July 7, 2006

The Public Forum . . . El Foro Público

Spain responds to Bullfight World

There is no education in Public Schools of Cataluña in the Language of Spain (regarding: Bullfight World By Lyn Sherwood “Bullfight and Spanish Banned in Bercelona Area” published June 30, 2006). In fact, this very situation has stimulated hunger strikes and other activites by parents who demand that it is their “right” to receive education in Spanish for their children. At this moment, education in Castellano occupies less time than that provided for physical education.

D. Enrique Mugica, Defensor del Pueblo, has just denounced this situation and publicly declared that it is time to defend linguistic freedom in Cataluña. Sr Mugica, is an active aficionado of La Fiesta Nacional. Among  others defending the right for the defense of Linguistic Freedom in Cataluña  is D. Alberto Boadillo, the well-known writer and director. In fact, he has founded a political party with just that purpose and as opposition to the Estatut. He, by theway, is Catalan.

As to the prohibition of Spanish in public that is not true. At least, up to the degree as expressed by Lyn Sherwood, in his “Bullfight World” column (published June 30, 2006). However, the Catalan Gov has established a Committee in Defense Of Catalan Culture-which has the right, not only to verify, but to fine those who are counter-culture. For example, all point of sale matls., by law, must be in Catalan. Furthurmore, businesses that attend the public can be fined if they do not initiate contact in the Catalan language. All of this is verified by official inspectors.

The same organization has the power to censor the Press and for the first time in history the European Court of Human Rights, after receipt of more than 700,000 signatures, has admitted a protest against the withdrawing of broadcast rights in Cataluña from the COPE... the Catholic Broadcast Network in Spain. The Committee has threatened to withdraw these rights, declaring that COPE is anti-Catalan. I might add, that COPE is the only viable opposition in Cataluña to Catalan extremists. The interesting thing about this so-called committee is that it operates without regard for the traditional separation of powers within a concept of Democracy. They have the right to establish legislation, enforce and judge. The separation between the legislative and the judicial does not exist. I believe that we would agree that this is a very dangerous precedent .

The anti-Culture of Spain movement in Cataluña is causing tremendous problems, as well as, its’ known opposition to the Fiesta Nacional (Spanish bullfighting). As an Executive Recruiter, I can categorically state that it is almost impossible to find an executive from other areas of Spain, who will accept positions in Cataluña and the major reason for this is that their children, unless in private schools, cannot continue their education in the Language of Spain. I might also add, that  approximately 17 major companies have withdrawn from Cataluña during the last year or so and, in large part, due to linguistic difficulties.

You can read the Estatut, but as always, interpretation is another matter. The same goes for opposition to the Fiesta in Cataluña. On the surface, it appears to be anti-toro, but that is not the case. The truth behind the image is that of a violent movement against anything which is part of Spanish Culture. That includes Flamenco, literature, language, toros etc. One must add that these people represent a minority. Evidence of such is that less than 49% of those eligable to vote did so. That includes absentee ballots.

This situation requires reading between the lines. If one reads the Constitution of most non- democratic countries....and I´m not saying that Cataluña fits into this category....they are quite impressive and it all sounds so wonderful. But is this really the case? In order to defend the Fiesta in Cataluña, one has to really understand the essence of such, irregardless of the vision of political correctness.

Bill Masterson
Spain

Apreciados Señores de La Prensa de San Diego:

Me he quedado perplejo al leer la información que publican en su edición digital con el título “Bullfight and Spanish Banned in Bercelona Area”, por Lyn Sherwood, ya que está plagada de falsedades y gigantescas incorrecciones, tanto sobre Cataluña como sobre España. Una información que demuestra el absoluto desconocimiento de nuestra realidad por parte del autor del artículo, junto a una mala voluntad manifiesta.

Lo único que es cierto, y muy parcialmente, es la perspectiva de la prohibición de la fiesta de los toros, pero hasta el momento en el Parlamento Catalán sólo se ha votado una petición para “tomar en consideración” el tema y preparar la ley, pero no es un asunto inmediato.

En cuanto a lo otro, no hay nada, nada, nada de verdad. El Estatuto aprobado por mayoría del 70% de los votantes en referéndum, que entrará en vigor próximamente, no establece ninguna independencia, sino sólo “más capacidad de autogobierno” en el marco del Estado español, de acuerdo al derecho a la autonomía que la Constitución española reconoce a las regiones y nacionalidades que integran el país. Falso también que la Unión Europea ”refused to approve the legitimacy of the bill”, puesto que no es un asunto que tenga nada que ver con la Unión Europea.

Nada hay, tampoco, sobre prohibición de hablar el español, ni multas por atender a los clientes de las tiendas en otro idioma que no sea el catalán. ¡Qué barbaridad, por Dios! Que se refuerce el apoyo a la expresión en Catalán, el idioma originario de Cataluña, no significa ningún menoscabo del español. Nuestra sociedad, formada por una población híbrida procedente de muchos territorios de España y de fuera de ella, es perfectamente bilingüe y lo seguirá siendo. Por lo demás, dado que somos una sociedad multicultural y cosmopolita, hay muchas posibilidades de que los turistas extranjeros sean atendidos también en inglés o francés en buena parte de los establecimientos comerciales de las grandes ciudades.

En cuanto a afirmaciones como que “the Socialist Workers Party and its National Front movement is the closest thing in Europe to Fascism, since Nazi Germany”, vamos, esto es una total locura, comenzando porque no existe en España ningún “National Front”. Y otras aseveraciones como “Cataluña, as a result, will continue its slide into intellectual, cultural, and historic depravity” son simplemente un insulto. Cataluña, con Barcelona a la cabeza, es uno de los territorios más dinámicos de España, cultural y económicamente, y la comunidad internacional de los negocios lo sabe per-fectamente.

Un poco de seriedad, por favor.

Reciban un cordial saludo.

Jordi Casanovas
Barcelona (Catalonia/Spain)

Perdóneme Señor Ortiz:

The United States of America did NOT create Mexico’s problems (regarding: Commentary: “Immigration Fears: It’s All about Sowing and Reaping” By Joe Ortiz), and therefore, we are NOT responsible for the welfare of all its people. Mexico’s problems are the result of corruption, stupidity, lack of education, lack of family planning, and so on. No one has an automatic ”right” to cross another country’s border without permission. Yes, we discriminate- in favor of OUR OWN people.

When people in liberal states as far from the border as Massachusetts and Maine get riled about illegal immigration, it is a clear sign that the party is over (How’s that for Karma?)

Senate bill 2611 is DEAD!!! There will be NO Amnistia, NO Huespedes Trabajadores, no “path to citizenship”. There will be no repeat of 1986!

We are already beefing up the border and closing down day labor sites. We will soon require proof of legality to work, vote, receive social services, even to rent apartments. We will crack down on illegal employers who want cheap labor.

Who knows, we may also soon put an end to “Anchor Baby” citizenship. Why? because that is how Mexico and everyone else in the world enforces its immigration laws. We are tired of unvited, ungrateful guests who call us “racists” and threaten us with “reconquista” in our own country.

We are not without compassion- I have no problem helping people out -in their own country. Yes, it is about reaping and sowing- and now the pendulum is swinging back in the direction of sanity.

Brian Hassler
San Diego      

Letters to the Editor Return to the Frontpage