Tuesday, June 05, 2007

ETA announced this morning that their so-called truce is over as of midnight tonight, saying that they would "resume activities on all fronts." I guess they mean they're going to kill more people. I had also figured when they blew up the parking garage at Barajas, killing two, that the truce was over then, but ETA must want to make it official. El País reported yeaterday that ETA has an attack plan all ready to go; the TV3 news last night said that ETA had sent another round of extortion letters to Basque businessmen. La Vanguardia says today that both Spanish and French intelligence have warned of a large increase in ETA activity recently.

During ETA's alleged truce, which they announced in March 2006, street terrorism, weapons robberies, extortion, preparation of explosives, and recruitment and training all continued, not to mention the Barajas bombing. Yet the Zap goverment continued negotiations with them. The only negotiations these guys should be allowed into are the ones they make with the prosecutors to get a few years off their sentences if they spill everything. I cannot believe there are still enough idiot people out there who think you can negotiate with other people who are trying to kill you.

ETA claimed that the votes obtained by its front party, the ANV, were support for its claim that the Basque people support them. More stupidity from Zap, who did not use the prosecutors' office to completely close down the ANV as he could have done under the Political Parties Act. It's time for him to do that right now.

Zap's reaction has been to call for all political parties to support him and the government against this "new" ETA threat. Of course I support the rule of law, but it's kind of hard to back Zap now when his naivete has gotten us this far into this mess. If I were the PP I'd demand that Zap fire every single one of his pro-negotiations advisors as proof he has had a real change of heart. All the leaders of the Basque Socialist Party, who have met with ETA secretly during the last three years, need to resign as well.

Meanwhile, hunger-striking mass murderer Iñaki de Juana Chaos is walking around free, leaving his house and going for walks although he is supposedly under house arrest. He is refusing to wear an ankle bracelet to monitor his movements because, he says, he "is not a dog." No, he's much lower than any dog that has ever lived, since dogs don't commit premeditated murder, especially not 25 times. The collar he ought to be wearing is called a noose.

Shakeup in the Madrid Socialist Party after its disastrous losses in both the municipal and regional elections. Mayoral candidate Sebastián, who won a city council seat as first on the Socialist list, resigned and retired from politics, and Zap fired regional candidate Simancas as local party boss. The PSOE was also crushed in Valencia and Murcia, and their regional bosses are refusing to take the blame and resign their positions.

Putin is bluffing. He's holding a weak hand, and if he plays his ace, an energy cutoff to Europe, it's going to hurt Russia much worse than anyone else.

La Vanguardia's Beirut correspondent Tomás Alcoverro, the only Spanish journalist that I am convinced is on the take, says on the 40th anniversary of the Six Days War:
"The State of Israel has consolidated itself at the price of war, destruction, violence, frustration, and the impoverishment of its neighboring peoples, the Palestinian, the Lebanese, and the Iraqi." That is of course from the news pages, not analysis or opinion.

La Vangua also takes advantage of Larry Flynt's offer to pay $1 million to anyone who had sex with a congressman in order to run a nice juicy rehash of all American sex scandals of the last forty years. The story mentions the "hypocrisy of those who stand up as custodians of family values and are so militant against homosexuality and abortion." I could come back with the old line, "Hypocrisy is the price that vice pays to virtue," but I'd rather point out that only about ten or fifteen prominent conservatives have ever been outed as hypocrites, and several of them were clownish TV preachers, not serious elected officials. What about all the rest of those who support family values and oppose legal abortion and gay marriage (virtually nobody is "against homosexuality" in itself anymore)? I can name dozens of them whose names are completely untainted by scandal.

By the way, the Democrats' hypocrisy about money (Edwards and Gore and Hillary Clinton, especially, the first a robber-baron ambulance-chaser, the second the oldest of old money, and the third a snooty upper-middle-class private-school Chicago WASP, but they're all just plain folks) is a good bit more distasteful to me than any sex scandal the Republicans have ever been mixed up in. As far as I can tell, the only prominent non-hypocritical Democrat is Dennis Kucinich, who fortunately for the world has no chance in hell of ever getting elected.

There's an interview in Sunday's Vangua with Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio, a traditional anti-American conservative Spaniard. Quotes: "Bush feels completely just as he has a God and believes that because he has this divine mandate any barbarity is permitted." Ridiculous. Bush DOES NOT believe that he has a divine mandate. That's just plain silly. He's a Methodist, not a Shiite.

"Censorship comes from the United States...Someone told me that he was in San Diego, and that the same thing does not happen to Noam Chomsky that happens to students....those who have recorded his speeches listen to them in a locked room. Because the pressure does not come from the government, but from the public, from the other students." What? That makes no sense at all. Any student in San Diego who went around quoting Chomsky would become a campus hero.

"There is a bomber, the Spirit, that can leave the US, bomb Iraq, and return without refueling or landing. What justice is that? The bomber is a terrorist instrument." What pathetic moral equivalence.

Supposedly the Barça wants to buy a club in the US soccer league in order "to increase the number of fans in that country." Hey, the Barça's great and all, but I don't think it has more than about eleven fans in the States, just like I don't think the New York Yankees or the Chicago Bears have more than about eleven fans in Spain.

Barcelona lies between two stinking ditches, the Besós and Llobregat "rivers." La Vangua's Eugenio Madueño called them "threads of liquid shit." They cleaned up one of the ditches, the Besós, and fish will supposedly be able to live in it soon. Took them eight years. Now they're going to try to clean up the Llobregat, which will probably take eighteen. They have €12 million for the job so far, which is not quite what it's going to cost.

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