Monday, May 21, 2007

Well, they did something about street crime against tourists this morning, busting 18 members of a pickpocket ring made up mostly of Bosnian women. They're looking for 17 more. These folks are guilty of more than 1000 thefts in the metro and on the buses. The authorities say that metro security cameras have given them enough evidence to bust these people for belonging to an illegal organization, which they get prison time for, instead of for theft, which they get nothing for.

I don't know. I'm a bit suspicious at the timing, frankly. Why round them up right now? These people have been in the news before; we reported on them working the tourist bus route a while back. Some of them have been arrested dozens of times. Why do we only have enough proof to charge them under the Spanish RICO law now, right before the election? We had that proof months ago, or would have if the cops hadn't been scratching their asses as they usually do when faced with penny-ante street crime. Yeah, I know it's conspiracy-theory wackiness, but this smells a bit funny to me.

Other news: A dirtbag named Alejandro Martínez was convicted of five rapes, nine sexual assaults, and four counts of assault and battery in Barcelona about twenty years ago. He was sentenced to 65 years in prison; his "mental disturbance" counted as a mitigating circumstance, getting him a discount. Well, after 16 years in prison, Martínez is to be released. He has not participated in any rehabilitation program, and he has never received a prison furlough as prison officers considered him too dangerous. This guy is the perfect candidate for life imprisonment without parole ever. And he'll be back on the streets of Barcelona, where he will most assuredly rape somebody else.

Law courts are supposed to protect law-abiding citizens from scum like this guy. If he's back on the streets, the system's not doing its job. This guy is especially hateful because he victimizes the weakest among us for his own pleasure. I'm not afraid of him personally, but I am afraid for the women of Barcelona, whom he can overpower just like he used to.

So the Lebanese army is at this moment bombing the hell out of a Palestinian "refugee camp" that is an Al Qaeda stronghold. Somehow I doubt they have the precision techniques and equipment that the Americans and Israelis have. There are fifty dead already and more to come. Where's the moral indignation we'd see if America or Israel were doing this?

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