Saturday, May 30, 2015

Pre-election blues; FIFA; The EU; Motoring fines; Quis custodiet . . . ?; & Post office blues.

If you've got any spare cash lying around, consider investing in shares of electricity and shredder companies. Shocked by their losses in the recent regional and local elections and fearing a complete loss of power later this year, PP party members are quickly dealing with the archival evidence of their vast corruption of the last 5 years or more. As in the case of the mayor of Valladolid who ignored for 5 years a court order for the destruction of illegal 'attics' in the city.

As for Spain as a whole, Don Quijones of the Wolf Street Report says things are getting ugly. Not before time. Sampler: After game-changing municipal and regional elections in Spain, panic and fear are beginning to take root in the hallowed halls of government power and corporate HQs.

FIFA: Beyond parody, of course. But I, for one, have total confidence that Blatter will deliver on his heartfelt promise to do now what he's utterly failed to do over the last 16 years. Meanwhile, while it's easy to see why Russia voted him, one wonders why Spain did. Can the link really be corruption? Are things here really that bad?

Which reminds me . . . What could be worse than a committee designing a horse and coming up with a camel? Why, a committee of self-serving politicians and bureaucrats designing a functional supra-state and coming up with the EU, of course. At least a camel works.

As someone handsomely fined for listening to BBC podcasts on my iPod, I was amused to read the Canadian police had fined a guy for using a Google watch. And impressed that he's appealing on the grounds it's not a 'hand-held device'.

A couple of train guards in Valencia beat up a youth who refused to pull up his trousers over his underpants. As is the norm in this sort of case in Spain, the guards have filed a complaint that they were injured in the scuffle with the passenger. Old habits die hard.

Finally . . . For all of the week of my recent camino, I carried in my bag a large letter I really wanted to post quite urgently. But I didn't. So, I went to the Pontevedra post office yesterday, to find it strangely quiet. Using tape I'd brought with me, I fixed up the torn envelope and then went to find which of the 4 desks I needed to go to. But there was a notice on the machine: "Due to a breakdown in the numbering system, we can't take any letters or packets or do anything other than make money transfers." So I went to one of the 4 clerks and asked if this really meant I couldn't post the letter. Yes, she said. So I told the 4 of them they had my permission to go home. Which they thought was funny. So did I, but not in quite the same way. Was it really true that they couldn't revert to an alternative queueing system? Or did the notice mean that nothing electronic was working? If so, why hadn't they closed the post office or sent at least 3 of the 4 staff home? Perhaps they were waiting for the system to spontaneously fix itself. We'll never know. Spanish practices?

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