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Italian Police Seize Blog Over 'Kill Berlusconi' Satire

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the quite-a-wikipedia-entry-has-silvio dept.

Censorship 214

Giorgio Maone writes "Italian Police just seized the Savona e Ponente Blog because the 60-year-old journalist Valeria Rossi posted a satirical article titled 'I want to kill Berlusconi,' writing that 'you can't feel guilty of wishing him death, because he's not human: he's an alien, with incredible psychic powers.' Otherwise, how could such a clown, with multiple pending trials for corruption, tax offenses, abuse of power and even child prostitution, convince the majority of the other politicians and a consistent slice of Italian people to keep him as their prime minister for almost 20 years now? Here's a mirror of the incriminating text (Italian)." And here's a translation to English.

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214 comments

Is the US any better? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195098)

Did you know it is illegal to say: "I wish President Obama was killed by mortar fire on the White House. It could be set up across the park and use the flag on said White House to provide a rough wind measurement."

Re:Is the US any better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195120)

Did you know it is illegal to say: "I wish President Obama was killed by mortar fire on the White House. It could be set up across the park and use the flag on said White House to provide a rough wind measurement."

You know, that's actually a pretty good idea! The flag being used to gauge wind speed I mean, not the killing part... I never would have thought of that.

Re:Is the US any better? (2)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195164)

Anybody with some type of aviation or military experience would have although ;-)

Re:Is the US any better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195226)

Should have posted anonymously there bud.. Here come the pain!

Re:Is the US any better? (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195364)

Should have posted anonymously there bud.. Here come the pain!

Checked out. Nerdy kid with some rebellious ideas, enjoys attention, no intention to carry out any of it. No threatening links to weapons, training, or connections who do. No action required.

Never? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195456)

You know, that's actually a pretty good idea! The flag being used to gauge wind speed I mean, not the killing part... I never would have thought of that.

Obviously you're not a golfer.

Re:Is the US any better? (5, Funny)

durrr (1316311) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195196)

Your comment will lead to some militrary contractor getting the opportunity to sell gigantic fans for $500 million each to the white house. within two weeks you'll notice that the flags around the white house will always point in a offset from the actual wind direction.

Re:Is the US any better? (1)

gilleain (1310105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195406)

Your comment will lead to some militrary contractor getting the opportunity to sell gigantic fans for $500 million each to the white house. within two weeks you'll notice that the flags around the white house will always point in a offset from the actual wind direction.

Hmmm. Perhaps a mechanical flag would be better, with thin metal supports in the cloth controlled by a mechanism running down to pole. That way, a central controller could track the wind and wave a little 'off'. Or perhaps some 3D hologram system (giant octagonal bodies and highway ramps for arms!)...

Re:Is the US any better? (2)

donotlizard (1260586) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195518)

Or have no flags at all. Everyone knows the White House is in the United States. Why the need to advertise?

Re:Is the US any better? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195716)

Because Americans have a raging hard-on for their flag.

Re:Is the US any better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195308)

I hope Obama chokes on his own vomit after downing a few too many bottles of Colt 45.

Re:Is the US any better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195688)

It works every time.

Re:Is the US any better? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195468)

Its terroristic threatening to detail a murder attempt on ANYONE. Not just the president. Saying "I want to kill the president" is however perfectly legal because you don't detail how you're going to do it and its assumed that you aren't serious about the threat.

Re:Is the US any better? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195732)

[Citation needed]

Re:Is the US any better? (0)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#35196174)

"Killed by mortar fire on the white house using the flag as a wind guide" is a lot more serious and credible than calling the prime minister a coercively telepathic extraterrestrial.

I would be quite alarmed if your example did *not* get taken seriously. Whether or not our president is worth our respect, he has a very important job and things would be worse if that particular post was abandoned and unmanned.

Re:Is the US any better? (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35196298)

It has everything to do with context. For example you could state "I wish ex-President Bush was killed, executed by firing squad, after being found guilty in a court of law for murder by starting an illegal war in which innocent people died". In a country that allowed capital punishment that would be quite legal, of course those legal clarifications are required to create the correct context.

In the case of the blog, satire as an excuse does not protect you from everything you might decide to write. In this case the blogger did go a little over the top. So investigation hardly surprising. Seizing the blog a bit of a failure as it was bound to generate far greater interest making things worse. Smarter to have requested some artful editing or threaten the writer with reasonable risk of prosecution.

Note. I oppose capital punishment, you do not prevent murder by murdering people, the wrong message is sent ie. that premeditated psychological torture and murder is justifiable. Better that the offender spend the rest of the life as a testament to justice and just in case justice failed (as it often does) be in a condition to be compensated and released.

Re:Is the US any better? (5, Informative)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#35196282)

"Did you know it is illegal to say: "I wish President Obama was killed by mortar fire on the White House. It could be set up across the park and use the flag on said White House to provide a rough wind measurement.""

BZZT! Wrong! I've had several talks with the SS, in person, regarding a phone call I had with someone stating similar things.

It is not illegal until you say "I plan to" or "I am going to."

Saying "I wish" is an opinion and is protected speech.

The whole thing revolves around INTENT. Wishing is not the same as saying you'll do it.

This has been a PSA from someone that has dealt with the Secret Service on multiple occasions - in fact some of my own ./ postings have made the SS come to my house.

Gotta Be Careful (2)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195104)

Not everybody has the same sense of humor ... especially politicians and those who's job it is to protect them.

Kinda what I was thinking (3, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195236)

Kinda what I was thinking. Especially a text which doesn't have any smiley or anything, and, as far as my piss-poor Italian allows, can read just as well as a schizophrenic's hate tirade. I mean, much as I would like to believe that a text going on about how someone isn't human and can hypnotize the masses is obviously a parody, you could say the same about the contrail conspiracy theory and yet some dolts out there believe it in all earnest.

The thing is, some people _do_ go nuts now and then and start believing all sorts of highly illogical stuff right before they go and shoot someone. A text whose basic and repeated gist seems to be "I never was for killing another human, but I want to kill the head of the government, and it's ok to kill him because he's a mind-controling alien" would probably get one investigated in the USA or most other countries.

I kind of have sympathy for him, and see how being run by a douchebag using his media monopoly to keep himself in power would drive someone to despair. But FFS there are better ways to go about it without sounding like a delusional rant about wanting to kill him. Or at least, you know, a couple of winking smileys or something.

Re:Gotta Be Careful (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195246)

Not everybody has the same sense of humor ... especially politicians and those who's job it is to protect them.

Yes it's weird. This journalist is a woman. Women are completely immune to prosecution for sexual harassment, rape, domestic abuse, and indecent exposure even when it is absolutely certain they have done those things, and fellas, women physically hit/abuse their spouses more than men do -- think about that. I thought they would throw "threatening language" in there as a bonus immunity but I guess I was wrong. Maybe Italy isn't all about the double standards like USA.

Alternative? (2)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195114)

I keep reading about this clown, the demonstrations against him etc, but it all seems to boil down to one thing - the lack of a credible alternative. As long as there isn't one, he's going to be in power. This simple fact seems to have escaped the Italian voting public for years now. Is it really hard to find someone in Italy who's not a crook and who wants to be president?

Re:Alternative? (4, Interesting)

Aldenissin (976329) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195184)

Would YOU want to run against him? If you were to, remember, if something happened to you he'd automatically win...

Re:Alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195204)

Sounds like here in the US.

Re:Alternative? (1, Redundant)

skids (119237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195334)

It all boils down to "laws and morality are for little people." If there's a lack of a credible alternative, it's probably because the credible alternatives, being a little guys, get discredited through illegal (but not to the PTB) acts the inute they come on the radar.

Re:Alternative? (1)

black6host (469985) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195434)

"it's probably because the credible alternatives, being a little guys, get discredited through illegal (but not to the PTB) acts the inute they come on the radar."

Wow, that was about as hard to read as the translation to english linked to in the summary :) No offense meant, j/k.

Re:Alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195356)

Sure there are alternatives. What about the former PM, Romani Prodi?

Re:Alternative? (1)

quippe (767072) | more than 3 years ago | (#35196254)

His spokesman - Silvio Sircana - was found [google.it] enjoying a party with a transsexual about two years ago.

Re:Alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195658)

In the end, they will need to import someone in from the US or Canada for a turn-around -- they've already started with one of their national institutions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergio_Marchionne

For nationalistic reasons, he (unlikely they'd accept a 'she' yet) will need to have mildly Italian roots.

Re:Alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195996)

I speak for all Canadian. We are willing to hand Tony Tomassi [wikipedia.org], ex-minister of la famiglia, well know for it corruption in the John James "jean" Charest's cabinet and linked to italian mafia in Montreal.

Re:Alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35196016)

How can alternatives be credible when the incumbent owns the media?

Well, well (1)

Nuno Sa (1095047) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195122)

The man is no doubt a wizard in the arts of illusion, but what I'm more concerned about is the global Police State we're living in.

What keeps him in power for 2 decades? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195130)

Could it be some cherished, carefully guarded tradition? I remember few quite similar, in spirit, Roman Emperors... or (ducks) Popes ;p

Re:What keeps him in power for 2 decades? (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195182)

On the other hand, Roman emperors also had the habit of occasionally getting things done in grand style. That is what I find most baffling about Berlusconi's endurance: Not only is the guy a grossly corrupt sleazeball plutocrat, he hasn't achieved particularly thrilling results in economic, law-and-order, or quality of life metrics.

He's like the decadent and incompetent version of Putin.

Re:What keeps him in power for 2 decades? (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195322)

He's like the decadent and incompetent version of Putin.

This is the best definition of Berlusconi I ever read !

Re:What keeps him in power for 2 decades? (3, Informative)

Shemmie (909181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195354)

Those two are best buddies, if I remember my wikileaks correctly.

Yeah, thought so WikiLeaks 'to highlight Putin and Berlusconi's special relationship' [telegraph.co.uk]

One controls the Italian Mafia, one controls the Russian Mafia.

Re:What keeps him in power for 2 decades? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35196018)

Controls? It's far more likely that they're controlled by the mob.

Re:What keeps him in power for 2 decades? (-1, Flamebait)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195580)

He's more like a Dago version of Rupert Murdoch - one who gets his nut off rather more frequently, with juvenile victims of human trafficking.

He must have seen Tinto Brass' Caligula 30 years ago, and thought: "Thats'a Me!"

Re:What keeps him in power for 2 decades? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195662)

Quote :)

Better than the Average Bear --- aka Hurding Cats (1)

omb (759389) | more than 3 years ago | (#35196010)

Ever been to Italy, it is one of the most dis-organized and wonderful places on the planet.

And governing it is like hurding cats, Obama only has to deal with sheeple

SEX (3, Funny)

omb (759389) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195982)

Italy is different, they like sex and are not ashamed of it,

Tolerate alternative lifestyles, eg LBGT

Have some of the most passable/beautiful TS outside asia, and go to confession.

Burlisconi has few problems, at his age most Italians envy him, as in the US its only the PC liberals who hate success and fun,
and at 74 who can grudge him that.

clearly irresponsible blog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195158)

It's one of those pieces that can be read with equal plausibility as an incitement to violence or as a joke. The idea of killing the prime minister is mentioned not once, but several times in obsessive fashion. What, you mean you can't write a piece expressing exasperation with Berlusconi and the Italian parliament without making those "jokes"?

Double dumbass on you (1, Interesting)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195180)

I see this a lot in politics these days: educated, intelligent journalists lashing out and saying anyone who doesn't agree with their political opinions must not be a member of the human race. And here's one who thinks that it's OK to call for deaths just because she's frustrated. America has the same thing, Sarah Palin's calls for violence incited her followers and real people died.

Re:Double dumbass on you (4, Insightful)

Jahava (946858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195328)

I see this a lot in politics these days: educated, intelligent journalists lashing out and saying anyone who doesn't agree with their political opinions must not be a member of the human race. And here's one who thinks that it's OK to call for deaths just because she's frustrated.

There's a critical difference between a satirical call for death and an actual death threat [wikipedia.org]. Death itself is a powerful subject, and it can be used quite aptly to evoke far more sentiment than straight murderous rampage. In this case, she wasn't stating her intent to kill Berlusconi, nor was she attempting to rally others to do the same. Rather, she was expressing her rage and frustration at him, which is well within (at least American) bounds of free speech.

This seizure wasn't made out of fear and concern for Berlusconi's wellbeing. This is textbook abuse of law for the purpose of silencing opposition.

America has the same thing, Sarah Palin's calls for violence incited her followers and real people died.

This is a really stupid example. Maybe read a little into things [wikipedia.org] before echoing the political impulse. As outrageous and annoying as Palin is, there is no good reason to suspect she had anything to do with the shootings.

Re:Double dumbass on you (1)

Ben4jammin (1233084) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195464)

While I agree there is a BIG difference between satire and actual death threats, I think you also have to be careful when you use language that "dehumanizes". A byproduct of that is you are implicitly stating that they are not worthy of being treated as a human being. Surely the satire will survive without inference.

And you are right on about the Palin thing...just understand you are probably not being heard. There are people that NEED to believe she was the cause of it, regardless of facts. I wish she would just go away, and I think she often exhibits a poor choice of words. But to imply that Loughner was her follower is simply not supported by the facts known at this time.

Re:Double dumbass on you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195660)

I seem to recall another case on Slashdot when a Conservative politician in the UK had used language about the "stoning" of a journalist.

Somehow there was great support for his punishment and the need to interpret any call for death strictly.

Re:Double dumbass on you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35196186)

This is a really stupid example. Maybe read a little into things before echoing the political impulse. As outrageous and annoying as Palin is, there is no good reason to suspect she had anything to do with the shootings.

Except for the fact that if any one of us non-politicians had an identical looking website as Palin's with gun crosshairs and a listing of people (one of which was just murdered), we would be in prison right now waiting for our trial in 2025 or later.

Of course she felt her website was unrelated and innocent as well, which is why she didn't take it down that same da... oh wait.

Re:Double dumbass on you (1, Insightful)

Zancarius (414244) | more than 3 years ago | (#35196304)

Except for the fact that if any one of us non-politicians had an identical looking website as Palin's with gun crosshairs and a listing of people (one of which was just murdered), we would be in prison right now waiting for our trial in 2025 or later.

The Dems did a similar thing in 2004. And even then, I think that's a pretty silly example. While we're at it, let's investigate anyone who uses the phrase "targeted marketing."

The guy who shot Giffords was obsessed with killing her and had been for some time. It had nothing to do with Palin or with target emblems on some random site that very few people probably even looked at--and let's not get into a hypothetical rant.

I swear, the political Left in the US is just as bad (worse, actually) as the whackjobs they point to repeatedly on the Right.

Re:Double dumbass on you (1)

nyri (132206) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195332)

I see this a lot in politics these days: educated, intelligent journalists lashing out and saying anyone who doesn't agree with their political opinions must not be a member of the human race.

You truly are missing the point. This is not about a disagreeing with political opinion. It is lashing out because Mr. Berlusconi is a criminal of the worst degree. He's using his post as a prime minister shield against various corruption charges, he's hiring child prostitutes, he's appointing showgirls as parliamentary candidates, etc. The guy is an embarrassment to whole Europe. Only the people of Italy does not seem to get it.

The guy is an embarrassment to whole Europe (2)

Gonoff (88518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195432)

It goes a little wider than that.

He is an embarrassment to

  • Well past middle age sleazeballs
  • The whole democratic system
  • Men
  • The entire human race

And probably a lot of other groups.

Re:Double dumbass on you (2)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195512)

They're not "child" prostitutes, they're like seventeen. Now, I agree that it's abhorrent to go with somebody that young if you're over 24 and he's like 70. I also think that if guilty he'd have to go straight to jail as underage prostitution is terrible.
But I point out that had he waited some months the girls would turn 18, he'd have been above such charges. I have theories:
1. those girls are the way to frame him, his entourage has a lot of shady guys. The mafia or the really powerful people don't let a guy like berlusconi get too powerful without a way to control him.
2. 17 is illegal. 18 is legal, no fun anymore. Pedobear sh^t gets real.

Re:Double dumbass on you (4, Informative)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195444)

> saying anyone who doesn't agree with their political opinions must not be a member of the human race

Lemme translate some famous pearls of S. Berlusconi
"Judges are mentally ill and antropologically different from the rest of human race"
About his opposition: "I can't believe there are so many dumbasses ('coglioni') that vote against their interests"

So, police, go seize his TV stations.

Re:Double dumbass on you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195808)

"About his opposition: "I can't believe there are so many dumbasses ('coglioni') that vote against their interests""

Sounds a lot like exactly what I hear from Democrats just about ten times a day. The difference is that they don't say the word 'coglioni' but every other word is identical. Hence why is this a problem to say?

Re:Double dumbass on you (1)

quippe (767072) | more than 3 years ago | (#35196208)

"About his opposition: "I can't believe there are so many dumbasses ('coglioni') that vote against their interests""

Sounds a lot like exactly what I hear from Democrats just about ten times a day. The difference is that they don't say the word 'coglioni' but every other word is identical. Hence why is this a problem to say?

That's because the opposition in italy believes the majority of people who voted berlusconi doesn't even exists. Probably that narcissism they (opposition leaders and people following them) have grown in the past 20 years is the main reason we actually have no real alternative to berlusconi right now.

Uh, hang on there (1)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195496)

"Sarah Palin's calls for violence incited her followers and real people died."

When?

It certainly wasn't the Giffords shooting. Jared Lee Loughner is a guy whose two favorite books were the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf. He liked using drugs, was a religion hating atheist, was a registered Independent who usually didn't even vote, and according to his friends, would well up at anger at the very sight of George W. Bush.

Truly, your prototypical Palin supporter.

I know it was politically useful for Palin haters to pin Loughner on her, but that doesn't change the fact that this guy was just a paranoid, grade A random nut.

Re:Uh, hang on there (1)

Ksevio (865461) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195890)

Well you just have to read it as two separate clauses.
"Sarah Palin's calls for violence incited her followers" - That's true.
"real people died." - That's also true.

Did the first one cause the second? No.

Re:Double dumbass on you (1)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195552)

Sarah Palin's calls for violence incited her followers and real people died.

Citation REALLY FUCKING NEEDED. (oh and if you are talking about the shooting in Arizona, then Sarah Palin's "follower" was someone who ignored all politics... you may just as blamed Obama since Obama talked about bringing guns to knife fights in Philadelphia when he was campaigning) Just because a politician like Palin is unpopular on Slashdot does not make her a terrorist. What's even worse is that people on this website will twist themselves into moral and logical pretzels to defend real terrorists like Hamas and Hezbollah while condemning any western politician that they disagree with.

Re:Double dumbass on you (0)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35196106)

I see this a lot in politics these days: educated, intelligent journalists lashing out and saying anyone who doesn't agree with their political opinions must not be a member of the human race.

That's because they're lefties. Dehumanisation is the first step towards mass murder, and the left always end up murdering everyone who disagrees with them once they have absolute power.

Political violence is endemic on the left, which is probably why the Italians took this so seriously.

Is he eligible to be prime minister? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195208)

He's not eligible to be prime minister because he was born in Kenya.

well.. (4, Insightful)

EasyTarget (43516) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195232)

What keeps him in power so long? You mean apart from owning the press, subverting due process and being beloved by the police?

The funny thing is that put that way; he sounds just like most of our beloved leaders.

Re:well.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195430)

The funny thing is that put that way; he sounds just like most of our beloved leaders.

And he gets more young pussy -- truely a modern hero!

Re:well.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195466)

Or maybe the italians just don't care?

Most of the Western world is filled with a staggering amount of hypocrisy, really a form of insanity, when it comes to politics.

There is hypocrisy about the importance of the law. As a Norwegian, does it provoke me that the so-called 'Mother of the Labour Party' Gro Harlem Brundtland, later head of the WTO, illegally claimed a pension without getting locked up for it? Do I notice that the Labour Party happens to be the one in power at the moment which may be entirely coincidental?

There is hypocrisy about creating an imaginary standard you selectively can hold people to, but not care about yourself. If a right-wing politician called his opponent "stupid and uneducated", it would be considered pretty much an application to be banned from all public positions. Yet I see on every discussion board I visit left-wing people call right-wing people 'stupid and uneducated'. There is clearly some madness involved in that gap of perception about what you can do.

Berlusconi enjoys a party. So what? I am pretty sure most people enjoy a party as well. I recognise that Western World Standard is to require a form of submission by your leaders, that they should lower themselves in your eyes and pretend not to do things like partying (although things like living in a $50m mansion is okay as long as you don't talk about it).

You would probably agree with the notion (going by the political makeup of Slashdot) that any word about women being well suited for caring roles is a sin as evil as killing the entirety of mankind, and must be eradicated and the sources relegated to correctional re-education facilities immediately so their infectious poison cannot be allowed to destroy society. Maybe many people just look around themselves and say "Hey, this is kind of what I feel based on what I see myself"?

In other words, the things that Berlusconi do that most left-oriented West Europeans consider grave sins may simply be not that relevant or important in the eyes of his supporters. By implication, the "scandals" as a source of something unproblematic are unproblematic in themselves. You therefore rather have to tally up the important (non-submissive, common standards) aspects of being in government - and on those he may not be sufficiently bad.

Should Italy allow such kind of satire? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195244)

Given the violent episodes in recent and not so recent history of italy (for instance brigate rosse) some humor is so tasteless to be borderline criminal. One can be critical of berlusconi without having to resort to that. For a good example one can watch the endless stream of satire against him going on on his own tv channels (yes it happens! that sells a lot of ad so he doesn't not stop it).

Pile on more evidence that Italy is a madhouse... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195266)

The people who speak the truth are treated like criminals and the criminals are free and run the country. Tunisia, Egypt, Italy?

Re:Pile on more evidence that Italy is a madhouse. (1)

tkprit (8581) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195516)

My thoughts, somewhat... maybe the esprit de la révolution has jumped the Mediterranean.

OK boys (1)

Windwraith (932426) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195324)

Lesson #1: Never, ever, get into anything related to bashing politicians. It's a free way to disaster.
I'd go as far as to say "Never voice your political opinions", except maybe with your family and close friends.

Re:OK boys (4, Insightful)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195554)

When I was asked to make this address I wondered what I had to say to you boys who are graduating. And I think I have one thing to say. If you wish to be useful, never take a course that will silence you. Refuse to learn anything that implies collusion, whether it be a clerkship or a curacy, a legal fee or a post in a university. Retain the power of speech no matter what other power you may lose. If you can take this course, and in so far as you take it, you will bless this country. In so far as you depart from this course, you become dampers, mutes, and hooded executioners.

As a practical matter, a mere failure to speak out upon occassions where no statement is asked or expect from you, and when the utterance of an uncalled for suspicion is odious, will often hold you to a concurrence in palpable iniquity. Try to raise a voice that will be heard from here to Albany and watch what comes forward to shut off the sound. It is not a German sergeant, nor a Russian officer of the precinct. It is a note from a friend of your father's, offering you a place at his office. This is your warning from the secret police. Why, if you any of young gentleman have a mind to make himself heard a mile off, you must make a bonfire of your reputations, and a close enemy of most men who would wish you well.

I have seen ten years of young men who rush out into the world with their messages, and when they find how deaf the world is, they think they must save their strength and wait. They believe that after a while they will be able to get up on some little eminence from which they can make themselves heard. "In a few years," reasons one of them, "I shall have gained a standing, and then I shall use my powers for good." Next year comes and with it a strange discovery. The man has lost his horizon of thought, his ambition has evaporated; he has nothing to say. I give you this one rule of conduct. Do what you will, but speak out always. Be shunned, be hated, be ridiculed, be scared, be in doubt, but don't be gagged. The time of trial is always. Now is the appointed time.

-- John J. Chapman, Commencement Address to the Graduating Class of Hobart College, 1900

Re:OK boys (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195668)

Lesson #1: Never, ever, get into anything related to bashing politicians. It's a free way to disaster. I'd go as far as to say "Never voice your political opinions", except maybe with your family and close friends.

FF some 10-15 years and not even there: your 5-6 yo grandchildren may "snitch" you by simply speaking to persons outside your trust circle. Don't you dare to break your trust circle either - like divorcing or something - not if you don't plan to snitch your "soon to be your ex-spouse and political detainee" before divorce. Can tell the above for sure, as a person who lived in Eastern Europe for the first 20-something years of life.
Would you like such a life? 'Cause if not, better forget about your advices and do something, even if the very little of always telling the truth.

Re:OK boys (2)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195744)

Politicians are our servant, officially speaking. Bashing a servant should be without consequences.
Stripping people of such right makes revolt a just moral choice. Of course revolt might be the expected response, rage becoming fuel for other immoral machinations.
I dunno your country but here:
Fascism 1.0 (1914-1945) is when that freedom is taken away.
Fascism 2.0 (1945-2001) is when politicians are uniformly puppets, so bashing them is encouraged as a diversion.
Fascism 3.0 (2001-present) is when bashing is again prohibited so that the diversion is stronger and the choice for the citizen is between direct and indirect control.
Getting out of it requires everybody to be social, powerful, smart, moral persons (moral as in having a moral system that competes with outside control - there is no real problem if people have genuine faith in communism, fascism, atheism, religion AND live their system for themselves and not against the others).
But that's unlikely to happen: the system can buy us off simply enabling a positive economic phase.

Re:OK boys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195878)

What if we threatened to throw a pie at their face [wikipedia.org]? Would that still result in the SWAT team storming the house? Okay, maybe it would be assault if actually carried out, and obviously threatening to kill someone goes WAY too far and probably isn't acceptable even as a joke, but we must be able to joke about some things.

If we can't ridicule politicians, state our negative opinion, or joke about what silliness we'd do if we met them in person, then what kind of freedom do we really have?

Re:OK boys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195942)

I think the point is to never say you're going to kill anyone. Which is what happened. It isn't satire or opinion when you're calling for murder.

It's a strange situation (5, Interesting)

The Second Horseman (121958) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195370)

To an outside observer, it seems that Berlusconi has stayed in politics for one primary reason - to make sure that he can keep changing laws every time there's an attempt to prosecute him for some misdeed. With that tactic, he's rendered the judiciary largely irrelevant. He owns a vast media empire, and hasn't been forced to keep his media holdings at arm's length while in office, so he's used that to prop up his political empire. The Italian Parliament doesn't seem to be able to deal with the issue. The disconnect between those in power and a good chunk of the population is very high, according to some recent news reports.

Given his personal behavior, you have to wonder just how corrupt his government actually is, and who may have been in a position to blackmail him for favors over the last twenty years. If he'd managed to avoid sexual misconduct that seemed deplorable to his core supporters, he wouldn't be in trouble now.

If Italy was in another part of the world, there would probably be a lot of questions about how democratic it actually is.

Its not strange, it just isnt American (1)

omb (759389) | more than 3 years ago | (#35196034)

Consider Clinton, a paragon, of lying.

How naieve and stupid can you Yanks get?

Comparing Belusconi to Mussolini? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195480)

Comparing Belusconi to Mussolini? What an absolute hidious insult to Mussolini.

"Say no more" (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195524)

"Say no more"

I am willing to bet that the second post in the comments section of that blog were what really worried some people. That phrase can have very different meanings, given the context of the blog post.

In his favor (1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195532)

Berlusconi has better taste in women than Bill Clinton.....or Obama.

Re:In his favor (4, Funny)

ComfortablyAmbiguous (1740854) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195648)

Oh, the memories. I always believed that Bill should have been impeached, not for the silly 'crimes' he was accused of, but for a serious violation of aesthetics. Gees, he was the President, couldn't he do better than that? It reflected poorly on the whole country.

First Lady (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195690)

Michelle Obama is definitely on the gorgeous side. Are Berlusconi's women any better?

Re:First Lady (0, Flamebait)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35195754)

Michelle Obama is definitely on the gorgeous side.

Only if your taste in women runs towards heffers........

Re:First Lady (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195806)

a lot of them are much better than obama.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/worldnews/5406658/Silvio-Berlusconis-women-the-top-10.html?image=3

Re:First Lady (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35196000)

Gorgeous side of what? A sea cucumber.

Re:In his favor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195842)

Berlusconi has better taste in women than Bill Clinton.....or Obama.

Yeah, because callgirls (remember Rubygate?) are the best a man can get. Dumbass.

You know what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195586)

I'm a little surprised that he managed to last longer than Bertie Ahern [wikipedia.org]

Asimov had it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195598)

[Foundation Series Spoiler Follows]

Italy is to Earth what Trantor was to the Galaxy in the Foundation Serioes -- understand the historical center that is Italy and you can understand and solve the problems of the rest of the planet.

All the corruption, lies, money, power, politics, rich/poor, north/south divides and bullshit that is everywhere in the world, in Italy it's all there, but magnified in a kind of tragi-comedy on stage.

e.g. in the West, is media ownership concentrated in a few people? Sure it is -- look at Murdoch and co. Does Murdoch have undue influence over our political leaders, sure he does -- but it's all a bit subtle, a quick visit to 10 Downing Street here, some money to congressional campaigns there.

In Italy however, media concentration and political power are all conveniently tied up in a single individual -- no need for subtlety!

Technical question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195846)

Unless I missed a link, the story is low on the details that matter most to geeks. How did the Italian police seize a .com domain. The site is "http://www.savonaeponente.com/" not "http://www.savonaeponente.it". I can understand the FBI or the CIA doing the same for a US-registered domain, but was some sort of inter-government coordination at work here? Could, for example, the secret police of ${authoritarian_state} seize facebook.com (and not just block it locally) because it's fanning the flames of protests against ${hated_leader_for_life}?

Lost something in the translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35195884)

Perhaps, the translation wasn't so good... but to me, it looked more like a death threat than satire. Does anyone know anything about the author? Just because the theory he espouses is crazy, doesn't mean he is not serious about it. Look at all the crazier stuff this journalist found:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2001/apr/07/society

it started in tunisia (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35196168)

it spread to egypt

what country in the middle east should feel the sweep of historic revolution next? algeria? jordan? yemen?

no, that other backwards country

italy

seriously, what the FUCK is wrong with you italian people? why do you tolerate this joke?

By Sending the Police (2)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#35196192)

how could such a clown, with multiple pending trials for corruption, tax offenses, abuse of power and even child prostitution, convince the majority of the other politicians and a consistent slice of Italian people to keep him as their prime minister for almost 20 years now?

By using the brute squad to terrorize the slightest dissent.

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