Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Drudge Report story on the Clinton campaign's spreading a photo of Obama in native African dress in Kenya, supposedly to make voters think he's a Muslim, has hit the news big in Spain. Since there's an image involved, a photograph, Spaniards can relate to it much better than they can to just plain old words. Remember, Europeans judge us on images for many reasons; one is that their journalists aren't familiar with American history and culture, and another is that said journalists don't really know English that well.

Zap has a new promise: the state will fund a day-care center for children under three at any workplace where six or more people request it.

There's a new study saying that anti-depressants don't work any better than placebos; I'm pretty sure that they do in my case.

Spain's high-school dropout rate is 30%, second worst in the European Union after Portugal. The Socialist education program places all the kids (some of whom would formerly either have left school at 14 or gone on to vocational schools) in academic high schools. So they're mixing the ones who want to be there with the ones who don't, and that's a recipe for disaster. No wonder nearly a third of them drop out.

Go back to the old elitist way. Let them drop out at 14 if they want to, and reduce the working age to 14 for at least some jobs. Of course, provide vocational-technical schools for the non-academic people who actually want to get some useful skills. And leave the academic high schools to potential university students. Everyone will be much happier.

Average Spanish household expenses rose by 6.3% in 2007 to nearly €4000. Inflation is hitting the voters in the pocketbook, and Rajoy is right to stress it in his campaign.

Second house prices look to be well on their way to crashing and burning in Spain; there are reports that real estate prices are down 30% in Spain's Mediterranean beach towns, and it's still hard to find buyers.

Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the murders of eight Spanish tourists last year in Yemen. Nobody is surprised.

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