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posted by Fnord666 on Friday October 20 2017, @02:30PM   Printer-friendly
from the I-said-no dept.

After Catalonia's leader missed a deadline to clarify the government's stance on an independence referendum, and missed another deadline (Thursday calling for an unambiguous renouncement of the independence referendum, the Spanish government plans to strip Catalonia of its autonomous status:

Spain was preparing to impose direct rule over semi-autonomous Catalonia after the region's leader Carles Puigdemont declined to categorically renounce an independence referendum, the prime minister's office announced Thursday.

Spain's government said it would hold a special Cabinet meeting and "approve the measures that will be sent to the Senate to protect the general interest of all Spaniards."

At the Cabinet meeting, the government would invoke Article 155 of Spain's constitution allowing it to strip Catalonia of its self-governance. That would take effect on Saturday, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's office said in a statement.

Madrid had given Puigdemont a 10 a.m. (4 a.m. ET) deadline to clarify his government's stance on a non-binding declaration of independence passed by the regional legislature following a successful referendum on secession. But the Catalan leader insisted on keeping his options open, but that wasn't good enough for Spain's government, which had insisted on an unambiguous "no."

Bloomberg reports "Merkel and Macron Have Spain's Back as Catalan Crisis Escalates":

European Union leaders offered their support for Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy as he prepares to suspend the powers of the Catalan administration to clamp down on its push for independence. EU chiefs arriving for a summit in Brussels on Thursday said they backed Madrid and stressed that the issue of Catalonia's independence was a domestic one for Spain.

"We're looking at this very closely and support the position of the Spanish government, which is also a position that's been adopted across parties," said German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "Of course this preoccupies us, and we hope that there can be a resolution on the basis of the Spanish constitution." Asked whether he supported the Spanish government, French President Emmanuel Macron said "always," adding that "this summit will be marked by a message of unity of its members in regards to Spain."

Also at BBC, The Guardian, and EUObserver (opinion).

Previously: Spain Trying to Stop Catalonia Independence Referendum
Police and Voters Clash During Catalan Independence Referendum


Original Submission

Related Stories

Spain Trying to Stop Catalonia Independence Referendum 70 comments

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-41191327

Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy says he will ask the courts to revoke a law passed by the Catalan regional government to hold a referendum on independence. He described the vote, planned for 1 October, as illegal.

Earlier, state prosecutors said they would bring criminal charges against Catalan leaders for their endorsement of the referendum.

The pro-independence majority in Catalonia's parliament passed the referendum law on Wednesday. Spain's wealthy north-eastern region already has autonomous powers but the regional government says it has popular support for full secession.

See also:


Original Submission

Police and Voters Clash During Catalan Independence Referendum 63 comments

Police and would-be voters have clashed during a Catalan independence referendum held on Sunday:

Scenes of chaos and violence unfolded in Catalonia as an independence referendum deemed illegal by Madrid devolved quickly on Sunday. As police followed orders from the central government to put a stop to the vote, they fired rubber bullets at unarmed protesters and smashed through the glass at polling places, reports The Associated Press. Three hundred and thirty-seven people were injured, some seriously, according to Catalonia's government spokesman.

Spain's Interior Ministry said a dozen police officers were injured. NPR's Lauren Frayer reports from Barcelona that some people were throwing rocks down at officers from balconies. Yet the violence came from all directions.

"Horrible scenes," Lauren reports. "Police dragging voters out of polling stations, some by the hair."

Scuffles erupted as riot police forcefully removed hundreds of would-be voters from polling places across Barcelona, the Catalan capitol, reports AP. Nevertheless, many people, managed to successfully cast their ballots across the region after waiting in lines hundreds-of-people-deep, including the elderly and families with small children, says Reuters.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said that he did not acknowledge the vote and called it "illegal".

Also at NYT, Bloomberg, The Washington Post, and BBC:

Catalan emergency officials say 761 people have been injured as police used force to try to block voting in Catalonia's independence referendum.

Update: Catalan referendum: Catalonia has 'won right to statehood'
Spain Vows to Enforce the Law in Rebel Catalonia
Catalonia Leaders Seek to Make Independence Referendum Binding

Previously: Spain Trying to Stop Catalonia Independence Referendum


Original Submission

Spanish Spies Tracked Carles Puigdemont via Friend's Phone 43 comments

Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont was tracked by Spain through fitting his group's car with a surveillance device as well as following the mobile phones of his companions. He was eventually captured in Germany on his way to Belgium from Finland.

Spanish intelligence agents had been tracking the movements of the former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont using the geolocation service on his friend's mobile phone before he was detained in Germany at the weekend, according to reports.

Puigdemont was detained under a European arrest warrant in the northern German province of Schleswig-Holstein on Sunday morning as he journeyed by car from Helsinki to Brussels, where he has been living in self-imposed exile since Catalonia's unilateral declaration of independence last October.

From The Guardian: Spanish spies 'tracked Carles Puigdemont via friend's phone'

An international warrant for Puigdemont's arrest had been rescinded back in December but was revived for this occasion. Already back in September, the Internet Society issued a statement about the Spanish government's great efforts to outright censor online activities promoting or discussing the bid for Catalonian independence.

See also earlier SN stories:
Spain Moves Forward With Plan to Suspend Catalonia's Autonomy
Police and Voters Clash During Catalan Independence Referendum
Spain Trying to Stop Catalonia Independence Referendum


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @02:56PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @02:56PM (#585247)

    As has always been the case, you can have as much autonomy as you want, as long as you keep paying your Taxes.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by khallow on Friday October 20 2017, @03:06PM (2 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 20 2017, @03:06PM (#585252) Journal

      As has always been the case, you can have as much autonomy as you want, as long as you keep paying your Taxes.

      At least, until someone takes away that autonomy.

      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by DannyB on Friday October 20 2017, @03:45PM (1 child)

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 20 2017, @03:45PM (#585268)

        No. You will still have autonomy. Complete autonomy. The best autonomy! The best. The very best. And believe me, I know my autonomy! I promise. People are always calling to tell me how great my autonomy is and that I should wear clothes that show off my autonomy more. Trust me.

        wandering back on track . . .

        They will only take away the things by which autonomy is defined. But you can keep the label. Sort of like how countries that label themselves Democratic and Republic, and People's, are none of those things.

        In other words double plus good newspeak. Of course you can have freedom, within this prison cell. War is peace. The best way Spain can protect the autonomy of Catalonia is to suppress its people's right to vote, and deny their right to choose how and by whom they are governed. We have always been at war with Eastasia.

        • (Score: 3, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @07:05PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @07:05PM (#585376)

          Sort of like how countries that label themselves Democratic and Republic, and People's, are none of those things.

          Or United.

    • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Saturday October 21 2017, @03:58PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Saturday October 21 2017, @03:58PM (#585685) Homepage

      In the case of Spain, the #1 issue for Merkel and Macron is that the German and French banks get Spanish sovereign debt repaid. They oppose Catalonian independence because that will make it harder for Spain to come up with the cash. One reason Catalonia wants out is to avoid being stuck with that debt.

      As usual, it's all about money.

      --
      A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of bad gravy.
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by khallow on Friday October 20 2017, @03:05PM (15 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 20 2017, @03:05PM (#585251) Journal
    So on the basis of a nonbinding referendum with relatively weak turnout and some coy words by the local political head, Spain will demonstrate why independence of Catalonia may well be a great idea. Way to go.

    European Union leaders offered their support for Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy as he prepares to suspend the powers of the Catalan administration to clamp down on its push for independence. EU chiefs arriving for a summit in Brussels on Thursday said they backed Madrid and stressed that the issue of Catalonia's independence was a domestic one for Spain.

    And yet the EU leadership interfered with this domestic issue. Once again, the care and feeding of the EU machine takes precedence over the interests of the people it purports to represent.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday October 20 2017, @03:17PM (8 children)

      A nonbinding referendum wherein participation was suppressed by armed men, mind you.

      --
      My favorite Trump protest sign: All in all you're just another prick with no wall
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bob_super on Friday October 20 2017, @06:58PM (4 children)

        by bob_super (1357) on Friday October 20 2017, @06:58PM (#585369)

        ... thereby guaranteeing that only the most motivated supporters would show up to vote, and biasing the result from a probable "yes" to a "hell yeah"...

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @09:09PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @09:09PM (#585432)
          • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Friday October 20 2017, @09:45PM (2 children)

            by bob_super (1357) on Friday October 20 2017, @09:45PM (#585444)

            There are those who would like to show up, but are worried about their safety and being exposed to injury.
            Prime example is the elderly, with the Head of Household (single earner family) right behind.

            I guess you only need to threaten enough poll violence, see that only your healthy young guys showed up, and claim legitimacy for your cause regardless of the actual will of the population at large. Since Al-Maliki did it for a while, I can even spare myself a Godwin point.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @09:33AM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @09:33AM (#585609)

              By bringing up Godwin, you validate Godwin, and thus do not "spare yourself a Godwin point".

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @02:01PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @02:01PM (#585661)

                I just lost The Game.

      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday October 20 2017, @07:10PM (2 children)

        by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday October 20 2017, @07:10PM (#585382) Journal

        The armed men were Spanish police. [nytimes.com]

        (not sure if you knew that, just making it clear)

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @09:33PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @09:33PM (#585442)

          Who could have imagined that after shedding themselves of Francisco Franco (Fascist dictator from 1936 until his death in 1975), that Spain would embrace Fascism again?

          ...and, BTW, who could have imagined that after fighting a World War against Fascists, that USA would become increasingly Fascist with General Electric, Boeing, and Monsanto standing in for Krupp AG and I.G. Farben (later became Bayer)?

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

          • (Score: 2) by dry on Sunday October 22 2017, @04:43AM

            by dry (223) on Sunday October 22 2017, @04:43AM (#585870)

            America has always had fascist tendencies, ask General Butler (if he was alive). Don't forget that it was Germany that declared war on the USA first.

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday October 20 2017, @08:11PM (1 child)

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 20 2017, @08:11PM (#585401) Journal

      Interesting to see the Union of Merkel making sure they get out ahead of this and not let another Brexit thing happen. [reuters.com]

      With Merkel deciding who can join and who can not [reuters.com] the whole things looks a little shaky of late.

      The problem is the northern half of the EU is starting to revolt anyway [bloomberg.com], and a heavy hand in the south is MORE likely to push things over the edge than to calm things down.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by khallow on Friday October 20 2017, @11:36PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 20 2017, @11:36PM (#585477) Journal
        I like this quote:

        “If we allow Catalonia -- and it is not our business -- to separate, others will do the same. I do not want that,” [European Commission President] Jean Claude Juncker said in a speech at Luxembourg University.

        “I wouldn’t like a European Union in 15 years that consists of some 98 states,” he continued. “It’s already relatively difficult with 28 and with 27 not easier, but with 98 it would simply be impossible.”

        So, it's not our business, but we're going to interfere anyway because a large number of small countries interferes with the effectiveness of our scheme.

    • (Score: 2) by romlok on Saturday October 21 2017, @12:05AM (2 children)

      by romlok (1241) on Saturday October 21 2017, @12:05AM (#585483)

      So on the basis of a nonbinding referendum with relatively weak turnout and some coy words by the local political head

      For comparison, in terms of percentages of total eligible voters:
      Catalonian independence: 39.6%
      Brexit: 37.5%

      Since the Brexiteers are apparently getting what they wanted, I wonder if any UK representative has made any statement regarding the Catalonia vote?

      • (Score: 1) by Sulla on Saturday October 21 2017, @12:42AM

        by Sulla (5173) on Saturday October 21 2017, @12:42AM (#585500) Journal

        Nige has said they should have independence, but Nige would say that.

        --
        "I'd rather take a political risk for peace rather than risk peace in pursuit of politics" - President Donald J. Trump
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @04:00PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @04:00PM (#585686)

        Some people voted 4 times at different places. Not the same.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @05:24AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @05:24AM (#585571)

      This referendum was binding. There was a non-binding vote a couple years ago, which was not suppressed, and 80% voted for independence. But this time the referendum was to be binding, which is why the central government moved to suppress it.

      43% turnout is a bit low, but would have been higher if it hadn't been suppressed. Also, with 90% in favor of independence, it's pretty much impossible to have the remaining electorate turn the lead around.

      And if you look at polls, around 80% wanted Catalonia to have the vote, even if they did not turn out.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by BsAtHome on Friday October 20 2017, @03:27PM (26 children)

    by BsAtHome (889) on Friday October 20 2017, @03:27PM (#585260)

    Both sides have been so rigid that they have painted themselves into corners. The extremes are quite visible.

    There was, afaik, no majority for independence (by a clear margin) prior to all of this happening. However, the very hard lines taken by both the central government and the local government have made it impossible to see the /actual/ wishes of the Catalan people. Both sides have used every (dirty) trick in the book to show "I am right" attitudes. No public and open discussion has been possible. People have been in fear for speaking out on either side of the line. Organized and orchestrated performances on both sides are no open discussion.

    Now they have painted themselves into opposite corners and cannot get together anymore. The EU taking /one/ side is a bad move. They should publicly state to talk to both sides and find a proper middle way. If nothing is done soon, then a hostile conflict (read: armed with guns and bombs on both sides) might start and that is something nobody benefits from.

    Two parties fighting == Two parties at fault
    Go find a compromise, damn it!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @03:55PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @03:55PM (#585270)

      Hey that's great. The two sides should have a perpetual stalemate like between North and South Korea. So yeah which side are like the Norks now? Spain or Catalonia? Which ones should we mock for being poor?

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @04:03PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @04:03PM (#585274)

        Spaniards are poor and lazy, say rich Catalan banksters.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @04:49PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @04:49PM (#585302)

          Those wacky...Spunks. Fuck 'em. Yeah.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DannyB on Friday October 20 2017, @04:01PM (13 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 20 2017, @04:01PM (#585273)

      Let me summarize some of your points to see if it forms a template . . .

      • Both sides have been so rigid that they have painted themselves into corners.
      • The extremes are quite visible.
      • There was, afaik, no majority for . . . (by a clear margin) . . .
      • . . . very hard lines taken by both . . .
      • have made it impossible to see the /actual/ wishes of the . . . people
      • Both sides have used every (dirty) trick in the book to show "I am right" attitudes.

      I could continue, but gee? I am glad to live in the US where extreme views, polar opposites, nearly half and half split, dirty tricks, and even violence are things that could never happen here.

      It really sounds like things are the same everywhere. Ultimately people seeking wealth and/or power. And to control other people's lives. Fighting over who can control other people's lives the best. Promises of who will use more lubricant. Etc.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @04:05PM (12 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @04:05PM (#585278)

        Not only is that true everywhere, but everywhen as well, far back into history, and no reason to suspect anything short of complete global self-annihilation will prevent it being such far into the future.

        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday October 20 2017, @04:44PM (9 children)

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 20 2017, @04:44PM (#585299)

          Thus, it is completely reasonable to expect a dystopian sci-fi like future. Not just being cynical. Or crazy. But realistic.

          The difference between now and the past is that our conflicts will tend to be, or expand to be global. And our weapons too powerful. Our (and other) leaders' skins too thin, temperaments too adolescent, and launch codes ready to tweet. So maybe an extinction level event. Amusingly, it would just be more of the same. Just the grand culmination of humanity from everywhere and everywhen.

          As Jeremiah wrote in the O.T., the heart of man is exceedingly wicked and desperately sick and who can know it.

          • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Grishnakh on Friday October 20 2017, @05:00PM (6 children)

            by Grishnakh (2831) on Friday October 20 2017, @05:00PM (#585311)

            We need to send some monuments out into space, like we did with the "golden records" on the Voyager probes. But unlike those, which totally whitewashed humanity, we need to show the unvarnished truth of our societies, and what caused our downfall, so that the archeologists of future civilizations will be able to understand how we destroyed ourselves.

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by frojack on Friday October 20 2017, @08:19PM (5 children)

              by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 20 2017, @08:19PM (#585409) Journal

              Yeah, that's a realistic project.

              You assume things are different any where else? Why would they be? All life is competition to survive. From lichens on a rock to entire civilizations. More likely "future civilizations" will face the same issues long before they get out into space.

              --
              No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
              • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Friday October 20 2017, @08:35PM (4 children)

                by Grishnakh (2831) on Friday October 20 2017, @08:35PM (#585418)

                It *is* a realistic project. We made golden records in the 70s, so obviously it's been done before. And we put them on probes which left the solar system, so that's been done before too. I don't think we even need to go that far; just launch a few landers with some more realistic golden records, and have them land on the Moon, Mars, and Ceres. Hopefully alien explorers will find these and be able to use them to document the downfall and destruction of our species, as there might not be sufficient surviving artifacts on Earth when they get to it. As for "facing the same issues", any alien explorers finding these things will either not have had these problems, or figured out how to overcome them, or else they wouldn't have been able to achieve interstellar travel, so I'm not sure what your point here is. I'm not trying to save alien civilizations from our fate (that really is unrealistic, we can't even get to the next star system yet), my intention is simply to help future alien exo-archeologists understand our failed civilization. A big dump of Wikipedia on some type of corrosion-proof medium should do it.

                • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday October 20 2017, @09:53PM (1 child)

                  by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday October 20 2017, @09:53PM (#585446) Journal

                  We could just put something on Triton or Pluto if we wanted it to survive the Sun becoming a red giant.

                  --
                  [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
                  • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Friday October 20 2017, @10:00PM

                    by Grishnakh (2831) on Friday October 20 2017, @10:00PM (#585449)

                    Yeah, those are probably ok choices too, but I thought Pluto actually had active geology; I want something to sit there for up to a couple billion years without being hurt by natural processes. But as for the Sun becoming a red giant, that's really a little beyond the timeframe I'm thinking of. Once the Sun becomes a red giant, there won't be an Earth left for the aliens to investigate the ruins of, so it becomes a little pointless.

                • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday October 23 2017, @04:16PM (1 child)

                  by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday October 23 2017, @04:16PM (#586388)

                  It's like Yes and No about being a realistic project.

                  Yes, it's realistic that we could actually launch it.

                  But the purpose of doing so may be unrealistic. "The Great Filter" may be that intelligent civilizations destroy themselves because their technology and weapons grow faster than both biological and social evolution. So all intelligent civilizations destroy themselves during their World War III.

                  Thus, while we could launch a record of our existence, and the unvarnished truth about us, there may not be anyone to read it. And there may never be anybody to read it. The universe itself has a finite life. And it has a much shorter period where it is habitable by intelligent life. If nobody found our new Titanium plack, because nobody ever reaches the level of technology for interstellar travel, then the only possibility of it being read is that it (eventually, and by pure dumb luck) happens to land (and survive re-entry) somewhere that there beings who recognize it as an object created by a technological race1.

                  So yes, and no to it being a realistic project.

                  1But maybe that is how it would ultimately succeed. Warn some other poor hapless race of what we did to ourselves. Even if the odds of anybody benefiting are astronomical against.

                  • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Monday October 23 2017, @05:51PM

                    by Grishnakh (2831) on Monday October 23 2017, @05:51PM (#586450)

                    "The Great Filter" may be that intelligent civilizations destroy themselves because their technology and weapons grow faster than both biological and social evolution. So all intelligent civilizations destroy themselves during their World War III.

                    This one seems pretty ridiculous to me, just like the idea of there being no other civilizations. There's 1 trillion stars in the Milky Way galaxy alone, and several trillion more in nearby Andromeda. We're now finding that exoplanets are very common. Planets with habitable conditions conducive to evolving life may be much more rare, but there's still trillions of chances there just in those two galaxies. So even if there is a "Great Filter", the idea that ALL civilizations destroy themselves just doesn't make sense; nothing with astronomical numbers like that ends up all-or-nothing. There has to be at least some small percentage of civilizations that avoid this fate.

                    So again I disagree. Given the 1 trillion stars in the galaxy, sure, the odds are poor that one of these small number of civilizations that avoids the Filter will find it, but the possibility is there. Plus, if a civilization manages to avoid the Filter, and is also an exploratory species, they'll probably build lots and lots of long-range probes, so they'll just be limited by transit time, but they should find us eventually, or what's left of us. If we build these landers to be easily found (perhaps with some large reflective array that unfolds on landing), then chances aren't so bad that my golden records will be found, eventually. Remember, the ETs have literally billions of years.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @05:45PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @05:45PM (#585341)

            There won't be dystopia, don't worry. They will keep pushing us till we had enough, and we will just kill all the baddies. Happened before, will happen again. The magical time you seem to think is the norm is just the brief phase in-between the purges.

            • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday October 23 2017, @04:25PM

              by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday October 23 2017, @04:25PM (#586394)

              What if there is a dystopia, and the madmen have enough power that nobody can overthrow them?

              Even in the peaceful Democratic Republic of North Korea, where everyone just loves their Dear Leader, and believes the government information1 about the outside, nobody has actually managed to overthrow that madman. Because their blissful existence is all unicorns and rainbows.

              So maybe you are naive to be so optimistic to believe that such a madman on a global level could be overthrown. The cycle of purges may end. Or it may not, it may just be cycles of purges within the same dystopian existence by the dystopian madman suppressing potential revolts. There may not be a rebel alliance. There may not be interstellar travel. We may just end up confined to this planet in a dystopian nightmare2.

              1aka, lies

              2lest you think my outlook is totally depressing, it is not. I subscribe to the outcome in the book of The Revelation in the bible. I want to be on the winning side. Spoiler alert: we win

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Grishnakh on Friday October 20 2017, @04:57PM (1 child)

          by Grishnakh (2831) on Friday October 20 2017, @04:57PM (#585307)

          Exactly. And it's sad, and shows exactly how hypocritical people (and leaders) really are. After all, all these developed nations espouse their "democratic values", but one of the core values of democracy is the principle of self-determination. If a group of people isn't even allowed to govern themselves, and instead has to answer to some group of outsiders and pay taxes to them them, how is that democracy? It isn't. So we have "democratic" nations which act clearly against the very principle of democracy every time some well-defined group of people (Catalans, Kurds, etc.) stands up and says "we're sick of these these other people running our lives, we want independence". Even worse is that the biggest gorilla was itself *founded* by a war for independence, but generally speaks out against the idea.

          On top of all that, when these separatist European movements make noise about independence, they don't even want *full* independence and sovereignty, they still like the idea of the EU and want to remain part of that union, and probably also the NATO military union. But the EU would rather keep the status quo and preserve the power structures in place rather than work for the good of their constituents by helping these groups reorganize into political structures they prefer. Long-term, it'd really be better for the EU, in my opinion, if they promoted the break-up of their larger members into smaller states (to ease internal tensions), while keeping them all within the EU fold, so that they didn't have the problem they have now where the largest members are setting all the policy and basically bullying the smaller members.

          Honestly I see this a lot like marriages: if your spouse doesn't like you, won't sleep with you, and trashes you to all your friends, and wants a divorce, is it better to force him/her to stay married to you, or to just let them go?

          • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday October 20 2017, @08:24PM

            by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 20 2017, @08:24PM (#585412) Journal

            Which democratic nation are you referring to?
            The closest approximation to a Democracy is said to be Switzerland.

            Nobody else officially claims the title.

            --
            No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Friday October 20 2017, @04:04PM (4 children)

      by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 20 2017, @04:04PM (#585275) Journal

      I agree. The EU is muffing it as badly as Madrid has.

      Madrid should have done as the UK did with the Scottish referendum. Polls showed most Scots wanted to remain in the UK, and that's how the vote turned out. Polls in Spain showed most Catalans wanted to stay in Spain, and Madrid should have let that be realized. It would have put the issue of independence off for at least a generation. By taking a hard line and trying to prevent the vote from happening, they only effectively suppressed the vote of people who wanted to remain and inflamed many others who had been on the fence to break hard for independence.

      Now the EU is compounding the error by taking sides. That's significant, because the Catalans bidding for independence were only anti-Spain, while being pro-EU. They want to be in the EU and continue as part of that community. Now that the EU has sided with Madrid, they've driven a wedge between the body and the regional independence movements. Instead of ensuring a future for the EU as a unifying force, Brussels is practically guaranteeing now that it will fail.

      European identity continues to evolve, as it always has (most people forget now that there used to be no thing as "Germany," only a collection of independent, Germanic states like Prussia, Bavaria, and so on), and the EU should get with the times or fall apart.

      An EU with Catalonia, the Basque Country, Lombardy, Brittany, Provence, Flanders, Wallonia, and other smaller states among its members would do fine. An EU pockmarked with those states missing would quickly undermine everything it's been trying to achieve.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @05:48PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @05:48PM (#585346)

        EU is just revealing itself for what it was, a giant wolf in sheep's clothing. The days of EU are numbered, whatever they say is really not relevant.

      • (Score: 1) by GDX on Friday October 20 2017, @11:16PM (1 child)

        by GDX (1950) on Friday October 20 2017, @11:16PM (#585470)

        The Spanish government don't have the authority to authorize the referendum, this authorize is in the parliament and the senate and the Catalonia government didn't want to follow the proper procedure for the authorization. And for the anti Spain sentiment that was hammered in majority of independentists through an controlled TV channel group and a education akin to the one during the Nazi Germany (they even tell children to go to protest and take note of does that don't do it, plus is common to discriminate in class those that are not nationalist with active promotion of this behavior by teachers).

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @04:03PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @04:03PM (#585687)

          No, that kind of referendum is unconstitutional. The only alternative is a constitutional reform.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @12:55AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @12:55AM (#585508)

        They are a mix. Some are Pro-EU (JxSi), and some are Anti-EU (CUP). So they will split from Spain.. and then split again over to EU or not EU. Catalan Civil War.

        In reality, they are all a bunch of wanna be kings, to rule on their own, and people are just pawns.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Arik on Friday October 20 2017, @04:24PM (3 children)

      by Arik (4543) on Friday October 20 2017, @04:24PM (#585283)
      IIRC the polls were cited at 49-45 with the no vote (in favor of Madrid) in the lead but neither showing an absolute majority, just prior. Something very close to that at least.

      I'm certainly no expert but having done a little research it seems that support for independence was on the decline until the reaction from the central government drove most of the fence sitters and even a few former supporters to the sí side. They pretty much proved all the negative suspicions and stereotypes about Madrid true.

      There are clearly serious issues in the relationship between Catalonia and Castile, issues that go back centuries but also issues that are relevant today. The fact that they elected a secessionist government sworn to carry out this referendum shows that clearly. Rather than examine the issues, Madrid's response was to turn first to the Spanish Supreme Court and then to the militarized national police, while refusing to have any sort of dialogue with that elected Catalonian government.

      Now were the Spanish Supreme Court a body that commanded universal respect in Spain, this might have been a decent idea. But it's not. It's reviled in large portions of the country, Catalonia being one of them, because of the history going back to 2006 and before. It's seen as corrupt and politicized, and the ruling they gave in this case did nothing to improve that perception in Catalonia. It might conceivably have re-affirmed that the referendum had no legal force while not actually forbidding it from taking place, for instance, which would have done so, but no, they simply gave Madrid whatever it asked for, yet again.

      And it almost seems like Madrid deliberately pours gasoline on the fire. Most observers seem to credit this to incompetence, but do you really rise to the top of a decent sized western-european nation with this level of political incompetence? It beggars belief.

      --
      "If Evolution Is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Evolve."
      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday October 20 2017, @06:57PM (1 child)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 20 2017, @06:57PM (#585367) Journal
        It does seem like a deliberate attempt to create an exploitable emergency. They may also be attempting to write off the small representation (for example, 11 seats [wikipedia.org] in the Parliament of Catalonia) for the People's Party in Catalonia for more electoral gain outside of Catalonia.
        • (Score: 2) by Arik on Friday October 20 2017, @08:01PM

          by Arik (4543) on Friday October 20 2017, @08:01PM (#585398)
          Might get them more seats in Castile but then that just leads to more division between the regions and makes the eventual breakup of Spain more likely in the long run. The other autonomous regions are likely to react in sympathy and there have been signs of this already. There's little support for secession but there's lots of support for autonomy in the regions, and the more the central government looks like it's just dead set on stamping out autonomy the more people will react against that.

          --
          "If Evolution Is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Evolve."
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @05:39AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @05:39AM (#585575)

        I've seen conflicting poll reports. Some showed 40% in favor of indep., but others showed it at around 50%.

        AP: https://apnews.com/1facb692b40a45c78007258417206028/Catalan-separatist-urges-unity-as-pressure-builds-in-Spain [apnews.com]

        Time Magazine: (I can't find it, but I'm sure I read it in a Time article somewhere putting it at 50%. And their website sucks, so I'm sorry but I can't keep surfing that shit)

        I haven't seen any polls since the referendum, but I've seen a lot of televised interviews with people on the street saying they were on the fence, and the crackdown drove them towards independence

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @04:24PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @04:24PM (#585282)

    of Germany is on side with those in control of the military, it gives me hope that there can a replay of history and that freedom for all Germany people will finally be achieved and the mongrel invaders will finally be expelled from greater Germany

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by nitehawk214 on Friday October 20 2017, @06:25PM (2 children)

      by nitehawk214 (1304) on Friday October 20 2017, @06:25PM (#585358)

      Germany got involved with a Spanish civil war once....

      --
      "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @08:44PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @08:44PM (#585425)

        because you didn't pay attention to your parents telling you about it?

        • (Score: 1) by nitehawk214 on Saturday October 21 2017, @09:48PM

          by nitehawk214 (1304) on Saturday October 21 2017, @09:48PM (#585788)

          The only Franco my parents taught me about was Franco Harris.

          --
          "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @04:43PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @04:43PM (#585298)

    Tell us what you believe.

    If you believe in independence, we'll take take your powers away.
    If you believe or don't believe in independence but fail to tell us by our deadline, we'll take your powers away.
    Maybe there is a third option you'd like to consider.

    What part of living in a democracy don't you understand.

    • (Score: 1, Troll) by realDonaldTrump on Friday October 20 2017, @06:54PM (2 children)

      by realDonaldTrump (6614) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 20 2017, @06:54PM (#585366) Homepage Journal

      I'll tell you, they don't understand law and order. Without law and order, you don't have a country. They held a HIGHLY ILLEGAL vote. They broke the law by holding that vote. And they knew what they were getting into. I hate to tell you, but the Catalonians deserve everything that's happened to them. I think Spain is a great country, and it should remain united. I think the people of Catalonia have been talking about this for a long time. I'm just for a united Spain. And if they did a real vote, you’d find out people of Catalonia love their country, they love Spain.

      And there's a very sad situation in California. I have many, many supporters in California. But the Dems rigged the election. Signed up millions of illegal voters. So it looked like Crooked Hillary won. She didn't win. She won because it was rigged. But I have a commission looking into how to stop the illegal voting, how to fix the elections. #MAGA 🇺🇸

      --
      Text TRUMP to 88022 to join the 🚂 #TrumpTrain [facebook.com]
      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @08:36PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @08:36PM (#585420)

        You are getting pretty good at this.

        • (Score: 3, Funny) by realDonaldTrump on Saturday October 21 2017, @12:44AM

          by realDonaldTrump (6614) Subscriber Badge on Saturday October 21 2017, @12:44AM (#585502) Homepage Journal

          Thank you for your beautiful, beautiful support! I put some great people on my Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. They're doing amazing work! #MAGA 🇺🇸

          --
          Text TRUMP to 88022 to join the 🚂 #TrumpTrain [facebook.com]
  • (Score: 1) by Woosh on Friday October 20 2017, @07:03PM (6 children)

    by Woosh (6715) on Friday October 20 2017, @07:03PM (#585375)

    Well the Portuguese colonies in Brazil failed to submit their declaration of independence by the July 5th, 1776 deadline. So they had to wait another 50 years. The US overnighted theirs.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @07:46PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @07:46PM (#585394)

      ^ for anyone doubting US exceptionalism

    • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Friday October 20 2017, @09:38PM (4 children)

      by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Friday October 20 2017, @09:38PM (#585443) Homepage Journal

      On July 4, 1993 I had lunch with six or so German graduate students.

      "Vut is it that you Amerikans celebrate on July 4?"

      "That's when we started shooting at the British." That's not true but it's what I said.

      "For us it's October 6."

      "No it isn't," someone said very quietly.

      We finish are lunch in awkward silence.

      --
      Request Free Credit Report By Mail [annualcreditreport.org.in]
      • (Score: 2, Informative) by khallow on Friday October 20 2017, @11:46PM (3 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 20 2017, @11:46PM (#585479) Journal
        October 6 is an official US holiday, German-American day [wikipedia.org].

        German-American Day, which celebrates German American heritage, commemorates the date in 1683 when 13 German families from Krefeld, near the Rhine, landed in Philadelphia. These families subsequently founded Germantown, Pennsylvania, the first German settlement in the original thirteen American colonies

        [...]

        Originally known under the rubric of "German Day", the holiday was celebrated for the first time in Philadelphia in 1883, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the settlers from Krefeld; and similar celebrations developed later in other parts of the country. The custom died out during World War I as a result of the anti-German sentiment that prevailed at the time, but the holiday was revived in 1983 in joint resolution 108. The bill was sponsored by Senator Richard G. Lugar (R–IN) on April 8, 1987.

        No shooting involved.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @11:55PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 20 2017, @11:55PM (#585481)

          The last operational unit of the Polish Army, General Franciszek Kleeberg's Samodzielna Grupa Operacyjna "Polesie", surrendered after the four-day Battle of Kock near Lublin on 6 October marking the end of the September Campaign.

          ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_Poland_(1939) [wikipedia.org] )

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday October 21 2017, @02:02AM (1 child)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday October 21 2017, @02:02AM (#585528) Journal
            And Germans would celebrate that why? Poland wasn't a major opponent.
            • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @03:29PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @03:29PM (#585683)

              Britain (mentioned in MDC's story) and France were allied with Poland. The conquest of Poland was the Nazis' first military victory and the beginning of World War II.

              MDC says his story is about Germans at CERN, which is in Switzerland. It's obviously not about German-Americans, because they ask MDC in heavily accented English about the significance of July 4 to "you" Americans. Since they were ignorant of the meaning of July 4 to Americans, they might well be ignorant of German-American Day. I doubt that there are many people who observe that US holiday in Germany. If they did celebrate German-American Day in Germany, why would they feel awkward about doing so? As you noticed, that holiday isn't about war with the British. Going by what you wrote, it honors German-Americans.

              If a member of the group thought the conquest of Poland by the Nazis was something to celebrate, there's ample reason for awkwardness and embarrassment.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @01:24AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @01:24AM (#585514)

    155 was waved around in 1989 to get Canary Island to stop applying duties to things arriving from EEC (now EU) countries, as required by the deal to be part of EEC.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/catalonia-spain-direct-rule-independence-referendum-catalan-what-will-it-look-like-a8009716.html [independent.co.uk]

    News that claimed separatists were hit brutally are starting to be demostrated to be fake. They were hit, but way less than they claimed. You ate the bait, with sinker.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/08/catalonia-demo-injuries-fact-checking [theguardian.com]
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/10/19/how-fake-news-helped-shape-the-catalonia-independence-vote/ [washingtonpost.com]

    Worst is that investigations are showing Mossos, local police, tried to hide what was going on by not recording their comms (as required by their own rules... something about transparency and accountability of LEOs).
    http://www.elmundo.es/cataluna/2017/10/20/59e90a9446163fd44b8b46a5.html [elmundo.es]

    Meanwhile, companies and people keep on doing the paperwork to leave Catalonia. And those that are not patriotic enough and pushing for separation at all costs (even crashing everything into the ground), are started to be criticized.
    http://www.larazon.es/deportes/la-anc-y-omnium-cargan-contra-el-f-c-barcelona-por-no-ser-lo-bastante-independentista-JA16611686 [larazon.es]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @12:48PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @12:48PM (#585647)

      Was the independence sentiment faked?
      Were the vote results faked?
      Were the Catalan president's requests for negotiation faked?
      Was the absolute refusal of Madrid to negotiate faked?
      Was Madrid's completely unsympathetic ignoring of the sentiments of its citizens faked?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @04:09PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 21 2017, @04:09PM (#585688)

        No
        Yes
        Yes
        There was nothing to negotiate with criminals.
        Demagogy.

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