Conn Hallinan
Thursday March 10, 2016 - 10:32:00 PM

The effort by Pedro Sanchez, leader of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party, to form a government on March 2 brings to mind the story of the hunter who goes into the forest with one bullet in his rifle. Seeing a deer on his right and a boar on his left, he shoots in the middle.

Sanchez’s search for a viable coalition partner began when the ruling right-wing Popular Party (PP) took a pounding in Spain’s Dec. 20 election, dropping 63 seats and losing its majority. Voters, angered by years of savage austerity that drove poverty and unemployment rates to among the highest in Europe, voted PP Prime Minster Mariano Rajoy out and anti-austerity parties in, although leaving the PP as the largest single party in the parliament.

The only real winner in election was the left-wing Podemos Party, which took 20.6 percent of the vote. The Socialist Party actually lost 20 seats, its worst showing ever, and at 22 percent, barely edged out Podemos. And if the Spanish political system were not rigged to give rural voters more power than urban ones, Podemos would have done much better. The Socialists and the PP are particularly strong in rural areas, while Podemos is strong in the cities. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE: White Men, Go to the Back of the Line!

Bob Burnett
Thursday March 10, 2016 - 04:42:00 PM

In 2012, Democrat Barack Obama won reelection with 51 percent of the vote compared to Republican Mitt Romney’s 47 percent. Obama’s victory was the result of a formidable coalition of racial minorities and progressive Whites, particularly single women. In 2016, if Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders is to prevail, they must recreate the same coalition. And, White men will be the smallest faction. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Strategies Delusions Use vs. Strategies to Alleviate Delusions

Jack Bragen
Thursday March 10, 2016 - 10:10:00 PM

In case my readers didn't know by now, I have done a lot of introspection partly for the purposes of gaining a better understanding of my psychotic illness, and also for gaining a better understanding of my mind, in general. I have often combined this introspection with journaling, and this is useful because I can see the thoughts and ideas on the pad of paper in front of me. -more-