPE; France, Germany, Italy, part Catholic, part Jewish heritage, you name it, I might be a mutt when it comes to Europe, but I have no doubt in my mind I am WHITE, CAUCASIAN, whatever you want to call people from Europe, I am blond, have fair skin and have green eyes. My mother has natural red hair and light blue eyes, if I am not WHITE I should go back to school, because I learned that CAUCASIANS, European, are WHITE, PERIOD, regardless where they were born.
The semi ignorant lady from that specific small office proceeded to explain that I was from Latin America, so, in her book I was HISPANIC when it came to RACE, UGH!!! WHAT??? Really, in what freaking planet?
I fought her to the end, not because it would be a bad thing to be classified as anything other than WHITE or CAUCASIAN but because from the PLANET EARTH where I grew up, regardless of where you were born, your RACE doesn't change. P E R I O D.
Your culture, sure, but your RACE, impossible, you are what you are, regardless of Geographic positioning. I would still be CAUCASIAN if I was born in GHANA or JAPAN, wouldn't I?... Thank you!
After that ridiculous discussion in my early teenage years I became somewhat interested to understand why and how UNCLE SAM'S forms insisted in classifying people as HISPANIC, even if we were something else.
Just a little research will lead you to information regarding the ORIGIN of the word HISPANIC, which for starters has NOTHING to do with the word HISPANIA. HISPANIA was the original name Romans gave to the people of the Iberian Peninsula, keep in mind, that was even before Portugal became a country with a separate and distinct culture and language from Spain.
If you have any doubts between the cultural differences between Brazilians and Mexicans, try this, offer a Mexican Avocados with Condensed Milk and watch him gag or try to place some slice Avocados in a Brazilian salad and throw some Olive Oil, Lime and Salt over it and watch he throw up! Salted Avocados!!!No way Jose! Remove Cilantro from Mexican's cuisine and watch them have an aneurism and put Cilantro on anything besides some FISH in Brazil and watch them refuse to eat your disgusting Cilantro infested meal, hell, Italians don't even know what the heck cilantro means. Sao Paulo is mostly Italian, I will tell you, I never knew what Cilantro was until I lived in Oklahoma in 1989.
Ok, having said that, the word "HISPANIC' was INVENTED, MADE UP, CREATED by PRESIDENT REAGAN'S administration to identify the growing number of BROWN people moving into the United States from the South.
It was ORIGINALLY used to define RACE, not ethnicity or culture as you may see it today.
In earlier years, the US government forms had the following options for RACE; Caucasian, African American, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American.
They had no real definition for the BROWN folks from Mexico and other Central American countries, they weren't Africans, they weren't Caucasians, they are, for the most part, a mix of many races, mostly Native Americans mixed with Spanish or some other Caucasian group with a just a dash or a lot of African influence, like it's the case of Dominican Republic, Cuba and Puerto Rico.
The biggest fear of the American government at the time was that the "new brown" folks, who were basically Native Americans from south of the border would move into the US and start taking advantage of all the benefits available to the Native Americans born in the United States.
I lived in Oklahoma and learned about these benefits. They are actually very good and both Uncle Sam and the"Native Americans" felt threatened that if these new immigrants ("brown folks") from South of the border had precedents and started claiming "native American" benefits in the US.
If that had ever happened, the whole program would have it's days counted.
Ok, solution, EVERYONE south of the US border would be classified as HISPANIC. I always thought Reagan was a freaking idiot!!! Ok, even if he had little to nothing to do with the creation of this idiotic situation, he was an idiot for many other reasons.
The people who came up with this definition were clearly not very bright, because if you have traveled around Latin America, you have noticed that there are many folks of African origin, many people of Asian origin ( Peru for Example ), several countries south of the US border have a large majority of their populations composed of Caucasians ( Argentina,  Uruguay and Chile for example ), you have Guiana with a huge population of Indians, who are actually south Asians.
You have Brazil, that, for starters, doesn't even speak Spanish, doesn't have a Spanish culture.
Brazil in general has a very distinct Portuguese influenced culture with strong African flavor and a large percentage of Caucasians as well, hell, you can get more Italian than Paulistas if you tried.
So, the whole concept of the word HISPANIC is a real MESS, a true embarrassment for the ignorant people who created and even a bigger embarrassment for the US government that embraced the broken concept of this misunderstood subject.
So, over the years, we watched the US government desperately back paddle out of this mess with enhancements to the term, more recently we have started to see the US forms changing from RACE : HISPANIC, to RACE : "HISPANIC of CAUCASIAN origin" or "HISPANIC NOT of CAUCASIAN origin" and even more recently some government agencies started separating the term HISPANIC from the RACE field and including a separate field for "Ethnicity" WHAT? Really!
Give me a freaking break!
Just drop the term all together, it's ignorant, it's RACIST, it's confusing and nobody really knows what the hell it means anyway, even the people who created still haven't really made up their minds about what it really means.
Not even anyone in the US government is clear about it, trust me!
If you try to find definitions about the term, you get even more confused, I certainly do and let me be crystal clear about this, I am not confused about what I am or what people of most races are, I just get frustrated and confused trying to make sense of some government forms that insist in using a term without clear definition.
My suggestion, just abandon this ridiculous term all together and forgetaboutit!!!! Will you?
Example, with a quick Google search, below are some of the "COMPLETELY" "CONTRADICTORY" definitions I found.
Now, just for fun sake, I will try to explain and see if I can help you spot the contradictions I see by making some remarks below in YELLOW BOLD and Italic:

Definitions of Hispanic on the Web:
  • Spanish American: an American whose first language is Spanish.
Ok, right off the bat, this definition would be trying to tell you AMERICANS who speak Spanish are Hispanics, right? So forget about the Mexicans, Guatemalans, Colombians etc...Ok, so this is saying ONLY Americans who have Spanish as first language are HISPANIC. CLEARLY leaves BRAZILIANS out! 

Again, confusing!!! So this definition is throwing "SPANISH" folks from Spain into the mix, after all, they are a Spanish-speaking people with a Spanish culture, Jamon Serrano anyone? 
NO, Spanish folks are Spaniards, not HISPANIC, look it up on your dictionary, and by the way, the last time I studied Geography and History, Spaniards from Spain are CAUCASIAN not anything else.
What the hell is wrong with this people who make up crappy definitions as they go???
God save us all after the invention of Wikipedia!!! After all, if something is on the internet, it must be true right!
  • Hispanic (hispano, hispánico) is a term that originally denoted a relationship to the ancient Hispania (geographically coinciding with the Iberian Peninsula). During the modern era, it took on a more limited meaning, relating to the contemporary nation of Spain.
STOP!!! Please!! My head is spinning already! There you go with HISPANIA again, you can't just throw around the words "Iberian Peninsula", "modern era" and throw the Spaniards from Spain in limbo again, ok, you just robbed them of their RACE, their identity, they are no longer CAUCASIAN, now after your Geography deprived ignorant brain acted on your stupidity, people from Spain are HISPANIC, again!
What are you going to do with the brown folks coming in from the south??? Thank you! I thought so! Go back to school and select GEOGRAPHY and HISTORY while you are at it! PLEASE, I beg you!
  • Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the United States Census Bureau and the Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB), are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not ...
Ok, here comes confused old Uncle Sam again, PLEASE CHOOSE, you invented the freaking term, so make up your mind, ETHNICITY or RACE? CHOOSE ONE, stop confusing people, stop making a mess.( OMB ) Yeah, your Federal Office of Budget confusion has been caught red handed trying to convince BRAZILIANS in the BOSTON area to CHECK HISPANIC on government forms, that way you can inflate the HISPANIC population sensus in the BOSTON AREA by about 300 thousand, yes, that is the number of MOSTLY Caucasian Brazilians living in the Boston Metro.
That way, the Hispanic community gets a bigger portion of the Budget dedicated to them.
Now just go ahead and try to CHECK HISPANIC, if you are a BRAZILIAN applying for one of the grants or schoolarships available to the HISPANIC community in the area, it's not gonna fly, you will get your samba dancing Brazilian behind kicked faster than you can learn to spell TEGUCIGUALPA..
You are only considered a HISPANIC to help inflate the numbes and increase the BUDGETS available to the HISPANIC community but you can't really be a part of the benefit.
What the hell are you thinking, you WHITE ELITIST BRAZILIANS, these funds are for the needed poor brown folks from south of the border.

  • A Spanish-speaking person; A person residing in the United States, Latin America or worldwide of Spanish ancestry, generally but not always exclusive of Brazilians; Of or related to Spain; Pertaining to a Spanish-speaking people or culture, as in Latin America; Of or pertaining to the Iberian ...
Ok, these one has completely gone off the deep end.
I am not even gonna try to explain or make sense of anything written on this crazy freaking definition, whoever wrote it was really high on some misterious drug not yet available to the general public yet, "GENERALLY BUT NOT ALWAYS EXCLUSIVE OF BRAZILIANS"  WHAT THE HELL IS THIS SUPPOSED TO MEAN?
Brazilians who speak Spanish, well, there aren't any, for your information, unless off course you started to call HISPANIC the Brazilians who learned how to speak Spanish at a language school.
I rest my case on this one, let me just point out the word "wiki" is related to this definition. Need I say more? For all we know it could be George W. Bush writting this definition on Wiktionary or whatever the hell this thing is called.
Then it would make total sense, if good ol'Georgie wrote this, I would totally understand and feel much better, by the way. :)
  • Hispanicism - Hispanism (also referred to at times as Hispanic studies) is the study of the literature and culture of the Spanish-speaking world, principally that of Spain and Latin America. ...
Ok, so now we have derivatives of the crazy mistery Reagan era created word.
Still not making any sense?? Brazil and Quebec are Latin America and have NOTHING to do with HISPANICS!!!
  • Hispanicity - The Hispanidad (Hispanidad) is the community formed by all the people and countries that share a common Hispanic-heritage and cultural pattern.

So, we finally find a definition that makes a little sense, but GUESS WHAT? It is defining ethnicity, NOT RACE!
Well, at least they don't throw Quebec and Brazil in the definition with the rest of Spanish speaking America, because if you learned Georgraphy or History you know that Brazil and Quebec are of Latin culture as well, but not of Spanish cultural background. 
I think I understand this one...but I better call some of my friends from Miami to get some clarification, I will get back to you on this one... ( No, I won't )
  • People who identify with the terms "Hispanic" or "Latino" are those who classify themselves in one of the specific Hispanic or Latino categories listed on the Census questionaire - "Mexican," "Puerto Rican," or "Cuban" - as well as those who indicate that they are "other Spanish, Hispanic, or ...
Oh, please, "Latino categories listed on the Census questionaire"... "other Spanish, Hispanic... How can you be OTHER Hispanic if Hispanic is used for every freaking people on these crazy govenment's form imagination???? HOW? Hooooow????
French Canadians-Latinos for sure! Hispanics? I don't think so and try to tell a French Canadian retiring in Florida that you throw them in the same boat with the Mexicans, Puerto Ricans etc... again, it's not gonna fly!
So, this PEARL is defining the term HISPANIC as the "Children whose parents reported their ethnicity as Hispanic"!!!! ?????
So, what about RACE, did you forget? Reagan wanted to clearly SEPARATE the BROWN people from the rest of us, remember? The 1980's wasn't that long ago!!! The term was invented in the 80's!!!
  • Someone of Spanish descent living in the United States. A term used by the government and often by people of Latin American descent who vote republican. This term is problematic in that it focuses on a colonizer (Spain) and ignores African, Asian, American Indian, and other European ethnicities. ...
This is a total BIPOLAR definition.
Ok, so, someone of Latin American descent who VOTED REPUBLICAN!!! WHO VOTED REPUBLICAN?????!!!!! 
You must be freaking joking right!!! At least you admit it, for the first time on my findings of crazy definitions, that "This term is problematic", YES, the first thing I read on these searches that made any sense. THANK YOU!

So, according to the definition above, Antonio Banderas is not Caucasian, he is Hispanic Right?

Ok, we are getting creative again, so now we are HISPANIC if we are Spanish settlers in the Southwest, not if we are Spanish settlers in New York, Massachusetts or Florida for example.
I can see the Spanish settlers in the Southwest getting a good tan and fitting in your "Brown folk" classification, but the Spanish settlers in Massachusetts and New York are not tanned, they are as pale as the French Canadian or the Italian Americans living in the Northeast and what about Florida? Have you seen those Florida women's TAN?
Those ladies have a mean TAN. I don't really know if it's from TANNING BEDS or not, but it doesn't matter, they are SUPER BROWN, most of them Jewish and of European origin, but who cares, your definition makes no sense anyway, thrown in the Jewish New York/New Jersey brown ladies from the tanning salons of Miami, why not?
Just keep in mind, they don't vote Republican, they are BLUE IN THE FACE DEMOCRATS!! 

Typical look of a Miami "brown" Jewish woman of New York origin. Hispanic? 

So, this definition is somewhat reveling and enlighting, "NOT REALLY", but once we all embarked on this crazy trip, let's get to the bottom of it, shall we?
Ok, so forget the Brazilians and French Canadians, ( unless you want to inflate your numbers to get more government funds ) , you ONLY became a HISPANIC when you became a US citizen, GREEN CARD HOLDERS DON'T COUNT! Citizens only, so, before you become a citizen, you are a Mexican, Central American, Bolivian, Brown, Mixed Race, Chihuahua whatever.
If you wanna become a part of this select group called "Hispanics", get your freaking citizenship in order, will you?
A mere 1200 Dollars aplication fee to become a citizen will get you in, Uncle Sam thanks you for your hard earned dollars!
Hell, we might just have to buy another batch of Tomahawk cruze missiles for our next international policy fiasco, we need the cash, caugh it up and we will gladly call you HISPANIC! :)

Talk about Chihuahua, below is a visual representation of how much sense the Hispanic classification makes to me:

White/Caucasian Hispanic

Pacific Islander Hispanic

    Mexican Hispanic

    Hispanic of Caribbean origin!

    Hispanic of Asian origin

Hispanic of African origin

Hispanic of Spanish origin!

I refuse to explain that HISPANIA known to the Romans had nothing to do with the term created by the Reagan administration in the 80's to define the BROWN people crossing the border and to make sure they were different than the "BROWN" people already born here, called Native Americans and enjoying some hefty government entitlements negotiated as the CAUCASIANS advanced over their land a couple of centuries ago, remember "The trail of tears", "General Custer", "Indian Wars"? You get my point.
This one is the classic "BACK PADDLE" situation, when the government realized how ignorant they were trying to throw all of Latin Americans in the same RACE classification basket, they started switching and adding "culture", "origin" and ethnicity in the mix!
Not flying, at least not in my book.

All right, so, if you were interested enough and was able to follow my rants about the crazy definitions I found regarding the word HISPANIC on the world wide web, you would probably be able to answer the following questions, just for sake of consistency, let's use the same classification as the forms used by the US government, ok, ready!

Here we go:

1-A person of Italian origin, let's call him Tony Soprano, born in Broklin, New York:

2-A person of Italian origin, one of my friends, Marcelo Ferrarini, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina:

3-My mother's next door neighbor, Dona Vida, born in Spain, of Spanish culture, makes the meanest paella on this side of the Atlantic, a Brazilian citizen, immigrated to Brazil in the 1950's, still speaks little to no Portuguese:

 4-One of my best Sales Managers, speaks five languages, born in Miami, Spanish was his first language while growing up in Florida, father from Honduras, mother from Trinidad and Tobago, he is not TANNED, he is as black as Pele ( google Pele-images for a visual example ):

5-Alberto Fujimori, the former President of Peru, of Spanish culture, Spanish was his first language while growing up in Peru, his parents were born in Japan, emigrated to Peru in 1934, he was born in Lima in 1938, his family was Budhist:

6-A person from Spain who immigrates to California and becomes a US citizen?

7-A Mexican, with both parents that immigrated directly from Spain, Caucasian, born in Mexico, immigrates to California and becomes an American citizen, this person is definitely not brown, he has fair skin, red hair and blue eyes:

8-Are Haitians Hispanic? They are certainly Latino's, right?

 9-My dear friend Catharine Whitworth, 3 generations Argentinian, of 100% English origin, from Bariloche, Argentina, fair skin, blue eyed:

10-Some Visual examples:

Snooky is brown! Is she Hispanic? She sure looks Hispanic to me!
Snooky actually has Lebanese and Chilean parents, she is born in New Jersey!! Hispanic or Not?
Heck, if you follow the "Brown" folk rule, you might as well throw the entire cast of the Jersey Shores on the Hispanic classification, agree?

Cast of Jersey Shores. Your garden variety Garden State "Brown people"! Hispanics?

Confused much? I don't blame you, so am I and so is anyone working for Uncle Sam and trying to make any sense of these forms and insane classification.

All right, I think I made my point, the definition is IDIOTIC to begin with, just DROP IT, let people check the RACE they identify with the most, the RACE the think they look like the most or just check MIXED and please don't make it worse my mixing in culture, ethnicity or whatever else your little creative mind comes up with during an attempt to back paddle out of the mess your created.
MIXED RACE folks are clearly going to be the majority in the United States soon anyway, sensus results were published today and the facts in...
Uncle Sam! Good luck trying to fit people in the HISPANIC basket in the future.
Today we see Indians mixing with Cambodian with Brazilian with Cuban with Nigerian with Chinese, German, Irish, Cape Verdean, Jamaican, doesn't stop here, we are all going to be one big "TRUE" melting pot faster than you say "Carne Assada", which by the way means exactly the same thing in both Spanish and Portuguese ;)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Lee Swain from my hometown of Sao Paulo, Brazil, has a great blog called
"Eu e meu Chapeu" or "My hat and I" , his blog is as original as you can get and SUPER PAULISTANO in my opinion, so I have fun reading about Sao Paulo thru Lee Swains point of view and his Linux camera.
A GREAT POST that I recently read had this interesting video about a great popcorn vendor in the city of Curitiba, state of Parana.
Valdir, the popcorn business man from Curitiba shows great talent in business management, excellence in customer service and an awesome "Entrepreneur" spirit.
I think even if you are not fluent in Enlgish, you will be able to understand what a great business this popcorn stand has become.
For the folks that are still not 100% fluent with Portuguese, I will highlight a few points that will help you understand the whole interview;

1-Valdir created a fidelity card to reward loyal customers with free popcorn.
2-He sterilizes everything with Alcohool, he is super clean.
3-He wears a different spotless super clean white uniform for each day of the week, to prove his customers that fact, his uniforms have the day of the week printed on one of the pockets.
4-He replaced the corn oil for sunflower and canola oil for a healthier popcorn.
5-After the customers handle the money to pay him, he cleans their hands with anti bacterial gel, so they have clean hands to eat their popcorn.
6-He gives every customer a "hygiene" kit with each purchase, which includes a napkin, an individually wrapped tooth pick and a breath mint, all neatly placed in a clear plastic bag with a small brochure describing Valdir's business and advertising all his other popcorn flavors, and loyalty program.
7-He is foucused on popcorn, he doesn't sell candy and ice cream along with the popcorn like his competition, he says being focused helps him be the best popcorn maker he can be.
8-One of the things he is more proud is the fact that he does all this for the same price as the competition 's popcorn, not a dime more expensive.
9-People walk from all over downtown to buy Mr. Valdir's popcorn.
10-He has a peculiar southern Brazilian Portuguese accent, a good practice for you folks learning the language :)

So, you should try Valdir's popcorn next time you visit the great city of Curitiba, I know I will!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Circumcision Ban in San Francisco!

This picture pretty much defines how I few about neonatal circumcision :)
This is probably one of the hottest topics to be posted on a blog, RACHEL made a post about circumcision last year and it became the center of a heated discussion.
Just as a side note, I completely understood why Rachel and her husband decided to allow the doctors to go ahead with the procedure once it was medically justifiable.
The core of the discussion in this post is not really about doing it or not doing it, but rather, one individual's right to make the decision for themselves, not by their parents when they are a new born.

Young parents are easily persuaded by eager for a quick profit doctors and it is sad to see, once it is an atrocious irreversible procedure.
I had no idea it even existed until I first came to the US when a teenager in high school.
I was intrigued to say the least when I noticed all boys in the locker room were circumcised, they couldn't ALL have had phimosis, which is a justifiable medical reason to have it done.
In Brazil, when growing up, I never ever even saw a circumcised penis, I knew about a neighbor who had phimosis but never saw how the post surgical penis looked like until much later in life.
I found an interesting article on circumcision and sexual numbness HERE is the link to the article.

If it is so wrong with girls, why so accepted for boys?

I knew something was seriously wrong but had no idea what or why all boys were circumcised.
There was only one guy who was not circumcised at my entire high school in Oklahoma, we became friends because we played football and we were in the same graduating class.
He used to tell me many kids had always made fun of him, he always felt extremely humiliated because his family didn't have the money to pay for the surgery when he was born.
He was the school's stud, had lot's of girl friends, lot's of sex, maybe girls were curious with his peculiar intact status. I have to confess, I benefited from the same situation at the time, I can't complain at all.
However, later in life, his wife ended up convincing him to do it. I spoke to him just a few years ago and he described the extremely decrease in sexual sensation, the numbness during intercourse, the increased thickness of the skin around his gland, he was devasted.
He regretted the procedure more than anything in his life. Their sexual life went down hill quickly and they ended up getting a divorce. He says he feels like he is half the man he used to be.
He says he was never the same again.
This is a very sad story and makes me wonder how many man has decreased sexual pleasure because of neonatal circumcision but don't know the difference of being intact to begin with...the numbness in circumcised men is said to intensify after 40 years of age, creating difficulty to reach orgasm.
Later in life I came to find out that widespread circumcision in the US started around the 1920's by the initiative of the Baptist church and a very powerful pastor from New York city who believed widespread circumcision would curb masturbation and put some control on the wide spread prostitution and spread of venereal diseases around the city, because he thougth masturbation increased lust and promiscuous sexual behavior. He was able to influence powerful people in Washington DC and turn the practice common around the country.
Doctors gladly embraced the practice as an interesting new source of income was introduced.
Today, one should be expected to pay between 1000 and 3000 dollars for a neonatal circumcision, it is a very simple procedure and doctors usually perform around 3 to 10 per week, that means anything between 3,000 to 30,000 extra dollars a week, Health Insurance companies no longer cover such procedure.
Considering the significant injection of easy CASH into the medical community's pockets daily, HOW WOULD YOU EXPECT ME TO TRUST THEIR OPINION ON THIS MATTER? I DON'T.
If you have the freakish justification that you want your baby boy to look like his father, I just don't understand that at all, I can't even begin to understand that defense.
Intact  penises are perfectly fine with it's foreskin, they are clean, if you bath in fresh water at least twice a week, you should be fine. If you think your baby boy won't have access to fresh water to take a shower at least twice a week, go right ahead. I understand why people who live in deserts have done it for thousands of years.
Not justifiable in the Western world, where all of us have running water and shower frequently.
The newest absurd justification you will hear on the matter is that circumcised people in Africa are less prone to infections and STD's.
They conveniently omit to tell you that hygiene standards in Africa are significant lower than the rest of the world. Access to clean water is very limited and sexual habits are very different from the ones in the US and most of the Western World. You can't even begin to compare Africa to the US when you are talking about STD's and circumcision.
Circumcision rates in Europe are extremely low, around 1% in Scandinavia, 2% in Southern Europe, under 6% in Asia and around 7% in Brazil and most other countries in the America's with the exception of the US.
Circumcision rates in the US have consistently dropped since the 1970's, around 60% in the present time.

Circumcision rates around the world
Canada also started a strong trend to reduce neonatal circumcision rates and they were more successful than the US because they have Universal Health Care, so you don't have greedy doctors recommending the practice for an easy CASH flow.
I was curious to find out about Canada, once they have Universal health care and the wild for profit mentality in the medical field is bound to be less wild than down here, the link below might help you understand the difference of opinions between Canadians and the US on the subject.

Circumcision in CANADA

But what really brings this post to the center of the discussion is the controversial San Francisco BAN on neonatal circumcision, yes, you heard me right, BAN, the initiative is aiming to make it illegal to perform  circumcision in newborns in the city of San Francisco, even when it is performed for religious reasons.
In other words, whatever it is your reason to do it, you can do it when you are an adult, if you still want to do it, period.
Jews are up in arms in the Bay area, threatening to sue the city if they move forward and approved the initiative, I understand their anger but I had to ask myself, how does infant Jew babies circumcision differ from the Africans who practice mutilation of girl's genitalia for religious reasons? My answer, no difference.
The only difference is that we are so used to hear about the Jewish practice that for some strange crazy reason, we grew accustomed with it, but it doesn't make it any less aggressive and invasive on an individual's integrity.
I was glad to read there is a growing trend of Jews who are against circumcision and there is a list of Rabis who perform a symbolic religious ceremony that doesn't involve circumcising the child.

Pro Sharia Law ad in Great Britain!

The discussion is around the individual's choice over such an important part of a person's body.
Someone called the folks in San Francisco hypocrites because they are in favor of abortion but against circumcision, well, good point. I have to agree that argument, it is contradictory to be for Abortion and against circumcision, in other words, you would be ready to protect one's penis integrity, but not his own life.
I am a liberal and I admire and agree with almost everything I hear out of San Francisco, however, before you call me a hypocrite bastard, I will say, I am 100% against abortion, but I still believe in the right for legal abortions in Hospitals.
As much as I am against it, I think it is important to make that procedure available at Hospitals, for a simple reason of public health, people will do it anyway, let them do it safely, in my opinion, still wrong beyond comprehension.

So, should parents be allowed to make such a life altering decision for their children?
In my opinion, they shouldn't.
I think it is wrong if medically not necessary.
Widespread senseless circumcision should become a crime anywhere, not just in San Francisco.
If folks in San Francisco get their way, you could get 5 years in jail if caught trying to perform neonatal circumcision.
More on the controversial San Francisco initiative on the link below:


Earthquake in Japan

Today: Worse Earthquake in Japan's history

I am reposting this information from RACHEL'S BLOG in case there are some Brazilians in Japan that read our blog.


O Consulado Brazileiro in Tokyo esta atendendo via:
Phone 81 3 3404 5211

A embaixada do país em Tóquio e os consulados-gerais em Hamamatsu e Tóquio disponibilizaram em seus sites (, e e-mails e telefones para que brasileiros no Japão e no Brasil possam entrar em contato com as autoridades em busca de informações.

The Brazilian Consulate in Tokyo is attending via:


Phone: 81 3 3404 5211

Our thoughts are going out to all the people of Japan.
Our condolences to all that lost loved ones and livelihoods.
And our prayers to the country as a whole.

Friday, March 4, 2011

American Farmers immigrating to Brazil

      First of all, what inspired this post was Danielle's comment on the previous entry, my answer to her got so big that it became a post of it's own.
      My personal opinion it that this is GREAT for Brazil, not so Great for the US.
      These folks have money and are highly skilled and they are bringing all their money and skills to Brazil.
      These farmers are nothing like the ones we read/watched in "Grapes of Wrath", very poor, with chairs and trunks tied up to the top of the model T Fords, going from Oklahoma to California.
      They usually have a couple million dollars in the bank or in assets and see their future interrupted when the prices of their crops become less competitive in the world commodities market, the US government sometimes gives them checks to keep the land dormant or highly subsidized their farms to the point of complete stagnation.
      I personally know some farmers in Oklahoma that would love to take the same route if they had the chance, many of them are receiving a check from the US government to keep their farms dormant. Because if they farm wheat or peanuts, the US government would have to give them some high subsidies.
      The trend of immigrating to Brazil for farming is not new. Mennonite farmers have been immigrating to Brazil for over 30 years now, mostly to Mato Grosso and Goias and formed many small American communities in rural Brazil.
       This new wave of farmers are mostly going into Western Bahia and completely changing the face of that region.
        When I first saw the video yesterday, I thought, poor Americans, moving into Western Bahia, they must be so scared in the middle of nowhere, in the dark, snakes, bugs...
        After reading the link below, you are able to understand a little better, they are not actually fighting snakes at their door steps. They live in nice comfortable 3 and 4 bedroom homes, with swimming pools and Air Conditioning, in the city. They have many American neighbors and the ladies go to the gym regularly, tough life huh!
        Well, they miss peanut butter and salsa, ok, I can see that, but I really wanted to slap the last one in the back of the head when she said she missed "Starbucks", STARBUCKS!!!! Really! Give me a frigging BRAKE!
         I know some of you don't agree with me, but I think STARBUCKS SUCKS! STARBUCKS IS HORRIBLE.
         They should be glad they don't have STARBUCKS in rural Western Bahia.
         What the hell does that girl know about coffee anyway? Not much if she like Starbucks!
         In my opinion, Starbucks is all about showing off that you just paid 5 dollars for a cup of nasty tasteless coffee.
         I will take Dunkin Donuts coffee, Thank you very much! and "Cafe do Ponto" or "Melitta Premium" when in Brazil :)
         Don't get me started on how nasty Starbucks really is and we will have a whole other post...  ;)
         HERE  and HERE you can read a bit more about the American farmers who are immigrating to Brazil.

Broke American farmers Immigrating to Brazil!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Very Good Life ( A Vida Muito Boa )

(By Ray and Born Again Brazilian )

I had the pleasure to have the chance to brain storm some ideas and help in writing an article in response to THIS post, "A Vida Boa", from dear friend and the writer of one of my favorite blogs
Born Again Brazilian.
Below is my personal perspective, that might change if you ask another person from a different part of Brazil.
I am from Sao Paulo and my experiences in Brazil are limited to Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and some parts of South Brazil such as Santa Catarina.
Please see the article below extracted from Born Again Brazilian:

The answer is yes. Those that serve the households can get a piece of the good life. Just not necessarily when they are working for you.
According to my observations, it usually takes one generation to lift a family out of poverty in Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro.
In the beginning of the last century, the low-cost labor came from European countries as well as Lebanon and Japan.  My paternal grandparents were part of this wave of European immigration. Fresh off the boat, they went to serve the Europeans who had arrived years earlier, such as my mother’s family.
My paternal grandmother took a job as a maid when she first arrived in Sao Paulo. My paternal grandfather first worked in construction and then became a taxi driver. Eventually, after much hard work, they had enough to enjoy a good life. They build a four-bedroom house with their own hands, purchased cars, TVs… they soon became part of the middle class. Each of their four children when to University and became professionals – three engineers and one teacher – one even became a millionaire.  Serving the wealthy, my grandparents pulled their family out of poverty and into the middle and upper classes.
By the 1970′s, most European immigrants had managed to shift their financial and social status, and a new wave of workers had come to Sao Paulo from the Northern sections of Brazil. My mother, who was part of a wealthy family, told stories of how these folks from the Northeast were so poor that some would work a day in your house for a hot meal. (Incidentally, this kind of price competition pushed any of the remaining European household servants out of their jobs. However, most could, at that point, retire or be supported by their college-educated children.)
At the end of the 70′s and in the early 80′s industry grew in Brazil. No longer could you get someone to work for so little, as factories began to employ many of the Northern “brown” migrants. This drove up the rate for maids and other household servants.
Culturally things began to change as well. The newer generations of the wealthy, as well as the new wealthy, didn’t have the “waiting on hand and foot” mentality that had originated, unfortunately, with the use of slaves in earlier centuries. Families began to value private-time more than round-the-clock service. Maids also picked up on the fact that they could earn a lot more money working one or two days a week for multiple households. These influences decreased the number of live-in maids and gave birth to the “faxineira” concept.
The economic and culture changes at the end of the 20th century meant that another generation of service workers could send their children to University, English classes and even graduate school. And while the Brazilian public school system is not great, it certainly contributes to the advancement of the poor. Many of the household servants of today themselves have been able to afford the conventional comforts of “a vida boa” such as televisions, refrigerators, computers, and microwaves.
My mother’s last maid migrated from the Northeast in the late 70′s and lived in a slum (favela).  Today, she lives in a regular house and her three children have all gone to University.  One is a teacher, one a chemistry major working at a chemical plant in Sao Paulo and one business major who did an MBA, is fluent in English and works for the American company UPS. The business major was just recently invited to live in the US to be trained for a higher position.
Maids have become, and will continue to become, more and more expensive if there isn’t a new wave of poor immigrants or migrants into Sao Paulo in the next 10 to 20 years, perhaps from Bolivia, Paraguay and/or Peru. Or, if Brazil continues to heat up, and then explodes, a wave of desperate, unemployed people may resurface as low-cost servants.
But the younger generations are also investing more in household technology, such as dishwashers and clothes dryers, making themselves less dependant on servants to have a good life. They are also either making renovations to apartments that include converting maid’s quarters into storage space, or buying into new buildings that don’t have the traditional servants’ living space.
So regardless of which direction the intersection of supply and demand moves, historical cycles have ensured, and will most likely continue to provide, opportunities for “a vida boa” at all levels of society.