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

Law

 

#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 Unità 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 445: The Elite is not The Enemy but our Wake Up Call to Global Change

 

Today I got an email from a friend that shared a link about an organization called The Re-set that supports

A constitutional re-set to re-store fair principles, accountability, community led governance and ethics.

I couldn’t help but notice how my email Inbox has changed in the last 5 years, I went from news about suggested self-serving intangible changes like positive thinking and energetics and conspiracy theories to receiving most of my emails about people rising up and getting involved to seek solutions that are real, physical and that consider that Life on this planet must be taken into account in everything we do, if we want real sustainable change.

I still get the occasional bullshit and fear based news and some pretence system-smoke-mirrors about change that don’t involve any specific participation but an electronic signature but, definitely, what I have noticed is a diminishment of our delusions and the realization that we need to come together to agree on new principles to manage Life on this planet.

And who do we have to thank for this if not the Elite? If the limited money in the world had not been sucked all the way up to the top, we would all still be living our comfortable, sheltered lives totally oblivious to the suffering of others.

Maybe we have to understand our Equality through suffering, just like we have always done, because we are not yet mature enough to evaluate solutions without being pushed by desperation into seeking them. But we can learn that even that is not necessary nor required.

So, for once, I would like to write The Elite, the 1%, a Thank You note for this wake up call, maybe many of them didn’t intend this to happen, maybe those at the top are just as shortsighted as the ones at the bottom, a fact that could explain why so much damage at a global scale keeps going on, as the more powerful, those who have accumulated the most money and have the thickest buffer protecting them from physical reality, may be suffering at the highest degree from our social diseases ranging from full-blown psychopathy to pathological greed, yet they are just grandly showing us the dire consequences of living out our carelessness and disconnection for/from each other and all the other living beings who sharing the planet with us.

If it wasn’t for the lack that we are experiencing at a global scale, many of us wouldn’t find it in themselves to move in support of each other, we would be too careless, too carefree, too uninterested to get involved, to move, to rethink this world to a world that works for all.

We too have a proposal, it’s called A Living Income Guaranteed, it’s designed to ensure that everyone on this planet is taken care of and that they can access a Life of Dignity, so, if you have not yet done so, stand up, be counted, we can reduce the suffering we have to experience before we realize that we have to stop delegating our responsibility for this world and each other to faceless corporations and govern-ments and stand united as self responsible human beings to look for solutions that include All – only this way we’ll end the worsening of this Consequential World we have created and lived into existence to replace it with a World of Support that is truly best for all.

So, within this realization, it’s time to depose our arms/weapons/hatred/blame and stand thankful to those that made and are making our awakening possible, maybe the saying that God, as ourselves, moves in mysterious ways, is more true than we have ever realized.

 

Day 442: Boosting our GDP with Sex, Drugs and RocknRoll

 Sex, drugs and smuggling could give Italy’s economy a much-needed economic boost this year, as national statisticians incorporate the country’s underground markets into its calculations.

The Italian National Institute for Statistics said it would include drugs, prostitution and smuggling in its calculation of Italy’s 2014 GDP recalculation, which should help Prime Minister Matteo Renzi achieve his dream of narrowing the country’s deficit to 2.6 percent of the GDP, according to Bloomberg.

“The size of the shadow economy might have surprised some readers if they had seen these estimates two or three years ago,” they wrote. However, the recent Euro crisis “has shone a spotlight on problems in these countries with regard to tax collection and compliance and the problems are more widely known.”

Economists generally consider a “shadow economy” to include any unregistered economic activities that would contribute to the officially calculated gross national product if the activities were recorded. This includes everything from prostitution and arms trafficking to a neighborhood lemonade stand or employee discounts.
 

In Italy, this kind of activity accounts for roughly 20 percent of its total GDP, but these illegal activities account for roughly 18 percent of the entire European Union economy, according to a study by economists Friedrich Schneider and Colin Williams.

 

We are having more and more problems with trying to fit our imaginary economics models to reality and this is proven by the questionable, if not laughable, solutions we seek.

The estimate of the shadow economies of the world is always undervalued, who would like to face the fact that our illicit activities in Italy surpass our gross domestic product by double? No one.

And yet, those that have taken the time to really look into our shadow economy and include ALL THE fifty shades of gray of it, could not come up with anything less.

An illicit activity is just one not accounted for, and it is not legal, meaning it doesn’t follow the Law Scheme that we have designed in protection of the wealthy and powerful of the world; at the moment we don’t want to raise any moral question on what is illicit in an immoral world because many of these activities are what is left for some to participate in to Make a Living, aka prostitution, drugs, smuggling etc.

But there is another huge side to our illicit activities made up of bribes and illegal endeavours we are too ashamed or wary to count in, like untaxed profits hidden away in fiscal paradises by privileged corporations or individuals, or like the huge traffic of toxic waste, the sales of weapons to countries we have agreed should not have access to them (such as those that we come together and decide should not be in the dangerous position to defend and protect themselves and that should never by any means pose a threat to us while we threaten them under pretences such as democracy or freedom) and many other government secret programs which, by their very secret nature, cannot expose and account for their spending into the ‘mainstream economy’.

The point that it’s interesting to me about this whole story is that we are seeking to raise our GDP to increase our public spending, which is now tied into a ratio whose threshold seems made of a stonewall that can’t be overtaken, changed or amended in any way by rational people, even in the face of an austerity we can no longer bear.

Maybe it’s because we don’t have ‘rational people’ anywhere at the top -or at the bottom-, the ‘rational’ ones can’t be on top, we can see the random ones that come with common sense, like senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, made to look like loony bins when they attempt to expose some of the gross and unacceptable inequalities of the system we live in, we live in a world where rationality is feared and exposed. Rationality as in what would be best for all is simply abhorred.

This is because those exposures are rare, nonexistent for the most part, so much so that when one comes and ‘tells it like it is’ we almost feel offended – how dare he/she- and start making up names to define him/her, to defile him/her, to make sure we degrade any effort put forward for real change.

Now, this decision to boost our economy with sex, drugs and illicit activities, so we can have access to more funds, is just ridiculous, first because the economy will not increase in size for real but an underwater part of it, already existing and participating at all effects in the money movement, will be taken into account just for the futile purpose of moving numbers on paper, second because we keep forgetting that whatever we are currently subjected to, including amusing economic models which have no connection to reality, all those make belief restrictions have been created by ourselves, all the prisons we are now attempting to escape one way or another are just ideas that have become models and then have become beliefs and we hold the key to change anytime we agree on something else ‘en masse’.

So, if we don’t raise an eyebrow pondering how we are planning to get more access to funds vs just asking that the current ratio limiting us from moving be raised simply because it’s currently not reasonable nor sustainable (while we work on dismantling for good what is obviously not working anyhow, in any way), and do not raise an eyebrow in questioning why if the submerged economy amounts to a declared 20% of our GDP we include only 3% just to get the approval to further spending and not the whole 20% or why not talk about the real 200% and wonder how did we get there in the first place, we have to ask ourselves why can’t we take a leap into the new from our shenanigans as we admit that we are just screwing around with meaningless numbers for the purpose of keeping everything in place as it is.

Many new economics models and proposals are emerging, proposals that consider Life above everything else and economics at its service, as it should always have been, we don’t need to raise imaginary numbers to walk through an imaginary crack in the system, we need to review this system, it’s not working and what we are doing can’t be sustained nor it should.

Seek solutions, ponder new ways we could make this world work, only when we will embrace a new vision we may take the required steps to walk it through to completion, by giving unconditionally what we would like for ourselves, access to a life worth living – for All.

Check out our Living Income Guaranteed Proposal, we can make it real, we were the designers of our outdated and unequal economic models and, as we awaken to the need to include all, we can redesign our world in support of Life, freeing everyone from the dam-nation of imaginary debt and make belief restrictive and inhumane economics. Join us.

 

Day 441: Inside Italy’s Secret Toxic Waste Scandal

Carmine Schiavone

Twenty years ago, a very important Mafia man, Carmine Schiavone, repented.

We have two kinds of ‘repentments’ in Italy, the genuine one, following the realization that one has not led an honorable life and one as a ‘State Defined’ repentance of a mafia man turned informant in exchange for benefits, the State of Repentant is similar to the Witness Protection Program – minus the protection of course but this is something many had to learn directly and many times, too late.

There have been few repented Mafia men of the first kind in Italy, it’s hard to repent fo your crimes when you are part of an organization that has connived with everyone important in the country and that spans from the vatican banking system to the presidency of the republic, because ultimately, if everyone is IN IT, how do we know what is right and what is wrong if the others do not show any remorse and do not repent? If the Vatican doesn’t repent for laundering the mafia money, for supporting arms dealers and pornography, if our first citizen, Napolitano, puts the seal on life saving information claiming it is the best for the public, who gets to establish the rights and wrongs of this existence?

So, to find repented men of the first kind among the Mafia organization is not just rare, it’s an event of extraordinary social proportion, the rising of a conscience, of a morality that could not be silenced even by the whole system agreeing to redefining morality into personal interests and gains, it is the dilemma of something that takes place against all odds, a true miracle of some sort.

The most famous first-kind-repented, Buscetta and Schiavone, gave the State an idea for those that followed, after all the State had major interest in directing and controlling repentances and not having people go and spill the beans in public, on things that saw them directly involved and that they had tried for decades to cover up.

The story of Carmine Schiavone and his True repentment casts  huge shadows on our State, our State of Affairs and our State of Mind, his revelations should have caused a paralyzing reaction of all the government organization as they halted everything else that was not equally urgent to look for a solution and a roar from the people that should have been heard all the way to Congo, but it didn’t.

When Carmine Schiavone started to talk, he opened the huge can of worms regarding the land that is know as ‘The Land of Fires’, a place in the region of Campania, the region next to Lazio where Rome is the Capital, where cancer rates, deformation and odd health complaints are the highest in Italy  and on a steady rising.

57 municipalities between Naples and Caserta signed the Land of Fires Pact on July 11, 2013. But the truth is that no one knows in how many places and where the toxic waste has been buried in the area over the years. ARPAC, the Campania environmental agency, has found more than 2,000 contaminated sites.

Actually the description of the place as ‘Land of Fires’ is quite misleading because it only shows the tip of the iceberg, where many believed, through media manipulation, that what is causing those undeniable increases in death and deformation are the fires lit at night to burn toxic waste, like plastic, whose fumes are, ‘in the mind of the misinformed local people’, the cause of such detrimental changes in their  health.
One shameless newspaper, Corriere della Sera,  had an article called ‘The Land of Fireworks‘, telling the story of how illegal fireworks were fired at night for celebrations of various events with fees that could go up to 1500 euros. A clear example of how we use the media to manipulate, mislead, diminish and possibly confuse an event that should have taken priority on everything else since it came to light.

What Schiavone has been saying, for 20 years now, to all that will hear him out while surviving 3 attempts to be suicided by his former partner in crime, the State, is that 200 tons of toxic waste has been hidden underground into depths up to 30 metres, which has affected the acquifers, the water resources of the land. Sometimes they would dig huge holes and bury the whole toxic truck into it when not jut the barrels of the liquid toxic waste or pallets loaded with it.

The waste he talked about is not just your everyday asbestos, no, it’s toxic waste from leather and metal factories, acids, lead, mercury, uranium, things that are so toxic that the land has simply died in some places and nothing grows anymore and what grows is so polluted it should not be eaten.

By the way, what still grows there and is contaminated goes on the tables of every person in Italy, Europe and the world in a sort of Russian roulette; that is the land of tomatoes, of buffalo mozzarella, products that we proudly export without sharing with the world our dirty laundry because it could affect our GDP and the next elections and if some have to die of horrible disfiguring painful deaths – oh well, too bad, but we all have to die somehow, no?

The result is that these fields, despite the prohibitions, are still cultivated by farmers who produce all kinds of vegetables and pulses such as tomatoes, courgettes, cabbage, broccoli and other fruit -, and sell them on to markets and multinational companies who produce pasta sauces and frozen soups that are sold not only in Italy but also in Europe and the rest of the world…

When the dirty trash business started, Schiavone, as a man of Honour of old times, refused to take it up, now he regrets not having killed his own family, cousins and relatives who instead said yes to those offering such a lofty business, the people from the north of the country, where such waste was produced as a result of the search for wealth at any cost, who thought it would be best for them to ship it somewhere else and just forget about it.
The South after all is our very own Third World since the beginning of the Republic – it’s handy to have the Third World that close, imagine how much we save by dumping everything that we don’t want to deal with, up in the north, just a few hundred kilometers down south -by truck.

We have to understand that such endeavours are possible only with the complicity of a Criminal State, if anything the State is more criminal than the Mafia, because as Schiavone said, he is one of the only 2 graduated from high school within the whole Italian Mafia Organization, we might appreciate their inability to project consequences down a timeline (as Schiavone said when he tried to make his family comprehend the consequences of that damned business his family replied to him – ‘we drink bottled water anyway!’) and see the full impact of the result of their actions, but those leading the dance, one of whom was the brother of Silvio Berlusconi, Paolo Berlusconi, they knew full well that hiding toxic waste in the land would not have led to the magic disappearance of it, but to the spoiling of the soil, the water, the lives of many.

Paolo Berlusconi

When Schiavone came clean, the state put a heavy lid on the whole story and told him they did not have the money to  decontaminate the land and he said ‘so you will let 5 million people just die?’ – that’s when they became disappointed in him and his unreasonable stance and tried to suicide him, not considering that someone who had lived in the shadowy side of existence half his life, who did over 20 years of jail time, would not be so easy to eliminate nor to dissuade from talking, because, as he said, ‘his repentance is not a system repentance, it’s a real repentance and when he sees the news of the children who die of cancer or are born deformed, bloodless or with some other weird shit happening to them in the area, he can do nothing but cry the bitter tears of what he failed to prevent when he had the power to do so’.

They have not taken him up on his offer to lead them to the contaminated sites either, this is a man with a remarkable memory who may not live too long due to his old age, instead they brought in a new ‘system repented’ guy to point out some of the toxic sites, this will ensure they will be able to control what gets disclosed and what not, which sites will be revealed and who will pay for this while making sure that those that must be protected at all  costs, don’t get dragged down by miss-take into the dirty business and their names, their image be soiled beyond repair.

Our Government has become, through magnified and clustered greed, a real monster, able to discount the lives of many to make sure to never have to become accountable for what has been going on, not just under his watch, but under his direct instructions, claiming excuses so lame as  ‘we have no money to do something as important as taking care of the consequences of what we have done’ -forgetting we would have the money if we didn’t, as States, give the right to print Money to Private Organization that now ask us usury interests for it. Most of Schiavone testimony has been classified, some information have been classified until the year 2070 under the request of the President of our Republic, Napolitano, a mason with a clean decent appearance and a mesmerizing ability for moderate speeches, so the masses will never suspect any wrong doing from him and we collectively, successfully, managed to postpone facing up to our responsibilities until we will all be dead and gone and will have left THIS as a legacy of our existence to the generations to come.

Carmine Schiavone is ahead of the game in his repentance, looking at the world we have created we will all have to go down that road, we have to repent for what we have accepted and allowed this world to become, for the crimes we have let go without batting an eyelid because they did not affect us, our family and friends personally, for the times we have taken what was given in trust to us, this planet and the Life on it and we have trashed it for money and a quick profit, never looking at the future and the consequences of what we were doing and were not willing to stop doing, no matter what.

The Mafia exists out of need, many Mafia people had no choice but to join a criminal organization for a job and a wage, without the need for survival those that we perceive as committing the worst crimes, while they are only the last visible appendix of a criminal body, that uses them to carry out what they wouldn’t themselves do directly, would not even exist.

We have written a repentance plan, it’s called a Living Income Guaranteed, it states that by virtue of being alive everyone must be given a living, guaranteed, it states as well that a few urgent changes must be made to the fabric of our existence because we have not done our best, not even close, to support each other and the life of all living beings while we were here, either by correcting what was done in misalignment to a principle of Life Support, or deliberately, as a result of some crazy ideology, be it religious or masonic or any other crappy I-Deal we have come up with, to screw one another out of a dignified living.

If you see that we are all equally response-able simply because we are here, sharing this planet, regardless of our perceived direct contribution or lack of it and that none of us is just a self sustainable satellite, then join us, check out a plan to revert the course we have taken, adhere to something that can start to undo the shame of what we have done so far so that we may start to create a plan for for-give-ness, to give to each other instead of only taking, so we may, together, walk ahead toward a world where Life is honoured and everyone can live honestly in peace and dignity, forever more.

Day 440: Hiding Our Economic Apartheid in Plain Sight

 

 

Origin of the word Apartheid:

1940s: from Afrikaans, literally ‘separateness’, from Dutch apart ‘separate’ + -heid (equivalent of -hood)
______________________

 

We are living in a time of Economic Apartheid, have you noticed?

The rich are living in a different world from 99% of the population. Two thirds of this 99% live in another world still, a world with no sanitation, no healthcare and barely reaching the poverty line.

So, we are somehow aware that there are ‘lines ‘ that divide this world, we have the Poverty Line, the Line Above the Poverty Line and the Filthy Rich Line.

The other day as I helped my student to review the history of the 3 Orders of Society according to Chaucer, I wondered how do we go about missing the fact that we are still exactly where we were a thousand of years ago: noblemen, Clergy and Peasants.

I watched a piece of ‘Capitalism, A Love Story‘ a few nights ago and they were telling the story of how corporations take out Insurances on their ‘Peasant Employees’ for thousands if not millions of dollars, so they can make money on their death as well as on their lives.

If Corporations have gained the State of Personhood, where do we place them in the 3 orders of Society today? I would place them with the noblemen, above the Law, no, better, writing The Law to Profit from every possible situation imaginable and to Keep The Order of Society Intact, while giving up every responsibility and accountability for their deeds, an amazing step ahead if we consider that there have been times in History in which the Kings have been asked to be accountable, to moderate their requests for scutage and tributes and to generally not push the envelope too much or war would be waged against them.

We can say we have it worse today, especially because the Kings of this world now own the Media as well, so they can tell us what to think and how to think about anything, favoring the logic of Profit over Any Matter, which made us compliant slaves of a system of Abuse.

We can become aware of our blatant unawaress by reading the news, here is one from today’s newspaper:

Residents at housing flats in South London have criticised the building’s segregated entrances policy, where one doorway is set aside for the rich and the other for its housing association tenants.

London Mayor Boris Johnson recently faced calls to ban ‘poor doors’ in upmarket blocks of flats, which force people on low incomes to use different entrances.

But developers in London are promising wealthy tenants they will not have to share their smart lobby entrances, courtyard gardens or secure parking with people living in flats classed as ‘affordable housing’.

The problem stems from rules which are supposed to stop areas becoming ghettos for the very rich.

When planning permission is granted, developers are often told to set aside a set number of units for affordable housing.

From the outside, there is often no way of telling the more basic homes from the hi-spec apartments aimed at the super-rich.

But behind the façade, less well-off tenants are forced to enter through different doors and use separate bicycle racks, bins and post boxes.

Labour’s shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds told MailOnline: ‘I am strongly against this kind of segregation. There shouldn’t be separate doors for people living in affordable housing.

So today I wondered what is the outrage about such news? Why can’t we see the wood for the trees?
If we live in a world where Money decides who lives where, what one can eat, drink, what one has access to, what kind of health-care one can afford for themselves and their children, who can travel and who cannot, which passports are worth more than others and to whom we apply travelling restrictions in fear they may try to move across those lines looking for a better life – Why do we get so surprised that there are separate doors for rich and poor inside the upmarket blocks of flats?
Aren’t there separate doors just about everywhere in this world, according to the money one has to unlock access to the planet’s resources and the peace of mind of having enough to take care of oneself and one owns family?
My guess is that we publish this kind of articles to keep our cognitive dissonance going, if we can get outraged for separate doors entrances in an upmarket block of flats, we may fail to notice all the other doors that are locked in this world and that we can’t access because we don’t have the money to unlock them, we are not free, we are not living in a supportive, just world, we are the Peasants of this world living at different degrees of peasantry.
Those of us with a home and a computer and the time to write blogs to expose what is going on – are the upper crust of the Peasant Class but not less peasant, because our lives are dependent on what has become a Mean mean to keep us locked into a system of dependency, Money, where our lives and everything that could make it more pleasant depend on the amounts we can generate, grab, steal, con out of someone else, lost in the same conundrum as ourselves – how do we get out of this?
The first point is that we have to broaden our view to see All the ways we have accepted and allowed ourselves to be enslaved and separated from each other, the effort that have gone into making this world compartmentalized are humongous, we are divided by gender, race, languages, nationalities, food preferences, soccer teams, religions, culture, belief system and desires – most of these things we haven’t even chosen for ourselves, they sort of ‘happened to us’, as we settled into a specific system vs another at birth. This doesn’t mean that we can’t overcome those imaginary separations to unite for a common goal.
Of course it won’t be easy, we have put a lot of energy into our allegiances, a lot of ourselves, so it will take some effort to consciously withdraw our support from any divisive cause, idea, ideal we have invested ourselves into, to come to a solution that can benefit the whole and as such, each one of us.
We have a proposal, we start with guaranteeing a Living to every person on the planet, a Decent Living and we make that a Principle we all accept to live by, simply because it makes sense that everyone born on this planet should be Given a Living and Not Asked to Earn it – if Earning a Living is Not the Name of The Game for Everyone here.
Of course this will require as well that we solve our Cognitive Dissonance about our situation – we have to realize that we are currently Slaves, that’s right, if  We have to give something to someone to guarantee Our Survival, be it out time at best or our bodies or body parts – We are Slaves, We don’t currently own Our Life, We are Owned. But we are Owned with our Full Ignorant Consent, the simple fact that we accept this from birth to death makes us equally accountable as those that plotted and planned to design such a world for the benefit of the very few.
To stop our existing state of enslavement we have to design proposals for a different kind of world, we have designed one such proposal, it’s called A Living Income Guaranteed, the Money is there to give it to each other, we’ll have to give up our Military investments – to name one possible path- and some other idiotic ‘Conflict Resolution Habits’ we have subscribed to and redirect our Death Money to Life – to Give a Life to All.
If you have started to awaken to the weirdness of finding scandalous separate entrance doors in upmarket blocks of flat in a world where Money is keeping everyone tightly confined into specific, predefined boxes, start thinking Solutions, join our Forum, spread new ideas, stay focused on the outcome we aim to reach, forget the System Diversions we are deliberately fed daily to keep the mental divisions going, and 1+1 we can join to move as a force toward a New World Order, not the one Planned For us, but a New Order that is Inclusive and Considering All Its Parts as Equally Worth of a Life and of Unconditional Support. Join Us.

 

Day 439: There is No God in the Bible – Crap, Now What?

Mauro Biglino used to work as an ancient Hebrew translator for a Catholic editor called Edizioni San Paolo.

He translated several books for them and everything was nice and rosy, until he started to send the first versions of his Bible translations, where he excitedly pointed out that the Bible is not a sacred book, was never meant to be one either, but was simply a History book about war, massacres, ethnic cleansing and  about the Creation of Humanity.

He insisted that according to the Script-ure there was no mention of a God in the Old Testament originally, but just of Cosmonauts/Aliens, who created Humanity in their likeness using a part of the substance of the image of themselves.

That was when his work assignment ended abruptly and he was told they no longer needed his services, he now says luckily, because he doesn’t have anything to lose anymore by exposing what was clearly written out and, obviously, covered up during the centuries, by those that shared the power over the planet with some, not-so-human, partners in crime.

Of course a deluge of insults has covered Mauro Biglino after he published his book titled ‘The Bible is Not A Sacred Book – The Great Deception’, some went as far as threatening him to death sending him a letter and a bullet to dissuade him from participating as a guest at a conference, some may honestly fear what he says and feel their whole core belief system threatened by his very existence -and he won’t shut up!- and some may fear the public exposure and consequent embarrassment for  the fact that they knew all along what was going on and they covered it up, because they could -and did- benefit from the Status Quo, tremendously.

Biglino worked on this project with eminent jewish scholars and all of them confirmed that the Old Testaments tells a story that has nothing to do with the story we know, or better said, it has bits and pieces of it, just not the relevant bits and pieces to work out our origins, our purpose and why things have gone on for centuries the way they did.

To those that object to learning a new truth, a truth that doesn’t match the belief system we have unwillingly embraced from birth, one should ask how do we hang on, without batting an eyelid, to a virgin birth or to an All Knowing God that didn’t see THIS coming, an All Powerful Creator that allowed the existence of such a dishonorable world where abuse, violence and wars reign and FEAR is our Core Drive and how do we reconcile such aspects of the MonoGreatGod with His Legendary Compassion, because those are the real hard to swallow dogmas that we never even questioned vs a new idea that this planet of slaves might have been created as such and that we have never had, like never ever, a model of Life Support we can dig out and build upon and maybe THAT is our problem and if we can face it, we can change it, right?

In this light, anything new that we propose can’t be put up for debate using the old, the old was deliberately rigged to make it work for just a bunch of Holy See-rs, Wholly Seers, Overseers and hence we should open up gladly to anything new to consider, with unconditional open arms and work to see HOW we could make fresh, unheard of, models for peaceful and beneficial living that may work for All.

Those that were waiting for God to sort it all out will be very disappointed, they are suddenly dis-appointed from their role of Waiters as in those waiting for someone/something to come and sort it all out. It ain’t happening.

On the other hand though this could be great news, there is no one above us, no one below us, there is just Us, scary as hell maybe but letting God go for Good could be our Saving Grace. Then, considering to Guarantee a Living to All would not seem so outlandish, we were meant to not do that, we were meant to exist enslaved, as slaves, through our Make Belief Money System, Class System, Peasants workforce, so we would ensure the subservience of many to the few for their own survival.
With God out-of-the-way -We are now in charge.

Obviously if we can let God go, we can let the Elite of this existence go as well, they were the Gods of this world and Equally Bad Providers as the Original Creators were, we can’t fix what has been, there will be no restitution for what has taken place and rightly so, we have all equally participated just by the mere fact of being Here, interwoven with each other into a physical fabric that sees us all as equally response-able and equally ineffective at changing the world so far.
So, better start with new models to assist each other and create a world that works for all, we have no one to be loyal to if not each other, our loyalty, our sense of honour, our investments in value have always been misplaced, there was one valuable thing on this planet, Life and we managed to live next to it and never notice it, too busy as we were in refining our art to find ways to survive just another day, without considering the whole in the solutions we sought just for ourselves.

But we can change, if we return Value to Life, if we make Life the Capital worth living for, if we redefine what Capitalism should be as in a System that honours the Life of every living being, the whole world will turn upside down, it just takes a decision to make All Lives Worth-while, while we live Life itself as The Worth and All Lives as having the same worth to Dignity and Freedom from the Fear of how and what we’ll have to do, or even just consider, to make sure we can make it through another day.

Consider A Living Income Guaranteed – there is no God in the Bible, GUARANTEED, we are the Gods of this existence, it is up to us to create a world we are proud to call our MasterPiece and Total Change is just a few beliefs away from where we are, Let’s close the Gap!

Living Income Guaranteed, join the Solution.