October 31, 2010

What The Catholic Church Has Brought To The World

Here is a video which shows and explains the beautiful, historical and miraculous aspects of the Catholic Church. From Catholics Come Home, an independent, non-profit Catholic apostolate that creates effective and compassionate media messages and broadcasts them nationally and internationally, in order to inspire, educate and evangelize inactive Catholics and others, and invite them to live a deeper faith in Jesus Christ, in accord with the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church.

Thanks: The Metaphysical Peregrine

October 30, 2010

A Tsunami Of An Election

~ “LETTERS FROM AMERICA” - by The Metaphysical Peregrine ~

Three things stand out in our Election coming up this Tuesday; Democrat voter fraud, possibly the largest turnover of politicians in US history, and the leadership of women in the Conservative movement.

In my own state of Nevada, early voters reported that some voting machines already had incumbent Senator Harry Reid selected. It turns out the voting machine technicians are members of Service Employees International Union (SEIU). SEIU has given 95% of their political donations to Democrats. A Nevada caller to a radio talk show called in saying he had voted that day, and while he was there a bus pulled up with filled with casino union workers wearing their union shirts with their booklet of union approved candidates. Campaigning at polling places is against Federal law, and this wasn’t technically illegal, but the effect was the same.  Reid’s campaign also had voting parties where food and gift cards were passed out in violation of Federal voting laws. There will be no prosecution of course, since the current US Justice Department only prosecutes Christians, Conservatives and white people.

The evidence of this is the New Black Panther Party, a violent Black racist group of thugs that stood outside a polling place in paramilitary uniforms carrying nightsticks during the election of two years ago. This is in violation of Federal election law, but we have a racist Justice Department, and as the months go by, more stories are coming to light of laws being selectively enforced based on race, political, and religious views. Two assistant attorneys general have quit the department in protest. The Black Panthers said they will be out in force again this election doing the same.

I could make this whole post about Democrat voter fraud at the level any third world dictatorship would be proud of. Of course the Jurassic Press never sees it, and if it does doesn’t’ report it. One of our Circuit Courts has just ruled that proving citizenship to vote is unconstitutional. All Courts have ruled that showing an ID at the polling place is an unconstitutional requirement. It’s so bad there’s now a smart phone app to report voting place fraud.

The most disgusting and galling are three Democrat controlled states that have not sent absentee ballots to servicemen overseas, in violation of Federal election law. They are not being prosecuted by the Justice Department either. Traditionally military personnel vote Republican.  

The turnover of political parties will be larger than even the historic 1994 election despite massive Democrat voter fraud. Then there was a 54 seat pick up by Republicans, and an 8 seat pick up in the Senate. Republicans need 39 seats to win control the House of Representatives, and 10 seats to win the Senate. Political strategists of both political parties predict Republicans will pick up 54 seats in the House and 5 for certain in the Senate. There are still 6 Senate seats in addition to the 5 that are too close to call, so it’s possible the Republicans can control the Senate too.

Conservative women are the engine driving this political tsunami. The Left has been reduced to calling them whores and bitches. The National Organization of Women, a small Leftist group with no influence, but the darling of the Jurassic Press and Democrats, endorses this language. They even say dumb stuff like Conservative women aren’t really women. This is of a piece with Black Democrats saying the conservative Blacks aren’t really Black. The attack on these conservative women has been vicious, all of it personal, none of it on the issues.

A brief example is the attack on Minnesota Representative Michelle Bachman. She was recently attacked by Joy Behar (she’s on the show “The View” and has her own CNN program) who said that Bachman is “against children”. This is linked to Bachman opposing ObamaCare and lots of other legislation that mandates how parents raise their kids. Bachman is the mother of 5 and the foster parent of 23 kids. She's against children? Pages could be written about the lies, slander, slurs and meanness visited upon Sarah Palin. Leftists only support women that are Leftists. Independent women that have fulfilled the feminist ideal of success based on merit are the enemy. When we look at Sharron Angle (challenging Senator Harry Reid in Nevada), Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell (running for Senate in Delaware), Meg Whitman (running for Governor in California), and Carly Fiorina (running for Senate in California), we see women successful in their own right. Fiorina was CEO of Hewlett Packard, Meg Whitman was cofounder and CEO of EBay, Sarah Palin was a Governor.  

Leftist political women? Hillary Clinton got where she is on the coat tails of her husband Bill, Nancy Pelosi got where she is using her husband’s wealth and power, as did California Senator Barbara Boxer, and of course Michelle Obama who’s accomplished nothing of merit and has labeled herself “mom in chief”, tells us to eat our fruits and veggies while she goes out and eats mushy beef burgers, fries and ice cream.

At play too are several governorships and state assemblies. Even local elections will see a big turnover. Everything is in play from national to local. 

This triad is a turnover of historic proportions. Strong independent women for leaders, Conservatives not only challenging entrenched Democrats but kicking out RINO’s (Republican in Name Only), and Democrat Party fraud that has not been reported by the Jurassic Press in the past now being exposed by the New Media.

This is a perfect storm that will roll back, and rock, the Statist agenda. I’ll be up late Tuesday night watching Liberty rise and Democrats cry.  

October 28, 2010

Who’s Afraid of Google?

A camera used for Google street view is pictured at the CeBIT computer fair in Hanover March 2, 2010.
Credit: Reuters/Christian Charisius

The Law of Karma strikes again: just while U.S. regulators looking at Google’s data grab by “Street View” cars were deciding to end their inquiry, noting improvements that the search giant has made to build consumer privacy into its corporate structure, in Italy, Rome prosecutors started investigating whether Google’s Inc.'s “Street View” mapping service violated privacy laws.

The probe was opened at the request of Italy’s privacy watchdog after Google itself admitted personal data was being picked up by its fleet of wi-fi cars moving down residential streets. Through its lawyers, Google Italy said it was ready to “cooperate with authorities.” It stressed that the data collected from wi-fi networks had never been “used by or communicated to” third parties.

Google Italy added that “the accidental gathering of wi-fi data by the Street View cars was an error we are deeply sorry for, and for which we apologize.”

But Rome prosecutors are not the only European regulators to have opened investigations into the case: French, German and Spanish regulators, among others, have done exactly the same. As it was not enough a coalition of more than 30 state attorneys general in the U.S. has also launched a joint probe.

Doesn’t all of this hubbub seem a bit exaggerated? Who’s afraid of Google?

October 26, 2010

The Emperor is Dead

Britain’s largest wild animal, a 9 feet tall 300 pounds deer which came to be nicknamed the “Exmoor Emperor,” has been found shot dead. The gigantic stag was shot by trophy hunters last week and his head and antlers are destined for the wall of a hotel or country home…

As British deer management expert Peter Donnelly told The Telegraph,

It's a disgrace that this magnificent animal has been shot at this time because it could be that he didn't get a chance to rut properly this year -therefore his genes have not been passed on this time round. The poor things should be left alone during the rut - not harried from pillar to post. If we care about deer, we should maintain a standard and stop all persecution during this important time of the year.

But I still can't believe it's true.

October 25, 2010

The Bad Italy, The Good Italy

How many times have we seen scenes like this on TV? What a damned country this is to live in where things like this can happen! But then again, one might ask, ‘Isn’t this why Italy is Italy, or—as many of us Northern Italians prefer to think—Isn’t this why Southern Italians are Southern Italians?’ As a matter of fact, there is not one Italy but, at least, two, the north and the south. That’s also why in Italy averages mean nothing: the two Italies are so different that general statistics are grossly misleading. Yet, one might argue, along with former editor of The Economist Bill Emmott that this sort of distinction isn’t really the most important one to make (Emmott was still the editor of the British magazione when, back in 2001, a cover story entitled “Why Silvio Berlusconi is unfit to lead Italy” was published by The Economist). “Standing further back, looking from afar,” he writes in his new book, “I wondered whether it might actually be more useful to think of Italy’s divide in a different way. What I started to ponder was whether Italy’s most important division, in fact its most important division through centuries of history, might not be geographical but moral or philosophical. What I mean is a divide between the Bad Italy and the Good Italy.”

It’s a very interesting approach, and quite an optimistic one, as we will see later on, though, as with everything in this world, it is not really new. In fact the central thesis of the book echoes the one of The Italians - A Full-length Portrait Featuring Their Manners And Morals, by Luigi Barzini Jr, who distinguished “the two Italies:” the one that created and nurtured such luminaries as Dante Alighieri, St. Thomas of Aquino, and Leonardo da Vinci; the other, feeble and prone to catastrophe, backward in political action if not in thought, “invaded, ravaged, sacked, and humiliated in every century.”

Unfortunately, the book, which appeared a few days ago in Italian translation (Forza, Italia. Come ripartire dopo Berlusconi), has not yet been published in English. But the first chapter of the English (original) version is available to be read here—and that’s where I’m quoting from.

The Bad Italy is not Italy at all, but it is certainly Italian. It is not Italy because it is all about selfishness. It starts of course with corruption and criminality, but is better described as the urge to seek power in order to abuse it for self‐interested purposes, to amass power to reward friends, family, bag carriers and sexual partners regardless of merit or ability, and by doing so to build clans and other networks that are beholden to you, and that live by enriching themselves at the expense of others, by closing doors rather than opening them, by excluding rather than including.
This Bad Italy can best be compared to a parasite or, worse, a cancer. It is not a cancer that spreads and kills quickly, but one that grows bit by bit, gradually weakening its host. Certainly, that cancer has been spreading in recent years, flouting the hopes of many, both outside and inside Italy, that after Tangentopoli it would recede. It did recede, for a while, but then, facilitated and inspired from the very top of government, it has spread again. No one with their eyes open can honestly claim otherwise. But to say so is not to say that everything is hopeless.
If the Bad Italy is supreme, how is it that an Italian became the world’s youngest ever three‐Michelin‐star chef at the age of 27, or that the country is so rich in entrepreneurs despite the known difficulties in starting a business? How can Italy still have been the world’s fifth‐largest manufacturer in 2009 (after the US, China, Japan and Germany, in that order, according to a study by IHS Global Insight, an economic consultancy1), if it is being destroyed by Chinese competition? How can the “Eurostar” trains on which I have been travelling round the country be so much more comfortable and punctual than English ones (even if they are not really any faster)?
If it is all hopeless, how can I have encountered Italian companies leading the world in selling fitness equipment, sunglasses, cashmere clothing, light aircraft and much else besides, or new anti‐Mafia movements, or towns that have found new post‐industrial life or have pushed out the criminals, or Venice’s extraordinary flood‐control scheme, or journalists willing and able to tell the truth about what has been going on? It is plainly not an easy struggle, nor always a winning one. But the Good Italy is there, fighting away.
I am not just seeing a few rays of light in a dark cave, as if I was pointing out that Saddam Hussein was really a good family man or that there is some spark of creativity in North Korea. The Good Italy is more than that, much more.
For that is where the Good Italy resides, in moral sentiments, fellowfeeling, but also a spirit of openness, a desire for progress and modernity, a desire with Smith for “the wealth of nations” not just the wealth of individuals and groups. Over the centuries, it seems to me, this Good Italy has battled regularly against the Bad Italy, trying to beat back the cancerous efforts to eat away at excellence, at quality, at merit, at justice, at fairness, at truth itself. If it had failed, Italy really would not exist.
So I decided to look for the Good Italy, and to try see what can be done to make it stronger. The confidence to do this grew and grew as I began to find and talk to young people who turned out to be open minded, positive in attitude, connected to the world, and dedicated to changing things for the better.

What to say? Although not really new, as I already said, this book is worth reading. Unlike Luigi Barzini’s The Italians, written in 1964, the Italy described by Emmott is not anymore one of poverty and illiteracy. Hence, perhaps, its cautious, but palpable, optimism:

People have often remarked that Italy is an economic and political creature that should not in principle be capable of flying but does, one that breaks all the normal rules of economic aerodynamics, rather like a Bumble Bee.
They then devote their time to working out how it does so. I think that analogy is wrong. It reflects a mistaken view that there is some standard model for success as an economy and society, some formula that everyone must follow. Yet a mere lance at the world shows that this is not really true or at least meaningful, for there are vast differences between France and America, Japan and Britain, Italy and China, all of which have succeeded in achieving great progress, despite their diversities.
This country has become one of the richest in the world, one of the greatest in the world, thanks to the success of the Good Italy in overcoming the dead‐weight, the burden of the Bad, especially in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. The reason why Italy does fly, why it doesn’t tumble tragically to the ground, is that the Good Italy stops it from crashing, by fighting back against the Bad, by pushing back the line between the two—sometimes, admittedly, only just in time.
It could happen again. If you want it to.

October 20, 2010

The Strange Case of Dr. Naik and Mr. Farr

Zakir Naik
Yes, it’s quite a strange case. Charles Farr is Britain’s counter-terrorism chief, while Zakir Naik is a well known hate preacher who was expelled from the United Kingdom in June. Today, the latter will bring a legal challenge against the Secretary of State for the Home Department, commonly known as the Home Secretary, for excluding him from the country. As for the director of the Office of Security and Counter Terrorism, he is said to have corresponded with Naik, and to have told him that he (Farr) opposed the ban and would do all he could to “enable and encourage Dr. Naik’s entry to the UK.” Go here to learn more about the odd couple.

October 15, 2010

“Look at Us”

A yearning and poetic song to express “how true love should [and might] be,” or how it sometimes is in real life.

Beautifully performed by Vince Gill, “Look At Us” was written by Max D. Barnes and Gill himself in 1991. An American neotraditional country singer-songwriter, Vince Gill earned 20 Grammy Awards, more than any other male Country music artist. In 2007, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame for being “one of his generation’s great contributors to the ongoing vitality of country music.”

What else? Well, I dare say that this stuff—I mean, this kind of song—is likely one of the reasons why I love Country music, and will always do... (Thanks: Holger Schimmelpfennig)

Obama Vs The U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Just a few lines and a couple of links to ...say hello and let you know that I am Ok ...

Only a few days ago President Obama, echoing his January State of the Union address (in which he warned that the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision “will open the floodgates for special interests— including foreign corporations—to spend without limit in our election”), reproached the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for funneling contributions to the business advocacy group from foreign corporations to its U.S. political activity. “Groups that receive foreign money,” he said, are a “threat to our democracy.” At first glance this might look like a good argument: after all Americans have never liked foreign actors meddling in their elections. But then again, that’s just a surface appearance. The substance is quite different. In fact, first of all, while the President expects the Chamber to prove that they’re not using foreign money to fund lobbying and other activity, we know that the onus is not on the accused, but on the accuser, to prove the allegations. In the second place,

This latest episode is only the latest in a series of words and actions from this administration that has always exhibited a very anti-business attitude. It really began with the health care debate and continues to this day with the debate over the Bush tax cuts. All of these policies are pushing businesses out of the United States, and halting the ones that already base themselves here.
What small business would want to operate in an atmosphere that gives them additional burden from the outset (health care) and looks to punish them as they grow (taxes), all the while attacking them because they look out for their interests? I can’t think the answer is too many, and that will remain true until our government gives itself a real good attitude adjustment.

October 12, 2010

Why Die For Kabul?

They say there was a somber atmosphere at Rome’s military airport yesterday morning as the Italian air force C130 carrying the coffins, draped in Italian flags, of the four Alpine soldiers of the Julia brigade killed in the Gullistan valley in Afghanistan on Saturday touched down. The same atmosphere greeted them during the state funeral that was held in the Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli a few hours ago, before hundreds of mourners, including President Giorgio Napolitano.

The deaths took to 34 the number of troops from Italy to die in Afghanistan since 2004, when Italian troops were deployed there as part of the international military mission. Italy has about 3,150 soldiers currently in Afghanistan.

I may be wrong, but every time I think about what is happening in Afghanistan I cannot help asking myself, “Does it still make sense for our soldiers to die for Afghanistan?” And my answer is, No, it doesn’t make sense anymore. And this piece by Giuliano Ferrara in yesterday’s Il Foglio newspaper explains why [English translation by Mirino—thanks!—slightly revised by me] :

Obama has been euphemistically defined as “a reluctant soldier” by his apologists. But who wants to fight and die for a reluctant soldier who also happens to be the supreme commander of the most powerful army in the world?

In reality Obama bombs the same way as Bush, increases the numbers of troops on the battle fields just like Bush, organizes gradual and possibly safe withdrawals in the same way as Bush, but contrary to Bush he hasn’t got a political and military strategy to face the political challenge of Islam to the West.

In the province of Farah, the extreme west of Afghanistan, four Alpine soldiers of the Julia brigade were killed in a Taliban ambush last Saturday morning. Their names are Gianmarco Manca, Marco Pedone, Sebastiano Ville, Francesco Vannozzi. One of them was haunted by fear and death, but was still determined to fight; another, caporalmaggiore Luca Cornacchia who survived, wrote on Facebook: “I’m sick of Afghanistan; I don’t understand a thing.”

Processing the painful mourning for these four boys that one adds to the other thirty Italians fallen in the Afghan war, also means reflecting on “I’m sick of Afghanistan,” and “I don’t understand a thing.” And one can also ask: Why pay the price of death, for a “reluctant war?”

Certainly impulsive madness must be avoided, and obviously one must discuss things with the allies. But one must also tell at least a bit of truth. Whilst there was the Bush administration, the war in the Middle East had a sense: the right importance was given to the gravity of the most devastating terrorist attack in the history of humanity, the 11th September, 2001 in New York and Washington.

The reaction was strategically orientated to hit the rogue states in the heart, bringing to the front al-Qaida and the international terrorists of the whole world. This was done at great cost and there were many errors, but it was done with confidence, with heroism in the battle-field and magnificent results.

Moreover, Bush would never have permitted himself to define or to allow the definition of “reluctant.” With Dick Cheney he gave the right constitutional interpretation that he intended to his mission of security and defense of the American democracy. He mobilized the West making a division between willingness and recalcitrance, he constructed coalitions, strengthened friendships and clearly declared enmities. He limited the advantages of certain libertarian guarantees of protection of privacy with the Patriot Act. He resolved as best he could (and Obama has certainly not been able to do any better) the question of the asymmetrical war and the treatment of criminal combatants, the terrorists allocated to Guantanamo.

But even more important is the goal, the objective of this political, military, diplomatic, and cultural mobilization : the export of civil freedom and human rights to the Islamic world, that is the advanced front of a clash of civilization, between the worlds of slavery and liberty. To die for Kandahar or Fallujah then had a sense. Even the sacrifice of hostages after their summary Koranic trials had a sense.

Bush, the Americans and the Europeans who followed him with enthusiasm in the first phase of the battle after the 11th September moved on the greater frontier of politics and war, provoking the large rainbow vomit of revulsion of the entire world’s pacifists. Whilst Obama moves on a grey line that doesn’t know how to make war or peace and is exposed to unrealism in all directions. He is inclined to take the route of dissimulated surrender. He’s woven with Harvardian chat and petty political expertise from the school of Chicago.

While the four Alpine soldiers were blown up by an explosive device, and other episodes of combat brought back the Taliban activism to the center of the attention, in Washington the umpteenth institutional farce was taking place, with the military James L. Jones replaced by the political civil employee Thomas E. Donilon with the decisive charge of Advisor for National Security. Donilon was for a long time the effective right-hand man for Obama in the field of national security. The reluctant soldier needs politicians able to keep a check on the domestic scene of public opinion and polls, more than military advisors able to supply expertise regarding war. If you want to let things slide re. a nuclear Iran, if you want to ease off as soon as possible from the AfPak, if you want to cultivate the fine rhetoric of the proffered hand, Carter’s advisors will serve you, like Donilon, and certainly not the less reluctant military.

Thus another presidential fiasco, more damage to the West of the reluctant belligerence that justifies anyone to say today, along with the Alpine soldiers of the Julia brigade: “I’m sick of Afghanistan, I don’t understand a thing.”

October 10, 2010

Raphael in London

Raphael, The Sacrifice at Lystra 

Four tapestries by Raphael have been reunited with the Urbinate’s original cartoons for the first time in nearly 500 years for a major exhibition in London (Victoria and Albert Museum, September 8 through October 24, 2010), made possible by a collaboration between the V&A and the Vatican Museums. Even Raphael himself never saw them together, nor is this a juxtaposition Londoners, as well as the rest of the world, are ever likely to see repeated, since both the tapestries and the designs are judged to be too fragile to be moved more than once in a lifetime.

The V&A’s Raphael expert Mark Evans described the event as a dream come true. “When the Vatican telephoned us in February offering to provide the tapestries for an exhibition, I couldn’t believe it” he said. “I’d always thought that logistic difficulties and a lack of political support would have made it impossible.” And Vatican Museums Director Antonio Paolucci echoes these words by saying, “This is a unique, one-off and unforgettable occasion, it has long been the dream of every art historian to see the cartoons and the tapestries alongside one another and it is indeed marvelous (...) to see how tapestry subtly alters the form and colors.”

To give a better idea of what we are talking about, let’s recall the testimony of the early art-historian and Raphael’s contemporary Giorgio Vasari, according to which the reception of the finished product was enthusiastic: “After they had been completed, the tapestries were sent back to Rome. The work was of such wonderful beauty that it astonished anyone who saw it to think that it could have been possible to weave the hair and the beards so finely and to have given such softness to the flesh merely by the use of threads.”

The tapestries (Acts of St Peter and St Paul, The Miraculous Draught of Fishes, Christ’s Charge to Peter, The Healing of the Lame Man, and The Sacrifice at Lystra) were made for the Sistine Chapel. Raphael was commissioned by Pope Leo X to design them, then they were woven in Brussels, Europe’s leading center for tapestry-weaving, and finally sent to Rome for display.  As Arnold Nesselrath, who edited the exhibition book with Mark Evans and Clare Browne, writes in his essay on the Sistine Chapel (as reported in this NYT article), the tapestries were displayed when major liturgical services were celebrated by the pope.

Hal Lewis’ Resignation—Global Warming Is a Scam

A letter—first published here and re-published in yesterday's Telegraph—to the American Physical Society by Professor Emeritus of physics Hal Lewis of the University of California at Santa Barbara shows once more that (man-made) global warming is a scam.

“Please accept my resignation,” writes Hal Lewis, “APS no longer represents me.” It is at once a historical document and a passionate and powerful j’accuse against “the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare.”

October 8, 2010

Vargas Llosa’s Nobel Prize

An unyielding intellectual and a former leftist turned conservative—which was seen as a betrayal in certain quarters—wins the Nobel Prize for literature.

Emily Parker in The Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Vargas Llosa's Nobel Prize is a great victory—and not just for a talented and prolific author. His work is perhaps the greatest rebuttal to those who believe that literature exists on the periphery of history and politics, or who claim that they have "no time" for fiction.
In a New Republic essay in 2001, Mr. Vargas Llosa argued for granting literature "an important place in the life of nations." He wrote, "Without it, the critical mind, which is the real engine of historical change and the best protector of liberty, would suffer an irreparable loss."
Mr. Vargas Llosa's novels reflect his deep, personal hatred of dictatorships and his staunch belief in the value of individual liberty. He is hardly the only novelist to have shed light on these themes, but I would argue that he is among the most successful.

October 6, 2010

The Most Beautiful Work Of Art

The Luteplayer (det.), Caravaggio, c. 1596
The word of faith has need of great inner silence in order to listen and obey a voice which lies beyond the visible and tangible world. This voice speaks through natural phenomena, because it is the power that created and governs the universe. But to recognize it we need a humble and obedient heart, something also taught us by the saint whose feast day falls today: St. Therese of the Child Jesus.

Faith follows this profound voice in places that even art itself cannot reach alone. It follows it along the path of witness, in the giving of self for love, as Cecilia did. Thus the most beautiful work of art, the masterpiece of human beings, is each of their acts of authentic love: from the smallest (in everyday sacrifice) unto the extreme sacrifice. At this point life itself becomes a hymn; an anticipation of the symphony we will sing together in heaven.

~ Benedict XVI, speaking at the end of an orchestral and choral concert in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall (Friday, October 1, 2010). Thanks: Luigi Accattoli

October 5, 2010

What Is Wrong With Italian Politics

“Can you write a little more about what is happening in Italy? I would greatly value your opinion.” It was about a couple of weeks ago when Alex, a British blogger living in Milan, sent me this kind appeal not to overlook Italian politics—actually this is not the first time I get asked why I don’t write more about this subject, and I must admit that there is some fairness to the implicit meaning that I have recently been a little bit reluctant to write about what’s going on in Italian politics …

What can I say for myself? Well, the truth is that I’m pretty much fed up with the state of Italian politics these days, or better still, I am almost as fed up with the “thing-in-itself” as I am with the way the Italian and, consequently, the mainstream international media is portraying it. What I dislike most about current Italian politics is that both the main opposition party and the main government party seem to be allergic to dissent within their own ranks. I mean, I can expect that from the Democratic Party (made up mostly of former Communists), whose totalitarian tendencies are well known and, so to speak, encoded in its DNA, but I cannot accept it when it comes from a party whose name is People of Freedom (PDL). I’m talking about both the way the “Democrats” have treated the founder of the new Democratic Movement, Walter Veltroni, though he is not trying to bring about a split but only to change his party from within, and the ejection of Gianfranco Fini—a former neo-fascist who has moved to the mainstream—from Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom party last July. In fact, the Prime minister was furious about Fini’s strong opposition to the PDL’s concessions to the federalist Northern League, and to the government’s attempt to push through the controversial “gag law” restricting police and media use of wiretaps. Hence Fini’s ejection for conspiring to administer a “slow death” to the party. Fini, in turn, accused Berlusconi of promoting self-serving legislation to block corruption charges. And the story is still far from over.

Now, to be clear and straightforward, there are very few doubts about what Fini wants to do: he most likely wants to do exactly what he is accused of doing …, but this cannot, by any means, justify his ejection from the party. Even when there are good reasons to be suspicious, and frankly Fini seems not to be a man above all suspicion in the light of his past political experiences…, if we confuse dissent with disloyalty—but it’s nearly impossible to define where dissent ends and where disloyalty begins—then there is no true freedom. It’s a matter of principle, and Berlusconi should be aware of it. In other words, he made a huge mistake, no matter whether Fini is a “hero” or a “traitor.” After all, has Berlusconi ever heard of the strong rivalry between Jaques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy in France? Both men disliked each other. Chirac, in particular, considered Sarkozy as an opportunist and a traitor (e.g. Sarkozy supported Edouard Balladur, a strong rival of Jacques Chirac, in the presidential election of 1995), and nevertheless they both were active members of the RPR party for decades. (Does this say something to you, Silvio?)

However, to complete the picture, it is also to be said that Fini is indeed an extravagant man: he proclaims to be a man of the Right, but on many issues (immigration, bioethics, justice, etc.) he frequently sides with the Left, and his entourage are big fans of Barack Obama, whom they consider—without ifs and buts—a ray of hope for all humanity, the realization of a dream that comes from far away, etc. And to think that most of them were members of the far-right National Alliance party, the post-fascist heir of the neo-fascist Movimento Sociale Italiano. Not that I’m saying that Fini and his followers are turncoats, but …

As it was not enough, despite his being a huge moralist, last July it turned out that he, along with another ultra-moralist such as Antonio Di Pietro, the head of the small opposition Italy of Values party (see here), might not be as immaculate as one might expect. Yet, it is not my problem. As you should have already guessed, I have never been tempted to take him seriously (he never worked a day in his life, can you believe it?), unlike the rules of the democratic game, that apply to all players, Berlusconi and Fini included.

Can you understand now why I don’t look forward to writing about current Italian politics? As the saying goes, “Enough is enough!” But never mind, I’m not going to change my mind—I’m not going to cross the Rubicon. Seriously, there is no alternative to Berlusconi—may Silvio save us all from Obama’s fans and supporters!