Category Archives: Spain

Make Your Lunch And Pay To Eat It!

If any American desires to know what this country can expect from a Romney government, just gaze across the Atlantic Ocean to Spain. Spain has an unemployment rate of 25% which has caused millions to struggle dealing with basic  daily expenses. Ordinarily, most Spanish parents have children eat lunch at school during the two hour break in school work. That costs them about $6 per day.  Given the economic situation, many parents decided to pack a lunch for the kids. However, school officials will charge parents $5 a day for kids eating their own lunch. Why? ” The charge is to cover use of the lunchroom and supervision costs.

The conservative government of Mariano Rajoy has cut subsidies for children. Vote for Mitt Romney and expect severe reductions in aid for poor children. Just another example of how money talks in modern America. After all, if your parents are poor, there are always jobs available picking peaches. Who needs book learning?

Abortion Issue Arises In Spain

The nation of Spain confronts important economic issues which impact the lives of all citizens in the land. Nearly 40% of its inhabitants lack jobs and people are going hungry. So, what does the conservative government of Spain introduce into the lives of people–abortion rights! The new conservative leadership intends to offer a new abortion law that will contradict one passed under the previous Socialist administration. The current law allows abortions up to 14 weeks into the pregnancy and allows abortion in case of a malformed foetus.

Hundreds of women  protested in Madrid. They shouted: “We give birth, we decide. Not one step backwards.” The current government is reducing money for poor people, it is reducing funds for children with deformities and now it wants more disabled children.

The author of this blog has mixed feelings regarding abortion. We believe both sides in the debate offer valid reasons. But, if a government wants to end abortions, it must fund women who give birth to children, it must fund aid to disabled children. If a government believes in the right to  life, it must also believe in the right to a healthy life.

Rock And Hard Place

Spain in 2012 typifies the old expression concerning being caught between a rock and a hard place. Unemployment is over 25% and for those under 30 it is much higher. The government is cutting, cutting, relying on austerity and concerned if anyone will even loan a dollar to the government. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned there is a “serious  risk that investors will not lend us money or they  will do so at an astronomical rate.” So, what to do?

The answer is clear to Angela Merkel, to David Cameron to Mitt Romney, to the Republican party– just cut government expenditures, lower taxes on the wealthy, and let a few people reduce calorie intake in order to end obesity and end rising debt. Of course, there is absolutely no evidence this approach will work, but it certainly looks great to the “job creators”of the modern world.

Somehow, it is still a bit unclear which type of jobs they are creating and for whom are those jobs? In the meantime, cut out the food.

Austerity Not Austere For Europeans

Each day brings new evidence Europeans are disgusted with government policies which seek to reduce expenditures in order to restart economies. Of course, over fifty years ago John Maynard Keynes put to rest false notions that reducing government expenditures is the road out of recessions. In America, right wingers denounce the “European ideas” of Barack Obama even though European nations like Ireland, UK, Spain, Italy, France, etc.. are putting into practice Republican ideas about reducing government expenditures.  Of course these European measures are being carried out by Capitalist governments even while Republicans are denouncing Socialist governments for European problems.

President Obama has made mistakes, but his current programs of stimulating the economy are on the right track. The US economy is leading all but Germany in recovery even as Republicans demand he carry out  austerity programs. Firing people leads to unemployment, not to employment. US corporations have witnessed–under Obama–doubling of the Dow Jones and they are sitting on over $2 Trillion in their corporate accounts. They have NOT been impacted by taxes and the fault lies in failure to hire people, get them working and get them paying taxes.

Reign Of Terror In Spain

If you are considering a visit to Spain, make certain to avoid the island of Mallorca if safety is your concern. A reign of terror has wracked the island due to rise of terrorist Muslim groups. The town council, in an effort to halt the spread of terrorism, has banned  Muslim women from wearing a  burqa or a niqab in public  places. According to Mayort Biel Serra, it is an issue of “public safety.”

Actually, there are exactly two Muslim women on the island who wear a face covering. However, the mayor is concerned that if one of them commits a crime it will be impossible to identify the culprit. There is need on this island to find out who is behind the reign of terror. Frankly, the mayor is right to focus on these two Muslim women as the source of crime and terror. First, they  take over Mallorca, next the two women seize control of Spain.

Perhaps, Karl Marx Was Right

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union the ongoing mantra among conservatives, liberals and libertarians has been that capitalism is the only way to function in a modern society. As I recall, Karl Marx predicted that capitalists were greedy and only concerned withe their own economic interests which meant they would be more than happy to destroy the middle class and create a society in which a small group of wealthy were in control. As one examines modern capitalism, that prediction increasingly describes what is.

In nations like the US and England, the top one percent control about 20% of the wealth and the top 5% control over 40%. Statistics reveal the middle class has been continually declining in wealth over the past twenty years. In other words, exactly what was predicted by Marx is now a reality. Does this suggest that Capitalism is inherently designed for the top five percent while the remaining population lives off crumbs thrown by those above?

Perhaps, it is time to revisit Karl Marx and pose a different question: were his ideas insightful, but placed in the hands of those who never understood him, the result was an economic disaster? After all, isn’t that what happened to the ideas of Jesus Christ?

Drive Car Without Driving!

President Obama continues to emphasize the need for America to become a nation driven by the spirit of entrepreneurship, but all too many of our business leaders are only focused on the bottom line of profit. Over $2 Trillion are safely stored in bank accounts or invested in the market rather than invested in new ideas. Swedish, German and Spanish automobile companies are experimenting with a new idea that would encourage road safety. They have created a model which allows drivers to go to sleep and still drive their car.

Project SARTRE, Safe Road Trains For Environment, allow a driver to join a “convoy” of cars proceeding on a major highway. There is a lead car which is electronically equipped to drive all cars in the convoy. A driver places his vehicle on autopilot, picks up a book or gets a snooze while his car is being driven by the lead vehicle. When the driver decides to go off on his own, he sends a signal, and within moments is able to exit the convoy and do what he desires.

We await some new ideas from American automobile companies that point the way to the future. How about using some of that $2 Trillion for new development?

In Defense Of Public Nudity

Jacint Ribas is an unassuming man from Barcelona who enjoys hopping on his bike, wandering through the streets of the city enjoying the sights. He is an upright man who enjoys leading with his body thrust right out so everyone can see who he really is in person. Jacint wanders the streets of his beloved city without a stitch of clothes because he believes in nudity. He is head of the Association for the Defense of the Right to Nudity.” When asked why he goes around nude, there is a shrug of the head and quietly he says, “I do it to show it is normal.” At one point he wanted to organize 7,000 stripping down to their birthday suits, but it never came off. There is something intriguing about nudity. For example:

1. It would be interesting if Sarah Palin stripped away the mystery of her bank account and let her followers know exactly how much she has made out of their stupidity.

2. How about seeing Rush Limbaugh in the nude with the stomach hanging down as he rants on about people born overseas.

3. Of course, if Rep. Paul Ryan let us see the real bare facts about his plan to reduce the deficit, he might find a deficit in the number of people who think he makes any sense.

4. I doubt if anyone would pay attention to Michele Bachmann if her idiotic remarks were made in the nude.

Pope Incorrectly Pontificates About Past

Pope Benedict XVI is an intelligent man, but every so often when visiting Catholic nations which are attempting to become integratedf within the 21st century, he has a tendency to twist history in order to fit into the point being made. The Pope is upset at secular actions of the Spanish government which led to statements that were completely out of context to reality. He claimed: “in Spain a strong aggressive lay mentality, an anticlericalism, and secularization, has been born as we experienced in the 1930s.” He was referring to the rebellion led by Fascist Francisco Franco who over-threw the Republican government and instituted a Fascist dictatorship that was close to Nazi Germany. During the Civil War, about 4,000 priests were killed by loyalist forces which charged that the Church was aiding Franco’s armies. Of course, hundreds of thousands of Spanish people died at the hand of the Fascists, a point never mentioned by the Pope. Comparing laws passed to protect gay rights or seeking equality for women with violence in the Civil War is simply an absurd and insulting comparison.

Rarely does the Pope explain why Catholic nations are passing laws that curb the power of the Catholic Church and accord rights to gays or Jews or Muslims. The Church during the Spanish Civil War took the side of Fascists who were working with Nazi, Germany. It ill behooves a man born in Nazi Germany to defend a dictator like Franco!!

Avigdor Lieberman –Mouth Roaring Nonsense

Once upon a time the nation of Israel had leaders such as David Ben Gurion or Golda Meier who were respected in the world as individuals who understood the dynamics of diplomacy. Alas, today, Israel has a foreign minister whose childishness and ignorance have made his nation’s diplomatic corps the laughing stock of the world. At a recent meeting with foreign ministers from France and Spain, Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman proceeded to offer a lecture on the history of Europe. “Solve your own problems in Europe before you come to us with complaints. Maybe, I will be open to accepting your suggestions.” He went on to compare urging Israel to negotiate with Palestinians to European leaders in 1938 allowing Hitler to take over Czechoslovakia. “Israel will not be the Czechoslovakia of 2010.” Naturally, he would not stop spouting nonsense by going on to explain European concerns for peace in the Middle East as stemming from problems in Afghanistan and North Korea!

Europeans know it is important to avoid violence in the Middle East and seek a compromise agreement between Israel and Palestinians. How can that be compared to Hitler taking over Czechoslovakia? Lieberman is an ignorant, uncouth slob who does not belong in any government position, let alone being foreign minister.