Batasuna leader Arnaldo Otegi was imprisoned at 1 PM today; the Supreme Court made his 15-month suspended sentence effective and he will have to serve it. Good. Zap is finally showing a little backbone. Now he has to ban the ANV, Batasuna's front party, in order to meet the PP's conditions for their support. Rajoy is not going to demand any firings; he said he didn't want to humiliate anyone, and declared that the PP would "shoulder its burden" against ETA as long as "there is no return to the path of negotiations."
Said Rajoy, "I will tell Zapatero that I will support anyone, no matter whether he has done things well or badly in the past, if he wants to defeat ETA." Good. Rajoy is going to be responsible and cooperate in order to reach everyone's goal. I think the PSOE is on board now and ETA will be crushed very soon. Unfortunately, it should have been crushed at least two years ago, and it wasn't thanks to Zap's acceptance of the alleged truce. Now some more people are going to be killed in ETA's last stand.
De Juana Chaos has already gone back on hunger strike and Judge Castro of the National Court ordered that he be force-fed if necessary. I wouldn't bother force-feeding him, I'd just let the son-of-a-bitch die. He wouldn't be missed. José Bono called him "an excrement of the human species," which is a pretty good one.
Nicolas Sarkozy is off to a good start: He's proposing an €11 billion tax cut, including the elimination of estate taxes for spouses and an €150,000 exemption for children, the elimination of taxes and "contributions" on overtime wages, a direct tax (income, property, capital gains) maximum limit of 50% of total income, an income tax exemption for students who earn less than three times minimum wage, and an income tax deduction on mortgage interest payments for the first five years. Sounds pretty good to me, since we all know that as much of national income as possible should stay in private hands. Viva Adam Smith.
Coincidentally, France is to hold national parliamentary elections next week; the first round is June 10 and the runoff is June 17. Sarkozy's UMP will roll.
A bunch of squatter hippie anarchists tried to disrupt the G-8 meeting. Fortunately, they didn't get within five miles of Bush and Merkel and Sarko. Way to go, cops! Beat 'em, thump 'em, let's go, Cops! I thought it was cool when the police launch ran over the Greenpeace boat.
By the way, here's the video of the Mossos roughing up the Russian girl.
Chemical Lali Solé claims today in La Vanguardia that the arms manufacturing sector is "the pivot" of America's GDP. America's GDP in 2006 was $13.2 trillion, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Total American exports, including arms, and also food, machinery, technology, entertainment, raw materials, manufactured goods, and so on, added up to $1.4 trillion, while the domestic service sector alone accounted for $5.5 trillion.
The hippies at Common Dreams say that US arms exports totaled $9.7 billion in 2001, and that future contracts worth $12 billion were signed that year. $9.7 billion in arms is a very small percentage of $1.4 trillion. Gee whiz, looks to me like the "pivot" of the US economy is services, and arms exports are insignificant.
Meanwhile, in 2006, total US defense spending was $621 billion. That means total US defense spending is a little more than 2% of GDP. And Wikipedia says that a maximum of $1 trillion is spent on arms in the entire world per year.
You'd be surprised how easy it is to find neat statistics like these if you google "united states gdp", which Lali doesn't seem to have thought of doing.