29 Oct: Daily Homily (Catalonia) and Tweets

There aren’t many tweets about the situation unfolding in Spain regarding Catalonia. So, I put up a few myself. I find the whole thing extremely worrying as it’s hard to see how there can be a peaceful resolution at this point.

Personally, I oppose the calls for independence. However, the extreme heavy-handedness of the central government in Spain is appalling. Any government that perpetrates violence against its citizens loses in the credibility stakes.

I think the main reason there’s currently a call for secession is money. Spain was hit really had by the GFC in 2008 and is slow to recover. Some regions still have high levels of unemployment. Catalonia, however, is currently doing pretty well. The Catalans feel that they are not getting a lot back for the share of the taxes they pay. However, those in the region still enjoy a much better standard of living than others in Spain because of their better economy.

Some politicians have created bitterness and resentment in the population. They have played on old grievances from the time of the Franco regime. It’s the sort of populism we’re seeing in several places around the world. And depending on the underlying issues in a society, it’s working to a greater or lesser extent.

It’s a complex situation, so I thought I’d post a couple of tweets that try to explain the issues. Here they are:



Political Tweets

The situation in the US isn’t much better. There are even analysts predicting civil war in that country. I don’t think it will come to that, but something sure needs to be done to heal the divides there. Here’s some analysis by the Washington Post.


Well said Tom Toles (cartoonist).
(Via Ann German.)


And well said Ms Yates!
(Via Ann German.)


This is a fantastic initiative. In the Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand, around half (I think) of the deaths were in one building which wasn’t properly designed. The architect skipped the country to escape prosecution. White collar criminals do far more damage than other criminals when you think of the number of lives they affect, but they often don’t face the consequences of their actions.


Mueller Time Tweets

Wait for it: Monday US time.
(Via Ann German.)


Roger Stone isn’t happy …


And Twitter isn’t happy with him as a result.


I’m picking that the first person to be indicted by the Mueller investigation will be Paul Manafort.
(Via Ann German.)


This is brilliant!!!


I really can’t believe that the GOP is trying to make something out of the Uranium One story! There’s nothing there! Clinton had nothing to do with it! Even if she had, she couldn’t make the decision on her own. The State Department was one of nine agencies to give their approval to the deal.
(Via Ann German.)


Now that’s a response!

Comedy Tweets

The man is a complete buffoon. It amazes me that there are people out there who take him seriously. Even worse, that one of them is the president of the most powerful country in the world.


Religion Tweets

Speaking of buffoons …


Human Rights Tweets

This is a fantastic initiative. It would be great if there were more like this.
(Via “Archie Debunker”.)


The US is going backwards when it comes to human rights thanks to Trump and his cronies in the GOP.


This should not happen in a modern democracy where rule of law reigns supreme.


Art Tweets

Very cool!


Architecture Tweets



Wow! Isn’t it stunning?!


Science Tweets

Another part in the series about ISOLDE at CERN.


This TED talk is about 16 minutes long, but it’s not bad if you have the time.


Space Tweets



Entertainment Tweets

The next sex scandal to hit Hollywood, and you can bet it extends beyond there.


Sorry, but this is just fu€king ridiculous! I know there’s still a lot of racism in the US, but the idea that people are only taking notice of Harvey Weinstein because his victims are white is stupid. Hello! Anybody heard of Bill Cosby? Most of his victims were women of colour. Intersectional feminists give the rest of us a bad name.


He still looks like a boy! Must be an alien!


For your entertainment!


What would you do?


History Tweets

The terracotta warriors are amazing – each one has a different face. It’s amazing what wastage belief in an afterlife leads to. Still, I’m glad we get to see these sculptures.


Marine Tweets

Many of you will have seen the first of these three clips from Blue Planet II, which will be on our screens in NZ starting in late November. They’re all great though. I can’t wait for the series!




Other Animals Tweets

What a great woman! Look at her stroking that hedgehog in her lap as if it’s a cat. 😍 The world needs more people like Joan Lockley!


Great video of a water vole in its natural habitat.


Okay, I admit it, kids are cute!


Dog Tweets

This is for my sister Brenda. ❤️


It’s got the moves, though the style needs perfecting!


I hope none of them get motion sickness!


Puppies can be almost as cute as kittens!


Cat Tweets

It doesn’t get any better than this! What a wonderful video!
(Via Ann German.)


Here’s a longer video of the snow leopard cub with its mum. You can read more about it here.


This video is from Facebook rather than Twitter. It’s my cousin Tristanne’s cat, Ngeru, which is Maori for cat. (Pronounced, roughly, near-roo.) The video is actually to show us the great view and peaceful location. So the cat, realizing it’s not the star of the show, takes off part way through!


We used to have a cat that rode on the dashboard, but I’ve never seen this!






More cat kisses!




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39 Responses to “29 Oct: Daily Homily (Catalonia) and Tweets”

  1. Robert Nola says:

    There are two recent models for break-ups in Europe. The first is the “velvet” revolution that led to the break up of Czechoslovakia. I cannot remember if anyone was killed; if so it must have been few. The other model is the breakup of Yugoslavia. Enough said on that. Maybe a third is the break up of the Soviet Union in which some countries were able to break away relatively peaceably but in the case of others there has been a huge conflict (e.g., Chechnya). So which way can Spain go?

    • I don’t know enough to predict, but I hope they can find a way to resolve the situation peacefully. I do know this sort of thing can’t keep happening. It’s only 150 years since Germany was over 200 separate states, kingdoms etc. Italy was around a dozen. Go a bit further back and France and Spain were both multiple duchies and kingdoms. There are several other examples of course.

  2. Claudia Baker says:

    The “Mueller Time” video made my heart happy. At least momentarily.

  3. j.a.m. says:

    “This should not happen in a modern democracy where rule of law reigns supreme.”

    I thought that caption was going to be about the Clintons’ sleazy careers and their inexplicable ability to repeatedly elude justice.

  4. Malgorzata Koraszewska says:

    Why such different attitude? Catalans are ancient people with distinct language and culture which for centuries was occupied by Spain. In the current autonomy they governed themselves well, and the demand for independence has very old roots. But you don’t think they should have an independent state.
    Palestinian is a nation created in 1960. They have common culture, language and religion with other Arab nations. Under Ottoman Empire they thought about themselves as a part of Syria, After Jordan occupied Judea and Samaria (which they renamed West Bank) Palestinian (PLO) renounced all claims to Jordanian held territories and wanted only the rest of Israel for themselves. Their Palestinian Authority (not to mention Gaza Strip) is dysfunctional, violent, corrupt ans as ill-suited for statehood as any entity can be. But so many people are for a Palestinian State and against Catalonian State. So I’m asking why this difference?

    • I started writing a long answer to this, but I deleted it. The two situations are not the same and cannot be compared. For a start, other Spaniards are not being routinely murdered by Catalonians just because they’re Spanish. The poison of religion, specifically hatred of Jews by Muslims, isn’t part of the problem either. (They’re mostly Catholic on both sides in Spain of course.) This is not the time to go into a long discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which is completely different and deserves to be dealt with on its own merits.

  5. HaggisForBrains says:

    Para 4: “…Castro regime”?!

    • HaggisForBrains says:

      That is appalling! So wrong on several levels. For a start, what is illegal about cycling around looking at people’s gardens? Suspicious, perhaps, but not illegal. Then arresting her for handing over her i/d in a threatening manner! Reminds me of constable Savage.

  6. Federico Bär says:

    On Corey Feldman’s plans concerning Hollywood pedophiles, Barbara Walters shut him down with the menacing remark:
    —“You’re damaging an entire industry—”
    ??? I think that is not precisely an attitude she was a well-known journalist for.

    • No, and I wonder what she knows? That’s the same reason that’s been given for years re not dealing with the abuse of women. Surely it’s more important to stop the abuse of children!

      In warning them, Feldman is actually giving them a chance to deal with the paedophiles and separate them from the business before the $hit hits the fan.

  7. Federico Bär says:

    BBC Earth (Blue Planet II). What a fascinating video showing a fish capturing a flying bird!

  8. Lee Knuth says:

    The Mueller time video was terrific. As to Catalonia, people who live in California and NY can probably identify with them. We supply the Federal government with more money than we get back and now our views on what the government should accomplish seem to be in limbo.

    • Mark R. says:

      Not to mention that those two states are also woefully underrepresented in a “representational democracy”. States with the least population have the most power. Why should a state with 586,000 people (Wyoming) have as much sway in congress as a state with 38 million (California)? There are also a few red states like Texas that are also woefully underrepresented. Republicans don’t mind this though because they know they are in the minority and the only way to win is by out and out cheating, and by making sure the status quo of this rigged system doesn’t change.

      • Because of the unfair system those who want to make it fair can’t get the votes to change it. We changed our unfair system in NZ in the 1990s, but it took several years and being so much smaller makes it easier. It’s more like doing it at a state level for you guys.

    • I think secessionist movements in the US are probably a slightly closer analogy to Spain than many others. There is a separate Catalan language, but most speak Spanish too.

  9. Mark R. says:

    If I was sent that much weed, I’d smoke it. Actually 60 lbs. is a little crazy. I’d give a lot of it to friends. The last thing I’d do is call the cops. Why do that? People are so weird about marijuana in a country that has legal alcohol and tobacco- 2 drugs that are far more harmful to society than pot. These pot-phobes (like Jeff Sessions) need to come to a state where it’s legal and see that there is nothing to fear. The stores are bright and clean, the customers are friendly and the employees are knowledgeable and professional; it works like any other well-regulated consumer good. Plus it brings in loads of taxes and new jobs, allows the prisons to free thousands of citizens and allows law enforcement officers to spend their efforts on criminal activities that actually cause harm to society. At least the states can override the irrationality of the feds, especially when the federal government is run by the cronies and crackpots that currently hold the majority.

    And just think if god did exist you’d have the possibility of being stuck with the likes of Phil Robertson for eternity. Talk about hell!

    • Judging by a lot of the people damned to hell, it will be a much nicer place than heaven. Imagine spending eternity with the kind of sanctimonious prigs who take pleasure in the idea of someone suffering for ETERNITY, and think Trump Pence is the ideal ticket.

      • Linda Calhoun says:

        Yeah, as I’ve said to the missionaries who hassle me, “I don’t want to spend the next five minutes with you; why would I want to spend eternity with you?”


  10. Jenny Haniver says:

    On a lighter note — as for the humphead parrot fish, I can only exclaim with Little Red Riding Hood: “But Grandmother! What big teeth you have!” They’re in need of a good orthodontist.

    • Linda Calhoun says:

      Let’s suppose that in your perfect world, Hillary Clinton is investigated, found guilty, and jailed for life.

      Does that absolve all Republicans of any and every law that they may have broken, henceforth and forevermore? Or, does that mean that Republicans who are convicted fair and square should have to face the same penalties?

      I am sick to death of the “logic” that just because someone you don’t like may have done something wrong, that means that everyone you DO like is innocent of everything.

      Some of your tribe are going down, not because of Hillary Clinton, but because of their own behavior.


      • j.a.m. says:

        It goes without saying that laws must be applied without fear or favor. Among other things, that means I want the Clintons to be held accountable for once. I can’t imagine I’ve ever posted anything here that could fairly be construed otherwise.

        Meanwhile, though, it is Clinton and her band of deranged dead-enders who furiously traffic in scurrilous innuendo, while hoping for the worst. It will be a case of delicious irony if the whole Russia farce blows back on the Clintons and Obama.

        • Mark R. says:

          If Clinton is the precise horror of all your paranoid horrors, is that enough? What does it take for you…? You’ve written ‘you need help’ as a lot of “burns”. I think you are older than 12…maybe 22? dunno. I’m surprised you don’t reflect on your own weird Clinton fetish. Take a step back bro.

        • I don’t suppose that it has crossed your mind that the reason Hillary Clinton has never been charged with a crime is that she hasn’t done anything illegal and all the charges against her are just political innuendo?

          The Russia Uranium One thing is the biggest pile of crap in existence. The State Department was one of NINE departments that had to approve the deal, the discussions began before she was Sec of State, she didn’t sit on the nine member board and wasn’t involved in the decision. Further, two of the other board members were the Sec of Defense and Homeland Security. They approved it too. There is no export licence for the Uranium. It cannot leave the US. It is being used for nuclear power. I can’t believe this is even being discussed as a problem!

  11. I think the independence movement in Catalonia has much deeper roots. Historically, it was closer to the Occitan-speaking area of southern France that to Spain. Catalan is more a dialect of Occitan than of Spanish. Catalonia had been a strongly Republican region in the Spanish civil war. During the fascist era under Franco, Catalan was banned in an attempt to suppress Catalonia culture and forcibly merge it into Spain. To many Catalans, it was more like living as second-class citizens in a conquered territory and this naturally fuelled the independence movement. Spain is now reaping the harvest sown by the Francoist fascist nationalists.

    • All that is true. It seems to me that they’re not treated like second-class citizens anymore and that the treatment meted out to them previously is being used to work people up. Of course, never having been there and not speaking the language it’s hard for me to judge how accurate my perception is.

    • nicky says:

      The Franco dictatorship ended in 1975, that is 42 years ago. Now I do not know the profile of Catalonia’s population pyramid, but it is safe to assume that a majority of Catalans have no living recollection of that era. So yes,I agree that money probably is the main motive.
      Catalan is indeed more like Occitan then Spanish, like Occitan is more like Catalan then French.
      I’m neutral on the question of secession, but it has been handeled very badly, from both sides. A farcical ‘vote’ and a ridiculously heavy-handed reaction.

      What about an Occitan Republic comprising Catalonia and l’Occitanie? (former Languedoc-Roussillion and Midi-Pyrenees).
      [Of course they will fight about where the capital should be, Barcelona, Toulouse or even Montpellier 😃]. Would not be a bad idea.

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