"Come va?" Welcome to the only newsletter that dares you to tell a Palermitano, "he who works by himself does the work of three", and see what reaction you'll get. "Only In Italy!"
Have a great weekend folks!
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
San Luca - March 18, 2010 - The Italian Soccer Federation on Thursday banned a team in a Calabrian mafia fief who played with black arm-bands after the death of a boss.
San Luca is a small town which gained international headlines in August 2007 when an 18-year feud sparked by egg-throwing at a wedding culminated in a hit on six gangsters in the German town of Duisburg.
The San Luca team staged their mourning tribute after the death of a leader of one of the warring families, Antonio Pelle. All 16 of the players who took the field in November were banned for two matches Thursday while three of the club's executives, Giuseppe Nirta, Giuseppe Strangio and Giuseppe Trimboli, received bans ranging from one month and five days to five months.
'Ndrangheta, which once lived in the shadow of its Neapolitan and Sicilian cousins Camorra and Cosa Nostra, has emerged as Italy's strongest mafia thanks to its dominance of the European cocaine trade and its unbreakable family ties.
Soccer homages to mafia bosses are not unusual in southern Italy and in October a Sicilian soccer club chairman who dedicated a victory to a Cosa Nostra suspect was banned for five years. The club, Akragas Calcio from Agrigento, was docked a point in the 'Eccellenza' division.
On Thursday San Luca was docked three points in the Prima Categoria division. The two categories are the lowest in Italian professional soccer, after Serie D. photo: Antonio Pelle aka 'ntoni Gambazza.
"Che cornuti!" Banned for two lousy matches? Huh?! "Fanculo!" Every soccer team in Southern Italy should have its players (and coaches) go through a drug-testing regimen and painful cavity search after every game. If this ridiculous Italian government wants to outlaw organized crime it should also include soccer. I swear it's like looking at 'National Geographic' with a soccer ball!
Those soccer games are so "stupido". We'll admit, we sometimes get caught up in the hysteria and get hammered during the World Cup finals but to actually go to the stadium is out of the question.
Face it fact: Believe it or not, soccer is not a physical activity because a player does not use his/her entire body. It could be considered a physical activity by a Calabrese farmer who lost both arms in a freak tractor accident involving a couple of nervous sheep who had second thoughts. Until this harebrained sport finally tests a person's upper torso, it is not a physical activity.
As we've seen from Italy's past, soccer is not governed by rules, but rather by corruption (Italy's favorite pastime). How long is a soccer game? It depends on the fantasy of a referee, depending on how much money he has personally bet.
And most soccer games end in ties which means...both teams lose! "Palle!"
Therefore, soccer is not a sport. It is a bizarre activity. However, as we've seen, it is an activity that has dreadful consequences on Italian culture, inciting fascism, violence and even perversion: We're just a few games away from players taking each otherís temperatures with a soccer ball. And instead of players exchanging jerseys at the end of the game, they'll be swapping underwear and wearing them over each other's heads.
Rodolfo B., 74, was convicted by a court in the northern town of Lecco on charges relating his role as a local pointman for the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta mafia. That court had ruled that his status as a high-ranking mafioso made him an exception to a law which protects seniors over 70 from having to serve jail time unless deemed a public menace.
But the Court of Cassation no Friday overthrew that decision, ruling that Rodolfo B.'s Mafia links were insufficient grounds to put him in jail. It cited the "law's special regard for that section of society including new mothers, children, the mentally infirm and senior citizens even in the face of serious crimes".
Following the ruling, Rodolfo B. will be released from prison to serve out the remainder of his sentence under house arrest.
The law's special regard for senior citizens?! "Cazzarola!"
The fact is this: There is nothing special or wholesome about male senior citizens who roam Calabria or the rest of South Italy. Yes, some of them may have cute and cuddly faces but the rest look like they belong in racist cartoons.
"Cavolo", we're not being irrational. We believe some senior citizens from Southern Italy are innocent of the crimes they have been convicted for but...they're guilty of something. They are all guilty of something! If you wear socks with sandals, have broken your hip, or are constantly being told to pull your pants up, chances are you're still of sound mind and body to order to have someone buried in a yard.
Here's a list of what Rodolfo would have looked forward to if the court had decided to keep this harmless senior citizen behind bars:
- Use of the telephone,
Hmmm...we sincerely hope the Italian judicial system will one day be able to solve the mystery of how it is possible Mafia bosses are still fully capable of giving and receiving orders from behind bars.
"Alitalia's figures are looking very positive and its prospects for the next three years are excellent," he said.
The airline was reborn as a private carrier after its state-managed forerunner declared bankruptcy in 2008.
It was reformed by a private consortium of investors under the guidance of the Berlusconi government, whose center-right coalition had resisted a planned takeover by Air France-KLM before it came to office in 2008.
"We didn't want to lose our flagship airline," the premier said Friday.
Air France-KLM was later chosen as a strategic partner and was allowed to buy 25% of the new company.
Last month, Alitalia estimated an operating loss of 270 million euros in its first year as a private carrier. It said its aim was to break even in 2010 and start turning a profit in 2011.
"Future is looking bright?!" You are about to enter another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. So, make sure your seat is in the upright position and your seat belt buckled for we will soon be landing in the 'Twilight Zone'.
Operating loss of 270 million euros?! "Madonna Santa!" Hard to believe this so-called airline was gifted with a scandalously dominant market position by the State decades ago and still can't figure out how to turn a measly profit.
Alitalia, the drag queen of red ink, is little more than a brand that has been passed (with some incredibly incompetent and angry personnel & Pentium 2 hardware) from one company to another. But rumor has it the future of our airline is bright:
- December 31, 2009 by S. Gibson (UK)
"At check in and boarding they refused to talk in English or assist in any way." (Signore, if you can afford to fly with us you can certainly afford Italian lessons.)
- December 31, 2009 by L. Boehle (USA)
- December 28, 2009 by P. Bethanis (USA)