Por Carlos Seco Serrano, de la Real Academia de la Historia (ABC, 14/04/06):
YA vamos siendo pocos los que podemos evocar, por vividos, los días de la República, desde sus jubilosos inicios -cuando se presentaba, sin mancha original, como sugestivo horizonte de bienandanza- hasta su desastroso fin, tras la caída en picado que fue la pesadilla del Frente Popular.
Todavía hay jóvenes historiadores que se extasían refiriéndose a los días brillantes de la generación del 27, que identifican con la libertad republicana, olvidando que, efectivamente, se trataba de la generación del 27, y no del 31, y que sus mejores frutos los había dado ya, sin tropiezo alguno con una censura inexistente (Romancero gitano, de Lorca, se publicó en 1928; Marinero en tierra, de Alberti, en 1924; Cántico de Guillén, en 1928… por no hacer más que tres citas).… Seguir leyendo »
Por Agustín Domingo Mortalla. Profesor de Filosofía del Derecho, Moral y Política. Universidad de Valencia (ABC, 14/04/06):
LO más importante de la nueva Ley Orgánica de Educación que han aprobado las Cortes no está en el contenido de sus artículos, sino en el proceso del que ha nacido. Un proceso presidido por una doble moral donde, por un lado, se ha transmitido a la opinión pública la voluntad de llegar a un pacto educativo y, por otro, se ha hecho todo lo posible para aislar cualquier iniciativa de corrección que pudiera introducir la oposición.
La expresión más clara de la hipocresía que ha presidido este proceso la tenemos en las palabras con las que el portavoz de CiU justificó la abstención de su grupo: «Los socialistas no han cumplido con la palabra dada».… Seguir leyendo »
By Eugene Robinson (THE WASHINGTON POST, 14/04/06):
I’ve written several columns arguing that our society should welcome the current influx of immigrants, not brand them as felons or build a fortress wall along the Mexican border. Quite a few readers have written to ask, often not quite this politely, «Okay, so what’s your solution?» That’s a fair question, so I’ll try to answer it.
The easy part, for me, is how to deal with the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants already in the country. I think the thing to do is put them on track to citizenship — all those who want to become citizens, at least, and whose only crime is being here without the required documents.… Seguir leyendo »
By E. J. Dionne Jr. (THE WASHINGTON POST, 14/04/06):
It’s not exactly the perfect gift for Good Friday or Easter, but the Gospel of Judas does have the virtue of relevance in giving the old, sacred story a dramatic new twist.
The discovery of this gospel, and its publication by the National Geographic Society, seems splendidly appropriate to our culture of confession, rehabilitation and publicity. If Judas can make a comeback after all these years, just about anyone can hope for salvation at the altar of public opinion. The snake in the Garden of Eden must be looking for the Web site and e-mail address of Judas’s spin doctors.… Seguir leyendo »
By David Ignatius (THE WASHINGTON POST, 14/04/06):
With luck, Iraq will make a fresh start soon with the formation of a new government. The Bush administration should do the same thing by replacing Donald Rumsfeld as defense secretary.
Rumsfeld has lost the support of the uniformed military officers who work for him. Make no mistake: The retired generals who are speaking out against Rumsfeld in interviews and op-ed pieces express the views of hundreds of other officers on active duty. When I recently asked an Army officer with extensive Iraq combat experience how many of his colleagues wanted Rumsfeld out, he guessed 75 percent.… Seguir leyendo »
By Michael Kinsley (THE WASHINGTON POST, 14/04/06):
So, after more than a half-century of active meddling — protecting our interests, promoting our values, encouraging democracy, fighting terrorism, seeking stability, defending human rights, pushing peace — it’s come to this. In Iraq we find ourselves unwilling regents of a society splitting into a gangland of warring militias and death squads, with our side (labeled «the government») outperforming the other side (labeled «the terrorists») in both the quantity and gruesome quality of its daily atrocities. In Iran, an irrational government that hates us with special passion is closer to getting the bomb than Iraq — the country we went to war with to keep from getting the bomb — ever was.… Seguir leyendo »
By Charles Krauthammer (THE WASHINGTON POST, 14/04/06):
Many of the hundreds of thousands of Hispanic demonstrators who poured out into the streets on Monday may not know much English, but they’ve learned the language of American politics: Flags. Tons of flags. And make them American.
That last detail was lost on the first wave of protesters two weeks earlier, whose highly televised demonstrations were distinguished by the ubiquity of Mexican flags. Poor salesmanship. If you are appealing to Americans to give you the rights and privileges of citizenship, it is not a good idea to hail Mexico, and it’s an even worse idea to hold up signs such as «This is our continent, not yours!»… Seguir leyendo »
By Dr Alyaksei Mazhukhou, the ambassador of the Republic of Belarus. Response to ‘To criticise capitalism don’t try to defend the dregs of Soviet socialism’ (THE GUARDIAN, 14/04/06):
Timothy Garton Ash says it is the right thing to give people «the chance to choose their own government» (To criticise capitalism don’t try to defend the dregs of Soviet socialism, April 6). Of course this wins my support.Clearly, the presidential election in Belarus was of key importance for our nation and of huge interest for many others. However, long before the polling day, the western media seemed to be focused only on guessing how many people would take to the streets in Minsk.… Seguir leyendo »
By Polly Toynbee (THE GUARDIAN, 14/04/06):
The DJ wasn’t joking when he burbled: «Happy Good Friday!» His audience probably didn’t wince, since a recent poll showed that 43% of the population have no idea what Easter celebrates, with the young most clueless. Eggs, bunnies, lambs?Even an old atheist like me sees no good in this ignorance of basic Christian myths. How do you make any sense of history, art or literature without knowing the stories and iconography of your own culture and all the world’s main religions? Total ignorance of religion and its history could make people more susceptible to the next passing charlatan offering Kwik Save salvation from whatever it is people want to be saved from.… Seguir leyendo »
By Simon Tisdall (THE GUARDIAN, 14/04/06):
Chee Soon Juan is Singapore’s best-known dissident. In his decade-long struggle with the People’s Action party (PAP), which has ruled the former British colony since independence in 1965, he has been jailed four times, fined, dismissed from his job as a university lecturer, sued by the country’s «minister mentor» Lee Kuan Yew, bankrupted and barred from running in elections.Mr Chee, leader of the tiny opposition Singapore Democratic party, says the spectacular economic progress for which Singapore is famous is no longer enough. He wants a more open, inclusive and democratic political system in the city state.… Seguir leyendo »
By Zoe Williams (THE GUARDIAN, 14/04/06):
There is a new language on the streets of London and other British cities, according to academic research: «Jafaican», supposedly derived from Jamaican and African slang, is now way more prevalent than cockney. Despite the name, there is in reality no racial demarcation and a good deal more Ali G posturing here than genuine Jamaican roots, and the chief uniting feature of Jafaican speakers is age (very young).
But when you read the newspaper reports, you can smell the benign neutrality wafting off the page. «Listen here, chaps. When youngsters today say ‘jamming’, they mean hanging around!… Seguir leyendo »
By Jonathan Steele (THE GUARDIAN, 14/04/06):
Much ink, as well as indignation, is being spent on whether Iraq is on the verge of, in the midst of, or nowhere near civil war. Wherever you stand in this largely semantic debate, the one certainty is that the seedbed for the country’s self-destruction is Iraq’s plethora of militias. In the apt phrase of Zalmay Khalilzad, the US ambassador in Baghdad, they are the «infrastructure of civil war».He is not the first US overlord in Iraq to spot the danger. Shortly before the formal transfer of sovereignty to Iraqis, America’s then top official Paul Bremer ordered all militias to disband.… Seguir leyendo »
By Pasuk Phongpaichit, a professor of economics at Chulalongkorn University, and Chris Baker are the authors of «Thaksin: The Business of Politics in Thailand.» (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 14/04/06):
THAKSIN Shinawatra, who resigned last week as Thailand’s prime minister after several months of street protests, once said that running this country was like making apple juice. You had to destroy some nice apples, but this was ultimately justified by the sweet taste of the juice. Perhaps because he departed from office sooner than the quarter-century he felt he deserved, he has left behind a mess of political pith and pulp that has seriously damaged the country’s political institutions and climate.… Seguir leyendo »
By Richard Wightman Fox, the author of «Jesus in America: Personal Savior, Cultural Hero, National Obsession,» is writing a book about the aftermath of Lincoln’s assassination (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 14/04/06):
THIS year, Good Friday, the day commemorating Christ’s crucifixion, falls on April 14, as it did in 1865. On that evening, in the balcony box of Ford’s Theater in Washington, John Wilkes Booth fired a handmade .41-caliber derringer ball into the back of Abraham Lincoln’s head.
In the days that followed Lincoln’s death, his mourning compatriots rushed to compare him to Jesus, Moses and George Washington.
Despite the Good Friday coincidence, the Jesus parallel was not an obvious one for 19th-century Americans to make.… Seguir leyendo »
By Jane Shilling. This is an extract of ‘Times2’ (THE TIMES, 14/04/06):
Shocking news from across the Channel — and I don’t mean the rioting youth, but the fact that French feminists are agitating for the abolition of the title of Mademoiselle. As my colleague Adam Sage reported this week, an organisation called Les Chiennes de Garde (so difficult to translate into English the precise nuance of this moniker — “The Guard Dogs” , as it was rendered in the report, doesn’t quite convey the miasma of female menace, while “The Guard Bitches” is troublingly unidiomatic. Oh well, you get the idea .… Seguir leyendo »
By Federico Varese, the director of The Centre for the Study of Lawlessness and Extra-legal Protection at Oxford University (THE TIMES, 14/04/06):
BERNARDO PROVENZANO, the boss of the Corleone Mafia family, is finally behind bars after 43 years on the run. The so-called “boss of bosses” is accused of more than 100 murders. Legend has it that he strangled no less than 50 people. Documents found on his desk by the police testify that he was running the day-to-day affairs of the “family”. This wealth of information will help prosecutors to reconstruct the map of the family’s protection racket in Palermo, its links with local politicians and other Mafia groupings in Sicily.… Seguir leyendo »
By Gerard Baker (THE TIMES, 14/04/06):
ONE FAMOUSLY erudite example of graffiti was spotted on the wall of an Oxford lavatory a while back. “Archduke Ferdinand found alive,” it said. “Wars of twentieth century all a big mistake”.
I was reminded of that example of piercing undergraduate humour by the news last week, feverishly reported for some reason by a press that doesn’t usually take developments scriptural all that seriously, of the authentication of the Gospel of Judas.
This 2nd-century document tells the story of the ministry of Jesus Christ from the perspective of the most reviled man in history, and it’s quite a page-turner.… Seguir leyendo »
By Ben Macintyre (THE TIMES, 14/04/06):
THE BRITISH like to dislike intellectuals. There is something a little too foreign about the intellectual, a little too self-conscious; in truth, a little too French.
I was living in France when the Dictionnaire des intellectuels français was published, a breeze-block tome listing every great Gallic thinker from Raymond Abellio to Emile Zola. Régis Debray, the left-wing sage, estimated that, at this moment, and every moment down the ages, France is home to at least 120,000 intellectuals, including himself. The dictionary runs to 1,300 pages.
Il n’est pas un intello is an insult in France.… Seguir leyendo »
Por Joan Sifre, secretario general de CCOO-PV (EL PAÍS, 14/04/06):
Al conmemorarse el 75º aniversario de aquella República democrática de trabajadores de toda clase, que se organizó en régimen de Libertad y de Justicia, cuyos poderes emanaban del pueblo, que constituía un Estado integral, compatible con la autonomía de municipios y regiones,… que proclamaba que todos los españoles eran iguales ante la Ley y que el Estado no tenía religión oficial, que renunciaba a la guerra como instrumento de política nacional y acataba la normas universales del derecho internacional,… reivindicamos como propios los valores del republicanismo español, como reza un manifiesto que muchos suscribimos estos días, «con orgullo, con modestia, con gratitud».… Seguir leyendo »
Por Juan José Laborda, ex presidente del Senado. Fue senador constituyente y actualmente lo es por Burgos (EL PAÍS, 14/04/06):
Francisco Ayala, quien felizmente celebra este año su centenario, escribió en 1965 un ensayo titulado España, a la fecha, en el que junto a una censura moral completa del régimen franquista, defendía una salida democrática pensando en un futuro europeo; para superar definitivamente la autárquica manera de enredarnos en las querellas y venganzas de nuestra doméstica y trágica historia. Ramón Rubial, nacido el mismo año que Ayala, y muchos de los resistentes republicanos, llegaron a las mismas conclusiones.
Una de las claves de la transición fue que protagonistas como Rubial o Ayala escribieron un capítulo nuevo de historia junto a las generaciones más jóvenes, y con su autoridad moral invitaron a que, como deseaba Gil de Biedma, la historia de España no terminase como siempre mal.… Seguir leyendo »