SPAIN: Separatists Occupy Polling Stations Ahead Of Banned Referendum On Catalonia Secession [VIDEO]

The Associated Press reports:

Police in Catalonia issued an ultimatum Saturday: the separatists, parents and children who are occupying schools to use them as polling stations for a disputed referendum on the region’s independence from Spain must leave by dawn. The police deadline of 6 a.m. Sunday is designed to prevent the vote from taking place, since the polls are supposed to open three hours later.

Spain’s Constitutional Court suspended the independence vote more than three weeks ago and the national government calls it illegal. Police have been ordered to stop ballots from being cast on Sunday and have been cracking down for days, confiscating ballots and posters.

Catalonia’s defiant regional government is pressing ahead despite the ban and the police crackdown, urging the region’s 5.3 million registered voters to make their voices heard. Spain’s foreign minister said Saturday the Catalan government’s plan is anti-democratic and runs “counter to the goals and ideals the European Union” is trying to advance.

  • JWC

    How much is Putin involved or is this an internal Spain question

    • Lazycrockett

      Very much so. Rachel did a report on this last week. Troll Bots are fanning both sides of the issue from their Russian internet farm.

      • Skeptical_Inquirer

        The world needs to come down harder on Russia for all this crap.

        • The left (not only Jill Stein’s Green’s, Glenn Greenwald and other crazies, some of Bernie’s left including denizens of this blog) are giving LGBT-killer Putin a “free ride” as much as the alt-right and Trump is. Take a look at this article. And they do not give a crap about what is happening to LGBT people in Russia — we are an annoyance at best. Better keep it shut as far as they are concerned. https://extranewsfeed.com/the-reason-republicans-and-the-bernie-left-dont-care-about-the-russia-story-5f7e422c7451

          • Agreed. Although I think a good number of those “Bernie Bros” online then and now were Russians and not Americans (Bernie supporters or otherwise). But I agree about Stein and Greenwald and several others. They are too blinded by their anti-western and anti-colonialist views to see what’s happening or the effects their actions are having.

          • pepón

            Funnily enough, the Spanish left (Podemos) is doing similarly: defending a supremacist, bourgeois coup in Catalonia; screaming against the “oppressive, undemocratic Spanish state” that is trying to stop an illegal coup; but defending Maduro’s regime in Venezuela, denying they have political prisoners.

            At the beginning I thought Podemos was a great idea, but I’m changing my mind very fast.

      • another_steve

        Absolutely. Fomenting discord among peoples and nations is Putin’s master strategy.

        Other nations collapse into civil strife and turmoil while Russia consolidates its holdings.

        Putin’s plan.

      • JWC

        Ya gotta love Rachel She has been on top of so much for quite awhile

        • I especially like that she gives so much credit to her staff. As hard as she works, there’s a whole team of people working just as hard finding all this information. It’s way more than one person could ever do alone.

          • JWC

            It takes a villiage

    • TimCA

      Reported that Russia is now aiding the separatists in their conducting of this illegal election. Also Russia is now hosting some secessionist domain sites showing polling locations after the central government ordered them shut down.

      https://politica.elpais.com/politica/2017/09/27/actualidad/1506539908_825347.html

    • Ellipse Kirk

      There has been an independence movement in the region since before Putin was a KGB intern.

      • JWC

        I know it has been festering for a long time Not that I am against change but with Putin out there its not really a great time to depart from the status quo or , I suppose , depending on your thoughts the best time

    • Trump made things much more explosive by speaking out against the referendum. The President of the USA should not be taking a postion here, not publically at least given the fact that this is an internal matter for the people of Spain and Catalonia. Putin is Machiavellian enough to know that Trump’s big obnoxious and vulgar mouth would add fuel to the fire and encourage people “on the fence” to vote yes on independence tomorrow. As I read it from my friends in Catalonia, many people who were inclined to vote “no” knowing that an independent Catalonia not guaranteed membership in the EU could be an economic disaster will vote “yes” anyway.

      • JWC

        Trump wants to run the US like a CEO It doesn’t work that way and Donny just doesn’t get it

      • MikeSEA

        No offence to your friends or anyone else, but what kind of mentality is that? Are people really deciding to vote yes because DJT decided to weigh in? I agree that he should have keep out the domestic affairs of other countries (and really, maybe our own too,) but this is beyond ridiculous.

        Even if the government of Spain did recognize independence, any EU application would be vetoed, if not by Spain then by France or another country with a similar domestic issue. Exactly what benefits will they gain that outweigh the financial pain that is inevitable? It’s hard to argue they are repressed. Catalonia is a prosperous, secure region as is. I don’t understand why they vote to put this at risk because of what a disrespected US president says.

        • Do Something Nice

          You know nothing of Catalan history. I’m not a supporter of Catalan separatism, but they’ve got sufficient grievances and they don’t give a fuck about Donald Trump. The UN has already chastised Spain’s tactics and the EU isn’t far behind.

          • MikeSEA

            I never claimed to know about Catalan history. In the comment I replied to, it was noted that some people are thinking about voting yes because Donald Trump weighed in. This seems childish.

            I’m at a bit of a loss to identify all of these grievances though. These are often alluded to but rarely itemized, other than we pay too much to the central government. If you can elaborate, please do.

            If you think the EU is getting involved or will even denounce Spanish tactics, you are dreaming. They have said it is a Spanish domestic matter, and the Catalonia will be outside the EU after succession. Doesn’t seem likely they are wading into this.

          • pepón

            You don’t know anything about Catalan history either.

            The UN has *NOT* chastised Spain’s tactics. That’s *fake news*. The opinion of two unpaid consultants, of the hundreds the UN has, does not the UN make.

          • Do Something Nice

            Thank you for the correction. I can’t believe that you made time to write this during your busy day of shooting at voters. Was it fun when you dragged that elderly woman from the voting station by her hair?

      • This is only good for them if they can stay in the EU. But Italy, France, and other countries with separatist movements are not going to allow Catalonia to join because next there will be an independent Basque country and an Independent Lombardy, etc.

    • barrixines

      Why leave the American right out of this? Wherever we’ve seen Putin trying to disrupt the democratic process in other countries, the US, (and the UK) have been up to their balls in it too.

      • JWC

        I guess its all in who gets caught Sounds disgustingly like politics

        • One can always build cases of equivalency in conflicts (the CIA and KGB for example in the Cold War employed comparable tactics), and history is always written by the victors. But I will be damned if I let you compare Putin’s Russia and the United States right now on the world stage. Certainly not when it comes to intefering in elections and certainly not when it comes to persecuting and murdering LGBT people. Putin is an evil tyrant. Don’t compare Russia and the West please.

          • barrixines

            Dear god…

          • JWC

            I hope I wasn’t?

          • I’m so sick of Whataboutism. Yes, the US did some shitting things in the past and we should excuse that, but one wrong doesn’t justify another, especially one completely unrelated.

      • All one has to do is a deep search of unbiased Wikileaks, the defender of impartial information, to come up with all the evidence that the USA and UK are bad guys — correct? (note — I am dripping with sarcasm if you cannot tell).

        • barrixines

          As if one has to look at Wikileaks to see that. Are you living in a cave at the moment? What is happening is not conveniently defined by loyalties to poltical borders. There are sections within both the US and UK quite happy to act in collusion with Putin when their specific aims overlap.

          • So tell me. Does Putin’s abysmal policy on LGBT people in Russia concern you in the least? Honest question on my part. Does this mean anything to you?

          • barrixines

            Absolutely. I am also concerned how the American religious right is one of the world’s biggest exporters of homophobia.

  • Palmer

    Always works well to crack down on dissidents.

  • Reality.Bites
  • TuuxKabin
    • yes b’y

      that was lovely, thanks

      • TuuxKabin

        Sure thing. Glad you liked it. A surprise find for me, tho I know there’s many “Playing For Change” music videos out there, I went for the original, by Manu Chao and found this. A great way to find new music. If you enjoy Latin Rock, Manu Chao’s over the top. And Cafe Tacuba as well.

    • jmax

      I saw Washboard Chaz in New Orleans a while back. Also recognized David Hidalgo from Los Lobos. Cool video.

      • TuuxKabin

        Washboard Chaz is so cool. I’m glad he’s part of PLAYING FOR CHANGE, hope he get’s some benefit from it. David Hidalgo and of course Los Lobos played at a street Quinceañera party for a cousin. They did that a lot. Just show up in East L.A. block parties and play, gratis. The neighborhoods loved it. Glad you enjoyed the video.

        • jmax

          Awesome story. I love Los Lobos.

        • Kenster999

          Los Lobos are the best!

    • Kenster999

      That link got me surfing to a few of their other videos. Here’s one of “La Bamba,” including the two main guys from Los Lobos — in addition to lots of other folks around the world, of course.

      I thought the harp (an “arpa jarocha” apparently) sounded really cool! I hadn’t heard a sound like that before. (Unless they used it on “Kiko and the Lavendar Moon”!)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5dkwQY-_tk

      • TuuxKabin

        That was the very first link I found to MUSIC FOR CHANGE, aka, PLAYING FOR CHANGE, I guess. Thank you! I/we’ve since become followers of Sta. Cecelia, the patron saint of bands in Latin America, and Marisoul – pictured in the link to the song – has a great band. Lemme find something for you.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4c4hpXzGecM

        And the original:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uebgD9D8tc

        • Kenster999

          I saw Los Lobos here in SF on their 40th anniversary tour, and I remember her (and the rest of her band) joining the group for “La Bamba” as an encore. I didn’t know who she was at the time… makes sense that it would be someone amazing!

          On their album “The Ride,” the opening track was done with Café Tacuba, who I had never heard of before. (They’re a creative and energetic group from Mexico.) I saw them (both groups) do the song on “The Tonight Show.” It’s kind of a weird song, but well done. And I especially liked the rooster hat on the lead singer from from Café Tacuba! (He has an interesting voice, too.) I then bought their then-current album and quite liked it. Then, when living in NYC, I kinda dated a guy from Mexico. At one point he mentioned that his favorite group was Café Tacuba, not expecting me to know who they were. 🙂

          It all comes together!

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Zyp3Ng38so

      • I want to be a Catalan Cowboy.
        https://youtu.be/oeWXNi4Vi9M

  • MikeBx2
    • another_steve

      Today, on Jared’s Day of Atonement, I have a way for Jared to atone.

      It’s dirty and disgusting and beneath the dignity of anyone reading here, though – so I won’t go into details.

    • Ninja0980

      So when will the NYT and the “liberal” media cover this 24/7 like Hillary?

      • Ross

        Silly!

        It is absurd to suggest that anything the Trump admin does can even remotely compare to the horror of Hillary’s emails!

      • TuuxKabin
        • Silver Badger

          I enjoyed that. Thank you.

          • TuuxKabin

            Sure.

      • Do Something Nice

        Well, there were bogus hearings so that and the right-wing created ‘buzz’ is what caused the ridiculous coverage.

        Democrats need to notch-up the heat and rhetoric – whether we like it or not. Without it, this story will fade away. Just look at Price. The private plane thing is what did him in, not voting for laws that directly benefited him – which should have sunk him. But there wasn’t an organized response team pumping out well crafted ‘talking points’ to sink these appointments.

    • Ernest Endevor

      Trump’s too. Wasn’t that everyone’s first thought?

      • stuckinthewoods

        No, my first thought was “compromised by foreign intelligence services?” Isn’t that who gave them the personal devices to use?

        • Ernest Endevor

          I would have thought they got them via Amazon’s Super-Duper Secret Gizmo Department. But you could well be correct. It’s more sinister your way and that’s always good.

    • Somehow, the use of the words “Kushner” and “intelligence” in the same sentence seems like an oxymoron.

      • TuuxKabin

        How about ‘Kushner’ and ‘vapid?’ Or ‘Kurshner’ and ‘Orange Suit?’

        Come on Mueller. Nail ’em!

  • Do Something Nice

    I think moving ahead with the vote is dangerous. I don’t favor independence nor do I support the tactics used by Spain’s government. I think allowing a referendum should be negotiated via dialogue.

    The only sane voice in all of this is from Ada Calou, Barcelona’s mayor.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/27/europe-must-act-to-protect-rights-and-freedoms-of-catalans

    • TimCA

      The question I have, is the very act of participation in the referendum (voting “nulo” or not) an act of treason? I’ve heard some politicians now characterizing it as such.

      • JWC

        hasn’t the US got any smart hacker to plant the odd virus in a Russian BOT

      • Do Something Nice

        “Sedition” is what I’ve heard them say.

        • TimCA

          You’re right. Actually that was the exact word I heard too. Although the grey area between the two acts can become fuzzy.

    • Steve in Rome

      It’s important to note that Ms. Calou is in favour of the referendum: let the people express their opinion. Of course, they have done that in the past with strong support for independence in referenda with no consequences. The reason this one has attracted the ire of the government in Madrid is because the Catalan government has said that it will declare independence in 48 hours if that is the will of the people.

      • Do Something Nice

        I hate to sound like Trump, but there is bad behavior on both sides. But…given the fascist past and given that PP has never denounced fascists within their party, what they are doing is much more concerning than what the separatists are doing.

  • David Walker

    The Russian paper Novaya Gazeta sent this overnight. The photo is not mentioned in the article, as far as I know (Google offers to translate for me), and I don’t know which side is using it…but Tweetie has become a political symbol.
    https://www.novayagazeta.ru/articles/2017/09/29/74016-chem-kataloniya-otlichaetsya-ot-kryma?utm_source=push

    • TuuxKabin
    • Steve in Rome

      Tweetie became a symbol for the independence movement because one of the ships installed in Barcelona harbour used for housing the Guardia Civile (the government police) was from an Italian cruise ship company (Moby) and had figures of Tweety and Wile E Coyote on the side. Once the government realized that Tweety was being used “against them”, they covered up the sides of the ships.

      • TuuxKabin
        • stuckinthewoods

          Gracious! When I read Tweetie I thought that’s what they were calling Trump.

          • TuuxKabin

            I think that’s twitty.

        • David Walker

          That’s hysterical, although Wyle E chasing Tweetie Bird would seem even more hopeless than the Road Runner. Oh, well…graphic artists do what the suits come up with.

      • David Walker

        Using Wile E would not have been the wise choice. Actually, the use of the Tweetie Bird is inspired. Plus I always like seeing one of the characters I grew up with, whether I support the reason or not.

      • zhera

        Oh, so THAT’s what the tarps were about. I was wondering about that.

        How utterly ridiculous for them to care about something like that. It’s practically Trumpesque, like at the Inauguration when they had the name removed from the port-a-potties. Don’s Johns, or something like that.

    • TimCA

      Russia’s fake plebiscite (held after it’s invasion of Ukraine) has about the same legitimacy as the fake plebiscite about to be held in Catalonia. No international recognition whatsoever!

      Most Catalans preferring not to be torn away from Spain will boycott this “election” as they have previously. The very people tallying these votes, fairly and impartially I’m sure (note sarcasm), will be the secessionists themselves.

      • MikeSEA

        This is seriously reckless behavior on the part of the Catalan government. The courts have determined this is an illegal vote. How can anyone think any other country (except Russia, happy to sow division) will take this vote seriously?

        • Steve in Rome

          “Seriously reckless”?!?! Is leaving a partner that you’re married to (“Love, Honour, Obey”) reckless? The courts, controlled by Madrid have determined it’s illegal. Yes, it’s anti-constitutional, but Madrid has changed the constitution in the past when THEY wanted to.

          • pepón

            The constitution has only been change twice.
            – Once to access to the Maastricht treaty.
            – Once, at the hight of the economical crisis, to bend to the EU and the ECB, and prohibit excessive spending.

            In every one of theses cases, if the nationalist parties had opposed (all together have more than 10%), they could have asked for a national referendum.

            So much for changing the constitution when THEY wanted.

  • Steve in Rome

    My husband is Catalan – we have been there twice over the last few weeks to show our support. I lived through two Quebec referenda – where the people were allowed to express their opinion. The government allowed them to, but, like Brexit, campaigned to convince them to stay. The Spanish governments stand on this has been to use force to prevent them from determining their own futures. The ex-Francoists are running the show, using their old methods.

    • TuuxKabin

      Sadly, that’s what appears to be happening. I was surprised when NPR started covering it recently as to the tactics Madrid wants to use to prevent the referendum.

    • MikeSEA

      But Franco is dead, and Spain has a new constitution. Local affairs in Catalonia seems to be run in Catalan. I have only visited, but I have never really seen any signs of repression. Talking to people, I have never really heard any compelling reason for people to make such a radical change. Catalonia suffered under Franco? No doubt, but Catalans are in control today. They pay too much to the central government? Practically every rich region in every country does! (After separation, will we hear that Barcelona is tired of subsidizing the laggards outside the city? Where does it end?) In tone, it seems a bit like Brexit, a big change for some pretty nebulous benefits.

      Besides, any application to the EU will be vetoed for a long time, if not by Spain, then by France or any other country with a similar domestic situation. Is the ‘repression’ really so bad that they would risk their economic security and prosperity?

      • Steve in Rome

        Was Quebec “repressed”? Were the Scots “repressed”? Why is that your litmus test for people wanting to be independent? And in answer to your last question, I think a lot of Catalans, 41% at the last poll (before the Madrid government started stomping on their desire to express themselves), say yes.

        • MikeSEA

          When a vote is illegal (as this one has been ruled) repression seems like a good way to approach it, and judge if it is justifiable.

          I’ve been reading a lot about this issue, and it seems like Catalan school books and state-sponsored media stress how Catalonia has repeatedly been a victim, at the hands of the Spanish central state. Could this be driving the beliefs of the 41%, or do they have actual stories of discrimination? (Genuine question, FWIW.)

          I don’t really care if Catalans become independent. But if they want to do it, do it fairly. Get the law changed. (Hard but not impossible. If it can happen in the UK, it can happen in Spain.) Make sure people have enough information to vote responsibly. (It’s a shame that the Brexit vote was probably won on the basis of lies. This shouldn’t happen anywhere else.) Make the threshold for validity clear, and give people a good idea of how things will unfold. This seems like a crisis that is completely the making of the local government, with ‘benefits’ as nebulous and clear as Brexit.

          • Do Something Nice

            Oh gee, every major social advancement in the history of history has started with something illegal.

      • Steve in Rome

        Let’s put it this way: you’re in a relationship. You have strong, well-documented feelings that your other half doesn’t respect you. (Ignoring that 200 years earlier in 1714 you were forced into the relationship by force.) Why should you stay?

        The level of anti-Catalan Spanish sentiment – even before this referendum business – is well-documented. The financial argument is just a red herring for many Catalans.

        • MikeSEA

          People would want to risk their security and prosperity because they are ‘not respected’? I’m not Spanish, and have only been there as a tourist, and I don’t claim to be an expert in these matters. But, I suspect whatever disrespect there is goes both ways. Talking to Catalans, I’ve heard many imply that people from the other parts of Spain are lazy, and are thieves for taking more of their fair share of their hard-earned tax Euros.

          • Steve in Rome

            I, for one, would leave a relationship where I wasn’t respected – though that word doesn’t quite reflect what many Catalans feel. Even if it meant that I might have to struggle for a while, dignity is something that is paramount for many people.

          • TimCA

            So is the dignity of the Catalan majority who do not want Catalonia severed from Spain. Puigdemont has no more ethical or moral right to do this predicated on an outcome of an irregular, illegal, illegitimate referendum than the proponents of Proposition 8 had a right to try to forcibly divorce 10’s of thousands of same sex couples against their will back in 2008 here in California. (to use your analogy).

          • MikeSEA

            Nations aren’t individual people. Do you also subscribe to the old canard, I balance my budget each month, so the government in Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, Ottawa, where ever should too? In what practical ways does the ‘disrespect’ to Catalonia impact the laws that are made in Spain? Seems like they have local control over a LOT of functions already; official life is conducted in Catalan.

            Besides, I am not really convinced about the level of disrespect toward Catalans. Again, ONLY having been a tourist, I am not expert, but I’ve haven’t heard many people in other parts of Spain put down Catalans, certainly not like Catalans do others. I can’t really find a lot of anecdotal evidence in my research, though this isn’t exhaustive.

            I’m not claiming this doesn’t exist, again, I have no deep knowledge here. But it seems like some Catalans have a bit of a victim mentality; when the things that happen to everyone happen to them, they interpret it as discrimination and disrespect. For example, the customs official was rude to me because I speak with a Catalan accent. Reality check: they are rude to many people, even without Catalan accents!

            This just seems like one more squishy, nebulous reason to vote yes, and to create a new crisis. If Catalans are foolish enough to vote for uncertainty and possible ejection from the EU, the right to use the Euro, so be it. Seems more and more like Brexit, though, the more I learn. At least Vladimir Putin will be happy, so not everyone will loose or be poorer as a result.

            You are citing emotional reasons, but I’d be more interested in, and more convinced if you noted practical benefits.

            After the first referendum in Quebec, a lot of Anglophones and businesses left the province, feeling they were unwelcome, or not wanting the uncertainty that accompanies such movements. I suspect this will happen in Catalonia, too. As I’ve asked many times, for what exactly?

        • GanymedeRenard

          I beg to differ. There’s no “anti-Catalan” Spanish sentiment – there’s an anti-secessionist Spanish sentiment at play here. Same with the Basques.

          • Do Something Nice

            Sorry, there is anti-Catalan sentiment. Spain’s ruling party stripped some autonomy in 2010 (for no good reason), was behind making it illegal for Catalunya to ban bullfighting and is constantly harping about the prevalence of Catalan, even though Basque and Gallego are much more prevalent in their respective regions.

            Even non-secessionst Catalans want the right to vote.

          • GanymedeRenard

            I’m sure you understand that the sentiment against AN ENTIRE CULTURE/ETHNICITY (which is not happening) is not the same as the sentiment against holding an illegal referendum. Catalans are as much appreciated as are Basques or Galicians or Andalusians in Spain as part of the cultural richness of that nation. Any youngster from Barcelona in Seville or Madrid or Donostia could tell you that.

          • Do Something Nice

            I see you didn’t read what I wrote. Have a good day.

        • TimCA

          “Ignoring that 200 years earlier in 1714”

          Try 300 years.

          • MikeSEA

            Well, whether it’s 200 or 300 years ago, the memories are still just as painful for all of those who still remember that dark, brutal event….oh wait, never mind.

        • The real issue here is that Catalan (Barcelona in particular) is wealthy and most of the rest of Spain is poor and the Catalonians feel like the rest of the country is dragging them down. Similar feelings exist in Northern Italy about the South. Fair or not, I think that’s the main driver behind the separatist movement.

          • netxtown

            Hmmmmm. so is this a class war?

          • Culture, economics, language and other factors. Like everything involving humans, it’s complicated.

        • pepón

          Another propaganda point: 1714

          It was a “Succession War” not a “Secession War”. The people in Barcelona (after changing sides 2 times, and two sieges of Barcelona by the Habsburg troops) were fighting for the Habsburg claimant to the Spanish throne, and against the Bourbon claimant, who won in the end. There was no independence movement at the time.

          If the the myth of the 300 years of struggle were true, it would have been a bit strange for Catalans to fight for Spain, against Napoleon (Girona, El Bruch) 100 years later; to revolt in favor of an absolutist King of Spain (see Guerra dels Malcontents/Guerra de los Agraviados), against a liberalization of the State; or for Carlism to be so important in Catalonia in the 19th century.

          And btw., Rafael Casanova was not killed by the evil king of Spain, he died as an old man in his own bed.

          I won’t go deeper into the point, as most people don’t want to read into things to understand the problem, they only want slogans: “we want to vote”, “we are being oppressed”. If someone is interested, I can give you all the information you may want.

      • That_Looks_Delicious

        It’s quite a lot like Brexit in many, many ways, including Russian meddling.

      • pepón

        There is a saying in Spain: “We lived better against Franco”. Life was easier. You always knew who were the good ones (we were), and the bad ones (they were = Franco). Over 40 years after Franco’s death, most people don’t even remember personally that regime, but there are people that are still nostalgic of those easy times. So they keep mentioning Franco: everyone against me is a fascist, and a francoist, and not democratic.

    • That_Looks_Delicious

      The Spanish government is divided in three branches with separation of powers. It was a Catalan court and a Catalan judge that ruled that the referendum is unconstitutional and illegal.

  • Scout
    • TuuxKabin

      Those children have more dignity than the entire hell beast, the orange one, klan. And I bet this is their dog.

      https://www.reddit.com/r/aww/comments/739n03/good_boy_helping_with_the_hurricane_clean_up/

      • yes b’y

        Thanks again. I was looking for that to post here.

      • TimCA

        Adorable!

    • Silver Badger

      Brings back memories. The boys doing the work and their little sister issuing orders. Sigh, nostalgia.

      • Prost Seattle

        That was my sister. She died two years ago, and what I wouldn’t give to be bossed around by her now.

    • barrixines

      I have reached the point where what I explicitly feel is the only answer to Trump goes against Joe’s guidelines. I am fortunate I am not American and I don’t have to labour under any misbegotten notion that my feelings are treacherous, un-patriotic, un-American, whatever. The man is a fucking monster.

    • Nychta

      This lifts my sagging spirits, along with the direct action of San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.

      Meanwhile, Trump putts while citizens suffer thirst, hunger and disease (I just read that some cholera cases have shown up in PR).

  • safari

    This should end well.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Shades of Franco…disgusting.

  • safari
    • PickyPecker

      Someone needs an afternoon covfefe.

      • safari

        Your pumpkin — and the fact it’s like 65 degrees — makes me want to run out and get some fresh cider.

        • PickyPecker

          Don’t forget the cinnamon sticks!

      • PickyPecker
        • Vira

          Super-crappeinated.

        • Reality.Bites

          Needs to hold the cup with the white power “ok” signal.

    • Karl Dubhe

      So, it takes him 6 hours to do a round of golf. I wonder, does he shoot under 90; for the first nine holes>?

      • safari

        Reports indicate that he’ll often only count when the ball ends up where he wants it to. It’s apparently considered polite to ignore the other hits/balls.

        • Karl Dubhe

          His holes are par 90?

          Sounds about right. 🙂

          • Hue-Man

            Each hole?

          • Silver Badger

            90 strokes per hole sounds about right, depending on whether they were fast or slow strokes. What does that have to do with golf?

    • Max_1
      • Silver Badger

        That is a bit confusing. Is he for or against loss of life?

      • TuuxKabin

        WTF is he trying to say?

    • Halou

      Since when was the “but her emails” media working in conjunction with the Democrats? And since when did the 3rd Grader in Chief know such a big word like ‘conjunction’?

    • Apparently he carved out roughly an hour earlier this afternoon to give ten minutes each for five phone calls.

      He counts that as ‘leadership and sacrifice’ because, y’know, he could’ve easily golfed four holes in that much time.

  • Lazycrockett
  • bkmn

    Over a week of inadequate reaction to the storm – why isn’t everyone screaming for impeachment?

    • It is more important to scream for aid to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands right now. We can go back to screaming for impeachment later. I am not being “snide” bkmn, we have to push to all the roadblocks to come down and for media coverage to concentrate on getting help to these poor people.

  • Halou

    That’s not good. How are voters supposed to feel knowing that the polling station is occupied by people adamant about there being no outcome other than the one they want? If the local “British nationalists” were occupying my polling station I’d ask to be allowed to vote elsewhere, both for the sake of my safety and for the integrity of my vote.

    • Vira

      How are supporters of a free, independent, democratic Catalunya supposed to even vote when their polling station has been closed and occupied by fascist Francoist Nazi nationalist thug-police sent from Madrid by the criminally incompetent Rajoy?

      Not that I’m taking sides.

      • Steve in Rome

        I’ll take sides. The polling stations have been occupied by parents, watching Walt Disney videos with their children. How threatening is that?? Are you suggesting that the farmers coming into town on their tractors, and the firemen backing them up, are also intimidating people into not voting, or voting other than they would prefer??

        All these people are doing is trying to prevent the government from shutting down the polling stations. Once voting starts, they will vacate the premises.

        If safety is their concern, then maybe they should be looking at the excessive government-backed police presence as their excuse.

        • pepón

          Yes they are scared.

          I’ll propose you an exercise. Go to the center of Barcelona, alone, with a big Spanish flag tied on your back. Let’s see what happens. I’ll visit you at the hospital.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUlzhEi9vuU

    • MikeSEA

      Not good? The vote has been ruled illegal. I don’t see how it’s good or democratic to vote on an illegal issue. Should the local authority also be able to hold a referendum on banning a particular religion, or instituting slavery, even if there is no power to do this under the constitution?

      If the people want to vote, don’t disobey the law, get it changed. Offer a reasonable plan (minimum turnout, terms of government and independence outlined in advance, etc.) It might take a while, but if the Scottish could make this happen, so can the Catalan people.

      • Steve in Rome

        Check your Spanish history. The Catalans have been trying to get the law changed for 30 years, but the Madrid government has always shut them down. They’ve offered reasonable plans, but those have been discarded.

        • MikeSEA

          I am fully aware of that. However, they should keep trying. Nothing is impossible. There is some support in other parts of Spain for allowing a vote. Are there people dying from this situation, and that makes it particularly urgent? (Considering how quickly this referendum was forced through the parliament, perhaps there are?)

          • Matt G, Rochester

            And should “the colonies” wait for George III to give them permission also?

          • MikeSEA

            They aren’t the colonies. Presumably, they would like to have a cordial relationship with Spain and join the EU after independence. An illegal referendum hardly makes that more likely.

          • Matt G, Rochester

            No, THEY aren’t colonies, but by your reasoning, what is NOW the United States, in 1776, should have waited for George the Third of England to give them permission. Personally, I think the Catalans (Catalunya) are typical greedy, selfish, rich folk trying to screw everyone else, which was also actually what the U.S. revolution was about as well.

        • pepón

          “The Catalans” (I guess this means nationalist Catalans, as it seems the other 50% that vote for non-nationalist parties can be safely ignored, they are Untermenschen) have been supporting the central government for 40 years. Without them, and their votes in the parliament, there would have been no government in Madrid. This is a fact. No interpretation.

          Just like the present government in Madrid: Rajoy is governing with the votes of the Basque nationalists. If it wasn’t for them, there would be no Rajoy government.

          Now tell me, how is it possible they have not been able to change the law? Wouldn’t it be remotely possible they didn’t want to?

  • Daily reminder: Russia is behind most, possibly all, of these suddenly revived secession movements. They’re trying to tear apart virtually every democratic country in the world.

    They promoted Brexit.
    They promoted secession for both Texas and California.
    They’ve been supporting neo-Confederate movements in the U.S.
    They’re trying to break up both NATO and the EU.
    They’re trying to foment civil war in the Ukraine.
    They support the Kurdish separatist movement.

    And this, the Catalonian separatist movement, which had always existed but on the fringe, suddenly it’s gotten huge. Ask how and why it’s happening right now.

    I’ll say this much, Putin & the Kremlin sure did find an effective new way of waging war against the West. It’s asymmetric. Semi-covert. And it depends on making people in a previously united country turn on one another, as well as subverting normal democratic processes.

    At some point, someone far more clever than me will come up with the appropriate name for it.

    • Halou

      I don’t think Russia is behind these things, but they are positioning themselves to benefit from them. In this instance lending propaganda support to Catalonia as well as the “expertise” gained from the events in Moldova and Chechnya in the 90s, and Georgia and Ukraine more recently, while at the same time supporting Madrid’s every move politically. Making both sides feel bold enough to take unilateral action, so that is exactly what they do and now we have separatists seizing control of key buildings and more likely than not tooling up just in case the police turn up.

    • I love dim sum

      More Red Panic Russia scaremongering nonsense. Please provide some evidence, otherwise your claims are as credible as Benghazi or fundamentalist Christian end of the world schemes.

      • Hi! You’re new here. Welcome to my block list.

        • I love dim sum

          OK, cool! Guess you have no proof for your conspiracy theories then.

          • TimCA

            Dim Sum, who actually believes that Hillary Clinton was “selling off uranium mines to the Russians” or ” brokering uranium sales to Russia”, is going to give a lecture about conspiracy theories. LOL!!

            BTW-We weren’t properly introduced during our brief interchange the other day. Should I address you by your full name or are we now on an informal enough basis where I can just refer to you as dim?

          • Jmdintpa

            I guess you must be a dumbass. Probably about twenty yrs old. No memory of the past and no concern with history

      • andrew

        Look to Ukraine for one obvious example of Russian interference and aggression.

    • Treant

      “Splitskrieg.”

      It’s a little obscure, but…

    • pepón

      Don’t forget their support for extremist right wing movements, like Le Pen’s in France.

      • GanymedeRenard

        Well documented, btw.

  • I love dim sum

    I am 100% supportive of Catalonian independence. They have their own language, culture, and they are the wealthiest region of Spain. They really should be their own country.

    Laughable that people below me are once again talking about Russian conspiracy theories again. Russia is a 3rd world country that can barely take care of itself, all of you need to move on from your McCarthy-esque red-baiting nonsense.

    • Halou

      “Russia is a 3rd world country that can barely take care of itself”
      Yet acts like the ‘2nd world’ country it was half a century ago, having never quite gotten over the loss of their empire. Especially Mr. Putin who was about due for a midlife crisis just as the USSR fell to bits.

      • I love dim sum

        Obama specifically ridiculed Mitt Romney during the 2014 debates, when Mitt started red-baiting about Russia. Obama said that was a mindset out of touch in 2014, and all Democrats agreed with him then. So does that mean that Obama is a secret KGB operative now?
        edit- 2012 debates, that was my bad.

    • pepón

      We are in the 21st century, and still talking about “one race / one country”? I don’t care nowadays it’s called: “one language / one country”, or “one culture / one country”. Same difference. The idea behind is, a country needs purity and uniformity. Where have I heard that idea before?

      • I love dim sum

        That’s some utterly hilarious strawmanning you’ve done there. So, self-determination is now Nazism, yeah that really makes sense. I thought it was because of Russians, now its because of Nazis?

        • pepón

          Please tell me, how should I interpret any other way “They have their own language, culture, […] They really should be their own country.”?

  • GanymedeRenard

    At the risk of sounding ridiculously naïf and plain Kumbaya-esque, I feel like posting a highly uplifting piece in light of the world’s recent affairs. Here’s a universal message of joy (the fact that this happened in Sabadell – practically in the outskirts of Barcelona, – and that it was sung in Catalan, is incidental.) Yes, I’m aware this was sponsored by a bank, but still…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBaHPND2QJg

    • pepón

      That is was sung in Catalan is not incidental. It shows you how “oppressed” Catalan language is (/s).

      • Vira

        Fascist. (Please note the complete absence of any snark or sarcasm.)

  • JCF

    Is Spain TRYING to get Catalonia to secede? Because they’re sure (stupid AF) acting like it!

  • Vira

    Fascist Police Officers attack elderly Catalan lady who was attempting to vote for independence.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DLCSl4HW0AA8-LY.jpg

    • GanymedeRenard

      Wow, just wow! 🙁

  • TimCA