Monday, October 18, 2004

We sure are getting lots of coverage of the US elections around here. Sebi Val from the Vanguardia says, as part of his news article, "The electoral campaign, in its homestretch, has gone back to the path of the purest propaganda, with both sides appealing to the citizens' fear of terrorism and to the anxieties and emotions generated by the Iraq war". Gee, that seems a little excessive to me, and I was there just a week ago. Sebi thinks this is the most deeply emotional campaign since 1964 when "they"--that is, Johnson's campaign--appealed directly to the fear of nuclear holocaust. Oh, come on, name one Democrat campaign between 1972 and 1988 that didn't appeal directly to the fear of nuclear holocaust.

The Vanguardia's editorial says, "Analysts agree that whatever happens on November 2, things will not be the same as before: President Bush, if he is reelected, will have to change his unilateralist policies." Oh, he will, will he? Says who? And besides, what unilateralist policies? I thought pretty much everybody was on our side except for a few Third World dictatorships, France, Germany, and the European Left.

Duran Lérida has been reconfirmed leader of Union, half of the Convergence and Union conservative Catalanist coalition. Union is the Christian Democrat wing and Convergence is the centrist wing, to simplify. Union´s come out hardcore against gay marriage, gays' rights to adopt children, and in favor of state money to Catholic schools. In response to Pasqual Maragall's blathering on about how now here in Catalonia there are seven million of us, Duran said, "Here at Union we want there to be seven million of us too, but not only through immigration, but because the regional government maintains a policy in favor of the family that allows Catalan families to have children when they want."

The European Union currently has a fairly strong position against the Castro dictatorship that is largely the fruit of the labors of the old Aznar government. The new Socialist government is trying to change this; they want an EU policy that favors the Castro régime more. So, get this. A PP member of Parliament, Jorge Moragas, was deported upon arrival by the Castro government because he was going to meet with Cuban dissidents. Foreign Minister Moratinos officially deplored such treatment of a Spanish MP, but Rafael Estrella, a PSOE backbencher, accused Moragas and the PP of trying to torpedo the Socialist government's moves to improve relations with Castro. Communist leader Gaspar Llamazares couldn't resist demanding that the Socialist government "maintain its commitment to reestablish dialogue with Cuba and the Cuban people, which has always existed, except when Aznar interrupted it."

Barcelona beat Espanyol 0-1, goal by Deco. Madrid tied Betis 1-1 and Valencia lost to Sevilla 1-2, leaving Barcelona at 6-1-0 and 19 points, well above second-place Seville and Valencia with 14 each and Real Madrid in eleventh place with 10. Next week Barcelona plays Osasuna at home, a game they ought to win, and Madrid plays Valencia at home, so whatever the result is one Barcelona rival will be hurt. Several Barcelona players are injured, including Giuly, Sylvinho, Edmilson, Gerard, and Gabri, leaving Rijkaard with only 14 first-team players and guys off the youth squad. I dunno--it still looks like a pretty good team to me.

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