February 11, 2000

The Public Forum

El Foro Publico

(This is your forum to air your opinions, Just try to keep to 1 page double space, typed or hand printed. If you're a Net-user send your letters to Laprensa@ix.netcom.com. In all cases your name is required, phone number, address.)


Treatment of Iraq Violates International Law

The ongoing blockade of food and supplies from Iraqi civilians puts the U.S. Government and its UN allies on a moral level that is on par with Nazi Germany. The blockade is indiscriminate and unfocused….It targets the weakest elements of Iraq society; women, infants, elderly and the handicapped. It does nothing to remove Saddam Hussein from power. The treatment of Iraqi is a violation of the most Basic international law, the Geneva Convention, the UN Charter, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The conditions in Iraq can be compared to a giant concentration camp, million and a half persons have already died. Millions are on the brink of starvation. There is little medicine, water is contaminated, 960,000 children under the age of 5 suffer extreme malnutrition. Cholera, dysentery, diarrhea, run rampant through our communities.

The situation is intolerable in Iraq.

Michael Wolff
San Diego


(If you are in touch with interested groups that are involved in attempting humanitarian aid. Send another note and note where they can be reached by interested groups.)

Are Mexican Poets Borrowing from Michelangelo?

I enjoy reading La Prensa San Diego especially the sections in Spanish because me gusta la langua!

I once heard Carlos Fuentes lecturing at UCSD. He said "the Mexicans have a saying which he translated as `(Mexico is) so near to the United States and so far from God.' "

Recently I was preparing some Italian poems written by Michelangelo. One of his poems, written in old age, reads " THAT HE FELT SO NEAR TO DEATH AND SO FAR FROM GOD" (" Sí presso a morte e sí lontan da Dio" ( from The poetry of Michelangelo By J.M. Saslow, Yale University Press,1991, p.162).

While sharing this with our poetry club …I ventilated the hypothesis that the Mexican saying in Spanish is too close to that of Michelangelo to be original and that it's a deliberate borrowing from Michel-angelo with one word change.

I searched for the source of this Mexican saying in the internet and I asked the reference librarians in our local institutes of higher learning plus a couple of professors of Spanish literature but all to no avail.

Would you help by printing this letter of despair in La Prensa? One of your readers may know . We would be most grateful.

Joseph A. Grispino
Lake San Marcos, CA


(Ok Poets send your reply to El Foro! Señor Grispino there is an old Sociological adage that states "Nothing is made of whole cloth" or in Americanese: "There is nothing new under the sun"!….You could be right)

What was La Prensa's Stand on Prop 227 in 1998?

We are conducting a research project that is examining the patterns of support/opposition to Proposition 227 passed on June 2, 1998 which banned bilingual education and mandated all limited-English speakers to enroll in English immersion classes.

We would appreciate your brief response to the questions below.

1) Did your publication take a definitive stand on Proposition 227?

Ans.: yes we took a very strong stance in opposition.

2) What was your position?

Ans.: Strongly opposed to Prop 227!

3) What is your Circulation?

Ans. 30,000 print run/ 150,000 daily hits on world wide web site.

4) Who is your primary audience?

Ans. Mexican American-Latino (primary) Anglo-Euro American on the Web.

Thank you very much for your time.

Dr. John G. Richardson
Laura Cheifetz
Department of Sociology
Western University Washington University


(For those who have forgotten Prop 227 was the infamous Unz Initiative of 1998.)

Where is an Authentic Relic of the U.S.S. San Juan Capistrano?

My name is Flippo de Marchis. I am a lawyer at the Court of Spoleto in Umbria, Italy. I dedicate my spare time to historical research concerning Giovanni di Capestrano, (born 24 June, 1386-died 23rd October 1456 in Hungry.

…The reason for this letter is that during World War II, the American Navy built four auxiliary cruisers one was named "The San Juan Capistrano Mission". I have been able to find a plastic model made by Revell. But, my greatest desire would be to acquire an authentic relics of the ship; photographs, compass, life belt or any other artifact that has the name of the ship.

I would like any thing connected with the San Juan Mission (photos, guide books, postcards etc.) which is mentioned in "Two Years before the Mast" by R.H. Dana.

My hope is that some museum, private individuals may be in possession of objects that record the name of the ship and the Italian Saint, who was named the "Apostle of Europe and the Universal Patron of the Catholic Military Chaplains.

Thank you for any assistance which you may be able to offer.

Avv. Flippo de Marchis
Via M. Quadrio 3-06049 Spoleto

(How about it History or Naval buffs…Can you help this reader of La Prensa? If you wish to talk to him call him at 0743/49991 Spoleto Italia.)

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