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Sunday, March 14, 2004

Sunday night blogging. Not only is it fun, but it gives you, loyal reader, another brief respite from beginning your workday on the latest in an endless succession of Monday mornings. "Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays!"
Item! I signed up for a free service that lets me track the number of unique visitors to the website, and I can see at what time people visited, and how they came to the website---by just typing in the address, through a websearch, or via another webpage. Don't worry, I have no way of knowing your identity; your secret is safe with me. But there's a good chance that if the NSA is monitoring me, they can figure out who you are, declare you an enemy combatant, and then detain you indefinitely without access to the legal system.
Aside from people in the know simply typing in the web address, the second most common way that people get here is through a Google search. Lately, a lot of people have been directed here through searches for video clips from Chappelle's Show (and really, if you haven't yet watched "Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories," stop what you're doing, and watch it now). A few people were searching for the television show D.H.S.--The Series, another was searching for some information on Jehova's witnesses, and one person was searching for Joel Osteen, the televangelist from Lakewood Church in Houston. You know, the "person of excellence" guy who I like to imagine shooting skeet while he's all coked up. I doubt that visitor found what they were looking for. And recently, a UK site, The Sideshow, picked up on our little blog somehow and posted a link to us.
I just find it interesting, that's all. The other thing I've noticed is that there's generally an upsurge in viewer activity from 12:00-2:00 weekdays. I wonder why.

In other news, the Spanish Socialist Party won the elections today, ousting the Popular Party. In part this was retribution for Prime Minister Aznar's support of the Iraq War and amigo-amigo relationship with Shrub. It's looking likely the deadly bombings on Thursday were the work of al Qaeda, and many Spaniards are blaming the attack on Spain's membership in the "coalition of the willing." Afterall, 90% of the population was opposed to the war, so it's not like the government had the backing of its citizens. The leader of the Socialist Party, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, has pledged to withdraw Spain's 1300 troops from Iraq and distance itself from the U.S. while strengthening relations with France and Germany. So it's not likely that we'll be seeing that dude visiting Crawford, TX, anytime soon.
What I find most interesting here is the reaction of so many people to the bombings, and how that contrasts with reactions to terrorism here. Ten million people were in the streets in Spain after the bombings, some to grieve, and others to express anger at the government. After 9/11, anyone here who even hinted that U.S. foreign policy was partially to blame for the terror attacks was labeled a heretic, un-American, and a puppy-kicker. And conventional wisdom says that another terror attack before the election in November would help Shrub's re-election effort, just the opposite of what just happened in Spain. I think the Spaniards' reaction is the more reasoned, but really, let's hope we don't find out if the conventional wisdom is correct.
One last note--voter turnout in Spain was at 76%, 8% higher than the last election. Two million young Spaniards voted for the first time, and many were driven to the polls by a desire to get rid of Aznar. With any luck, we'll see something similar here in eight months.

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