Italian war on terror

Posted in History, Paradoxes, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Aug 17, 2008 by Cicero
Aldo Moro kidnaped

Aldo Moro kidnaped by terrorists

One of the most intriguing aspects of the Italian society is its ability to produce unbearable arrangements and to treat them as something normal.

Comparing the aftermaths of two similar events, one in US and other in Italy, one could easily see that the Italian rule of law is something quite particular…

Let’s go for the facts:

In 1981, John Hinkley Jr. shot twice Ronald Reagan, then the US president. Hinckley Jr. was prosecuted, but as declared legally insane, he did not go to the prison. Nevertheless, since then he is locked inside an psychiatric hospital, with no parole, no mercy.

In 1977, leftist terrorists kidnapped Aldo Moro, a former Italian prime minister, and then a top politician. After 55 days, Aldo Moro was killed with 10 rounds, while tied with ropes and covered with a blanket. The killer was Mario Moretti, who was later arrested and condemned to six life sentences. But after 15 years behind bars, he was paroled and freed in 1998. Now he works as an state employee, managing an IT lab at the Lombardy region.

Stating things even more clearly, Mario Moretti:

  • Cowardly killed a human being;
  • Attempted to destroy Italian democracy, targeting to transform Italy into a communist country;
  • Attacked the Italian state and the Italian people, not only a politician;
  • Was condemned to six life sentences;
  • Now works for the Italian government, receiving money from the same entity he tried to destroy.

At the same time, almost every city in Italy has a park, a street or a building called Aldo Moro. In Italy, it seems to be easier to honor Aldo Moro’s memory with a fancy inauguration than to make justice prevails. The arrangement is this: everybody feigns a normal life while the terrorist is rewarded.

Intriguing questions…

Posted in History, Paradoxes, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Aug 02, 2008 by Cicero

Italy is famous for its ruins, castles and remains of societies which existed here centuries ago. Much more than that, Italy, besides Greece, is the birthplace of the Western civilization. Although today’s Italy is truly ridiculous, there is a fantastic heritage. So, what happened to this country?

Traveling throughout the past, one can find numerous Italians who shaped the world as we know it: Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Alessandro Volta, Dante Alighieri, Vivaldi, Verdi, Marco Polo, Columbus, Machiaveli… The list could continue, but the question remains: where are their partners in the modern Italy? Certainly Enrico Fermi, Toscanini, Gramsci, Fellini… But anyone would concede that Italy has lost its wisdom somewhere in the past.

More than that, what is the “greatest” Italian contribution to the world, recently? It is hard to admit, but that was the Fascism. Benito Mussolini created one of the three political beasts which hammered humanity during last century. Fascism, besides Nazism and Communism, was a plague which ruined so many lives and whose harmful affects remained during generations.

Nevertheless, prior to continue, I have to pay a tribute to the numerous Italians who strongly resisted to the Fascism, some of them even paying the highest price, their own lives. But their tremendous efforts could not change History: Fascism was an Italian invention, unfortunately.

And the most scaring aspect of Fascism in Italy is that the monster is still alive. I mean, from one side, Italy is not ashamed of Fascism as it should be (just compare to current Germany’s attitude towards Nazism). And from other side, there are Italian politicians who are openly fascists while the Italian people pretend they are not. Umberto Bossi, Roberto Maroni and Lega Nord, for instance, what are their beliefs?

  • Segregation, based on race: gypsies registered and classified (like Jewish people under Nazis)
  • There is always a scapegoat for Italian failures: immigrants (again a Nazi behaviour)
  • Recollection of some ancient symbol in order to grab some credibility: chivalric symbols (Mussolini used fasces)
Umberto Bossi and a dearest friend

Umberto Bossi and a dearest friend

While I see Italian past, and wonder about Italy’s future, I simply can not stop asking. How much time Italy will have to suffer? Where are the modern partisans who will fight these new fascists?

Berlusconi crooking Italian people

Posted in Politics, Stupidity, TV with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Jul 25, 2008 by Cicero

Unfortunately, now and before, Silvio Berlusconi uses the Italian state to fulfill his personal agenda, not linked to the interests of the Italian people. But it is fair to argue I am just throwing opinions, not substantiated by facts. For that reason I will pinpoint some:

  • Most media tycoons expand globally their businesses. So, why does Berlusconi’s Mediaset is almost completely located in Italy? The answer is simple: in Italy he has the connections to succeed, no matter how inefficient his businesses are. Outside Italy, he would depend on his business acumen and organization quality, which are far from good, indeed.
  • Italian public prosecutors have been hunting Berlusconi for his business practices since 1997. The decreto sicurezza, recently proposed and approved by the Berlusconi government, contains laws conceived to protect him from being investigated and prosecuted.
  • Rete 4, a TV channel part of Mediaset, was fined by European Union for wrongly using a TV frequency, which should be allocated to Europa 7. But with the Italian government support, Rete 4 continues to use the unauthorized frequency. This costs €150,000 per day to the Italian people. At the end of this process the fine can reach more than one billion euro.

Silvio Berlusconi will continue to make the Italian state to pay for his debts and to support his businesses expansion. The pinnacle of the stupidity is that Berlusconi has the approval from Italian people.

Cigars, cigarettes and Freud

Posted in General, Stupidity with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Jul 18, 2008 by Cicero
Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud

Just another day, this blog received a funny comment, regarding an old post. The comment was so absurd that I decided to share it with all of you. As it has some mistakes, I sense an Italian style. So, although it does not come from Italy, the comment matches the blog’s spirit.

As I am open to criticism, the comment is reproduced integrally:

In fact here you are the stupid: the child simply asked why were they smoking, and you are making a drama out of an old cartoon (btw: cigars are not proven damaging heath as cigarettes, get an education before posting on the web). Maybe better you switch your child to CNN or BBC, where she can watch blood everywhere from reportage from Iraq or man slotering from the towns were you live. Come out of your cave, get an education and learn where the switch off button of your TV set is.

From Thomas Edison, based somewhere in the Czech Republic.

The personal offenses I will politely decline to comment. Thomas Edison is free to make any comment and any judgment. This is freedom, something quite unusual in the Czech Republic during 50 years, from 1939 to 1989.

The factual mistakes I am obliged to fix:

  • An old cartoon: Marcelino Pane e Vino is not an old cartoon. It is still being commercialized and exhibited. And being old is not an excuse for being wrong or harmful. For instance, in the past people used to have slaves, now this is not acceptable.
  • CNN or BBC, where she can watch blood everywhere: That is not true. On those channels there are plenty of other programs besides war coverage.

And overall, the “get an education” issue was very, very funny. But instead of “getting an education” I’d rather “give an education,” linking Czech geography, Freud and cigars.

Freud, although Austrian, was born in a region which is now part of Czech Republic. This great man was a cigar aficionado and had suffered with oral cancer, which ultimately led to his death. Any educated person from Czech Republic or living there has to know these facts. So, arguing in favor of cigars is not something we could expect coming from a so called informed person.

One can be addict and perhaps even stupid. But no one has the right to oblige others to accept the stupidity.

Poste Italiene and sand grains

Posted in Daily Life, Stupidity with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Jul 16, 2008 by Cicero

Anyone who lives in Italy will stumble on sand grains. Here, daily life is unnecessarily made complicated, due to the widespread apathy and laziness. Things that are simple and achievable in most part to the world, in Italy are complex endeavors.

Just another day I mailed a package to my home country. To make things clearer, I was not sending any special merchandise, neither my home country is in another planet. I was just sending a medium-sized package with books, documents and photos to Latin America.

Naively, I went to the agency of Poste Italiene, at the small comune where I live. After waiting in a line, I had to follow a complex procedure just to give the package to the post office guy. As the post office is also a bank, there were security doors and some other stuff. I guess it is easier to enter a nuclear plant, but rules are rules anyway, and I am quite polite and patient. Well, after weighting the package, the guy told me that he would be out for lunch within 5 minutes and that amount of time would not be enough to process the package. Then he gave me some forms and asked me to come back later in the afternoon. I was astonished: that was the first case of preemptive lunch time that I have ever seen. In fact, that’s a clear example of the Italian laziness.

As I have stamina, I went to the second post office agency. After making me to wait in a line, they told me that their weighing machine was damaged, and there was no way to send the package. By the way, they also said the weighing machine was out of order since the previous week. That’s a typical example of the Italian apathy.

Full of energy I went to another post office agency, the third, and I was successful, finally.

Well it was a success, but it was not easy. I mean, it is normal to face some bureaucracy, when one mails a package to another country. But in Italy things are always prolix. So, after once again waiting in a long line:

  • I had to fill-up three forms, in of them I have to mention how many photos I was sending;
  • Post office people made copies of my id and social security (tessera sanitaria) card;

There are inevitable security measures, which all of us have to accept, mostly in the present times, but that was just bureaucracy. More than that, people at the post office did not even verified the package contents. And, if I were just a tourist, with no tessera sanitaria? Would I not be allowed to send mail? Their only concern was with the forms. That’s a true example of Italian taste for bureaucracy.

The bottom line: all this process took me about two and half hours. To mail a package at the post office. That is a true history.

As an Italian friend said to me. In Italia c’é sempre qualcosa che no funziona. O é la biliancia o la testa de qualcuno. (In Italy there is always something which does not work. Either the weighting machine, either the head of someone).

Welcome to the club, White House!

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on Jul 10, 2008 by Cicero
Il Presidente del Consiglio, Silvio Berlusconi

Il Presidente del Consiglio: Berlusconi

Now it is official: Berlusconi is recognized as a corrupt leader by US government, finally. Even after all apologies, nobody can denies the deeds…

The facts: at the end of 2008 G8 summit, in Japan, the White House issued a press release containing a Berlusconi biography. The issue was that this biography was extremely negative, even offensive to Berlusconi, Italy and the Italian people. Of course the White House promptly acknowledged the mistake and send apologies to all involved.

But the bottom line is, no matter how many apologies, the real Berlusconi was unveiled to the world. Although he can still block Italian media, he can not do the same with the rest of the world. Now the world can see that Berlusconi is in fact a thug, not a media tycoon; that his fortune was made based on his political connections, not on his business acumen. The world can examine his fascist connections. The world will be closer to the truth. And nobody hates the truth more than Berlusconi.

And, accordingly to the White House, Silvio Berlusconi:

  • is hated by many;
  • is a political dilettante;
  • gained power through his control of media;
  • is one of the most controversial leaders of Italy, a country known for corruption and vice.

Now it is official, no one can deny.

By the way, I received some justifiable complains, stating this post contained nudity. Respecting those observations I have changed the post’s main image. But considering how many nude prostitutes there are in the Italian streets, I wonder how a nude Berlusconi can shock anyone. Nevertheless, I removed the most offensive portion of the image. I hope you do not mind: it was a very small stuff, anyway.

Il dottore, an Italian way to waste knowledge

Posted in Daily Life, Stupidity with tags , , , , , , , , , on Jul 09, 2008 by Cicero

In Italy, every pharmacy has a quite special character: il dottore (the doctor). This is usually the business proprietary, who holds a Pharmacy degree. This guy is generally an important figure in the local society, mainly in the small cities.

You might expect it would be nice to have such a highly educated professional to help you at each pharmacy. Well, that would be the case if we were not in Italy, where nothing happens as planned.

I mean, this highly educated person, does only three not so highly complex tasks:

  • Read medical prescriptions in order to identify medicine names;
  • Look for medicine names at boxes placed in alphabetical order;
  • Receive money and give exchange;

This is a typical Italian waste of resources. It mandatory to have a Pharmacy graduated at each Pharmacy doing basic activities, no matter how much their knowledge is needed elsewhere. A clerk would be enough, perhaps with some specific training, but not a degree in Pharmacy.

And now it is clear why there is no big Italian pharmaceutical company. Italy considers more important to place Pharmacy graduated to look for names in boxes, than to use those experts to make drug research. Does it make any sense?