Saturday, August 27, 2011

Links Ahoy: Welfare, Obama, Italy, Chile and Travel

Danyl McLachlan's satire sums up the latest welfare reform proposals. It suggests not much has changed since I wrote this.

Timothy Egan tracks the downgrade of Obama's promise of "hope and audacity".

Gordon Campbell is doing regular background pieces on the politics and economy of all the different countries involved in the Rugby World Cup. This one on Italy is especially interesting for its coverage of a failed scheme to address youth unemployment.

Two local Chilean acquaintances recently described for me the current social movements driven by protests about education. In what they describe as "the most neoliberal country in the world", much of the education system is run on a for-profit basis, resulting in a two-tier system of enormous inequities. The Guardian adds more background and profiles the leader of the protests: 23, beautiful, terrifyingly articulate, and a communist (if she didn't exist Isabel Allende would have had to invent her).

On a lighter note, these are pretty accurate observations on travelling from Ben Groundwater. I liked this one:

10. No one cares what happened while you were overseas
This is a little surprise waiting for you when you come home. All those amazing experiences you had on the road? No one wants to hear about them. No one wants to look at your photos. No one wants to see your souvenirs.


terence said...

"No one cares what happened while you were overseas"

Ha! Nice. And depressingly true. Although I don't let it stop me from assailing people with photos and regaling them with tales...

Simon Bidwell said...

Hi Terence.

Yes, after the first couple of times you learn that you're going to have to impose yourself :)