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December 30, 2005

Mark Anthony Fassino

marco antonio fassino.jpg

Cesare Salvi of the DS said the following in an interview with la Stampa:

Journalist: "Someone, like D'Alema and others, has said that it's not possible to consider red finance like the daughter of a minor god, and that there was 'financial' racism."

Salvi: "Certainly, but it's not possible to do this with Consorte and Unipol. It has been a political error to think that it was possible to compete in that terrain and someone should be aware of that..."

And he added:
” …Now we have to demonstrate rigour and a firm hand day by day, otherwise the culture of those who think that we are all equal will be accepted and therefore no-one will bother to go and vote.”

On the one hand: on Consorte, D’Alema knew and kept quiet (and I don’t believe that) or he didn’t know.
In the latter case he made a serious political error in supporting Consorte and his bid to get the BNL.

On the other hand: on Fiorani, D’Alema knew and kept quiet (and I don’t believe that) or he didn’t know.
In the latter case he’s been unlucky and a bit stubborn, after the publication of the telephone intercepts of conversations between Fiorani and Fazio last July, wanting to hang on to a mortgage of 8,000 Euro a month with the BPI to pay the instalments on his boat Ikarus II.

If the basis of support for the DS is like those families pictured on the publicity posters, I can’t imagine that they will be able to identify with D’Alema as President.
Fassino, it’s time to draw blood, do a clean sweep and appeal to the mass of the voters with a speech to celebrate the political funeral of Massimo D’Alema and while you are at it, also of Violante:

 
Italians, friends, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Massimo D’Alema, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones:
So let it be with Massimo.
The noble Consorte
Hath told you Massimo was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault;
And grievously hath Massimo answer'd it.
 
Here, under leave of Consorte and the rest, (1)
For Consorte is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honorable men,—
Come I to speak in Massimo's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Consorte says he was ambitious;
And Consorte is an honourable man.
 
 
 
He hath brought many financiers home to Rome, (2)
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Massimo seem ambitious?
 
 
When that the poor have cried, Massimo hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Consorte says he was ambitious;
And Consorte is an honourable man.
You all did see that at the Congress
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Consorte says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
 
 
  I speak not to disprove what Consorte spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know of Massimo
You all did love him once,—not without cause:
What cause withholds you, then, to mourn for him?—
O judgment, thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason!—Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Massimo D’Alema,
And I must pause till it come back to me. "


(1) Sacchetti, Ricucci, Fiorani
(2) Gnutti, Colaninno, Consorte and others for the  privatisation of Telecom Italia

PS: The funeral speech of Mark Anthony from Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” is from en.wikisource.org

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 07:47 PM in Politics | Comments (2)
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The ex-employee Giovanardi

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photo: signing the Italian Constitution

The employee Giovanardi speaking on a radio programme on Radio24 announced his retirement from being an employee.
In fact he was in contradiction with the Italian Constitution which says:

Art. 1:
Italy is a democratic Republic based on work.
Sovereignty belongs to the people who exercise this in the forms and the limits of the Constitution.

Art. 67:
Every Member of Parliament represents the Nation and exercises their functions without restraints.

He declared:
”I am the employee of no-one unless it is of the people who elected me.”
and
In a democracy each person is answerable for their ideas to the electors who voted for that person.”

We can deduce that just those who voted for the ex-employee Giovanardi (but how does he know who they are if the vote is secret?) have to pay him his salary, and not all the citizens of Italy.

The employee Giovanardi is an extra-Constitutional employee.
He doesn’t respond to the Nation, but only to his electors.

I’ve got a strong suspicion that among these, there is also Cremonini, the one of the Gabanelli Report.

Read the related post.

Well then, let’s take advantage of this festive time to send the ex-employee Giovanardi a tin of Montana meat.

You know the address:
”ex-employee Giovanardi, Camera dei deputati, piazza di Monte Citorio, 00186 Roma.”

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 12:13 AM in Wailing Wall | Comments (1)
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December 29, 2005

Dario Fo in Bosco di Gioia

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In Isola in Milan, instead of the Three Kings, the bulldozers have arrived.

"We are at Isola, a historic neighbourhood in Milan. A month ago I went with Franca to take part in a demonstration of the district. There was a group of young people who were walk on stilts.

The top clown was a dear friend of mine living there. A Brass Band played joyful music. There were more than a thousand of us demonstrating against the plan of the Comune {City Authorities} and the Province, who want to transform this zone into a mass of buildings and skyscrapers, for a total of a million cubic metres of buildings.

A dozen young people from the “Friends of Beppe Grillo” dressed as “sandwich men” were carrying enormous letters making up words of sarcasm directed at the creative minds behind this cement monster: a kind of dragon spread-eagled over the terrain, with swirls like a serpent that would have squashed for ever the Bosco di Gioia, a tiny forest full of centuries-old-trees, some of which are very rare.

A few days ago we were all in a debate in a cinema-theatre of the Gronda Nord, once more to block the plan for this stupid urban project, when Michele Sacerdoti, one of the most determined supporters of the fight against the disruption of Isola, enthusiastically read out a document, resulting from an Appeal, which blocked the determination of the Local Authorities in cutting down the whole of the Bosca di Gioia and starting to construct.
A chorus of shouts and applauses greeted this splendid news.

But here we are two days after Christmas, instead of planting the Tree of gifts, workmen arrive, sent by the Local Authorities, with orders to cut down every plant.  Angry citizens run to see what’s happening and a representative of the Authorities exhibits a new document which annuls the previous one: It’s possible to remove all the trees”. And that’s that!

The workmen start to remove the bushes and undergrowth around the tree trunks. Shortly the trunks will be sawn down at the bottom. The execution of 200 trees will be carried out: the only oasis left in Milan is on its way out. But the inhabitants, kept back outside the iron fence, gather round astonished, unbelieving. An old man shouts out: “Assassins!” The screeching of the chain saws starts an insufferable chorus. With a creaking that sounds like a lament, behold the first great tree falls. Its branches smash against the ground.

A group of kids try to get in by climbing over the fence. They are intercepted and sent out. Then: Michele Sacerdoti arrives on a bicycle. He is the unyielding defender of these trees. He is a man of 50 years, but agile and as fast as a young kid. He scoots past the servants and the workers and with an incredible ability climbs up the most enormous tree: a massive magnolia, still loaded down with leaves. He disappears between the twigs and then reappears up there.  The “tree-choppers” don’t know what to do. The official from the Town Hall shouts to the intruder who has climbed up to come down or they will have to cut down the tree with him in it. Sacerdoti replies cheerily: “Go ahead. I’m not moving from here. You’ll have to cut me down too.”

Now the snow is coming down thicker. A group of young people chant: “You come down from the stars” Everyone laughs, including the tree-choppers who take refuge under the great magnolia to smoke a cigarette.
Long pause.
Then very soon, the unsupportable noise of the chain saws and one by one the trees fall to the ground, as clouds of snow rise up.”

Dario Fo

PS: Here’s an appeal from Michele Sacerdoti

“Dear friends,
many thanks for your messages to save the Bosco di Gioia.
Yesterday I told you that I was up a yew, I made a mistake, it was a beech.
Today at 2:30pm we will demonstrate in Milan in front of the Pirelli skyscraper in piazza Duca d'Aosta where the Regional Assembly is meeting.
I know it’s not a good time of day, and that many of you don’t live or work in Milan. I invite all those who can come to take part so that we can take the protest to the Internet and across the territory.
I’ll be looking out for great numbers of you.”

Michele Sacerdoti

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 07:44 PM in Ecology | Comments (1)
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Heavy machinery in Bosco di Gioia

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photo: Heavy machinery in Bosco di Gioia

The untiring employee-administrators of Milan cut down the trees even during the holiday period. The trees are those of the tiny Bosco Di Gioia, one of the few that have survived in this cement city, that seems more and more like a Monumental Cemetery.

The trees are troublesome, they loose their leaves, their fruits. They create dirt.
They get in the way of car parks and when it snows they even cause damage to parked cars if a branch falls off.

The trees of Gioia are even worse than the others. They bear witness to the green space that was once seen in Milan. This witness is weighty and embarrassing for the employees FormigoniAlbertiniPenati.

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photo: aerial view of Bosco di Gioia

It’s better to cementify it all with a beautiful building of the Lombardy Region.
This, especially in Milan, where at every entrance there are signs saying there are offices for sale or to let, where whole office blocks are empty. Where the trees are a rarity and those that exist are dying (a good reason to cut them down). Where from Piazza del Duomo to Piazza Castello, there’s no bush, no tree.

Bosco di Gioia is the property of the people of Milan. They don’t want more cement.
Today in the Bosco di Gioia there is a fortified position to prevent the disappearance of this tiny oasis. There are citizens of Milan, Dario Fo, and the Milan MeetUp group.
One man climbed up a tree.

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photo: a man in a tree in Bosco di Gioia

I’m not there. I’m trapped in Genoa by the snow, but it’s as though I’m there.
Keep at it! Beppe Grillo.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 11:19 AM in Ecology | Comments (3)
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December 28, 2005

Company cuckoos

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We're one step ahead of the Banco di Bilbao: let's buy BNL shares and then sell them, making a killing.
Why should we leave company bosses the possibility to do insider trading? Let's do it too.
Let's get the money by asking for a bank loan at the same rate of interest granted to politicians and finance boffins of the Banca Popolare Italiana.
Operations made legitimate by the Banca d'Italia {Bank of Italy} and therefore applicable to all current account holders.

By buying company shares, even just one, we can participate in shareholders meetings, ask questions, make a record of the responses and use the Internet to make them known.

Well then, why don’t we get this satisfaction, starting with Telecom Italia and at the next shareholders meeting treat as employees these capitalists without capital, who use the companies that pay them as though they belong to them.

They don’t belong to them!
Parmalat did not belong to Tanzi.
BPI did not belong to Fiorani
Telecom Italia does not belong to Tronchetti.
Unipol does not belong to Consorte.
Capitalia does not belong to Geronzi.
Companies belong to the shareholders. They have the objective of improving the quality of service, of increasing their value in the market.

The Directors must do this and nothing else.

Their personal image is of no interest.
Let them do more work and give fewer interviews.
We’re interested in the results. If the results are not good they should be sent home.

At the forthcoming shareholders meetings, let’s make our voices heard, starting from Telecom’s meeting.
 

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 01:44 AM in Economics | Comments (1)
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December 26, 2005

MeetUp Actions

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photo: some members of the Genoa  MeetUp

This happened on Telelombardia last week. A discussion about political parties. About the Christian Democrats. Of new men like Cirino Pomicino who should represent them. The presentaligned journalists seem more aligned than present.
A young person asks to speak, explains that it is not appropriate that people who have been convicted of crimes should be members of Parliament and from a sheet of paper reads out the offences of some of them. Pomicino is one of these. Panic breaks out in the room.
The young person was from the Milam MeetUp group. He was performing the task that others should have done: providing information.
And also doing something that most Italians seem no longer able to do: get cross about the state of affairs.

Genoa before Christmas. Young men and women parade through the streets dressed as sandwich people. The boards carry the photos of 23 parliamentarians convicted of crimes.
They are distributing flyers that they have prepared, using their own money, with the names of the 23. The flyers are gone in an instant. The TG3 Regional News interviews them and broadcasts a piece about them. These young people are from the Genoa MeetUp Group.

Thanks friends, you are magnificent!

Tomorrow is for you, not for these relics in politics, in business, in presumption, in nothing. True masters of contra-information, the final life belt that keeps them up, (on the left and on the right).

As citizens, you have the right to talk on TV and radio broadcasts and to see your opinions reported by the newspapers, so that you can give correct and documented information. You provide News that no-one else gives.

Don’t let yourselves be intimidated by the ceremony masters of power who infest these media spaces. Many of you have written to say that the employee of public radio, Forbice, is not giving you space on the Zapping programme and that he’s treating you poorly when you want to talk about topics dealt with on the Blog.

Don’t get discouraged. Telephone him often.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:58 PM in Information | Comments (2)
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Far West Italy

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Abu Omar, an imam of Egyptian origin, was kidnapped by CIA agents in Milan on 17 February 2003 and taken to Aviano, and from there to Germany and then on to Cairo.

He was held prisoner in Alexandria in Egypt and tortured without hurry, using a technique of being tied to a cross and then thrashed, with electroshock and exposure to noise and extreme temperatures.
Today he is still in prison.

Abu Omar was protected by Italian laws. He had been granted political asylum in 2001.

The kidnappers, 22 CIA agents of the "Rendition Group", left behind so many traces that they should be sacked by the USA government for incompetence.

Their telephone calls were intercepted, their movements (thanks to their mobile phones which were turned on) identified. They stayed in hotels in Milan without taking any precautions.
They moved around as though they were at home.

What a shame that some Italians are not in agreement with their activity.
Among them there are the Milan prosecutors Armando Spataro and Ferdinando Pomerici who have asked for a European arrest warrant for the kidnappers and an extradition request to the United States.

The request is now being screened by the employee Castelli, who has asked for a copy of all the judicial documents before he gives the OK to the search and the extradition of the kidnappers to Italy.
He obviously trusts the CIA more than he trusts the Milan Prosecutors.
And looking at things from his point of view , how can you say he’s wrong?

Today it’s Christmas.

I ask for a gift from the secret services of any foreign power (even tiny) present in Italy.
Without getting intercepted, with your own transport, with great discretion, transport abroad 23 Italian parliamentarians who have been convicted of crimes.


I’m supplying the list.


Happy Christmas once more! Beppe Grillo

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 12:09 AM in Politics | Comments (6)
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December 24, 2005

Christmas Letter

la morte di Stalin.JPG
photo: www.repubblica.it

There are people who are old and who are alone at Christmas. People who try desperately to find someone to talk to. To tell jokes to, to talk about the great times of their youth.

They live a life feeling persecuted by the shadows of their past (who has no shadows?), of left wing judges {wearing red robes}, of our own ingratitude.
Their solitude leads them into extreme acts like occupying the TV networks for hours or searching the archives for an old Front Page of the l’Unità newspaper about the death of Stalin.
They live in the past.
Before the end of the year they will be telling us of the fall of Constantinople and of the French Revolution using rare manuscripts of the time. And perhaps, in a brief moment of lucidity, they will discover that even old friends like Putin are in fact former KGB agents.

Here you are, here’s a wish for these beautifully made up elderly people: that they retire and live a serene old age with the money that they have gained honestly, together with their children, nephews, nieces and grandchildren, and old friends of the P2 Masonic Lodge.
Of the remaining years (according to the statistics, they’ve got about a dozen years left to live), I hope they can live without decoders, without anxieties, without worries concerning new “ad personam” laws, Communists or great engineering works.
Without finger signals indicating cuckold, “up yours” or misunderstandings with the Economist, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal and all the left-wing newspapers.

That they pass the good years with Vespa, Dell’Utri, Previti, Calderoli, Giovanardi, Lunardi, Mentana, Casini and why not even with Raimondo Vianello and Mike Bongiorno, who have always been warm towards him.
Summing up: with all his true friends, those that every Italian is jealous of.

The Italians would understand.

Of course, why expose oneself to a defeat, why have a fate like Fazio “the upright man”, and resign the day before to avoid being booted out the following day?

To resign today would be the best Christmas present for all the Italians.
A move of a real statesman.

Happy Christmas everyone! Beppe Grillo.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 07:33 PM in Wailing Wall | Comments (2)
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December 23, 2005

Trains fit for Museums

treno.jpg

From today it's possible!

Thanks to the high-speed trains, it's possible to save 11 minutes from Rome to Naples by train. Don't you believe it?

On 22/12/2005 (yesterday) the first high speed train left Rome and arrived in Naples in 1 hour and 35 minutes.
Such a different life when you think of the Eurostar which takes at least 1 hour 46 minutes for the same journey.

Certainly, investing in the high-speed trains means making sacrifices, and the money has to come from somewhere.
And the money has been found.
The 2006 tremontilunardi finance bill has planned a 92.6% cut in investments for the railway.

We’ve got trains that are older than the train drivers, who pass them down as an inheritance from father to son.
A great part of the railway system is not equipped with modern automatic systems for emergency braking.
Ticks, scorpions and bugs travel in both first and second class.

Every so often someone loses a life, like Antonio Vallillo, who dies in the rail accident at Roccasecca. He emigrated to England to work and came back to let his 3 children get to know Italy. The youngest of these, his 8-year-old daughter is in a coma.

Elio Catania, previously the vice warehouse person of IBM (his boss was Stanca) and now president of the Railways, stated after the accident that our railway system is the safest in Europe.
The Fit-Cisl Trades Union was slightly more forthright and spoke of a disaster waiting to happen.
Who is right?


Elio’s competence in terms of transport cannot be questioned, only because he has none.
He is the same character (Nostradamus of the railway sleepers) who came out with the following statement for the Val di Susa: “  from 2018 the Turin-Lyon line will make it possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15% with the transfer of 1 million trucks a year onto the trains of the railway motorway and to reduce poisonous polluting gases by about 360 tons a day.”

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 07:14 PM in Transport/Getting About | Comments (6)
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December 22, 2005

Dreaming of California!

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Italy is losing its brains.

Our young people have the following possibilities when they leave university:
- unemployment
- under-paid work
- emigration

Those who can, like Marcello, choose the latter. He sent me this letter:

“Dear Beppe,

At 35 years of age, I’ve just resigned as a staff researcher with the Department of Aero Spatial Engineering in Milan Polytechnic.

I'm going to stay in California, with the Naval Postgraduate School di Monterey.

In Milan, with the salary of a researcher, I wouldn’t manage to get half way through the month.

With my salary here, I can keep my family and still save more than  half of it without making sacrifices. With a slight lack of modesty, and lots of sadness, I would like to point out that Italy is losing not just myself, but also my wife and our two children.

Best wishes.

PS I would like to take the opportunity to thank Italian taxpayers for the diploma of maturita' classica  {Classics High School certificate}, my undergraduate degree and the Doctorate in Engineering.

Marcello Romano

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 11:02 PM in Wailing Wall | Comments (20)
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Stones for Breakfast

sassi.jpg

Thank goodness that we've got associations in Italy

The National Consumers Union has published an article that ridicules my post "Walking ironmongers" which gave a list of food products containing a variety of metals.

I've sent this letter to the association:

"Dear friends,

with reference to your article 'The fear of nothing' which reassures readers that the things said on the internet in relation to metals contained in branded products are stupid and provoking unnecessary alarm.

I find your behaviour reprehensible because one should always cite the source.

OK – the source was my Blog with the post of 7 December entitled “Walking ironmongers” with a further explanation at the end of the article.

I can communicate that the source of my information is the research institute most highly regarded in the world for its research about nanopathology and its directors are available to clear up any points you may ask them. To get in touch with them, just ask me as they want to remain anonymous just at the moment.

Thank goodness that you are on the side of the consumers….”

 
Here is the list of products:
Pandoro
 Motta: Aluminium, Silver

Salatini Tiny Rold Gold (USA): Iron, Chromium, Nickel (that is steel), Aluminium

Biscotti Offelle Bistefani: Osmium, Iron, Zinc, Zirconium, Silicon-Titanium

Biscotti Galletti Barilla: Titanium, Iron, Tungsten

Macine Barilla: Titanium

Granetti Barilla: Iron, Chromium

Nastrine Barilla: Iron

Plum cake allo yogurt Giorietto Biscotti: Iron. Chromium

Ringo Pavesi: Iron, Chromium, Silicon, Aluminium, Titanium

Pane carasau (I Granai di Qui Sardegna): Iron, Chromium

Pane ciabatta Esselunga: Lead, Bismuth, Aluminium

Pane morbido a fette Barilla: Lead, Bismuth, Aluminium

Paneangeli Cameo: Aluminium, Silicon

Pane Panem: Iron, Nickel, Cobalt, Aluminium, Lead, Bismuth, Manganese

Cornetto Sanson (cialda): Iron, Chromium e Nickel (cioè acciaio)

Biscotto Marachella Sanson: Silicon, Iron

Omogeneizzato Manzo Plasmon: Silicon, Aluminium

Omogeneizzato Vitello e Prosciutto Plasmon: Iron, Barium Sulphate, Strontium, Iron-Chromium, Titanium

Cacao in polvere Lindt: Iron, Chromium, Nickel

Tortellini Fini: Iron, Chromium

Hamburger McDonald’s: Silver

Mozzarella Granarolo: Iron, Chromium, Nickel

Chewing gum Daygum Microtech Perfetti: Silicon (that is: glass)

Integratore Formula 1 (pasto sostitutivo) Herbalife: Iron, Titanium

Integratore Formula 2 Herbalife: Iron, Chromium
The metals listed above are all in the form of particles measured in nano and micro metres. (nano= from a thousand millionth to a ten millionth of a metre, micro= from a millionth to a hundred thousandth of a metre) The particles are like “small stones” made up of a great quantity of atoms, and these little stones are not usable by the organism which is not able to extract the elements (oligoelements) necessary for metabolism.
It is fundamental to know that the particles in question are not biodegradable and they are not biocompatible. As such they are not usable and they are pathogenic.

The metals, once swallowed, go smoothly to the digestive system and into the blood, which takes them everywhere.

However, there’s good news for the Co-op. The Co-op’s panettone has come through the testing and it does not contain any metal.

And then they say that Consorte won’t manage to eat the Christmas panettone: he’s going to be really safe on what he eats!

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 04:19 AM in Health/Medicine | Comments (3)
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December 20, 2005

The Mouth of Truth

boccaverita.jpg

A politician, soon to be an ex-employee, made some really serious statements during a TV broadcast last night.

Statements about keeping to a contract with the Italian people which, it goes without saying, he has kept. From the first to the last point.

He only was a bit unhappy for the observations of Della Valle.
Good observations, almost Christmassy, compared to the ones he would have heard if they had come from his employers: the citizens.


He showed the viewers pieces of paper, numbers, and graphs. He said he’d done this thing and that other thing.
To “never have made a mistake, not one!”


The journalists lined up to support him (but why do they bother to go) had no pieces of paper, numbers, nor graphs to be able to engage him in a discussion.

However we do have them and if we haven’t we can go and find them and publish them.

Let’s start the campaignthe Mouth of Truth” from now until the elections. Send to this email address: laboccadellaverita@beppegrillo.it {la bocca della verità = the Mouth of Truth} thoughts, data, documents about statements made by our employees, of rightleftcentre, about anything that you have reasonable doubts about.

If you write indicate your first and last name, the statement made by the employee {that is the politician} and the source of your information.

The notifications will be published in an area of the blog called “The Mouth of Truth” and will be associated with the declaration and the name of the employee making that declaration.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:42 PM in Information | Comments (3)
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We are fulfilling all our commitments!

manifesto-stiamomantenendo-.jpg
Download the poster


From now until the end of the election campaign our employees will spend our money to place their faces on massive 6x3 posters throughout the whole of Italy.

Don't tear them down.

They really believe that:
they are responsible,
that in all schools there is the Internet and the students speak English,
that they have kept their promises,
that Italians must adopt Chinese babies,
that the great engineering works have started that they have carried out reforms for the country.

The problem is that the employers no longer believe in all these twinkling stories.

But if a politician lies in public with an election poster shouldn't he be prosecutable under the law?

I would like to suggest some advice, free, to Blog readers, and I understand that they want to strip these posters down mucky them up, shouting, against these attacks on their intelligence and their psychology.

It's possible to:

- along the lines of Hyde Park Corner in London, where every orator can say what he wants, take a soap box in front of the poster, climb up on it and with documentation ready at hand, explain why you are not in agreement.
Perhaps it would be better to go with a couple of friends and a megaphone.

- write on a sheet of paper why the message is false, photocopy the page and distribute it to passers-by.

- send an email about the message that you feel is false to the employee, thus helping him or her to understand where they have made a mistake.

- send to the home of the employee a letter with advice of receipt with real data about the Italian situation, so that they can change their mind.

PS. At least we have achieved one of our objectives (unlike our employees):
a bit late, but Fazio has removed himself from our b..s!

Ah, if only he had listened to us last Summer …
Now the issue is who will take his place:
let’s hope it’s Monti.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:22 AM in Information | Comments (6)
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December 18, 2005

It’ll be hard!

pellerina.jpg
photo: www.lastampa.it


Yesterday, a lovely sunny day in Turin.

People in the demonstration (50,000, 100,000?), lots an enormous number, were delighted, just as children on a trip are.
No incident, no broken window, not anything at all.
Only the willingness to participate.

People were happy also because the local employees Chiamparino, Bresso and Fassino had taken a day’s holiday for fear of being sacked on the spot.

Strange that Chiamparino said at the beginning of the week:

”One thing must be clear. I’ve asked and I ask again that the Turin march should not go ahead.”

“I don’t simply consider myself to be one of the promoters of the TAV, but it will be a basic part of my electoral campaign.”

How could he then present himself after these beastly statements in front of his employees and his future ex-electors?

But this is an infiltrator of Forza Italia!

Yesterday we demonstrated that the problems of the Val di Susa are national, not local. And that we are all Valsusini{people of the Susa Valley}.

The Susa Valley is a starting point for the change in our country from the rottenness in which we are drowning.

I repeat:

1, 100, 1000 Val di Susa”.




I’m sorry for the employee Borghezio manhandled on a train. I have to accept that he was the only one of the Pole to come to the Susa Valley in recent days without an escort. But instead of using violence, it would have been enough to take his footprints {not his finger prints}.

I’ve got my doubts: perhaps he was attacked by angry Lega followers for having lost their money from the CredieuroNord Bank, the one that Fiorani tried to save.


PS. In Piedmont, they are about to create havoc again. Less important than the TAV in the Susa Valley, but just as symbolic.

In an area that is still unspoilt in Canavese, opposite the Masino Castle, for some time now the FAI {Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano – Italian Fund for the Environment} is trying to prevent the construction of Mediapolis: a theme park and a commercial area.

I wrote about it a few months ago.

I invite all those with information and documents relating to Mediapolis to send them to the Blog email.


Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:10 PM in Politics | Comments (3)
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Fazio and the Impotents

antonio fazio.jpg

First Berlusconi then Buttiglione have declared themselves without the power to force Fazio to resign.
We have a Government of impotents, but I hadn't expected them to come out and tell us this.

But we, their employers, we can do something.

The Bank of Italy is private, owned by private shareholders, it's not owned by the State.

The main shareholders are: Gruppo Intesa (26,81%), Gruppo San Paolo IMI (17,44%), Gruppo Capitalia (11,15%), Gruppo Unicredito Italiano (10,97%), Gruppo Assicurazioni Generali (6,33%), Banca Carige (3,96%), BNL (2,83%), Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (2,50%), Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze (1,85%).

Let’s close our current accounts or terminate our insurance policies if the people responsible for these companies: Profumo, Geronzi, Modiano, Passera and the others don’t make public announcements straight away for the resignation of Fazio.

Next Tuesday the highest Council of the Bank of Italy will meet and it has powers to nominate and revoke the position of Governor. This body already met after the scandal regarding the intercept of telephone calls between Fazio and Fiorani and it didn’t lift a finger.

On Tuesday it can declare “no confidence” in Fazio. If it fails to do this I believe that its members (listed below) should respond to the Country.

List:

- Blasi Paolo, physics teacher, Florence
- De Feo Paolo, Ipm Group, Naples
- De Ferra Giampaolo, lawyer, Trieste
- Ferreri Paolo, lawyer, Turin
- Laterza Paolo, publisher, Bari
- Marsano Rinaldo, entrepreneur, Genoa
- Mirabelli Cesare, emieritus president of the Constitutional Court, Rome
- Montanari Giovanni, ship owner, Ancona
- Musu Ignazio, teacher of economics and politics, Venice
- Pirri Gavino, tax consultant, Cagliari,
- Possati Stefano, president of Marposs, Bologna
- Scavone Nicolò, engineer, Palermo
- Zucchi Giordano, textile industrialist, Milan

Who nominates these members? Based on what criteria? It seems like a list of Arts and Trades!

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 01:30 AM in Economics | Comments (6)
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December 17, 2005

Tomatoes and Oxen from your own Village

buoi.jpg

For more than 20 years in Europe and in the rest of the world, the transport of freight is growing at a rate that is almost double the growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Thousand of millions of tons of goods go backwards and forwards on roads, rail, in the skies and on the sea. And each year this increases and they go further.


Progress can’t be stopped, they say. As if progress were like a locomotive in descent and without brakes. The only thing that has not already been affected by progress is the idea of progress. I’m fed up of imagining progress as Marinetti and the futurists imagined it at the beginning of the last century: roaring, clattering machines, always bigger, always more powerful.

If we want to continue believing in progress, we need to progress the idea of progress.

A progressive progress is one that whispers, that doesn’t roar. It’s a progress on tiptoes, not a progress with jangling chains. “From the atom to the bit” was the promise of the technology gurus of twenty years ago. I understood that instead of moving ever more atoms, we would be moving ever more bits, (that is information).


I understood wrong.


What’s actually happening is very different.  There is an explosion in the exchange of material goods and the use of thousands of millions of tons of infrastructure and of combustible material to transport more stuff longer distances and for more insane reasons. It’s very clear to me that the communication routes have been the arteries of civilisation and that free and fair trading has brought advantages to all.


But the situation has changed. For more than 2,000 years goods have been transported with various forms of indirect solar energy, that of beasts of burden, of wind, of water. Today the means of transport no longer use solar power but energy from petroleum, hundreds of millions of tons a year, that become thousands of millions of tons of CO2 in the atmosphere and that produce economic damage in the form of the greenhouse effect, typhoons, hurricanes, and droughts.


Economic historians estimate that for centuries the rates of economic growth have been in the region of a few points per thousand each year. Now the rates of economic growth are a few points per hundred each year and the monetary exchanges of the economy double every 10-30 years. As well as that, material commerce increases even faster than the monetary economy. It thus seems clear to me that the current rhythm of growth in transport is a monster that has never been seen before and that can never exist in the future. We are living through a few decades of madness.


If the prices of a bottle of Australian wine transported as far as Piedmont or of San Pellegrino water transported as far as Sidney, burning at each journey a bottle of petroleum, were also to cover the costs of the environmental damage generated, that wine and that water would cost double, triple or quadruple.


Why do sausages sold in Nuremberg have to be made with pigs from Bavaria transported for slaughter at Mola near to Naples? And the pyjamas made and sold in Switzerland have to go as far as Portugal to have the buttons sewn on? And the shrimps from the North Sea sold in Germany have to go to Morocco to be washed? And in the supermarkets of Stuttgart Irish mineral water has to arrive at prices lower than German prices? And our local “speck” from altoatesino has to be made from Belgian pigs? And the dried meat of the Grigioni with Brazilian beef? And corn flakes in Geneva with corn from Argentina? And the pizza in Naples with Chinese tomatos? And the Genovese pesto with basil from Vietnam?

Every year Great Britain imports 200,000 tons of foreign pork every year. But it also exports 200,000 tons of British pork. And if we all ate our own pork?


In a planet that is ever more populated, where thousands of millions of people want a better standard of material well-being, we can only satisfy everyone if we return to producing and consuming locally as far as possible leaving long distance commerce for the rest.


A tomato produced in China, should be costing 50 Euro in Italy, 10 cents for the product and 49.90 for the environmental damage.

Then those that want the exotic tomato can still buy it.


In this mad back and forth across the planet of planes, ships, ferries, lorries and trains still more TAV, what gains is commerce not production.

On the contrary, the farmer and the craftsperson, are expelled from the production system by the hypermarkets, points of loading and unloading of goods on the planet.

Gatekeepers of the multinationals who tell us what to eat by means of information and publicity.

And then if the meat, the honey, the milk produced locally is more wholesome and costs less, who cares?

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:30 AM in Ecology | Comments (5)
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The Voice of the Susa Valley/ 10

Polizia Venaus.jpg

The employee Pisanu started well in Parliament yesterday:
”I have no difficulty in apologising to the peaceful citizens of the Susa Valley who have suffered physical damage as a result of the clearing of the building site at Venaus”
After these Christmas words we feel more serene. If in the heart of the night we are bludgeoned by the forces of order we know that later the employee Pisanu will apologise.
And I must say, this is to his merit.


But unfortunately our employee has exposed his game and has made the following declarations, one after the other:


“The mixing of peaceful demonstrators and destructive groups took the protest beyond the predictable level of vehemence.


“The Val di Susa has not been militarised.”


“Today ideas of revenge are spreading especially in relation to those who have been willing to engage in dialogue and to carry on a loyal collaboration with the institutions.”


“The Violence in the Val di Susa needed to be confronted.”


In Venaus, during the night, without warning, women and elderly people were beaten up, there are filmstrips viewable on the internet, hundreds of people can bear witness.


And yet, the Valsusini (People of the Susa Valley) have not reacted with violence.


Tomorrow in Turin (I’m coming) there will be demonstrations.


Present there will be many young people who are state police, local police, and carabinieri.
They are young people who are paid too little; they often have to obey senseless orders.


Let’s treat them well. Every young female, give them a smile.


Let’s reserve the kicks in the behind for other employees.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:23 AM in Transport/Getting About | Comments (1)
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December 16, 2005

Spaceballs

Balle spaziali.jpg

Franco Debenedetti, a senator in the DS party said: "If Fiorani had wanted to leave Italy he would have gone already while the presumed crime cannot be repeated, and the evidence cannot be concealed"
This is the less crafty brother of Carlo. If he is so certain of what he is saying, why doesn’t he go and make a declaration to the Milan Judges?
And if he’s not, he should sign up to a company of variety artistes.


Piero Fassino, leader of the DS party: “I’m no-one’s tea-time friend.”
And you can see that! But at least at dinner he’ll eat a tiny morsel with Consorte of Unipol.
The same Consorte who on 19 July 2005 had this exchange with Fiorani:
Fiorani: “Gianni, I feel I’ve got the same blood as you…. You know that I am always ready and available to work a bit underwater as you have already understood …”
Consorte: Giampi you need to have two or three thoughts about a prestigious president (of BNL, editor’s note)… that we will have to get close to.”


Antonio Fazio, governor of the Bank of Italy {la Banca d’Italia}: “That’s fine. I won’t resign. I have a serene conscience.
What can you say to one like that? If one day they were to arrest him, he wouldn’t even notice, he would think he was visiting the Monastery of an enclosed order.


Giovanni Consorte, president of Unipol, under investigation for stock jobbing: We are going forward on our own path. And with our project, which is ambitious and in line with European thought. It is absolutely practicable. Ab-so-lute-ly.” Especially if we go to Fiorani in prison to ask for suggestions for the management of the BNL {Banca Nazionale di Lavoro}


Berlusconi says that the Government “institutionally cannot do anything for the removal of Fazio and that it is “useless to talk about it”. But was it not him, the man with super-powers, who made super-laws for the “prescritti” and for the elections?


The French wanted Fantasy in Power, we go well beyond that: in power we have loads of bollocks.


Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:38 AM in Wailing Wall | Comments (3)
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The Voice of the Susa Valley / 9

Venaus manifestanti.jpg

The Susa Valley is not alone, and the Valsusini (the people of the Susa Valley) know that. The Susa Valley is a starting point for a country that wants to take back control of public affairs through the direct participation of the citizens.

"1, 100, 1000 Val di Susa".

Today I’m publishing a letter of solidarity to the Valsusini from the Vajont Valley.

“The inhabitants of the Vajont Valley join themselves in solidarity with the inhabitants of the Susa Valley and with the NOTAV campaign.

The reason is easy to say: living in the Vajont Valley, it’s impossible to forget the deep hurt that was felt following the realisation of the “Grande Vajont” project. This affair reminds us of one of the first “great works” carried out in Italy. Starting from the end of the 1950’s in fact, they constructed the highest dam in the world in our Valley, with the idea of making use of the rich water resources for hydroelectric power. Even on that occasion, the directors of the contracting company (SADE) and the State felt that this project was like a trampoline to launch development.

Similarly on that occasion, in the planning and realisation stages, they determined that: a definite push towards economic interests; an underestimate of the hydrological and environmental problems;
a strategic attempt to silence and placate any desire to protest and / or make use of correct information.

All this was in a valley affected by big issues relating to the instability of the hillsides.
One night in 1963 the people and this place were shaken by the sliding of 270 million cubic metres of rock falling off Monte Toc and crashing down without stopping into the artificial basin above the Vajont dam.

A wave of immense proportions devastated centres of habitation and the whole of the territory. This caused the death of about 2,000 people and the injured remained as an indelible witness among the people who survived.
Today all the scientific community maintain that it was a predictable disaster and above all, now, it is known that if it hadn’t been for the lake, the landslide would not have come away from the mountainside with that speed and with that mass. A preventative intervention could have avoided this tragedy and put in place an effective interaction between human beings and the environment instead of the interference that actually happened.

With this action of solidarity, we have the benefit of being able to remember the 40 years of history that have followed this disaster. In fact, this story has been permeated with injustice and bad business even in the reconstruction phases.

For these reasons, we cannot fail to stand alongside the civil non-violent protest of the inhabitants of the Susa Valley against the start of opening up building sites and creating the planned tunnel, whose route relates to rocks made up of the dangerous minerals asbestos and uranium which can open up serious scenarios of public health.

As well as that we protest about the militarisation of the territory in defence of the interests of the State now in Val di Susa.

The victims are always people but the problem remains: too often the faces and the stories are forgotten and the harmony of the locations freely offering themselves to the idols of economic interest and to the thirst for prestige. We rediscover together the possibility to act without party divisions and the generative willingness to express our own opinion and to require the just approach and the correct information to environmental themes.”


The following have made a personal contribution to this letter:

Dario Bossi (Combonian Missionary)
Guglielmo Cornaviera (President of the “Campaign for the defence of the rights of the survivors of Vajont”)
Italo Filippin (Vice-president of the “Association of Vajont Survivors”)
Giovaniemissione
Luciano Pezzin (Mayor of Erto and Casso)
Peacelink
Alex Zanotelli (Combonian Missionary)
and some citizens of Erto and Casso

PS: www.beppegrillo.it has won the Premio WWW 2005 del Sole 24 Ore (WWW 2005 Prize of the newspaper il Sole 24 Ore) as best Italian site for the category: news and information.
Citation: “for the interactivity with the public, the ample documentation on the internet and the commitment to tackle topics of use to citizens.”
It’s you who have won this prize, with your votes and your participation in the Blog. Thank you.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:55 AM in Transport/Getting About | Comments (0)
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December 15, 2005

It’ll change, you’ll see

Luigi Tenco e Gino Paoli.jpg

Gino Paoli sent me this letter about Luigi Tenco.

"The telephone rings again.

Another journalist who wants to ask me about Luigi.
But I believe that a friend should leave him in peace.

They say that things about his death are not clear, but who is it that has so much interest in knowing the truth?

Journalists? Finally they'll write their own piece. They'll have the article on the front page.

The magistrate? He too will have some exposure.

Friends that knew him? The true friends stay silent and don't try to profit by going to the TV or the newspapers.

Even Vespa will have a whole evening with an interesting topic.

Perhaps they want justice to be done.
But what type of justice is it that considers a dubious case of 30 years ago and yet takes little notice of cases still getting dragged through the courts for years.
What type of justice is it that keeps cases going when they are clear but managed by crafty, over-paid lawyers, to keep from prison killer mothers who are like manna from Heaven to the information vultures.

What type of justice is it that doesn't exist for the poor and the unknown but is ready to give all the guarantees to the well-known and the rich?

It would make Luigi want to throw up. Leave him in peace.

Gino Paoli.



Luigi Tenco committed suicide 39 years ago at  San Remo. In one of his song/poems he sang:


“This/is certainly not the life/that you dreamed of one day for us/You’ll see you’ll see/it’ll change you’ll see/perhaps it won’t be tomorrow/but one great day it’ll change/ You’ll see you’ll see/you know you’re not finished/I can’t say how and when/but you’ll see that it will change”.

Tenco dreamed, even at that time, of a different Italy.

Like us.

You’ll see we’ll do it!

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:41 AM in Wailing Wall | Comments (5)
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The Voice of the Susa Valley / 8

Manifestanti-in-Val-di-Susa.jpg

I'm publishing a letter from Barbara Debernardi, Mayor of Condove in Val di Susa, to the President of the Regione Piemonte, Mercedes Bresso.

Coming at an important moment, this letter is written to one of our employees, paid by us, with our money, so that she remembers to act in the interests of her employers: the citizens.

"Dear President Mercedes Bresso,

Please excuse the "tu" form of address (the familiar 'you' form used between friends), perhaps it is too intimate, due to the fact that, even though on a vastly different scale, we both find ourselves to be colleagues in the delicate task of administering public affairs.

This is the first time that I'm writing to you, even though it's not the first time that I feel deeply offended by your discourse in relation to the High Speed project.

Nevertheless, since I normally avoid expressing an opinion about things of which I don't have direct knowledge, up until today I have kept to myself my disappointment and my unease.

However on Tuesday, at the transmission “10 minuti” on RAI 2 unfortunately I was there. I was sitting there, together with other mayors who are my colleagues and I heard you in direct when you told the Italians that there is not a majority of people from the Susa Valley against the TAV. I heard you clearly when you told them that the opposition to the activity came from a lack of knowledge about the projects. And I jumped in my seat when you closed by chatting about the fast trains that will take skiers to our mountains. Trains that certainly could not be those destined to run on the new Turin-Lyon route, which as you know is at the moment planned for freight traffic only. But this is a detail that you knowingly kept quiet about.

I would like to tell you about the frustration of those ten minutes of broadcasting, when we were not given the right of reply and the chance to tell the rest of Italy that the majority of the Valley is opposed to the work and that we know projects very well, even down to the most sordid detail. Here on my desk, I have the latest piece of ingenuity from Ingerop. It came to us a month ago. Anyway, have you seen this project, with a transporter belt of 30km to take people out and about along the Valley, called the “smarino”? If you haven’t seen it, it’s a good idea to glance at it, before expressing hurried opinions on it. If however, you know as much about it as we do, then on Tuesday evening, knowing that you were lying, you lied to us and to the Italian people. And that offends your and our intelligence, your and our dignity.

To talk about frustrations for an evening of TV that turned sour doesn’t get us anywhere. OK I’ll make you a promise and a proposal.

The promise is that I won’t allow myself to be dragged into little theatres like that set up the other evening on RAI2, in which one tries to attribute to the pre-constituted  “truths” the appearance of a dignified confrontation between peers.

The proposal is to be able to finally meet up, you and me, round a table, without the handy TV filters. And on the table, the papers, the reports of studies that have accumulated over the years. You, with all your mature political experience, I with all my recent experience of someone who is still convinced that politics can be a high and clean thing.

I want to be able to discuss these projects with you and I want to be able to see you straight in your eyes, while you tell me that those high speed projects are for the good of Italy and also of my Valley, just as you said the other evening.

And do you know why I dream of this encounter? Because I still hope to see in the depth of your eyes, the saving shadow of uncertainty and the courage of doubt.

The courage to say that perhaps 80,000 people that walked with me yesterday between Bussoleno and Susa could be right.

The courage to say that perhaps you made a mistake about the high-speed projects in the Susa Valley.

I hope to meet you soon.”

Barbara Debernardi mayor of Condove

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:24 AM in Transport/Getting About | Comments (0)
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December 13, 2005

News of Judicial Proceedings

un giorno in pretura.jpg

I open today's copy of the financial newspaper MF. I scan the headlines.


On page 1:
"Ricucci, offer to the PM {the magistrate}"
"Fazio has damaged Italian Banks"


On page 2:
"Brussels is now free to bring infraction proceedings against Italy for the norms regarding restrictions to the freedom on the movement of capital.”


On page 6:
“The Antitrust fines ANIA


On page 9:
Cirio, in the courtroom the crack of 1 thousand million, 25 requests for sending people for trial.”


On page 14:
Parmalat, Consob considering taking action against  Deloitte & Touche


On page 16:
Tango-bondists marching on Rome”


On page 18:
"Ricucci offers plusvalence to the PM”


On page 19:
“ Bellavista and Caltagirone under investigation for takeover bids”


On page 20:
Exposed for stock-jobbing and market abuse. Today Consorte in Bankitalia talks about OK times”


I thought I was going to be reading about finance and instead I found that I was reading a list of judicial proceedings.


There was, however, a consolation page with the “MF Company Awards” to the top people of finance and the economy: Luca Cordero, Vittorio Mincato, Paolo Scaroni, Marco Tronchetti Provera and Andrea Guerra, who haven’t yet allowed themselves to be caught.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 11:12 PM in Economics | Comments (5)
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The Voice of the Susa Valley/ 7

Venaus Val di Susa.jpg
photo: MediaMind_photoagency

In an interview with l'Espresso, Marco Ponti, a professor at the Milan Polytechnic , one of the most important experts in the economy of transport in Europe and consultant to the World Bank, has made these interesting statements:

"... The Italian system is largely under-utilised. On a normal line with double track, 240 trains a day can travel on it. And on a High-speed track (AV) up to 350 can. It doesn't make sense to add this enormous capacity on some of the segments, as there is not the demand for rail transport of this magnitude. Note that the AV lines are very costly.”


“ … the railways in Italy all  have to run along viaducts and go through tunnels. And the costs increase to stratospheric levels. At the same time, while the French AV is a “Light” AV, only for passengers, the model that we have chosen is mixed, passengers and freight, and is quite a lot more expensive.”.


“This model does not have any rational reason: the capacity of the existing network is far in excess of the demand and the goods that travel by train do not need to travel at 300 Kilometres per hour, 180 is more than enough. The cost of tunnels is proportional to the square of their radius: make them a bit wider and the cost doubles. If we need the trains to run fast, the tunnels need to be generous, otherwise an “ariete” effect is produced and it slows down the train. Conclusion: either we do like we did for the piece of AV track between Bologna and Florence, that was not finished because the costs rose to mad heights to create wide tunnels, or we do normal tunnels, as for the Frejus project, and have the trains running no faster than 120-150 kilometres per hour. So much for AV!”


An AV that costs nothing to the State already exists: the low cost flights. You can’t beat them above 500km. To go from Turin to Paris, is unlikely that you’ll take the Turin-Lyon. But it makes it even more improbable to square the accounts: AV needs enormous traffic flows to justify it. We are way off that. There are 30 long distance trains a day travelling between Milan and Turin and they are half empty: the number in the official estimates on the Frejus is about 12.”


“At the beginning it was promised that the AV project would pay for 60% of its costs. Then this came down to 40% and finally it was established that 40% of the costs excluding the costs for the “nodes” near the cities, (really expensive). According to my simulations it would be around 20%; others estimate 23%. The system is destined for the default: the State pays. Many of these projects will get off the ground and then there won’t be the money to continue them and they will be restarted every time there is an election. The Turin-Lyon is a monument to dissipation: it will cost at least 13 thousand million, like 3 or 4 bridges over the Straits of Messina. Werner Rothengatter, world president of transport experts, in his “Megaprojects” has calculated that by the end, the cost of these massive schemes increases on average by 30-40 per cent.”


“To develop innovation, we need to focus on technology rather than on cement. As far as employment is concerned, nowadays, the massive projects have a modest multiplier effect: manual labourers are not used as they were in the 1800’s. And then it is evident that our country has a great tourist value in the future. Thus there are more fruitful ways of spending money. Unless of course someone is promising themselves great business on the great works.”

Source: Espresso.


Is there any expert in Italy who wants to answer with some numbers to this?

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:01 PM in Transport/Getting About | Comments (1)
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December 12, 2005

The Unipol Skeletons

scheletri-danzanti.jpg

Unipol is in a storm. Its top directors are being investigated for stock-jobbing with Giampiero Fiorani. The plan to take possession of the BNL {Banca Nazionale del Lavoro National Worker's Bank} is at risk of collapsing, even though it has the blessing of Antonio Fazio, or perhaps this is why it might collapse.

And yet you should have been able to see for some time that there was something not working properly with the insurance company of the “red” co-operatives {Unipol}. It’s just that nearly all the Italian Press was taken by surprise by this happening that in fact has incredible elements.

It’s a real “submarine” affair.

In fact in 2002, Unipol had a cash balance of 408 thousand million lire collected form two bonds with very low interest rates, most of which were at 2.25% per annum.

Why did it decide to pay these back in advance three years before the due date? It would have been enough to buy Government Bonds, then at 4.65%, to gain 27 thousand Million lire in three years, net. Why did the directors of Unipol give a kick to all that money?

Someone, thanks to a word in their ear, had purchased many of those bonds at 93 shortly before they were reimbursed at 100.

But this is called insider trading and is a crime.

Obviously it will be up to the Magistratura {body of Magistrates} to decide whether the real guilty ones are Emilio Gnutti, Giovanni Consorte or others. The unsettling fact is the reimbursement of those bonds itself, causing damage to the Unipol members.

It’s like if the director of a bank were to take from the safe wads of bank notes and throw them out of the window. Certainly, it’s worse if, just in that moment, a friend of his is passing by underneath. Anyway it’s not good to throw away money belonging to other people.

Now Unipol has asked for  - and obtained from its members, 2.59 thousand Million Euro to make a bid for BNL. If this much gives you so much, we might fear that it will also throw away this money.

The skeletons in the cupboard are looking really promising.
Data and precise details are available at the following  web address: http://www.dm.unito.it/personalpages/scienza/unipol.htm

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:43 PM in Economics | Comments (0)
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The Voice of the Susa Valley / 6

strada-della-Val-di-Susa.jpg

I'm still waiting for the detailed reasons in favour of the construction of the tunnel in the Susa Valley. At the same time, the Internet is full of the other reasons - for no TAV.

I advise you to read the interview with Professor Angelo Tartaglia of the Politecnico di Torino {Turin Polytechnic}.

This sentence of Professor Tartaglia is illuminating: “the technical people understand that the sums don’t add up. They talk about this to the politicians who say they don’t understand technical data and in the mean time, the work is to be done.”

Some data from the interview:

The central problem is that the goods trains In Italy travel at an average speed of 19 Kilometres per hour since they are often stationary waiting for passenger trains which get precedence. This is the bit of data to be improved.. It’s not useful that goods arrive from France at 150 kilometres per hour if they then pass most of their time in the station when they arrive in Italy.”

It makes sense to talk of High speed when the journeys are longer than 250-300Km. In Italy, if we look closely at the figures, we can see that 80% of the demand for passenger transport is for short journeys, less than 100Km. It’s true that our trains are super-full on certain routes but only very few people go from one end of the country to the other. The routes that are most frequented are those where there is the greatest exchange of passengers.

“A study commissioned by the Mountain Community of the Lower Susa Valley carried out by the Società di ingegneria dei Trasporti Polinomia, {Transport Engineering Company}, shows that the line would be justified if in the next few years there was 40 million tons of goods traffic per year making a total of 350 trains a day, every 4 minutes at the speed of 150 km/h, alternating with passenger trains at 300 km/h.

The fact that the Government has put a stop to the work is an extraordinary result, and is already a precedent.

From now on, before starting any work, the real employers should be consulted: the citizens.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:05 PM in Transport/Getting About | Comments (1)
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Investigations of Italian Journalism

SherlockHolmes.jpg
photo: news.bbc.co.uk

The teacher of a course in “Analysis of public policy” has been discussing with his students what has been happening in the Susa Valley and asked them to analyse the information carried by the three major Italian daily papers.
The teacher told the students to find the reasons for the Yes-TAV (Fast train project).

The papers consulted on 7, 8 and 9 December were: Il Corriere della Sera, La Repubblica and La Stampa.
The result is exhilarating, and it steals my position of comedian from me.

Before reading the analysis (in Italian), that I advise you to print out and pass around, let’s see a few Yes-TAV declarations:

Sergio Romano, Corriere: “Without the TAV we will leave the Danube-Balkan Europe in the hands of our competitors, which is the region where we have achieved significant success in recent years”;

Barbara Spinelli, La Stampa: “There are rational and opportune projects - a high speed train that from Portugal goes to Kiev has these attributes”;

Emma Bonino, Corriere: “The TAV has to go ahead because what’s at play is a model of sustainable ecology”;

Mercedes Bresso, Corriere: “Up there the children cannot go to school, their fathers have been on strike so much they risk being sacked and then even Christmas is coming.”

After three days of reading Yes-TAV declarations like this, without numbers, tables, economic analysis, environmental evaluations, projections, the students threw in the sponge and gave up.

Journalists please don’t go on strike again!
Otherwise how can we find amusement?


Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:41 AM in Wailing Wall | Comments (8)
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The Voice of the Susa Valley / 5

Venausscontri.jpg
photo: MediaMind_photoagency

They continue to chatter on about fantastic goods traffic through the Susa Valley when, in 15 to 20 years the tunnel will be finished.

Everyone can forecast what will happen in 20 years time, even Elio Catania, president of the FS (State Railway system) and ex vice warehouse person of IBM (the chief warehouse person was Stanca).
And in a special way with our money, since this project will cost us between three or four times the cost of the Messina Bridge.

But why don’t we talk instead of what is happening right now.

The number of heavy vehicles coming through the Frejus tunnel has been going down for many years:
-15.47% (including buses) in 2003, -7.61% in 2004, -12.85% in 2005 (projection based on the opening period, since the tunnel was closed for a few months). And if it’s going down, why should it increase in the future to such an extent to justify a high capacity line?

For the data, have a look at the website of SITAF – the company that manages the tunnel.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:28 AM in Transport/Getting About | Comments (0)
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December 11, 2005

Citizen Berlusconi

Citizen-Kane.jpg

I would like to propose two laws to be passed in 2006.
The first law approved by parliament would provide for the total division of those that are in politics and those that possess information media.
The second law should forbid any group or any private person to control information media at a national level.
And after that, perhaps, we can talk about democracy in Italy.

I’m publishing a piece about management of TV in Europe from the book “Inciucio” by Marco Travaglio.

“The Spain of José Luís Rodriguez Zapatero is only the last of the great European countries to release, at least partially public television from the direct control of the parties and/or the government.
For years, for scores of years almost all of the rest of Europe had done this. It would take a long time to describe in detail how the various continental TV systems work. But some brief summary may help us understand why the Italian case causes so much scandal abroad (and little in Italy).

In Spain, until a few months ago, the Board of Directors of the Rtve, which broadcasts Tve1 and Tve2, was nominated by Parliament (with a majority of two thirds) and the Director General was nominated by the Government. They stayed in post for 4 years, the same time as the Government.

Just as in Italy, they changed colour with the change of Government.

Then Zapatero arrived, in an atmosphere of growing intolerance by public opinion against the politicised public TV that had hidden big demonstrations in the streets against Aznar (but didn’t manage to camouflage the lies of the conservative prime minister as he was leaving office about the Al Quaida attacks in Madrid).

As soon as he came to power, Zapatero placed at the head of the Rtve a university lecturer in communications, really prestigious but not a member of any political party, who has started to clean up the TV screens of the Telebaseness, that is, the TV rubbish of reality and trash. Then he nominated a commission of five wise people “super partes”, headed up by the philosopher Emilio Lledó and made up of those knowledgeable about mass media as well as intellectuals (including a teacher of ethics) to rewrite the law about broadcasting.

In June 2005 the reform became law.

The key point is the dramatic change to the way the Rtve top people are elected. The Director General will be elected by the Board of Directors, and not by the Government, with a majority of two thirds, and exclusively from participants in a public competition.

The Board of Directors will be in power for 6 years so that their terms of office don’t coincide with the end of the legislature, and it will be made up of 2 members elected by the Senate and 2 by the Congress (always with two thirds of the votes): 2 chosen by the Trades Unions and 2 by the Audiovisual Council (which regulates frequencies, costs, publicity flows).
An independent authority, the Consejo de información will monitor the pluralism and the choices of the Board of Directors, and will have the power to block the Director General.

So far Zapatero has opened the frequency market to new private entities. Before, the commercial TV was monopolised by the Berlusconian Telecinco and by Antena3, owned by De Agostini and Maurizio Carlotti (ex Director of Fininvest).

Now the Prisa di Jesús Polanco (already owner of «El País» and of Radio Cadena Ser) will also arrive together with at least one other group. Among the protests came those of the Spanish representatives of Mediaset, who were crying “coup” just because of the risk of a bit of competition…

However, in no European country, does the head of the Government possess TV channels, since conflict of interest is severely forbidden everywhere. And TV pluralism is more or less guaranteed by the presence in the market of private broadcasters.”

Marco Travaglio

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 11:03 AM in Information | Comments (3)
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The Voice of the Susa Valley /4

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8 dicembre Val di Susa 2.JPG
photo: demonstration 8 December 2005 Venaus

I’m listing a series of common sayings about the Susa Valley with comments from the No TAV campaign and 2 photos of the encounters on 8 December in which you can see the famous 1000 Black block and the anarchists mentioned by our employee Pisanu. The same man that said there was no (baton) charge at this location in Venaus.

If there exists a Pro-TAV campaign that wants to provide contrary information to these points, send me an email and I will publish it. If it is not possible to prove that these points are not correct, then we need a European Committee of Inquiry.

The nine common sayings

1 WITHOUT THE TURIN-LYON, PIEDMONT WOULD BE ISOLATED FROM THE REST OF EUROPE
In reality, Piedmont is already abundantly connected to Europe and above all through the Susa Valley. In this valley there are already 2 main roads a motorway and a dual track train line for passengers and freight. There is even the so-called motorway-train (transport of HGV by special shuttle trains). They are all connecting lines with France going through two natural passes (Monginevro and Moncenisio) and two artificial tunnels (Frejus for trains and for motorway). All this fits into a valley floor that is on average 1.5km wide! Even the river, the Dora Riparia has trouble squeezing in, and every so often it floods.

2. THE EXISTING TRAIN LINES ARE SATURATED
In fact the existing Turin-Modane train line is only used at 38% of its capacity. The HGV shuttle leaves every day desolately empty. (But they were rediscovered and pounced upon in the period when the Frejus tunnel was closed after the fire.) The direct train connection Turin-Lyon was suppressed because there weren’t enough passengers. And the flow of goods – forecast by those who want it the work in exponential growth – is in fact down by 9% in the last year!

3. THE TURIN-LYON IS INDISPENSABLE TO THE ECONOMIC REVIVAL OF PIEDMONT
In fact the opposite is true. By removing resources (it’s all public money) from research, innovation, the recovery of industry in deep crisis (Fiat and others) , the TAV will be the final blow to Piedmont’s economy.

4 THE TAV WILL REMOVE THE HGV FROM THE VALLEY
In fact just to kick off, the 10-15 years of work needed to construct the Turin-Lyon will bring to the roads of the Valley and to the area around Turin something like 500 lorries a day (and night) to transport the material from the excavation from the tunnel to stockpile sites, with a great increase in pollution and dust. Once the apocalyptic phase of building sites is over and the Great Work is realised, who says that the merchandise will pass from the motorway to the new railway? The opposite will happen. The promoters of this work and recent transport engineering studies tell us that only 1% of the current road traffic will transfer to rail.
Massive advantage.

5 THE PEOPLE OF THE SUSA VALLEY ARE EGOTISTS AND DON’T CONSIDER THE INTERESTS OF ITALY.
In fact, at the moment 35% of the goods crossing the Alps go through the Susa Valley! Along the Frejus Motorway 4,500 HGV pass every day. This can be compared to the 1,500 passing Mont Blanc in the Aosta Valley where the number of HGV is limited by law.

6. THE TURIN-LYON BRINGS WORK TO THE PEOPLE OF PIEDMONT.
In fact, as is already happening for all the structural work currently going on, this is short-term work carried out to a great extent by manual workers from outside the European Union. Also, the contracting firms bring in their own technical people and workers from their own Regions (there’s a saying that you get your wife and your cows from your own village – but here they’ll get their firms and their cows from their own village). For the towns and villages of the Susa Valley and the area round Turin, a great problem would arrive: the mafia. Turbulent tendering processes have already been identified in the phase of geological surveys on behalf of politicians from Piedmont and others. Who knows what we’d see for the actual construction work!

7. THE TRACK IS ALMOST ALL INSIDE THE TUNNEL. WHAT HARM WILL IT DO?
In fact it will do a great deal of harm. The route involves a 23 kilometre tunnel inside the Musinè, a mountain where there is much asbestos. The machine that perforates the rock will send into the air quite a lot of asbestos fibre. Invisible and lethal. The wind will carry it everywhere. The wind called the “foehn” will take it as far as the centre of Turin. Breathing in asbestos fibre causes a tumour of the lungs (mesotelioma pleurico), which doesn’t give you a chance. Asbestos is a material that has been outlawed since 1977. To excavate tunnels in a place like this is illegal and criminal. And what’s more: The 53Kilometre Italy -France tunnel excavated inside the Massiccio dell’Ambin (Ambin mountain) will encounter (apart from water sources and springs that will be destroyed) rock containing uranium. And what’s more: A railway in a tunnel needs loads of tiny tunnels, at right angles to the main tunnel. They are called service tunnels – or “windows”. There will be 12 of tem. These will need their own construction sites, all in areas where there are villages and houses. It will be a type of hell with noise and dust and lorries going back and forth on narrow village roads, day and night for at least 15 years.
And what’s more: the tunnelling of such long sections in the mountain near to densely populated towns and villages may dry out the water tables and the aqueducts, as has happened for the TAV tunnels of Mugello, for which trials are going on now concerning environmental disaster.
And what’s more: The road system will be turned upside-down. Over-passes will be constructed at each site of works. Perhaps these new roads will be calculated as compensation in regard to the environmental impact of the work? (To have a vague idea, go and tour round the Turin-Milan motorway and see the upset cause by the Turin-Novara TAV).

8 THIS WORK IS GOOD FOR THE ECONOMY BECAUSE IT RELEASES PRIVATE CAPITAL INTO THE MARKET.
In fact the estimated cost of 20 thousand million Euro is all charged to the public purse. All public money, but entrusted to private firms according to the diabolical invention of the general contractor. It is guaranteed by the Italian State. Nobody private will put in a Euro, especially after the experience of the tunnel under the English Channel. That sent into bankruptcy those that bought bonds. The incredible amounts of money that are needed by this work will be taken from the existing railway lines (already in a disastrous state), from hospitals, schools, and all public services, and from the development of renewable sources of energy to replace petrol.
And what’s more: It has already been forecast that the new Turin-Lyon railway line will have very high management costs and will be making a loss for scores of years.
And what’s more: Notwithstanding the fact that most of the route is in French territory, the Italian Government has accepted to cover the cost of two thirds of the International route (Borgone – St.-Jean-de-Maurienne). Anyway it’s us that pay.

9 WHOEVER IS AGAINST THE TURIN-LYON IS AGAINST PROGRESS.
In fact, the opposite is true. Progress must not be confused with infinite growth. The territory of Italy is small and is over-populated. Natural resources (water, agricultural land, forests, minerals) are limited. Pollution and refuse increase without limits. Petrol supplies are coming to an end. Progress means understanding that physical limits exist to our mania to construct and transform the face of the planet. Progress means optimising, making more efficient and durable that which already exists, cutting out what is superfluous and investing in intellectual and cultural growth more than material, using the mind more than muscles. The TAV represents the exact opposite of this idea; it is an old project that is now an anachronism. It foresees infinite growth in the volume of goods to be transported (that will then be the refuse of tomorrow). It privileges as values only speed and quantity. It ignores quality and whether and why we need to transport something.”

THE NO-TAV CAMPAIGN

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 01:48 AM in Transport/Getting About | Comments (2)
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December 10, 2005

Radio London

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photo: the Staff of Radio London

Today, transmitted through the whole world, BBC radio had an interview with me in English, on the topic of “Clean Up Parliament”.

Francesca, a young Italian woman working in Ghana, heard it this morning and wrote me an email.
Now to know something about Italy you need to emigrate to Ghana and listen to an interview in English with a comedian transmitted by the BBC. If you stayed in Italy you wouldn’t know a jot!


Dear Beppe Grillo,

My name is Francesca Greco, I am a volunteer with the United Nations in Ghana, West Africa. I don’t have TV here in Ghana and my only source of information for foreign news is my FM radio.

I always listen to the "BBC world service" which is transmitted on FM in Ghana (and I have to say – not in Italy!).
The fantastic thing that happened to me this morning was that I woke up and there was your voice on the radio!
The voice of Beppe Grillo is transmitted in the whole world except for Italy!!!
It’s incredible that any citizen in the world can get information about the “Clean Up Parliament!” campaign except for Italian citizens.

I am Italian. I feel great shame for the embarrassing situation of the Italian media. But this morning, when I heard your voice, I said to myself: “At least there’s still someone who isn’t giving up!”
Don’t give up Beppe!”

Francesca Greco in Ghana, Africa

Listen to the transmission as millions of people have already done.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 02:01 AM in Information | Comments (7)
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The Voice of the Susa Valley/3

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photo by Stefano Careglio

I’m publishing the letter of a Franciscan of the Susa Valley (Val di Susa), Beppe Giunti. It is long, but it’s worth taking the time to read it all.

“Many friends from our Community are asking me, and they are right to do so, why at the moment I am in the middle of this TAV (fast train) issue. They are asking why I marched from Bussoleno to Susa and why I positioned myself yesterday morning between a section of police returning from a night-time blitz and the crowd of ordinary people who were keen to give back truncheon attacks and insults.

The main reason is because the Christian faith is not an abstraction, a philosophy, but the consequence of a God who becomes man, in a precise context in time and culture. The incarnation is one of the principal mysteries of the faith and the central criteria of following Christ.

It follows from this that the believer cannot “call himself out” from any type of situation where values are at issue. Thus, faith cannot have a privatised dimension. In recent months, both the teachings of Pope Benedict as well as some interventions by the Italian Bishops Conference have reminded us about those who want the Christian Community to stay silent about important issues (marriage, usury, common law couples). There is no doubt for believers: every reality that involves human choices at various levels, there they must be present.

The second reason, the massive and important question of the train with high capacity to transport goods (in fact it is not mainly a high speed passenger train, TAV is only a slogan for both sides, (pro and contra). The game to play for is whether to keep the route for the exchange of goods to the South of the Alps through Genoa, Marseilles and Barcelona or leave those to the north through Rotterdam). Is this the situation?

I believe it is. The method (participatory democracy which involves the intermediate subjects according to the subsidiarity principle) has been turned upside down (decision by top-level economics and finance people then a signature by International politicians). At the centre, is the market, not people. The idea of “progress” that is developed in the “pro” documents does not talk about the quality of life but of the growth of wealth. There has been no preliminary study carried out by an independent research organisation to assess the environmental and economic consequences (of the type carried out for the tunnel under the English Channel – of the negative aspects of the project – and for how many years they may last). The financial dimension of the project does not require an investigation into whether equivalent results could be brought about by other means.

Results of technical analysis carried out at the request of the Mountain Communities in the valley have been available for ten years. Now the citizens have the feeling that they themselves count for nothing.

What’s more, I believed that my presence, like that of many other priests, mayors, High School teachers of the Valley, representatives of associations could have lessened clashes and kept the demonstration at a level of respect, listening and democracy. I participated in the march of the 50,000 because I belong to no Party, but I wanted to be together with the mayors, who I believe to be the closest ring of the nation. A priest cannot be a member of a political movement nor can he become a member of a political party. But here it’s simply a matter of being a citizen.

Unfortunately, last night’s events in Venaus, and before that the many declarations by people who are responsible for the public good (I believe this is the noble way of recognising politicians, such as, for example, Minister Lunardi), the 10-year silence on the part of most of the national information media and now their folkloric interest (the marching banners, the clubs, the bonfires, weariness of the police, the polenta at the garrisons of Venaus), the choice of the person responsible for the public good in relation to public order (Minister Pisanu) to militarise the Valley and to order the blitz (carried out using old-fashioned methods of the 1950’s, Scelba docet? – at night in silence – giving orders to the photographers to go away, with the implication and the justified pretence regarding the presence of anarchists infiltrated among the people or at least violent people, never seen in the Valley on this occasion but who turned up in Turin after the blitz), the emotional reaction of the whole population (yesterday morning in the car belonging to the local authority of Bussoleno, with a microphone we had great trouble - a mayor, a well-known partisan of the area and myself – we struggled to put an end to the physical violence) which stops us from reasoning about the facts about the data and not on the slogans; all this makes it difficult to stay with this campaign.

I believe that I have done and that I must continue to do this little thing because I am a monk, a Christian and a citizen.

A final reflection, this was not picked up by many people: the intensity of the coming together, the circulation of documents, the confrontation in tiny groups and in big assemblies, the mixing of cultural, political, and religious identities that took place on this occasion demonstrates something, whether or not this monstrous engineering feat goes ahead – that directs us to think again about the development model we want for future generations. In this, the Christian tradition has plenty to say (refer to the teaching in our continent of Pope John Paul II)
so that especially in Europe it’s not about markets but about people,
so that the waste of energy changes to the reasoned use of resources,
so that consumption does not become the new idol to which we burn incense.

While I’m writing, now that I have been out in the streets again to meet up with scores of ordinary people who are not terrorists, I can summarise the feeling of the people with the word “offended”, because we have not been listened to because we have been treated like violent delinquents, because we have not been understood.

I have been offended – at a fork in the road from Bussoleno to Mattie – by men in uniform – of my own Nation – and after I identified myself (I quote: “You are an animal, take this beast away, I am of the State…”) while I was attempting a limited mediation that actually protected a small group of police. But I’m reminded of the teaching of Saint Francis: an insult hurts the one who hurls it, not the one who is hit by it.
Many thanks if you make this known. Many thanks if you respond. Many thanks if you help us to think more on this topic even by providing documents that are pro and con relevant to all that is discussed here.

Brother Beppe Giunti, Guardian of the convent of San Francesco di Susa

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 01:14 AM in Transport/Getting About | Comments (0)
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December 08, 2005

Cave Men

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Stefano Benni sent me this reflection about cave men.

“They say they are modern, but in fact they want to take the world back millions of years.
They are the cave men, the extremists of the new economic power.
Their mentality is Palaeolithic; the world belongs to the strongest, the bludgeon is profit, and the earth is prey.

You can recognise them as they beat their chests in a threatening way and shout out the slogan: “Massive Works”. They love to excavate new caves, and tunnels for a super-train that is super-fast but they don’t know how to construct a normal decent train for commuters. One of their palaeo-lies is: a thing done badly that goes faster is better than a thing done well that goes slowly.
They are premature ejaculators, who don’t know how to enjoy the world.

Stupid and greedy, Pitecantropes and P2antropes, they insist in a project that has failed anyway, a development model that no longer manages to make progress, but only takes back in time, the quality of life of everyone.
They groan: “We won’t be intimidated”, they call themselves modern and call the others “backward”.

Let’s get these lies out of their mouths.

Backward applies to those who choose this project that is favoured by speculators and Mafiosi.
Modern applies to those who choose the better project.

Backward applies to those who do propaganda about things they have already decided, like all the old dictators.
Modern applies to those who talk about it first.

To create the Messina Bridge is an “il Duce”-Nero- mad thing.
Make good the commuter train services, the Salerno-Reggio Calabria, the exit/entry roads at Mestre and the ring-road round Milan, redo the aqueducts, the river banks, the ports, this would be modern.

Selling a ticket claiming an hour less from Milan to Naples and then have a three hour delay, is a really old trick.
To arrive on time on the Milan - Naples journey would be a really modern event.

Emmenthal Lunardi is not modern. Giving contracts to your friends is as old as the world. And it is old opportunism to be a Euro-phile one day and a devolutionist another. The people of the Susa Valley are not only objecting to the TAV (High speed train) but they also have proposals. Their vision of the economy is much more modern and complex than that of the cave men.

Knowing how to recognise the critical points in history, where progress cracks and breaks, is an activity of high engineering.

The old cave-dwellers at least had an alibi: they had to learn everything day by day. But these of today have not learned and have understood zero.

They continue to make millions with the juice of dinosaurs, with prehistoric petrol and they don’t care a fig about what will happen when it’s all finished.
For this the cavemen are furious: because they are confronted by a superior civilisation. People who know how to observe the world as a living organism, not as a raw material, and they know how to think of the future. For this they are a thousand times more modern and more realistic than them.

And now, honourable P3-cantrops and/or speculators off you go to your favourite restaurants and eat mammoth pâté, and talk of dividends, of making people bankrupt and of speculation.
But under the sleeve of your nice blue jacket, we can see the hairs.

Let’s give you your proper name: you are cave men quoted on the stock market, in recent years you have excavated a tunnel, and now you don’t know how to get out of it. Feel free to use the bludgeon and the club, but don’t say that you are acting in the name of progress.”

Stefano Benni, the wolf

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:37 PM in Wailing Wall | Comments (4)
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The Voice of the Susa Valley /2

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Last night my friend Dario Fo told me that he was going to participate in Gad Lerner’s programme “L’infedele” dedicated to the Val di Susa (Susa Valley).
I followed the programme and I think that if anyone still had doubts about the uselessness of the TAV (fast Train) in Val di Susa, after that debate, they won’t have any more.
Apart from the mayors and the inhabitants of the Susa Valley there were also economists, politicians and ecologists.

No-one could doubt that there is asbestos in the mountains.
No-one managed to give figures indicating the economic benefits.

Someone from Rome said that the police did not carry out charges and then that person, offended by the contestations, removed themselves from the meeting.
Someone, an economist, said that the work will cost three or four times the cost of the bridge over the Straits of Messina.
Someone, an economist, said that this work (more than 50 Kilometres of tunnel) will pay for itself only for 10%, the rest will be charged to the tax-payer.

Everyone said that this work is only for merchandise.

Everyone said that the work will be finished in 15 to 20 years and that it’s not possible to forecast the flows and the type of merchandise that will be transported. At the end,

Lerner commented: “It seems as though you are talking for the first time.”

To me, it feels like living on the moon. Today, the ones who will surely gain from this work are those companies participating in the project and I’ve got doubts that they cut across all parties.

PS I ask all those from the Susa Valley and all the other in possession of relevant material, to email me at the Blog, documents, photos, film strips, that document the reasons for No TAV (no high speed train).

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:56 PM in Transport/Getting About | Comments (2)
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Walking ironmongers

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The bionic man is arriving. The metals that we eat are turning us into walking ironmongers. The following list gives some metals contained in products that we eat every day, metals like Titanium, Cobalt, Silver. You just need to know. Just like they do for cigarettes, it’d be OK to add a label with the words: “Watch Out: glass inside”, or Lead, Bismuth and Barium Sulphate can produce side effects.”

The list:
Pandoro Motta: Aluminium, Silver
Tiny Rold Gold Snacks (USA): Iron, Chromium, Nickel (that is steel), Aluminium
Offelle Bistefani Biscuits: Osmium, Iron, Zinc, Zirconium, Silicon-Titanium
Galletti Barilla: Titanium, Iron, Tungsten
Macine Barilla: Titanium
Granetti Barilla: Iron, Chromium
Nastrine Barilla: Iron
Plum cake allo yogurt Giorietto Biscotti: Iron. Chromium
Ringo Pavesi: Iron, Chromium, Silicon, Aluminium, Titanium
Pane carasau (I Granai di Qui Sardegna): Iron, Chromium
Pane ciabatta Esselunga: Lead, Bismuth, Aluminium
Pane morbido a fette Barilla: Lead, Bismuth, Aluminium
Paneangeli Cameo: Aluminium, Silicon
Pane Panem: Iron, Nickel, Cobalt, Aluminium, Lead, Bismuth, Manganese
Cornetto Sanson (cialda): Iron, Chromium e Nickel (cioè acciaio)
Biscotto Marachella Sanson: Silicon, Iron
Omogeneizzato Manzo Plasmon: Silicon, Aluminium
Omogeneizzato Vitello e Prosciutto Plasmon: Iron, Barium Sulphate, Strontium, Iron-Chromium, Titanium
Cacao in polvere Lindt: Iron, Chromium, Nickel
Tortellini Fini: Iron, Chromium
Hamburger McDonald’s: Silver
Mozzarella Granarolo: Iron, Chromium, Nickel
Chewing gum Daygum Microtech Perfetti: Silicon (that is: glass)
Integratore Formula 1 (pasto sostitutivo) Herbalife: Iron, Titanium
Integratore Formula 2 Herbalife: Iron, Chromium

The metals listed above are all in the form of particles measured in nano and micro metres. (nano= from a thousand millionth to a ten millionth of a metre, micro= from a millionth to a hundred thousandth of a metre) None of these polluting particles is biodegradable and so they stay where they are forever. Where they are is human tissue.

I ask these companies, if they’d like to, to give an explanation. I’ll publish it on the Blog.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:42 PM in Health/Medicine | Comments (4)
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December 07, 2005

The Voice of the Susa Valley/1

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Up until 17 December, the date when there will be a demonstration in Turin against the TAV (high speed train) that I’m participating in, I’ve decided that as well as the regular daily post, I’ll publish a post a day dedicated to the Susa Valley.

Today I’m publishing the document written by a cancer specialist at the Hospital San Luigi di Orbassano about the risks of asbestos in the Susa Valley.

“To create the 23 Kilometre tunnels that are planned, the volume of material containing asbestos that first needs to be excavated, then moved and finally stored has been estimated to be more than one million cubic metres (1,151,000), although this value may have a significant increase. The possibility of resulting conditions that are a risk to health is absolutely relevant as regards the activities of excavation and movement of this earth….”

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 06:46 PM in Transport/Getting About | Comments (2)
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I am a 'Valsusino'

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photo: www.repubblica.it

Police removed people by force from the garrison of Venaus in the Susa Valley. In a written communication, campaigners of the Susa Valley have stated that the police bludgeoned women, elderly people and journalists.

The cudgel in the place of dialogue.

At this point I ask the police to bludgeon every honest Italian, every Italian who is not “prescritto” (prescritto = not convicted of a crime only because time limits for conviction were in place), every Italian who defends their rights, every Italian who is not in collusion with criminality, every Italian who has not been convicted of a crime.

There are still lots of them.
There are still lots of us.
We are all "Valsusini".

This is the failure of politics.

I AM A 'VALSUSINO'!

PS Download the Susa Valley Flyer: “Io sono un Valsusino" and distribute it, perhaps even inserting a photo of yourself.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 11:16 AM in Politics | Comments (4)
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December 05, 2005

The Fazio – Yellow Submarine

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We are a country in information apnea.
Uncomfortable news comes and goes but above all it goes.
News is like a submarine, for a bit, it stays on the surface and then it dives down into the abyss into some deep Marianne Hole away from News Broadcasts and Newspapers.
And if they really have to talk about it, it turns up on page 20 of the newspapers or on the midnight News broadcasts.
Let’s play a game.
The game of the news items that are always acceptable: the “surface News items” and the News items that are talked about only when really necessary and then for a short time and in moderation: the “submarine News
Surface News
A declaration by Casini is surface News.
A declaration by Mastella is surface News.
A declaration by Rutelli is surface News.
A talk by Ruini is surface News.
A talk by the Pope is surface News.
Islamic Terrorism is surface News.
bonolisfedementanacostanzodefilippivespaferrara
is surface News.
Snow on the motorway is surface News.
Every declamatory statement from Tronchetti is surface News.
Football and its presidents are surface News.
Victory for Ferrari or Valentino Rossi is surface News.
Tits and bums and money are pure surface News.

Submarine News

Bird flu is submarine News.
The electoral law is submarine News.
Falluja is submarine News.
No Tav (fast train)/Val di Susa is submarine News.
The conviction of Previti is submarine News.
The final conviction of people sitting in Parliament is submarine News.
The parliamentarians who will not be tried because their crimes will reach their cut off dates soon enough thanks to the ex-Cirielli law is submarine News.
The names of those who have been convicted of associating with the mafia and yet hold public office is submarine News.
Death as a result of accidents at work is submarine News.
The monopoly by Telecom/Enel/Eni is submarine News.
The collapse of digital terrestrial TV is submarine News.
The strike by consumers is submarine News.
The privatisation of water is submarine News.

Fazio is the commander of a submarine fleet.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:02 PM in Information | Comments (11)
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Teach your son

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Frei Betto, a true priest, who stays in the midst of people, friend of the President of Brazil, Lula, sent me a letter addressed to a Brazilian child.
But it could be any child in this world, even an Italian child. If you want, read it to your children.

Teach your son that Brazil can succeed and that he must grow up to be proud of being Brazilian. In this country, there are just judges, even though this truth may sound uncomfortable. Judges like my father who have never offered a job to members of his own family, even though his sons are lawyers, who have never taken advantage of their position to gain a favour and who remain impartial and so have allowed even the poor to win a case, and have stood up to rich owners or companies who had to admit that for certain men, honour is not a good that can be negotiated.

Teach your son that in this country there are politicians with integrity, competent administrators, worthy authorities who don’t allow themselves to be corrupted, who don’t hide outrage under the mat, who aren’t afraid of being disliked by their friends or of deluding the powerful, who have the courage to think with their own heads and to look after honour more than their life.

Teach your son that not having a talent for sport, or not having the face or body of a top model, or feeling ugly in comparison with the current fashion for defining beauty, is not a good reason for loosing his self-esteem.
Happiness cannot be bought, nor is it a trophy that can be won by beating competitors; it is bound up with values and virtues, and design, in our existence, that sense for which it is worth living or dying.

Teach your son that Brazil has continental dimensions and the most fertile land of the planet. Thus it is not possible to justify so much land without people and so many people without land. Just as the freeing of slaves came late, but eventually happened, even agrarian reform will have its moment. And let us hope that little blood will flow in bringing it about.

Let your son know that those without land who occupy uncultivated areas, unlawfully claimed by landlords or even abandoned, today are called “bandits”, just as once upon a time condemnation fell upon Gandhi, sitting on an English railway line, and upon Luther King who occupied the schools where black people could not go.

Teach your son that pioneers and prophets, from Jesus to Tiradentes, from Saint Francis of Assisi to Nelson Mandela, were invariably treated by the elite of their time as subversives, malefactors and visionaries.

Teach your son that Brazil is a country that works and is creative. Millions of Brazilians get up early in the morning and eat less than they need and pass most of their life working, in exchange for a wage that isn’t even enough to give them access to a house of their own. And even so, these people are not capable of stealing a pen from the office, a brick from the building site, a tool from the factory. They are proud of not falling so low, where at the same level you find the bandits with white collars and the small-time crooks. They are people made of the same mettle as those refuse collectors of Vitória who handed over to the Police, bags full of money that bank robbers had hidden in a bucket.

Teach your son to avoid the privileged lane of this neo-liberal society that tries to brainwash them into thinking that being a consumer is more important than being a citizen, that incenses who brings down fortune, that exalts the aesthetic rather than ethics. Convince him that happiness is not the result of the sum of pleasures, and that the spiritual route is a treasure that is conserved in the depth of the heart … those who manage to open it will enjoy indescribable happiness.

Let your son know that Brazil is the land of the Indios who did not bend to the yolk of the Portuguese, and of Zumbi, Angelim and Frei Caneca, of Joana Angélica and Anita Garibaldi, dom Helder Câmara and Chico Mendes.

Teach your son that he doesn’t have to agree with the established disorder and that he will be happy if he joins with those who fight for social transformation, who make this country free and just. He will thus transmit to your grandchildren the inheritance of your wisdom.

Teach your son to vote according to his conscience and to never be disgusted by politics, in as much as those that act like that are governed by those who have no politics, and if the majority should happen to feel like that, it will be the end of democracy.
That your vote and his are in favour of social justice and the rights of Brazilians who are so unjustly poor and excluded, for political reasons, from the gifts of life.

Teach your son for a person it is enough to have bread, wine and great love. Cultivate in him the desires of the spirit, the respect of older people, the love of nature, the defence of the most fragile.

Let your son know how to listen to silence, to respect expressions of life and to allow himself to be loved by God who lives in him.”

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 12:31 AM in Information | Comments (7)
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December 04, 2005

Human Toxic Waste

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Comic strip by: Davide Zamberlan

We’ve still got a food emergency with the case of Tetra Pak and the colour passing into the milk. The contamination of the Tetra Pak packaging doesn’t only involve Nestlé. The association “Fare Verde” claims that the packaging in question is used not only by Nestlé, but by many companies, and if a block were to be imposed it would empty the supermarkets. A serious investigation could raise the question of the packaging of all food products in Europe.

In the evaluation of the risk there’s the sterilisation of the product in the production process. In this case, since we are talking about closing down, we should keep the product for a few days and find out what is happening inside. No-one has said whether the colouring is toxic for human health, and above all if it is, in those concentrations.

From Portugal to Uzbekistan all the Health Ministers admit that our children are more sick than those of 50 years ago. Food allergies are now normal. The incidence of tumors in children has increased each year between 1963 to 2003 by 0.8%.

Most food additives are not necessary and no-one has yet evaluated their effects. There’s a chewing gum with an additive of glass.
Now the nutritional value of glass is not only zero, but glass is also not digestible. Why do they make us eat stuff that we can’t even digest? It’s possible that the mad cow emergency has finished but now we’ve got bird flu. In the case of mad cow, the animal feed was suspected as the cause, but for the chickens, has anyone asked what they are fed on?

You can buy tomatoes in Chinese tins. But do we know anything about their production process? Do they follow the same laws as in Europe? Have they got the same checks as us in place?
It would be pretty annoying to eat the pesticides of the 1960s still remaining in the tomatoes or to eat dust from Chinese environmental pollution.

In certain countries, cremation is really expensive because it’s been demonstrated that the human body has become a dangerous toxic item of waste. We are full of cadmium, lead, preservatives, nickel, osmium

However, there’s an advantage. If they bury you you get conserved like the vampires.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 01:31 AM in Health/Medicine | Comments (0)
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December 03, 2005

Media Paedophilia

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I’ve received a chronicle of an example of media paedophilia towards a young man who has been the object of insane attention. Here it is….

Dear Beppe Grillo,

I am an 18-year old from Rome and on the evening of 28/11 I had the opportunity to participate at the meeting with Marco Tronchetti Provera organised by Osservatorio Giovani-Editori (Young Editor's Observatory) which I imagine you know well. I hope that you'll read this letter and maybe reply because after all that I’m about to tell you about I have been hit by a great sadness and a great unlove for journalism, in which I would like to play a part, and a comment from you could make me return to good humour.

I am writing to you to say how a simple question that I asked Tronchetti Provera resulted in much grumbling from the organisers, Andrea Ceccherini e Pietro Calabrese, and from the person being questioned. But I’ll start from the beginning: A splendid Grand Hotel in the centre of Florence, an impeccable space, optimum service and the notes of “Una vita di mediano” in the background as Marco Tronchetti Provera (MTP) enters the scene.

On the stage in front of us, MTP, Ceccherini and Calabrese are seated. Ceccherini starts off with an introduction that has the flavour of an ode to MTP (the similarity with Berlusconi is amazing!!!):
Someone who has made it on his own, someone who sleeps peacefully at night, someone who serves as an example to you young people”. Then it’s the turn of Panorama’s director who reassures us young people “Break the ice with some questions and then we’ll give ample space to your curiosity.”
The moral of the story is: 35 minutes of questions for Calabrese, 20 minutes for us. The debate lasted 55 minutes out of the 75 minutes that were planned. Young people came from far away with 8 hours in the train to get back home.

These questions have the smell of those that are pre-prepared and when MTP talks about the value of the family, I write down a question that I’m not able to ask: “What do you think of marriages of convenience?” Then the discussion covers Dignity, Telecom’s cash balances, avant-garde innovation, impeccable examples of managerial-entrepreneurial management: in fact it all took on the elements of a farce, a splendid frame for a personality to be idolised.

Let’s consider the questions of the young people which seem more general so that MTP could happily say what he wanted making use of the classic goody-goody and moralistic mentality of a dominant class with skeletons in its cupboard but careful not to drag them out “You are my idol, how have you become so rich without being dishonest?” or “What advice could you give me so that I can have a career like yours?”

Then I remember why I’m here: a discussion about the use of newspapers in class and with information with the person who owns relevant share quotas in the Corriere della Sera. I ask for the microphone, Calabrese allows me to ask a question and I start off:

”Good evening everyone. I am Ludovico Schiavo of the liceo Giulio Cesare di Roma (Julius Cesar High School in Rome) I can cite Ceccherini who said: “reading is useful for growing” but I believe that we need to see what we read. Personally, to be informed about facts, happenings and news that can be uncomfortable to those with political, managerial or entrepreneurial power, with yourself as the leading light, I like to use the channels that are unfortunately little known, of contra-information and I can give you an example: Beppe Grillo, who you MTP and the whole of the Observatory must know well, at least I imagine you do. What do you think of this choice that I share with many of those of my age group?

MTP (his face turning red while Ceccherini shuffles about on his chair, full of embarrassment): “Well, Beppe Grillo is a talent underused. Next question.”

Ludovico (I take back the microphone and continue) “Excuse me, I was expecting a fuller reply, if that’s possible.”
MTP (Calabrese signals to me to stop) “What to say about Beppe Grillo?! He could"

Ludovico (I interrupt him) “Perhaps I haven’t been clear. The question was not specifically about Grillo who was only an example. I will reword the question in 4 words: What do you think of contra-information?”

MTP (after some moments of reflection): “Contra-information does not exist. It is an invention. It is an instrument used during the regimes and in Italy we don’t have a regime. We must train you as the new director class and you must trust what you are told in the newspapers in class. The rest doesn’t exist.”“

I’ll let you draw the conclusions but maybe Hitler said this sort of thing. Perhaps it’s not serious when they say they must “create a new director class” using themselves as the model to follow? But are we robots? Androids? Machines?
This reminds me of the book by Lopez and Travaglio, "REGIME" (of which the postscript is written by yourself). On the back cover there’s a sentence by Montanelli in relation to the dictatorship and I would like to have reminded MTP about it but I didn’t get the chance. They took the microphone away from me and Calabrese, covered with embarrassment, cut short the debate saying that MTP had to leave. OK: kisses and hugs and lots of kind greetings.

The applause for the response to my question was forced and though everyone applauded the response to the earlier questions, in that moment only a few were expressing their agreement (sincere??) What can be said then? Thanks to you I know about many things that otherwise I’d be ignorant of. But that evening I understood that this environment is rotten.
Other young people complimented me for the question. But I don’t think I have done anything special. It was a legitimate question and I was squashed with just a few words. Will we ever have the opportunity to eliminate people like this from positions of power? They are ruining us and this country. I have fallen out of love.
As I said I need an injection of courage. I hope that you will reply because (How many tell you this?) it’s important for me.
You always give space to everyone and each participant to your blog feels like that and feels as important as the others: this is one of your many good points. Now I’ll sign off and thank you for the attention. Good-bye.”

Ludovico Schiavo

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 11:11 AM in Information | Comments (11)
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December 01, 2005

Digital Terrestrial TV is a zombie

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The world gurus of Information Technology: Bill Gates(Microsoft), Steve Jobs(Apple), Larry Page(Google), Iorma Olilla (Nokia), Gordon Moore (Intel) had a week-long meeting in Wyoming to discuss the future.

The meeting was transmitted in TV like a reality show and it was the show with the largest following in the USA. In seven days they discussed strategy, technology, a bit of everything.

But one thing that was never mentioned, not even once, was Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT).

I remember that in May at the Bagnaia meeting, in the presence of Gasparri, Cattaneo, Confalonieri and the underhand Mentana, (Tronchetti wasn’t there, he wouldn’t leave his bedroom) I said out loudthat DTT was a fictitious technology.

Confalonieri, ex-nursery school chum of the dwarf carrier of digital decoders, jumped to his feet and red in the face cried out: Who is this Masaniello who breaks our balls?”

Today has seen the announcement of the failure of DTT. With a contribution of the State (and thus of our money) the number of useless decoders sold is three million (compared to the twenty million Italian families) and the Government has decided to postpone for two years the obligatory introduction of DTT.

Already today, on the Internet it’s possible to see, if the line reaches you (as it does in other countries), if the line is fast (as it is in other countries), if the cost is reasonable (as it is in other countries), hundreds of TV channels.

Who has gained from DTT? Who stands to gain from the adoption of a zombie-like technology? One day we will surely have to make him pay.

In the meantime I’d like to suggest a great guru-meeting transmitted live on TV with Landolfi, Stanca, Gasparri, Confalonieri and Paolo Berlusconi.


I advise those who have already bought the decoder unit to take it to the home of Gasparri, the father of the project and demand your money back.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:46 PM in Technology/Internet | Comments (5)
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