"Che si dice?" Welcome to another religious and prophetic edition of "Only In Italy!"
The article on the Mafia Observes A Don't Ask Don't tell Policy stated that the Arabs were in Sicily in the 1st century AD. No, it was more like the 8th century in the 700s. Grazie. Anthony G.
"Cavolo", thanks for the correction, Antonio! We appreciate it and the article has been updated. Speaking of invasions, we sure wouldn't mind another one right now. Anything to get out of the mess we're in!
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
Rome - February 24, 2010 - More than 30% of Italian school building need urgent maintenance work, including the removal of asbestos, according to a new report from the environmental group Legambiente, which was presented on Wednesday.
The report also said that some 40% of Italian schools do not have any sports facilities.
The northern provinces of Prato, Parma, and Biella were said to have the best school structures, while the worst were found in Campobasso, Messina and Crotone in the south.
This year's report, now in its 10th edition, praised the advances which have been made in Italian schools in regard to waste recycling, practiced in 86.92% of schools compared to 39.16% in 2001, and the growing use of low consumption illumination, now present in about half of Italian schools compared to 37% in 2005.
"Mamma Mia" What? You need a pencil?
It's no surprise Italian schools have huge organizational problems, and a real problem assigning funding, which is not enough to fully implement its crappy and outdated programs. Not to mention the badgering of children into selecting a political party at the age of 6. Just imagine an old tractor with too many broken down parts that guzzles up a lot of gas...and goes into town every once in a while looking for so-called "escorts".
However; you should see what goes inside these Italian public schools. When the school day ends it looks like the set of "300"; kids with piercing running around like psychopaths on those threatening scooters, running people over, purse snatching, vandalism, etc. Now I know how the Spartans felt like.
And if you confront these incredibly qualified school officials about the health problems such as the presence of asbestos, you will get a typical answer such as, "Look on the positive side. At least the kids haven't caught on fire."
"The report also said that some 40% of Italian schools do not have any sports facilities." That is true...unless you consider playing soccer in traffic, outrunning the police on a scooter at lunch time, playing "scopa" (Italian card game) in the bathroom, or playing with asbestos sports activities.
Naples - February 23, 2010 - Italian singles want a government ministry of their own.
Joe Lo Pilato, head of the newly formed 'Union of Love for Singles', says the proposed ministry could help people living alone fight lower wages and alleged discrimination.
"We denounce the fact that singles are penalized in the workplace and virtually every walk of life," Lo Pilato said, announcing a 'bill of rights' demanding mandatory government funding, travel discounts and tax breaks.
"We're up against discrimination wherever we turn, from civil service jobs to public housing," claimed Lo Pilato, 63, from Avellino near Naples.
The Union will stage Italy's first National Singles Day in Naples on July 24, he said. As well as helping singles who struggle to make ends meet, the ministry could also lend a hand in finding partners, Lo Pilato reckons.
"The government ought to organize collective weddings."
"Living alone isn't always a lifestyle choice".
Unbelievable! What "rompicoglioni!"
I would first like to state that perhaps we are biased as we are of Italian blood and more importantly a couple of us consider ourselves to be captivating and charming Italian men (while our two coworkers look like they could do advertisement for liquor...hard liquor). But that's neither here nor there.
In defense of the 'Union of Love for Singles', we would also like to clarify a popular misconception ladies may have on Italian men. Regardless of what you may have experienced or heard, we are NOT the best lovers in the world. Some men in Italy claim they can carry a dozen doughnuts without their hands. Truth is...most of us can't carry two and we would pass out if we tried with more than three.
And there is no mandatory government funding, travel discounts, or tax breaks that could help that.
"We denounce the fact that singles are penalized in the workplace and virtually every walk of life," Of course you're penalized! It's an unfortunate sickness called "ugliness". And how could Italian politics possibly help the reason why you're not dating? Besides, they say that politics make strange bedfellows...and we don't even understand what that means, "cazzo!"
"The Union will stage Italy's first National Singles Day in Naples on July 24," Porca miseria, imagine Naples filled with singles roaming the city; the smell of cheap Napolitano aftershave wafting in the air, Nino D'Angelo music blaring in the streets and Napolitani walking around with their shirts half-buttoned.
Vatican City - February 24, 2010 - The Italian Bishop's Conference (CEI) on Wednesday said it had no confidence in the ability of Southern Italian politicians to heal the region's ills and urged its people to mobilize for change.
The first step in bridging the north-south gap, it said, was to "get past the inadequacies of today's political class".
The CEI's rallying call came in an annual report on the Catholic Church's role in Southern Italy. It said the best remedy for the widespread crime, corruption and unemployment in the area was to "foster civil values" among the local population and reclaim a sense of "national solidarity" with the south and its problems.
It also chided elected officials for seeking votes in the region while ignoring it between elections.
"The south is seen as a reservoir of votes, which end up serving political ends unrelated to its needs".
However, the report said social malaise shared in the blame for southern Italy's underdevelopment and that residents would have to become more active in public life if they wanted to see change.
"The region will never realize its full potential until the men and women of the south understand that they cannot expect from others that which depends on them," it said.
The importance of Italian unity in the face of reform was an underlying theme throughout the report with the CEI warning that decentralizing trends in government would "do more harm than good" if they ended up dividing the country. The CEI also called on southern Italy to "shake off the chains" of organized crime, which it said had "bound its creative energies".
"The Mafia is the basest expression of evil and sin. It poisons society, perverts the hearts and minds of the young, suffocates the economy and deforms the true nature of the people it holds captive".
But it warned that the Mafia's influence extended well beyond regions of the south, undermining democracy in the nation as a whole. The CEI cited increasingly visible cases of "collusion, corruption and graft" throughout Italy as evidence of the Mafia's expanding base of power. The report also expressed concern about women's rising stake in organized crime, which it said was no sign of a narrowing gender gap.
It said women in Italy were still largely "the victims of a rigid culture of familism" that refuses to see them as anything other than homemakers, a condition which limits their prospects and makes them vulnerable to violence. It denied, however, that their growing clout in the mafia marked a departure from this trend, saying that it stemmed instead from a "perverse vision of their role as mothers".
Southern Italy's importance as the point of arrival for thousands of immigrants was also addressed by the report, which said the Church needed to make an even bigger effort to reach out to them. It said condition of hunger and misery in which immigrants often land on the shores of Sicily called for "greater solidarity".
The CEI went on to describe the south as a "laboratory for interfaith dialogue" where the Church could impart its values by extending "hospitality and care" to immigrants of other religions.
"The barriers facing southern Italian women in civil society and the conditions of violence in which they live are prime causes behind their rising prominence in organized crime," she said.
A Senator for the largest opposition group, the Democratic Party and vice-chairman of the Senate finance committee, Sergio D'Antoni said the CEI's indictment of southern politicians was "right on target".
"Southern Italy is nearing economic collapse, organized crime is eating away at it like a cancer and it couldn't be truer that addressing those issues is not the government's priority".
According to the Bank of Italy, the country's southern regions represent over a third of the population while producing less than a quarter of its gross domestic product.
The Church is right. Itís trying to take a rational road with its insinuation on southern politicians...but with today's political class, the bridge is out.
Anyone who has visited Southern Italy can understand. It's beyond belief what level our southern regions have been reduced to.
The readers of our stupid newsletter might say all the political classes in the world have the same DNA. Ah, we beg to differ. Our politicians are low-level brain powered people. Trust us. In fact, they just recently crawled out of the sea. They crawled and formed spines and actually walked upright.
Did you know they are still celebrating walking erect?
"The first step in bridging the north-south gap, it said, was to "get past the inadequacies of today's political class"." No, the first step is to understand how these inadequacies came about. Are they the result of being fed with a slingshot instead of breast-fed when they were toddlers?
"It said the best remedy for the widespread crime, corruption and unemployment in the area was to "foster civil values" among the local population and reclaim a sense of "national solidarity" with the south and its problems." Now you see, that's the point in the discussion where most Southern Italians will zone out and go back to lying on the beach, cooking in the kitchens and pretending to work at their state jobs.
"The south is seen as a reservoir of votes, which end up serving political ends unrelated to its needs." This could not be further from the truth. One time we went fishing off the waters of Sciacca (Sicily) and we snagged a body that was dead from the neck up and we elected him as mayor of the town. I think there's no need to explain what that progressed into.
It's a shame because our uncle had insisted to throw it back in the water.