Friday, August 22, 2003

There really hasn't been too much news of note around here lately. A Spanish military officer was killed in the Baghdad UN bombing. RIP and condolences to his family; his daughter was quoted on TV as saying something like "He was an officer, he loved his job, he died doing what he spent his life training to do." The left-wing parties and press have not been nearly so mature and respectful and they're going on about how this is the first death in the quagmire of Iraq and the like.

The heat wave's broken and the temperatures are now normal for summer--just in time for the fall flash floods. Autumn is the rainy season around here. Millions of people in Spain live along the Mediterranean coast. Geographically, you've got the beach, a couple of kilometers of flat land where the towns are built, and then fairly sharp and steep hills. The ground gets baked hard and then suddenly there's a heavy rain. The rainwater just rushes straight to the sea and carries away everything in its path. Each town has designed its hill drainage so all the rain from all the hills flows into one large torrent or waterspout or whatever they're called. The torrent is dry 360 days out of the year and it's just this big empty ditch running through town. People do things like park their cars there. Then, whaddya know, it's September and here comes a big-ass storm as usual and several people get drowned doing something dumb.

Spain's really a safe country as far as murders go. Basically all you get are domestic killings, a terrible thing, but it's what happens when you combine an asshole with alcohol everywhere. I don't think there are more domestic killings in Spain than anywhere else, but they get a lot of media attention because they're usually the only good murders the press can write about. Every now and then some Romanian or Albanian organized crime dude gets ventilated full of holes. And then there are the sex pervert killings, which get tons and tons of media attention. It's usually a teenage girl who gets raped and murdered, often horrifically. These are rare but they really shock society. 59% of Spaniards agree with me that we ought to hang the bastards. Probably not too many would go along with my proposal to bring back public executions, though.

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