Sunday, October 26, 2008

Non arrestarli, ma picchiarli...

Lui è stato Presidente della Repubblica:

Presidente Cossiga, pensa che minacciando l'uso della forza pubblica contro gli studenti Berlusconi abbia esagerato?

«Dipende, se ritiene d'essere il presidente del Consiglio di uno Stato forte, no, ha fatto benissimo. Ma poiché è l'Italia è uno Stato debole, e all'opposizione non c'è il granitito Pci ma l'evanescente Pd, temo che alle parole non seguiranno i fatti e che quindi Berlusconi farà quantomeno una figuraccia».

Quali fatti dovrebbero seguire?

«A questo punto, Maroni dovrebbe fare quel che feci io quand'ero ministro dell'Interno».


«In primo luogo, lasciare perdere gli studenti dei licei, perché pensi a cosa succederebbe se un ragazzino di dodici anni rimanesse ucciso o gravemente ferito...».

Gli universitari, invece?

«Lasciarli fare. Ritirare le forze di polizia dalle strade e dalle università, infiltrare il movimento con agenti provocatori pronti a tutto, e lasciare che per una decina di giorni i manifestanti devastino i negozi, diano fuoco alle macchine e mettano a ferro e fuoco le città».

Dopo di che?

«Dopo di che, forti del consenso popolare, il suono delle sirene delle ambulanze dovrà sovrastare quello delle auto di polizia e carabinieri».

Nel senso che...

«Nel senso che le forze dell'ordine dovrebbero massacrare i manifestanti senza pietà e mandarli tutti in ospedale. Non arrestarli, che tanto poi i magistrati li rimetterebbero subito in libertà, ma picchiarli a sangue e picchiare a sangue anche quei docenti che li fomentano».

Anche i docenti?

«Soprattutto i docenti. Non quelli anziani, certo, ma le maestre ragazzine sì. Si rende conto della gravità di quello che sta succedendo? Ci sono insegnanti che indottrinano i bambini e li portano in piazza: un atteggiamento criminale!».

E lei si rende conto di quel che direbbero in Europa dopo una cura del genere? «In Italia torna il fascismo», direbbero.

«Balle, questa è la ricetta democratica: spegnere la fiamma prima che divampi l'incendio».

Quale incendio?

«Non esagero, credo davvero che il terrorismo tornerà ad insanguinare le strade di questo Paese. E non vorrei che ci si dimenticasse che le Brigate Rosse non sono nate nelle fabbriche ma nelle università. E che gli slogan che usavano li avevano usati prima di loro il Movimento studentesco e la sinistra sindacale».

E' dunque possibile che la storia si ripeta?

«Non è possibile, è probabile. Per questo dico: non dimentichiamo che le Br nacquero perché il fuoco non fu spento per tempo».

Andrea Cangini Francesco Cossiga
Quotidiano nazionale, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Animals don't have a choice.
If they're not happy with their place in the world... too bad.
They have to live the life they've been given.
Humans, on the other hand, don't have to.
We have a choice.
If you don't like your place in the world
you can get off anytime you want.
Suicide. That's right.
You don't like the way your life's going,
you don't like the way you are in the world,
anything around you,
you can check out anytime you like.
Animals aren't allowed that thought
and believe me, if they were, they would use it.
There'd be a lot of dogs and cats, owned by assholes
that live in high-rises, diving out the windows.
Zebras... if they even had remotely that thought
would take a look at themselves and go, "What the F*#K!
Black & white in a green & brown world... this blows.
I'm just gonna jump in the river.... I don't have a thumb to work a gun or hold a knife or even open a jar of pills. I'm just gonna dive into the next lion's mouth. Why even bother?"
Now, monkeys have the opposable thumb so they could kinda do it the exact same way we do. Now, there's a bunch of people that say, "Oh, it's against the law". Well, it's only against the law if you do a crappy job and get caught. Other people say, "Oh, we should save them". Yeah, well you know what? Not everybody wants to be saved. Not everybody should be saved. And who are we to force our will upon them? I mean, isn't that one of the joys about being a human? Freedom of choice? Now, it's not all bad. Now, I'm not saying "Kill yourself". But if you're gonna be an idiot and do it anyway, it's no sweat off of my back. There's a lot of good that could come from it. A little bit of bad thrown in. Some of the things: A job will open... An apartment will become available... There'll be more air for me... They say there's two girls for every guy - if you're a man, there'll be four chicks for me... There'll be more Ketel One vodka for me... There'll be one less idiot in line at the bank who gets up to the window without their F*#King slips filled out... I won't ever have to go to the store to buy my favorite Salt & Vinegar Chips and have the clerk point at you and say, "They bought the last bag".... You won't help change the McDonald's sign to a Hundred Billion Served... You'll never get AIDS... You won't have to worry about calories ever... No more, "Hey, does this make me look fat?"... There'll be one less polluting human...You won't have to recycle... There'll be one less car on the road... There'll be more Ring Dings for me... Fifty or so chickens' lives will be spared... Your fingers won't ever get red from eating pistachios... You won't be forced to visit your Grandparents on Sundays anymore... No more church... You'll be saying, "Hey, World - Kiss My Ass!"... No more wet dreams about Supermodels... No more Barry Manilow... For a few years anyway... Wondering "Am I a loser?" will be a thing of the past... Say good-bye to crappy Xmas presents from Aunts and Uncles... You won't have to suffer through a Motley Crue reunion... F*#K flossing and brushing... You'll never lose sleep over a pregnancy scare... Adios, Acne... Worrying whether you fit in or not won't be on your brain... See ya later, homework... You'll never have to sit through another movie brought to you by the creators of South Park... Schools out forever.... No more paying bills... You won't have to do chores... You won't be able to run over toads with the lawnmower though... You'll also miss McDonald's French Fries... Bugs Bunny... The amazing electrifying feeling that surges through your body when you kiss someone for the first time...
You won't be able to watch the letterbox director's cut of Jaws... Candy... Living above ground... Pudding crust... You'll miss the rush of getting your first apartment... Getting to the point in your life where you can tell your parents to "F*#K Off! I gotta make my own did"... You'll miss sex - you'll miss thinking about it, looking for it, sex by yourself, sex with a partner, sex with multiple partners... No more summer nights that seem to go on forever... Roller coasters.... Naming your kid the name you always wanted... Making a difference in the world... You'll miss the experience and pleasure of Hallucinogenics... Watching your neighbor's wife change clothes with her blinds open... A lifetime of masturbating... Watching your favorite team sweep the series... Music... You will definitely miss music... Trying to sneak into your house drunk - three hours past your curfew... You'll miss the blaze and glory of the 4th of July fireworks... The taste of Captain Crunch... If you're a boy, you'll miss the feeling the first time you reach up a girl's shirt... If you're a girl, the feeling the first time you reach down a boy's pants... You'll miss your favorite coat... Waffles with whipped cream and strawberries... Beating your friends at video games... You won't be around to see what shape and color the new marshmallow in Lucky Charms will be... You'll miss the feeling you get when reminiscing about your first love - thirty years after the fact... The joy of giving and receiving at Christmas... Skinny dipping... Getting stoned, reading Green Eggs & Ham, and eating like a horse that got loose in the grain bin... Flying cars... Hey, you were born - Finish what was started.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Friday, October 03, 2008

VP hopefuls clash (not so much...)

Sarah's been better than I mis-predicted, but Joe is (despite his artificially raised Spock-styled eyebrows)too experienced for her rally style way of debating...

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Joe, enjoyed the ride?

For the millions of voters getting to know him, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, portrays himself at times as an average guy who takes the train to work, frets about money and basically has led a middle-class life.

“Ladies and gentlemen, your kitchen table is like mine,” Mr. Biden said when Senator Barack Obama introduced him as his running mate. “You sit there at night after you put the kids to bed and you talk, you talk about what you need. You talk about how much you are worried about being able to pay the bills.”

Mr. Biden certainly can trace his roots to the working-class neighborhoods of Scranton, Pa., and Claymont, Del., where he was raised. But these days, his kitchen table can be found in a 6,800-square-foot custom-built colonial-style house on four lakefront acres, a property worth close to $3 million.

Although he is among the least wealthy members of the millionaires club that is the United States Senate — he and his wife, Jill, a college professor, earn about $250,000 a year — Mr. Biden maintains a lifestyle that is more comfortable than the impression he may have given on the campaign trail. A review of his finances found that when it comes to some of his largest expenses, like the purchase and upkeep of his home and his use of Amtrak trains to get around, he has benefited from resources and relationships not available to average Americans.

As a secure incumbent who has rarely faced serious competition during 35 years in the Senate, Mr. Biden has been able to dip into his campaign treasury to spend thousands of dollars on home landscaping and some of his Amtrak travel between Wilmington, Del., where he lives, and Washington. And the acquisition of his waterfront property a decade ago involved wealthy businessmen and campaign supporters, some of them bankers with an interest in legislation before the Senate, who bought his old house for top dollar, sold him four acres at cost and lent him $500,000 to build his new home.

There is nothing to suggest Mr. Biden bent any rules in the sale, purchase and financing of his homes. Rather, he appears to have benefited at times from the simple fact of who he is: a United States senator, not just “Amtrak Joe,” the train-riding everyman that the Obama-Biden campaign has deployed to rally middle-class voters.

“He was a V.I.P., so he was treated accordingly by the bank,” said Ronald Tennant, a former loan officer who handled the mortgages Mr. Biden used to build his house. The bank did not give him a below-market interest rate, a perk that has caused embarrassment for some other members of Congress. But, Mr. Tennant said, “We paid particularly close attention to make sure everything came out right.”

Mr. Biden’s campaign said that he neither received special treatment nor offered any to the people he has dealt with in real estate and banking, and that he had not left a misleading impression of his wealth with voters. The senator, said David Wade, his spokesman, “has never forgotten where he came from, or how he grew up, and those middle-class values motivate his work for the middle class.”

“He appreciates,” Mr. Wade continued, “that with his income as a senator he has been blessed to live comfortably, provide for his family, send his kids to college, and have the home his family dreamed of.”

As for the payments by Mr. Biden’s campaign committee, Citizens for Biden, his aides insisted they were not used to cover the senator’s living expenses, which would be illegal. Election lawyers said that the law does not spell out all the ways an officeholder could benefit personally from the use of campaign money, and that regulators are generally reluctant to challenge the justifications campaign committees use.

Mr. Biden’s campaign said the payments to tree trimmers and lawn services, typically totaling a few thousand dollars a year, were permissible because they were tied to political events at his home. Jim Whittaker, co-owner of Grass Roots Inc., which was paid $4,345 in 2000, said the payment probably represented several visits to the senator’s property, adding that Mr. Biden was “late paying the bill one time.”

“We cut the grass and put sod down for him, did spring cleanups, mulching and knocked down vegetation,” Mr. Whittaker said. “One time we did a mulching job and he was having an event, but I don’t know if it was political or just for friends.”

Beyond landscaping costs, one of the Biden campaign’s largest regular expenditures is for Amtrak tickets for the senator and his aides or consultants. Going back to 2001, those expenses typically ranged from $9,000 to $15,000 a year — far exceeding that of his colleagues in Delaware’s Congressional delegation, whose campaigns spent between $500 and $3,000, federal election records show. Like Mr. Biden, Delaware’s other senator, Thomas R. Carper, and Representative Michael N. Castle commute daily to Washington, their offices said.

Commuting on the train to and from Washington is an expensive proposition, $84 round trip from Wilmington or $1,062 for a monthly pass, although Amtrak offers a little-known discount for federal employees traveling on business. Senators cannot use their office travel allowance for commuting, according to a spokesman for the Senate Rules Committee.

But Mr. Biden’s aides acknowledged he sometimes uses campaign money to pay for trips if they “involved a meeting or event related to his campaign.” They could not explain why his campaign’s Amtrak expenditures are relatively high, other than to point out that they would include travel by his staff and consultants, as do those of other politicians.

The Biden campaign’s Amtrak expenses have remained high even in years without elections, when he was not actively campaigning and his committee retained a handful of part-time staff members and almost no consultants. In 2003, for instance — after he had just easily won re-election to another six-year term — his committee spent $10,874 on Amtrak tickets; that same year, the campaigns of Senator Carper and Representative Castle spent $1,257 and $589, respectively.

Mr. Biden’s Amtrak travel is the stuff of Washington lore. He started making the 90-minute trips each day to be with his young sons after his first wife died in 1972, and he has continued ever since. On the stump, Mr. Biden cites his commute as a way to connect with voters; last month he brought reporters along to chronicle a ride.

At least by Senate standards, Mr. Biden does not have to try too hard to underscore his relative lack of wealth. He has long shouldered a heavy debt load; he obtained or refinanced mortgages 29 times since he was elected in 1972, and currently owes $730,000 on two mortgages on his home. In addition, he has had several personal loans, including one for up to $50,000 secured by the cash value of six life insurance policies.

Mr. Biden supplements his $165,000 Senate salary with a stipend from teaching a college course. His biggest boost came a few years ago, when he collected $225,000 in advances for his best-selling memoir. The Bidens have several checking accounts with less than $15,000 each, and Jill Biden’s retirement fund with between $15,000 to $50,000, according to their tax returns and Mr. Biden’s Senate financial disclosure reports. The couple reported virtually no investment income last year, and their largest asset by far was their home.

Mr. Biden previously lived for 21 years in a 10,000-square-foot former DuPont mansion in Greenville, which he bought in 1975 for $185,000 after learning it was slated for demolition.

After extensive renovations, he sold it in February 1996, through word of mouth, to John R. Cochran III, the vice chairman of MBNA, one of the nation’s largest credit card companies. He agreed to pay Mr. Biden’s full asking price, $1.2 million. MBNA reimbursed Mr. Cochran for a loss he took on the sale of his old home, according to a 1997 securities filing, which said the company requested that he move to Delaware from Maryland.

Mr. Cochran, who still lives at the house, could not be reached for comment.

The real estate deal was just one facet of a close relationship between Mr. Biden and MBNA, which donated more than $200,000 to his campaigns. The Delaware-based company gave a job to Mr. Biden’s son Hunter; flew Senator Biden and his wife to the Maine coast, where Mr. Biden spoke at a company retreat; and its former chief executive, Charles M. Cawley, donated at least $22,500 to a nonprofit breast cancer fund started by Jill Biden.

MBNA also was an aggressive advocate of bankruptcy reform legislation before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where Mr. Biden was a senior member and its former chairman. The legislation would make it harder for consumers to escape credit card debts.

Mr. Wade said there was nothing improper in Mr. Biden’s dealings with Mr. Cochran. He said the sale price was supported by an appraisal for the same amount, and that Mr. Biden never did MBNA any favors in the Senate.

In acquiring a site for his new house, Mr. Biden bought the lakeside parcel in Wilmington in March 1996 from Keith D. Stoltz, a real estate executive who once lived adjacent to the property and sold it to the senator for $350,000, the same price he paid for it five years earlier. In an e-mail message, Mr. Stoltz said the price was reasonable because the real estate market was soft and he had paid a premium for the lot so he could keep it undeveloped.

“Joe initially offered me $300,000 for the lot and I declined his offer,” he said.

Mr. Stoltz and several of his relatives have since given a total of about $33,000 in campaign donations to Mr. Biden over the years. He said the senator has never done anything “either formally or informally” to help his company.

To build his house, Mr. Biden turned to Beneficial National Bank. Its executives were active in state politics in Delaware, major campaign contributors to both parties nationally and advocates of changes to bankruptcy policy.

Not long before Mr. Biden obtained his construction loan from Beneficial in July 1997, he had offered to nominate the bank’s chairman, James H. Gilliam Jr., for a federal judge’s post in Delaware, according to news accounts of Mr. Gilliam’s death in 2003. Mr. Gilliam, a lawyer who also headed a state judiciary nomination panel and donated to Mr. Biden’s campaigns, declined the offer and recommended someone else, whom Mr. Biden nominated in June 1997.

Mr. Biden’s campaign said that his dealings with Mr. Gilliam had nothing to do with the $634,000 in loans he received from Beneficial, adding that Mr. Biden had other reasons to consider Mr. Gilliam, who would have been Delaware’s first African-American federal judge.

Mr. Biden, who said in his book that he designed his house “from the ground up,” saw it finished it time to move in for Christmas 1998, although the work of maintaining it never seemed complete. Recounting how he was once interrupted by a presidential phone call while he was outside watering newly planted cypress trees, he lamented that “even after a few years on the property, there was still landscaping to be done.”

McIntire and Kovaleski

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The first debate

There's just a big winner here, and his name's Jim "muppet's eyes" Lehrer!
Enjoy these 97 mins...

...the odd couple: a terrifying prospect?

Forget Joe Biden. I'd like to see John McCain debate Sarah Palin.

McCain's scorn for Barack Obama was on unrestrained display in Friday night's debate. How dare this impudent whippersnapper imagine he can be president, you could almost see McCain thinking. I'm the one who's racked up the frequent-flier miles to Waziristan! Henry Kissinger and I were BFFs when Obama was glued to "The Brady Bunch"! Listening to McCain debate was like a stroll down foreign policy memory lane: Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko. George Shultz, "our great secretary of state." Perestroika. SDI.

Those were the days, my friend. We thought the Cold War would never end.

"Back in 1983, when I was a brand-new United States congressman. . .," McCain reminisced. And, "I supported Nunn-Lugar back in the early 1990s." By the time McCain described how the Pakistan-Afghanistan border "has not been governed since the days of Alexander the Great," you were half-expecting that he was going to tell you about how he led the congressional delegation that met with Alexander.

All this looking back doesn't strike me as a politically smart tactic -- or is that strategy? McCain risked coming off as the crotchety uncle who insists on telling you the same war stories -- over and over, no matter how off-point they are. No voter looking into the financial abyss believes the most pressing budgetary problem is $3 million to study bear DNA.

And for McCain to open the debate by noting that Ted Kennedy was in the hospital -- a gracious touch, certainly, but reminding the audience about an ailing senior senator is not the optimal move for a 72-year-old cancer survivor seeking the presidency.

Which brings me to Palin, and my continuing -- no, make that deepening -- mystification over McCain's choice. I can understand how he views Obama as untested and unprepared.

I can't square that dismissive attitude with McCain's selection of Palin.

McCain's fundamental argument in pursuit of the presidency is that he has the background to do the job. He made this point again and again Friday night. "I've been involved, as I mentioned to you before, in virtually every major national security challenge we've faced in the last 20-some years. There are some advantages to experience, and knowledge, and judgment." Or, "The important thing is I visited Afghanistan and I traveled to Waziristan and I traveled to these places and I know what our security requirements are."

And so therefore I picked a running mate who didn't have a passport two years ago? Asked about that by Katie Couric, Palin explained that "I'm not one of those who maybe come from a background of, you know, kids who perhaps graduated college and their parents get them a passport and a backpack and say, 'Go off and travel the world.' "

Instead, Palin said, "the way that I have understood the world is through education, through books, through mediums that have provided me a lot of perspective on the world."

This would be more reassuring if Palin had demonstrated more evidence of having read extensively about history or world affairs. Asked in an interview for PBS's Charlie Rose show last year ( about her favorite authors, Palin cited C.S. Lewis -- "very, very deep" -- and Dr. George Sheehan, a now-deceased writer for Runner's World magazine whose columns Palin still keeps on hand.

"Very inspiring and very motivating," she said. "He was an athlete and I think so much of what you learn in athletics about competition and healthy living that he was really able to encapsulate, has stayed with me all these years."

Also, she got a Garfield desk calendar for Christmas 1987 that made a big impression.

McCain is a voracious reader of history. The day before the New Hampshire primary, I sat on his campaign bus listening to him hold forth about William Manchester on Douglas MacArthur.

And in his most recent book, "Hard Call," McCain explains why knowledge of history matters: "Great statesmen who have been praised for their ability to see around the corner of history knew their history before they looked beyond it, and they understood the forces that drove it in one direction or another." If there is evidence that Palin has that understanding, it is yet to emerge. Peering around the corner of history with Palin as vice president is a terrifying prospect.

Ruth Marcus

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Franco Sensi (1926 - 2008)

Shed no tears, Roma, just the feebles do...

(Dino Viola, 1984)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Rome, still my town? :(

It's been now around four months since Rome mayor elections were held, when Alemanno chimed in after an upset victory against Rutelli. My confidence on his ability to propose new ways to serve for the local administration was not low, but I think I need to change my mind, since he's just sticking with a personal version of the old (and IMHO not that good for Rome, right now) Giuliani's recipe of fixing broken windows:

?? No bivouacking on the streets ??

??? The army at the subway station ???

???? No 3-or-more people gathering in the parks ????

This will be quite scary, if it is enforced...
Come on, Gianni, do you really need anchors and pickets to climb Rome?
And a little reminder for those ones who are going to visit Rome: just keep walking, pretend you don't know each other, and if you happen to get drowsy, remember, espressos are everywhere... ;)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Flag bearers...

Lopez Lomong will carry the US flag at Beijing Olympics. Not too bad for a Sudanese guy who used to walk more than five miles a day out of his refugee camp in Kenya just to see the Sydney Olympics on a B/W screen. Good call from the USOC guys, and a (not so) little reminder to China about the Sudan conflict...

And Homa Hosseini will be the flag carrier for Iran, whose politics is usually blamed for its chauvinism. This is another good one!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wonders, in one text message: #3

ci piace, sì ci piace di più
oltrepassare in volo, in volo più in là.
Meglio del perdersi in fondo all'immobile,
meglio del sentirsi forti nel labile.

(Godano, 1994)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Small talks, (spin doctors,) big men?

C: You should be on the beach,you need a break. Well, you need to be able to keep your head together.
O: You’ve got to refresh yourself.
C: Do you have a break at all?
O: I have not,I am going to take a week in August. But I agree with you that somebody, somebody who had worked in the White House who — not Clinton himself, but somebody who had been close to the process – said that, should we be successful, that actually the most important thing you need to do is to have big chunks of time during the day when all you’re doing is thinking. And the biggest mistake that a lot of these folks make is just feeling as if you have to be.
C: These guys just chalk your diary up.
O: Right, in 15 minute increments …
C: We call it the dentist’s waiting room, you have to scrap that because you’ve got to have time.
O: And, well, and you start making mistakes or you lose the big picture. Or you lose a sense of, I think you lose a feel...
C: Your feeling, and that is exactly what politics is all about. The judgment you bring to make decisions.
O: That’s exactly right, and the truth is that we’ve got a bunch of smart people, I think, who know ten times more than we do about the specifics of the topics. And so if what you’re trying to do is micromanage and solve everything then you end up being a dilettante but you have to have enough knowledge to make good judgments about the choices that are presented to you.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Beijing wonders

These stadia are really terrific, chapeau!
Is it gross to say that the second looks like an ashtray more than a bird's nest? ;)
Seriously, I have a crush on both of them...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

are the cheetahs full? may be or may be not yet...

Oscar Pistorius didn't make it for the Olympics. He just fell short of the standard qualifying time of 45.55. He literally tried and did his best (46.26), but it wasn't enough for his cheetahs to climb a spot for Beijing.
That's ok, mr blade runner, I will be waiting for you in London 2012!

Friday, July 04, 2008

A Giovanna, volata via...

CALIPSO Odisseo, non c'è nulla di molto diverso. Anche tu come me vuoi fermarti su un'isola. Hai veduto e patito ogni cosa. Io forse un giorno ti dirò quel che ho patito. Tutti e due siamo stanchi di un grosso destino. Perché continuare? Che t'importa che l'isola non sia quella che cercavi? Qui mai nulla succede. C'è un po' di terra e un orizzonte. Qui puoi vivere sempre.
ODISSEO Una vita immortale.
CALIPSO Immortale è chi accetta l'istante. Chi non conosce più un domani. Ma se ti piace la parola, dilla. Tu sei davvero a questo punto?
ODISSEO Io credevo immortale chi non teme la morte.
CALIPSO Chi non spera di vivere. Certo, quasi lo sei. Hai patito molto anche tu. Ma perché questa smania di tornartene a casa? Sei ancora inquieto. Perché i discorsi che da solo vai facendo tra gli scogli?
ODISSEO Se domani io partissi tu saresti infelice?
CALIPSO Vuoi saper troppo, caro. Diciamo che sono immortale. Ma se tu non rinunci ai tuoi ricordi e ai sogni, se non deponi la smania e non accetti l'orizzonte, non uscirai da quel destino che conosci.
ODISSEO Si tratta sempre di accettare un orizzonte. E ottenere che cosa ?
CALIPSO Ma posare la testa e tacere, Odisseo. Ti sei mai chiesto perché anche noi cerchiamo il sonno? Ti sei mai chiesto dove vanno i vecchi dèi che il mondo ignora? perché sprofondano nel tempo, come le pietre nella terra, loro che pure sono eterni? E chi son io, chi è Calipso?
ODISSEO Ti ho chiesto se tu sei felice.
CALIPSO Non è questo, Odisseo. L 'aria, anche l'aria di quest'isola deserta, che adesso vibra solamente dei rimbombi del mare e di stridi d'uccelli, è troppo vuota. In questo vuoto non c'è nulla da rimpiangere, bada. Ma non senti anche tu certi giorni un silenzio, un arresto, che è come la traccia di un'antica tensione e presenza scomparse?
ODISSEO Dunque anche tu parli agli scogli?
CALIPSO E’ un silenzio, ti dico. Una cosa remota e quasi morta. Quello che è stato e non sarà mai più. Nel vecchio mondo degli dèi quando un mio gesto era destino. Ebbi nomi paurosi, Odisseo. La terra e il mare mi obbedivano. Poi mi stancai; passò del tempo, non mi volli piu muovere. Qualcuna di noi resiste ai nuovi dèi; lasciai che i nomi sprofondassero nel tempo; tutto mutò e rimase uguale; non valeva la pena di contendere ai nuovi il destino. Ormai sapevo il mio orizzonte e perché i vecchi non avevano conteso con noialtri.
ODISSEO Ma non eri immortale?
CALIPSO E lo sono, Odisseo. Di morire non spero. E non spero di vivere. Accetto l'istante. Voi mortali vi attende qualcosa di simile, la vecchiezza e il rimpianto. Perché non vuoi posare il capo come me, su quest'isola?
ODISSEO Lo farei, se credessi che sei rassegnata. Ma anche tu che sei stata signora di tutte le cose, hai bisogno di me, di un mortale, per aiutarti a sopportare.
CALIPSO È un reciproco bene, Odisseo. Non c'è vero silenzio se non condiviso.
ODISSEO Non ti basta che sono con te quest'oggi?
CALIPSO Non sei con me, Odisseo. Tu non accetti l'orizzonte di quest'isola. E non sfuggi al rimpianto.
ODISSEO Quel che rimpiango è parte viva di me stesso come di te il tuo silenzio. Che cosa è mutato per te da quel giorno che terra e mare ti obbedivano? Hai sentito ch'eri sola e ch'eri stanca e scordato i tuoi nomi. Nulla ti è stato tolto. Quel che sei l'hai voluto.
CALIPSO Quello che sono è quasi nulla, caro. Quasi mortale, quasi un'ombra come te. È un lungo sonno cominciato chi sa quando e tu sei giunto in questo sonno come un sogno. Temo l'alba, il risveglio; se tu vai via, è il risveglio.
ODISSEO Sei tu, la signora, che parli?
CALIPSO Temo il risveglio, come tu temi la morte. Ecco, prima ero morta, ora lo so. Non restava di me su quest'isola che la voce del mare e del vento. Oh non era un patire. Dormivo. Ma da quando sei giunto hai portato un'altr'isola in te.
ODISSEO Da troppo tempo la cerco. Tu non sai quel che sia avvistare una terra e socchiudere gli occhi ogni volta per illudersi. Io non posso accettare e tacere.
CALIPSO Eppure, Odisseo, voi uomini dite che ritrovare quel che si è perduto è sempre un male. Il passato non torna. Nulla regge all'andare del tempo. Tu che hai visto l'Oceano, i mostri e l'Eliso, potrai ancora riconoscere le case, le tue case?
ODISSEO Tu stessa hai detto che porto l'isola in me.
CALIPSO Oh mutata, perduta, un silenzio. L 'eco di un mare tra gli scogli o un po' di fumo. Con te nessuno potrà condividerla. Le case saranno come il viso di un vecchio. Le tue parole avranno un senso altro dal loro. Sarai piu solo che nel mare.
ODISSEO Saprò almeno che devo fermarmi.
CALIPSO Non vale la pena, Odisseo. Chi non si ferma adesso, subito, non si ferma mai piu. Quello che fai, lo farai sempre. Devi rompere una volta il destino, devi uscire di strada, e lasciarti affondare nel tempo...
ODISSEO Non sono immortale.
CALIPSO Lo sarai, se mi ascolti. Che cos'è vita eterna se non questo accettare l'istante.che viene e l'istante che va? L 'ebbrezza, il piacere, la morte non hanno altro scopo. Cos'è stato finora il tuo errare inquieto?
ODISSEO Se lo sapessi avrei già smesso. Ma tu dimentichi qualcosa.
ODISSEO Quello che cerco l'ho nel cuore, come te.

Pavese, 1946

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Wonders, in one text message: #2

Tirami una rete e non lasciarmi andare che non
so dove sto.

Non farmi cadere che c'è molto di più, c'è di
più, fossi in te rischierei.
(Di Giacomo, 1992)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Wonders, in one text message: #1

Morire come le allodole assetate
sul miraggio

O come la quaglia
passato il mare
nei primi cespugli
perché di volare
non ha più voglia

Ma non vivere di lamento
come un cardellino accecato

Giuseppe Ungaretti - 1917

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

What a goof...

According to the Olympic committee in Beijing, and to the official guide they have prepared, people suffering from disabilities are "isolated, unsocial, and introspective. They can be stubborn and controlling, ...defensive and have a strong sense of inferiority".
Mmmmhhhh, mister Liu Qi, think carefully, who's going to be isolated, maybe defensive, and for sure suffering from a sense of inferiority in the next few days?
Superb one ;), Mr Qi...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Six, seven, eight...

Alright mates...
I think I can't stash this... ;)

Won't you help my soul to grow?
To heal, its all that I know...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Fourth estates: just close to a breath-taking sea view...

I am not a Sardinia resident, so I do not honestly know how Renato Soru is behaving as a Governor of that region, within a centre-left coalition. I personally think he's a very good manager, he's the owner of Tiscali group, one of the very few ICT international companies based in Italy. It looks like he's just bought l'Unità, the once communist-alleged newspaper in Italy. Owner of both a telecommunication company and a big newspaper, and governor of a region pretty much as big as e.g. Massachusetts... Have ever heard of the term "conflict of interest"? Or does it only rhyme with Mr. Unfit?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

45.55 s

Oscar, now it's your time to post that time!
Plus, we finally found a good reason why there's a ninth lane in the olympic stadium in Rome ;)

Study Revives Olympic Prospects For Amputee Sprinter

ScienceDaily (May 16, 2008) - Based on Rice and MIT findings, the Court of Arbitration for Sports in Lausanne, Switzerland, has ruled that Pistorius is eligible to participate in International Association of Athletics Federations sanctioned competitions. If he qualifies for the 2008 Beijing games, Pistorius would be the first disabled athlete ever to run against able-bodied athletes in an Olympic event.
A world-renowned team of experts in biomechanics and physiology from six universities, led by Professor Hugh Herr of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab, refute scientific claims that the prostheses worn by Oscar Pistorius, a 21-year-old South African bilateral amputee track athlete, provide him with an unfair advantage in the 400-meter race. Their conclusions were based on data collected at the Rice University Locomotion Laboratory, under the direction of Professor Peter Weyand. Pistorius hopes to run in the 400-meter race at the Beijing Olympics this summer.
Based on the team's findings, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, has ruled that Pistorius is eligible to participate in International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) sanctioned competitions. If he qualifies for the 2008 Beijing games, Pistorius would be the first disabled athlete ever to run against able-bodied athletes in an Olympic event.
The team's findings were presented to the CAS April 29-30 by Herr and Professor Rodger Kram of the University of Colorado at Boulder, and provided the foundation for Pistorius' appeal to overturn the IAAF decision that previously banned him from running against able-bodied athletes in races that are governed by IAAF rules. The team's findings were presented at the CAS, where Pistorius was represented by the international law firm of Dewey & LeBoeuf on a pro-bono basis.
In addition to Herr, Weyand and Kram, the panel of experts included Professor Matthew Bundle from the University of Wyoming, an expert in the energetics and mechanics of sprinting performance; Craig McGowan, from the University of Texas at Austin, a leading authority on muscle, tendon and joint mechanics;
Alena Grabowski, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an expert in human locomotor energetics and biomechanics; and Jean-Benoît Morin from the University of Saint-Etienne, an expert in the mechanics of human running performance.
None received compensation for their research or participation in the hearing. The authors plan to submit the study to a peer-reviewed journal now that the legal case has been settled.
The scientific team was asked to evaluate the IAAF's initial claim that the Cheetah Flex-Foot prostheses (J-shaped, high-performance prostheses used for running) worn by Pistorius give him an advantage over able-bodied runners. The team concluded that the scientific evidence put forth by the IAAF investigation to ban Pistorius was fundamentally flawed. "While an athlete's performance in sprints of very short duration is determined almost entirely by mechanical factors, in races of longer duration, such as the 400m, performance depends on both mechanical and metabolic factors," said Herr, a bilateral amputee who heads the MIT Media Lab's Biomechatronics research group.
Based on this performance link, the scientists refuted the IAAF findings on two major points: the speed-duration relationship and rates of metabolic energy expenditure.
Specifically, the scientists concluded that:
* Pistorius' ability to maintain speed over the course of longer sprints--his speed-duration relationship--is essentially identical to that of able-bodied runners, indicating that he fatigues in the same manner as able-bodied sprinters.
* Pistorius' rates of metabolic energy expenditure do not differ from elite non-amputee runners. In particular, he has nearly the same running economy, or rate of oxygen consumption at submaximal speeds, and a similar maximal rate of oxygen consumption as elite non-amputee runners.
"Based on the data collected at Rice, the blades do not confer an enhanced ability to hold speed over a 400m race," Weyand said. "Nor does our research support the IAAF's claims of how the blades provide some sort of mechanical advantage for sprinting."
"The study commissioned by the IAAF claimed that Pistorius has a 25 percent energetic advantage at 400m race speeds. That claim is specious because anaerobic energy supply cannot be quantified," Kram said.
In summary, the team of experts unanimously concluded that the IAAF allegations were not scientifically valid.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

English Lesson - disappointing...

There's been a little bit of discussion on how to deal with violence surrounding football matches in Italy: both the government and the sports officers have been been more than criticized both internally and in UK, mainly for being too soft and ultimately unable to implement a model that is claimed to be working in UK. In a nutshell Italy hasn't learned the English Lesson yet. I'm not so sure, though, that this model is as effective as it is perceived: if nothing happens within the stadia, the violence could pretty much exacerbate just in their surroundings, as it actually did last night in Manchester. I'm under the impression that the sole difference is that the "show" can go on, no matter what happens less than a mile away behind the scenes... I think this has something to deal with media perception, and does not really solve the problem.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Just a 2% chance...

It won't happen, but if it did... ;)
This is in Italian, and it's definitely what I've thought of on Sunday.
Sette giorni.
Lunedì, oggi, due giri del raccordo anulare, palinsesto delle radio alla mano per sentire tutte le trasmissioni possibili, sorrisi soli in macchina al semaforo, cantate inni della Roma se lo dice un conduttore qualunque, suonate di clacson in mezzo al deserto. Domenica è ancora così lontana e così vicina. La sera appuntamento su Teleroma56 per "Lazialità in tv", trovare teneri i gol di Rocchi e Pandev e pensare che per loro Genova non è niente. Ma poi ascetismo, solitudine, soliloqui, domande escatologiche tipo: "Totti recupererà per domenica?". Oppure altre minori, tipo: che sta succedendo nel resto del mondo?
A mezzanotte sai che è Martedì: un giorno in meno, un pensiero in più. Quel pensiero stupendo. Comprati tutti i quotidiani. Sulla Gazzetta, Zenga: "Inter, te lo faccio vincere io". Sul Corsport, Cuper: "Inter, te lo faccio perdere io". Su Tuttosport scambio De Rossi e soldi per Legrottaglie. Su Liberola notizia che gli interisti in ritiro sono a tavola in 13; in settimana sarà svelato anche il codice da Vinci: il 4-2-3-1 di Luciano Spalletti. Sui diarietti delle elementari: "Lotta con il cuore vinci il tricolore".
Il grande Mercoledì è arrivato: sarà “un giorno lungo senza parole, sarà un giorno incerto di nuvole e sole”. Arriverà soltanto una risposta, la notizia che Totti sarà a Catania con la squadra. Ma in campo.
Giovedì gnocchi, un omaggio alla Barilla. Obrigado Parma? Quel jingle che faceva do-re-mi-fasol-la-sol... e il ragazzino con la sciarpetta della Roma che entra allo stadio e vede quella cosa. Riscoprire di essere ancora tu. Tornare all’improvviso buoni, fioretti a iosa: dire “ti voglio bene” a chi non l’avete mai detto, ma avreste voluto dirlo; fate gli auguri di compleanno che vi vergognate di fare perché quella persona è veramente speciale, scrivete lettere d’amore, sentite Il testamento di Tito di De Andrè ché porta gli atei in Paradiso prima di una visita alla Mecca per Kharja (cantava una volta il punk: "Allah è grande e Houssine è il suo profeta").
Venerdì cena con gli amici veri, cioè quelli che vedi sempre o quelli che vedi per certe occasioni per sempre: queste. Ricordi di trasferte passate, visione rigorosamente in vhs di Roma-Dundee. Un sospiro di sollievo quando Milne sbaglia sullo 0-0. Pruzzo-Pruzzo-Di Bartolomei. Agostino.
Sabato a casa da solo. Al massimo un giro in macchina, sempre sul raccordo anulare, solo per vedere quant’è bella Roma. Rispolverare vecchi album delle figurine con quelli della Lazio scarabocchiati o appiccicati all’ingiù; il primo abbonamento, l’ultimo biglietto, se ce la fate la visione di Febbre a 90, un bacio all’amore, a letto con la sciarpa addosso anche se è estate, giù in cantina o dietro l’armadio della camera da letto a riprendere la bandiera cucita dalla nonna nel 1983, o da mamma o papà e pensare a chi non c’è più ed è stato lì con te. Un pensiero a chi è stato romanista, che ha sentito questa passione, che ha vissuto questa settimana senza mai sapere cosa l’aspettasse la domenica.
Domenica, dimmi cos’è.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Careful with that wii, Eugene...

I am a definite wii fan, I'm under the impression that it is going to boost physical activity among all ages, and i think this is going to be much more useful than MDs recommendations on active growing, active aging, and calories signs on the menus. Still, we just need to halt every now and then...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

168 years, so close

De Toqueville, 1840
There is, indeed, a most dangerous passage in the history of a democratic people. When the taste for physical gratifications among them has grown more rapidly than their education and their experience of free institutions, the time will come when men are carried away and lose all self-restraint at the sight of the new possessions they are about to obtain. In their intense and exclusive anxiety to make a fortune they lose sight of the close connection that exists between the private fortune of each and the prosperity of all. It is not necessary to do violence to such a people in order to strip them of the rights they enjoy; they themselves willingly loosen their hold. The discharge of political duties appears to them to be a troublesome impediment which diverts them from their occupations and business. If they are required to elect representatives, to support the government by personal service, to meet on public business, they think they have no time, they cannot waste their precious hours in useless engagements; such idle amusements are unsuited to serious men who are engaged with the more important interests of life. These people think they are following the principle of self-interest, but the idea they entertain of that principle is a very crude one; and the better to look after what they call their own business, they neglect their chief business, which is to remain their own masters.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Communion: take 1, with wife # 3...

I just can't be silent over this.
It looks like Benedict let the three-married pro-chooser take communion. I don't really care about Rudy and his views on this, after all it's his life, but I am really upset for the kiss up - kick down behaviour of my pope. My dear Benedict, weren't you reported as a pretty upright guy? What's the story with this, don't know if it's really in line with e.g. this one...
Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples,saying, "The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens (hard to carry) and lay them on people's shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them. All their works are performed to be seen. They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues, greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation 'Rabbi.'
... Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the kingdom of heaven before human beings. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves. Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'If one swears by the temple, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.'

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Political compass: the italian one...

This looks a little more biased, ne ways u can give it a go...
Elezioni 2008. Io sono qui. E tu dove sei?

Monday, March 17, 2008

It's one (and) the other: #1

Robert Francis Kennedy, 1968
The gross national product includes air pollution and advertising for cigarettes and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and jails for the people who break them. GNP includes the destruction of the redwoods and the death of Lake Superior. It grows with the production of napalm, and missiles and nuclear warheads... it does not allow for the health of our families, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It is indifferent to the decency of our factories and the safety of our streets alike. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, or the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.

Luca Carboni, 1987
oh no i soldi lo so che non danno la felicita', immagina pero', come puo' stare chi non li ha...

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Adelantamiento prohibido

It looks like The Guardian has got a crush on Spain these last weeks, saying that Spain is taking over Italy, and that Rome is being caught up with because of its conservatism.

I really disagree with that, I like the auditorium in Rome much better than the palau de les arts in Valencia, and after all, the Bernabeu in Madrid looked a little oldish with those youngster italian furias (amarillas y) rojas last Tuesday.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

History repeating...

February 6, 2001 - February 6, 2008.
Nothing new in Italy, except role swapping between Gnutella and Walter... ;)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


It looks like Rome is experiencing some problems with visits of big religious shots these days...
The would-be historic visit of the imam of Rome's mosque, Ala Eldin Mohammed Ismail al-Ghobashy, to the Rome synagogue has been cancelled (well, I'm actually hoping "postponed"), after the Dean of the al-Azhar University in Cairo has told him not to get into that place.
I'm under the impression that the faculties are giving clerics a hard time, no matter where they come from: but weren't they supposed to focus on science?

Monday, January 21, 2008

One to go...

Tom was just OK this time, so he needed to ask Laurence for a big favpur...
And it definitely worked...

Thursday, January 17, 2008


It turned out that the pope has decided not to give the speech at the Sapienza University in Rome, after the protests a bunch of professors (namely, 63 out of approx. thirty-five hundreds) angry at one of his speeches in the nineties, when he apparently said that the roman catholic church at Galileo's age was more rational than Galileo himself, set a fire within the students community.
I will leave my thoughts on the so-called "bad teachers"/"cattivi maestri" apart. At the same time, I am gonna attach a new testament abstract, i think it would fit to the 63...

From the Letter of James

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you realize that we will be judged more strictly, for we all fall short in many respects. If anyone does not fall short in speech, he is a perfect man, able to bridle his whole body also. If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we also guide their whole bodies. It is the same with ships: even though they are so large and driven by fierce winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot's inclination wishes. In the same way the tongue is a small member and yet has great pretensions. Consider how small a fire can set a huge forest ablaze. The tongue is also a fire. … With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. … And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

On the issues...

If you are going to participate to the primaries in US, this may be useful, and if you want to see what would be your pick based on these issues, just click here.