Radified Community Forums
Rad Community Non-Technical Discussion Boards >> The Water Cooler >> Life - poem from Jose Hierro

Message started by Figment on Apr 22nd, 2012 at 8:02pm

Title: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Figment on Apr 22nd, 2012 at 8:02pm
A huge poet.

I'm sure it is already translated ...but couldn't find it, so this will have to do.

For those of us who have to remember to be really humble...we are nothing more than stardust.

And after all, everything has been nothing,
even though it once was everything.
After nothing, or after everything
I knew that all was but nothing.

I shout "Everything!" and the echo says "Nothing!"
I shout "Nothing!" and the echo says "Everything!"

Now I know that nothing was everything
and everything was ashes from nothing.

There's nothing left from what was nothing
(It was illusion, that believed everything
and that, definitely, was nothingness).

Who cares nothingness was nothing
'cause more nothingness it'll become, after all,
after so much everything for nothing.

Jose Hierro

btw, Rad, I'm back...check it out.

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Rad on Apr 23rd, 2012 at 9:48am
Oscar lives in Spain, where the Euro debt crisis now seems focused.

They have fantastic unemployment. Is it really about 50% among the youth there?

I saw your email.

Welcome back.

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by NightOwl on Apr 23rd, 2012 at 3:40pm
@ Figment

Well, I guess it all rings *true*--but, sort of depressing.

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Figment on Apr 23rd, 2012 at 4:21pm
Well, right now it might be even more. Some figures can be so easy to disguise....

During the housing bubble, many boys dropped school in order to get jobs quickly. No time to learn to become bricklayers, carpenters, plumbers...no skilled craftsmen;  unqualified hand labor on the run. Times were so crazy, that people having bought & paid cargoes of bricks months before found themselves with empty hands because some suppliers literally sold them out for 100 % more within days....
Even though the salaries for these kids wouldn't be considered high in northern countries, you could see teenagers, still living at home, spending most of what (back then) looked like "fabulous" wages on a nice car or motorbike, clothes and...weekends. It was only a matter of time before it all burst up, leaving hundreds of thousands not only with no work at all, but with scarce chances to get any in the future. So now, families are supporting most of them.
A few are trying to study again, but there are already so many qualified young men and women who are willing to do so much for any kind of work..... It is so sad to see young people that have had a good education not being productive (at least in the labour market). But who knows, they might become a thinking force that will, in one way or another, have an outcome.

One of the biggest budget cuts that are going to be applied in education for next school year, is to raise class ratio from 25 to 35 students. Worse education. Besides that, they'll make teachers stay more hours at school  - with a destination to be determined yet. More of these things are to come to the rest of public workers.

Many people are right arguing that we have no money to pay for the way we live now. Others say that we already paid, but as now it's gone, will have to pay at least twice for even less. As usual, virtue could be somewhere in the middle, but the real truth is that right now, there is not enough money in Papa State's purse. So people living on a salary will be literally squeezed, as government has little will to really fight fraud (who'd like to hara-kiri, anyone?) and direct tax income will diminish as slowly as people's spenditure.

The 15 M (15th May) movement, which you might have seen on TV, was only a light sketch of things that are to come. Politicians here are scared to their bones; and pray for any kind of distraction ("panem et circenses") that gives them more time to fasten all possible loose ropes (this month they've hardened laws regulating street protests). Many youngsters (some of age, some of heart) are trying to find a way there, but it's not going to be an easy road.

If surrounding countries were able to keep doing well, there might be a chance to emigrate there; or patch things a bit if they spent their money over here,  but as the first world's wealth is being drained elsewhere - slowly but steadily - in almost every country and this 'debt' shoved upon citizens' shoulders..........er, I'd better leave the rest to each of you.

Here's a toast to Rad's Splash page: Against the ruin of the world..(etc.)...save the World. It's up to everyone of US. Do not be afraid: listen, think, and then speak up. Share your view. BE creative in your own way.

Buena suerte a todos.

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Figment on Apr 23rd, 2012 at 4:43pm

NightOwl wrote on Apr 23rd, 2012 at 3:40pm:
@ Figment

Well, I guess it all rings *true*--but, sort of depressing.

Believe me, in Spanish it is swifter and musical, less solemn.

That's why I searched for a better translation - mine is just, well - mechanical.

Combined with the meaning, it's a full invitation to life, trying to keep focus on the real importance of things : do enjoy them while you're here; but if you try to push them too far they'll loose their true significance.

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Rad on Apr 24th, 2012 at 1:46pm
thank-you for taking the time to write.

i am saving your links for the weekend, when i will have time to give them proper attention.

i had trouble with the saramago translation.

i heard that spain officially entered recession the other day, and is now the focal point of the EU/Eurozone, so please keep me posted on your views from the streets.

are my posts over your head due to language translation barriers/problems?

most people compliment me on my ability to put complex terms into simple words.


Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Figment on Apr 24th, 2012 at 4:32pm
Well, yesterday I was fuming all the way home, so I tried to concentrate on writing, and cool down, indeed.

As if we hadn't enough here, all this fuss about Argentina & Repsol (a Spanish Petrol Co). The same company that's fixing petrol prices at home - and sucking our blood, is now is being bullied by the Argentinians -so they try to make a national affair out of it. We really are deserving what we're getting.

Misinformation is getting so absolutely filthy that it begins to drive people mad.  But yes, we've back to ""official" recession again after some time, though we feel like we've never been really out. Europe's stock is plummeting, budgets are being trashed...what part of all of it is real and what is just make believe?

About Saramago, I'm not sure if you mean the translation was confusing, or has it something to do with his message?  I find his writing easy, and beauty in his slow motion narration, but perhaps it is not for everyone.

Regarding your own writing, all I can say is that I really enjoy it, and I'll probably tell you why during the weekend. Don't usually find it hard to follow; well, perhaps sometimes your scope is so wide that it makes a few of us have to stop and do some research....but those are my own limits. And amongst the many things the world needs is people learning to transmit knowledge making it simple, amusing, passionate. Being selfish, I do miss more regular writing on your blog, but never if it compromises quality....

I admit that this is the first time I feel I don't quite catch you....is there an specific reason for your question? Perhaps something I said? I sometimes feel my English sounds a bit artificial....

Or is it just because of the book?

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Rad on Apr 24th, 2012 at 8:01pm

Figment wrote on Apr 24th, 2012 at 4:32pm:
I admit that this is the first time I feel I don't quite catch you....is there an specific reason for your question? Perhaps something I said? I sometimes feel my English sounds a bit artificial....

In your first email (dated 4-22), you said:

As usual, call it synchronicity, or whatever. It really exceds my understanding, but there it is.

Readability is one of my top priorities .. so if I am not being readable, then I want to know where/when .. and look for ways to improve/clarify.

With Jose, the writing did not flow, and I could SEE what he was trying to say, but it came off as awkward, so I suspected an awkward translation. Plus, I had other things going on in my life at the time. Distractions. You know.

But I did not perhaps give him the patience I should have.

It was like that for me with Dostoevsky. At first, I said, "Huh?" Then the light clicked on (.. many years later).

And Happy Birthday!!! (slightly belated)

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Figment on Apr 25th, 2012 at 12:24am
Ahhhhh..so it was the "synchronicity" thing........
When you're able to finally read both links, which I really read before last weekend, put them on a timetable together with yours (21st of April)........it's more about things in life that we don't know understand, and that you've already come upon, in several different ways.

About your post on the 21st, and as far as I'm concerned, it's a door to somewhere else, eye/mind opening...and what struck me was the timing. And it does deserve several readings...just to digest correctly.

Don't worry about Blindness right now.  That type of writing needs a determinate state of mind, to get that magical click, and depends greatly on your own circumstances. I found another book of his, "The gospel according to Jesus" very disturbing, so I set it aside. After a couple of years, my life was somewhat smoother, and then I realized why I hadn't been able to cope with it then.....btw, wouldn't recommend it to people who are very involved with their Church - it shakes some basements. But that's another story. Just leave it resting, and when the right time comes, Jose's world will flow into you, no doubt.

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Rad on Apr 27th, 2012 at 11:44am
I've been reading up on Spain, a little. Sounds ugly, painful (.. the economy, I mean).



Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Rad on Apr 28th, 2012 at 1:59am
Just noticed Jose is here:


Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Figment on Apr 28th, 2012 at 3:08am
Liked the articles, will post a few facts later  that will help understand them better.

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Figment on Apr 29th, 2012 at 4:57am
Both articles give facts that are mostly correct. But here are a few grains of salt that can give the picture a wider scope:

-      As far as Spanish Democracy can look back (1975), there has always been a nearly impossible to remove 10 % unemployment barrier. At its highest level of production and economy boost, when millions of immigrants made their way in due to the amount of workforce needed, 8% is the most it could be set back. So you have a baseline of people, who, for one reason or another, will always appear on the list. It’s the same as tax paying – if you can’t rely on people’s honesty…..you’ll be rowing upstream forever.

-      When you listen about Spanish bank problems, a huge part (yet to be truly determined, but could reach 75 % of it) comes from the fact that each local government (in fact, 17, and roughly similar to what a State it the US) had the right to control the board of its own savings bank (can you imagine,  banks in hands of politicians?) So, no surprise, it ended in tears. Local saving banks gave huge credits to finance local “Pharaonic” projects, or artificially support their policies, until the housing bubble allowed to display the unbelievable reality.  During all this time, Spanish Central Bank (usually run by a professional, but assigned every 6 years by the government) did absolutely nothing to stop this hemorrhage. And when it became obvious that all were going to bust, instead of making each local government responsible for the squander, and closing the savings banks, they were transformed to normal private banks, using public money - or bonds, but nevertheless, money that Spain must pay back sooner or later. That “brawl” is not over yet, because Spanish Central Bank is still trying to force private banks to “blend” with the newly established banks, ending up with 4/5 huge banks overall.

-      The real problem of economy recovery is that increase of taxes and budget cuts, even though understood as completely necessary, may end up choking the fragile economy “sprouts”. Spain has been losing most of its industry and diminishing its agriculture, cattle and fishing produce, slowly but steadily since the last 30 years.  Tourism has a huge impact on income, but has reached figures where it can grow little more, (and praying so it can stay like this). House building, which had been the (artificial) engine of economy during the 21st century has plummeted, and not expected back for a long time. So how are we going to generate employment?

-      Germany has “finally” realized that imposing their policy of expenditure restrictions may turn back on them, agonizing economies cannot pay back credits. So there has to be a determined level between what you need to invest to make economy recover, and what you cannot spend your money on. We’ll see how they handle this.

-      When a country needs specialized workforce, they look outside for it. Nurses, teachers, technicians, hand laborers…. But when you cannot pay for them, even if needed, what can you do? Well, you can try to improve the skills of unemployed workers, but most of the resources you use on that will be wasted if there are no jobs available. No matter how well you form people, if they still have to “fight” for only one job, there will only be one employed person.

Have to stop here, but there are still a couple of loose ends left.
Questions (of any kind, really) are welcome.

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Rad on May 17th, 2012 at 11:16pm
are people withdrawing money from spanish banks?


Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Spanky on May 17th, 2012 at 11:21pm
have u seen?


Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Figment on May 18th, 2012 at 2:10pm
Well, the market's hitting all Spanish banks, but specially Bankia, which is a patchwork of 5 old regional savings banks.

My first piggy bank & savings account was from one of them, Caja Madrid, 45 years ago. It was a savings bank. but in the last 15 years ended up dumping it's huge potential with this whirlwind of crazy housing credits.

They've just had to sack the president of Bankia, (roughly a year in charge),  former vice-Prime Minister nine years ago, and runner up for presidential race then. But he lost, and had to readjust his profile. But his failure is our ruin.

The worst part of this is that he was supposed to sharpen up the scalpel and trim without mercy all the tumours that were dragging down the new bank, but dreams concerning huge banking fusions blinded him, and politic clash for power within the bank took him to this state. Anyway, he'll be well off; but (for sure) NOT as well as he expected.

Rumours about withdrawing dough from banks have been spread by 15 - M, in their crusade against financial institutions, but obviously what might scare people is stock's value plummeting. People have with drawled deposits from Bankia, but it's fate will be solely be determined by the market, and in the next few weeks. Unfortunately, this works like tides, if it gains momentum.....it may sweep everything.

So people are worried, of course, but panic has not begun - just yet.

This roller coaster is gaining speed......and the worst part of it is that the rails have been designed by the beneficiary of the disaster's insurance....and conducted by monkeys - or even worse, thugs disguised as monkeys. 

So, there will be more spine chilling news to come.

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Spanky on May 21st, 2012 at 1:54pm
is this true?


Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Figment on May 22nd, 2012 at 5:03pm
Well, I don't know where this Mathew gets his info. For sure, not from all kinds of people living here. And even if he really knew, then the article may not sound so striking as it does at first glance.

As in all crisis, the wealthy people are usually more worried about where to hide their money than if things cost 5% more or less.  Perhaps these people aren't spending as happily as before, just as a reflex to general situation, but they keep buying expensive cars, going to good restaurants and having good holidays, and in some ways, in an easier way. These people just feel the crisis as a far away breeze, and can only be concerned because their business is nowhere as profitable as it was - oh, my god,  what - a - pity!

People who make less money (but are still well off) and depend  specially on evading tax paying (remember, its perhaps more than 20 % of Spanish economy), are more affected. They have to calculate carefully what to do, because they can still stay afloat, but not forever.

90 % of the population are financially exhausted. In most cases, salaries have not increased for the last five years. If you work for the government, ALL salaries were reduced 5 %. Our electric, gas, and petrol bills HAVE raised (oh, boy, how they have). We roughly have have a 2 % annual inflation during the last 5 years, so if salary has raised about 3 % overall (not if you're a public worker, of course, its much worse), and you have to overcome a 10 % inflation.....it's a no brainer, your salary is, in fact, shrinking. Tax income HAS raised, VAT has been raised too.....I really don't know where the writer is looking at. Spreadsheets? Powerpoints? There is life boiling in the streets, you know.

Not to mention, of course, that all of the above is of NO interest if you directly have lost your job (and have little expectation of getting one again).

Part of the article is reasonable enough, regarding how people spend less  (sometimes to cut expenses, most times because they have to go back to reality and spend according to their income), and how Spanish economy could partially recover if we were able to control our own currency. But, he SHOULD explain, that what Argentina did (called CORRALITO - to stop external debt payments, block most cash transactions & withdrawals, and devalue their currency, hence like surrounding your country with a huge economic wall) can only be done when you have full economic control of the country.

We don't. We thrust ourselves in the arms of Germany & France, and now, have to live begging for their crumbs - no tears for that (like most of the Greeks do), we asked for it. UK, Sweden, and a few other countries refused to join the Euro currency. It was clear UK was going to continue using their tax havens, so only a fool would think that they would let that juicy chunk out of their control - and even without these, they are NEVER going to abandon the control of their currency!

Having nothing to do with this crisis, Spain has been fighting against a model of  "cheap" tourism , masses who come to Spain for holidays, really spend little money here. But it's not easy.  Quality should be a must, because there is so much good to offer, but it is impossible to make it dirt cheap. Food at restaurants is perhaps 5% down on most things, but do people really think about that when choosing a destiny? There is no way you can lower prices beyond that level, unless there is a general downsize in every aspect.

So, I'm afraid there will be no extra cheap holidays here in Spain. The part we could control, hotel rates -  have not sunk, they are roughly the same. With just a 25 % vacancy, you cannot expect to dump prices on the 75 % who do come.  You cannot expect to reduce service's wages much further than that 5-10 %, even considering  high unemployment; it ends up affecting quality of service.

Besides the economy blurb, and talking about something serious  ;), a plate of good paella can be as cheap as 15 €. (Of course if you drop in lobsters and giant clams, it can rise up to the 40 €, just like there are 500 $ bottles of wine, or a cup of coffee at certain hotels might be 10 $ ). It really is a mystical dish. When done the right way, to the exact point, just  after a dip at the sea, (lips still salty),  with a fine bottle of white wine and in company of good friends, it's a kind of communion (please take it as the original meaning of the word, which comes from a group of people participating, sharing, communicating; no religious intention here).

But even if you eat it alone, during the winter, if you are lucky enough to have it correctly cooked to be worthy of its name, you'll never forget it. Don't know if many of you have had the opportunity to taste one of these- it's not always easy, even here. You have to use the right pan, quality ingredients, and the exact time of cooking. There is a chap in the States; Jose Andrés, who seems to be making a crusade of on it, I believe he's even been to the White House with Obama. If you have the chance to watch him, he's really good explaining its making. Please be aware that paella can take many, many variations and ingredients; and most of them make a delicious meal, but  the right ingredients, including rice, are the key to reaching excellence. 

So, if you happen to come to Spain, and looking forward to eating paella, you can afford to eat it nearly everyday - fresh fish & meat are far more expensive. But there are so many other wonderful things to eat, it would be a pity not to  give them a try too. You just have to be a bit open minded  - you won't regret it.

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Rad on May 25th, 2012 at 8:33pm
this says catalonia is the richest area. do you live there?


have you see the woody allen movie titled 'vivky, christina barcelona'?

set in spain.

i loved it


Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Rad on May 26th, 2012 at 12:06am
what about this?


Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Figment on May 27th, 2012 at 4:34am
No, Madrid is right in the centre.

Catalonia is in the north east, in the border with France, with the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean Sea at the sides. it is the most "European" part of Spain, and a country on its own, whether we (the rest of Spain) like it or not.

It is rich, with fertile lands, good merchants and hard working people - but never forgetting their huge love for culture and art. Cannot help but recommend it to anyone, it is SO easy to fall in love with its magic!

That being said, they have exactly the same kind of problems as the rest - a bit less (but still very important) on the banking side, a bit more on the regional finance hole - they've also have spent so much more than they can afford....

Haven't seen the film, but I'm sure Woody has taken advantage of a marvellous scenery. But remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

And as for Bankia, during the first week of May it was clear things were going to show up....what really makes no sense is how they let its exchange plunge during 3 weeks, to suspend them NOW.  It is just another chapter on how our politicians are "strangely" incompetent; we can never trust what dark intentions there are behind each act.....let's hope they can finally get through that law making politicians pay for they mistakes when administrating public wealth.

Keep an eye on France and Germany. There's going to be a clash there with how to deal with Greece....that will strike the rest of Europe.

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Rad on May 27th, 2012 at 3:12pm

Figment wrote on May 27th, 2012 at 4:34am:
it is the most "European" part 

I have heard the term 'European' before. Can you explain precsely what the term means?

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Rad on May 27th, 2012 at 3:16pm

Figment wrote on May 27th, 2012 at 4:34am:
Keep an eye on France and Germany. There's going to be a clash there with how to deal with Greece

What are your feelings on how this will play out? .. seeing you are so much closer than me.

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Figment on May 27th, 2012 at 7:30pm
It’s a kind of expression mostly used by Mediterranean countries. Atlantic & Centre Europe, Nordic countries, England, Northern Italy (for example, the Lombards some of which are talking about independence). Cold, serious Europe. Organized. Reliable. Clockwork. Developed. All work and no fun. No one on the street at nine o’clock. Lunch in 30 minutes. It’s all a matter of culture. A bit exaggerated; think about the fable of the ant and the grasshopper (sort out by yourselves which is which).
So, Greece, most of Italy, Spain, Portugal, and others to come are slowly following the “northern” path. Some better, some quicker, some stopping in the way.
Catalonia made a huge effort to modernize themselves at the beginning of the 20th Century, without losing their identity. Most of Spain didn't; they had to wait more than half a century to start off. Catalonia did a terrific job doing a mixture of “ant & grasshopper”, and I really admire it, because it’s only possible when the people are really committed to it. Of course differences are smaller nowadays, but what cannot be denied is that Catalonia is considered the “rich brother”, wealth that comes by being organized, reliable, developed. All of which, of course, doesn’t mean they’re above all, just like our “Rich neighbours” in Germany, being the economic steamroller of Europe,  has made quite a few mistakes.
And about the future here…it’s just a matter of timing. We don’t really have all the information, but we know there are huge amounts of Greek bonds in hands of German & French Banks. That’s the most important reason for rescuing them several times. When Greece finally busts out from the Euro (everybody knows deep inside that they have no other way), of course, they will have to face quite a few problems by themselves. But the greater “collateral” effect will be the tidal wave of economic panic spreading through Europe, which will crush any weak recovery that could be taking place. Unfortunately, it is the time for great decisions full of courage, but all our politicians exude an aura of doubt and shadows. There is a reasonable fear that Germany, under their plans for stability, will ask for even more control on our destiny. The huge question is what will Germany be up to when things get really ugly?
There are huge movements ready to take place, but by the ones that have the complete information.
Will try to shed some light as soon as things evolve.

And, btw, please forgive me if sometimes I try to simplify using examples that, for sure, can never be fair enough to everyone. It's difficult to resume so much information, in such few words. But I'm no professional writer, nor lecturer in Economy.  I'm just an ordinary street guy who tries not to believe everything we're told, and who tries to share his narrow view of things happening around him.

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Figment on May 27th, 2012 at 7:50pm
Ah, I almost forgot. French movements concerning European economy will, most probably, come as a reaction to German decisions, specially as they have recently sacked Sarkozy and changed President.

If things get really ugly, ripples will arrive to the States. They may even turn out as an argument to pound on Obama.....no candidate in Europe has yet been able to resist the effects of crisis.

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Spanky on May 27th, 2012 at 11:19pm

Figment wrote on May 27th, 2012 at 7:30pm:
I'm just an ordinary street guy

that's why what you say matters to me.  [smiley=smiley.gif]

that was very good, surprisingly enlightening. thanks.

Figment wrote on May 27th, 2012 at 7:30pm:
Cold, serious Europe. Organized. Reliable. Clockwork. Developed. All work and no fun.

this section was particularly elucidating.

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Figment on May 28th, 2012 at 4:17pm
Today's been a particular hard day in economy. The gap in Bankia begins to widen up. People can't believe their eyes.
Everyday it seems to widen up a few thousand million euros. They talk about 25.000 million today. What are they going to do with this money? Where did that money go to in the first place? People getting credit for buying worthless badlands?
There is such a long, long series of "unfortunate" events lining up one after the other, that NO ONE can believe it is just a coincidence. In the first place, the people who got paid (and very well indeed) for running/ruining the savings banks. The auditors, did they just get paid NOT to see what was going on right under their eyes? What about the Bank of Spain, who is the next stop, and should keep an eye close over these two. Why did they just smile and backed up all the wrong information fed? The government, who has all the figures to know that this is just another gigantic pyramid?
Speculators who sold worthless lands, and got back huge profits as if they were downtown space? Try to get a grip on them, now!! Companies, big and small, who got benefit from work that should not have been done?
No body's telling the truth, because they're scared to death to announce it. It's all been a giant maze, built up to squeeze billions that were making economy turn, using decoys to distract the ordinary eye, and meanwhile sucking that dough to "other" pockets in exotic destinies. Because all the money lent has really gone somewhere.

With all this 5 digit figures spinning round, I bet a few million can be easily tucked away.....and nobody will notice.

No, our politicians will give no step forward to judging all the responsible for this nightmare. First, because we might not have enough jails. And even more important, how can they imprison so many of their kin? Like the Bible says, he who is free of sin, cast the first stone.....

We let them go for it. We did not AND do not have the courage to do what's right. When people  are angry, when there is no hope left, when you have no way out, it is easy to react and explode, and then anything may come - usually completely regrettable. No, we are doomed to either take real control of our lives, or let be sucked to death by these endlessly greedy vampires.

Unfortunately, more is coming right away.

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Rad on May 31st, 2012 at 6:55pm
have you moved your money out of spanish banks?



Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Figment on Jun 1st, 2012 at 8:02pm
No, and not just because my savings are not worth the fuss of opening an account abroad.
In my humble opinion, if anyone thinks they’re  better off with their money elsewhere….they‘d rather leave the country .  People may not trust banks, and try to hold on to cash, gold, bonds, jewels… whatever. But in the end, like the poem that started this thread, everything will be for nothing.  Better leave your money in a box than abroad, because it will be used, no doubt, to sink your country.
Another interesting point of view is the way information is being presented, and the exact timing. These last two articles gather information focused on what I've been telling you about in the last week, perhaps months late. Why now? (e.g. the dollar, in the lowest exchange with the euro in the last 2 years….look at the historical during the last 8 years and you’ll see the cycles - but  hey, that info does not sound so dramatic!!).  Please do not think that any of it is coincidence.  All the steps are being taken carefully though a path to let Spain sink, deeply. The flotsam and jetsam will be easily collected then, and looters even be praised as saviors.  Unless Germany has the will to lead Europe, (and not for its own benefit, which is something that will eventually show up) and the rest of countries do exactly what they should when they still can, there is NO way out.
First of all and above everything, comes our own inability to decide our future, always awaiting for a Big Brother to save us, endlessly arguing, amidst the storm. Why should we be respected?
The rest is a brawl of scavengers and desperate preys. The big sharks smell the blood in all this and must have their share.  Fire is being fought with petrol, instead of water. Like an archeology job, every week we find out  a new chunk of debt in banks – how come no one is able to give the definite answer?  Italians - who have a Prime Minister NOT chosen by election- try not to look as bad as Spanish and Greek do, but again, in the end….. for nothing.
What’s happening now is the dawning of an era. We lived happily and consciously unaware of our future, secretly awaiting and hoping  that leaving  things on their own, they would eventually  come to a balance. We wanted to believe that handing over the responsibility (which implies knowing, deciding, suffering), things would end up being done the right way.  Meanwhile predators and scavengers have been raiding whatever they could lay their hands on, under sheep skins, with velvet voices, with blinding fireworks. They themselves spread the fear when necessary, weakening the victims.   These insatiable giant leeches are bleeding us to death from fiscal paradises.
People still don’t want to realize that pure, lustful greed is the seed of this crisis, and that the choices made by individuals, have slowly had their awful and expected outcome.
Morality has already been drowned and buried-  it was a nuisance, and we’re far better off without it.
But we’ll soon observe what follows on…….

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Spanky on Jun 6th, 2012 at 12:21am
Wow, Spain is all the news.

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Figment on Jun 6th, 2012 at 5:18pm
It's so much more than a problem with one bank or another. It so much more than the problems we have in Spain, which are now under close scrutiny.

As technology has advanced during the last 30 years, the ways of ruling the world have changed. And so have the ways the puppeteers move the strings.

Can we trust anyone? Auditors, regulators, advisers, informers, administrators..... if they can't say out loud what they see, what's their use? If so much money and power run through their hands, how can they keep clean? How much greed is needed to destroy society?

It's impossible to keep track and explain all the news around the problems is Spain. Truth and lies are mingled, and every opinion is under suspicion.

But the real problems (this is a global crisis, a moral crisis, don't forget) still lie well beneath, and no action is being taken to heal - just  apply make up, and delude. And it'll take more than courage to remove it.

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Rad on Jun 8th, 2012 at 2:13am
what is your opinion of this video?


6 mins

is Spain too big to fail, like they suggest here?


Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Figment on Jun 8th, 2012 at 8:19pm
No, I think nearly NOTHING is big enough to fail. It's always a matter of strategy, and how much everyone is willing to gamble. For example, all this situation would be different if there were elections nearby in Germany. We have experienced during this week how a few positive words from Germany suddenly take a big part of the pressure off. But that’s not permanent. It only buys time to do your homework properly.
The Euro coin is in deep trouble because politicians kept on ignoring (and for several different reasons) what was going on - right before their eyes. Even before starting, they lingered and lingered on until they had to come out with what they had in their hands. All the greed of future economic advantages blinded the awareness of all the ugly work that still had to be done, and that has barely started yet. And after the start up, politicians didn't work together glueing and trimming and nurturing the whole thing. Because they are ALL "hostages" of elections.
All the people who give advice from "far away", based on cold figures remind me of those "slimming tips" like taking off the teaspoon of sugar off your coffee would make you loose 3 pounds of weight a year. You can throw up dozens of tips like that one........but they're all   "relative" truth. Technically right, but what makes you really loose weigh is a combination of slight diet, moderate exercise, and even more important, the right mental attitude about your life.
You can say the same about economy. You can point out for sure what will go wrong, but putting all the right pieces together to make it work is a bit trickier.
  A pension at 50 or 55 for working during 25 or 30 years cannot be granted to a great amount of people, and even worse if few pay taxes. Imagine paying retirement for millions who can be over 90 years old….
A normal village with a population of 2.000 CANNOT afford to have a sports centre, a theatre, 50 local gardeners, pay Bruce Springsteen to sing for the village celebrations, and free holidays on the beach for the retired, a Cadillac and a Platinum Visa for the Mayor and fifty town counselors….  If thousands of villages behave the same way, and hide the figures away getting easy credits, making the debt bigger and bigger….it’ll bust sooner or later.
Nobody can argue that stopping all the above cannot be considered austerity. It is just common sense. We are paying 77.000 politicians directly elected by vote, and part of these have the power to choose nearly three times more counselors and other occupations that are public (and which we also have to pay). That should have been the very first start, strip it down to the essential. But no, it is easier to cut public workers’ salaries 7 %, raise VAT and all taxes, and make us pay (just as a start) for roads and health, which were already paid for.
It is often said that statistically, if there is a roast chicken for two men, they each get half a chicken. But the same can be claimed, even if one eats the 2 halves, and the other starves to death.
Apart from all this, we have “the markets” who play their own games with their own timing and their own rules, and that may either be a blessing, or be your grave, depending on how vulnerable you are.
So, resuming from those articles, they are technically right on most things. Europe does need a real economic union, which they have not been able to build during the last 10 years, and that must take form in two months before Greece busts open (new elections in a few days).
Germany, who first claimed austerity, must rethink a doctrine which will only slash completely useless things and empower real needy ones, in order to activate spending and economy.
And most of all, right now, what is needed is the truth about what kind of loans do financial institutions have, and what are the real risks they stand.  They can’t be helped if that information is constantly changing; it only makes matters worse for all the rest of banks.
Some money has gone outside Spain, but really, it is not the biggest problem right now. People are worried about savings banks, but the steps they have to do to get money out only make it profitable for large sums.
Right now what we need is to start rowing all at the same time and in the same direction. And put more common sense, both in public opinions and in actions, because both have relevance on the situation.

Right now, the IMF has just issued a report about the resilience of Spanish banks; 40.000 million € are needed to clean up "bad" banks, the rest can pass the stress tests more or less o.k.
I only hope they start bringing to court all the people who were paid for a responsibility in these horribly managed savings banks, and make sure they get what they deserve.

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Rad on Jun 9th, 2012 at 1:34am
i saw that:


Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Rad on Jun 10th, 2012 at 2:45am
what is your feeling regarding this?


Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Figment on Jun 10th, 2012 at 3:57am
Well, it was crystalline, after the IMF report, that it had already been decided to make a huge step forward. I admit it’s the only sensible resolution right now; not perfect - but any other solution is far worse. And a start only useful if we really do what we must from now on.
Kudos for the New York Times, and especially to Annie Lowry, for this perfect picture of the whole situation. It is by far the simplest, most complete description of it I've read from media outside Spain.
Perhaps from now on you might listen to the aftermath of all this: Germany has taken a decision to open a NEW instrument  for Italy, Germany and France to achieve financial help for their banks, helping Spain on the way. Italy will use it in the close future, and France, and Germany later on, when Greek situation starts moving – and by moving, it means to see if after next week’s elections, they have a clear mind of what they want to do with their future - and that implies to stay in the Euro or not.
Bank problems come from the fact that all of them have hidden information about their real risk exposure, being of one kind or another. But to mend them, the naked truth (if this is possible in economy) must be known.
As Spain is the 4th economy in the union, (behind Germany, France and Italy), it has been (finally) accepted that you either split everything apart, (where at the end everyone loses), or you make one final effort and try to steer in the right direction.
That is impossible if you do not have that truth.
Italy is now governed by a “technocrat” government, after decades where the country kept moving in spite of their politicians (they were either too interested in their own affairs, or had no clear backup by the electors, who didn't give full confidence to just one party – thus leaving scarce margin to any kind government). They have a small margin before, with  help from “the naked truth”, know exactly what to do. This part may come after summer.
France, with a recent change of government (left wing) has to wait and see the final impact on its banks’ results of the Greek mess.  Huge amounts spent on Greek debt; and it has to be determined what part they will lose, and what the might get back. But this time, the “naked truth” greatly depends on the Greek ‘s decision on how much sacrifice they are willing to stand to pay back at a reasonable rate. For example, if they decided NOT to pay back (an Argentinian “corralito” solution) French banks will need to recapitalize strongly.
And the same could be said for the German part; perhaps even more affected by figures, but maybe with a bit smaller impact overall – they knew the mess they had run to, and have been doing their homework for the last five years.
The general idea is to make a strong nucleus in the EU with these four countries, the ones whose real problems can split up the Euro, and set up the laws by which no “economical happiness” by smaller countries (and of course, the “big ones” first) will be permitted, as it has been proven that if you leave everyone on its own, nothing right can come out. On one side, letting banks risk too much on debt that you might not get back. On the other, letting the country spend too much on what they shouldn't, and may have no reasonable means of financing.
Again, in the end, and as I see it, Mr. Micawber’s economy. 
Now that the second stage of this huge play has come to an end, it’s time to sit back and observe if all the players are going to follow the script……  not to mention external factors worldwide that could spoil the plot.

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Rad on Jun 10th, 2012 at 4:58pm
before i read your last post, here's an quote i found nteresting .. in the 3rd paragraph .. that says:


a currency union that has largely benefited more prosperous members like Germany

Is that right? Does Germany & France benefit more from the Union than other countries?

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Rad on Jun 10th, 2012 at 5:05pm
another thing i am not clear on are reconcilling these two posts:

1. http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/stiglitz-europe-soros-being-generous-giving-them-three-131813499.html

where stiglitz says at the end of the video that:

"The question is, are they [Europe] at the point where there's nothing more they can do? I think they're almost there. A European-wide guarantee on money in deposit in Spanish banks is necessay to make people feel safe about depositing their money.

But Germany says, 'We won't do that; we won't bear that risk.' That's a STALEMATE. And if they don't do that, the system FALLS APART FAIRLY QUICKLY."

and this page:


.. that seems to say the opposite .. in other words that Germany WILL agree to ..

Germany has indicated that it is prepared to accept a grand bargain that would provide greater support for its most indebted euro zone partners in exchange for more centralized control over government spending in Europe

Can you shed light on this? Cuz it seems to lie at the crux of the issue.

Am I missing anything?

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Figment on Jun 10th, 2012 at 7:14pm
See you’re working hard to follow this, it certainly can be confusing watched over the distance.
I mentioned before that so many give an opinion, that it can get really irritating…....you can’t have your cake, and eat it. Both ideas may be true, but never at the same time.
European Union, forty years ago, was called “The Europe of the Merchants”, or “The Common Market” for obvious reasons. For example, thirty years ago, if you wanted to buy a BMW in Spain you had to pay about 30% its price in taxes, compared to cars made here; and the same for Japanese cars.
So they made  a common space where commerce would become easier, cheaper, and a defense against Japan and America - China was nowhere to be seen yet. Instead of buying products outside Europe, we buy and sell within our frontiers. We help to develop each other. Yes, the bigger market benefits Germany and afterwards France, but overall it’s a good idea. If I’m better off than before, I shouldn't care if it serves you even better.
The problem arises when you have already got the best part of it, and what comes after is not so profitable. It is so easy just to point about the money they give to the rest of Europe, and not how being inside helps you sell millions of BMW’s (like it happened during the housing bubble, everybody here was tempted to have an Audi, or a BMW; when in normal conditions, they really couldn't afford it). Like I said once, if your neighbors are rich you have more chances to make some profit of it.
After Germany reunited, they had a lot of problems to solve. They had to break the very own European laws they set up years before, in order to work it out. Who could face them? So everybody did more or less the same….
So German politicians have had a rough time, on one hand they have to lead Europe, but within their own walls they must give a different face……or risk getting the sack when elections come.
That’s why most messages may sound contradictory. Depending who they talk to, German politicians may sound different. And markets get a bit nervous when this happens. It is so important that Germans in general “feel” that the situation is so desperate (well, it really is) that not taking part of it will they’ll be worse off. People were saying they were letting  Spain drown so there was no other solution than to save it. And the government here is scared to death picking the words so there is no shadow of the dammed word “rescue”, which could kick back so hard to make the government stumble. So what has happened over the last month is a strange poker game, where not only you want to hide your hand to your opponents, but also to any watcher nearby.
So, definitely, what everybody’s missing is the right timing of the speaker. They succeeded in making it unclear, so everybody doubted what the real intentions were. In my case I only saw it clear ten days ago, when I heard the exact words that translated meant: “It’s all right, relax, we’re going to help……” though there is always the shadow of a doubt.
As for Greece…..I can see no way the Greek voters can make a good decision.  All the money poured there before was of no use, it went directly to the hands of financial sharks. And the problems there can only be solved by a change in society so deep that, well……(it would be the same as asking companies to constrain to a “reasonable” profit when needed).  And one of the biggest dangers is that this is the right kind of soil for seeds like Hitler and the likes - when politicians are not up to the job, these others will spring up and take everything by surprise.
So don’t worry if you sometimes feel lost in this maze. (There are a lot of people here that don’t even bother to understand, they just let themselves be carried away by emotions, with no intellectual effort). I’m trying my best to simplify when I can, but nevertheless, sometimes I feel I write too much to make it simple to follow up. :P

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Rad on Jun 10th, 2012 at 10:04pm

Figment wrote on Jun 10th, 2012 at 7:14pm:
a defense against Japan and America 

wow! that idea had never occurred to me. i'm still reading.

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Rad on Jun 17th, 2012 at 1:16pm
says here (5th paragraph):


And in Madrid, even after European finance ministers agreed to a €100 billion, or $125 billion, rescue of Spain’s failing banks, the always proud Spanish government is insisting that it — and not Brussels bureaucrats — will take charge of how and where the funds are deployed

I have heard these types of comments before .. about Spansh pride.

And Spaniards proud .. more proud than most people?

Is it just the government, or the entire population (.. a cultural thing)?

PS - and what are your thoughts about the results of the elections in Greece today? where ND scored slim margin of victory over Syriza.

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Figment on Jun 17th, 2012 at 7:01pm
Well, it's not really a matter of pride. Forty years of democracy and economic growth have changed us in certain ways. The standard of living has "improved", and many things have been washed away during that journey. Don Quixote would not exist now (though you can still find many Sancho Panzas…..)
Government speech is more than ever a game of light and shadows. They told the people they could straighten this up, doing the right things that socialists hadn't been able to. They said: we won’t raise taxes (they have); we won’t make people pay for twice for services (they are); we’ll reactivate employment (they can't....nobody can, really, right now). And many more promises are bound to be broken; I think it is foolish to believe some promises can be kept. A neutral observer could not say they are doing anything that was not expected. But their whole communication scheme is wrong. So, they are scared to death that people start realizing that they aren't in control. That's why they say to their voters what they want to hear, and afterwards, behind the stage, mostly do what they ought to. It is arguable how badly the government before did things, but in the end, it’s all a political game. All the governments, red, blue or purple, have taken their toll on crisis, and not evenly. Politicians swallow that hardly.
This overall crisis has several layers. For example, people are perhaps forgetting that banks in Europe were asked to buy Greek bonds just a few years ago – not understanding where the real problems were. And every layer adds up, with consequences. You just can't make them vanish.
Whatever it is that may take us out of all this (if that is possible), just like our 100 billion € credit for banks, we are not ready to tackle the real problems:
1)      The whole economic system is finished as we know it. If we continue repeating the same mistakes…..we’re bound to end up in a similar situation.
2)      Even though all the players have responsibility, a chain is always as strong as its weakest link….and that’s the way this should be solved. But we tend to mend one, and are suggested that it’s not necessary to search and repair the next one. When we should be looking to nail it down and leaving as little margin for weakness as possible.
3)      We must look inside ourselves, and speak truly: do we really care so little about our children’s future? Do we have the courage to take the correct individual steps forward? It might be easy for some, but what about the people who really have a huge impact on the system?
4)           Political structure must go through a huge change. This should be starting right away - with a special caution not to let foxes be replaced by wolves (remember National Socialism).
5)      We have more information than never before. Will they let us use it?

We  all have to go through a deep period of change. Anyone denying this is probably too involved in their own interest.
Don’t let any of you be fooled. More than ever, Truth is just shown only at a fraction. Be patient with what you read and hear.
Let’s see what happens from this week on.

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Figment on Jun 17th, 2012 at 7:12pm
And about the Greek results.....it's a small step back from the cliff. All depends on how much they can stand and openly accept. If they are not given some oxygen, they are bound to toss up the chessboard, we cannot pretend them to choke to death in silence (again, remember National Socialism....)
If they are able to make a quick new government is still to be seen. So it'll have to be a step by step thing.- a survival game. And pray people will have enough sense to work it out without violence.

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Rad on Jun 19th, 2012 at 4:48pm
you might enjoy this 3-minute video about spain and the euro:


Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Rad on Jun 20th, 2012 at 4:35pm
what are your feelings regarding the comments i have been hearing about how europe needs to become "the united states of europe" .. with both a political/fiscal and monetary union?

is such a thing possible?

do you think it can be achieved?

what do others (there in europe) say?

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Figment on Jun 20th, 2012 at 7:17pm
Nice speech from Mr. Krugman. But as I stated somewhere here before,there is so much more into "everything", that pulling one's side of the blanket will effectively solve a problem, only to generate a deeper one on the other side. 

There are complex group of problems that may be solved one at a time, given a determined priority. Certainly, that's not what’s happening to Spain or Greece (and perhaps Italy too). Quite a few things must be started and made progress steadily at the same time, or else...the blanket example. And you have to fight habits well dug inside these cultures, which make it very difficult to reach agreements.

Of course, right now the need would be a total fusion. I would like to think Europe can make it on its own, because it is really the only way it can stand a chance. But besides our own mistakes, unfortunately, there is a quite a wide world outside Europe with their own interests. And they have plots and actions, indeed, to profit from this crisis.


It is just a small example of how voices try to plant their own seed. For instance, does Mr. Trump (or friends) have interests on companies who need to sell Europe’s housing? Most probably not, but who knows? Just 2 years ago, state owners here cried out loud (in all media) that housing prices could not go lower, that it was “the” time to buy…..
We have a lot in common (and a LOT of history), but lacking a real “Leif motiv”  - apart from economic protection. A real fusion is not possible in the nearby future. You must educate the weaker part of  Europe to accept the view of the stronger part, to row in the same direction. It is far easier when you have a common idea, like the building of the United States: a brave new country, where everything could be possible, or the concept of nations that started (more or less) in the first half of the XIX Century.
But I’m afraid nobody will make that kind of sacrifice today. People see how greedy neighbors are taking advantage of the situation, while they preach morality in public.  Sometimes, you even see the same within your very walls. Yes, a lot of efforts are being made, by millions, but if the feeling is that it’s going nowhere, shattering will not be avoided.
I still see this like a huge experiment tried by some, encouraged by others who were looking forward to collect their part sooner or later. Fifteen years ago we were urged to make agreements and rules which were not strong enough to stand certain situations. And sooner or later, fears become true because human spirit cannot help but give away to ambition and greed.
Nobody has a clear picture of how to go on from here. Like “proud” statements from Spanish Government last week, or messages either from German Government or Europe’s Central Bank, everyone seems to be playing hide and seek. Once again, if strong positions try to impose their economical plot and choke countries with big debts -remember the Treaty of Versailles. We should be much smarter than then, but the world is so much more complex….
It’s not that I’m being pessimistic. It’s just that I still see we’re not facing real problems. 50 % of the politicians (and assessors) should have been wiped out from Spain. But no start up has been made, they’re resilient, survivors. And worse, these measures  should show the way to go. Not only by real figures from the “surgery”, but as a new culture. Banking reforms should follow. If you can’t use banks to help economy out, there is no real use in them. Ban non – productive economy. And not too long, people must think how we can survive in a society where corruption and fraud are applauded in the end (fiscal amnesty to  tax evasion is on its way here:  so desperate to lay hands on fresh dough, that we’ll forgive the crime that caused it – you can imagine the feeling on us poor “normal” tax payers).

Now that Greece has taken time to breath, as autumn arrives, disguises will start to fall, and the real players will have to stand out. But keep in mind that, for example, the rest of the world has kept "relatively" quiet meanwhile. Who knows what would come out combining this crisis with more religious or political outbursts?

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Rad on Jun 22nd, 2012 at 1:12am

Figment wrote on Jun 20th, 2012 at 7:17pm:
And you have to fight habits well dug inside these cultures, which make it very difficult to reach agreements

you seem to be suggesting an animosity between various nations.

are you saying that there exists anmosity between certain nations?

hope i'm not being naive.

if so, which nations 'dislike' each other most? (is 'dislike' a good word?)

is germany the most hated? (is 'hatred' a valid term?)


at the end of Hemingway's book titled 'moveable feast' .. after doing much traveling, they say, "but Spain was much the best." =)

the 'restored' edition:


page 223, hard cover, dying Evan Shipman wth pancreatic cancer talking to Hemingway while they were in Cuba reminiscing about the old days:

"You know Paris was a happy time and Key West was quite wonderful, too. But Spain was much the best."

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Figment on Jun 22nd, 2012 at 7:31pm
No, what I really meant is how we have changed ourselves towards living in community during the last 30 years.
To put the Spanish example, education has widely contributed to integrate the younger generations with Europe, especially for us who have always had a feeling of inferiority compared to the rest of Europe. Fifty years ago, it was a common joke in France that “Africa started past the Pyrenees” because they considered us more part of northern Africa than Europeans. Our attitude didn't help much then, either.
Another example is how “machismo” has evolved. It is similar to traditional Japanese way of relationship man-woman. Fifty years ago, mostly in the deep countries, men could beat their wives arguing that they deserved it, and most times there was nothing legal that could be done. Nowadays, and there I have to say, greatly helped by media, there are very few fragments of that behavior, as it is strongly prosecuted.
In the end, it always turns up to be something that can be changed by education, just like the concept of fairness, respect to your neighbor and community.  And accepting that we are all part of a society that can only advance if we have a similar moral basis. If you have embedded deep inside to respect what is owned by everyone, it’ll be so much easier. If you constantly have to keep an eye for people who live in community only for the advantages, and not the obligations….you know the situation won’t stand for too long.
So what I meant that in Portugal, Greece, Italy and Spain there is distance
And about Europe’s inside relations….things have changed a bit during the last years, but there are still a lot of generations that have been raised with strong “feelings” about their neighbors, and especially regarding “next door” ones.
For example:
1)      France – Germany : Two big wars during the last 100 years cannot be wiped out easily. Their size and power make them the “big bullies” in Europe. Germany, while being a bit superior, would always act naturally as superior, so French would always keep an eye on them not to let them “abuse”.
2)      Spain – France: France has always ignored us, like something farther away than a mere frontier. A place full of flies, yet to be civilized. Spain has always considered French as snobs. They get the glory. Cuisine, wine, cheese, they brag about it when  we are at least at their level….but don’t get quite the consideration. So we always have a strong feeling of inferiority, which is really only due to ourselves. And what we don’t see is that we have the same relationship with…
3)      Portugal – Spain: If you could put the Spain-France relationship in front of a mirror, perhaps you could observe what happens with Portugal and Spain. It’s being slowly straightened up, but not many years ago, we just ignored anything about Portugal, and they had the same feeling that we have towards the French with the Spaniards.
4)      U.K. – the rest of Europe: Isolated, they want to keep their way of making things but without stepping out of community completely. British feel they can get more advantages if they keep certain distance. So, while they could clash with France and Germany they only do if strictly necessary.
5)      Italy – the rest of Europe: Something similar to the U.K.  They’re like a small brother who usually gets away with it, and you have to accept him like he is. Full of culture, style, and bon vivants,  we share with them a view of what’s important in life, but they’re so much confident about their possibilities….not like us, who do seem to appreciate what we have. It always looks like they enjoy the same things more than you do……and perhaps it’s true.
6)      Greece: Theatre was invented there, so they always seem to give a theatrical turn in things…to their advantage. Now with the crisis, all outsiders who can claim rights on them are potentially seen as a menace. So Germany looks like the “bad” father who is constantly telling you what to do.  Have a fierce rivalry with Turkey, bordering the same level as for example, India and Pakistan.

But like I said, things are slowly changing. Millions of Germans and Britons have learnt to appreciate the way we live in Spain. We are trying to behave and think a bit like them. It’s just a matter of taking the best parts and when they’re together, making them bigger than if taken individually.
Now Germany is very unpopular because their trying to impose their way of doing things, and it’s not pleasant, even if they are finally right, which still has to be proved, because “one man’s medicine is another man’s poison”. And how they have behaved during the World Wars don’t give much peace of mind. But I give credit to the way they raised their country again, and we have to learn a lot about how to govern and administrate a country. They are aware of this and sometimes their self-sufficiency makes them look like a kind of bully.
And finally, about the Hemingway reference, I have the same feeling. There is so much to see and live in Spain. So different at a few steps away. The problem is that we don’t know exactly what to do with it. I know it sounds “chauvinist”, and that while the years go by, we’re starting to lose a bit of that quality. If you see Spain with a heart wide open, you’ll see much more than its parts. And with the modern media at the tip of our hands it’s easier to peek. But nothing can compare to the experience of living it.

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Rad on Sep 25th, 2012 at 3:49pm
is this true?


have you seen stuff like this?

normal? unusual? rare?

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Figment on Sep 25th, 2012 at 7:00pm
Well, it's not normal. I have always seen people stalking garbage containers, but they are usually junk prowlers.

I don't say that if you go to determined places at the right time you might see those kind of things; but I cannot confirm the same has not been happening before the crisis. But for sure, thinking that there should be more people involved  right now...well,  you don't have to be a Nobel Prize Winner to figure that out. Charity help is overwhelmed, while economic situation does not improve, and no one knows when to expect it.

So, even if it is something rare, it can only get worse, so there you have it ready -  room for more shocking news.

Meanwhile, people keep on protesting and making their opinion louder in the street. Today 3 - 6 thousand people rounded up Congress in Madrid, while 1,500 policemen awaiting all day long. What hasn't been told so loudly is that there were people there all day, with  no problems.  After sunset, things started to get rough, ending with 64 injured and 24 arrested. People are starting to truly hate what politicians represent, and they do not feel represented by any choice of political party. So they can only shout out loud their dissatisfaction. Our next 15-20 years are being auctioned, and the only part we will play in that is as victims.

It is difficult trying to control violence on everyone, specially when there is not a true leader (they don't want to be beheaded).

During the next three weeks, many decisions that had been delayed will have to take place; this is only beginning....

And many, many more will go out and shout.

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Rad on Sep 28th, 2012 at 10:01pm

Title: Re: Life - poem from Jose Hierro
Post by Figment on Oct 1st, 2012 at 5:36pm
I intended to explain myself all these points this weekend, but anyone can read the article and more or less would end up in the same place.
An important detail, though, is that I disagree with this sentence:
"But many Catalans blame the debt on what they call “fiscal looting,” a reference to the disproportionate amount of taxes they pay to the state, compared with other regions".
This is a mantra that parties and politicians who claim independence have repeated again and again - and then, again – that sometimes you forget to remember that it is just another lie. Perhaps people in Madrid and Catalonia pay a bit more taxes than other regions, but it is neither disproportionate, nor really unfair. Perhaps Catalonia suffers more private highways, but that’s also a way of getting more income on travelers on their way to France, or entering Spain.
But this is not what they complain about.  It is all about the big money companies have to dish out for having their national headquarters there, where they pay taxes. That money doesn't really belong to the city or province that collects it - it goes to the whole of the state for its use.  For instance, for each Euro the government spends on Madrid, 5 euros have been collected there. Of course there are local taxes, but they’re a minor bite. Should all that money stay in Madrid? Nope. But politicians in Catalonia think they should get the whole of what is collected there. If all the money given by countries to the European Community was collected in Brussels…..should Belgians keep it for them? It’s ridiculous.
So, the Catalonian politicians are claiming all that wealth. They are telling people…”See how these lazy people from Andalucia steal our taxes” (these are nearly the exact words stated at a meeting). And during deep crisis, people are desperate enough to believe anything (they want to believe).
Instead, they should blame their governors. I think I mentioned in this thread before, that Catalonia (like for instance, Andalucía or Valencia) used money (money that must be paid back now) creating unnecessary jobs, just for the sake of handing out work to people related to their own governing party. You can understand that sooner or later this power can be used to pay back political favors (to other parties who can support voting in Parliament, for instance), or building unnecessary roads, cities, theme parks, airports......the list is endless. This is not much different from what other regions have been doing. Andalucía focused on paying thousands of nonexistent eventual jobs to laborers with difficulties finding work, so they had a chance to live the rest of the year on unemployment benefit…..until their next –nonexistent – job. No wonder people vote for parties who do such things.
The difference is that in Catalonia there is a complex web of interests, all tainted by regional colours, a flag that is waived at any time of inconvenience to disguise the real problem. Meanwhile, the bill soars up. Perhaps if they were reminded who will have to pay most of it back….. but pointing out obvious things like that  is considered anti patriotic.

It will end up like the milkmaid and her pail.

To be continued……

Radified Community Forums » Powered by YaBB 2.4!
YaBB © 2000-2009. All Rights Reserved.