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Berlusconi and Noemi- Five Questions Answered

by de Gondi Sun May 24th, 2009 at 02:06:44 PM EST

La Repubblica published today a lengthy investigation into Berlusconi's affair with Noemi Letizia. In previous articles La Repubblica had investigated Berlusconi's numerous assertions concerning his presence at Noemi's 18th birthday party, concluding that they were largely false or misleading. La Repubblica pressed the point with a multimedia campaign that summarized the obscure points of the affair in ten questions.

The media campaign found sympathetic ears in the English press, accustomed to plurality and a degree of independence uncommon by Italian standards. The Times ran several articles as well as an editorial calling Berlusconi to account for both the Noemi affair and the motivations for the guilty verdict in the Mills' case. The Guardian followed suit yesterday in an editorial. Today The Observer also called Mr. Berlusconi to account, concluding however that la Repubblica may have to wait a long time for answers. Today la Repubblica claims to have answered five of the questions on their own merit.

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Rather than affront his responsibilities towards the public and the institutions, Berlusconi has resorted to distractive space-grabbing, character assassination, insults, false allegations. Yesterday, Saturday, he gave twelve interviews in which he continued his attacks against parliament, calling for a popular petition which would cull "millions" of signatures. Berlusconi has in the past gathered "millions" of signatures in record breaking time, sometimes a matter of hours- hardly any verifiable beyond a few thousand followers. Berlusconi further asserted that the opposition was not necessary to make "reforms" and that those who vote for the left do so out of envy. Berlusconi has yet to inform the public what constitutes envy of his person or circumstances.

His well-known tactics (a modern improvement on Joe McCarthy's adroit manipulation of the press) serve to distract attention from the core issues: If Mills has been condemned for taking bribes from Berlusconi, what is Berlusconi's legal and ethical position? Veronica Lario has asked for divorce on the grounds that her husband frequents minors (plural). She added that she has sought to help him but considers that he is sick.

In today's scoop Giuseppe D'Avanzo and Conchita Sannino reveal Noemi's past relation with a young Neapolitan, Gino Flaminio, and their breakup due to Noemi's personality change once she began to hang out with Berlusconi. In the interview (both in print edition and in video) Gino Flaminio tells how Berlusconi discovered Noemi through the good offices of Emilio Fede and eventually began to invite her to visit him, culminating in a near-ten day bash over the recent New Year's holidays, Noemi with another thirty to forty young women. Following Noemi's stay in Berlusconi's Sardinia villa Gino Flaminio broke up with Noemi. He described his relation at that point as being like Britney Spears fiancée to a neighbourhood butcher.

Gino, 22 anni, operaio, una passione per la kickboxing, è stato per sedici mesi (dal 28 agosto del 2007 al 10 gennaio del 2009) l'"amore" di Noemi Letizia, la minorenne di cui il premier ha voluto festeggiare il diciottesimo anno in un ristorante di Casoria, il 26 aprile. Gino e Noemi si sono divisi, per quel breve, intenso, felice periodo le ore, i sogni, il fiato, le promesse. "Quando non dormivo da lei a Portici - è capitato una ventina di volte - o quando lei non dormiva qui da me, il sabato che non lavoravo mi tiravo su alle sei del mattino per portarle la colazione a letto; poi l'accompagnavo a scuola e ci tornavo poi per riportarla indietro con la mia Yamaha. Lei qualche volta veniva a prendermi in fabbrica, la sera, quando poteva". Gino, 22 years old, worker, a passion for kickboxing, was Noemi Letizia's "love" for sixteen months (from August 28, 2007, to January 10,2009). Noemi is the minor whose 18th birthday last April 26th was celebrated by Berlusconi in a restaurant in Casoria. Gino and Noemi shared for a brief, intense, happy period their time, dreams, breath and promises. "When I didn't sleep at her house at Portici- about twenty times- or when she slept here at my place, Saturdays when I was off work I would get up at six in the morning to make her breakfast in bed. Then I'd take her to school and bring her back on my Yamaha. Sometimes she would come to pick me up at the factory when she could."
Gino Flaminio è in grado di dire quando e come Silvio Berlusconi è entrato nella vita di Noemi. Come quel "miracolo" (così Gino definisce l'inatteso irrompere del premier) ha cambiato - di Noemi - la vita, i desideri, le ambizioni e più tangibilmente anche il corpo, il volto, le labbra, gli zigomi; in una parola, dice Gino, "i valori". Il ragazzo può raccontare come quell'ospite inaspettato dal nome così importante che faceva paura anche soltanto a pronunciarlo nel piccolo mondo di gente che duramente si fatica la giornata e un piatto caldo, ha deviato anche la sua di vita. Quieto come chi si è ormai pacificato con quanto è avvenuto, Gino ricorda: "Mi è stato quasi subito chiaro che tra me e la mia memi non poteva andare avanti. Era come pretendere che Britney Spears stesse con il macellaio giù all'angolo...". Gino Flaminio can tell us when and how Silvio Berlusconi entered Noemi's life. How that "miracle" (this is how Gino defines the sudden the premier's advent) changed, in Noemi, her life, desires, ambitions and more tangibly also her body, face, lips, cheeks; in a word, Gino says, "values." The young man can tell how this unexpected guest- with a name so important to instil fear only to pronounce it in this small world of folks who work hard every day for a hot plate- changed the course of his life. Calm as someone who had long since come to terms with past events, Gino remembers, "It was almost immediately clear to me that the story between me and "Memi" wouldn't last. It's like pretending that Britney Spears stays with the local butcher..."

Berlusconi has repeatedly asserted that he knew Noemi through his friendship with her father. Beyond the complicity of Benedetto Elio Letizia, her father, no proof has emerged that Berlusconi ever knew the family. To the contrary every single assertion has been debunked in the press.

Gino decidedly contradicts Berlusconi's repeatedly corrected versions.

"I genitori di Noemi non c'entrano niente. Il legame era proprio con lei. È nato tra Berlusconi e Noemi. Mai Noemi mi ha detto che lui, papi Silvio parlava di politica con suo padre, Elio. Non mi risulta proprio. Mai, assolutamente. Vi dico come è cominciata questa storia e dovete sapere che almeno per l'inizio - perché poi quattro, cinque volte ho ascoltato anch'io le telefonate - vi dirò quel che mi ha raccontato Noemi. Il rapporto tra Noemi e il presidente comincia più o meno intorno all'ottobre 2008. Noemi mi ha raccontato di aver fatto alcune foto per un "book" di moda. Lo aveva consegnato a un'agenzia romana, importante - no, il nome non me lo ricordo - di quelle che fanno lavorare le modelle, le ballerine, insomma le agenzie a cui si devono rivolgere le ragazze che vogliono fare spettacolo. Noemi mi dice che, in quell'agenzia di Roma, va Emilio Fede e si porta via questi "book", mica soltanto quello di Noemi. Non lo so, forse gli servono per i casting delle meteorine. Il fatto è - ripeto, è quello che mi dice Noemi - che, proprio quel giorno, Emilio Fede è a pranzo o a cena - non me lo ricordo - da Berlusconi. Finisce che Fede dimentica quelle foto sul tavolo del presidente. È così che Berlusconi chiama Noemi. Quattro, cinque mesi dopo che il "book" era nelle mani dell'agenzia, dice Noemi. È stato un miracolo, dico sempre. Dunque, dice Noemi che Berlusconi la chiama al telefono. Proprio lui, direttamente. Nessuna segretaria. Nessun centralino. Lui, direttamente. Era pomeriggio, le cinque o le sei del pomeriggio, Noemi stava studiando. Berlusconi le dice che ha visto le foto; le dice che è stato colpito dal suo "viso angelico", dalla sua "purezza"; le dice che deve conservarsi così com'è, "pura". Questa fu la prima telefonata, io non c'ero e vi sto dicendo quel che poi mi riferì Noemi, ma le credo. Le cose andarono così perché in altre occasioni io c'ero e Noemi, così per gioco o per convincermi che davvero parlava con Berlusconi, m'allungava il cellulare all'orecchio e anch'io sentii dalla sua voce quella cosa della "purezza", della "faccia d'angelo". E poi, una volta, ha aggiunto un'altra cosa del tipo: "Sei una ragazza divina". Berlusconi, all'inizio, non ha detto a Noemi chi era. In quella prima telefonata, le ha fatto tante domande: quanti anni hai, cosa ti piacerebbe fare, che cosa fanno tua madre e tuo padre? Studi? Che scuola fai? Una lunga telefonata. Ma normale, tranquilla. E poi, quando Noemi si è decisa a chiedergli: "Scusi, ma con tutte queste domande, lei chi è?", lui prima le ha risposto: "Se te lo dico, non ci credi". E poi: "Ma non si sente chi sono?". "Noemi's parents have nothing to do with it. The relation was directly with her. It started between Berlusconi and Noemi. Noemi never told me that Papi Silvio discussed politics with her father, Elio. I've never heard about it. Absolutely never. I'll tell you how it started and you've got to understand that in the beginning- because later I listened in on their calls four or five times - I'll tell you what Noemi said. The relation between Noemi and the president began more or less around October 2008. Noemi told me she had done some pictures for a fashion book. She had taken it to a Roman agency, an important one- I don't remember the name- that gets work for models, ballerinas, in short, the sort of agency where girls go to get into show business. Noemi told me that Emilio Fede goes to that Rome agency and takes the books away, not only Noemi's of course. I don't know, I guess for casting his "meteorinas." The fact is- I'm repeating what Noemi told me- just on that day Emilio Fede had dinner or lunch- I don't remember- with Berlusconi. In the end Fede forgot her pictures on the president's table. And that's how Berlusconi called up Noemi. Four or five months after the book had been in the agency's hands, Noemi said. It was a miracle, I always say. So, Berlusconi calls Noemi up. Him, directly. No secretary. It was afternoon, five or six o'clock. Noemi was studying. Berlusconi says he'd seen her pictures. He says he was struck by her "angelic face," by her "purity." He says that she must stay like this, "pure." That was the first telephone call. I wasn't there but Noemi told me and I believe her. That's how things went because on other occasions I was with her, and just to show for play and convince me that she really was talking to Berlusconi, she'd let me listen and I heard his voice saying these things about "purity" and "angelic face." And then once he added something like, "You're a divine girl." In the beginning Berlusconi wouldn't say who he was. In the first call he asked a lot of questions: How old are you? What do you like to do? What do your mother and father do? Do you study? What school do you go to? A long call. Normal, easy-going. And then when Noemi decided to ask him who he was, "Excuse me, but who are you?" He answered first, "If I tell you, you won't believe it." And he added: "Can't you hear who I am?"
Quando Noemi me lo raccontò, vi dico la verità, io non ci credevo. Poi, quando ho sentito le altre telefonate e ho potuto ascoltare la sua voce, proprio la sua, di Berlusconi, come potevo non crederci? Noemi mi diceva che era sempre il presidente a chiamarla. Poi, non so se chiamava anche di suo, non me lo diceva e io non lo so. Lei al telefono lo chiamava papi tranquillamente. Anche davanti a me. Magari stavamo insieme, Noemi rispondeva, diceva papi e io capivo che si trattava del presidente. Quando ho assistito ad alcune telefonate tra Berlusconi e Noemi, ho pensato che fosse un rapporto come tra padre e figlia. Una sera, Emilio Fede e Berlusconi - insieme - hanno chiamato Noemi. Lo so perché ero accanto a lei, in auto. Ora non saprei dire perché il presidente le ha passato Emilio Fede, non lo so. Pensai che Fede dovesse preparare dei "provini" per le meteorine, quelle robe lì". (Ieri, a tarda sera, durante Studio Aperto, Fede ha affermato di aver conosciuto la nonna di Noemi. Repubblica ha chiesto a Gino se, in qualche occasione, Noemi avesse fatto cenno a questa circostanza. "Mai, assolutamente", è stata la risposta del ragazzo). When Noemi told me this, believe me, I didn't believe her. But when I heard the other calls and I could hear his voice, his, Berlusconi's, how couldn't I believe it? Noemi told me that it was he who always called.  I don't know if she also called him. She didn't tell me and I don't know. On the phone she always called him Papi. Even in front of me. Maybe we were together, Noemi answered, said "Papi" and I understood it was the president. When I listened in on some of the calls between Berlusconi and Noemi I figured it was a father-daughter relation. One evening, Emilio Fede and Berlusconi- together- called Noemi. I know because we were together in the car. Now I don't know why Berlusconi passed her Emilio Fede, I don't know. I guess Fede had to prepare some auditions for his "meteorinas," that sort of thing. (Last night, very late, during Studio Aperto, Fede declared that he knew Noemi's grandmother. Repubblica asked Gino if, in any occasion, Noemi had referred to this circumstance. "Never, absolutely," was the young man's reply.)

"Ho cominciato a distaccarmi da Noemi già a dicembre. Però la cosa che proprio non ho mandato giù è stata la lunga vacanza di Capodanno in Sardegna, nella villa di lui. Noemi me lo disse a dicembre che papi l'aveva invitata là. Mi disse: "Posso portare un'amica, un'amica qualunque, non gli importa. Ci saranno altre ragazze". E lei si è portata Roberta. E poi è rimasta con Roberta per tutto il periodo. Io le ho fatto capire che non mi faceva piacere, ma lei da quell'orecchio non ci sentiva. Così è partita verso il 26-27 dicembre ed è ritornata verso il 4-5 gennaio. Quando è tornata mi ha raccontato tante cose. Che Berlusconi l'aveva trattata bene, a lei e alle amiche. Hanno scherzato, hanno riso... C'erano tante ragazze. Tra trenta e quaranta. Le ragazze alloggiavano in questi bungalow che stavano nel parco. E nel bungalow di Noemi erano in quattro: oltre a lei e a Roberta, c'erano le "gemelline", ma voi sapete chi sono queste "gemelline"? Penso anche che lei mi abbia detto tante bugie. Lei dice che Berlusconi era stato con loro solo la notte di Capodanno. Vi dico la verità, io non ci credo. Sono successe cose troppo strane. Io chiamavo Noemi sul cellulare e non mi rispondeva mai. Provavo e riprovavo, poi alla fine mi arrendevo e chiamavo Roberta, la sua amica, e diventavo pazzo quando Roberta mi diceva: no, non te la posso passare, è di là - di là dove? - o sta mangiando: e allora?, dicevo io, ma non c'era risposta. Per quella vacanza di fine anno, i genitori accompagnarono Noemi a Roma. Noemi e Roberta si fermarono prima in una villa lì, come mi dissero poi, e fecero in tempo a vedere davanti a quella villa tanta gente - giornalisti, fotografi? - , poi le misero sull'aereo privato del presidente insieme alle altre ragazze, per quello che mi ha detto Noemi... I started distancing myself from Noemi in December. What I couldn't take was the long New Year vacation in Sardinia in his villa. Noemi told me in December that Papi had invited her there. She said: "I can bring a friend, any friend, it doesn't matter. There will be other girls." So she took Roberta. And she stayed with Roberta the whole time. I let on that I didn't like it, but she couldn't hear out of that ear. So she left around December 26-27 and came back on January 4-5. When she came back she told me a lot of things. That Berlusconi had treated them very nicely, her and friends. They had joked and laughed... "There were so many girls. Between thirty and forty. The girls stayed in a bungalow in the park. In Noemi's bungalow there were four: besides her and Roberta, there were "the twins," but who know who these "twins" were? I think she told me a bunch of lies. She said Berlusconi had been with them on New Year's Eve. I'll tell you, I don't believe it. Too many strange things. I would call Noemi on her cell phone and she never answered. I tried and tried again. Then I gave up and called Roberta, her friend, and I went crazy when Roberta told me, -No, I can't talk to her, she's not there. -Where? -She's eating. -So what? I said, but there was no answer. For that vacation her parents took her to Rome. Noemi and Roberta stayed in a villa there, as they later said. They made it in time to see a lot of people in the villa- reporters, photographers?- then they took a flight on the president's private jet together with other girls, according to what Noemi told me...
Al ritorno, Noemi non è stata più la mia Noemi, la mia alicella (acciuga, ndr), la ragazza semplice che amavo, la ragazza che non si vergognava di venirmi a prendere alla sera al capannone. A gennaio ci siamo lasciati. Eravamo andati insieme, prima di Natale, a prenotare per la sua festa di compleanno il ristorante "Villa Santa Chiara" a Casoria, la "sala Miami" - lo avevo suggerito io - e già ci si aspettava una "sorpresa" di Berlusconi, ma nessuno credeva che la sorpresa fosse proprio lui, Berlusconi in carne e ossa. Ci siamo lasciati a gennaio e alla festa non ci sono andato. L'ho incontrata qualche altra volta, per riprendermi un oggetto di poco prezzo ma, per me, di gran valore che era rimasto nelle sue mani. Abbiamo avuto il tempo, un'altra volta, di avere un colloquio un po' brusco. Le ho restituito quasi tutte le lettere e le foto. Le ho restituito tutto - ho conservato poche cose, questa lettera che mi scrisse prima di Natale, qualche foto - perché non volevo che lei e la sua famiglia pensassero che, diventata Noemi Sophia Loren, io potessi sputtanarla. Oggi ho la mia vita, la mia Manuela, il mio lavoro, mille euro al mese e va bene così ché non mi manca niente. Certo, leggo di questo nuovo fidanzato di Noemi, come si chiama?, che non s'era mai visto da nessuna parte anche se dice di conoscerla da due anni e penso che Noemi stia dicendo un sacco di bugie. Quante bugie mi avrà detto sui viaggi. A me diceva che andava a Roma sempre con la madre. Per dire, per quella cena del 19 novembre 2008 a Villa Madama mi raccontò: "Siamo stati a cena con il presidente, io, papà e mamma allo stesso tavolo". Non c'erano i genitori seduti a quel tavolo? Allora mi ha detto un'altra balla. Quella sera le sono stati regalati una collana e un bracciale, ma non di grosso valore. E il presidente ha fatto un regalo anche a sua madre. Sento tante bugie, sì, e comunque sono fatti di Noemi, dei suoi genitori, di Berlusconi, io che c'entro?" When she came back, Noemi wasn't my Noemi anymore, my alicella (little anchovy), the simple girl I loved, the girl who wasn't ashamed to pick me up after work. We broke up in January. Before Christmas we had gone to make reservations for her 18th birthday party at the restaurant "Villa Santa Chiara" in Casoria, the Miami Room. I had suggested it- and already a surprise by Berlusconi was expected, but nobody believed that the surprise would have been him, Berlusconi in flesh and bone. We broke in January and I didn't go to the party. I met her a few times to pick up a thing of no value but of great importance to me that she still had. We had enough time to have a rather terse conversation. I gave her back almost all of her pictures and letters. I gave her back everything- I only kept a few things like the letter she wrote me before Christmas, some pictures- because I didn't want her and her family to think that, once Noemi Sophia Loren, I could expose her. Now I have a new life, my Manuela, my job, a thousand Euros a month and that's fine for me, I don't need more. O course, when I read about this new fiancé of Noemi's- what's his name?- that had never been seen by anyone anywhere even if it's said they've known each other for two years, I think Noemi's telling a bunch of lies. How many lies did she tell me about her trips. She always said she went to Rome with her mother. Like that dinner on November 19, 2008, at Villa Madama, she told me, "We dined with the president, me, mom and dad at the same table." The parents weren't sitting at that table? So she was telling me another lie. That evening she was given a necklace and a bracelet, nothing of value. And the president gave her mother a gift. I hear a lot of lies, yes, and anyway they're made by Noemi, her parents and Berlusconi. What do I have to do with it?"

While Gino Flaminio's story may have answered five of la Repubblica's questions, it poses new questions on Berlusconi's alleged conduct towards young women. At the founding convention of his brand new personal political entity, the so-called People of Liberty Party, he insisted that the two front rows be filled exclusively with attractive women, and for the concluding event he invited only women on stage to accompany him in singing the closing party jingle. Beyond his public persona he apparently enjoys vacation harems of 30 to 40 young women as if to engage in a game of one-upmanship with Hugh Hefner.

Perhaps this explains why his wife used the plural when talking about minors. On this latter issue Professor Gianfranco Salvioli of the University of Modena advanced the hypothesis that obsessive behaviour towards sex in the elderly could be "a psychopathological degeneration of narcissist personality traits." In the 1940's the great Italian writer Carlo Emilio Gadda described in detail this personality trait of tyrants, a priapic obsession with youth and sex as a template of governance. One need not be elderly, though. Berlusconi has always been a sympathetic charmeur, a narcissist with psychotic traits, an incurable compulsive liar.

Further, the Berlusconi gossip press has published endless spreads on Noemi, depicting her as a wholesome young creature- no one denies it- with a long-time boyfriend, a Mediaset chorus boy who released prudish interviews on their relation. How far will Mr. Berlusconi's press continue in constructing this false reality?

Apparently, Italy is so rich that it can afford to entertain the world with a novel and highly counter-productive model of power, the sort of power that seeks only to maintain its death hold on society and government at all costs.

(Benedetto Elio Letizia announced today his intention to sue la Repubblica, Gino Flaminio, and whoever publishes, in whole or part, this "incredible narration.")

Display:
European Tribune - Berlusconi and Noemi- Five Questions Answered
Berlusconi has always been a sympathetic charmeur, a narcissist with psychotic traits, an incurable compulsive liar.

He must be so proud of himself!

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 11:26:39 AM EST
So that's why we all envy him...
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 11:31:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Please view DoDo's previous diary containing some of my comments for further background and information, in particular Migeru's exceptional compilation of relevant material.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 11:39:13 AM EST
How much of B's male electorate will envy rather than deplore him for this?...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 11:52:46 AM EST
The man is a billionaire, a President, and still at age 72 he's drowning in hot chicks. Who wouldn't envy him?

The downside is that most of the world thinks him a clown, but well... the Italians at least seem to be madly in love with him and his antics.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 02:18:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
B's male erectorate is simply an extension of his tumified member. In order to have cognitive emotional states such as envy or deploration one needs a mamelian brain. B's following resembles more that of social insects.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 05:55:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Stephen Ambrose noted on PBS a view common in the US South that "God gave man a brain and a penis and enough blood to run one or the other."  So an "erectorate" would be, by definition, functionally brainless.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 06:26:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the end Fede forgot her pictures on the president's table.

How many models' portfolios has Emilio Fede "forgotten" on Berlusconi's table over the years?

That's what you tell an aspiring model so she doesn't feel like she's being pimped.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 12:37:42 PM EST
Emilio Fede is probably the all-time prototype of those who crawl to power on all fours. He's referred to as Berlusconi's pet poodle. He is so hilarious in his mad worship of Berlusconi that most everyone cannot believe he actually is conducting a news program.

Naturally his cute buxom "meteorinas" are a hallmark of his program much like the hot chicks that rollerskate news down the table in the daily news spoof Striscia la notizia.

The Italian supreme court as well as the European court of justice have ruled that Fede's Channel Four must be closed down and the frequencies turned over to their rightful concession winner. This has gone on now for practically a decade. Channel Four is an outright violation of Italian and European law. Italy is ticking up a heavy fine with Europe over this. Now we know another reason why Berlusconi is so attached to Fede.

Another randy old man thriving in the shadow of Berlusconi.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 12:48:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Another randy old man--"

Not all randy old men feel the need for a shadow.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 03:29:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't know it was that bad. Thanks for the diary.

I'm appalled.

Rien n'est gratuit en ce bas monde. Tout s'expie, le bien comme le mal, se paie tot ou tard. Le bien c'est beaucoup plus cher, forcement. Celine

by UnEstranAvecVueSurMer (holopherne ahem gmail) on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 01:38:01 PM EST
Har Berlusconi actually commited some crime, or this scandal about the fact that he is rather, uh, deviant?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 02:15:13 PM EST
I mean beyond all the crimes he has been convicted of previously. LOL.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 02:23:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The mind boggles. This is even wierder than the revelations about Nancy Reagan and astrology.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 04:36:15 PM EST
What - randy old narcissist in teen bedtime romps?

Nothing if not tacky and predictable is Mr Punch.

While Burlesconi is beneath contempt, I'm finding young Ms Lucrezia Letizia at least as disturbing.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 05:04:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know... She's 17. I can see how a 17-year-old girl could get into deep water when the president starts making private phone calls. Yeah, the whole private, unannounced phone calls thing should raise a bunch of little red flags. But she was 17. Most people's red flags aren't that well developed at that age.

Corruptioni, though... Now, I usually pride myself in being fairly open-minded when it comes to other people's romantic entanglements, but that man is - to use an American expression - one sick puppy.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 05:12:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ms N has some interesting photos online, and has - apparently - been angling for a high profile career for quite a while.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 06:20:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed, but it's a bit weird... I mean she's cute, even pretty, but it's not like you don't see far more beautiful women just walking down the street in Rome or Milano, any day of the week.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 06:25:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, but would they share a dinner table - nevermind a bed - with a creep like Corruptioni?

Besides, and at the risk of indulging in armchair psychology here, he probably wants the control that comes with finding somebody who's emotionally vulnerable and/or needs his patronage.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon May 25th, 2009 at 03:33:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, but would they share a dinner table - nevermind a bed - with a creep like Corruptioni?

At least 30 or 40 would, apparently.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon May 25th, 2009 at 04:13:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
30-40?

haha, you jest forsooth....more like millions!

and they'll probably go confess it on sunday.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue May 26th, 2009 at 10:40:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Interesting farrago in the Berlusconi gossip weekly,Chi, (as well as Oggi, Novella 2000, &c) in which Noemi declares her two-year love affair with a certain Domenico Cozzolino, a brief role as a seducer in a popular TV program called Men and Women.

Noemi declares, "I gave Domenico my first kiss, and I hope that I'll do it the first time with him. Virginity is an important value. I very much believe in God and I'm a practicing Catholic."

Domenico, of course, hopes to participate in a reality show together with his life-long flame and hopes they will go to live together in Rome next fall where he will attend an actors' studio.

It's going to be fun keeping track of this forged reality.

 

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 05:47:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't that special brand of Catholic hypocrisy absolutely mesmerising? I just love Italy, crazier and crazier for every year. Or rather, considering all the crazy shit 10 and 20 and 30 and 40 (and 50 and 60 and 70) yeats ago, the constant and neverending crazy, which at best (worst?) just recedes for a while, like the tide.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 06:21:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So Domenico Cozzolino is Ms Letizia's beard, more or less.
by Gag Halfrunt on Mon May 25th, 2009 at 07:54:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wasn't aware of that definition of beard.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Tue May 26th, 2009 at 04:44:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For dear Silvio, I think the phrase would be 'arm candy'.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue May 26th, 2009 at 04:47:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I very much believe in God and I'm a practicing Catholic."

Stay pure, Noemi!

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon May 25th, 2009 at 08:06:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
de Gondi:
Domenico, of course, hopes to participate in a reality show

ow, ow, you're keeeling me!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue May 26th, 2009 at 06:44:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And I find the third actor in this soap opera, this Gino Flaminio fella', just stoopid.

In B's case, I guess the scale of his lies (and the cheapness and transparency of them all) is what's special. That, and the likely financial magnitude of his divorce.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon May 25th, 2009 at 01:29:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the article there are passages that I did not translate. Gino Flaminio had done his best to keep out of the story. It is to the credit of the reporters having found him out and convinced him to talk. He wanted nothing to do with it. I suppose he was ticked off about the false love affair with Cozzolino the Berlusconi press had invented to market Noemi as a wholesome Catholic virgin.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon May 25th, 2009 at 02:20:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't mean he was stupid to turn to journalists, I meant that he comes across as a naive simpleton when describing his earlier and present thoughts about Noemi and the affair. "Miralce"? "Britney Spears"?...

Of course, that also means that unless La Repubblica helps him all the way, the poor boy could be eaten up by B's media and lawyer dogs now.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon May 25th, 2009 at 06:55:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know... He's about my age, and I've thought kitchier things about my love life (such as it is and what there is of it :-P). Of course, I wouldn't in a million years repeat them to a microphone. But that probably has more to do with my attitude towards newsies and towards making my private life a matter of public record.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon May 25th, 2009 at 02:41:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Off the top of my head young Gino is well inserted in his social enviroment and has far too many witnesses on his side. It would become a Neapolitan story in which many people would attack the Letizias in fairly imaginative ways. It's the Letizias that tread rough ground here. There's no way Berlusconi can outfox Eduardo di Filippo. He's not Neapolitan.

Today the father, Elio, has proposed a new version. His wife, daughter and himself met Berlusconi in 2001 in Rome. I imagine they'll have to start producing witnesses- a fairly easy thing to do within a personal political entity of that nature.

Gino has replied that he finds the whole thing very strange: he asserts there are hundreds of people that know every detail of the story of his relation with Noemi.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon May 25th, 2009 at 02:54:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
With a hat tip to Gag Halfrunt, you must refer this section from among those not translated in the diary:

La Repubblica.it - Ten questions to Berlusconi » "How `Papi' Berlusconi came into Noemi's life"

Gino Flaminio's words seem genuine, backed up by the photos, by the recollections of their friends (who have pictures of Noemi and Gino on their computer), by a few letters, by the memories of neighbors and his parents, but above all by the obstinacy with which the young man hid himself away for weeks, becoming an invisible presence in Noemi's life.
La Repubblica  tracked him down with - difficulty, much patience and a lot of luck - in the factory on Corso San Giovanni where all his fellow workmen knew Noemi and the story of Gino's lost love. Fellow workmen who - to the very end - tried to protect him. "Gino? Who is this Gino Flaminio?" while Gino hid behind a wall.

Good.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue May 26th, 2009 at 03:45:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently, Italy is so rich that it can afford to entertain the world with a novel and highly counter-productive model of power, the sort of power that seeks only to maintain its death hold on society and government at all costs.

It occurs to me that this definition fits equally well for the USA.  Advantage Italy.  At least the power in Italy is vested in a single person of reasonably advanced age.  I never thought I would find an advantage to the USA's prurient moral obsession with and condemnation of the sex lives of the powerful, but at least it is difficult to imagine such a long running spectacle here.  Ours are far less entertaining if no less effective in holding the entire society in a death grip.  To each their own.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 06:33:57 PM EST
Advantage Italy indeed, where the criminal-in-chief at least is hilarious (I guess there's no coincidence Dario Fo is Italian), while in the US the dreariness is almost Sovietesque. Worse even, the Soviet guys at least had mistresses, spiffy uniforms mainly made up of medals, and got insanely drunk at times.


Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 06:40:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the question is more complex than America's obsession with sex, their "prurient moral obsession" which nails it down perfectly. The matter goes to the core of at least two issues, the larger relation between sex and power, and the secondary issues entailed, such as honesty, coherence and transparency.

Now by Italian law Noemi is not- and was not- jail bait, such as in the Polanski case, even though it was suspected at some point. Consensual sex starts at sixteen here, rather than the U.S. eighteen. Further consensual sex between minors or between youngsters within a close age group is not considered criminal.

I recall off hand two studies on the relation between power and sex: Reich's Mass Psychology of Fascism and Gadda's Eros e Priapo. Gadda takes his libel further in that he perceives the primacy of priapism as a national zeitgeist as a disaster for the state in that it negates logos.

As for coherence, honesty and transparency in all aspects of political and institutional engagement, it's a matter of plain efficacity and open contract with the citizenry.

In the present Italian experiment, power is distributed through subservience, sex, falsehood and obscurity, rather than merit. It is forcibly incompetent. Italy is presently erected on a totemic partouze reduced to a gaggle of sycophants placed in key positions and tantalized with stereotyped female bodies, all at the service of a furybound Pornarchos.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon May 25th, 2009 at 04:43:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On a more cynical note, methinks that in the prevalence of power distribution by subservience, sex, falsehood and obscurity; forcible incompetence; sychophants in key positions, stereotyped female bodies, and pornarchos; the difference between the political class of Italy and other states is one of degree, not quality.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 25th, 2009 at 07:00:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's the UK for you - we're not even good at sex scandals any more.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon May 25th, 2009 at 04:14:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I recall off hand two studies on the relation between power and sex: Reich's Mass Psychology of Fascism and Gadda's Eros e Priapo.

I read Reich's work about 40 years ago but do not recall his argument in any detail.  It is a fascinating subject and worth investigation across societies, though I did not raise it explicitly in my comment.  While the USA has its own massive disfunctions, on that subject I would have to say "Advantage USA", at least in comparison to Italy.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon May 25th, 2009 at 02:42:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On reflection, it seems that the interaction of cultural views on sexuality and morality in both Italy and the USA have worked to the advantage of the conservatives.  In Italy the "erectorate" has been rendered functionally brainless in defense of a conservative administration while in the USA "prurient sexual morality" was used to great effect by the conservatives to attack a more liberal administration.  Different strokes for different folks.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon May 25th, 2009 at 03:02:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The UK has become a bizarre place. Culture is now hyper-sexualised, but it seems rather dutiful and oddly joyless.

The media talk about it endlessly, but it has the feel of a lifestyle option to be accumulated and experienced, like a good three piece suite, rather than anything livelier.

Reich should be happy. But somehow I don't think this is what he had in mind.

The US remains insane - explosively unable to cope with a nipple, but perfectly happy to turn out and view endless gun play, torture and shopping porn.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue May 26th, 2009 at 08:19:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hahh...this scam simply make me mad...He is a symptom of all the illness coming our way...Not because he is evil but because he is not only tolerated but in power.
So sickening...anything that comes from him.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun May 24th, 2009 at 09:28:01 PM EST
Gad Lerner has an excellent article this morning on the exploitation of women in Italy and their relegation to a subaltern position in all walks of life. The dominant Italian model of so-called feminine beauty and intelligence, propagated by decades of televised cretinism at all hours of the day, is epitomized by Noemi's dreams of success. As Berlusconi bragged recently, the women he'll send to Strausburg will make mens noses water.

It is appalling that all Italian women do not vocally rebel against this feminine stereotype, rebel with their votes against this pornocracy just as the better half of Italy does, that rather than envy Berlusconi, hold him in utter contempt.

Lerner points out an excellent documentary in Italian well worth seeing, The Body of Women. For the many who don't speak Italian the images are self-explanatory.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon May 25th, 2009 at 02:45:41 AM EST
A partly off-topic association. I recall that a few years ago, the mayor of a seashore town created a storm by issuing a local law that only nice women can stroll on the beach in bikinis, 'fat women and hanging breasts are an eyesore & unwelcomed' -- and sticking to it. Do you know what became of this asshole and his decree?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon May 25th, 2009 at 07:05:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have a vague memory of that but can't nail it at the moment.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon May 25th, 2009 at 03:46:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I found it. I did not think that this goes back all the way to... 1993.

Northern League puritans grapple with an itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny issue - Europe, World - The Independent

PATRICIA CLOUGH in Rome

Tuesday, 13 July 1993

Diano Marina is also trying to 'restore a sense of modesty in the streets' away from the beaches and promenade, said the mayor's spokesman, councillor Elio Novaro, but it is clear that here there is modesty and modesty. Mr Novaro caused something of a stir by telling the Corriere della Sera that they should not fine beautiful women, only carampane - a term originating from old Venetian meaning an ugly, vulgar slattern.

Seeking to explain himself to the Independent, he dived from the frying pan into the fire. 'It is nice to see a woman from 18 to about 35 in a bikini,' he said. 'And we hope that older women will have the good taste not to go round undressed.'



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue May 26th, 2009 at 04:07:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
you'd think this'd be self-explanatory too:

that was the front page of that hate rag back in july '98.

when it comes to getting into bed with the Great Priapus, it seems consistency is everything.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue May 26th, 2009 at 10:46:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One of the aspects of this case is transparency and accountability. Did you ever ask why Berlusconi appointed a certain person, hired another for utterly no manifest reason? Why Ciarrapico for senator, of all people? Sure, he has all those newspapers and more criminal charges against him than, well, you name it. So what?

Now the Lega Nord demonstrates what devotee politics is all about. Bossi broke up with B for a while and started publishing some of the worst charges they could for months on end. Then Berlusconi had a few chats and they've been the best of friends ever since. Explain that to their electorate. It's 1984. Say one thing one day, the opposite the next. It weeds out coherence and the thinking citizen, leaving only the devoted fanatic.

A few convenient things occured afterwards. The Lega's favorite bank, the Bank of Lodi, became the largest non-Sicilian bank in Sicily. It also bought up Berlusconi's Rasini bank and conveniently lost all the archives allegedly detailing the Berlusconi historical family ties with the Sicilian mafia. Perhaps Bossi knows where those archives are. Investigators have been after them for years- and even came to a confrontation in which the Palermo procura went to Palazzo Chigi and asked Berlusconi several questions concerning them. He refused to answer those questions.

Here the Lega has 11 unanswered questions in 1998. But who can blame Berlusconi? The only time he answered questions under oath he was caught lying and sentenced to three years. Naturally, there was an amnesty soon after to cancel that. As Craxi said in the remote 80's: he had never met such an outright liar like Berlusconi.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Tue May 26th, 2009 at 12:03:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's better than the Da Vinci code.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue May 26th, 2009 at 02:36:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's an underhanded comment if I have ever heard one...

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky
by poemless on Tue May 26th, 2009 at 02:38:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Comment responses
Say one thing one day, the opposite the next. It weeds out coherence and the thinking citizen, leaving only the devoted fanatic.

great perception, that's it in a nutshell. shades of glenn beck...

believe in garbage, but believe in something!

o madonna..

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue May 26th, 2009 at 06:27:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Italy - The wrong way round

My knowledge of Italian slang was insufficient to be quite sure what torments Sabina Guzzanti had specified for poor Mr Ratzinger to get her prosecuted (see below), but a kind passer-by has enlightened me - he is to be tormented by gay devils of an active, rather than a passive disposition. As Dario Fo has pointed out, speculating about the torments endured by dead Popes is a noble tradition, with Dante as its leading exponent, and it is a depressing sign of Italy's current state that it should again be a matter for prosecution. Note: On September 19th Justice Minister Alfano decided not to proceed with this misguided prosecution of Ms Guzzanti.

Dante was particularly negative about the fate of Pope Boniface VII. I am not sure if this is the same Pope Boniface mentioned in that classic history "The Bad Popes", who ate a chicken on a Friday. A colleague reproved him, saying that he might be punished after death for this breach of dietary rules. He replied that he was no more likely to survive his death than the chicken was.

Speaking about Pope Celestine, Boniface's predecessor, Dante coined the famous phrase Il Gran Rifiuto. Pope Celestine's tale is well recounted in "The Bad Popes". Two of the great Roman families - it might have been Orsini and Colonna, I can't recall - couldn't agree whose turn it was to be pope, and the conclave was deadlocked. Rules specify that the supply of wine and food to the conclave should be progressively reduced, but these rules were set aside with Berlusconi (or Mugabe)-like resolve, and the deadlock endured far too long. Eventually somebody suggested that a holy hermit, then living in a cave in the Abruzzi, might be a good compromise candidate. The poor man was taken off, much against his wishes, and made Pope, but, perhaps predictably, turned out to lack completely the necessary administrative and diplomatic skills for the job. Since he was very popular, he had to be got rid of tactfully. Somebody hit on the idea of secretly drilling a hole in the wall of his bedchamber. Then, while the old man slept, one of the Cardinals spoke repeatedly, in sepulchral and portentous tones: "This is the Holy Ghost speaking. You must resign". Delighted to find out that his longing to get back to his cave had divine approval, Pope Celestine did so, becoming the first and last Pope to resign: he made il gran rifiuto,to Dante's disgust.

There must be millions of Protestants and of Muslims for whom it is an article of faith that Mr Ratzinger will have a tough time after death (though this writer feels that Pope Boniface may have been on the right track). They may differ from Ms Guzzanti about the punishment - I think the Koran specifies eating filth and drinking boiling water (an experience, incidentally, available, though only at surprisingly high cost, at most British motorway service stations) rather than being tormented by gay devils - but they should be warned that, in present-day Italy, they risk being hauled up in court if they express their views publicly. Of course, this is much more likely to happen if they are addressing an appreciative audience of thousands in a packed square, and have just been speculating on what it was that the Minister of Equal Opportunities did to qualify her for the job, and pointing out that many other Italians would like Equal Opportunities of having it done to them.

Of course, if you are prosecuted, you can take comfort from the thought that, if you expressed your views well enough, they may well be erecting statues of you in 700 years time.



'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed May 27th, 2009 at 03:10:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Italy - The wrong way round
A large assembly, organised by Beppe Grillo, to protest against Mr Berlusconi, was held in Piazza Navona, Rome, in July. The meeting was widely decried in the press as being in poor taste, because of the lack of respect shown to the rulers. (A lack of respect which recalls Montaigne's dictum that "kings deserve our obedience because of their position, but they deserve our respect only to the extent that it is earned by their virtue"). Sabina Guzzanti, who participated in the assembly, is apparently to be prosecuted because of disrespect shown to the Pope. In reality, the authorities hope to punish her for a quite different crime.

The Minister of Equal Opportunities appointed by Mr Berlusconi is one Mara Carfagna, once a topless TV presenter, substantial acreages of whom can be seen here. Ms Guzzanti brought to the attention of the audience a report in the Argentinian paper El Clarin, available here, mentioning rumours that telephone interceptions had contained allusions to Lewinsky-like services offered by Ms Carfagna to the perjurer. There can be little doubt that it was this, rather than the very tame references to the Pope, that has aroused the ire of the prosecutors. More recently, Mr Berlusconi, referring to the current economic difficulties, mentioned the need for Italians to grit their teeth. Sabina Guzzanti added the proviso "Not you, Mara".

After the press had self-righteously deplored the poor taste shown at this assembly, Dario Fo recalled an Arabic fable (available here in Italian) about a zebra who was attacked by a lion, and effectively retaliated by kicking the lion with its hind legs and shitting all over it. Whereupon the monkeys in the forest expressed their horror at the poor taste and low behaviour shown by the zebra, and admonished it not to retaliate in that offensive way, but to imitate the grace and charm of the deer. Which the zebra then tried to do, being promptly massacred by the lion. The monkeys commented "she's dead, but with what elegance and civility!"September 10th 2008 - Lessons from ThailandA Thai court has ruled that Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, a keen gastronome, must step down after appearing in a television cookery programme. His offence is not that of cooking his favourite dish - pork in Coca-Cola - nobody who has not eaten that dish can judge what, if any, sanction it merits. Rather his offence is to have accepted €300 from the television company in expenses for appearing in the programme, which violates a rule established in Thailand with the purpose of preventing ministers from having any business links.

The contrast with Italy is of course striking. The rules in Thailand are perhaps excessively strict. But the step is a long one from accepting money in expenses for appearing in a television programme, on the one hand, to owning all the private television companies and controlling all the public ones, on the other.  There is no other country in the world that could tolerate the massive conflict of interest, and the noxious fusion of business and government, which Italians now take for granted.


'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed May 27th, 2009 at 03:15:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can understand supporting a government official in spite of his unconventional sexual proclivities.
I can't understand supporting a head of state BECAUSE of his aberrant behavior.
I don't follow Italian politics closely, but I would love to hear an explanation of why anyone actually wants him in a position of responsibility. He would seem to be a serial liar, a thug, corrupt and corrupting, not to mention "a dirty old man."
I'm not the most innocent person in the world in respect to the last characterization, but this Geezer seems to be working on age inappropriate behavior of Biblical proportions.
by Andhakari on Mon May 25th, 2009 at 03:23:29 PM EST
He keeps the money flowing to the people who keep him in power.

What? The electorate, you say? What does the electorate have to do with anything?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon May 25th, 2009 at 03:26:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"I can't understand supporting a head of state BECAUSE of his aberrant behavior."

I don't know.  Clearly some people support him because he keeps them powerful, but so far as popular support, it think it is perhaps comparable to Americans supporting those who are obscenely wealthy.  I'm sure there is some psychological jargon for it.  It wasn't until they began losing their homes that most Americans began judging greed and gluttony as irresponsible and dangerous.  Before that, it was associated with ambition and success, positive things to aspire to.  I'm sure a villa full of young women invokes the image of ambition and success, positive things to aspire to, for a lot of men, and even women.  It's not until they begin losing their girlfriends or daughters that a villa full of young women is judged irresponsible and dangerous behavior for people with this mentality.  

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky

by poemless on Tue May 26th, 2009 at 12:17:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure there is some psychological jargon for it.

"Stockholm syndrome."

Either that, or "fascism." Take your pick.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue May 26th, 2009 at 02:23:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I don't think it is quite either of those things.  

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky
by poemless on Tue May 26th, 2009 at 02:37:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
a bit of both, i think...

it's the social upshot of years of t'n'a television and dumbed down, morality-challenged education.

media-monopoly induced mass regression?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue May 26th, 2009 at 07:34:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
poemless:
It's not until they begin losing their girlfriends or daughters that a villa full of young women is judged irresponsible and dangerous behavior for people with this mentality.  

um, i think what bothers them is the ridicule the rest of the world is expressing.

brutta figura!

what i find delicious about this is that this is a right wing pol getting his comeuppance (sorry!) because of his dick, rather than bill clinton (an apology of a leftist).

ok, delicious is too strong... ironic will do, that this guy gets away with every trick in the book and then some, is finally brought to ground by his sexual appetite.

how was he to foresee his ship of fools would breach its hull on that rock (of ages)? features turn to bugs when the vatican has to back up a woman (his wife) to try to de-viagrify a host state leader with  out-of-control male menopause.

fellini had a clue.... satyricon.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue May 26th, 2009 at 06:36:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is he likely to be harmed by this?

I thought he'd bought the pols and was running high in the polls.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue May 26th, 2009 at 07:00:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
bought the pols and the polls.

one can dream...

put it this way, the teflon just got scratched finally deep enough to see the aluminium.

i guess when you've bent jurisprudent justice long enough, you get to start thinking nothing can take you down.

...and karmic justice is harder to bribe.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue May 26th, 2009 at 07:38:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
La Repubblica online now has coverage in English as well.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon May 25th, 2009 at 06:03:57 PM EST
Including their own English translation of the interview with Gino Flaminio.
by Gag Halfrunt on Mon May 25th, 2009 at 08:01:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are we shocked that Papa Silvio and Vovochka are such good pals?

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky
by poemless on Tue May 26th, 2009 at 12:18:56 PM EST
They appear to be very much into business together. As soon as Putin was named prime minister he flew to see Kheddafi in Libya but stopped over at B's Sardinia villa for a brief stay (where the famous scene in which he angrily answered a young reporter over Alina).

Since then we have a troika: Putin, Berlusconi and Kheddafi. It's all about gas and trickledown obscure agreements (such as creating a sort of "off-shore" area in Libya to encourage no-questions-asked investments.) As for the Gas I best defer to Jerome on that.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Tue May 26th, 2009 at 12:32:56 PM EST
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B is tight with the Turks too.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue May 26th, 2009 at 02:39:15 PM EST
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I'm sure he has a deep appreciation of their history and culture.  Esp. the bit about the harems.  That, and something about strategic gas transit.


"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky
by poemless on Tue May 26th, 2009 at 02:46:18 PM EST
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