Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still being prosecuted

No, seriously; Franco is still dead, but that’s apparently no reason not to indict him in Spain, a country that dealt with its bitter civil war by pretending it never happened — until now, evidently.

Speaking of living in denial, Quebec, which already enjoys a certain autonomy in processing immigration applications, has introduced a mandatory declaration of commitment to Quebec’s common values. I have not yet seen the text of the declaration, nor the sanctions proposed for persons deemed not to have upheld these obligations, but I have to say this reminds me of the similar proposal in Hérouxville. The stated reason for this declaration is to follow the recommendations of the Consultation Commission on Accommodation Practices Related to Cultural Differences, a.k.a. the “reasonable accommodation” hearings, but I’ve read their report and this wasn’t in it. That report, an intelligent answer to what I would describe as a stupid question (“how nice should we be to immigrants?”), talks about things like the importance of affirmative action programs to combat widespread xenophobia and discrimination. It doesn’t suggest a pledge of allegiance like this (nor does it endorse French language tests for citizenship). But if I know the Liberal Party of Quebec, this declaration is most likely gutless and meaninglessly vague, so perhaps for now it’s not such a big deal in practice.

What other news? Yesterday I picked up my winter bike from the repair shop that prepared it for the coming season for me, and today I intend to purchase pumpkins to carve with friends tomorrow while distributing candy to children. One of said friends has never participated in this ritual before, not having grown up in a culture that decorates food and throws it away, so I’m sure a good time will be had by all. Also, I’m almost not sick anymore (just a cold, but it’s been several days). Which is to say, life is good.