Day 461 – Democracy is on – We just haven’t taken Notice – yet

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Like most people who are waking up to the Reality of this world, I have made the mistake to believe that there is really No democracy, that the system is rigged, that we have no power to change things because someone is holding on to all the cash, making us their slaves.

While some of these things are true, what I failed to see until recently, is that the very system we live in, a corporatocracy that has obtained legal status and the same rights reserved to Living Beings and rightly so, we should add, because it is sustained by us all, in every moment of our day through the choices we make – we are the ones breathing life – or death- into this system daily – who else?

We have been misled into thinking that the Voting System takes place when we take hold of one card to vote one candidate over another, or a party over another, or the dismissal of an unfair Law, all practices that should have shown us by now that that’s NOT where Democracy is at the moment – because all those endeavors have so far resulted in NO NOTE WORTHY CHANGE in any way whatsoever – yet we keep fighting over who has the best choice, the best reasons for voting one or another of the people that we’ll put up there as puppets that are intended to keep the system going exactly as it is – just under a new costume (see the very dangerous Trump already backpedaling on his most outrageous proposals and pretending to implement the irrelevant changes that will always hide a loop to guarantee that NOTHING REALLY CHANGES).

Instead the Power to Change is in our perspective, in the self Honesty to admit that if MONEY is the Most Powerful Thing of this world – obviously – that’s where the power to change is – really.

Many initiatives are coming up about the Money System and how it’s in urgent need of a profound redesign, bankers that print IOU in Monopoly colors (to add irony to injury) and make us pay interest on them creating Public Debts, mortgages that force you to pay only the interest for the first 10 years of your 30 years engagement, gambling on the fact that you may not make it and they’ll end up with the money AND your house, usury, a tax system that is thinking how to tax the air we breathe – because they have already done that with the water, the food and don’t see why they should stop – are clear signs that we have been distracted to say the least – just not to call ourselves utterly stupid, to let it go this far.

And yet, we are still razzle-dazzled by the diversions used to not make us see, that a real coalition of intent, would bring all the castles down faster than they could write a law to prevent it.

So, one may wonder, where is this freaking power to change?

The first change required will have to be within, I won’t go into the details of how everything that exists inside of us exists outside because this is self explanatory with a little self investigation – but also because I want to bring on the table areal case scenario of Change that took place in Italy, where I live at the moment, that was unexpected, un-hoped for, no one saw it coming and then one day, BANG – it was there.

This story starts with PALM OIL, no one even knew they were using it in our food for 2 simple reasons

  1. we don’t have Palm Trees (hint hint)
  2. to be able to read the ingredients on labels you must have 25/20 eyesight normally, or your glasses handy
  3. 3 we trust that people producing food and giving us the lovely commercial that steer us towards ideas and feelings of ‘A Better World’ – an actual slogan of one of Barilla’s minor labels- can’t then go and put something that is BAD for us, the environment, the people that manufacture it and the animal kingdom, all in one go, in the food we are going to eat – we just can’t compute these 2 dissonant information usually – and end up trusting the commercial – because it makes us Feel Better.

One day though, someone opened a debate about it, pictures were shown of the damages to the environment, of how animals were de-housed as a consequence of intensive planting of Palm Tree for Palm Oil production, a list of the ill-fits to our health was compiled and then 40000 signatures were collected to stop the use of Palm Oil in Italy.

Well then, we could think it was the Food Regulatory Body that changed the Law that did the trick but alas – it was not Those silly Laws are just another distractions, proof is that when we write one, and we write thousands every year in Italy, we build IN THE LAW, the exit door for those that will obviously not want to comply, usually the very ones the Law had been written for (and by).
Nonono, the change came because People started to wear their glasses, read the labels and just stopped buying products that contained Palm Oil. It was that simple.

There were no demonstrations, no violence, no one was hurt and no one lost jobs over it, because the multinationals hire people who work to understand trends (market analysts), before any new emerging trend could emerge and impact their profit – hence we could almost say, from one day to another, Palm Oil was replaced with sustainable alternatives and all the  corporations tried to beat each other on the change, because that was where the money was going to be spent.

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So, I just wanted to share this little Tale to say that Change is just a few dollars away from each one of us, those are our voting chips, we have to stop waiting to have SPARE money to support something. Within the times we live, there’s very probably nothing to spare for anyone BUT we can divert something of what we spend to support Life Giving Alternatives to this world, we can Stop feeding our egos and minds with things we don’t really need, we don’t need that make up, that neck relaxing cream, the boob plastic surgery, we don’t need fancy holidays, cocktails with paper umbrellas in it, we don’t need to buy mangoes in winter if we live in Europe, in fact we don’t need to buy mangoes anytime if we don’t produce them where we live – I am not saying we can’t have any of these things if we really want them, I am just saying, there’s a world of difference between a NEED and a WANT and what we really NEED now is a different world, it’s to take the time to see where we have been putting our voting chips and assess if we couldn’t make better choices with them, it’s the time to see what can we give up for this change that we say we want so much.

Cos if we thought change was going to come quietly by itself brought on by our wish-full thinking or manifested by some superpower or some leaders or some one with more money than we have, we got another think coming; change depends on each one of us, HOW MUCH do we want this change?

Then, choose a cause, choose Life Giving people to support, get involved, be heard when you explain common sensically to others why it matters that we engage each other and the world for this change, because Change it’s your Change, give Your Change for Change – and see how many dimension this sentence alone can open up for you.🙂

 

Peoples I have decided to support for Change

(not because I am good, special, better or richer – just because I am giving a new meaning to Money as Support for Life, as My Vote, as where I have to put my actions -not empty words- to contribute to +1 for Change)

 

Gian: I have met him a few years ago, his passion for change is real, his Life will be devoted to this, he has a vision that I want to support – I gave up 5 espressos a month to do so (they are bad for high blood pressure as well :))

Follow him here

https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4404004

 

Cerise and Joe

I know Cerise personally and I know Joe virtually, they are witty, clever and they expose the world for what it is, I support them because I believe we need big reality checks to expose our nature and find solutions for Change – and they provide them

Supporting them costs less than 4 packets of cigarettes a month (my health will benefit too!)

Find them here

https://www.patreon.com/getreal

Scott Santens

I support him for his unwavering dedication to the implementation of a Basic Income, I have been active for some years on Social Medias and Scott was there, have been absent for a couple more and Scott was there while I was MIA, I came back and guess what? Scott is still there, not because a Basic Income is a sure thing we’ll achieve in this Life Time – but because advocating for one, for a decent Life for every human being, for an end to Poverty, fear and Shame is a great ideal to hold close to heart and to embody in every moment of Breath.

You can find him here

https://www.patreon.com/search?q=scott%20santens

 

 

 

 

Day 459: Feudal Employers and Basic Income

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Lexmark and a #BasicIncome or LETSMARK a #BasicIncome for All

Printer and software giant Lexmark has fired dozens of workers from its factory in the Mexican city of Ciudad JĂşarez after they demanded a pay rise of $0.35 per day.

Hundreds of workers at the printer cartridge plant went on strike last week, calling for the company to increase its daily rate for experienced employees from 114 to 120 pesos – a raise of approximately $0.35.

Days later, Lexmark fired around 120 of the striking workers. Most of those dismissed had been involved in attempts to set up an independent union to advocate pay increases and improvements in working conditions.

It would seem impossible, but many of us don’t yet realize that the true asset of a company is it’s working force, no matter how much money a company has to invest, no matter how much they claim that ‘they are creating job opportunities’ -for which they get juicy tax rebates if not full tax holiday like in some third world countries, eager to attract foreign investments-, they are NOTHING and they can go NOWHERE without their working force.

We have become accustomed to a culture of replace-ability, our commercial system thrives on making people irrelevant in the working place, we have developed production models that alienate people while making them insignificant  – or attempting to with all our might.

Of course it will be hard to put an end to this culture, mainly because it works, not for the people, but for the corporatism who is willing to trade the lives they don’t care to know anything about – for profit.

They are demanding better working conditions, a living wage, recognition of their right to form independent unions, a halt to sexual harassment, and legal protection from handling hazardous chemicals among other things. The maquila scene has not changed that much for workers since the city established manufacturing facilities fifty years ago.

Most of the demonstrators are laborers who are not paid sufficient wages to provide their families with enough food, clothing, and schooling, much less giving the families the opportunity to move out of poverty. Both the government and employers consider low wages as a “competitive advantage” that is used to attract foreign business interests. The laborers are caught in an impossible situation.

This feudal style corporate employment is a global problem, it pays for some to keep people too busy, too worried, too poor to even consider  other solutions.

regardless of ‘what they are doing to keep things as they are’ we have a solution right up our sleeve, it’s a #BasicIncome, a #livingincomeguaranteed for All, can you see how such a simple solution would turn the negotiating table upside down -for good?

People who have enough to live, pay for a housing, pay for their food, their kids’ needs, their health needs would not have to put up with the hope of ‘having someone generous enough to lift them out of poverty in exchange for their hard work’ – that would be a given, then all the Feudal Employers of the Planet would have to reconsider how they attract their workers and would have to offer much more than sexual harassment and impossible living conditions -that some are now forced to accept.

They would have to provide an attractive working environment, benefits, working models that remember they are often times dealing with talented people eager to learn and do their best to participate in the company’s growth, and then a company like Lexmark,  whose ‘revenue totaled $3.7bn’ last year, would be forced to reconsider how to share the profit including the bottom of the pyramid, because such pyramids can exist only if there is a bottom and unless the Feuda-tards start to realize that, they could go Topsy-turvy in a moment, when their ex-workers move on to more rewarding lives with a Basic Income or with Employers who have had no difficulty understanding or rewarding their companies’ True Assets.

Here is an example of the Future of Employment (an ad by a fast growing IT company)

What We Value

Clear communication, transparency, open-mindedness, empathy and patience are just a few of Buffer’s cultural values. We are looking for a person who understands this culture and will thrive within a team of people passionate about self-improvement, honesty and openness.

Where You’ll Work

You will work in the place that makes you happy, that inspires you daily, and helps you to become the person that you wish to be. You will work daily with team members scattered around the world and across time zones to build a better culture and product.

Get it?

The biggest oppositions to a Basic Income is Fear, the Pharaohs can see that implementing a Given Living for All would dis-empower them, which is not even true, unless one considers ‘Power’ making others lives a living hell to make sure their fear of survival ensures their fidelization to the company.

A Basic Income would change our social models to their very core- equality on the negotiating table will start only when all have a Living Guaranteed – why are not yet giving it to each other – if we are the 99%, who are we waiting for?

#BasicIncome – it’s not just a Solution- it’s a Revolution on the grounds of social justice and equality – we all have the same right to Life, that’s a given, so why isn’t a Basic Income A Given yet?

Day 458: Usury and The Art of Overmilking

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Recently a flood of court injunctions have hit Italian Banks.

Nothing to worry about, they  have already found plenty ways around what they were asked to do, small things, like publishing a note on their website to inform their clients that they are undergoing an investigation for usury, or returning some of the compounded interests they have charged to some that got tired of being milked and took them to court.

Strange that this novel approach to the banking system, as in questioning WTF they are doing, went almost unnoticed.

The media did not talk about it, like – ever, not even the small customary tiny paragraph next to the obituaries, that only people with incipient dementia visit, to see if they can find some of their friends departing this screwed up world.
The fear was too high that someone, somewhere may read it and spread the news that Banks Could Actually Be Questioned and Even Asked to Return What they Have For Years Illicitly Charged Through a Scheme called Compounded Interests – that allowed them not just to milk but  to over-milk their clients bank accounts without being charged for Usury.

Apparently, Usury is regulated in the most civilized societies, mainly because once you are reasonably intelligent and have a decent education, there is no argument valid enough to excuse it, as usury is just the practice of asking someone to pay interests on the interests you are already charging them – or the practice to charge interests that are basically unjust and immoral and enrich the lender way beyond what would be due.

The way we are currently regulating this issue, is through an Usury Ceiling, where governments set the maximum interest any lending institution can charge before incurring in the charge of Usury.
Of course, if you reach that ceiling every 3 months -and you are a Bank- what you can do is, draw a line, take the interests matured, add it to the capital owed and then start to calculate the new due interests on what is now Capital+interests.

Unfathomably no one noticed until now, until people that are waking up and questioning the system found this odd and wondered if a court of justice would share their bewilderment at how banks had been screwing them for years – and getting away with it and decided to take action.

Imagine if everyone knew that what their banks are customarily doing  is in fact Usury under another name, next time you hear the words ‘Compounded Interests’, please feel free to translate them into ‘Usury’, because there is no difference bar from the fact that the practice expressed by one word is understood – and the other isn’t.

As all of those events unfolded, I wondered where and how we come to accept this practice in our lives and saw that it is within the family system where we are taught and learn Usury from a very early age, our parents milking ‘everything they have done for us’ for years in one way of another, are in fact practicing a form of Usury on an emotional level, mothers sending their kids on guilt trips based on ’emotional credits’, are Usurers, fathers who design for their children the career they would have wanted for themselves and force them into it, because of ‘all I have done for you’ , are Usurers and so is everyone else around us that demands something for something they have done – in a measure that far surpassed the original deed, not given unconditionally – but as an investment.

Obviously then, we grow up and become Usurers ourselves, women seem to take this on generally more than men, they are always asking of their partners something ‘in exchange for what they have invested in the relationship’, they withhold sex on occasions and give it as a premium – the withholding being the interest the man is paying for not doing something or doing something wrong.

So, it is wise of us to start questioning the systems ruling over us and come to terms with the Usurious nature of them all, be it the banking or lending system – or ourselves, to seek solutions, but to not forget that that this World is The Sum of All its Pieces and we need to make the effort to stop our participation in Usury on a personal level, to realign the one Piece That Is Me, to the Kind of World We Would Like to Live In.

Then solutions can emerge, as we become Living Solutions and no longer Passive Participants, we can consider a different World, we could consider proposing a Living Guaranteed for Everyone – so no one has to borrow from another for a chance to Live – and put an end the usurious nature of this existence once and for all – to create in its place a Supportive – Life Giving World where we can Honour and Respect each other forever more.

Day 457: The EuroAsylum and a Living Income Guaranteed

Starting from 2007 Italy has received close to 800 million euros to manage the problem of migration.

This comes close to 14% of the total European budget made available to front the problem of people coming into Europe from Africa across the Mediterranean, looking for a chance to live.

At the time of Gaddafi, Berlusconi’s government had struck a deal with Libya to involve the Libyan government in the management of this wave of illegal migration; in exchange for a hefty sum of money, Gaddafi set up camps on the borders were most of those trying to cross over illegally were detained.

We liked that a lot because it worked – we would turn the other way about how it worked and what was the destiny that the people held in Gaddafi camps had to face, we only cared about the fact that they wouldn’t try to come here to take the little that seemed to be left for us, be that jobs or the chance to beg in the streets; when Austerity aka Misery becomes a National Anthem we can’t expect people to be concerned or generous about the survival of others, everyone is out to protect their own and their family’s survival and we can’t make space for others in our mind, hearts or on our land.

For years we praised the good results of the migration policy under Berlusconi, as I said, that didn’t mean that we had handled the problem effectively, it meant we didn’t have to, because someone else did, away from our eyes and consciences.

Gaddafi was an intelligent man, I can’t say if he did or didn’t do many of the horrible things for which he was charged and tried by the American government (which would best look at home for problems to solve with over 40 million and rising poor  -many of which happen to be children), what I can say is that he did take care of his people, he gave them for free most of the things we are still dreaming about: free housing (yeap, this terrorist believed housing was a human right and that one’s house could not be owned by anyone else), Education and medical treatment were free, free electricity, cheap oil, free water and the rest you can read it here.

At the time of his government he asked 5 billion euro a year to manage the problem of migration. Obviously such money were not necessary to set up contention camps, no, it would be  used to create living conditions from which people wouldn’t desire to flee from. At the time Europe said what he asked was a bit steep but he said

We don’t know what will be the reaction of the white and Christian Europeans faced with this influx of starving and ignorant Africans,” the Libyan leader told a Rome meeting attended by Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister. “We don’t know if Europe will remain an advanced and united continent or if it will be destroyed, as happened with the barbarian invasions.”

Obviously this is a point that the do-gooders don’t want to talk about, the point of the low quality migration we are faced with at the moment, we want to talk about human lives being equally worthy, and they should be, but they are so very not at the moment.

People who are born in war ravaged countries, who have missed out on their chances to be educated and build a life for themselves are now becoming everyone’s problem, as it should be, because their existences, their lowness in the ladder of this money-worth world has been intentional. No one can believe that third world countries are still developing, development is a process that has a timeline, when we are faced with a “forever third country reality”, we have to accept that we have designed some countries to be third, so we could be first, there is no other reason for it. Instead of supporting their growth, we have gone over them like the pests of the Apocalypse, never satisfied we had done enough damage and never willing to take responsibility for what we had done.

Now, this slice of left-over humanity is coming to claim their dues, we are mistakenly assuming they are stealing from us because we forgot how, what and for how long we have been stealing from them, turning a resource rich country, like Africa, into an economic wasteland by transforming by magic their real resources into numbers on some Banks spreadsheet, attempting to prove they are our debtors for imaginary benefits they never received, as Bishop Tutu said

I don’t want to call that ‘life’ a Life worth living, because at the moment very few Europeans are enjoying one of these, but we have enough to live, we can buy food (not as good as the one we were accustomed to), pay for rent (barely in some cases) and we can keep hoping that a job will come up some way or another – we have been told we need to be creative, that it is our responsibility if we are unable to reinvent ourselves but these are the usual excuses the system uses to show that it’s the fault of the weaker if they are unsuitable for a living. Yes because a job nowadays translates into being enabled to ‘make a living’, the living that we decided had to be earned and that we sustained as everyone’s right (the earning part) -in theory- until we realized what having to EARN a Living really means.

Now that we find ourselves unable to ‘make a living’ what do you know, we are starting to to consider that Life should have always been Given and not Earned and we are now competing in Wars Among Poor for those that can secure their right to survive – while the others I am afraid – will have to die. What else?

Obviously in this climate of ‘not enoughness’ we can’t conceive having our borders open to people who are way worse off than we are, so, instead of looking at this problem as a global problem, what we do is discriminate among those that are making the ‘Hope trip’ across the Mediterranean to decide if they are worthy of this chance to live – or not, we have to assess if they have suffered enough for things we consider worthy of a second chance, we have listed Wars and Genocide and Torture as reasons that will grant Asylum to those fleeing their countries but we don’t want to include Poverty and Misery and Women’s abuses in the list because frankly, that means we’ll have to take them all in and we can’t afford to do that, there just isn’t enough to go around, reason why xenophobia is rising and very subtly encouraged by some political parties that see this as their Trojan Horse into Parliament.

No one cares about the people coming in, we don’t care about their lives, their stories, what made them flee their home country to come to inhospitable Italy and the rejecting rest of Europe, we just want to know – do you have the right to seek Asylum or are you just trying to get a piece of our pie because you decided you had enough of not eating or seeing your kids go to bed hungry at night or to be unable to pay for their medicines or education because We want to be clear, we won’t bloody stand for that.

The new European legislation is supporting the sinking of the boats to stop ‘the human trafficking and people being exploited’, I would like to point out that that trip comes as the last -if at all- act of exploitation in the mind of those that do somersaults to put together the money for a passage across the sea, no one that is not desperate would make that trip, ask yourself if you would board an unsafe, overcrowded fishing boat -with no toilets or water- for a hefty price as a lottery to a new life. Bet you would not.

In my view what we are doing is insane, maybe that’s why we talk about Asylum when talking about granting some – but not all the right to stay, we are not offering Asylum, we are The Asylum, in the sense of a mad house and before calling those that are offering passages across the sea ‘criminals’, we should take a hard look at ourselves and ask the question ‘how did Africa become so poor’, take an inventory of how we contributed to their demise and then look for solutions that INCLUDE our direct responsibility.

One solution is to guarantee a living to All across the world, no matter how highly we think of ourselves, we can rest assured that many are crying at the thought of having to join Our Asylum for their last chance to survive and that they would gladly stay in their home countries with their families if they only could, so the solutions of sinking boats and going after the criminal ‘migrants exploiters’ are just convenient smoke in our eyes, we were the first exploiters and we should be the first to step in to repair the damage we have done, not with guns – with money.

Check out our solution for a world that works for All, a guaranteed Living is a choice that we can make to support each other, it’s not an unattainable dream, we just need to wake up from the fairy tale called Economics and rewrite this system to consider giving to each other what we would like for ourselves, and if a Life is not top of our list, we must rearrange our priorities until it is, because without A Life, what are we even talking about?

Become part of the Solution, Life doesn’t have to be this hard for us or anyone else, fighting among poor won’t make anyone better off, Unity, Consideration for Each Other and our Common, Shared Needs – will.

Stand up and be counted for a Life-Giving System Change. Giving a Life to each other is within our grasp, Let’s Make It Happen.

Day 456: The Earth is a Magic Circle – How to Get Equal Rites

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#TerryPratchett died, a real loss for those that enjoyed his novels and the incredibly witty world he created – #Discworld.

Many of his stories were about our systems and Magic and they had a striking resemblance to reality, I suggest reading ‘Making Money’, where he lays out the transition from gold standard to Fiat currency, it’s comical but it’s not, it’s actually tragic

‘The book delves into arcana such as the gold standard, the invention of bank-notes, economic modelling and the role of the press in furthering fiscal chaos’ and how it derailed to benefit just some and not All.

what makes it acceptable is that it’s a fictional book, with a lot of funny parts, it even  includes Golems, see, basically We are the Golems of this existence, so far, too dumb to work out what has been going on since the beginning of time, with the blessings and cover ups provided by religions, governments, lawmakers and ultimately the Golem Makers – the Money Makers.

The other day I listened to a fascinating conference by a renowned Italian mason (Carpeoro), a really clever man, who was explaining the difference between Magical thinking and Symbolic thinking, I don’t care much for labels of concepts, it’s easier when you don’t to see clearly the content of a concept as a file, and the files he was talking about were the Magical one, as in the one where we make up our own realities with no connection to the physical one, or the Symbolic one, where we look at all the world as a symbolic reflection of ourselves, one is NOT Real and one is Real.

He shared how in his view the world is infested by Magical thinking, where Magi draw circles in which they write their own rules and then have people – Golems mainly so far- step into them,  within that circle the Magus rules apply, think Derren Brown without going esoteric, he is a fairly good example of a Magus, he sets the stage and then works for the whole show to make people do what will give the results he has ‘fore-casted’ – that was not a reading in fact, it was an instruction manual, people stepped into his circle, the theatre, he set the rules and puppeteered everyone through the show to his desired results.

Now imagine to take this concept bigger, you take into the Money world, into the business world, into the Law world, you draw circles, you set the stage, you invite people in or maybe you command people into them and then just wait and watch them robotically live out Your Script, I have a nagging suspicion that the biggest Magic Circle may very well be Planet Earth but we’ll leave it at that for now, that would be too big of a burden of proof to carry for such a humble blog as mine.

So, how do we step out of these Magic Circles? How do we get ”Equal Rites”?

From Planet earth, it seems, only with Death, I don’t see any other feasible Exit here, but maybe from all other magic circles we’ll be able to step out of them alive, with awareness, the first step is to become aware that we are trapped into someone else’ s magical circle, we’ll know that we are the moment we realize we didn’t write the rules of the game, nor approve of them, nor we were ever asked to.

Then, as we gather together in force, with the common shared desire for a different world that may work for all, we can rewrite the system to one of support, someone said that ‘you never change things by fighting the existing reality, to change something you build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. Buckminster Fuller’, may he have been right?

I very much believe in this, if I did not I could not support a Living Income Guaranteed or a Basic Income, because they don’t have space to exist within the current money models, but it’s not about the how, it is the principle that I support, the principle that a Life must be given and personally I don’t care how we’ll end up doing that, by distributing vouchers, mirrors, candies, shells, like at the Club Med, or whatever we’ll pick to exchange the system of access to world resources, I stand for solutions to stop the pointless suffering of Humanity because I have realized that we could make different choices, choices I was not able to even consider when I was standing as the Golem I was born to exist as.

And the same is the Law system, in Italy like probably nowhere else in the world, the Law is an opinion when not a farce, designed to oppress and not protect, absolutely grotesquely unfair, with trial times that lag long enough to make proceeding time ultimately expire and for which justice is nowhere to be seen -for those that are not affluent enough to buy themselves victory in any court of Law -to the detriment of the poor and derelict of society.

What I discovered, as I lived here most of my life and to the horror of my ex French law-abiding husband, is that there is no real punishment for not obeying, adherence to the existing Laws is obtained by fear and terror and not by a system that is vigilant on the wrong doing of its citizens, you just have to learn how to navigate out of the radar and usually that implies never entering any arena that makes it easy for the authorities to trace you, that would mean – never pay taxes, never register yourself into any association, never open a VAT number to be able to invoice regularly, never pay any contribution, never present a tax declaration, if you are, you are fucked, you are now on the system radar, you subscribed to it, absurdly those that pay the price are those trying to comply and never those that stubbornly refuse to.

Furthermore, even those with the best intentions are criminals under our Legal system, I will post at the end of this article a comparison between the Italian system and the US system, makes for a good reading for those interested and for some necessary questions, how can such a system require our obedience, who says we have to stick to it and change it instead of trashing it and rewriting it from scratch?
Napoleon did this not too long ago, true, he didn’t live to see the changes lol, because it’s the Law as it is written now that allows for the worst crimes to be committed while its perpetrators are protected, but if instead of one man there were many aware people rewriting the story of how the system, as the sum of all of us, should govern itself, changes could be made pretty quickly. We could be the Wizard of the words we set in motion instead than being the Golems, our Words and our standing One and Equal as Them, would give Equal Rights and access to Equal Rites.

Think about Iceland and their Brand New Constitution, that was a collective effort, rewritten in cooperation, agreed upon as a code of conduct, a binding social contract and accepted as such, compared to how long we struggled with our legal system, we could say they did it in a blink of an eye.

So, again,  who says we can’t?

Rethink this world, all of it, we gave away our authority, our author-ship to stand as pieces of the solution and we can take it back, it’s numbers that talk, we should have learnt that by now, if it served nothing else, from the very story of Money itself.

I support a #LivingIncomeGuaranteed, because Life shouldn’t be a struggle for anyone.

We could make it a pleasurable experience for all by rethinking into place everything that is not working and cooperating together to bring a new world into reality. Iceland did it, who says we can’t?

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Italian Law vs Us Laws – a sample – have a laugh

It’s simplest to consider broad legal principles individually, explaining the differences. What follow are simply generalities,

and these points certainly don’t constitute a legal treatise or legal advice. Let’s cast a glance over Italian legal realities.

Habeas Corpus: This idea takes different forms in different places and in various contexts. In criminal procedures, it usually implies, among other things, that a person cannot be held in custody beyond a reasonable period without being charged formally with a crime –in America typically a day or two– unless a judge issues a specific order to the contrary. (This is one reason why holding suspects for years, typically without trial, in the Guantanamo Bay detention center sparked legal protests from some Americans.) In Italy habeas corpus means almost nothing. Police in Italy can detain a person for days or weeks on the pretext that they are “gathering physical evidence” against the suspect, whose release they purport would permit him to destroy that evidence. Yes, law-enforcement procedures in Italy are tricky.

Search and Seizure: In the United States evidence obtained illegally (for example, without a specific search warrant, or during an unauthorised interrogation) cannot be introduced in a court of law. British law permits somewhat more latitude in this regard (a drug charge might be made if cocaine were discovered during a search even though the police were officially searching for something else). In Italy, however, it is fairly easy for police to obtain permission to search one’s home, and roadside “spot checks” of motorists’ vehicles are, in effect, on-the-spot searches made for no directly-related cause (i.e. probable suspicion is not present). Likewise personal searches, even of a person walking down the street – though this is relatively rare.

Right to Legal Counsel: In some countries a suspect has the right to have an attorney present during a police interrogation. This is not always the case in Italy. Furthermore, in Italian courts the judges have wide powers which make them, in many situations, de facto prosecutors as well as presiding magistrates.

Trial by a Jury of Peers: In Italy juries, in the rare cases that they even exist, are usually small councils of four or five attorneys. This is a good example of an early-medieval Germanic principle (a jury composed of tribal elders) which never found its way into law south of the Alps over the centuries, despite the lengthy Longobardic rule of the Italian peninsula.

Double Jeopardy: Defined as a defense that forbids a defendant from being tried again on the same or similar charges following a legitimate acquittal or conviction, this exists in Italy in theory but not always in practice. In a felony case such as murder, there’s the trial (Primo Grado or ‘first step’), automatic first appeal (Secondo Grado or ‘second step’) and possibly the second appeal to the High Court or ‘Cassation’ (Terzo Grado or ‘third step’). One normally thinks of the (convicted) defendant seeking appeal, but the prosecution may also appeal. Therefore, a murder conviction may be overturned on first appeal (and the defendant released) but subsequently appealed by the prosecution to the High Court. Effectively, the defendant, who has been found ‘not guilty’ and released ‘unconditionally,’ is being re-tried for the same charges. In the UK and US this would be considered double jeopardy; in these nations a conviction judgement (of ‘guilty’) can be appealed by the person convicted (the defendant), while a ‘not guilty’ judgement is final and cannot normally be appealed by the prosecution except in rare instances such as mistrial. Occasionally a defendant exonerated on one charge may be tried (subsequently) on other charges, but that’s not what happens in Italy in the situation described here.

Incidentally, this issue was raised immediately following the Amanda Knox acquittal in Perugia in October 2011. Ms Knox returned to the United States but an eventual ruling reversing her acquittal (on the appeal requested by the prosecution as the ‘Terzo Grado’) would not result in her extradition to Italy because the relative treaty makes it clear that neither the United States or the Italian Republic can claim extradition for an act that is not considered a crime in the other signatory nation. In the United States the ‘Terzo Grado’ judgement revoking an acquittal and release is viewed as a legal procedure tantamount to a second trial for the same crime and therefore double jeopardy. By way of comparison, on the Italian side, Italy is not obligated to extradite a murder suspect – regardless of nationality – to the United States if the suspect in question faces capital punishment (the death penalty) upon conviction as this form of punishment does not exist in Italian law. This means that, in theory, if an American murder suspect can make his way to Italy, the Italian government, being responsible to protect anybody on Italian soil, could refuse to extradite the suspect to the United States. (The same principle exists in most European Union countries, none of which have the death penalty.) Until now, the only cases similar to this have involved Mafiosi who were extradited to the United States only after the death penalty was ‘taken off the table.’

Freedom of Speech: It’s amazing how frequently Italian authorities attempt, sometimes with success, to squelch the press. An interesting case was Sabina Guzzanti’s satirical television programme (Raiot) which was cancelled after just the initial show was aired on one of the state networks because it allegedly “defamed” the reigning politicians. The film Lion of the Desert was effectively banned in Italy for decades, supposedly because it portrayed the Italian army in a negative light. A BBC documentary, Fascist Legacy, was also censured for many years.

Admittedly, this strikes a comical note in the era of the global village. By the 1990s, any Italian could have purchased these two “banned” films abroad and (if he could understand English) viewed them in their original language. When, in June 2009, prime minister Silvio Berlusconi persuaded an Italian court to suppress some photos taken of his summer villa in Sardinia, a Spanish newspaper ran them. Mr Berlusconi’s attempts to regulate the press – like a predecessor’s protests against the airing of Fascist Legacy in the United Kingdom – have met with little success beyond Italy’s borders.

Defamation and Libel: In the United States these are most often civil (rather than criminal) issues, and unless the defamation alleges criminal activity or serious wrongdoing, the plaintiff may have to demonstrate financial injury to win his case. Britain offers wider latitude for legal remedy. By comparison, Italy’s laws regarding these matters are vague and subjective, facilitating complaints (criminally) and litigation (civilly) on the flimsiest of pretexts. This makes it difficult, for example, for journalists to criticise public officials.

Appointment of Judges: Whether it’s better to elect certain local judges (as happens in the United States) or appoint them remains to be seen. The problem is that in Italy all judges are bureaucrats, and appointments are far more political than what exists in America because political philosophies are usually more extreme and because there is virtually no preliminary review of judges by the people (as in American congressional hearings to approve supreme court nominees). Some factions of the Italian judiciary are overwhelmingly leftist or, conversely, right-wing. As an example, Paolo Borsellino, a Sicilian judge killed by the Mafia, was politically right-wing (influenced by parents openly sympathetic to Fascism). In America and Britain judges are rarely quite so extremist in their philosophies and views.

Guilt by Association: While America’s RICO statutes facilitate the prosecution of criminal conspiracy, Italy’s anti-Mafia laws (which influenced RICO) make it possible to arrest somebody (and detain him for months on mere suspicion) based exclusively on a convicted criminal’s finger-pointing. In this way, pentiti (jailed Mafia turncoats who are cooperating with state prosecutors) often accuse upstanding citizens of being involved with organised crime, and those honest citizens are duly interrogated and even arrested. Some years ago, a former prime minister had to defend himself against these kinds of allegations, of which he was found not-guilty after a very long, expensive trial in Palermo.

Burden of Proof: In Italy the “burden of proof” is extremely high, and this allows many criminals to go free. While this is obviously a serious matter in organised crime, it is also relevant in matters of lesser gravity. For example, the fact that a man is in possession of stolen property, whether automobiles, motor scooters or jewellery, may not be held against him to the extent that it would be in Britain, Australia, Canada or the United States, even though possession of stolen property is a criminal offence in Italy as elsewhere. The question of burden of proof also comes into play in rape trials (see below).

Right to a Speedy Trial: In Italy a civil trial, as well as a criminal one, can take months or even years. The concept of a speedy trial simply does not exist in Italy. That said, there are statutes of limitations for certain offences, which is why mafiosi often are set free.

Speed Limit: Contrary to what you might think, there is a national speed limit in Italy. It is 150 kilometers per hour, which is about 93 miles per hour.

Presumption of Innocence: While this technically exists in Italy, in practice it is frequently overlooked entirely, especially in the investigations leading to trial. Some years ago, a company which sold legal pornography (in digital media such as DVDs) via the internet was investigated because somebody suspected that it was selling child pornography as well. The investigation itself was legal, but a number of customers were arrested based on an unsubstantiated suspicion that they had purchased the illicit material even though no company records or other evidence indicated this. Elsewhere, they might have been called in for questioning; in Italy police “SWAT” teams burst into their homes at six o’clock in the morning to search for the offending material (see Search and Seizure above). It is doubtful that an American or British judge would have summarily permitted such searches based on such a flimsy pretext.

Age of Consent: Italians will point out that the legal age of sexual consent in Italy is 15 if a minor has sexual relations with a near-contemporary under the age of 21, or 16 if the other party is over 21. But what if a 14 year-old girl has sex with a 23 year-old man? This is clearly illegal, but yet it is rarely prosecuted because the girl or her parents would have to file the police complaint, which rarely happens. How often do such sexual relationships occur? There are no reliable statistics, but they are frequent enough not to raise too many eyebrows, especially in the southern part of the country. When you hear about a 26 year-old man marrying a 19 year-old woman after a long courtship, you may be forgiven for inferring that they were having illegal sex some years earlier when the woman was a minor. Sex in Sicily may occasionally be complicated, but not enough to discourage anybody who wants it.

Drinking Age: In certain Italian cities (most recently Palermo and Milan in July 2009) local statutes establish that a patron must be at least 16 years of age to purchase alcoholic drinks at a pub, bar or club at any time, or in restaurants after a certain hour. A new national law likewise says that nobody under 16 may purchase wine, beer or liquor anyplace (not even in a supermarket). In practice, however, teenagers as young as 13 usually can purchase wine or beer in stores with no problem whatsoever. Alcoholism, though a growing problem, is quite rare in Italy (particularly in the South). An adult, other than a parent or guardian, may not legally serve alcohol to a minor under the age of 14. All of this contrasts greatly with the countries where the sale of alcohol is (at least officially) prohibited to persons under the age of 18 or even 21. Until a few years ago (when the age for alcohol purchase was established at 16), it was 14. Before that, Italy had no “minimum drinking age” at all.

Rape: Here Italian law is consistent with European Union norms, and indeed medieval Italy was among the first European societies (notably with the Constitutions of Melfi of Frederick II) to codify civil statutes against rape. But proving rape to the satisfaction of an Italian judge is nearly impossible, and blaming the victim is normal in Italy, so rape is highly underreported here, to the point that there are extremely few rape trials at all. Owing to the high juridical burden of proof, and to the shame attached to the raped woman by Italian society at large, this crime is rarely prosecuted. Ditto domestic abuse; it is extremely rare for a wife to file an assault complaint against her husband.

Divorce: A few months ago this site published an article dedicated to divorce in Sicily. The entire topic brings with it a series of laws and social practices unique to Italy to the extent that divorce in this country bears little resemblance to divorce anyplace else in western Europe.

Sexual Harassment: Forget about it; there are few statutes on the books that even define this as a crime. Like rape and domestic abuse, sexual harassment (in the workplace) is so unlikely to be prosecuted that it is hardly worth even considering here. The same applies to male university professors chasing their young female students. It is extremely rare that such a thing is actually prosecuted. This is one of those areas where European Union law will eventually influence Italian law – but probably not Italian social practice.

A big part of the problem is that Italian women generally accept the status quo. The presence of young miniskirted “hostesses” everywhere – at business conventions, trade shows, shopping malls – and scantily-clad “show girls” (or “veline”) on television makes it easy for Italian women to be seen as sex objects.

Taxation: About fifteen years ago, the government needed money but the tax rolls couldn’t provide enough of it. The solution? Levy a “one-time” tax, a sort of modern head tax, on every citizen who had a bank account by taking a certain amount (let’s say 2 euros) from each account. This was similar to the “donativi” levied by Sicily’s kings in times past; in other words, tax the people whenever you please. Obviously, this would be unconstitutional in the United States and Britain. Italians are overzealously taxed by the government. Americans who think that public health care and universities in Italy are “free” should think again. In fact, Italians pay for these “rights” with their taxes.

Sales (value-added) tax in Italy reaches around 20% for many retail purchases, but it’s the numerous residential, motor-vehicle and other taxes that make life difficult. Here’s an example. On purchasing your primary residence you’ll pay little or no tax on the actual purchase, and no annual tax (what Italians call the ICI). However, on a second piece of residential property (for example a vacation home) you’ll pay around 11% at the time of purchase plus the annual tax. Italy has inheritance tax and some people want to introduce an annual “personal wealth tax” such as exists in France. Incidentally, Italy’s bank fees are among Europe’s highest, while interest paid on bank deposits are among the lowest in the European Union.

Civil Disturbance: Order and decorum count for very little in Italy. It’s not unusual for the streets of Palermo and other cities to be closed by protest marches. Many –too many– of these protests are legally authorised, though perhaps fewer should be. Others are illegal. One afternoon, a lone protester stood at Palermo’s Quattro Canti with a megaphone and was permitted by police (who stood by watching) to block traffic for about five minutes. I was there to witness this astounding incident. It wasn’t very entertaining. Some years ago, protesting Fiat workers were allowed to close a segment of the superhighway connecting Palermo and Catania. That wasn’t too entertaining, either.

Financial Privacy: There isn’t much of it in Italy, but this is a complex topic for which I’ll offer just two examples. A recent law decreed that for every package sent abroad by courier (UPS, Fed Ex, etc.) the sender had to supply his tax number and other identifying information. Another recent law dictates that any payment made to an individual or firm for a value over a hundred euros must be made by check or wire transfer, never in cash. If you are investigated for a tax problem, you’ll be visited by uniformed treasury officers (Guardia di Finanza) armed with fully- automatic machine guns. In practice, despite laws to the contrary, they can investigate your bank records at will – and your bank may not even bother to notify you that they’ve been snooping about. Wire tapping is also zealous in Italy, but much of what is conducted is unauthorised. It is suspected (as reported by The Economist, 20 June 2009, page 30, “Language Problems”) that the telephone calls of certain foreign journalists are tapped.

Civil Recourse: In practice, it’s virtually impossible to sue the state or any state-controlled institution in Italy, so a medical malpractice or wrongful death suit against a public hospital is unthinkable under most circumstances, although in recent years a few such cases have been successful and new “class action” legislation will better facilitate this in the future. It is also extremely difficult to sue for damages resulting from such things as food poisoning (in a restaurant) or work-related injuries (incurred in a factory or on a work site). In any event, the compensatory awards are minimal.

Dual Government Appointments: It is legal in Italy for a person to hold two or more public positions (elective or appointed) simultaneously, for example as a senator of the Italian Republic and as a member of the European Parliament. In June 2009 a referendum was held which might have changed this but a quorum of voters was not reached which would have validated the proposition.

Felons in Government: In many cases it is possible for a convicted felon to run for a high office such as a seat in the senate or chamber of deputies, and indeed numerous Italian parliamentarians have been convicted of various crimes. Further, as a person convicted of a crime need not be incarcerated while appealing his sentence, he could actually run for office during the period between the verdict of the lower court and the hearing of his appeal by a higher one. Given the lack of alacrity in judicial process in Italy, this period could span years. One of the (many) strange paradoxes in this is that a serious run-in with the law would probably cost a man the chance of consideration for membership in the Rotary or Lions clubs (both active in Italy), or for an order of chivalry like the Order of Malta or Order of the Holy Sepulchre, yet he could still be elected to the senate.

Slavery: Don’t laugh too hard. Of course actual slavery is illegal in Italy, but a high court ruled in 2008 that gypsies (Roma) could not be prosecuted for imposing slavery on their children (nor could they be charged with child abuse) by virtue of the fact of constraining them to beg for money in public places. Yet an Italian citizen would be charged under the existing statute. An Italian parent would, presumably, also be ordered to place his child in school during the day instead of forcing her to beg for money on the street; efforts have been made to get Roma children into school. The judges stated that begging for offerings was part of “gypsy culture” and therefore had to be “respected” as such. The Italian line appropriated from the Supreme Court building in Washington, “La legge è uguale per tutti” (Egual justice under the law) didn’t seem to apply in this situation, which effectively relegates gypsies to perpetual second-class status in Italy.

Prostitution: Italian law is more-or-less similar to what exists in Britain and a few parts of the United States (such as Las Vegas). Prostitution is legal if it is based on a contract (or action which constitutes a contract) between the prostitute, in her own home, and an adult client. However, a third party may not commercialise it in any way; this includes pimps but also any prostitutes who collectively rent a house or apartment to ply their trade, and it means that sexual services may not be advertised in any way. Sex is illegal in public, despite what you may see young lovers doing in public parks and on the beach. “Escort” services are not illegal per se.

Nepotism: Although there are certain British and American laws which prohibit the appointment of close kin to public posts where they may be working closely, the avoidance of nepotism, especially in the public sector, in academia and in publicly-traded companies, is as often a matter of policy as of law. In these societies nepotism is viewed as particularly repugnant. Not in Italy. Nepotism in Sicily is described in a separate article. It permeates every part of life in Italy.

Age Discrimination: It is legal to discriminate against job applicants based on their age, and ads for open positions often specify the required ages of applicants.

Public Nudity: In Italian advertising and on television there is a greater degree of nudity than you encounter in Britain or in the United States, and on holiday Italian starlets seem slightly more willing than their American sisters to bare all. This has to do with the dearth of “public decency” laws in Italy. On public beaches toplessness is permitted (as it is in some parts of the US). Italy does not have any “nude” public beaches but naturist clubs and resorts make use of private beaches for this purpose. What you do not see much of in Italy, particularly in Sicily, are striptease clubs.

Zoning Regulations: In Italian cities you see an eclectic mix of commercial, residential and even industrial property on the same block. That’s because, except for a few historical preservation statutes, Italy has no zoning or construction laws establishing that homes and businesses be separated from each other. A typical five-floor building in the city might house offices, residences and (at ground level) a store or restaurant.

Conflicts of Interest: The idea that the Italian prime minister’s assets would be placed in a “blind trust” during his term (a policy applied to American presidents) has never been seriously contemplated. Italian politicians routinely pass legislation in their own interest, or act in the interest of their own families while in office (see nepotism above). The problem is that there are very few statutes that actually make these conflicts of interest illegal. Silvio Berlusconi has often been criticised for “controlling” the Italian media because, in addition to his influence over the public television networks as prime minister, he controls several private ones through the companies he owns (and also several newspapers). As this situation was never contemplated before the 1980s, for there existed no private networks in Italy before then, it was not addressed by legislation. As you may imagine, conflicts of interest are evident in many parts of Italian life.

Corruption: This term is somewhat subjective in a nation where (as mentioned above) nepotism, conflicts of interest and sexual harassment are a normal part of life and – in at least some cases – may even be perfectly legal. Consider the difference between payment of a “commission” versus a “payoff.” If I steer some big-spending customers toward a restaurant, hotel or other business, the owner may wish to recognise my effort with a small payment. That kind of commission is legal so long as I pay taxes on it. (Think of it as “consulting” work.) If, however, a politician receives payment from the owner of a construction firm for pointing a public contract in his direction, that’s illegal. On a socio-cultural level, this distinction is lost on many Italians accustomed to a climate where it’s normal to pay for everything, and where “recommendations” and other practices are the norm; in Sicily it’s even normal to pay for job preferments.

Shopping Hours: While regulations have been relaxed in recent years in Italy (as in France), there are commercial restrictions which force most stores to be closed on Sundays. There are exceptions for certain shopping malls, and in some cities the stores are permitted to open on one Sunday each month and every Sunday of December before Christmas.

Separation of Church and State: A complex topic. Since 1986 Italy has been a “secular” nation having no state religion (crucifixes already in place before that date were not removed from schools, courthouses and other public buildings), but the Catholic Church is still powerful enough to be able, through political connections, to force rejection of another religious group’s petition to build a place of worship. This is especially bizarre considering that Italy has no zoning laws, but it’s a question of approval for a construction permit by a local council. Most Italians consider themselves Catholic socially, and the military has an overwhelmingly Catholic character; a non-Catholic is unlikely to become a high-ranking officer in the army, air force, navy, Carabinieri or Guardia di Finanza (Treasury Police). While a few vocal atheists, secularists and anti-clericals get press attention, their voices are drowned out by the majority. Very few politicians, even on the extreme Left, openly oppose the Catholic Church in any way, although divorce and abortion (contrary to Catholic protests) are legal in Italy. In Palermo alone there are three large statues of Padre Pio which have been placed on public property over the last ten years (in Borgo Vecchio, in Piazza UnitĂ  d’Italia, in Via Mediatrice), but that’s just a visible example of the church’s influence. The invisible hand of the Catholic Church extends into many aspects of life in Italy, even for non-Italians and non-Catholics. Some years ago, a Catholic archbishop of Palermo dissuaded a local American club from permitting a non-Catholic member (an American clergyman) participating in a prayer service sponsored by the club. Palermo’s mosque was founded in a deconsecrated church with the cooperation of the Tunisian government and the Archdiocese of Palermo not only as a gesture of brotherhood but to “control” Muslim influence in the city by attempting to isolate its activity in a specific place. Such gestures are made on the condition that the non-Catholic religious community being assisted will focus on foreigners and will not convert Italians to its faith.

Jobs and Wages: How can so many Sicilians earn so little? Italy has no national minimum hourly wage (in the United States it’s presently $7.25), and in Sicily it is not unusual for a private-sector employer –or even a public agency– to pay monthly salaries late. This, and rampant unemployment, is one of the main reasons people leave Sicily in search of greener economic pastures. Employees in certain fields are infamously underpaid, but as there exists no law establishing the lowest legal wage exploitation is the norm.

Terror in Academia: Sicily’s infamously mediocre universities are marked by nepotism and a terrible learning environment. These poor conditions thrive because lax laws permit them. (Having briefly attended the University of Palermo before studying in the United States, I’ve had experience with both systems; Palermo’s university is poorly and corruptly administered even by Italian standards.)

Freedom of Movement: As I’ve said, in Italy the state, not Nature, grants you your rights. In Italy passports are issued by the police department. Think about that. Does it sound a little like something you’d expect in a police state? You be the judge.

Caveat Viator: I was shocked the first time I heard an Italian use the phrase “un paese di merda” in referring to Italy. But such colorful expressions (I’ll spare you a literal translation but it is a criticism of Italy as a state) reflect frustration with Italy’s laws, government and public administration rather than the country’s people and culture. One hopes that eventually, as the law and society evolve, this sentiment will be heard less frequently. But for now… Welcome to the jungle!

About the Author: Amanda Sorensen, who practices law in the United States, lived in Italy for nine years (her mother is Sicilian) and still frequently visits Sicily, where she has a second residence. Thanks to Vincenzo Salerno for the historical information he provided, and to Marilu Romano for additional research and statistics.

Day 453: How to Stop Creating Corruption and Criminals

 

I live in Italy, unfortunately -I wish to add.

For many years I felt this country like a suffocating weight I had to carry, a cage of rules and laws that made even breathing difficult and sometimes I wonder how do we keep our sanity, ah yes, we don’t so much lately, we have people committing suicides at an unprecedented rate, an austerity that doesn’t allow many to get to the end of the month, a church that says its duty is not to care for the poor but to evangelize and give sacraments BUT we have the freedom of porn, cheap high street fashion and soccer. Yeahy to that.

It makes for a grim picture for the future of our young ones, especially when the eldest insist that ‘at their times, because they tried harder, they would always find a job. Bullocks.
Those were other times, another world, other opportunities.

We have 1000 small enterprises closing each day, actually those were the number in 2013, now some say it’s 1600, which is commendable on a 69.000.000 inhabitants figure.

Last night I watched a political show that talked about how difficult it is to have a company in Italy, to be an entrepreneur, which is odd if you think that entrepreneurship in a country suffocated by unemployment should be encouraged in any possible ways, instead we keep legislating, we keep creating laws, commas, addendums, restrictions to the movement of our unparalleled ingenuity born out of sheer survival.
This can explain why Italians do so well abroad, anything we face abroad is EASY compared to what we have to face at home, you lift the weight and we float effortlessly.

In this talk-show a woman said that she moved to Cambridge to follow her daughter and she discovered that the employment office actually works! She was helped to write a CV and to find a job, which she did in no time, it is in the interest of any community to have employed people in a world where our living is tied into working, is it not?

Instead in Italy we are firing people from Government positions by the truckload, citing this system-created austerity on steroids, now people who go on strike are fired on the spot, we are witnessing the removal of the basic working class rights to state that we do not agree with exploitation, the new rule is either you accept to be exploited or you are jobless – and jobless in Italy means going to the church for warm meals and a shelter, which is granted on a first come first served basis.

The woman who moved to Cambridge said she will die there and wants to be buried there because Italy gave her nothing, never, not even when her spouse died and she was hunted down for her debts that she asked to put on hold until she got back on her feet. She said she must have been born in Italy by mistake, so have I, I thought many times.

The point that really left me flabbergasted watching this talk show was when they moved on to the proven relationships between Laws and Corruption – and found out that the higher the number of Laws in a country the higher the corruption, the lack of transparency, the dysfunction.

The comparison made was again between England and Italy, we rank 69 in the Corruption Perception Chart and jolly come in after Rwanda, Namibia and Ghana, England ranks 14.
A professor at Cambridge, an Italian who had lived there for 25 years, said that it is now proven that the more a Government acts in distrust of their citizens, the more it is reciprocated in kind, so, as the government burdens us with useless laws, rules and regulation that it’s impossible to carry out and live – we cheat, evade taxes and lie, we are just playing out the script written for us by those that don’t even trust themselves (and ain’t them right about it?).

The English Parliament issues 500 new laws a year that make sense, we issue 2000 that don’t, in the UK there are 3000 laws to abide by, in Italy 150.000, to open a hairdresser shop in Italy – 84 bureaucratic steps are required, our taxation equals the one in Denmark but we have no benefits for obliging, so what is the recipe I am describing here? The recipe to create criminals and corruption.

We have more lawyers than the USA, because our laws are cryptic and they have to be interpreted on a case by case basis, they are in fact ad personam laws, where the idea that the law is Equal for everybody is not even contemplated, it would just be too funny to even teach it to children, our justice system is lagging behind a good 10 years at least with commercial proceedings and we are guilty until we can prove that we are not- what kind of citizens can such terrain cultivate?

Liars, cheaters, tax evaders and ultimately criminals (and proud to be) mostly because we can’t even understand what we are supposed to do, many young ones that have managed to secure an European grant for a project left Italy and took their project elsewhere because they became exhausted with the never-ending idiotic bureaucratic requests, such as providing documents dated 2 centuries ago that no longer exist to prove the original structure of an old property, or other oddities of the kind.

The Law has been created for the purpose of protecting private interests and in Italy we have expanded this definition from private properties to the private interests of Notaries, solicitors, barristers, public employees, politicians, many wheels that need oiling to move the machine to make things happen and that oiling translates in Money and hence into Corruption and into Injustice because if you don’t have the Money to move the wheel, you are stuck, your ideas, your potential contribution to a better society is worthless without the bribe required to make it real.
The more mazes of laws to unravel, the more opportunities for corruption.

So, to sort out our corruption we need lean, just Legal systems whose laws are clearly understood and applied to all indiscriminately, we need a social contract, we need to create a state that trusts that the members of an Equal society do their best to comply, if they make it possible, because we all agree that social interactions need to be regulated for a functional society, look at what Chavez did by printing the Constitution on packets of flours and rice, he involved the population in their rights and not only in their duties, we need to build a new state of mind that creates a new State of Being that works for all and not just for the elected that manage the system to the detriment of everyone else.

We could revert the legal system to just 1 Law: Don’t do to others what you don’t want done to you – imagine this, the simplicity of it, anyone standing for something that doesn’t support the Life of All, the life of another like his own – will have to take a leave from public office, which at the moment would leave the Italian Parliament empty but that is not a dire alternative to what we are living at the moment, if that happened we could restructure the system putting the wellbeing of everyone on the same line – if a wage cut is applied indiscriminately to all, there will be no wage cuts, if healthcare coverage is given to all or taken away from the privileged one, we’ll have national health coverage.

Unfortunately, by design, we don’t have TIME to rethink this world and this is another reason why we need a Living Income Guaranteed, many are purposefully enslaved from 9 to 5 if not longer, on a daily basis to earn a Living that should be granted to All, many don’t have the time, the strength, the clarity to ponder about the state of our world and the things that really need to be sorted out, we need TIME, a living income guarantee is FREE Time, a free Life with no strings attached in exchange for active participation, it will give us that buffer to take a breath, to come out of the mud in which we have been buried and buried ourselves to look around and decide – is this the world I want to live in?

Because if it’s not, we can stand together and change it, we are the majority, the users of the system that never thought they are already the Administrators through the choices they make on a daily basis, the market force, what gives value to the money system, we are IT, if we get this we can change the way things are working now and start administering the wealth of the world differently, better, including all parts and all needs equally, a Living Income Guaranteed is our chance to better ourselves, to become the people we thought we could be when we were young and idealists, it’s not too late, it just requires for us to come together and agree on the changes that will have to be implemented to change the world and make it an honorable, Life supporting place, For All.

Some pettiness will have to be given up in the process, some honesty is required to see how we have carelessly -but equally- participated so far, our MEMEME mentality will have to make space to move little ME into a big WE, this could start with a Life Giving Proposal that includes all -as equally worthy of it.

Living Income Guaranteed – not a dream, not a hype, it’s a Plan – check it out.

Day 452: The Ebola Trojan Horse to Liberia

It’s in the news, the US is sending additional troops to Liberia (and Sierra Leone) hoping to ‘turn the tide’ of the Ebola virus.

Makes sense, armed people can shoot a virus off the face of Liberia, for sure they have now  miniaturized intelligent weapons that will do what weapons have been designed for, save lives.

We could see this news as hopeful, if we tried really hard, in the sense that manufacturing consent for wars is becoming increasingly difficult for those at the top and so we now outright lie to get the required consent to invade a nation by claiming we go there to save them from a deadly virus.

Good news too that we are dropping the ‘bringing Freedom and Democracy’ rhetoric, some, up there, understand those lies are now too hard to sell and so opt for a ‘humanitarian intervention’ excuse – who would have the heart to say NO to saving lives? Now we just have to wait for the soldiers to come back and tell how it really was down there and to watch them return some more medals to those that hired them, called them gentlemen and sent them to fight the latest war for resources. We have a predictable future ahead of us.

Once we start to understand the deceptive nature of our world though, it is not hard to keep ourselves informed, you can check the Ebola spreading map and match it with the map of the resources up for grabbing, what a surprise, today I just had to Google ‘Liberia and Oil’ to find some interesting articles, I will report a piece of one from Modern Ghana

 

Liberian oil and the Looting of Africa
The looting of African oil has begun in Grand Style, this time not in Nigeria nor Ghana but right in Liberia, also located in the West African region. For a country which has remained one of Africa’s poorest for decades, many were those who heaved a deep sigh of relief when Liberia recently announced to have “discovered” oil in commercial quantities, joining her West African sisters: Ghana, Nigeria and some others.

Click for Full Size
Oil deposits in the West African coast has existed for decades

In my opinion, there is no “discovery” of oil anywhere in West Africa but the exploitation of the oil belt that runs along the coast of the entire region which the oil executives knew about for decades but did not care to build rigs till now as they tried to gain control over the unstable situations of the Middle East at that time.

According to a recent statement issued by the Nobel Peace Prize winner, President Ellen Johnson, the American Oil company, Exxon Mobil will own a whooping 80% of the oil shares discovered in Liberia, while their Canadian neighbours, the Canadian Oversea Petroleum Limited (COPL), will own 20%. Therefore many are wondering: where does this place the people of Liberia? What percentage share does the government of Liberia have in this oil deal? The African people would want to know.

Although President Ellen Johnson has not said what would happen to the Liberian share, the President and CEO of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), Dr. Randolph McClain, explained that the negotiating team of the Liberian government secured a 5% citizens participation share in LB-13 and a further 5% royalty on oil produced from wells drilled under water depths of 0–1500 meters.

Angered by the shocking news, Okechuku, a PhD student at Oxford University wondered:

“When Liberia was in crisis, did the US and Canada send any help? I’m shocked at how a country’s wealth is being giving away for peanuts. Is this the reason why the president was awarded the Nobel Prize some months ago? Ellen Johnson has always been the World Bank’s darling girl anyway. You don’t get a Nobel Peace Award without signing such deals.”

So we could be trying to get into Liberia for this reason or for Palm Oil landgrabbing as stated in this article

Communities protest that UK’s Equatorial Palm Oil is poised to seize land in Liberia

24th June 2014

The UK-listed company, Equatorial Palm Oil (EPO), which is threatening to seize land owned by Liberians in defiance of commitments by Liberia’s President, will today receive a visit from affected communities. Members of the Jogbahn Clan, together with representatives from Liberian and international NGOs, will deliver a petition with over 90,000 signatures, reminding EPO that it does not have community consent to expand onto their lands, and that doing so could escalate violence. [1] EPO’s past operations in Liberia have triggered allegations of conflict and human rights abuses. The company has maintained that any expansion is legal. [2]

Residents from the Jogbahn Clan in Liberia’s Grand Bassa County say that EPO has begun demarcating blocks of land in preparation for clearing, and have accused its security officers of threatening community members. These actions defy the March commitment by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf that EPO could not expand onto the lands of the Joghban Clan without their permission. [4] The right of Liberian communities such as the Joghban Clan to give or withhold consent to projects that could have an impact on their land and resources is also provided under international human rights law, as well as the Principles and Criteria of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) of which EPO is a member. [5] The Joghban people have refused to give such consent.  

EPO has a very poor track record in Grand Bassa County. In September of last year, officers from the EPO security team and the Liberian Police reportedly worked together to assault and beat Joghban community members who were peacefully protesting the company’s operations. Those arrested were soon released after it was determined by the government’s Grand Bassa attorney that there was no justification for continued detention. No government investigation report regarding this incident has been made public. [6]

EPO denied any involvement in the violence, saying that it had been “falsely accused”, and does not “condone or encourage such described behaviour,” and “never instructed or directed any of its staff or PSU officers to intimidate Jogbahn community members in September or at any time.” However, EPO admitted to Global Witness that it provided logistical support to the Liberian police who are accused of intimidating villagers on the plantation.

 

Whatever the reason you can be sure it’s not what we are told. History has a weird way to repeat itself, you can watch the documentary ‘Empire’ to see how we have already played all this out in the past.

We really need to work on a direct democratical system, without paying attention to the Government designed failed attempts at it, such as for the Movement 5 Star in Italy, which ended up proving exactly the opposite of what they claimed to want, a direct democratic system, while showing everyone how ludicrous the idea is when only 60000 of their 9 million voters at best engaged with it at any given time.

Direct democracy is not impossible, getting involved in politics is not useless, exposing the truth of what goes on in the world is not worthless because this is how we are growing into an educated force that is awake and alive and that claims a sovereignty that is not demanded but for which we are actively engaging the system, structuring ourselves into an undeniable force -against all odds.

We were the one letting our sovereignty go by -manufactured- consent, we can’t demand some to give it back, we have to become the sovereigns, the rulers, straight enough to decide what is worth supporting and what must cease in this world as a reflection of our own individual changes, we cease the wars, the lies, the victimization and then decide what must be done from here forward.

Then it will not be possible to have Trojan horses such as this one go unnoticed, you can’t fool those that participate actively in the system whether their participation is recognized or not yet, Real Democracy is Participation, a time is coming when we will be enough to rewrite the rules of engagement in accordance to who we have become, so the solution is in the becoming those that can’t be fooled, not by ourselves nor by others, about what goes on and why and what needs to be changed to align this world to principles that make life possible and worth living for all.

Check out a Living Income Guaranteed – that is one step in the direction of our sovereignty and the end of all the excuses about why it’s ok to do to others what we wouldn’t want done to us.

 

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