Ah yes

Yesterday, I mentioned the explosion in immigrant arrivals in Italy, but couldn’t remember where I read it – I don’t think I read it there for the first time, but here is a BBC link. It looks like almost one third of prisoners in Italy are foreigners – that’s how we treat illegal immigrants, we throw them in jail. Mmm… I do wonder if there would be a more efficient use of taxpayers’ money? I’d love to know what the jailed immigrants end up doing when they are released and/or deported – I know that a lot will attempt the trip again if they’ve been deported, while others will disappear into the masses of immigrants living in dire poverty all across Western Europe.

Frightening.

I also finished reading “The Wisdom of Whores” (I know, finally, but I read more than one book at a time, so this happens often). Elizabeth Pisani is my hero. She has managed to write a book that is both extremely informative and offers a candid, real view into the inner workings of the AIDS industry. A lot of the dynamics that animate the field of development are at work in the AIDS business – but the twist, with this incurable disease, is that people are dying literally every minute, and the sense of urgency is not the same as in, say, micro finance. But I was chuckling throughout, specifically in the chapter entitled “Ants in the Sugar Bowl”, which so accurately describes the crazy ways in which taxpayers’ money is thrown out the window.

Thankfully, as she mentions, a lot of people in “development” function with this sort of consciousness, with a critical and honest approach to their work. I will definitely write more about her book, which I think should be required reading for any young idealist who believes in “changing the world” (i.e. me)

Lastly, I found this nifty little gadget which counts down until the end of the Bush presidency. Seriously, are you not counting the days??

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