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United States and Spain: The danger of ethnic minorities. ETA

Comments on the brouhaha about the Idaho state solution on Basque politics. An exchange between Paul Simon (PS) and me (RH):

PS: Congress passes HUNDREDS of non-binding resolutions every year. Most are seemingly silly and enacted to appease some small domestic constituency.They should be treated accordingly.

RH: Unfortunately the world takes them seriously. I donīt know any other parliament which passes such resolutions.

PS:The world should have a look at the list- they are so diverse and dumb that no one looking at the list would ever give them a second's thought again. If "the world" is too lazy to understand how US government works, they should be polite enough to shut up about some thing they are ignorant about. Resolutions are usually to sponsor Skunk Awareness Day, Thank the Contributions of Lapp immigrants to the economy of Duzwip County, Minnesota, deplore the use of too much taco sauce, etc. Anyone who takes this type of thing as "policy" is phenomenally naive.

RH: Paul: You should apologize to your diplomatic colleague, the Spanish Ambassador in Washington, who is neither naive, much less phenomenally so, nor ignorant. These "non-binding" resolutions are a peculiarity of the US system, a way of lulling the electorate. It's like saying "I'm going to blow up a plane" and then saying it was just a joke. There are occasionally similar items in other parliaments. In Commons this week, an MP for Manchester asked Tony Blair if he agreed that the international soccer game in that city should be a success; the Prime Minister agreed, but it was not a resolution. If the question had involved anything as sensitive as the Basque problem, he would certainly have been more careful. So, Paul, direct your criticism at the US system and to the Idaho legislators. A new translation of "ne super crepidam": stick to your potatoes. I did not need to quote Latin. "Stick to your knitting". Did that originate because a male chauvinist husband was berating his wife?

Ronald Hilton - 3/18/02