"Salve!"Welcome to the only newsletter that would have convinced Mark Antony that Cleopatra was a real pig, "Only In Italy!"
Hi, this is the first time I received your newsletter...just loved the articles! Good reading! Keep on with the good work. Non vedo l'ora di ricevere altre notizie; tanti saluti! Viv
Thanks for the feedback, Viv.
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
Palermo - February 19, 2010 - The Mafia observes a strict "don't ask, don't tell" policy on homosexuals within their ranks, an Italian psychologist said Friday.
"The Mafia is, on the surface, a ferociously homophobic institution," said Girolamo Lo Verso of the University of Palermo.
"Gays are not allowed to join and the ones who do live in fear of being found out," he said.
Nonetheless, Lo Verso contended that gays are as common inside the Mafia as out and that their cover is maintained by a code of discretion similar to the one adopted by the US military in the 1990s.
Drawing on the findings of prominent anti-mafia prosecutor Antonio Ingroia, he said there was evidence a number of middle-ranking Costa Nostra Mafiosi were gay and that their preference was probably no secret to higher-ups. But the common foot soldier, he said, faced fierce prejudices conditioned by a culture of machismo that feels outwardly threatened by gays.
Lo Verso added that Cosa Nostra in Sicily was fairly enlightened compared to its Calabrian cousin, 'Ndrangheta, which reserved savage punishments for members discovered to be gay.
"Homosexuality is seen as a threat to the family ties that bind 'Ndrangheta clans," he said.
"There's a fear that gays could either corrupt those ties or feel less bound by them than they should".
He said that in prison, their homophobia turned to prudery, obliging them to "shower in their underpants and change clothes behind a curtain".
Lo Piccolo contrasted the chauvinism and homophobia typical of southern Italian culture today with the prevalence of homosexuality in ancient Mediterranean civilizations.
"It's hard to say how or why that changed, but the obvious place to look for an explanation is in the area's historic domination by foreign cultures".
He suggested that occupation by the Arabs in the 8th century AD and later by the Spanish and French may have instilled Sicilians in particular with reverence for the nuclear family and hostility towards same-sex relations.
Imagine the flirting that goes on at high profile Mafia meetings, "We're here, we're queer, get used to it."
I can almost understand why the Mafia would be ferociously homophobic. After all, as a culture they're more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands.
Their problem is men in Italy are becoming very effeminate. I'm writing about heterosexual men now, forget about gays! Over the years, Italian men have become increasingly more effeminate. If you walk through the streets of Palermo and you see some of these men "swishing" around, you'll know what I'm writing about.
And how could their victims take their gay members seriously when they come in for the monthly shakedown?
"Oh, Dio, you're late with the payment again?"
"Please, why do you do this to me? Don't make me upset otherwise, my lifemate and I will be forced to break your knee...but your hair will look fabulous."
Traces of the drug were found in the hair of the unidentified MP, the only one of the 232 volunteers to fail the tests, said Giovanardi, a cabinet undersecretary who was given the anti-drugs portfolio two years ago.
Giovanardi said he "hadn't the faintest idea who the MP is, whether it's a man or a woman, a Senator or a deputy," since the results were secret.
Some 147 of the MPs tested said it would be OK with them for the results to be published while 29 failed to sign a release form.
Giovanardi hailed the November 9-13 screening as "a great success" and said he would push for a law making such tests mandatory, as they are for truck drivers, people who operate heavy machinery, and other such workers.
Pressure to introduce drug testing for MPs has risen in recent years after a handful of politicians were involved in drugs case and in the wake of a 2006 prank by a cult TV show which claimed to expose widespread drug use in parliament itself.
The show Le Iene, broadcast on one of Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi's three channels, secretly tested 50 MPs for drugs and said the results showed one in three had apparently taken them in the preceding 36 hours.
Twelve tested positive for cannabis and four for cocaine.
The prank never aired because of protests by MPs who claimed their privacy had been violated.
Ah..."minchia". (Close your eyes for a moment and reflect.)
We're all here, no matter what we are; we're all searching for the truth and trying to make it through this confounding world. Well...everyone except the chicken chasers in Italy's Parliament. They claim to know the truth.
Italy is such a mess..."Cavolo", such a friggin' mess. Hard to believe the last improvements in our politics were made by Caligula's horse. Itís been pretty much downhill ever since!
Itís depressing that the truth is most Italian politicians do not obtain any college education. And the very few that do majored in politics and cleaning gutters. Which brings us to the point that there are many unqualified and insane Italians holding very responsible jobs in Italy's Parliament today. Hence, the friggin' mess.
How long will it be before unqualified Italian lifeguards drag people into the water and drown them? Are we a step away?
And what of their repulsive faces? Just take a look at the so-called drug czar, Giovanardi. Some of these politicians' faces look like they belong in racist cartoons! That's why most of them have to do whatever drug they can get their mitts on just to improve their looks and motor skills.
Oh, "figlio di una mignotta", how we would love to annihilate every Italian politician. Oh, what a beautiful dream. Well, not all of them of course because we wouldn't want to be accused of being too inhumane. But for the love of Sofia Loren, imagine a world with just a handful of politicians? We could make them walk around with T-shirts with the words "endangered species". This way we could leave them alone so they could breed.
Nicole Minetti, 25, treated the prime minister after he was attacked in Milan late last year with a miniature marble statue of the city's cathedral. The former TV showgirl qualified as a dental hygienist in November just a month before Mr Berlusconi, 73, visited her practice for treatment on two broken teeth.
Miss Minetti has no experience in the political field, but she has worked at one of the channels owned by the billionaire politician. She appeared on a program called Colorado Cafe as a dancer and another show called Scorie, which is an Italian version of Candid Camera.
Italy will hold regional elections at the end of March and the prime minister said they were an "important test for the government, which could have a significant impact on the national level". But Miss Minetti joins other candidates who appear to have been selected by Mr Berlusconi for their good looks.
Last year the Italian leader's long-suffering wife Veronica Lario, 53, announced she was divorcing him after revelations he was planning to run several attractive women as prospective MEPs.
Ms Lario called the idea "shameless trash" that was created "just to please the emperor". In the end the idea was ditched by Mr Berlusconi who said his wife had misinterpreted the plan due to "leftist propaganda".
Besides Miss Minetti, the prime minister has also selected four women as prospective regional governors. Contrary to reports earlier this year, none of them are from the showbiz world. But other high-profile people fighting for votes include Giorgio Puricelli, the physiotherapist of Mr Berlusconi's football club AC Milan, as well as his trusted architect Francesco Magnano.
Of the 13 regions headed to the polls in March, only Veneto and Mr Berlusconi's home region of Lombardy are governed by his center-right coalition, with the remainder in the hands of the center-left.
The problem here is not dealing with Berlusconi's latest "cazzata" which would be the equivalence of changing a diaper underwater, but the fact that Miss Dental Hygiene 2007 is setting back the 'Women's Movement' 74 years with her delusions of adequacy.
We don't know anymore. How did we get to this point in time? Are Italian women that dangerous that we can get duped into performing hillbilly acts...or is it the shoe polish in our hair follicles that has started to seep into the brains of some of us?
Miss Minetti, 25: "I am not worried though. I am ready and I have done all my homework and I feel that I am qualified and up to the job. I know that I am young and I still have lots to learn but I don't like all this judgment of me without seeing what I have to offer."
-> "Mamma mia", how adorable! Hey Silvio, ever watch a nature film when they show a coyote eat his own leg off to escape a trap? Start chewing...
She also spoke of her past as a TV showgirl: "I would ask newspapers to stop publishing photographs of me when I was on the television."
-> Incredible. She, like most women in Italy live better than Cleopatra. In fact, most women from underdeveloped countries would give up their left breast to live like Miss Minetti does in Italy.
Well, we certainly wish her all the luck in her political venture. Remember, if at first you don't succeed, give up, and start looking into the profession of lawn mowing.