Friday, January 26, 2007

I was wrong to give credit yesterday to the Zap government; they actually did want the Audiencia Nacional to grant house arrest to ETA terrorist De Juana Chaos. They blamed the 12-4 vote by the judges on "pressure from the PP." The Basque regional government, headed by the PNV, called the decision "a mistake." Meanwhile, the cops busted an ETA terrorist on the train between the French border and Barcelona. The guy was carrying instructions for manufacturing bombs and stealing cars and six fake IDs, among other things. He's got a record for terrorist attacks, rioting, and concealing weapons.

The two major public opinion stinks going around are 1) the way dishonest renters are taking advantage of the Spanish law requiring a judicial order for an eviction, causing landlords not to want to rent out their apartments and 2) the panic in the middle-class Barcelona suburbs (urbanizaciones) over the perceived rising crime rate. Yesterday a homeowner in Sudanell, Lleida province, faced with a home invasion, shot one man dead and wounded another inside his house. The cops busted a third robber, and a fourth got away. La Vangua reports on its front page that suburban residents are starting up their own neighborhood patrols.

Weirdness: A Colombian woman named Darling Vélez applied for Spanish citizenship. They told her that the first name "Darling" was unacceptable; seems that Spanish law prohibits "ridiculous" first names, and first names that do not clearly indicate the sex of their bearer. Ms. Vélez will have to change her first name or be denied citizenship. That's absurd. Who the hell is some bureaucrat to judge that the name "Darling" is ridiculous? And I know an American woman named Joan. What, will she be forbidden Spanish citizenship because "Joan" is a male name in Catalonia? Or an American woman named "Harriet," which is a male name in Basque? And what about a Chinese person named, say, Ziaoshang? How are we going to detect the sex of that one? How about if the government stays out of what people decide to name their kids?

It's cold. There's snow all over Spain. Spanish drivers do not know how to drive in snow, which is understandable since it does not snow much here. Therefore, the highways are snarled up all over the country.

Manuel Trallero, who has pissed me off in the past, comments in La Vangua that Communist-Green pro-squatter anti-system third assistant mayor Imma Mayol goes to the same private eye doctor that he does, rather than using the public health system like my mother-in-law.

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