News from these here parts: Pepelu Carod-Rovira is now everybody's favorite TV show guest because of the probability that he will say something outrageous. He's already been on Monica Terribas's TV3 show, and he's supposed to appear on Buenafuente and Jordi Gonzalez later this week. My guess is that he'll make a lot more enemies than converts, and all those enemies will be fired up to vote for the PP. All Rajoy has to do is say, "A vote for Zap is a vote for Pepelu," which is true, since the Socialists have been allied with Pepelu's party both in the Catalan regional and Barcelona municipal governments.
The cops busted an alleged Islamist North African pro-terrorist cell in Burgos, of all places, making six arrests. They were recruiting jihadi volunteers, raising money for the terrorist cause, and spreading pro-terrorist propaganda, and they'll be charged with conspiracy and belonging to a terrorist gang as well. The story I want to see is Iraqi Baath Party spokesman and agent "Abu Mohamed" behind bars, as well as his Spanish contacts who helped him raise money to kill his fellow Iraqis.
Scandal on a Barcelona commuter train: A Catalan skinhead (his name is Sergi Xavier Martin, not Sergio Javier, as Pepelu would say) was caught on a security camera harassing a young Ecuadorian girl, using racist slurs and grabbing her breasts. Then he hauled off and karate-kicked her right in the face, and followed it up with a few punches. There were other people in the train car, but no one did anything, and the skinhead just got off the train at the next stop. The girl was so afraid she didn't even report it to the police.
Shocking racism and violence. What a piece of shit. If you want to fight, pick on someone your own size. Typical skinhead courage. I hate those assholes.
This story is being played up big in the European media as an example of Spanish racism, and Al Jazira is playing it up; I don't think Spain's more racist than anywhere else in Europe. Wherever you go, there are a few assholes; this appalling scene is neither common nor typical around here.
So get this. Mr. Asswipe Skinhead had an arrest record for, get this, armed robbery, but he was walking around free and clear. When the cops busted him for attacking the girl, he was arraigned, and they TURNED HIM LOOSE on bail. There was a public outcry, and now they say they're going to arrest him again and jail him without bail sometime later this week.
The US criminal justice system is sometimes harsh, but I guarantee you this would not have happened in the US, because Mr. Piece of Shit Skinhead would have been serving five to ten for the armed mugging he committed, and he would be looking at five to ten more for this assault and battery charge, aggravated by the violation of the hate crime law. We'll see how much time he actually does.
Also, on the subway in, say, Chicago, you never know who might have a gun, so it's smart not to go around kicking people in the face. Never knowing who might have a gun has its negative side, of course, but an armed society tends to be a polite society.
The Al Gore Traveling Patent Medicine Show was back in town this week, as Reverend Al flew into town on his private jet and picked up another €200,000 for giving his stump speech. Supposedly the two hundred grand goes to Al's foundation, which I think is a synonym for his campaign fund. I don't think he's running for 2008, though, because he'd be on the trail in New Hampshire and Iowa right now if he were. Unless he's planning on a "Draft Al" movement at the convention.
It's Day 3 of Operation Traffic Disaster in Barcelona, with the commuter trains still down and huge traffic jams on the highways leading into the city. The Socialist Generalitat is blaming the Socialist central government, and the central government is blaming the allegedly pro-PP contractors, while the Cataloonies as usual blame some kind of sinister Madrid conspiracy to keep Catalonia down.