Saturday, June 07, 2008

I've been occupied during the last few days setting up, which is starting to look really good, I think. Our volunteer editor, "Liffey," is doing a great job fixing our mistakes and cleaning up our prose. We have plenty of content, and we're still learning all we can do with WordPress. Next step: Get some publicity.

My poor little dog, Perla, has had a terrible month. On May Day she ran out into traffic on Calle Providencia and got hit by a van. I thought she was dead for sure, but the van driver slammed on the brakes--it wasn't his fault--and didn't run over her, just hit her pretty hard. She spent two days at the vet's; fortunately, it was mostly just a scare. We learned something from this, though: Perla absolutely needs to be leashed whenever she's anywhere near a car.

Then yesterday we took her in for an operation we'd scheduled months ago: dogs have little scent glands on each side of their butt, and Perla's are constantly getting infected, with unpleasant consequences. So we had the vet extirpate them. Now Perla is wearing one of those plastic funnel things around her neck so she can't lick her bottom, and she does not like this at all.

She has to go back to the vet in ten days to have the stitches out. Let's hope that's the last time she has to go there until her vaccinations next year.

News from these here parts: ERC is holding a primary election among its 10,000 members; they've got four candidates to choose from, including the crook Joan Puigcercos, all of whom I hope lose. The entire Spanish press is orgasmic for Obama. Spending our tax money wisely: the Zap government is beginning an ad campaign in the world financial press explaining what a great job it is doing with the economy. They're going to kick it off with a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal. God knows what that'll cost. PSOE hypocrisy: The Aznar government hired a Washington PR firm to lobby for Spain in Washington for €2 million, and the Socialists raised hell about it. Now the situation's reversed.

Barça bought Dani Alves from Sevilla for €29 million, and Martin Caceres from Villarreal for €16.5 million. That's pretty expensive for a pair of defensive players, though they are both very good and Caceres is very young as well. The Eurocup starts today with Switzerland facing the Czech Republic in what's sure to be a thrilling 0-0 defensive battle. Spain's got an easy group and should have no problem qualifying for the quarterfinals, where they will lose as usual.

Two dirtbag doormen of Spanish nationality refused to let three Moroccans into a disco in Fuenlabrada, a Madrid suburb. It got violent and the thugs stabbed one of the Moroccans to death. Of course, Spain's not racist or anything. And this morning five Spanish dirtbags were injured in downtown Madrid in a gang fight involving baseball bats and, get this, axes.

There's an unfortunate tendency to blame all crime in Spain on immigrants; immigrants commit a disproportionate amount of crimes, of course, but there are logical reasons for that. Immigrants are generally of low socioeconomic status in their home country--if they were middle-class and well-educated, they wouldn't have to emigrate. They're also in an unfamiliar and sometimes frightening situation, away from home, where they don't speak the language well and don't understand some of the things happening around them. And, along with the 98% of immigrants who are good citizens and valuable acquisitions for Spain, we also get 2% who are criminals in their home countries, on the run from justice there or looking for opportunities to prey on their own vulnerable compatriots here.

The truck drivers are going on strike beginning Monday in protest against the high price of gasoline. This actually isn't a strike, it's not workers against management, it's a bunch of small operators refusing to work, so it's really more of a lockout than a strike. I believe in the right to strike, but I'm a bit puzzled about why you'd strike against the price of raw materials. What do they want, for the government to magically increase the oil supply so that the price goes down? Probably what they want is more government subsidies for themselves, some tasty Treasury pap.

And you just know they're going to pull a bunch of crap, blocking the public highways with roadblocks of burning tires and facing off against the cops.

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