Slim Pickings in Galicia

Winter is coming.

Finding a rental was already tough in this area of Spain. Most spare home owners or people who’ve inherited something would rather sell than maintain a place well enough for a tenant be interested.

With Spanish people still reeling from a difficult quarantine, the continued teletrabajo ability for the truly lucky ones, and current second wave of coronavirus after the summer, it seems it’s even harder to find anything.

We’re taking a pause on looking to buy something for the moment. Thinking nearer future, we realize that while our current house is fantastic for the fall, spring, and summer, it was pretty uncomfortable here this winter. But our landlady is unwilling to replace the drafty window and door, or install an actual floor on the bottom level, to make the space more livable. The rent is cheap, but she’s even balked at the thought of us paying more to do these necessary improvements.

“When you two leave, I’m locking the house up and turning off the utilities. Ay, muchos gastos!

In winter, the only warm area is the kitchen/my workspace with a pellet heater. This leaves Patricia’s workshop/our living room extremely frigid. We reluctantly used an electric space heater that my folks were gracious enough to buy when they visited (also for their own self-preservation last December), but it doesn’t fix the problem.

We’ve been here before. So once again, we’re scouring idealista and milanuncios everyday.

Alberto Garzón on the Spanish Right

Tommy Greene and Eoghan Gilmartin interviewed Consumer Affairs minister and Izquierda Unida leader Alberto Garzón for Jacobin on the Spanish Right’s refusal to accept the current governmental coalition:

You have to remember that the right wing in our country does not have democratic origins. It is not like the mainstream right in France or Germany, where there is, at least in part, an anti-fascist tradition. The Spanish right hasn’t looked to isolate the extreme right, as German chancellor Angela Merkel has done. In Spain, the right-wing parties broker power-sharing agreements and govern with the extreme right [at the regional level].

They conceive of Spain as their own patrimony, in which they are the arbiters of who is truly Spanish and who is a patriot or not. Their vision of the country doesn’t allow for a party like ours [Unidas Podemos] to be in government — it’s a kind of coup d’état, in their eyes, that we are governing Spain at present. They’ve called us traitors, criminals, terrorists, assassins — they have raised the level of discursive belligerence in public life to the point whereby its polarizing consequences have seeped into and are felt in almost all sectors of Spanish society. You can see this in the ongoing campaign of harassment against deputy prime minister Pablo Iglesias and equality minister Irene Montero [with members of the far-right camped outside their family home for the last three months].

Beyond the Vote

What if instead of the Democratic Party pushing absolutely mediocre democratic candidates, who run to the center every time the right moves further right, we started thinking beyond Trump and “getting back to normal”?

Does anyone actually believe normalcy will return? Let’s acknowledge that the current president is simply a vulgar symptom of larger societal issues that have plagued for a long time, and find alternative solutions, wherever they may be found.

We could’ve started with a candidate who cares about working families, but watercarriers for the DNC always pin their hope and dreams on centrist politicians who stand for nothing.

I get it. The GOP is worse. Fine. But let’s also not scold critics of the other side because it might ‘play into Trump’s hands’. Trust me, if Biden loses, it won’t be because of leftists not voting. Think of the 40% of non-voters.