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May 31, 2006

Ferrara “Science in the open air”

photo from

As for the Local Authorities in Ferrara when silencing research, they are second to none.
Manuela Zucchini, a local PRC politician, invited dottor Montanari to the Town Hall to explain that it would be pure simple folly to construct an incinerator. The door was then slammed shut in his face. I’ve thus decided to stay outside the door and to start an initiative that will be itinerant: “Science in the open air”.

Yesterday afternoon, Montanari spoke for 2 and a half hours to 300 people from Ferrara in front of the Town Hall and in the evening the square filled up with thousands of people to listen to Maurizio Pallante, an expert in energy policies and in environmental technology as well as myself. The mayor, Gaetano Sateriale and the local politicians barricaded themselves in to listen in silence inside the Town Hall a few meters away. At the end of the meeting, they left by a secondary exit leading into piazza Savonarola.

They feared the enthusiasm of the citizens. During the evening, 7,257.89 euro was collected for the environmental scanning electronic microscope. We’ve now reached 140,000 euro. We need to get 378,000 euro.

Next Sunday, June 4, we have organised a whole day called “A Saucerful of Secrets 2006”, from 9 in the morning until midnight.. It’s devoted to science, music and entertainment. It’ll be at the Canali di Reggio Emilia, near the agritourism establishment and the golf club called club La Razza. In the morning we will even have a golf competition. I’ll be there with the fantastic jazz and blues musicians Biagio Antonacci, Gino Paoli, Stefano Nosei, Vito (from Zelig), as well as the researchers Gatti and Montanari. You can find the programme at

To contribute to the electronic microscope, payments can be made to:
Current Account n. 513111
In the name of: "Associazione Carlo Bortolani Onlus"
Bank: Banca Etica (Sede centrale di Padova)
ABI: 05018
CAB: 12100
IBAN: IT45J0501812100000000513111
or Pay Pal ( indicating the following as the destination:

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:26 AM in Health/Medicine | Comments (6)
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May 29, 2006

A lot of talk and a badge


Romano Prodi, our employee in the highest position in the government, has nominated his ministers. These people will determine the politics of Italy of the next few years. It therefore seems the right moment to ask for the motivation behind the nominations. They are public positions, they are employees that we pay. They can change our future.

Why is Mastella at the Ministry of Justice? Why is Di Pietro at the Ministry of Infrastructure? Why is D’Alema at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs? I would like to know the reasons for these choices. I would like to be comforted by the thought that there’s a reason related to competence, to the protection of the country, to the experience associated with the person. I wouldn’t want it to have been political considerations, representation, the sharing out of power. I don’t want to even think that. I don’t believe that.

However, a tiny wee bug is gnawing away at me. The usual naughty thoughts. And if a Minister, even only a single one is not there for effective capability, but for some tiny little bribe, for a desire to be a protagonist?
To be sure, I’d like to know the motivations, the credentials.

I invite those Ministers who think it appropriate to set out the information in a letter to the Blog, together with the objectives that they hope to achieve in this legislature.
I will be happy to publish them together with the comments.

Perhaps I’m getting a big head. Perhaps the Blog has a level of alcohol that’s too high. But I believe that it would be a great gesture if some Ministers allowed themselves to play on the Internet. If they communicated directly with the people who they represent.
It would be a signal that things are changing.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:54 PM in Politics | Comments (9)
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Disconnected Italy


Tronchetti has written to 85,000 employees. His letter begins like this:
Dear colleagues, for some time now an editorial group has been demonstrating a persistent attack against our company, accusing it of presumed illegal activity, namely intercepts, creation of “dossiers” and keeping documents on clients.”
The editorial group for those who don’t know is “L’espresso” and for those who don’t know, a Milan judge has signed an order saying that Telecom illegally uses data about its former clients. But this is a long story that I’ll come back to.
For now Tronchetti, should get pen and paper and write, not just to his “colleagues” but also to his “clients” (a diminishing number of them) to give responses to letters like this.
“I’m writing to point out the umpteenth example of how in Italy the concept of competition and liberalisation of services is merely utopian.
I live in a small town in the Province of Ravenna and since I habitually use the Web, I’ve requested Broadband. But my town (like so many others) is not covered by the service. Following numerous requests from citizens and private companies, the local authorities have taken action. They have collected signatures to present to Telecom. Telecom “took note” of the signatures but refused to provide Broadband without offering any explanation.

Then, mainly thanks to 2 companies in the town that operate at an international level, it has been possible to get a meeting with a Telecom representative. At that meeting, the administrators of the 2 companies expressed their willingness to accept the entire cost of constructing the required signal repeating installation that was indicated as the unit needed to supply Broadband.

When presented with this offer, the Telecom representative revealed the incredible background to the situation. As many people know, the Broadband signal, travels together with the analogue signal using the same cables, but at different frequencies. Thus on a single cable, 2 bands of signals are available. One is used by normal telephone traffic and the other is reserved for Broadband connections.

What only few people know is that each “band” on each cable covers up to 700 telephone numbers. What the Telecom representative said was that in my town, once the limit of 700 telephone numbers had been reached, Telecom took action to save money. Instead of installing a second cable, they preferred to code the extra numbers at a higher frequency, so that they could travel along the same cable.

Thus in simple words, there’s no Broadband (and there cannot be Broadband) for the simple fact that Telecom has used both the “bands” for normal telephone traffic. Obviously, this means that the other companies, (Tiscali, Infostrada, etc), cannot in turn offer the service, for the simple reason that Telecom cannot rent out the “band” that should be available for Broadband. The same situation also exists in many other towns in the Province.

To conclude, I find it ridiculous (and also offensive) that in 2006, when in most of Italy, the use of fibre optics is becoming more widespread, whole towns are forced to travel at 56K (or no higher than 128K with ISDN) because of a shameful “technical choice” (that’s how it was referred to by the aforementioned Telecom representative). This choice was made by our blessed formerly national telephone company that occupies (I suppose unfortunately that this is legal) both the “bands” of the telephone cables. This prevents any rival companies from offering their services, in the face of any law on the freedom of competition, but above all going against the needs of the citizens and of the companies.” R.C.

PS I’m asking the 2 companies that helped the local authorities in the town in the Province of Ravenna to get in touch with me so that they can offer, through this blog, the free construction of the signal repeating installations to all the other small towns in Italy.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:46 AM in Technology/Internet | Comments (10)
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It’s Dario Fo talking to you


“Dearest friends, you are Grillo’s friends and you are also in a way mine too. It’s Dario Fo talking to you. I find myself fighting here in Milan with a list bearing my name (Dario Fo list) with Ferrante, for the Unione.
Make it happen that we win! But take care. Don’t exaggerate. The victory might need just one extra vote. That way we may have the possibility to make positive conditions about the new administration of Milan. It could mean that the promises we have made during the election campaign to transform, to save this city that is drowning in smog and in the emptiness of ideas. So that we can make it come back to the surface and float again.
It’s not enough that the renewal is resolved by a lick of paint to the lampposts. We say NO to criminal projects. NO to the collapse of the basis of the city’s land to create 4 storey car parks. NO to traffic with a million extra vehicles. NO to the periphery without services, reduced to a dormitory ghetto. I’ll stop there.
Ok I’ll go on.
NO to the construction of skyscrapers with 8000 people on the land of the old “Fiera”. NO to a city without cultural events. NO to a city with apartments that are really expensive and empty. NO to a city of cars, of parking spaces, of pavements invaded by cars, of the centre open to cars.
Milan is the city of cars. But in that case, instead of a city, it would have been enough to plan a massive car park. That’s what Milan has become today.
We want the children to play in the middle of plants and green spaces. We want older people to be able to live their life. We want them to have tranquil days, perhaps even playing bowls in piazza del Duomo!
Let’s go! Let’s make the estate agents really angry, as well as the finance houses, the car manufacturers, the incinerator producers! Let’s reclaim the sky, the stars, the air, our life.”

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:32 AM in Politics | Comments (6)
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May 28, 2006

Music for hot organs

Comic strip by: Ciccio De Luca

The Chinese are tremendous. They are providing very strong competition for us. And while we are here trying to defend our T shirts behind quotas and import duties, they manage to sell everything to us.
Currently in London and New York (also in Atlanta and Tampa, still in the USA) it’s possible to visit an exhibition, which displays human bodies and organs for didactic and scientific purposes. The organising company has paid 25 million dollars to get these examples from Chinese universities.

And there’s more. While in Italy you have to wait 3 years for a kidney transplant and in USA you wait 2 years. There are those who can get one straight away in Shanghai by paying 100,000 dollars. With a good broker you can get down to 70,000 dollars. If you consider that every year in China there can be up to 8,000 executions each year, the potential for business is understandable.

Given the scarcity of volunteers in our country, transplant tourism has become an important reality. At this point comes the bright idea of the Nobel prize-winner Gary Becker (even Ciampi conferred on him the Gold Medal in 2004): “Let’s legalise the market for organs”.

This Chicago professor is the main supporter of the extension of economic concepts to the analysis of society, from criminality to the family.

Together with a colleague from Buffalo, Julio J. Elias, he has calculated that today the price of a kidney could be about 15,000 dollars, and a liver 35,000 dollars.

As Becker says, with the right incentives we could get a free market in which the price of organs would come down to a level that would eliminate the excess demand for each type of organ.

Our grandparents used to say that the most important thing is health. Among the developed countries, after Lithuania, the United States has the worst rate of infant mortality in the first days of life. Italy is at the other end of the scale. And the lack of health insurance causes 18,000 deaths. Notice that 46 million citizens of the United States are without health cover.

This America of Mr Bush doesn’t seem to be the best place in the world to live, even though there they at least know how much you are worth, at least once you are dead.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:26 PM in Economics | Comments (7)
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May 27, 2006

Sicily: that train for Yuma


I don’t want to be considered partisan in relation to the Sicilian regional elections. Having published a letter from Rita Borsellino, I felt the duty to give space to a few recent happenings for Totò Cuffaro.

Totò Cuffaro, badly advised by Stanca, while navigating on the internet he’s discovered to be cited on more than 70,000 websites not always in the best light. As an honoured man he has reacted with a warning on his site to those who defame him:

“Anyone who has published defamatory information in relation to the Honourable Cuffaro using the Internet, is warned to remove it from their web site. In fact if there are the elements of a crime, the guilty will be brought to trial, through criminal and civil courts with the recovery of payment for damages.
With this in mind, the Internet is subject to detailed monitoring and the first letters have been sent out denouncing the activity. These, have been sent to the owners of the domain names as well as to the Internet Providers. Any money recovered will be paid to the families who have been victims of the mafia and other work that is of social and charitable use.”

I’m making an appeal to all the lawyers in Italy so that they support Cuffaro in this initiative of his. Perhaps 500 or 600 lawyers will be enough.

Cuffaro, grabbed by enthusiasm, has thus successfully contacted SKY to prevent the showing of the film: “The mafia is white”:

“Following the warning presented as an extra-judicial act notified to SKY by avvocato Salvatore Ferrara, the lawyer of the honourable .Cuffaro, the video “La Mafia è bianca” {the Mafia is white} will not be transmitted. It was made by RCS and is calumnious and derogatory in relation to President Cuffaro.”

Finally he has assured all his electors that if he should be found guilty to the first degree of favouring the mafia, he will resign, but not if he is simply found guilty.

His biography is on Wikipedia. Read it for more information before voting. Also read the site

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:49 PM in Wailing Wall | Comments (6)
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Gino Strada, Emergency and the Red Cross


From Emergency, I’ve received a letter written by Gino Strada.

”People in Milan have told me about the surprising interview with Alberto Cairo , «the Italian medic 16 years in Afghanistan», published in “Magazine”. Who knows why the newspapers continue to define Alberto Cairo as a medic and who knows why Alberto Cairo regularly doesn’t correct them? He knows that he’s not. He’s a doctor in law and a professional physiotherapist.
Thus after saying that the 2006 opium harvest «will be a great year, definitely even better than the best harvest in 1999», the Italian physiotherapist talks about the world: about drugs about Karzai, of humanitarian aid, about Maurizio Scelli. He’s got a word about everything.
«People are starting to no longer trust the symbol of the Red Cross». What a scoop! He has realised a few years late, even Alberto Cairo who is working for the Red Cross, well for the ICRC {International Committee of the Red Cross}, the original unit in Geneva where the Red Cross movement started.

Unfortunately, we have been aware of this for a long time. And we are aware that the « people ». even here in Afghanistan and not only in Iraq, are perfectly right not to trust them.

At the time of the soviet occupation the ICRC leaders defined the Mujahideen as «the Afghan resistance ».(there are hundreds of reports and documents with this definition), but at the time of the American occupation (and Italian!) those that fight against the occupying forces are all called by Cairo simply «Taliban». This is to be seen in the light of the «neutrality».that is one of the sacred and publicised principles of the ICRC. « And the Americans have been fighting them for 5 years», states the physiotherapist.

That’s very true. For 5 years in Afghanistan there have been attacks, assassinations, kidnappings, disappearances, torture and bombing. I would say that the word “war” describes the situation well.

But no. At least according to Cairo, who doesn’t miss a chance, for him a true hobby, he directs arrows against “Emergency”. Apparently I am «really clever at doing publicity». Thank you I am pleased.

But then, to give substance to the calumny, he is precise: «his hospitals look after the people injured in war. But the war is over».
Naturally, the hospitals are not mine but they are run by Emergency. However, this war is strange according to Cairo’s vision. For a bit, it’s there, for a bit it’s not. There’s fighting but it’s finished. There’s shooting but no one is injured. I’ve got the impression that if Emergency decided to open a burns department, Dr Cairo would say that fire doesn’t burn. That’s his problem.
In 2000 when Emergency decided to open a Centre in Kabul to look after the victims of war, the ICRC was furious. They protested to the Italian Embassy in Islamabad (the one in Kabul was closed), with the Ministry of Health in Kabul (Taliban), with the Italian delegation to the UN in Geneva.
They protested at the opening of a hospital, because they thought they had an exclusive right, they really did think that! The right to decide when a hospital is needed and when it isn’t. Whether its existence is good or bad

On that occasion, and that was the last, Alberto Cairo visited the headquarters of Emergency in Milan.
He came to explain that «that hospital for war victims wasn’t useful». that the needs were «covered by them», that is by the ICRC.

He meant something very different but he couldn’t say it.
He would have said that the International Committee of the Red Cross had received in the past and continued to receive a massive quantity of millions of dollars a year – especially from various governments to look after those injured in war in Afghanistan. He wanted to say that anyone who opened a new Centre - perhaps a clean, efficient, top-level hospital, could cast a shadow (and diminish the number of dollars and yen) on the mythical ICRC and «its hospital». in Kabul, the Karteh-Seh, that I know well.

I visited it in April 2000: a sort of rubbish heap where the women patients were closed in a prison under lock and key and a guard in front, to prevent visits from anyone including doctors. Locked in and guarded (not watched, naturally) by the Taliban, in a hospital supported by the Red Cross. In this way their needs were «covered». By them.

Emergency has opened a Centre in Kabul (that followed the opening of one in Anabah and was before one opened in Lashkargah), because there was the need. In 2001, the Taliban era.

That «useless» hospital is officially recognised by the Afghan Ministry of Health as the national Centre of Excellence for war surgery and traumatology. Among other things, the Centre has the only Resuscitation unit in the whole country and the only free computerised tomography machine for the people. There’s a high standard of treatment and of passion for work. For these reasons and also for the hygiene and in a certain way its “beauty”, this hospital is considered by all to be the best in Afghanistan.

Obviously not by Alberto Cairo, who without ever having visited it can anyway declare that «there are at least 15 other hospitals like that». I only wish that were really true.
I’d like to put forward an idea, to journalists of il Corriere and of other publications. Go and have a look at the hospitals indicated by Alberto Cairo, and write about them, perhaps even imagining what it would be like to be a patient there.

Then, if you want, come by and visit the «Kabul Surgical Centre for victims of war». Here they call it the «Emergency Hospital». Any citizen of Kabul would be able to point it out to you. There’s no need for appointments or prior arrangements. We don’t need to do any touching up with fresh paint.

Orthopaedic hospitals? Not even the shadow! Laboratories for the production of prostheses yes. But how is that related to hospitals? If a physiotherapist (with all the affection for the profession) becomes a “medical doctor”, a centre for prostheses then becomes an orthopaedic hospital? It’s not just finance that is “creative”!
Oh I was forgetting. Each year, from the ICRC’s Kabul «orthopaedic hospital» numerous patients who are victims of war “with the war finished” , have been sent to the Emergency Hospital because they need orthopaedic attention. Are these our imaginary injured people, or are your hospitals phantasms?

The top person in the International Red Cross in Afghanistan, Reto Stocker, came

He explained that «it has been a big fuck-up», a vulgar expression that perhaps is equivalent to «una gran stronzata». Dr Cairo told us that he was at dinner with friends in Italy, and among the dinner guests was Camilla Baresani, the author of the article. Chatting after dinner, when we know, the tongue is more free, he talked about Karzai and Scelli, about drugs and NGOs and those comments about Emergency just popped out. He also explained, with much regret, that he also said other really generous things about our work but that the naughty and one-sided journalist “cut” then from the interview and thus altered its focus. What a shame!

The Head of the Delegation declared that this affair had been a grave error by Alberto Cairo, and that ICRC had even protested to the journalist for having distorted the arguments of their employee.

«I have come to give you an official apology from the ICRC and to assure Emergency that such a thing will not be repeated.» Those are the words of Reto Stocker in the presence of witnesses. But the calumnies and the damage is public. Why don’t they write to Il Corriere, asking for a correction? We have officially asked for that. Cairo said «I’m not prepared to do that»
First he throws mud at Emergency in hundreds of millions of copies, but his words were misunderstood, this even happens to Presidents of the Council! Then he refuses to write a letter to the newspaper to say how things really are.
I’m late for dinner. Good bye until the next time.”
Gino Strada.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 01:55 AM in Health/Medicine | Comments (0)
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May 25, 2006

“La Settimana” in the metro


Newspapers and magazines have their owners. Editors, politicians, Business people. The reader pays 20-30% of the cost of a daily newspaper. He or she counts for nothing. The content of our newspapers is financed by our taxes and by the advertising. “La Settimana”, the magazine created by this Blog, has no advertising, no editors, no censors. It’s free. It has reached 40,000 downloads per version.

I’ve decided to distribute it on the streets, as well, starting with Milan.
This morning, 10,000 numbered limited edition copies in black and white were distributed at the exits of the main metro stations (see the video of first impressions).
I’ve kept for myself copy number one, and I hope to get back the costs by selling it at auction. After the “Gronchi rosa”, there’s the grey Grillo.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 11:21 PM in Information | Comments (3)
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May 24, 2006

Election Posters


The elections have become permanent. The beautiful Lombrosian photos of the candidates are part of the urban landscape, at each corner, on the trucks, on the taxis. Outlines in reassuring poses, arms folded, wide smiles, eyes that are joyouslikecowsmadeupyoungaccuteserene and full of feeling for the elector. Circus posters of rejuvenated elderly ladies and poppies that give themselves in sacrifice for us. Well what makes them spend about 150,000 euro to be a candidate unless it’s that civic passion?

The income of the election candidates is the real political discriminator (what a beautiful term). Without the generous wallet ofyourhusbandoryourwifeoryourfriendinbusiness you don’t take part in the elections and above all, you don’t win. Thus if you are rich and you’ve got good networks you can become a member of the local government cabinet. If you’ve got a medium to low income and you know just the ones in your group of luckless folk, you can become an elector. The poor can elect the rich. The rich can administer the poor. If it weren’t like that how could they stay rich? The democratic route at the elections passes by the 740 {the income tax form}. A fixed income is a political failing to be paid for by delegation.

But there is a solution. It’s called random selection. It’s got the advantage of eliminating the costs of election campaigns, of bringing the city to an aesthetic normality (even the eye wants its part). As a citizen you would have to have minimum pre-requisites to take part, like having residency, being of adult age, having a clean criminal record, not having a trial ongoing, never having been selected before, a basic competence in the subject that you are putting yourself forward for.

The mothers with no previous crimes could be candidates for theposition responsible for families, the doctors for health, the traffic police and the taxi drivers for traffic, the administrators of condominiums, for the position of mayor.

The selection process should be managed by a team of magistrates with consultancy from Pierluigi Collina – {famous football referee}. We would have employees in the place of politicians; politics in place of personal interests. Is there a town in Italy that wants to have a go? Make yourselves heard.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:57 PM in Politics | Comments (3)
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17 men on the coffin


Update on ex-convicts in Parliament. 8 have been eliminated and so they are now former parliamentarian ex-convicts, free to create a new life for themselves. 16 have been re-elected as they were chosen by the party secretaries who put them in the list. One has been convicted after the elections for corruption of judges. And it’s not really clear whether he wants to participate in the sittings in the 2 hours he’s got to get air. To be on the safe side, I’m leaving him in the list.
The total of the ex-convicts is thus down from 24 to 17. At this rate by the elections of 2101, Parliament will finally be clean. A happy event for our great grandchildren.

The 17 remaining are all long distance Members of Parliament. Some have been there since before Inter last won the Italian Football Championship. They are very fond of the institutions that they represent. Thanks to their experience in terms of crimes they can make laws so as to be able to anticipate them. Alternatively, and this is the dream of all those who have been caught red-handed, to eliminate the crimes so that they can once more be virginal and pure.

When counting the ex-convicts, we see way out in first place the Correctional Domicile of Liberty with 9 present. The other parties are minor. Worrying, however, are the neo parliamentarians, Pomicino and De Michelis elected in the new DC and the new PSI. Are they the new ones who go forward, or the leftovers that remain?

How can we get on top of these blessed men? Have you noticed that they are all men? I no longer know what to do.
But five years are long. Everything can happen. And yet though I would not hope for anything bad for these 17. It’s enough that they are 17 in number {unlucky number in Italy}. If for some tiny physical problem, but really tiny, they were to be obliged to depart before the end of the legislature, honest Italians, the non-ex-convicts, it is understood, would take it as a sign of a blessed destiny. Those moments of luck that every so often happen in life.


1 Berruti Massimo Maria FI
2 Biondi Alfredo (crime was then depenalised) FI
3 Bonsignore Vito Udc - European Parliament
4 Bossi Umberto Lega Nord- European Parliament
5 Cantoni Giampiero FI
6 Carra Enzo Margherita
7 Cirino Pomicino Paolo New Dc
8 Dell'Utri Marcello FI
9 De Michelis Gianni New Psi
10 Jannuzzi Lino FI
11 La Malfa Giorgio Pri
12 Maroni Roberto Lega Nord
13 Previti Cesare FI
14 Sterpa Egidio FI
15 Tomassini Antonio FI
16 Visco Vincenzo Ds
17 Vito Alfredo FI

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 11:07 AM in Politics | Comments (10)
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May 22, 2006

9/11 without truth


The film clip that has been around in the last few days showing the explosion at the Pentagon caused by a regular flight that was diverted, hasn’t convinced anyone. The strange absence that struck Bush at the news of the attack on the Twin Towers has not yet found an explanation. Bush’s expression, as even Michael Moore has said, seemed to say: “But where have I been tricked?” and didn’t give the appearance of any worry.

Did the Americans bomb themselves? It seems impossible.
Was the CIA involved in the attacks? It cannot be excluded. Did the American administration know much more than they admitted? That seems certain.
Has the war against Islam consolidated the presence of the United States in the Persian Gulf and the income from the petrol position? There’s no doubt.
Giulietto Chiesa has sent me a letter on this topic.

“11 September 2001 was the beginning of a world change. An event with impressive psychological and media power. But billions of “normal” people know nothing: of what preceded it, of how it took place, of who created it. And yet it is on the basis of this event the “war against international terrorism” was started. This has already produced two “real” wars and tens of thousands of deaths.

The United States practices and theorises about the preventive war, in violation of the United Nations Charter. American citizens (scores of millions) are spied on illegally, by their secret services. The CIA picks up presumed terrorists where it believes that is appropriate in dozens of countries, beyond any legal authority, and it sends them to be tortured in third countries or it tortures them directly in Guantanamo Bay.
The state of rights, already damaged in America, is even demolished in Europe and elsewhere, with the complicity of governments allied to the USA.

On September 11 a curtain of silence has fallen. Whoever tries to find out more, is labelled a friend of terrorists and anti-American. The mainstream media don’t talk about it or if they do, they accept the official version.
The official version supplied by the United States explains absolutely nothing. What is worse, it can be demonstrated in dozens of points it is explicitly false. In other dozens of decisive points it omits to give any explanation.

We don’t know the truth, and it will be difficult to know it during the next 100 years (Noam Chomsky). But there’s a question that is inevitable and necessary: why did they lie to us? Hundreds of experts, many of whom are American, are trying to shed light on the tragedy, even in the name of the innocent people who have died. Those who died on 11 September and later in many parts of the world, in the wake of that moment. But their voices and our voices are always covered up and censored by the big media, even though on the Web for some time now there has been an impressive quantity of material that demonstrates the lie. What do you think?

If you want to know more, look at’s Dossier 9-11 and download from the Internet the film called "Loose Change 2nd edition".

Heartfelt thanks to Beppe Grillo for his hospitality.”
Giulietto Chiesa.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:10 PM in Information | Comments (20)
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The agony of TV


One father has written me a letter about TV advertising. It’s similar to many that I have received.
I’m publishing it because, in its simplicity, it confirms that advertising has taken the place of the TV product. It influences the product; it is itself the product. The TV environment is created by the companies and this is accepted. It is less accepted that they can do this at the RAI, the public company, that lives, that should live from the TV licence.

Abolishing advertising on RAI channels would allow them to be free, to disseminate news and culture that serves the citizen. I know that the term “free” is really strong. Let’s say it would make the RAI less of a slave, because there are also parties that govern and control it.

Employee Prodi, listen to me, do away with advertising on the RAI. That would be a beautiful gesture. Advertising in the last 15 years has created the Italy that is ill, crafty and a rascal. The leading Italian party is still Publitalia.

And then my balls have been broken by having to put up with loud volume advertising in the various gaps. We are creating a nation of deaf and angry people. There’s a law that forbids this. Let’s apply the law or revoke their licence.

Dear friend,
I am a parent that has to live with the daily baby sitter: the TV. My son, and the children of my friends, are completely captured and enslaved by what is the frustration of us adults. It’s this unblessed invading box that causes unending arguments and stone faces from our children when we try to find a way to limit the daily invasion.

One agreement (or compromise) was to watch the cartoons on RAI 2 while we are at table together, at least once a day, in the evening.

I’ve been wondering and I still am: are there no rules that impose advertising in the hours that can be called protected? I’m personally very angry because following every cartoon there’s a sequence of advertising spots of every type: these youngsters are literally bombarded with messages about ice creams, toys, machines, detergents and so on! You can’t get through 15 minutes without an advert. That’s not talking about the private channels where the adverts are transmitted at a really high noise level. It’s enough to make you vomit.

Do we really have to be treated like this? Do we really have to accept their every incorrect action, still paying the licence fee and still staying silent?
A warm embrace.” Marcel.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:32 AM in Information | Comments (19)
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May 21, 2006

The loneliness of the fan

Comic strip by: Massimo Ciotoli

The sponsors and the suppliers of the Italian National team will soon have their image returned to them in a measure that matches their investments.

Their publicity, their interests, their products have been inserted between the spectators and the players. At first this was done carefully and with discretion and then it was done with no limits.
The player thinks of the sponsors, of the agents. They think of money for its own sake, they think of bets, of undocumented payments.

Football is secondary. That’s true also for the sponsors. For them it’s a tool, a way of placing bottled water, and telephone recharging. How about the companies with their lobbies, the caterers, the businesses and free tickets in the VIP box where there are always a few bankers who are fans? They are thinking of the TV rights, the political connections, of spread-the-debts-laws, of tailor-made-laws-false-accounting- laws. They were drooling for the Stock Exchange, with shares gifted to the managers for 2 lire, with dividends to shareholders based on non-existent income created by capital gains on worthless players.

That leaves the spectators, the fans, those that today have as intermediaries the sponsorsagentsfinanciersTVrights. Those that take their sonassoonasheis3yearsold to see their team to give them imprinting. They buy them the club shirt and a football and they play with them giving a display of dribbling that is a bit heavy.

But spectators are something that is economically useless.
The companies live with TV rights, sponsors, and ad hoc laws. Stadiums that are empty, half empty, half full are no longer a business. Spectators have had their money taken from them by the sponsors.

However, the consumers haven’t yet been expropriated. Lippi as coach, damages the image of Italians.

It follows that he also damages the image of the sponsors of the National team. And an Italian cannot buy a product from a sponsor with a damaged image. It isn’t done. Lippi damages the sponsors and the suppliers of the pale blues. To help them get out of this painful situation, we‘ll no longer buy their products.
You’ll see that they will be grateful.




Antonio Amato
Dolce e Gabbana
Fuji Film
Green Vision
Radio Italia
Silver Cross

PS: So as to help the companies in making their choice I would like to buy a half page in a sports newspaper using the money left over in the “Honourables Wanted” account.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 11:39 PM in Wailing Wall | Comments (3)
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May 20, 2006

Mediapolis, one year on


photo by Anthemic Tangle

The best definition of Wal Mart, the world’s biggest distribution outlet, is: “Wal Mart knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.” In the United States, the opening of new supermarkets is contested more and more. In tiny centres of population, the economic effects of a new supermarket are disastrous, as local production is swept away and the territory is impoverished. Research results have shown that requests for public assistance double when Wal Mart moves in. The superhypermegagigamarkets form part of the past, of a prehistoric concept of development.

A year ago, I wrote a post on this Blog about Mediapolis, a commercial area part-financed by the Region of Piemonte, by the optimum President Bresso (the TAV one) of the DS party That public money (our taxes) have to finance a supermarket is something above my comprehension. I will have to get help from an expert and try to discuss it at the next gathering of the Province of Turin and I’ll be there on 30 June at its “open doors” event. However, I’d like to ask our employee Bresso a really simple question. The money for Mediapolis, our money not hers, shouldn’t it be used instead for productive activities, that are innovative and that develop the local realities? To develop tourism and to preserve the beauty of Canavese? Among these is the Masino Castle with its balconies that will in the future give wonderful views of the commercial area of Mediapolis and the splendid flow of heavy goods vehicles that will be supplying it.
I’m publishing an open letter from Giulia Maria Mozzoni Crespi, President of FAI - Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano (Italian Fund for the Environment), to Mercedes Bresso and I await a reply from the mythical Porcellini the director of the mediapoliswhateveritis.

“Dear president,
I have been told that in a recent meeting in a community hall in Eporedia {Old name for the city of Ivrea} you affirmed “Mediapolis is going ahead”. This firm position, as you can imagine, worries and saddens me for the many reasons that I have already set down.

It is true that your Cabinet has approved the agreement that opens up the way to the commitment of a “Programme Agreement”, but the appeal by the Council of State is still pending and that could bring the whole decision-making process back to the beginning. As you certainly remember, the process started off by ignoring a motivated contrary opinion by the Commissione Urbanistica Regionale {Regional Urban Commission}. I have also been told that with regard to Mediapolis, and also in relation to TAV, that you believe it is appropriate to take definitive decisions. But if you allow me to say so, it doesn’t seem completely correct to put these 2 on the same plane. One is the TAV, a massive public operation of European importance and the other is Mediapolis, an initiative with use and advantages that are absolutely private. Of course like any private company it will have an effect in terms of employment.

The presumed public benefits, in particular the much acclaimed figure of 1500 new jobs (that became in one moment even 10,00 jobs) are so far, as far as public knowledge is concerned, completely unsubstantiated, just as, as far as I know the advantage to the public of this enormous public investment has also not been made evident.

Many times we have requested that the decision about Mediapolis should only be taken after an evaluation of the benefits and the general appropriateness, using documents and objective criteria and gathering information from everyone in the whole user base. But we’ve never had a response from the Region. However we are waiting to have the chance to speak in an Open meeting of the Provincial Council and it would please us to be able to think that it won’t be a moment of ritual, with the decisions already taken, but that our reasoning can be listened to and discussed in view of the deep worry and conviction that we are expressing.

As you know, it is not only that there is a risk to the fertile soil, the delicate hydrological equilibrium, and an unrepeatable landscape that determines our opposition, but also the conviction that Mediapolis represents a development model that is not appropriate to Canavese, to its history and to its potential.

Models like that are, by now not appropriate anywhere, because of the waste of energy (can we allow this?) that involves the congestion of private transport as well as the total absence of identity and of integration with respect to the territory occupied.

In fact we are always more convinced that the true key to development that is long lasting and strategically correct is to be found in local initiatives that are being created spontaneously in local communities. We are trying to come alongside these initiatives here in Canavese using our own modest resources as well as our experience. It is a long time since this initiative started and many things have changed: among these are the sensibility and the awareness that the transformation and the alteration of the soils and of the landscape have such a high degree of irreversibility as to inevitably penalise future generations.

Honoured President, I am well aware, that much of the institutional road has been walked for Mediapolis and that normally it is not good practice to discuss a choice too many times, but I would still like to add my personal appeal because this case is so delicate and risky. Please analyse it again calmly and in depth. Please accept not only our help in this activity, but also that of other associations and of the whole local community. It seems that local opinion is much more varied on this issue than it was a few years ago.”
Giulia Maria Mozzoni Crespi.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 01:33 PM in Economics | Comments (1)
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May 18, 2006

Lippi go away!


I can add the face. All of you can. All the Italians can. For the Football World Cup, the National team is the Italian National team. It’s not the National team of Gea {company of the Moggi family}. Lippi must resign. On the TV I don’t want to hear the whistles in German stadiums and the derision of the newspapers of the entire world.
They are stealing our reputation from us. How much is our reputation worth? I want to feel proud of being Italian. I don’t want to be dishonoured by 4 rascals without honour who are infesting Italy. We need to bring an action against them.

No one in the football world has yet said to Lippi to go off to Viareggio and have a long bicycle ride along the sea front rather than go to Germany. Do we have to wait until the prosecutors take action again? Presidents of the teams morattigallianisensi where are you? And even you false football champions, where are you? Raise your voices for once. An action of pride please, once in your life of super-paid athletes.
Lippi at the world cup would be a disaster for our image.

The words of the investigators:
”The level of control over the football system by Luciano Moggi is to be seen not just on the most important institutions of the FIGC, but in its maximum sports expression: the Italian National team. The action of Moggi in relation to the National team, is seen also because of the fact that Lippi is in a way subordinate to the white and black DG {reference to Moggi, former President of Juventus}. In fact, Moggi took advantage of the “special relationship” due to Marcello Lippi having been the trainer of the black and whites as well as the connection that links his son, Davide, to Gea in which he is completely integrated, he manages to have decisive influence on selections.”

A predisposition in relation to football players: “indicated by Moggi and sponsored by GEA, so as to increase their visibility and thus their market value. Furthermore, this predisposition is also seen in not selecting those players that are candidates for the black and whites. (Alessandro Del Piero), once more indicated by Moggi, so as not to affect their physical condition and thus not to cause any possible hindrance to their being included in the club team.”

Today Lippi will be talking to the Procura di Roma {Rome prosecutors} after having made a statement. Let him make his statement. His grandchildren are waiting.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:15 PM in Wailing Wall | Comments (27)
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Mastella from Ceppaloni


Mario Clemente Mastella had a difficult birth as his digestive apparatus was already well formed. In 1947 he was born in Ceppaloni a place in the Province of Benevento that has been exposed to national visibility thanks to him. From that moment the following phrase came into common parlance: “No Ceppaloni, no party”. His legendary fame leads him to participate in baptism and confirmation parties without invitation. His capacity to be laid back allows him to eat his full and at the same time to make numerous friendships that will serve him in the future.

His appetite led him unfailingly to the Christian Democrats. He became an eating participant in 1976 and he hasn’t left the table since. Every government coalition has seen him present at the sharing out of the armchairs. In fact no one invited him, but in the end they give him something to eat when he threatens to go to another party.
He celebrated his exhibition as Minister of Work in the Berlusconi Government. He resolved the serious drama of youth unemployment in the South as well as pensions.

However, his declaration of pre-marital virginity was ambiguous and full of double meaning. It has never been really clarified what type of sexual relationship he was referring to.

In 1999 he went it alone and founded the UDEUR that he defined as: “The centre of politics, a project for the future, an idea, a path, a method, a story, an identity” and with a note in the margin, a place at the table. He immediately was in conflict about the menu with Romano Prodi and coherently made the following declaration at the last Primaries for the Unione: “We will leave the Unione. From today we will be the Centre allied to the Unione.”

To give life and strength to this project he inserted in the list the convict Rocco Salini. The Unione changed the menu and Mastella came back to the Unione.

After the April elections his enormous appetite sent him into a delirium. He demanded three Ministries including the Ministry of Defence, the Vice Presidency of the Council and 30% of the snacks of the Council of Ministers. On the latter item he was in conflict with Massimo D’Alema and had to take a step back. Prodi, who has always secretly appreciated his capacity to get by, after telephoning Gianni Letta to check his credentials, he nominated him Minister of Justice.
Sic transit gloria prodi.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:24 AM in Wailing Wall | Comments (8)
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May 17, 2006

I don’t care!


In pure democratic-popular style the DS presented their “I don’t care!” to the result of the payment driven primaries (a euro for the chance to vote) at Caserta. The 9000 voters “hadn’t understood” and had to be re-educated with a decision from on high. The next time they will vote paying greater attention. In top position: Petteruti, in second position: Alois of the DS. Declared joint winners by the marxistafassinista wish.
At the next elections there will be two candidates for the Centre Left and not just Petteruti because, as the DS Regional secretary, Gianfranco Nappi said from the balcony of his house: “Alois came second, but only by a handful of votes.”
This argument reminds me of something: 24,000 votes difference in the national elections, just a handful…
Thinking about handfuls I would like to know what happened to the 9000 Euro paid at the primaries. If the result was invalidated, the money should be given back. Otherwise there’s the possible accusation of trickery or the circumvention of citizens who are incapable.

I’m publishing the letter of a voter from Caserta.

“On 12 March at Caserta, there were the Primaries for the Unione to choose a candidate for the position of mayor.
All the parties accepted this method and agreed to the norms regulating the primaries. Among the regulations there was one that allowed associations to present candidates. Some parties presented a candidate: the Margherita presented Ciontoli, the DS (with pressure from Bassolino) presented Alois (former member of the regional cabinet with responsibility for productive activity), the European Republicans and the association Vestigia Tifatine presented Petteruti (former member of the regional cabinet at Caserta with responsibility for public works and former member of the regional cabinet at Maddaloni with responsibility for town planning).
At the primaries, in spite of the rosiest of predictions more than 9000 people took part. This is more than twice as many as took part in the national primaries. There were long queues to vote on a day that was rainy and freezing. The voting went on until nearly midnight. Each voter had had to pay 1 Euro!

Petteruti beat Alois by 31 votes. This was contrary to the forecasts of the day before. A big influence on the victory was due to the support of the president of the Province of Caserta and above all the fact that the people of Caserta felt that Alois was a candidate imposed by Naples.
Prodi made it known through Ansa that the results of the Caserta primaries should be respected. But still the DS and Margherita did not accept this and decided to present Alois as the candidate for mayor, even though he lost the primaries.

Apart form every political consideration; this decision to subvert the results of the primaries is truly a smelly business, an anti-democratic mess. If anyone accepts to participate in a competition, if you send 9000 people to vote, if you charge 1 Euro per vote, afterwards, you can’t say “sorry, we were having a joke”. As a citizen I feel that I’ve been taken for a ride by this farce. The parties, after having grabbed us by the private parts, have got more than 9000 Euro by extortion. We want them back. And at least we want them not to be used by the parties but given to charity.

I ask the voice of Beppe Grillo to give a communication channel and ample resonance to my voice and to that of many citizens defrauded of their opinion. We have founded a campaign group: “Give us back our Euro”. It seems that for at least some of the parties a Euro is worth nothing.
Thank you.”
Luigi L.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:17 AM in Politics | Comments (4)
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May 15, 2006

Post-dated Scandals


Every time a scandal explodes in Italy, the journalists tell us about every possible detail; the opinionists explain cause and effect, the directors write an editorial in which they express their most profound consternation. A scandal is such a frequent event that we don’t feel scandalised that much.

The readers and the TV viewers are informed for days on end until there’s nothing more to say in the emotive phase. Then a trumpet player sounds the silence and people talk of something else. Years later there’s the arrival of the “prescriptions”, the memorials removing blame from the interested parties; the amnesties; the bipartisan social blessings of a scandal that is no longer a scandal but that has become part of the history of the country. Mayors and local government politicians propose plaques and even statues for the people involved. There are conferences on the topic and the parties put forward the convicted people as their candidates in Parliament to save them from prison.

Every time that a scandal bursts out in Italy the first 10 pages of the daily newspapers talk about it in indignant tones. The journalists, finally free, rush around like the furies (birds of prey?) and descend on people whom they had interviewed with servility the previous day. The journalists of the post-dated news, the journalists of the institutional keeping-their-ass-safe, the semi-virgin journalists, of the appropriate editorial reserve, of the advertising stick and of the piece of regulation. I hope that the next scandal relates to them, their editors, their newspapers, their weeklies, and their TV channels. I hope that it will shed light on the political, economic, and personal motivation, about why they present one item of news and they eliminate another. They stay silent and they create false tracks. Journalists who always get the information first and then always write about it later.

The next scandal must be about the press, about the media, about their mixing up advertising and politics.

How many bought referees are to be found among the directors of the newspapers and the directors of the TV channels?
How much are they paid to keep us ignorant?
I’m fed up of post-dated information. I’m fed up of the post-dated pens-for-sale. The next scandal, for reasons of delicacy should be on the twentieth page among the regular news accounts.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 11:56 PM in Information | Comments (2)
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Franco Carraro, serene man


Franco Carraro, born in Padua, citizen of Milan, by profession serene. As a kid he listened to his transistor radio and heard Janacci singing “Palo della banda dell’Ortica” {Lookout of the Ortica gang}.
He was enchanted by it and decided that the profession of “lookout” would be his. The opportunity arrived when he met Craxi who asked if he’d like to be lookout first for the government and then for Rome city local authority. Carraro became mayor of Rome in 1989 but in 1993 his cabinet was turned upside down by arrests. He made off at speed and in all serenity without polemics he was no longer the lookout for the Town Hall.

His evident professional ability as lookout opened up great possibilities. When approached by Geronzi, he didn’t manage to say “no” and he became President of Mediocredito. When approached by Romiti he didn’t manage to say “no” and he became President of Impregilo, When approached by Moggi he didn’t manage to say “no” and he became President of Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio {FIGC – Federation of Italian Football}. The Lookout score of Carraro grows with his international reputation. To oppose the football scandals of recent years he has a perfect knowledge of the words of the song that inspires him: “He was fixed and studied the night, he saw nothing, heard nothing, because he couldn’t even see a massive truck, however for hearing he could hear nothing.”

Serenity and the sentiment that he always demonstrates together allow for the creation of the biggest delinquent sports organisation of all time.

When investigated by the Procura di Napoli {Prosecutors in Naples} he expressed “the most profound gratitude to the magistrates for the investigation that they are conducting into football.” To the carabinieri of the operational unit in Rome who searched his office and later his house he offered tea and biscuits. Having received an avviso di garanzia {notification of judicial enquiry} for having violated the law about fraud in sport he commented: “I am absolutely serene because I know that I have always acted correctly.” He has resigned from the FIGC but he is serene.

Football is upside down. The FIGC has been commandeered, players and directors risk prison, the company accounts are about to jump into the air bringing the sector into an astonishing collapse. He is serene. He’s almost joyous. With his experience he’ll always find a position as lookout.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 09:57 AM in Wailing Wall | Comments (3)
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May 14, 2006

Mafia condicio

H6S big UK_.jpg
Comic strip by: Massimo Ciotoli

Agostino Saccà director of Rai Fiction, thus our employee, paid with public money, has forbidden the broadcast of the film “Giovanni Falcone” which also shows the judge, Paolo Borsellino.
The programme was to have been shown on 23 May, the anniversary of the Capaci slaughter, before the elections in Sicily. But Saccà didn’t want it to be shown because of the par condicio {giving equality of exposure to each party}, so as not to favour Rita Borsellino, a candidate for the position of President of the Region.

Instead of “Giovanni Falcone” Saccà will show a detective story set in Morocco called: “La moglie cinese” {the Chinese wife}.
Saccà is applying the mafia condicio.

However until the elections in Sicily, the saga of Marlon Brando’s "The Godfather" must be prohibited in TV and Amenta’s “Il fantasma di Corleone” must be withdrawn from cinemas.

The mafia condicio must be adhered to to the full. Even the other candidates must not benefit from any advantage.

I’m publishing a letter from Stefania who’s written to me from Sicily.

“Dear Beppe,
In a few days, there‘ll be the elections in Sicily to select the members of the Sicilian Regional Parliament.
Do you know Beppe; on the walls of Sicilian cities currently glued up (often abusively) there are election posters that bring tears to your eyes. They’ve got phrases that beat even the most rancid sayings to be found in bacio perugina chocolates.
All of a sudden, everyone has new ideas. Sicily in your heart. A great future awaits us. Young people are proud to be Sicilian. The South will take off. A great project… OK, but I ask myself one thing: Before this where were you?
These phrases and great ideas come from people who have been inside the buildings of regional politics and have been stripping us of our fruits for years. My heart is filled with joy to see that after spending 5 years in those offices, they have finally thought up “different ideas”.

Beppe, just imagine that you are the President of a company with 90 extremely costly directors who spend their days minding their own business and arguing about who will get the most attractive office. Meanwhile your company goes bankrupt, but they have always been overpaid. When their contract is up, they tell you that they love you and that they have a “different idea”. Well would you employ them again??? In Sicily, yes you would!
Beppe, I fear that we will once more give employment to those who brought us to bankruptcy and who want to keep us bankrupt. And when I talk about bankruptcy, I’m not talking merely of debts and of the happy management of the Region. I’m talking about a concept that is much wider and more entrenched. I’d call it the “complesso del cardellino".

I’ll explain: imagine a nest with a hungry little bird (cardellino) waiting to be fed by its loving mother – a tender scene, is it not? But if that little bird is in fact of pension age?

We are a people used to waiting for help from the Region and from the so-called politicians. A people held by its balls. We go forward not by programmes but by promises. You’ll be surprised, but here people still believe in the promises of a politician. Here people will vote for you for a petrol voucher for a packet of pasta, or for 50 Euro. Often, I’ve asked myself why. Ignorance? Perhaps. Desperation? Perhaps. Stupidity? Well I don’t believe that.
I believe instead that it is a mixture of poverty and insane opportunism.

It’s the poverty of crafty people. Of those who get unemployment benefits and work on the side. Of those who don’t find work because they don’t want to work. Of those for whom “The State is absent and it won’t give me a house. Work is help.” Of those who so as not to be idle, knock on the door of the politicians to have a few crumbs. They don’t reflect to think that those crumbs, whether it’s a job, a precarious position, a little contract, a recommendation or something else, they are paying really dear. And they are making us pay for it as well.

When our politicians take on 18,000 people on precarious contracts in a day (a fact that has happened recently) the money doesn’t come from their pockets. That money is taken from development, from services, from health, and from the infrastructure of the whole region of Sicily.
As long as there are people who will not do without charity payments and the bribes of politicians, these gentlemen will have an easy life. And they will win the elections by going for a walk, and hugging and kissing the voters.

The strange aspect of this thing about promises is that for the true Sicilian the words “respect” “dignity” and “honour” are what touches the heartstrings. “To show disrespect” is a cardinal sin. We are proud at birth.
At least that’s what I used to believe.

This clam with an outstretched hand and the eyes of a ruffian ready to sell his own future and mine for 30 pieces of silver, is not a true Sicilian and does not merit understanding. He is the weight belt, the hand break of our future. People like him make up that precious “vote cultivation farm” that doesn’t allow us to send home this lot that loves to see us underdeveloped and open to bribes.

Dear Beppe, I could cite thousands of cases of promises that have not been kept by politicians and of people that have become like beasts. I know and those who still believe know this. I ask them just one thing. Before giving your consensus, try to understand who it is in front of you. Who is promising you easy favours does not love you and will not give you anything. It’s not me telling you this; it’s their history that is. That’s enough to show you who they are.
Dear Beppe, I ask of you and of those that read this, that you help these people to understand. There’s a website that sets out things simply. It shows the details of the great damage caused over the last 5 years of regional government by those who today are asking for our vote. They are people without scruples who get rich at the expense of our misfortunes.

Before voting, it’s absolutely necessary that you read the information on this website:

Thank you from my heart.”

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 05:50 AM in Information | Comments (5)
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The telephone is crying


Bush protects American citizens and also the non-Americans present in the United States. And this is ignoring Iraqis, Afghans, and various other peoples. What do you have to do to get protected? It’s sufficient to make a telephone call with one of the three great companies that have agreed to participate in the National Security Agency ‘s global espionage programme: AT&T, Verizon e BellSouth. Only Qwest has refused.
The telephone calls – from landlines and from mobiles - are recorded in a massive database available to the government. The intercepted citizen is a democratic evolution against terrorism. More intercepts, more Bush, less Bin Laden, more chance to listen to members of the opposition, inconvenient journalists, and opinion leaders.

The conversations of 200 million people have been recorded since 11 September 2001 without asking anyone’s permission. Not from the citizens, not from Parliament, not from the magistrates.
And an American cannot, not even with a formal request, find out if he or she has been intercepted.
This silence is justified in the name of privacy.
Secret services that intercept their own citizens to defend them from the threat of terrorism had not previously been seen.

Prodi should follow this example and get Sismi to intercept us all.
He should put every citizen in a position to be blackmailed by the government: for fiscal fraud, for extramarital relations, for construction abuses. All this could then return the public debt to health.

The intercepts could then be used, maintaining the appropriate privacy, to operate ad personam amnesty-blackmails in exchange for their elimination. The conversations of the most intransigent who didn’t want to come to a settlement could be published on the website of the Economics Ministry as a warning.

The high-risk categories like the parliamentarians, the mafia people, the company leaders, the sports managers, should be protected and excluded from intercepts. Anyway they wouldn’t pay and they would get away with house arrest. A waste of time.

PS: Tomorrow at Civitavecchia there will be a demonstration against the use of coke in the electricity generating station at Torre Valdaliga Nord. Meet at 15.30 in viale Garibaldi.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 05:40 AM in Wailing Wall | Comments (5)
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May 12, 2006

No TAV – 6 months on


Silently, silently, the No TAV repression is arriving in Val di Susa. The Blog however wants to turn the spotlights back onto the No TAV movement to give it a voice. Today I’m publishing the letter of a person from the Val di Susa.

“Six months after the events, there are 8 people under investigation, because of having pacifically (perhaps with the odd vulgarity) confronted the military occupation of the territory. There were also European Union Parliamentarians from the Petitions Commission with us that day and they saw what was happening in person.

For the little that I understand, what is happening is nothing other than a new shower of shit. Anyway we know how to live in this element. We also are sure that if you spread it without understanding that it can splash on those who spread it, it is senseless…
To understand better, read the message that is going around on the internet…”

This is a serious situation and we are showing you a message received from one of the Val di Susa’s No TAV campaign group.

The politics of the carrot, adopted with the setting up of the "Virano" Observatory, in view of the failure of the mediation attempts, is giving way to the politics of the stick.
The first 8 notices of judicial action have arrived. They relate to the Resistance at Seghino on 30 October and for the blocks on the following day.

They are for 8 people from Val di Susa including the mayor of Bussoleno, Peppe Joannas, and one of the most well known no TAV campaigners, Alberto Perino. The accusations are believed to cover crimes of resistance and threats.

Added to that on 12 May there will be a hearing in the youth court in Turin (Corso Unione Sovietica 325) where the defendant is a no TAV campaigner who was under 18 at that time.

Finally on 17 May, at the Turin Tribunal (Corso Vittorio Emanuele 300) there will be a trial for Marco Martorana a no TAV campaigner from Turin, accused of injuring a police officer during a spontaneous demonstration on 6 December in Turin, after the police attacked the headquarters at Venaus.

Yesterday, during the day the notices of judicial action were arriving. That same day, in the evening at Bussoleno, the response arrived from the movement. A packed meeting renewed their fullest solidarity to the people being investigated and numerous actions were prepared. Furthermore, the seizure of the Venaus lands by the magistrates has been declared once more to be a political act to which we are opposed.

Once more we stated our strong opposition to the doubling of the Frejus motorway tunnel.

The next appointments in Turin:
- Friday 12 at the youth court in Turin for the No TAV youth trial
- Wednesday 17 May in front of the court for Marco Martorana’s trial
- Saturday 13 at Pianezza for the no TAV bicycle outing

It’ll be hard!” O.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:28 AM in Transport/Getting About | Comments (0)
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May 10, 2006

Money-eating Innovation


We are living in a reality that is ever more innovative. A reality that makes innovation available for all. Which company can today allow itself not to be innovative? There’s always more need for innovative ideas. Innovation simplifies life for us. It helps us. In a certain way it ennobles us just as work did once. In the motorway we use the Telepass, and pay for petrol with the credit card. We put money on the mobile at any cash machine and we pay utility bills online and many many other things. Technology is great because it frees us.

Technology is great because it increases profits for those companies that invent new services. We pay for the Telepass on top of the tolls for the motorways. We pay for using the credit card on top of the price of petrol. We pay for the opportunity to put money on the mobile on top of the money added. We pay extra for being able to pay the utility bill online on top of the amount billed. Effectively we are paying for nothing. The companies make us pay the payment transactions, enchantments of the ether, legalised theft.

In fact, …
Innovation reduces the costs to the companies. The Telepass eliminates the cost of the person collecting the motorway toll money. The credit card avoids having to pay the money into the bank, paying the utility bill avoids the costs of the clerk taking the money and adding money to the mobile brings in money to the telephone company in advance before the calls are made.
Innovation thus makes us happier and poorer. Haven’t they always said that money doesn’t bring happiness? It’s used to add fat to the companies, to the stock options, to shares on the Stock Exchange and to tronchettibenettonscaroni.

But when are we going to stop allowing ourselves to be ripped off?
An Italian citizen has finally decided that this is too muchand has asked the European Commission to abolish the cost for topping up mobile phones. This is a charge that exists only in Italy.
They are considering it seriously and the European Commission has contacted the Authority. This is another innovation that makes us poorer, even though we don’t know it. We need 50,000 signatures to get this charge removed. Sign the petition!

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 02:55 PM in Technology/Internet | Comments (14)
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Covered warrants

Warrant cover.

The banks are in the grip of an orgasm of creative products to balance their budgets. The clients don’t care a toss about the budgets of the banks but they would like their creativity to be directed towards good service at market cost – European market cost – not Italian cost. The banks that deny finance to small enterprises are the same ones that lend thousands of millions of Euro to the Tronchettis and the Benettons. Our money, the money of us the current account holders, of us small scale investors. The managing directors of the banks for too long have been responding to the laws of politics and of the relationships of the gentile salons rather than to the laws of the market.
I’m publishing this letter that is one of the many received about the behaviour of the banks.

“I am turning to you as you are one of the few voices providing warnings to savers about the vexations created by the banks in relation to the employees who are giving financial advice (if you can still call it that…)
The latest “invention” of the bank where I work in view of the recent tendency for the interest rate to go up, is aimed at those clients who already have a variable rate mortgage. We propose an operation “to protect against interest rate risks” that involves selling them variable duration "covered warrants", that should give the client subscribing to them, a regular income if the interest rate goes above a fixed threshold.

These covered warrants, at the end of their natural life then have zero value. They are timed to end more or less when the original mortgages are paid off.

Up to here there would be nothing particularly strange about the operation. But this sale is accompanied by a loan to the client equal to the value of the covered warrants. In practice, first the client pays out high interest payments on the mortgage then they have to take on the acquisition of these warrants that will go to zero (and maybe give them no income if interest rates don’t go up much) and as well as that they pay the interest on the loan to buy them.

You can’t imagine the daily pressure to sell these products (together with the others, often out of date that are already in the catalogue!) I wonder where all this will go in the future. Unfortunately, our clients trust us and we have to be so thick-skinned to reassure them of the benefits of the products and lie to them from the morning to the evening. If we don’t sell these products we are put to one side inside the bank.

The budgets are just “monstrous” and if you don’t manage to achieve them you get terrible reports and no bonus.

I try to resist this pressure but I assure you for the last few years now my nerves are all over the place and above all I’ve started to hate this work that I once enjoyed. The only consolation is when I manage to place better products that don’t damage the client. But that rarely happens.
Thank you for allowing me to let out my anger.
Thanks again.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 12:44 AM in Economics | Comments (4)
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D'Alema and sleeplessness


Dear employee Massimo D’Alema,

It’s midnight. The new President of the Republic has not yet been elected after 2 days of voting and I can’t get to sleep. The reason why I can’t is because of my nightmare that you could be elected without having made clear statements about the phone intercepts that could relate to yourself. The intercepts that have been talked about, insinuated about, murmured about for months. I ask for a simple response to this simple question:

“Are there any telephone intercepts of compromising conversations between yourself and Consorte about Unipol’s attempt to buy the BNL?”

Just like, I imagine, many Centre Left voters, I hope that the reply is an irrevocable “no”. A null response would give credence to the idea that these intercept recordings exist and that , God forbid, they could be in the hands of the Centre Right.
Now I’ll leave you to try and get some sleep.

Good night”.

Beppe Grillo

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 12:00 AM in Politics | Comments (9)
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May 09, 2006

One loser for all: Luciano


A serene Sunday yesterday at the Stadio Delle Alpi in Turin. Fans, directors, shareholders, were celebrating la Vecchia Signora (The old Lady – nickname of the Juventus club) On the grass, Andrea Agnelli had been in the parade together with the Triade. Bettega cried. Jaki Elkann repeated: “to be here to support the team and to the coach”.

Franzo Grande Stevens, president of the team, was just back from participating at the Book Fair where he talked about Alessandro Galante Garrone’s book “intransigenza morale e coerenza” (moral intransigence and coherence). He said that he was in favour of a gentle change of the Triade: “It’s simply a question of finding an adequate way to do this. A way that is worthy of the Agnelli family.”

The fans didn’t miss the opportunity to show their support worthy of such a management group with forceful shouts: “Guariniello F... off!” “Guariniello you are muck” and with a long banner reading: “Luciano we are all with you. The Triad is not to be touched!” A member of the Agnelli family briefly stopped to talk about Moggi, saying: “With uncle it wouldn’t have gone like that.” Perhaps alluding to, if he were still alive, he would not have allowed the publication of telephone tapping information that was so vulgar and of poor class.

Juventus is the property of Ifil and is quoted on the Stock Exchange. From the beginning of the year it has gained 63.5%. In the last 11 years it has won 6 trophies. It’s top of the championship with a day to go to the end. The directors in all these years have never asked the shareholders for a euro for investment. The accounts have always been balanced. In spite of yearly arrivals of champions, perhaps because of a knowledge-based management of the market on the part of Moggi.

Was Lucianone intercepted? Did he say what any Bar Sport has known for decades? If “pecunia non olet” (money has no smell), why should Moggi be smelling? A manager who has brought shovel-fulls of money to Ifil has the perfume of lavender soap. For Ifil, when Moggi won, everyone won. Now that he’s losing, it’s only him who loses.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:41 AM in Wailing Wall | Comments (3)
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May 08, 2006

Escaping from Rebibbia


Previti is smoking cigars in Rebibbia. Between one smoke and the next he is reflecting on who betrayed him. He feels abandoned and makes a statement: “They left us alone to fight.” And a bunch of courageous Forza Italia combatants burst into his 2x3 cell. Among these are Fabrizio Cicchitto, Gaetano Pecorella, Giorgio Lainati, Valentino Valentini, Giulio Marini, Angelo Maria Cicolani, and Antonio Tajani. Many are in the queue. Others are already booked in. The director of the prison is preparing the cells ready to welcome them.

In fact, the great Baget Bozzo happened to mention that the next Forza Italia conference will be held in Rebibbia.

The convicted prisoner sentenced to 6 years has a great dream: to be able to participate in the parliamentary debate at Montecitorio regarding his resignation. He knows that in that great space, so very different from the great arid space of the courtroom, he will find lots of sympathy and the solidarity of his peers: he’ll find “prescritti”, first and second degree convicts, ex-prisoners. They certainly will understand him and they won’t be able to leave him isolated.

The DS have expressed the wish to help their colleague through the voice of the authoritative Vincenzo Siniscalchi: “It would be appropriate that his stay in prison were to be changed to house arrest.” And he added: “In Previti’s case it would not be amazing if the sentence were to be worked out with house arrest considering his age and his behaviour in this phase: that is that he has not avoided prison.” But blessed DS, inciucinidaleminifassiniviolantini, it is a life-time that Previti has been trying to avoid prison. And now that he has been in prison for a day, do you already want to get him out?

First it was Previti and just Previti. Now it’s the olderthan70yearsold Previti. Has prison aged him?

The psychodwarf has not been seen at Rebibbia for fear of being made to stay there. He sent a telegram with a greetings pizzino: “See you at home on Tuesday”.
But Previti has lost hope. He feels innocent. He followed orders. He completed the job he had to do.
It’ll turn out that they’ll have to have their meeting in prison.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 11:57 AM in Wailing Wall | Comments (9)
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Open letter to Massimo D'Alema

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Comic strip by: Massimo Ciotoli

The President of the Republic cannot have shadows. Nor can he have possible skeletons in the cupboard.
In the past we have had an Antelope Cobbler and I believe that that is enough.
I maintain that our President should be super partes, have the respect of the Nation, have done something important in his life, not a professional politician.
The men and the women are there. They are called Monti, Hack, Sartori. What are the merits of D’Alema?
I’m worried. The President of the Republic must represent Italians. D’Alema represents one faction within his party. I have decided to write him an open letter.

“Dear Massimo D’Alema,

I’m writing to you having heard that you may possibly be elected as Head of State.

I believe that, especially in a complex and delicate moment like this one, that who becomes President of the Republic must offer to Italian citizens absolute guarantees of transparency and of trustworthiness. For this reason, and not because I am prejudiced about you, I believe that it would be useful for us, and for you, to remove any shadow of doubt in relation to your role in Unipol ‘s attempt to buy the BNL.

According to authoritative sources that have not been denied even after the publication of articles in the newspapers, that the investigators have telephone tapping information that relates to yourself in relation to this which document interviews between yourself and the head of Unipol Gianni Consorte.

Before Parliament, gives you our trust to guide Italy, I believe that we should also ask you to clear up once and for all what was said in those conversations. This should be done before they could be made known through other channels which might bring serious damage and could even cause harm to the image of the future Head of State.

Thus I think it is a duty for you to ask for the publication of the whole content of the conversations that were recorded by telephone tapping. Alternatively, I believe you should give a guarantee on your own responsibility that they are false and they don’t exist, before the election in Parliament.

Beppe Grillo"

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 11:26 AM in Politics | Comments (6)
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May 06, 2006

For another TV - Perunaltratv


There’s a popular proposed law: It needs 50,000 signatures to change the RAI and the Radio-TV system. That’s hardly anything for you Bloggers. The initiative comes from Perunaltratv, all the information is on their site (in Italian). Don’t mess around. Add your signature. Sign!

Those in Italy who are censored will meet up in Milan in June, in secret. I’ll be there too. Those who are paid and censored (they exist too) will not participate and perhaps it’s best like that.To have been censored will become a badge of merit. It’s like having been a partisan. Only those who are censored will be able to go on TV. The non-censored will be censored instead.

All the details are in the letter of the Friends of Beppe Grillo of Milan:

“We have taken action to collect signatures for Perunaltratv and to get going we have organised an initial event. It will take place 7 June in Milan at 9:00pm in the Sala Unione in Porta Venezia (capacity: 500 people) and it’s called: ITALIA IMBAVAGLIATA {Gagged Italy}. We have invited many censored people. Some have signed up. Others have didn't want to hear, others want to be paid - that’s truly shameful. Just think that one signed up straight away, but when we proposed simple accommodation rather than a hotel they didn’t reply. They are the ones who should be the first to support these battles that we are taking forward with our own money and energy.

Even Franca Rame is a first lady and has given us no confirmation. She is the one who had so many written promises during her election campaign --- bleh!
Di Pietro however is still a great man. He’ll be there. Unless of course some great engagement in the Senato calls him urgently. There’ll also be Marco Travaglio and Barbacetto the Diario journalist. Tana de Zulueta will be there unless she too is called by the Senato….”
Antonella and Valeria of Amici di Beppe Grillo di Milano

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 02:28 AM in Information | Comments (4)
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The unsustainable cost of TicketOne


I no longer sell tickets for my shows online through TicketOne. It’s a company that operates a substantial monopoly and I don’t understand what use it is and I’ve already written a post about it. I’m sending out an appeal to colleagues in the world of entertainment to do likewise. I receive many messages from Blog readers about TicketOne. Today I’m publishing one.

“Good day,

I wanted to tell you about the problems and abuses that the company (the leading Italian company, providing ticketing for cultural events and concerts) continues to provoke and annoy us consumers.
Below I’m listing the key points to understand the situation so that you can see why we have such discomfort for the last few years.TicketOne is the main group for ticketing (without direct competitors, the other groups are effectively collaborators). The Boxoffice ticket offices (for years delegated as concert ticket offices) are now controlled by TicketOne (that controls the flow and the availability of tickets as they wish, creating further inconvenience for those who turn up at the Boxoffice counters, perhaps even having to wait hours in a queue). In the national contract the promoters have committed themselves to giving Ticket One the exclusive rights for selling via the Internet for 15 years. In practice, it does more or less what it wants in the ticket market for events. To contact TicketOne by phone you ring the number: 899.500.022. An average telephone call to get information and get tickets takes about 3-4 minutes.

This costs: 0.80 euro from a landline (and on reply 0.103), 1.291 from a TIM mobile 0.121)1.80 from a Vodafone mobile(and on reply 0.12).
Those who telephone know full well that before you can get to speak with an operator it takes at least 2 minutes to get past the recorded voice. Often the line goes dead mysteriously…

Since they are kind they give you other numbers that you can use to book tickets: “Thanks to an agreement between TicketOne and Seat Pagine Gialle, you can buy tickets for all the TicketOne events by simply telephoning the number 89 24 24 twenty four hours on twenty four.This costs from a Telecom Italia landline 0.36 (and on reply 1.32 a minute). From a Wind landline it costs 1.2 for the first minute of conversation then 0.96 a minute (with payment by the second) after the first minute.From a Tim mobile 1.32 a minute; with a minimum charge of one minute.From a Vodafone mobile 1.32 a minute; with a minimum charge of one minute.From a Wind mobile a fixed cost of 1.5 for the first minute of conversation, 1 a minute (with payment by the second) after the first minute.From a H3g mobile 1.32 a minute; with a minimum charge of one minute.

Or, still with an agreement Telecom-TIM and TicketOne, you can call 412, and you get the same costs as for 892.412, but with the addition of 1 Euro for the “service” for credit cards.

Furthermore, the telephone help line is terrible. Often the voice that should help you is ill-prepared but tries really hard to keep you on the line. They control the flow of tickets as they please, using expressions like “waiting for new availability” when in reality they are just tricks to concentrate and increase the sales.

And for all this you even have to pay the pre-sales supplement of an extra 6 Euro. They even add extra commission on certain tickets without giving any explanation.

During the online sale for big and medium sized events, the TicketOne site gets blocked. This creates massive inconvenience and confusion for users who often find that the money is accounted for on their credit cards even though they have not completed the purchase and finished the order.Often senseless and improbable error messages appear.With all the money they have taken from the promoters and from people they should have already been able to buy servers that are far more resistant as very many serious online sales sites have already done.I thank you from my heart. Here’s hoping that you can do something”

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 02:00 AM in Wailing Wall | Comments (7)
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May 04, 2006

Telecom at the service of the country


Telecom Italia is watching over us. Day and night, in the office or in a sailing boat Tronchetti thinks of the good of the country. What is most pressing for him is our future. Telecom Italia is not mainly at the service of its clients. It’s difficult to find anyone who says the contrary.Telecom Italia is much more. It is a great group at the service of the country.

Tronchetti has bought page after page of newspaper space with money from our phone calls to explain how much affection he has for Italy. These are pages in which he is keen to let us know that Telecom is not bankrupt, but is healthy: “current net debt of about 39,000,000,000 Euro: 70% at fixed rate and an average length of 8 years.” But what is? The publicity of the bonds about to be issued or the proposal of new telephone services? The market of Telecom Italia is made up of satisfied clients and investors: “More than 100 million clients and millions of investors each day demonstrate the trust that the company enjoys” If it weren’t obligatory to connect to Telecom the clients wouldn’t have all this trust and there would be lots fewer of them. For the investors there’s a different argument. What trusting investors? I would like to know at least one. Send me an email. The Telecom share value has lost about half its value since Tronchetti arrived. Just since the beginning of the year it has gone down by 9.58%.

For Tronchetti, the pockets of the clients are sacred: “a technological phenomenon to offer innovative services and reduce prices for consumers”.

On this point however there’s not a real consensus in the country. The Justice of the Peace of Torre Annunziata, Giuseppe D’Angelo has accepted an action brought by a user against the payment of the line rental. Telecom was found guilty and ordered to pay back all the line rental payments received and to pay legal costs. According to Codacons: “this judgement opens up the road for more than 20 million similar actions in front of Justices of the Peace by Telecom users.” In Italy there is no such thing as a “class action”. If there were, the line rental would disappear in the course of about a month. However there is the possibility to be informed. I’ll leave this post on the right hand side of the site to receive testimony from other Telecom clients asking for the abolition of the line rental.

PS Tronchetti is always inventing something. The costs of sending out the bills has gone up from 0.17 euro to 0.37 Euro plus sales tax. Thanks to this smart increase Telecom will receive 52 million Euro in a year. However, the tribunale di Catanzaro has established that the cost of sending out the bills is illegitimate and Codacons has started an initiative with a predefined form to contest the increase.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 11:32 AM in Technology/Internet | Comments (12)
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May 03, 2006

Necessary and Amnesty Illicitness


In Ischia a family was buried by a house that was built without plannning permission and waiting for an amnesty. The house was adjacent to the zone “R4” (definition of a high risk zone for the population). The local mayor in response to contestation of illicitness called it “necessary unlawfulness”. From on high, Ischia looks like an urban suburb. But who has brought it to this point? And who allows this state of affairs in the whole of Italy? The mayors who close their eyes? The amnesties that humiliate honest citizens? Maybe a reply is to be found in this letter to me from a citizen of Campania.

“Dear Signor Grillo,

Perhaps what I’m writing about isn’t of common interest. But I’m doing it to get this off my chest and to bear witness to the rules of our country.
Well, in 1997, I was pushed and encouraged by a builder “friend” to build on the land owned by my grandpa in the vicinity of Vesuvius. I built a home for myself and my brother-in-law (2 apartments, two floors with a garage and a terrace). I used the savings that my wife and I had accumulated in 10 years of a happy marriage that is still lasting. We knew that we were committing an offence, but we also knew what we were told by our legal adviser and we knew the information that went about in the area like: “anyway they can’t knock it down if there are children and people living there. It’s never happened..” and again “see how many other houses there are in the area and they are all illicit.” Or “at the maximum you’ll get away with some legal proceedings and you’ll have to pay a fine..”. The final one was: “anyway in a bit there’ll be an amnesty…” (an amnesty that Berlusconi wanted in September, what luck!).

We moved into the building in January 1998 before it was finished. It was a simple modest house of 75 square metres, not a villa. My second child was born there.

We spent 5 years of our lives there. This was interrupted on 3 April 2003 (our wedding anniversary) by a Magistrate knocking on the door. He told us that we had to evacuate the building by the following morning as they had to knock it down. Having contacted our lawyer we had no positive response. He advised us to show no resistance otherwise we would have been denounced. I had to empty the apartment in a rush, helped by my friends and family to save whatever was possible.

That was the first time I told lies to my children. I didn’t want them to know what was happening. But even today they ask me why we left our house and I don’t know what to say. Perhaps I will continue to lie until they are big enough to understand. I saw the demolition of what I had constructed with my sacrifices, without offering opposition. I know I’m in the wrong, that I had broken the rules of this society and it’s right that I pay, but…Is not the law equal for all…????? It’s a question that I ask myself every time I see houses being constructed in my area, suddenly shooting up, since the amnesty there are 3 times as many. If it’s an area with restrictions, why don’t they come down like mine did? I don’t wish anyone ill. In fact I wouldn’t wish anyone to have to go through what I had to go through, not even my worst enemy. But if there are rules, they should be respected by everyone. This is a society for those who are strong. The weak are squashed, and I feel weak. I hope that my children will have a better future. Now I try to look ahead and leave all this behind me. I need to raise my two children and it’s best to be serene so as to start to live again.
I apologise for having chosen yourself and having made you lose time to read my letter to get it out in the open. I believe that you are a sincere person and able to say what you think and what all those who follow this Blog are thinking. I hope that some politicians will wake up and will do some good things for this country so that our children can have a better future.

Greetings, P. "

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 02:28 PM in Wailing Wall | Comments (19)
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May 02, 2006

Letizia Moratti, Martyr


Tumult for May Day in Milan. Letizia Brichetto Arnaboldi Moratti, set off on foot together with her 23 bodyguards. She walked from Piazza San Babila and managed to walk 50 metres in 10 minutes and 20 seconds because she was wearing stiletto heels. Then she was stopped by whistles, loud bells and those gadgets that go “trickytracky”.

Ferrante made a useless attempt to reach her but was recognised and was kicked by the security services. The Secretary of the CGIL who had invited her, tried in vain to reach her. A group of students and workers tried in vain to reach her.

She was followed into the street she loves: via Montenapoleone. But she found however that the shops were closed. A group of “precarious workers” acclaimed her with football chants reminding her of her successes: “you have precariousised the researchers”, “you have humiliated the workers of the school with the reform” “you have supported the Biagi Law”.
However Ms Moratti did not burst into tears from the emotion as she did on 25 April when she was pushing her father in a wheelchair through the crowd that was applauding and whistling.

Comments from the politicians were not long in coming. Actually they had already prepared them as they didn’t know what else to say for the feast of the workers. Romano Prodi went for a stroll with his wife, Flavia, and said: “These things are not done.” And added nothing more. Castelli and Calderoli accused the red fascism. This is the launch of chromatic politics. Soon to follow we’ll have black communism and brown Lega-ism. Schifani, the electoral poison salesman declared: “The left is poisoning the climate.”

Ms Moratti, who understands everything about manual workers, pronounced these words: “A new era of industrial relations has begun” Worn out by the declaration she took a couple of steps in via della Spiga accompanied by her oil-industry husband and by a few supporters from Alternativa Sociale and Fiamma Tricolore. She discussed with them the fact that she is a candidate for the position of Mayor of Milan and the election strategy for the next few days.

The whisper coming from Buttiglione is that Ms Moratti will become nude in a camp for nomads so as to be able to accuse them of carnal violence, that she will visit the public housing schemes while people are being evicted by the Local Authorities so that she can be insulted to the skin and finally she will offer herself as a human guinea pig to the researchers that she has humiliated during the previous legislative term.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 11:02 AM in Politics | Comments (14)
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Umberto, do you still remember?

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Comic strip by: Massimo Ciotoli

After the letter to Bush I thought I was getting a bit too bigheaded and so I decided to write to Umberto Bossi
That way no one can say anything.
But it’s spring and I feel good, just like when I was at the elementary school with my black overall and blue ribbon. And the hot focaccia that my Mum made and put in my tuck box. I feel lyrical. I turn to Bossi with the verses of a love poem.

“Umberto, do you still remember
that time when you life was based in the Po valley
when the Lega was shining
in you smiling fugitive eyes
and you, joyful and thoughtful, moved up
the limits of the great father of the river Po?
The meadows of Pontida rang out
and the cows all around
to perpetually sing your praises
then to obscene gestures
you were reasonably content
about that vague split that you had in mind.
It was the time of “Clean Hands” and you cried out like that to beat up the berluskaiser, the wild boar and Beelzebub Andreotti.

That the streets and the people
now leaving their sweaty vests
where your early life
the best part was spent.
and then onwards the true people of the Arcore Hostel lent their ears to the music of the great man of the streets.
He was aiming at the great people of the Po
Bosio, Miglio and Calderoli,
The mortal tongue does not say
the serpent that rested in your bosom.
What suave thoughts
hard choruses, Oh my Umberto!

You pray that the grass dries up the money
from the power that has been fought for and won
you betrayed o tender one. And did you not see the flower of your years;
Did you not weep in your heart
the gentle praises or the grey head of hair
now the looks of one who is in love and yet repugnant
nor is Maroni there for the feast days
he was reasoning about love and ampoules from Monviso.

Quite soon, it will even die
the sweet hope: to our years
they denied the fairies
the democracy. Oh my how
how you have passed
dear companion of my new age
my tearful hope!
Is this the world? Are these the delights, the love, the bourgeois, the events
so that we have so many discussions together?
Is this the Mediaset of human people?

At the appearance of Silvio
you, the miserable one, fell down: and with the hand
cold death and an empty tomb
you demonstrated yourself to be from Lugano.”

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 10:43 AM in Wailing Wall | Comments (1)
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May 01, 2006

Motorway accounting

A few months ago Gilberto Benetton invited me to lunch. I did some research and refused. I didn’t want to find myself having to pay the bill. Usually I behave like a person from Genova. I prefer to let the other person pay.
I would have found myself sitting at table with one of the people with the biggest debts in Italy after Tronchetti with whom he shares debts and jumpers to be worn at a regatta.
I asked a couple of financial consultants how Benetton was doing and their hand gestures indicated bad things.
A few weeks ago to remove every doubt about the possibility of Gilberto being solvent in the restaurant, I had a glance at the balance sheet for the Autostrade {Motorways}. A balance sheet that showed alarming profits: about a thousand million Euro, and alarming debts: almost nine thousand million Euro, investments in the motorways: the figure was not available.
And at this point I need to recount a bit of history to arrive at the epilogue about the current news of the sale-merger and the Spanish Abertis. In the fabulous 90’s the regular government of the centre left did the regular privatisation cock up, called “centre left privatisation” that is using debts.
A modern way to hand over the property of the State in which the one who buys pays very little and asks the banks for the money as loans and thus buys a good that generations of Italians have constructed with their taxes.
Thus in 1999, Benetton and associates, including Unicredit, enter the motorway business. From that moment, according to the Saturday 29 April edition of the newspaper, la Repubblica, the money to be invested in the motorway network according to the agreement with the State should have been 7,500 million Euro. The effective investments have been 2,400 million Euro. That makes about 5,000 million Euro of missing investment. Of course any driver can vouch for that.  Where are these missing 5,000 million Euro?
The debt doesn’t get smaller, the investments, sooner or later have to be made. How can this happen? What would a friend of Tronchetti do?

Sell of course. Sell to the regular European partner that allows for synergy and the creation of a massive world organisation at the expense of Italians. He gets one thousand million Euro to share with the associates including Unicredit. And he does this at a moment of institutional emptiness, without a government in charge. But what’s the relevance of the government? It’s relevant. It’s relevant.
In fact the motorway tariffs are worked out with the government as they are part of the concession agreement. If the State wanted, the tariffs could be half or even a tenth of current levels. Or they could be frozen for one or more years.

This is a unique situation in Italy. The CEO of Autostrade, Vito Gamberale, has disassociated himself from the operation. He merits honour for this.
The operation should be blocked. (Get moving Prodi. Get moving. ) As a friendly gesture to Gilberto, considering the desperate situation that he finds himself in I will let him have two luncheon vouchers for a meal in a trattoria.

Postated by Beppe Grillo at 08:03 AM in Transport/Getting About | Comments (3)
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