Sunday, April 3, 2011

Weekly Bilingual News

Dear Friends:

Hello! Welcome to the first online communication from the Spanish English Club in April 2011. The new issue of the Weekly Bilingual News introduces the news of the last few days in the perspective of our comments posted in blogs of important online publications. The bilingual Vocabulary included in this issue will help you in your conversation in Spanish and English.

RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM – WSJ - Journal Community Question: "What should we learn from, and how should we respond to, religious extremism such as the March 20 Florida Quran-burning and the resulting killings in the Islamic world?" (April 4, 2011). "In Afghanistan on Friday, people incensed by the recent Quran-burning ceremony by the Rev. Terry Jones over ran the United Nations office in the northern Afghanistan's largest city, killing at least seven foreigners and several Afghans, according to U.N. and Afghan officials."
Our Answer: "We cannot change the attitude of political or religious leaders with extremist ideas, but we can try to diminish the effects of their actions with an educative message about why we have to respect other religions and cultures. Always the violence creates more violence. The History shows us that the political and religious extremisms generate violence. Definitively, we have to isolate all kinds of extremism with a clear and resolute opposition." And about the Muslims: "We agree with you that frequently the Muslims are aggressive against the beliefs of others. We felt the violence in our skin, traveling through Muslims countries, but we learned we cannot generate more violence and this is the only way to stop the sickness of the extremism. It is similar to stopping the attack from a "dog" without a bite. The extremists act like "dogs" that never learned to respect the freedoms of others. Of course, it is a hard process for the reeducation of people that enjoy the violence because they are also victims of the violence."

2012 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN – An article of The Washington Post written by the journalist Dan Balz and titled: "2012 GOP presidential candidates confront a changing landscape" (April 3, 2011) says: "This is not an easy time for Republicans who are thinking of running for president in 2012. Whatever assumptions about the road ahead that may have existed a few months ago suddenly look more complicated, because of unfolding events here and abroad.
Our Comment: "Today, the landscape is more complex than before the midterm elections because now the Republicans are sharing some responsibilities with the White House in domestic and international issues, till now without clear definitions about the new budget. Additionally, military forces of the United States are involved in Libya, a volcano in total eruption."

TYRANNIES FALLING – Wall Street Journal story written by Bari Weiss and titled: "Opinion: 'The Tyrannies Are Doomed" (April 2 2011) comments that the scholar of the Middle East Bernard Lewis is optimist for the political changes in the Arab and Muslim countries, but "he says the U.S. should not push for quick, Western-style elections."
Our Comment: "We agree with Bernard Lewis that it is positive the Arab and Muslim countries are seeking democratic changes. But we cannot push countries ruled by tyrannies for decades into bloody revolutions. These countries have to learn the ABC's of freedom and democracy gradually. They have to develop their own political movements and develop political leaders with the capacity to create new democracies according to their own cultures and traditions. It is not possible that these new leaders become masters in politics in a short time when during years they have only seen the bars of the jail and the boots of their wardens."

EMPLOYMENT RECOVERY – WSJ Journal Community question: "How would you describe the recovery? Economists thought the jobless rate would unchanged at 8.9%, but March hiring was stronger than expected. Where are we in the recovery? Are recent gains sustainable?" (April 1 2011).
Our Answer: "Till now, the recovery is a slow and painful walk over through a path with a lot of obstacles, taking weak steps in the middle of a dense fog."

GOOGLE IN CHINA – Wall Street Journal story: "Google Losing Ground in China" (March 31, 2011) comments the businesses of Google are declined in China.
Our Comment: "I never discussed whether Google committed mistakes in its relationship with the Chinese regime, but the Free World knows the practices of China are not uniform. The Chinese authorities use the foreign resources as the owners of those resources, but they don't balance the rules about internal and external competition with the same eye. The Communist Party continues pointing its preferences in an excessive way in a country that wants to share the same seats of the countries of the Free World."

LIBYAN DEFECTOR – Wall Street Journal story: "Foreign Minister Resigns His Post, in Blow to Regime" (March 29, 2011) comments the Libyan Foreign Minister Mr. Koussa resigned and flew to London.
Our Comment: "It is positive that members of the Libyan regime leave Col. Moammar Gadhafi's government, but till now it is early to applaud. We have to observe the movements on Tripoli and other Libyan territory without cheering. We know the Libyan dictator is a clever fox always with new tricks in his hands… We have our doubts Mr. Koussa left Col. Gadhafi because he changed his mind about his boss. Probably there is other business behind the scenes that we don't know."

The main indexes of Wall Street closed the week in the positive territory. Dow Jones Industrial Average went up 156.13 points or 1.28% to 12376.72. Nasdaq Composite grew 46.54 points or 1.70% in the same period, to end at 2789.60. This was the second week that both indexes climbed after negative results.

In summary, during the last few days, the air strikes of the ally forces against Libyan targets were at the top of the headlines of newspapers and TV. President Obama defended the US intervention with other countries of NATO. Meanwhile, the radiations of the Japanese nuclear plant continued at the side of the news showing the fears of the world for the direct and indirect effects of this problem.

On Friday April 1, the US Labor Department published the Job Report of March showing some improvement in the employment side during the previous month. The non-farm payrolls rose by 216,000, but till now there are about 13.5 million people who would like to work, but without success in their job searching. In the United States, the economy continued to add jobs at a continued pace in March, moving down the unemployment rate to its lowest level in two years, and edged down to 8.8% last month.

Despite the good news about jobs and the economy recovery, analysts and other observers continued remarking that a lot of people will never return to their previous jobs, because the economic conditions are changing and some businesses are dead or declining. Additionally, a TV panel from PBS commented about the difficulties of the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to find positions in the civilian world. Everybody remarks the merit of US soldiers fighting abroad but the companies don't open the doors to the veterans that are returning to the country.

Sunday night some rumors from the press commented in advance that President Obama is launching his re-election campaign for the 2012 elections. On the same night, the German liberal politician Guido Westerwelle announced he is resigning as Vice Chancellor of Germany and the chairman of the Free Democratic Party of Germany (FDP), victim of the disaster his party suffered in the regional elections of the previous weekend when the Green Party shook the political apparatus of the European country as consequence of the radiations of the Japanese nuclear plant damaged during the last tsunami in the Asian region.

Last-minute: President Barack Obama launched his re-election campaign elections in a video on his website. Days before, the political journalist Gwen Ifill in the web pages of PBS posted an article titled: "Iowa, I Hear You Calling" writing:"AMES, Iowa.  I have this little theory that has long served me well. Everything, I believe, is politics. Politics determines whether your children go to school or to jail; whether they eat or starve; whether their futures will improve on your past. This is why I love politics and don't mind politicians. So it is with no small amount of anticipation that I look forward to the 2012 campaign." Our Comment: Gwen, Why do you point to Iowa, thinking about the 2012 campaign? From now to voting time, we will live through a lot of facts in the domestic and international arenas. And depending on all these new issues, the politicians will have to fight hard in many different battle fields. You cannot accelerate the time…You cannot define today when and where the future will take place. "

Best regards,


Domingo A. Trassens
Spanish-English Club
Electronic mail:

Questions - Preguntas:

1) From your point of view, what was the worst news for the week?
1) Desde vuestro punto de vista, ¿cuál fue la peor noticia de la semana?

2) And what was the best news from the week?
2) ¿Y cuál fue la mejor noticia de la semana?

Vocabulary - Vocabulario:

- abroad = en el extranjero, al extranjero
- Afghanistan, Afghan = Afganistan, afgano, afgana
- ally, allies = aliado, aliados
- airstrikes, air strikes = bombardeo aéreo
- assumption = presunción, suposición
- bars = rejas
- belief = fe, creencia
- bite = mordedura, morder
- bloody = sangriento, sangrienta, sangrientos, sangrientas
- budget = presupuesto
- confront = hacer frente a, enfrentarse con
- defector = desertor, desertora
- diminish = disminuir - extremism = extremismo
- eruption = erupción
- gradually = paulatinamente
- incensed = indignada, encolerizada
- Islam = Islam - isolate = aislar 
- jail = cárcel 
- landscape = paisaje
- Libya, Libyan = Libia, libio, libia
- Muslim = musulmán, musulmana
- opposition = oposición
- Quran = Corán
- revolution = revolución
- scholar = erudito/a, sabio/a
- starve = pasar hambre
- tyranny, tyrannies = tiranía, tiranías
- volcano = volcán
- warden = guardia, guardián, guardiana


- GOP: Grand Old Party (Republican)
- Islam: monotheistic religion that believes in Allah (Alá) and begins with the teaching of the profet Muhammad (profeta Mahoma).
- Quran (Qur'an, Kuran, Koran, Coran): religious book of the Islam


Thanks to Anne, Bob, Carl, Erika, Steven, and Suzanne for your messages about the previous Weekly Bilingual News.

Dead businesses - Lost jobs

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