Passaparola - The Cuddle Farm, by Guido Gerletti

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The Blog met up with Guido Gerletti and Bianca Tagliabue at the ”Fattoria delle Coccole” (literally: “The Cuddle Farm”) and the “Alpeggio delle Coccole” (literally: “The Cuddle Pasture”). Here the animals are not exploited for their milk and their meat, instead they are loved and cuddled! Two incredible, stupendous projects that are a part of Guido Gerletti’s big dream called Ingaia. "Life is a gift. For a long time now, we humans have behaved like sleepwalkers, taking advantage of all the gifts that nature has given us. But now the time has come for us to wake up and do something really important, something really good. Hence the birth of INGAIA. It is a dream come true, as visible as a mountain, as fast as a swallow and as strong as a hug that surrounds the Planet. Do you want to be a part of it?"

Guido Gerletti - A big hello to all the friends of Beppe Grillo’s Blog from here in Orimento.
Ingaia is a big dream, a dream that I have had for the past ten years and that finally took off a year ago. It is an association that, as the name INGAIA implies, help people to get back in touch with nature. INGAIA because often we think that we are not part of nature at all but instead we are indeed part of Gaia, the living planet.

VIDEO How does the “Fattoria delle Coccole” support itself?

We have seen that the first step towards helping people to reconnect with mother earth is to make them get back in touch with animals raised for profit i.e.: livestock, with empathy, precisely because once you begin to understand that these animals are not really very different from dogs and cats, then you begin to recalibrate your relationship with nature. During the current phase we are focusing on the “Fattoria delle Coccole’s” first project, the mountain version of which is what you see here, and then the “Alpeggio delle Coccole”, where we rescue livestock animals and let people come along and meet them in an attempt to break down this cultural barrier that has somehow arisen between man and livestock.

VIDEO The crisis of the supermarkets and the busy consumer

Bianca Tagliabue - Violetta, Peppa and Spider are three pigs, the first animals that came to be part of the “Fattoria delle Coccole”. They came to us via a major seizure ordered by the Varese Public Prosecutors Office, which took place back in 2013. They are the main Italian pig breed, legally recognised as free ranging country pigs, so now they will live forever! The story surrounding Peppa and Spider is truly incredible and unique in that they are also the first Italian pig family to live together. When we rescued Peppa and Spider we arranged to have Spider castrated, just as we do with all the other animals in our care. It may seem somewhat hard to believe, but the night before the scheduled castration, Peppa and Spider decided to... yes, you guessed it! On 21 October 2013, six little piglets were born! We kept Violetta, but the other five piglets went off to other refuges. We managed to find them alternative accommodation. Just as if we were animal breeders, we keep registers of all the animals in our care and she too is registered. Her Baptismal name is “Violetta the Country pig. She does not however have an identity number! It’s a good start!
“La Fattoria delle Coccole” is a model micro-refuge where animals rescued from ill-treatment and from legal seizures and livestock breeding centres. “La Fattoria delle Coccole” is open to the public, a place where people can come and see various species of animals including pigs, donkeys, goats, dogs, cats, cows, etc.

VIDEO I’m going to become a vegan and change my lifestyle

We got the idea to start a Cuddle Farm so that we could see how it would work and support itself. If every municipality in Italy had a “Fattoria delle Coccole”, many people, many families, many schools and many, many children would be able to interact directly with rescued animals and get to watch their natural behaviours. We survive on donations and we also have a number of companies and sponsors that support us. We receive no public funding of any sort and we also rely on the “Vegan Heart” project and the adoption of some of our animals to help make ends meet. The greatest mission of all is one that they do all by themselves, namely to make themselves known, to make people understand that there are indeed species other than ours on this earth, which doesn’t mean that they are any less important than we are and they have as much right to live as we do! This is really important, therefore people have to make a choice, a choice from the heart, and they say: “Okay, wait a minute, perhaps it is indeed more of a sacrifice to continue eating these animals or to use their products, so I choose to stop doing so!”.

Guido Gerletti - One of INGAIA’s latest projects is a new type of Alpine Pasture recently obtained on concession. It was conceded to us by the Lario Intelvese Mountain Community here in San Fedele Intelvi, in Como Province. We are busy building a new kind of model Pasture here. We have animals that have been rescued from atrocious conditions, often they have been seized due to ill-treatment and we will be developing alternative economic models linked to the mountain environment.

VIDEO Remote adoption of a calf, Armando’s story

In other words, the use of alpine herbs, environmental education as a driving force for tourism, offering mountain recipes also utilising vegan products. A bridge between traditions and innovation. Here there is an environmental museum, holiday accommodation, a modern barn and 320-thousand metres of pasture for our animals. It is an adventure that began just a few days ago, one that we are pleased to share with the friends of the Blog and to invite you all to come and visit us here! Spread the word!

Posted on August 3, 2015 at 3:38 PM in | Post a comment | ListenListen
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The plan to destroy the National Health Service


from Saluteinternazionale, by Gavino Maciocco

A vast and complex game is being played out in relation to the health service and this has little to do with the health of the citizens (well - no - - it has a lot of relevance to the people’s health given the unpleasant outcomes that are likely to result. It’s a game that is connected with the third sector reform, already approved by the Lower House, and underneath it sees the colossal interests of intermediation in the world of finance and insurance at a national and international level. All this has to go on in silence, far away from indiscrete eyes (like the TTIP negotiations). The water temperature has to increase - but very slowly - to bring about the destruction of the national health service.

A frog falls into a pan of boiling water and jumps out immediately. Another one falls into a pan of cold water. Someone turns on the gas on a very low light. The frog doesn’t notice that the water is slowly getting hotter .. very slowly - slightly hotter all the time ... and he is boiled to death.

The reform of education can be compared to the pan of boiling water. Its “burning“ characteristics were immediately evident and that caused lively and widespread reaction.
However, what’s happening with the health sector is reflected in the situation of the frog that stayed around to get killed. There’s been no law to “change direction“ for the national health service, no one states that he wants to do that. In fact everyone - from the Minister of Health to all the regional governors - take every opportunity to declare that they are supporters of the existing public and universal national health service (everyone part from the prime minister who rabbits on about everything but never says a word about the health service). Yet the gas has been on a low light under the saucepan for some time now and the water temperature is increasing all the time. And because of this, the national health service is gradually changing - less care, less equity, lower quality, fewer rights - and it’s not producing any significant reaction.

VIDEO Paola Taverna: "Ci stanno togliendo il diritto alla salute!" {They are taking away our right to health care}

The light under the saucepan is represented by a series of conditions that act with a synergy that is so efficacious in producing the desired change (privatisation of the health sector) but it cannot be considered to be the cause. It’s a well known strategy that is accurately described by Noam Chomsky: “That’s the standard technique of privatization: defund, make sure things don’t work, people get angry, you hand it over to private capital”.


4. Hand over the health services to private financing
Project Financing – better known as Private Finance Initiative (PFI) – was first used in the 1990s in the United Kingdom for the building of new hospitals. It was brought in by the Thatcher government and it was the precursor of privatisation in the health sector in the years that followed. A recent analysis of the situation of the 101 British hospitals built using PFI, shows that these contracts do not provide a benefit for the national health service and this means that providing care for patients is put at risk. At the very minimum, these contracts should be renegotiated.
From the little that has been seen in Italy (and that’s more than enough) just as it has in the United Kingdom, PFI has been shown to be an asymmetric business: very favourable to the private owners and very problematic for the public hospitals (look at the article called Privatizzare gli ospedali? La via del project financing {Privatise the hospitals? The project financing route).

But in Italy, the push towards privatisation is not going through complex financial mechanisms. And there’s no need for great experts to invent the correct recipe. The banal mix of long waiting times and very costly “patient contributions” is enough to produce a mass migration to the private sector especially if the private sector makes “low cost” services available. The chart given below shows the growing percentage of people making use of the private sector for blood tests and specialist medical examinations comparing values for 2005 and 2012 by geographic area.

Figure 1. Most recent blood test or specialist examination that was paid at full cost, classified by geographic area.


The “banal mix” that leads to privatisation, naturally has high social costs to be seen in the number of people who decide to do without health services or medicines for financial reasons or because of lack of health care facilities. The figures are given in the Rapporto Istat 2015 {ISTAT Annual Report 2015}, that’s hot off the press. They show that in the South among those who are in vulnerable economic condition, the percentage of people that do without, is at 20%. Look at the results.

Figure 2. In the last 12 months, the number of people who decided to do without health services or medicines for financial reasons or because of lack of health facilities - classified according to the economic resources of the families and according to geographic location.

Noam Chomsky: That’s the standard technique of privatization
Pollock AM et al. Private Financing Initiatives during NHS austerity. BMJ 2011, 242:d324.
ISTAT. Health and use of health services during the crisis Year 2012, published 24 December 2013
ISTAT: Rapporto annuale 2015 – La situazione del Paese {Annual report 2015 – The state of the Nation}

Posted on August 3, 2015 at 1:24 AM in | Post a comment | ListenListen
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Live: Inauguration of 5 Star Track #Trazzeraora



Our “bulldozers” have just finished the road. It was built in Sicily to join the island back together again after the umpteenth collapse of a bit of motorway. We financed it. It was the M5S deputies of the Sicilian Regional Council that put up the money - 300,000 euro - by cutting their own salaries.


To build it, we entrusted the work to Sicilian companies. We promised that it would be finished by the end of July. Well here we are today, 31 July, and we are handing it over to the citizens. This is reality. And we are the Opposition. Just think what we’ll do when we are governing the country.

VIDEO Inauguration of 5 Star Track: it’s the road of Honesty!

VIDEO Cancelleri: “They said it was an election promise. Well just look at this”

VIDEO The M5S is mending Sicily!

PS: Antonio Russo, councillor for the city of Imperia does not represent the 5 Star MoVement and is not a member of the 5 Star MoVement. Members of the press are invited to take note.

PPS: Today, it’s possible to download a free copy of the e-book called #MuriamoEquitalia! Download it right now!

Posted on July 31, 2015 at 1:11 PM in | Post a comment | ListenListen
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The 5 Star green lane that mends Sicily #TrazzEraOra


The inauguration takes place tomorrow, 31 July starting at 11.30 in Caltavuturo. Luigi Di Maio will be with us too! Bring friends, relatives, and misbelievers!”

“It’s well known that the problem in Sicily is “traffic“. That’s been especially true for the last 4 months after a pillar supporting the Palermo - Catania motorway gave way and thus literally split the island into two. Straight away (well it’s a way of speaking) the government was to be seen in action. Minister Delrio went to inspect the scene and promised that in three months they would have resolved the problem and restored the functioning of Sicily’s main arterial road. However, nearly 4 months after the event, we are still at the starting point. And while the regional government and the national government are bouncing ideas around, probably trying to find the infrastructure option that allows them to cream off as much money as possible, - ooops - here they are now insisting on a project that involves the expropriation of land belonging to Tullio Giuffrè, who was a member of the Sicilian regional cabinet when it was led by Orlando, at a record cost of 236 thousand euro (including possible future interest payments), well above its real value. Meanwhile the 5 Star MoVement in Sicily has been the only political entity in Sicily that has taken real action.

VIDEO The M5S project approved by experts

Thanks to the provision of 300 thousand euro, obtained as a result of the M5S spokespersons in the Sicilian Regional Assembly cutting their salaries, tomorrow, only 37 days after the work began, the ribbon will be cut to inaugurate the route referred to as the “5 star short cut“. It was an old dirt road that has been “restored to life“ and sorted out with concrete, dranage systems, guard rails and trafic lights. It’s certainly not a definitive solution to the problem. But it does make it possible to achieve two objectives: to provide an exit route for the people living in the area of the Madonie mountains and to allow the people of Sicily to save 40 to 50 minutes when travelling between Catania and Palermo.
All this has been done while waiting for the establishment (whose representatives have not been invited to the inauguration) to do their duty and take steps to resolve the problem. In fact, the 5 Star MoVement has always been active in coming up with a “bypass” alternative to the A19 motorway thus cutting costs and time in relation to other ideas put forward by the road agency, ANAS. The project was initially welcomed by the Minister, Graziano Delrio, who received the national and regional spokespersons but he then took a step back and got the technical department to say that the project couldn't work. It was probably because there was no margin for speculation, so it couldn’t go well even though famous academics had said that the 5 Star MoVement’s project was valid, whereas the project put forward by the road agency ANAS was a shot in the dark and it’s not possible to estimate when it could be concluded. Perhaps because, first of all, they need to see how to begin it and when to begin it.
In the meantime, The MoVement is doing something practical for the people of Sicily.” M5S Sicily

PS: Today and tomorrow, it’s possible to download a free copy of the e-book called #MuriamoEquitalia! Download it right now!

Posted on July 31, 2015 at 1:55 AM in | Post a comment | ListenListen
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Committee of Enquiry into MPS in Tuscany

Yesterday morning, the regional councillors of the 5 Star MoVement, together with the 5 Star spokespersons Carlo Sibilia and Carlo Martelli and the M5S councillors for the city of Siena, held a press conference in the Sala Affreschi in the building of the regional council. The press conference presented the Committee of Enquiry into the Monte dei Paschi Foundation, the Monte dei Paschi Bank and the murky connections between these organisations and the Region of Tuscany. We announced this during the election campaign and we have set it up. For the first time ever, the regional council of Tuscany will have an enquiry into the disaster involving Monte dei Paschi di Siena and the murky connections, many of which still exist, between this finance group and the Region of Tuscany”

This Committee of Enquiry is an indication of justice for so many citizens, for small-scale shareholders and for employees of the MPS group that suffered the most from the collapse of the bank. In fact, this Committee of Enquiry is an investigation into the Democratic Party and the way that this political party has managed to destroy an element of Italian heritage. This is why I am asking the councillors of the Democratic Party not to be members of this Committee of Enquiry, as a way of ensuring transparency, given that they are in an organisation under investigation. In fact, there’s been an analagous request in the Senate where, up until now, the obstructionism carried out by the Democratic Party has blocked the start of the enquiry. Here we managed to get approval without needing to have a vote in the council thanks to the ability of the M5S council group to take advantage of an article in the regulations. Now we are concentrating on providing the utmost guarantee of success for the Committee of Enquiry, and we want to be sure that it is chaired by the right person.
In any other country in the world, the Monte dei Paschi di Siena Bank would have already had a commissioner placed in charge of the administration. In the most recent shareholders meeting, the CEO, Profumo, candidly admitted having 28 billion “unrealisable”, that is credits that are unlikely to be paid back. In parallel with that it is by now a well known fact that in the accounts of the bank, derivatives are inappropriately camouflaged, thus the accounts are proved to be false. This fact alone would have triggered the appointment of a commissioner to take charge of the administration, as has happened for other smaller Italian banks. Why is the Monte dei Paschi di Siena experiencing this privilege? This Committee of Enquiry has the task of going beyond what has already been discovered and is about to be discovered in the investigations being carried out by the magistracy and it wants to find an answer to this question.” The M5S spokespersons in Tuscany

Posted on July 29, 2015 at 11:03 PM in | Post a comment | ListenListen
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Inauguration of the 5 Star Track #Trazzera5Stelle


“The Minister Of Infrastructure has announced that if all goes well, work could start on the link road for the A19. If all goes well ... Meanwhile we’ve completed the “country track“ financed by giving back part of our salaries as regional councillors. We have donated 300 thousand euro for the creation of a short-cut that improves the access where an electricity pylon crashed and split Sicily into two.

VIDEO All together we are celebrating the “Trazzera 5 Stelle” {the 5 star track}!

The politics of doing things LATER is dead.We do the things right NOW!
The inauguration will take place on 31 July starting at 11.30 in Caltavuturo. Luigi Di Maio will be with us too! Bring friends, relatives, and unbelievers!” M5S Sicily

PS: In exchange for a donation, you can get a copy of the book called #MuriamoEquitalia giving a collection of evidence from unfortunate people who have had dealings with Equitalia and have told their stories in comments on the blog!


Posted on July 29, 2015 at 12:49 AM in | Post a comment | ListenListen
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List all the posts of July 2015

Beppe Grillo Meetups

Groups 372 Members 76.596
Cities 281 Countries 10

Books and DVDs


Check out the books and DVDs of Beppe Grillo (service in Italian)


Clean Up Parliament

Map of Power


Webby award
14th Annual Webby Awards Official Honoree Selections


Tegenlicht - Beppe Grillo's Interview

"De toekomst van Europa volgens Beppe Grillo"

(Tegenlicht TV)

International Press Review

The New Yorker
"Beppe's Inferno"

"The Comic Who Shook Italy"
(The video | Related post)

"The Web Celeb 25"
(Related post)

"Meeting Italy's silenced satirist"

People and power: "Beppe's Blog"

TIME magazine's First Annual Blog Index
(related post)