Catalonia and International Law (as I understand it)

Tomorrow Catalonia either will or won’t succeed in holding a vote on secession from Spain. The referendum was duly approved by Catalonia’s regional parliament (albeit under somewhat sketchy circumstances), but is considered illegal by Spain’s national government and constitutional court. The national government’s response has been surprisingly harsh ("decisive," if you prefer), and it is…

Votes by Region

Spiegel Online has a really fun interactive map of election results. It shows a map of Germany broken down by district, and you can filter by party to see how well each party did. Of course, the most dramatic results confirm an old insight: votes for the more extreme parties are concentrated in the East.…

30 Days

Now that the shocking results are in, it’s safe to say that my prediction from yesterday has a pretty good chance of coming true. That was that Germany would get its first ever federal minority government1, and that it would be formed by Union (CDU/CSU) and the FDP. It all depends on inter-party negotiations from…

Puigdemont Has Written An Essay

Carles Puigdemont – premier of the Catalonian Autonomous Region – is currently winning the PR war with the Spanish government. That seems to be the temper of the times: there’s a strong misalignment between the forces that are good at manipulating public opinion and the forces that are for right and the rule of law,…

Election 2017 – Predictions

Since the German election is tomorrow, this is my last chance to post a prediction. I think it will be … A Union-FDP coalition minority government, the first minority government in the history of the Bundesrepublik. Here’s what we know to almost a moral certainty: Merkel will be chancellor again. There’s no way the CDU/CSU…

Et the Internet, Spain?

The budding constitutional crisis in Spain over Catalonia’s secession/independence referendum is a near-perfect example of the hallmark of our times: issues that escalate for no good reason other than the sheer fuck of it. The latest brick in the wall is attempts by Spanish authorities to shut down websites reachable on .cat TLD urls that…

Israel – Siouxsie and the Banshees (Review)

For whatever reason, I’ve been on a Siouxsie and the Banshees kick over the last couple of weeks. That’s a band I used to listen to a lot in high school and college and haven’t paid much attention to since. They’re a lot better than I remember. Albums like Kaleidoscope that used to seem like…