Saturday, October 22, 2011

When words do no justice

A brilliant cut-up job on the political manipulation of The Word “austerity.”

"In the Spanish case, the ideology of austerity has some background music: the song about the inefficiency of the public sector, and of the regional government system as a machine for waste. Any new trial balloon or proposed cutback is accompanied by verbose rhetoric about the incompetence of the public sector, the frivolity of its spending criteria, the uselessness of its investments.

It matters little that in this country, private debt weighs far more heavily on our economy; and that the uncontrolled leverage of many companies and the irresponsibility of the financial system, cheerfully giving away money, have resulted in company closures, mass layoffs, unemployment and a throttling of the supply of credit necessary if the Spanish economy is to get back on the path of growth.

[Spanish journalist JOSEP RAMONEDA in the English language version of El País.]

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Barcelona and dozens of cities unite in world-wide protest

140,000 people came together in Barcelona today, according to El País.

This, under a banner reading "De la indignación a la acción. Toma la calle" (From indignation to action. Take to the streets.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A lot of good in Olot

My partner (wife) Paula bought me a lovely jumper the other day and instead of some logo or a picture of a skinny model on the label attached to it there was a large photo of a (smiling) older woman sitting at a sewing machine.

This impressed me.

But what impressed me also when I had a look at the company’s website, was that they have created and are maintaining jobs for women over 40 and are continuing the rich tradition of the textile industry in the Catalan town of Olot.

They also claim to spend half of their profits on supporting environmental or social projects.

It turns out that the original idea of their first jumper was called The Marcelino Camacho, in honor of the well-known politician and trade unionist, whose trademark was this type of zipper-jumper.

I almost never plug products but this one is something to crow about (and of course I am not being paid in any form for this endorsement.)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The stealing of children on opposite sides of the world

Australia had its own “stolen generation” (Aboriginal children who were permanently taken from their families, as recently as the 1960’s) and it is now coming to light that here in Spain a systematic practice of baby stealing also occurred.

Enrique Vila, a Barcelona lawyer who specializes in adoptions, estimates there might be as many as 300,000, about 15 percent of the total adoptions that took place in Spain between 1960 and 1989 [fitting into this disturbing category.]

Read more here.