Sunday, December 21, 2014

Insuficiencia cardiaca

Article d'opinió publicat el 18 de desembre a DiariMés




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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Spain's Attorney General resigns

...sort of.
Actually, it is quite clear His Honor Eduardo Torres Dulce has been sacked. Theoretically the law does not allow the dismissal of an Attorney General (Fiscal General del Estado), even though when elected, the AG is appointed by the government (the executive) through a proposal to the Parliament.

Everybody (journalists, pundits,etc.) agreed the reason being the Catalan bid for Independence, usually known as "Procés soberanista". The differences of legal criteria between the Fiscalia de Catalunya , the State Attorneys for the Catalan region, the central Government and the Attorney General, about the indictment of the President de la Generalitat currently leading the "Procés", this past November, generated quite a row between the different levels of power.

The Catalan State Attorney thought there were no grounds for the indictment, the government pushed the AG to impose his authority in collision with a proper separation of powers, to what he eventually abide, but on his reluctance he has been forced to resign.

Not that the AG would by any stretch of the imagination be in favor of the Catalan "Procés". He is an ultraconservative member of the Opus Dei and with a peculiar self-righteous personality. His resignation has been more of a stand up for the very charter of the office of AG.

The interference by the executive of the Popular Party is well beyond any turf war. It is the utter exercise of power in disrespect for all the democratic principles of separation of powers by a bunch of thugs whose cradle was Franco's dictatorship. Once they got a absolute majority in the last general elections, no only forgot and forfeited all their electoral promises but they exercised the most hideous "by decree" politics not only against the people but also against common sense.

The AG Torres Dulce joints the list of political figures getting out of the way this year of 2014, which includes the former king Juan Carlos, the opposition leader Mr. Rubalcaba, the Minister of Justice Gallardón, the former President of the Catalan Generalitat Jordi Pujol, and a few other smaller fishes. In my humble opinion (IMHO) all of them as a consequence, one way or another, of the "Procés", as I have mentioned in other occasion (http://xallue.blogspot.com.es/2014/08/gone-with-wind.html). 

We are yet to see a few more before the end of the year.


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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Más Ebola

El actual brote epidémico de infecciones por el virus Ébola en varios países africanos y, ocasionalmente y mediadas circunstancias extraordinarias, en España, va a continuar de actualidad un tiempo.

De momento, la revista TIME ha elegido a los luchadores contra el Ebola, Persona del año, galardón reservado para el que consideran el personaje más influyente del periodo.

No es que el Ébola sea para nosotros una novedad. Revolviendo papeles he encontrado un artículo que publiqué en la desaparecida revista "Economics" en 1994 sobre las nuevas infecciones emergentes. Hace 20 hermosos años. Allí reconocíamos la existencia y la más que probable activación de los virus causantes de  fiebre hemorrágicas, especialmente en países tropicales y la posibilidad de su propagación a otros sitios.

Esta semana hemos conocido la declaración de la OMS de que España está libre de casos de Ébola. Igual que hace un mes se declaró Nigeria.
Después de la catastrófica aventura puesta en marcha por el gobierno español este verano pasado, no deja de ser un avance.

Hay que reconocer que la funesta idea de repatriar dos misioneros moribundos en evidente fase de contagiosidad máxima, el posterior caso de una infección en una trabajadora sanitaria y la vergonzante actuación de los responsables sanitarios en el gobierno del estado y, también, de la Comunidad autónoma de Madrid que tiene las competencias de sanidad de la capital, configuran un episodio dramático. Y un nuevo monumento a la incuria y la estupidez humana. Los mencionados responsables han sido cesados por el gobierno en un gesto terminal, carente de eficacia más allá de evitarnos seguir contando con la presencia de semejantes incompetentes en les medios de comunicación.

No nos ha librado, empero, de la presencia del propio presidente del gobierno, responsable final de todo ese embrollo. Quede para el registro que el responsable inicial, el autor del primer gesto de dudosa fortuna, fue Mariano Rajoy cuando ordenó que se trajera desde África a los misioneros infectados. Vamos, que no se fleta un avión militar para irse a otro continente sin la instrucción expresa de la Presidencia del Gobierno.

Razones se aducirán las que se quiera, pero conociendo el percal que se teje, estoy convencido que alguna de las mentes pensantes de La Moncloa encontró una excelente excusa para generar un tema para los noticiarios, en medio de la canícula estival y la habitual sequía de noticias de período, con la esperanza de obtener algunos réditos políticos o electorales. Mandar soldados de aventuras por el mundo es algo muy propio de los gobiernos. Disponer de un centro hospitalario con condiciones y personal adiestrado y competente es harina de un costal diferente. Para colmo pensaron en utilizar un hospital en fase de derribo por razones políticas de difícil justificación, en medio de la tormenta de privatizaciones y recortes sanitarios que el Partido Popular viene sometiendo a la población de Madrid y aledaños. Y luego pasó lo que pasó: los dos misioneros muertos y un perro asesinado remedando la antigua zarzuela "El rey que rabió" y el refrán de muerto el perro se acabo la rabia.

Pues tampoco, porque la rabia que da todo el lío, no se nos acaba.

Para los interesados recomiendo la lectura del texto de Lluis Mallart en el blog de Antropologia Médica que desde Medical Anthropology Research Center publicamos para la Red Iberoamericana de Antropología Médica:  http://redamantropologiamedica.blogspot.com.es/2014/09/notes-sobre-un-sentit-possible-del-nom.html sobre el probable origen del nombre de Ebola.

En varias lenguas de África del oeste el término viene a significar podredumbre, y probablemente se conocía de antiguo. Las fiebres hemorrágicas es probable que no tengan entidad reconocible por parte de la gente en unas regiones donde tener fiebre es algo muy común, generalmente por el paludismo. Cuando una fiebre evoluciona hacia un estadio terminal con exantemas, hematomas y hemorragias diversas, causando la muerte, es fácil que se asemeje al proceso de pudrimiento de las frutas y se le pueda acabar llamando así.

Contemplando la evolución del actual gobierno español y el estado del estado, sin olvidar la escasa distancia que existe entre poder y podre, se nos antoja que el episodio del Ebola en España forma parte de los síntomas de podredumbre de un sistema en franca descomposición.

Y si no, al tiempo.


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Friday, November 28, 2014

El dret de revocació dels càrrecs electes

Aquest articlet, escrit ara fa unes mesos, es publica el 25 de novembre a DiariMés, el diari de Tarragona que tenen l'amabilitat de publicar-me de tant en tant. Motivat per la contemplació de l'inanitat de bastants dels polítics d'aquest país (i dels del costat) aboga per la possibilitat legal de fer-los fora abans de que s'esgoti la legislatura. Això hauría de valdre a tots el nivells, municipal, territorial, estatal o fins i tot continental, puix que acabem de veure que al l'Unió Europea s'ha presentat una moció de censura contra el president de la Comissió Europea Jean-Claude JUnker que, per cert, ha guanyat.

Ja em direu que us sembla

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Fent caminet cap a la independència de Catalunya

Els esdeveniments es van succeint més ràpid que no la meva capacitat d'escriure en aquest blog.
Com tothom sap a hores d'ara, la "consulta", referèndum parcial, "procés consultiu no vinculant" o el que voleu que el nomenem, del 9N ha estat un èxit aclaparador. 2.3 milions de ciutadans es van llevar al matí, van agafar el seu DNI, van trobar el lloc on podien votar, cosa no massa fàcil puix que només es podia votar als instituts d'ensenyament secundari i alguns altres locals, van fer cues de més d'una hora, a llocs sota la pluja, es van identificar davant de les meses constituïdes per voluntaris que des de bon matí estaven preparats i van dipositar la seva papereta expressant la seva voluntat en respondre a les preguntes plantejades. No va haver-hi cap incident i al final de la jornada no van quedar restes ni deixalles, tot net i polit i disponible per a seguir les vides amb normalitat l'endemà.
2.3 milions de persones no fan aquest esforç per a no res. No han embogit escoltant cants de sirenes mediàtiques, ni tenen reaccions viscerals a històries, slogans o simbolismes.
Han donat una passa endavant en una direcció clara: la independència d'una nació.
Qualsevol altra interpretació resulta buida i inconsistent.
Qui vulgui escoltar que escolti.

Òbviament que cal continuar treballant en un procés pacífic, democràtic i consistent amb les voluntats expressades.
I en això estem.

A la següent entrada d'aquest blog aportem unes idees per un aspecte de les decisions a incloure a un futur estatut o constitució.

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Sunday, November 09, 2014

9N. The Catalan ersatz referendum. Midday chronicle

International Observers


 Granma and grandson voting together




I got up early. I am not a volunteer. Rather I am in charge of relations of ANC (Assemblea Nacional Catalana, the grass root movement for the independence of Catalonia) with the press and assisting international observers.
By 8.15 h. I was at one of the polling stations. They have been set in public High School buildings. Those buildings belong to the state, in Catalonia: the Generalitat. In small town the polling stations are in the town hall or the “civic centers”, usually used for senior citizens and cultural activities.
The General State Attorney had warned about the use of those buildings, and threatened school head masters and principals with administrative punishments if they open the centers. The way around it was to hand the keys to an unidentified “volunteer” to open the gates.
Police was supposed to identify whoever open the premises, but they were nowhere to be seen. You could see police cruisers diving by and just waving salutes from inside the cars.
Somebody (opposers to the polls) had try to inject silicon in the gates locks of the schools. However many had made a provision for that dabbing vaseline to the locks so the silicon could not stick. No problem there.
We went into the school as the managers of the polling station were giving the final instructions to the volunteers at the tables, Wi-Fi passwords and such.
Outside a long cue of would-be voters had been forming. More than 200 on my count and growing.
At 9 o’clock sharp the doors opened and the first voters were greeted with a warm applause of the volunteers.
We took the international observers to five different polling stations. They were two ladies from Scotland; one a member of the Scottish National Party and the other a member of the International Convention for European Citizens, a political organisation based in Brussels that watches over EU citizens rights. They were impressed by the order and the civic mood.

Not a single incident. Cheerful faces and restrained enthusiasm. We were voting!!

Somewhere before lunch I did a spot check in different tables and the mean number of votes registered was around 260. They should reach 300 easily by the end of the day. With more of 6000 tables in the whole country, you could figure out a general show close to 1.8 million voters. May be more.


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Sunday, November 02, 2014

The "consulta", ersatz referendum, "botifarrada" or what-have-you, is on


This is part of my correspondence with English speaking friends on this coming week in Catalonia:


The "consulta", ersatz referendum, "botifarrada" or what-have-you, is on. Relentlessly. We will vote.
It may be possible the Spanish government, with the admission to consider the ban to voting by the Tribunal Constitucional, will feel compelled to enforce the ban. It may. But that's shaky legal ground. They may ban the use of high school buildings, forbid directly the principals to open the centers, or threaten Artur Mas one way or another. But that won't stop the grass root organizations to bring out ballot boxes to the street and celebrate a great "fiesta". (InTarragona there are already plans to have a huge popular paella). At any rate it will be difficult to enforce.There are not enough police, Mossos, Guardia civil and others to control the more than 6000 voting places already announced. In every little town, more than 900 town halls and all the High School buildings everywhere. Plus the question about who would order the Mossos to go where. In case of any great catastrophe the police have their contingency plans to protect official buildings, communications and hospitals. The Policia Nacional  (some 700 cops)are already deployed to protect Spanish state official buildings and the post offices. La Guardia Civil is busy on their usual task of frontier posts and customs at the airports and harbors. The local police forces (municipales) are at the orders of town mayors, all of them (928 out of 946 municipalities) in favor of the independence, so little to do there.
That is a major logistic and tactical problem.
I do not even conceive the Spanish government would send any forces from outside Catalonia. That would be an even major strategic error/problem. The use of force against peaceful would-be-voters will hit hard on all news agencies all over the world plus EU, NATO and UN headquarters. That's a no-no. In here we are for a Si-Si 

That said, and even mistrusting the most elementary prudence of the Spanish government, what I foresee is they'll send some admonitions and tune down advice, and let the "fiesta" with whatever limitations to be celebrated. Waited it out and use spin doctors the next morning. Called it a fiasco and bring the attention to the predicted announcement of Catalonia elections in a couple of months time.

No matter what, the international attention would be guaranteed anyway.

I am directing my thoughts beyond 9N, and not just about Catalonia. The situation in Madrid is that of a major political crisis. The corruption tsunami may well overtake Rajoy's government, and that could happen in a matter of days, not weeks or months. The nervousness in Madrid political circles is mounting by the hour. Today's EL PAIS poll http://politica.elpais.com/politica/2014/11/01/actualidad/1414865510_731502.html signaling Podemos as the leading electoral option is seen with great concern. Not that I give much credit to sociologists on the whole and Metroscopia's in particular, but we may well believe that old saying in Spanish of "...cuando el rio suena, agua lleva...") (Will comment about Podemos some other time. Meanwhile read Enric Juliana today: http://goo.gl/MuYtyH )
At any rate we are looking forward to events beyond the Catalan scope that may be determinant of our little history.
Meanwhile and for this coming week:

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