Posts Tagged ‘constitution’

If you thought former President George W. Bush’s illegal wiretapping spree of a few years ago was bad, think again. Italy and Italians have it much worse.

“Everyone is being spied on,” said Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi today.

Speaking in front of the assembly of Confcommercio, the Italian General Confederation of Enterprises, Berlusconi calmly (for once) explained why the Italian Senate has recently approved a law that would prohibit journalists from publishing court documents containing recorded phone conversations and would make prosecutors’ jobs much harder by limiting the use of wiretapping possible suspects.

He said that 150,000 phones are currently being wiretapped in Italy. Making a rough estimate of the people involved in the phone conversations, Berlusconi said that 7 million people are being listened to every day.

That’s an awful high number of people to listen to. I’m wondering how many people are employed to do this? With just over 100.000 police officers in Italy, you’d think someone else is doing the job.
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Last week, former Cincinnati mayor Ken Blackwell was on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show to present his book: “Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency.”

Aside from being very bad at making his point, Blackwell wasn’t able to answer a simple question about the TITLE of the book: “Specifically, how is Obama subverting the Constitution?”

Blackwell stumbled and muttered something about Obamacare and appellate court judges to be appointed by the president.

If this is subversive, please find someone to export this model to Italy.

Napolesconi, by Gippo - Gyp, 2005

What Blackwell (and co-author Ken Klukowski) need to do is read some books on Italy’s prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. Only then will they have a clearer idea of what “subverting the constitution” means.

Here are just a few facts to back up what I’m saying.
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The next three years – that is, up to the 2013 elections – will be the toughest for Italy’s democracy, its Constitution and Italians in general.

In the meantime, the recent regional elections have given a strong boost to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s populist model of governing.

Berlusconi believes that by winning elections he is mandated to do whatever he wants, including changing Italy’s Constitution and radically modifying the balance of powers that has kept Italian democracy in check for the past six decades.
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On Thursday, more than 185,000 people tuned into the online streaming of Raiperunanotte, a special edition of Annozero, a public TV program shut down for a few weeks by the government of Silvio Berlusconi.

Servers were on the point of melting down, buffering capacities were stretched to the limit.
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Italy finally has its own Rambo-style minister.

It’s Roberto Calderoli, Ministro della Semplificazione – the minister whose task is to simplify Italy’s bureaucracy.

His style is quite unique, as you can tell by the pictures. (Credit: Imagoeconomica)

After collecting 375,000 allegedly useless and outdated laws, amendments and other government documents, Calderoli put them all in boxes and had them stacked one on top of the other in front of a fire department in Rome.

He then threw some gas over the boxes and set the whole thing on fire.

Quite a show!

Sure, he could have gone down the environmental route and recycled all that paper. But a nice big fire is certainly going to attract more photographers.

Let’s just hope people don’t follow the minister’s example. Two years ago, burning trash didn’t really work out in Naples and the surrounding towns, where an environmental disaster is quickly developing. Roberto Saviano explains all of that in his amazing book, Gomorrah.

Still, Calderoli definitely needs to be commended for his hard work. According to Corriere della Sera’s Gian Antonio Stella, he has been able to cross out “more than one law a minute” since he got into office in 2008. I’m sure Calderoli is a fast reader and has gone through every single one of the 375,000 laws.

If he hasn’t, I just hope nothing really important ended up between the trash.

The Constitution still seems to be in place. Maybe it’s just a matter of time before he burns that, too.