Comment on A Game of Thrones Genesis Free Download by XOR DIGITAL        
i get a black screen as soon as i run the game and it just hangs there
          Counselor        
TN-Morristown, Position Summary To provide comprehensive counseling services to the general student population in a comprehensive community college setting. Typical Duties and Responsibilities A. Providing academic counseling, retention assistance, assistance in the development of academic plans, and assistance in the major selection process to all enrolled and admitted students. B. The ability to communicate ef
          Director of Budgeting        
NC-Wilmington, Definition: To perform a variety of professional level duties and responsibilities involved in performing complex statistical analysis, developing budgets and fiscal reporting systems, and to perform various related activities in support of the financial planning function. Exercises general supervision over staff in the payroll operations and budget areas. Minimum Required Education/Training/Exper
          Maintenance Mechanic        
CA-Costa Mesa, Orange Coast College Mechanic Job# O-009-18 Salary: $4,263.00 - $5,186.00 Monthly Deadline: 07/20/17 Full job description and OFFICIAL application available ONLY at: https://www.cccd.edu/employment. Please click on OPEN POSITIONS located in the menu bar on the left, then select your desired jobs category to access list of open positions. Definition Under general supervision of an assigned Supervis
          Custodian        
CA-Costa Mesa, Orange Coast College Custodian Job# O-013-18 Salary: $37,116.00 - $45,204.00 Annually Deadline: 07/21/17 Full job description and OFFICIAL application available ONLY at: https://www.cccd.edu/employment. Please click on OPEN POSITIONS located in the menu bar on the left, then select your desired jobs category to access list of open positions. Definition Under the general supervision of the Custodia
          Michael Rasmussen egy új generációs EPO-val bukott le tavaly.        
Touir de dopping
          Responsable Intégration Vérification et Validation Plateforme d'essais produit - H/F - Thales - Gennevilliers/CRISTAL        
Dans le cadre de notre développement, nous recherchons un(e) : Responsable Intégration Vérification et Validation sur Produit Radio (IVVQM) - H/F Basé(e) à Gennevilliers (92) Au sein du secteur DIR (Direction Ingénierie Radio) et plus précisément du service NGP (Next Generation Product), vous intégrez le service en charge de l'ingénierie, du développement et de l'industrialisation des produits radio pour le programme CONTACT (postes véhicule, portatifs et aéronautiques) et les produits...
          By: Anon        
@ Hap "Chances are better I will keep my job in big pharma" Unfortunately this statement isn't in keeping with my personal experience. I know personally four people who have either discovered drugs or clinical candidates. Three are no longer at their respective companies with 2/3 of those being involuntary. Let's be real, at the end of the day it's all about who can brown nose the best with the decision makers. Generally lab rats who make tons of compounds don't do that well in that regard. As for working at start ups the only reason I see is being a larger part of the process. That's part a monetary thing and part how much control you get over your ideas.
          Badshah Masala launched their new ad campaign #HumareYahan        


by Shrutee K/DNS
National: Badshah Masala, this Independence Day, has launched their new ad campaign #HumareYahan, aiming to decrease this divide and pushes notice to how similar these two sister countries are. Badshah Masala believes that despite all the differences we may have, food transcends all boundaries and brings people from different places together. 
In this video, Manno is a traditional Indian mom whose daughter, Dimple, has just returned from US after finishing her studies. Dimple, whilst showing Manno pictures from her time in US, also shows her a picture with her Pakistani friend, Saad. Manno immediately points to Saad being a Pakistani, but is shunned by her young and liberal daughter.  
Dimple then mentions that she wants to meet Saad, an idea which Manno isn't too fond of. After much deliberation, Manno asks Dimple to invite Saad over for dinner so that she can keep an eye on him. Once Saad comes over for dinner, he amazes Manno with what he does.
This video is a testimony to how much the younger generation can influence their parents in breaking stereotypes that have prevailed in modern India. The campaign also communicates a broader message that gets us thinking as to how Indians perceive foreign nationals. It stresses on the importance of respect for an individual regardless of his or her racial background and nationality, and the importance of not judging a person based on our own preconceived notions and existing stereotypes.
Kailash Jhaveri, Managing Partner of Jhaveri Industries, said,”As we are inching closer to a 70th Independence Day, there is no better time to contemplate the ties between these two countries. We are trying our best to close this divide by starting a conversation over something that no one would decline - Swaad.” 
Hemant Jhaveri, Managing Partner of Jhaveri Industries, adds, “Badshah Masala has always been involved in forming connections through food. From the very beginning of this company, we have looked at food as something that can bring people from everywhere together. We are glad that we are taking this opportunity to provide another outlook to the current scenario that our country is facing.” 
Anushree Pacheriwal, Creative Head of Gemius, said, “It has been an incredible experience working for this campaign. From the very start, we were certain that this message needed to be out there, and that shaped the direction that this campaign took.”
The campaign is by Badshah Masala conceptualised by agency Gemius and creative head Anushree Pacheriwal, Story, Saurabh Pacheriwal. The production house is 50mm Media Productions and Director & DOP is Saurabh Desai and Ankit Mavchi. Gemius is co founded by Saurabh Pacheriwal, a marketing professional and Anushree Pacheriwal, a creative professional. Its clientele includes Badshah Masala, World Economic Forum, Just In Time, Baggit, TEDx events amongst others.
·       Campaign Link:  https://youtu.be/2LFIuXf1Gqo
Credits:
Client: Badshah Masala
Managing Partners: Kailash Jhaveri, Hemant Jhaveri
Agency: Gemius
Managing Director: Saurabh Pacheriwal
Creative Head: Anushree Pacheriwal
Account Management Team: Tanvi Khandelwal, Abhishek Doshi, Varsha Tanna
Story: Saurabh Pacheriwal
Production House: 50mm Media Productions
Director & DOP: Saurabh Desai & Ankit Mavchi
Production Team: Fenil Patel, Siddhant Shah, Nehal Trivedi, Jigar M, Setu U


          Ziox Mobiles announces Sushant Singh Rajput as its Brand Ambassador along with Rs. 300cr investment for FY17 - 18        
Launches its newest Mobile phone ‘Ziox Duopix’
        Forays into LED TV and Consumer Durables Segment
        Plans to open 2 new manufacturing units and R&D facilities with investment of Rs. 200cr.
        Plans a 360-degree marketing campaign with a budget of
Rs. 100 Cr.
by Shrutee K/DNS
In the light of its vigorous expansion, Ziox Mobiles under the aegis of Sun Air voice Pvt Ltd, one of the fastest growing Mobile handsets brand, ropes in the very versatile, Sushant Singh Rajput, as its Brand endorser who truly lives up to the brand name.  While Ziox mobiles is a preferred brand across the country through its outstanding innovation and quality, the other has won the hearts of a million Indians as he slips into any role with nonchalance. Both the brand and its ambassador ride on the precepts of resilience, hard work and steady growth. A rare blend of energy, perseverance, and popularity coupled with his ability to connect to people, Sushant Singh Rajput is a fine addition to the Ziox Mobiles family. This association will further boost the legacy of Ziox Mobiles as the actor resonates to the brand promise: Quality that Speaks.
Answering strong demand and an overwhelming response from the Indian market, Ziox Mobiles also chalked out a detailed expansion plan and the roadmap for FY 2017-2018.The Brand aims to establish a stronger foothold in the Indian Market, with the total investment of over Rs. 200crore which shall span for a year, the Brand announced its plan to set up 2 new manufacturing units (in Sikkim and Noida) and R&D facilities apart from the existing New Delhi unit, with a holding capacity of around 1 Million units per Month. With the induction of Sushant Singh Rajput as its brand endorser along with the total investment of Rs. 100 Cr. this FY 2017-2018, Ziox aims to achieve an estimated revenue of Rs. 1,000 Cr and a sale of 10 million product units.
Commenting on this association and a promising future, Mr. Deepak Kabu, CEO Ziox Mobiles said “The future looks bright, Ziox Mobiles has a range of phones in the pipeline with exciting new launches. We are enthralled to present Sushant Singh Rajput as the new face of Ziox Mobiles. With Sushant Singh Rajput on board, it will help augment sales and further its reach in the market. The partnership with him is timed with Ziox Mobiles’ next phase of expansion on a pan-India level” Mr. Kabu further adds, “Sushant embodies talent, youthfulness and style. More importantly, he blends well with the core values of hard work, reliability, and is the epitome of our brand philosophy. Today our target audience is the young, driven, forward-moving generation, who have ever changing needs. Sushant understands the pulse of this audience well and has a great rapport with them. That is why, with immense preparation, he goes on to entertain his fans with one performance after another just as Ziox Mobiles constantly strives to understand the changing needs of its customers.”
Speaking on the association, Sushant Singh Rajput said, "I have always known Ziox Mobiles to be an inspirational brand in terms of their persuasion to becomes India’s biggest mobile brand. I am happy to be associated with a brand which is very young, and has a journey that is very similar to mine. I love how this brand designs its products to suit every need of its customers and are constantly innovating themselves as I see myself doing that while working on a role. I look forward to being part of the Ziox Mobiles family and to contribute to its fascinating growth journey in India." The ever-evolving brand has slated a major strategic transformation that entails the signing of a new brand endorser, an aggressive expansion and launches of it new products. The Brand at the event also announced the launch of its newest smartphone Series ‘Duopix”, Phone Series with Dual Cameras. Designed to fulfil the brand promise of providing users with superior camera performance and quality, ‘Duopix’ comes equipped with wide angle Dual front camera (8.0MP + 2.0) front +8.0MP Rear. The latest Dual 4G model runs on Android 7.0, with 5inch HD IPS Display along with 2GB RAM + 16GB ROM all packed in 2500mAh battery. Some of the key features includes strong battery life & also the fast charging capability. The budget friendly Smartphone comes equipped with various other features like 21 language support with multilingual phonebook, MP3 player, FM Radio, Bluetooth connectivity to help you stay connected. The phone will be available across all retail stores in few week’s time. Along with the smartphones, the brand also announces its foray into LED TVS and Consumer Durables category.

About Ziox Mobile: Ziox Mobiles, part of Sun Airvoice Pvt. Ltd., incepted in the Year 2015, with a singular motto to break the boundaries while offering technologically superior products without compromising on quality. Headquartered in New Delhi, Ziox Mobiles has built up an impressive product portfolio of more than 40 distinguished products and constantly innovating to make superior products.
Empowering consumers with affordable technology through quality products- the brand has truly demonstrated quick and robust expansion since inception, showing profitability and growing sales since the first year of operations. Being considered as one of the most innovative and fastest growing brands in the Mobile category, the brand has established its presence across India through its wide network comprising of its various branch offices and system integrators across several states in India.

          Sugar Free launches a web series ‘The Sweet Breakup’ a first of its kind in the food space        


by Shrutee K/DNS


Mumbai, August 2017: Sugar Free, a name synonymous with sugar substitute, is the single largest leader in India in the category. The brand always thrives on innovation as key for its growth and has introduced many variants in the category for the sweet binging yet calorie conscious Indians. As an extension to its innovation drive, the brand has unveiled a new campaign ‘The Sweet Breakup’, a one-of-a-kind 5-part web-series in the food category. The series is conceptualized and executed by Maxus Content, the content solutions arm of Maxus.
Talking about the campaign Tarun Arora, Chief Operating Officer & Director, Zydus Wellness said, “Our vision for “Sugar Free” is to make it the brand of choice for consumers seeking low / no calorie options to lead a healthier life style. Hence to address the myths attached with the usage of Sugar Free as part of one’s daily culinary needs made us conceptualize ‘The Sweet Break Up’.  This web series demonstrates in an authentic way that you can indulge into your favourite dessert guilt-free without compromising on the taste. The 5- city trail as part of the campaign only reaffirmed that any sweet recreated with Sugar Free tastes the same when made with sugar. I believe this was the first time a dessert truck was going around India and hence there was a lot of excitement amongst people wanting to know what’s cooking !”
Pooja Verma, Head - Content, Entertainment and Sports Partnerships at Maxus said, “Maxus believes that changing traditional behaviour among consumers with content, needs a compelling strategy which is driven by insights and fused with creative thought. Showcasing Sugar Free as more than just a sugar substitute via ‘The Sweet Break-Up’ campaign is a prime example of our focus. Sweets have a strong relationship with celebrations in our country. With that insight in mind, we brought our campaign together on the message that enjoying sweets while breaking up with unhealthy calories is a win-win outcome for every foodie. The creative vehicle to deliver that message is our one-of-a-kind series where Chef Kunal Kapur joins famous foodie-duo Rocky & Mayur, in recreating delicious Indian sweets with Sugar Free. Through this content solution, the brand stands to generate extensive and meaningful conversations with viewers who love their sweets.”

This campaign marks the culinary journey of Sugar Free across 5 cities Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Mumbai, where celebrity chef Kunal Kapur reconstructed 5 different speciality desserts by using Sugar Free products. The brand also had on board the famous foodie duo Rocky and Mayur whose fun banter added to the entertainment element in the web-series. The journey started from Delhi where the chef created the famous Tewari Brother’s Gulaab Jamun followed by Lucknow where Ram Asrey’s famous Malai ki Gilori was made. The truck then headed East to Kolkata where he recreated Balaram Mullick’s Sandesh and then southward to Bangalore where he made a fusion dessert using G Pulla Reddy’s Dharwad Peda and created Dharwad Peda Tiramisu. The final leg of the web series was shot in Mumbai where Chef Kapur added a spin to made Ladu Samrat’s modak and created delicious chocolate modaks. All of these were created using Sugar Free. While the brand has a strong linkage with table top consumptionand pellets as a format, the culinary consumption for powder formats is a gap that needs to be bridged. ‘The Sweet Breakup’ campaign is that step forward by Sugar Free to make consumers aware of the format, its usage and the fact that the taste of the dessert stays as good. What more? One can indulge in sweets now without having to feel guilty.
The Sweet Breakup will be unveiled on-air on youtube.com 18thAugust
About Zydus Wellness Limited: Zydus Wellness Limited is the Consumer products company from the Zydus Group. Zydus group is a pharma major with flagship organization, Cadila Healthcare Limited, a leading pharmaceutical company with significant global presence apart from India. Zydus Wellness has been a pioneer in various categories it operates in. The company focuses on emerging segments and has its DNA of innovations with “Do good benefits” at the core of its business. Zydus Wellness commands leadership in the sugar substitute market, table spreads and the skin care segments. In the sugar substitute market, Sugar Free is a market leader with a market share of 94% and targets health and fitness seekers apart from diabetics.
Nutralite is a market leader in the Fat Spread category and appeals to consumers looking for healthier alternatives to normal butter. It is cholesterol free, does not contain any hydrogenated fats and is also trans-fat free. Everyuth is a pioneer in facial cleansing space in India. It enjoys leadership in the scrub and Peel off Mask segments and is amongst the top players in the overall facial cleansing category with strong “Naturals” equity Zydus Wellness Limited is listed on NSE and BSE and has manufacturing locations in Gujarat and Sikkim.
About Maxus:  Maxus is a marketing communications consultancy that helps marketers build profitable relationships between consumers and their brands. They combine the disciplines of communications planning and customer relationship marketing to deliver Relationship Media, a next generation model powered by creative media thinking and sophisticated, real-time customer data.

Their services include communications strategy, digital marketing, direct response media, social media, data analytics, media investment management, content & sports marketing, marketing ROI evaluation and CRM. Having a talent team of 2,500 people across 55 markets, they are part of GroupM, the world’s largest media investment management group that serves as the parent company for all of WPP’s media agencies.

          Celebrate the platinum year of Indian Independence with HISTORY TV18        

This August watch inspiring stories of incredible Indians with ‘India: 70 wonders’ and a History TV18 original documentary on the great Subhash Chandra Bose with ‘Netaji Bose and the Lost Treasure’

by Shrutee K/DNS
Mumbai, August 2017: This Independence month HISTORY TV18 is presenting a marathon of inspiring stories that is sure to keep the viewers glued to their screen. The channel brings two most amazing shows India 70 Wonders starting 8th August, 2017 every Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8 PM and a documentary on Subhash Chandra Bose - ‘Netaji Bose and the Lost Treasure’ on 18thAugust at 9 PM. The viewers are in for a surprise as the August marathon will feature Bollywood “womaniya” Huma Qureshi.
India 70 wonders will feature inspiring and out-of-the-box OMG stories of India and Indians. Some amazing stories from across the country include the cemetery-hotel in Ahmedabad, a barber who drives a Rolls Royce, a 75 year old woman who has mastered Kalaripayattu, a man who transforms iron nails into art and the likes. A series of 7 extraordinary episodes, each episode will showcase 10 inspiring stories that will depict 70 years of a young nation that is at the crossroads of change. Each story has been handpicked based on the level of amazement and intrigue generated.
The next offering is a television first, based on Subhash Chandra Bose, one of the most dynamic leaders of India's struggle of independence. The undying questions surrounding the mystery of the fabled INA Treasure and it’s disappearance along with Bose will come alive with ‘Netaji Bose and the Lost Treasure’ a History TV18 original documentary.  The secrets, locked away in the vaults of South Block and protected by the Official Secrets Act, will be showcased for the first time on television.
The thrilling one-hour special, is filmed in India, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar & Japan and uses rare archives as it pieces together the mysteries. With an interesting combination of present day shots, archival footage, graphics and interviews, the film takes one through an unexplored treasure hunt of World War II and its key players.









          Indian girl’s finish 4th in Asian Rugby 7s        

by Shrutee K/DNS
Mumbai, August 7: The Indian Girls’ Under-20 rugby team performed creditably well to clinch the fourth position at the Asia Rugby U-20 Girls Sevens Series which was held at the Kings Park Stadium, Hong Kong, China on August 4 & 5, 2017. The team participated under the aegis of the Indian Rugby Football Union (IRFU), the governing body for the sport of Rugby in India and was supported by Societe Generale, the financial partner of Rugby India. The tournament was played on a round-robin league basis.
Playing against heavyweights, the Indian girl’s put up some impressive performances winning three of the six matches and finished among the top 4 from out of the 7 participating countries, namely China, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Uzbekistan, India and hosts Hong Kong. The formidable and more experienced Chinese girls were crowned champions.
The Rugby India Girls played well but came up short against some stiff competition on the first day. They lost the opening match against Thailand (0-36) but won the second defeating Malaysia (10-0). The Indian girls suffered two more defeats, losing to China (0-32) and Hong Kong 0-39).
After a tough start to the tournament, the girls turned things around on the second day, registering two successive victories. Both matches went down to the wire but the girls handled the pressure well. First the Indian girls overcame Singapore 10-5 and later beat Uzbekistan 22-15.
We are extremely proud of the team’s performance at this tournament. It just goes to show that the future of women’s rugby in India is in safe hands.
The India team: RuchiShetty – Captain (Maharashtra), GargeeWalekar (Maharashtra), NeelamPatil (Maharashtra), RiaBisht (Delhi), Rajani Sabar (Odisha), BasantiPangi (Odisha), Manjulata Pradhan (Odisha), KabitaKasturi (Odisha), Chanda Oraon (West Bengal), Swapna Oraon (West Bengal), Suman Oraon (West Bengal), Punam Oraon (West Bengal).
The final Rankings: 1. China, 2. Thailand, 3. Hong Kong, 4. India, 5. Singapore, 6. Malaysia, 7. Uzbekistan
Performance of the Indian U20 Girls Rugby Team
Day One –4th August, 2017
Day Two- 5th August, 2017
Team
Score
vs
Score
Team

Score
vs
Score

Rugby India
0
vs
36
Thailand
Rugby India
10
vs
5
Singapore
Rugby India
10
vs
0
Malaysia
Rugby India
22
vs
15
Uzbekistan
Rugby India
0
vs
32
China

Rugby India
0
vs
39
Hong Kong

About Rugby India : Rugby India, founded in 1998, is the sole governing body for the sport of Rugby in India. Recognized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sport, Govt. of India, Rugby India is a full member of World Rugby, Asia Rugby and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). The body is responsible for the growth & development of the sport of Rugby across the country from the grassroots to the high performance level.
IRFU is the sole governing body of all formats of the sport of Rugby in India for all genders and ages. The formats included are as follows: Rugby Union, Fifteen-a-Side Rugby, Seven-a-Side Rugby, 10-a-Side Rugby, 12-a-Side Rugby, Touch Rugby, Non-Contact Rugby - Tag Rugby, Flag Rugby, Beach Rugby, Snow Rugby, Wheelchair Rugby, Underwater Rugby.
Rugby has been included in the School Games Federation of India (SGFI) for all age-groups (U14, U17 & U19 boys & girls) and the National University Games for both Men & Women, under the aegis of the Associationof Indian Universities (AIU), The sport is also a part of the Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) and played by the Paramilitary & Police Forces.
Rugby in India has a rich history and heritage and dates back to 1872. However, only over the last decade has the sport seen a major rise in following and Rugby India has been instrumental in garnering this interest across the country. There has been a significant growth and increase in participation numbers and currently, within India, over 120 Rugby Clubs are affiliated to our State and Districts Associations with competitive Rugby, for both Men & Women, being actively played across 24 States in India.


          Skillsoft and MIT Sloan Management Review Partner To Train Next Generation Business Leaders        

Superior content and Percipio platform help organizations develop the next wave of leaders

 by Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai August 08, 2017–Skillsoft, the global leader in corporate learning, has partnered with MIT Sloan Management Review (MIT SMR) to curate the journal’s best leadership assets and deliver them to its 40 million users. This key collaboration kicks off a series of new, innovative content partnerships that will empower Skillsoft’s Leadership and Business Skills learners with professional training from the industry’s top experts.

Organizations and their employees can now access this elite catalog of content to enhance professional development, upskill their workforce, and hone individual career paths. Presented through the highly engaging and intuitive Percipio platform, users will be able to access everything from MIT SMR’s general leadership articles, to Frontier articles that focus on the intersection of business management practice with technology, collaborative research reports, as well as webinars and videos. Content will be optimized for all devices and operating systems, and will be accessible via video, audio and written content for varied learner styles and needs.

“Our Leadership content sets us apart from other corporate learning content providers. We provide the most diverse content catalog with an array of learning modalities. More importantly and unique to Skillsoft, we craft thoughtful learning paths and courses for users to follow,” said Bill Donoghue, Executive Chairman of the Skillsoft group. “Our partnership with MIT Sloan Management Review will supplement our own assets and underscore our commitment to building the most respected and up-to-date portfolio of Leadership training available.”

Skillsoft will embed MIT SMR content within its core Business and video collections, and integrate content within its existing Leadership offerings, like Skillsoft Leadership Advantage, Continuous Leadership Journey and Women-in-Action. The partnership between Skillsoft and MIT SMR will provide organizations with engaging, on-demand corporate learning content that will groom, train and inspire management teams through a consumer-like interface (think Netflix or Amazon) that is designed to engage the learner.

“We see a growing need for effective leadership training to address critical skill gaps in today’s organizations and help increase an organization’s ability to develop talent from within,” said Paul Michelman at MIT SMR. “This partnership gives our content a new vehicle for delivery within those organizations that believe training their internal talent is paramount to creating a competitive edge.”

MIT Sloan Management Review is a pre-eminent platform and content leader that bridges the gap between academic research and daily practice. The Review keeps readers in tune with management trends and innovations. MIT SMR articles cover a wide range of topics relevant to management with a focus on areas such as Data & Analytics, Digital, Global, Innovation, Leadership, Marketing, Operations, Social Business, Strategies and Sustainability. For decades, MIT SMR has been a forum for business-management innovators from around the world to present their ideas and research.

About Skillsoft : Skillsoft is the global leader in corporate learning, providing the most engaging learner experience and high-quality content. We are trusted by the world's leading organizations, including 65 percent of the Fortune 500. Our mission is to build beautiful technology and engaging content that drives business impact for today’s modern enterprise. Our 150,000+ multi-modal courses, videos, books and micro-learning modules are accessed more than 130 million times every month, in 160 countries and 29 languages. With 100% secure cloud access, from any device, whenever, wherever. www.skillsoft.com

          SSB Retail India launches two more Specialty Malls        

by Shrutee K/DNS
Hyderabad, 4th August 2017: SSB Group is a leading structural galvanizing company which is in a retail sector mall in Hyderabad.

The SSB World Shopping Mall has come up with a two brand ‘Alpine’- the supermarket and ‘Casabene’- the furniture mall. Casabene has its branches in Kolkata, Hyderabad and is now launching 2 more new branches in Hyderabad.

The company has diversified into retailing. The 3rd retailing space at Chakripuram  is 7000 sq. ft which has a combination of Alpine Super Market & Casabene Furnitures. The 4th retailing space at North Kamalanager ECIL is 2000 sq. ft which also has a combination of Alpine Super Market & Casabene Furnitures.
The retail industry is very competitive; in order to give extra mileage SSB is having its own manufacturing facilities. They believe in delivering excellent quality products with customer satisfaction. The Chief Guest for the event will be honourable Smt. Pajjuri Pavani Manipal Reddy (Corporator) for A S Rao Nagar Division, SSB Directors - Y Sharath Babu & Ajay Kumar Singh and Chairman - Ramakanth Singh. Mr Ajay Kumar Singh & Mr Sarath Babu - Directors, of SSB believes in giving good lifestyle supplies at competitive prices.
 
The retailing product will be: Supermarket/Furniture/Home Décor/Home Accessories/Home related products

USP: Exclusively designed/Concept selling/Manufacturing Quality Products/Craftsman and Finishing/Free interior advice/Large collection under one roof

The business plan is to diversify and open 10 Branches of Alpine Super Market & Casabene Furniture in the twin cities.

About SSB: SSB is a Turkey service provider, established in August 2013, SSB Structural and Galvanizing Pvt Ltd is an enterprise by two pragmatic visionaries. As an emerging sector, it is present in telecom, power, heavy and general fabrication and infrastructure. It was able to export structural material in the second year of inception. The company has a turnover of 50 crores and it will have 100 crores of turn over year.

          U Mumba announces sale of tickets for Home Leg of Season 5 of VIVO Pro Kabaddi League         
by Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai: Hosting their home leg at the Dome @ National Sports Club of India (NSCI), SVP stadium in Mumbai between the 25th and 31st of August 2017, U Mumba announced the start of their sale for tickets and offers on ticketing partner websites paytm.com and insider.in. The home leg will be the fifth of VIVO Pro Kabaddi League, that will extend into the last week of October.  

The VVIP tickets are priced at INR 7,000, while the VIP tickets are priced at INR 5,500. Both the VVIP and VIP tickets include refreshments and the seating surrounds the playing area.

In the General Stand, tickets for Section 2 are available at INR 1,000 and Section 3 and INR 800. U Mumba fans have a lot to cheer about with the team reducing prices of tickets in the General Stands by 25%.

With tickets now available for sale online, fans can avail attractive discounts on Season Passes, Weekend Passes and Weekday Passes.

Season Passes (for all 6 match days) and Weekday Passes (for games on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) are available at a 25% discount.

The Weekend Pass (for games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday) are available at 10% discount.
In an offer exclusive to the student community, students aged under 21 years, are entitled to a 35% discount on Section 3 tickets. These can be purchased online and collected at the Box-Office on displaying their Student ID.
NSCI members can avail a special discount of 10% at the Box Office by displaying their membership cards.
“With 6 games, we’ll have an entire week of Kabaddi in Mumbai city and this is a real treat for our fans, especially given the exciting line-up of matches scheduled. Further, with the Ganesh Festival coinciding with our home leg, we look forward to celebrating the festival together with all our fans,” commented U Sports CEO Supratik Sen.

The Dome @ NSCI, SVP stadium will play host to the extended league for 6 days this season with U Mumba taking on the Jaipur Pink Panthers in the first encounter followed by the Maharashtra Derby on the second night with their weekend ending with a match against Dabang Delhi. Post their Rest Day on Monday, U Mumba will face debutants Gujarat Fortunegiants and Haryana Steelers on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively and close their home leg with a match against the Jaipur Pink Panthers again.

All matches start at 8:00 PM and Gates Open at 6:00 PM on match days.


          Uf y recontra uf si tiene cara de lesbiana que...        
Uf y recontra uf si tiene cara de lesbiana que tal un presidente de mexico gey un gobernador gey y un presidente munincipal gey y de pilon esta que si se ve lesbiana que futuro tan brillante tenemos aqui en tepa los estudios deven de ser algo asi como esto puros LGBT los GEneracion # 5 que lio no les digo pura carne para el diablo o mejor dicho para el carnaval dela mundanidad para amor y paz y paz si como no ahhhh
          ahh que la vida esto es simplemente satanico no...        
ahh que la vida esto es simplemente satanico no se deve tolerar este conportamiento pues ya pasamos a sudoma y gomorra con estos disque comununida gey y solo nos queda desir que estos estudiantes son tambien de esa comunida gey son unos diabolicos para eso estudian ,mejor ser uno hijo de dios y no hijo del satanas si esta proibido por dios y se destruyeron ciudades completas en donde murieron miles de jentes por estas mismas razones imaginesen que vaa a pasar en tepa solo falta que empiese a llover fuego del cielo y no ay que admitir esto ni ser complices de estos mejor desir al pan pan y al vino vino oh mejor dicho nunca digan esto alo mejor oh talves esto no es correcto es mejor desir si es si oh no si es no ah y creo que tepa por la voluntad de Elogin sera limpiada de estos depravados y si la mano es larga si pero que quede claro que esta actitud de esta lesbiana de molestar a este diplomatico en favor del nucleo dela familia , y no tiene educacion y si ay que estar alerta por otra intervencion mas de esta lesbiana esta no tiene educacion y esta bien claro para los que vimos este video y la policia tenia que aberla detenido por ideoto y por molestar solo que esta lesbiana nos quemo a nivel mundial con esto salimos perdierdo tepa tiene el mal recor por narcos y machistas y ahora guero oh mejor dicho jentusa si educacion que verguenza que pase esto en tepa las autoridades deverian de detnerla por mal educada y estos estudiantes que andaban con el cartel son unos jotos y lesbianas oh tom boys geys oh mejor dicho se hacen llamar generacion 5 creo el infierno los espera ya con los brazos abiertos a estos muy estudiados y muy modernos van directos al infierno pues son hijos de satanas esto es los resultados del livertinaje moderno y por la falta de dios el ser humano se ah degradado al maximo asi , y si es el final delos tiempos que habla la palabra de dios en la Santa Torat o mejor conosida la Biblia si aran su desmadre en mundo , pero con Elogin no pueden ni podran nunca y pronto van a recibir su castigo por su degracion sii asi sera
          Ahhh la comunida LGTB vamos aclarando esto que ...        
Ahhh la comunida LGTB vamos aclarando esto que primero esta disque comunida se hace pasar par estas silavas ah hablando claro son los jotos y levianas y otros endemoniados que se creen parte de algo y asi no llegamos a nada son puras mamadas estos bueyes y vacas ya enfadaron se deven de corrigen que los espulsen de tepa y como antes se van mucho ala china antes les davan una feria y a tijuana y lla es tienpo estos descarados de putos y jotos lesvianas y tom boys y estas que la generacion cinco lla estamos artos asi es esto dios creo a Adan y Eva mas no a Adan y esteban y las mujeres no creo a Eva y alejandra estos son los renglones torcidos del satanas que comunida ni que nada al pan pan y al vino vino son satanicos pues Elogin no hiso esto por lo tanto se aplacan con sus putadas y sus joteadas aqui en tepa si queremos la moral y la queremos siempre la familia es la familia y estos no caben aqui en tepa si hacen sus cochcinadas estan fuera de tepa esto pasa por el livertinaje que ahora se demuestra en estos modernos y muy estudiados son como digo yo estos son pura carne para el abal y no queremos sus cochinadas aqui en tepa son oh se van fuere mugres cochinos que tal estos disque LGTB es la falta de moralida y sus pendejadas y no tienen ningun derecho si son de esta disque comunida satanica igual los que los apollan les falta la mano de Elogin en sus vidas y si son satanicos pues esto es deprabavacion del ser humano y si lla se pueden ir despidiendo esto es aborresido por Dios mismo asi fuera con todos los que los apollan hijos de satanas y yo los Ato y los espulso En el Santo Nombre de Jhoshua mashia cullo nombre es poderoso y es le nombre que fue dado sobre todo nombre por esto ya estan en la cuerda floja y ya me enoje por tan torcidos ay que bolver alas raiz que dios nos dejo la biblia es el manual dela vida y su palabra es la luz y estos estan en las tinieblas ahhh
          Accelerate Live! talk: Health-generating buildings, Marcene Kinney, Angela Mazzi, GBBN Architects        
Architects Marcene Kinney and Angela Mazzi share design hacks pinpointing specific aspects of the built environment that affect behavior, well-being, and performance.

 

During the past 20 years, we’ve witnessed an evolution in building design, from high-performance and energy-efficient buildings, to sustainable and green buildings, and now to spaces that enhance performance and promote wellness and health. 

In this 15-minute talk at BD+C’s Accelerate Live! conference (May 11, 2017, Chicago), Marcene Kinney and Angela Mazzi from Cincinnati-based GBBN Architects talk about their work in behavior change and health-generating design.

Their predictive outcome modeling helps clients make strategic design investments that enhance user and building performance, while minimizing behaviors that can lead to more negative outcomes, such as injuries, poor health, or mistakes.

They also share design hacks pinpointing specific aspects of the built environment that affect behavior, well-being, and performance to help clients get more success out of their spaces.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

As Principal and Market Director at GBBN Architects, Marcene Kinney, AIA, LEED AP, leads her team's exploration and focus to do more than merely solve functional architectural problems for clients. Her applied research details fives types of space and their physical attributes that contribute to socialization and gathering patterns within spaces. She has dedicated 17 years exploring how space facilitates social interaction and builds community within the educational environment. Kinney has presented her research-based design work to American Institute of Architecture and Society of College and University Planning audiences and is the recent recipient of an AIA design award for work completed at Northern Kentucky University. Perhaps most important are the satisfaction survey reports by her clients who are reporting increased engagement and retention from their customers.

Angela Mazzi, AIA, ACHA, EDAC, is a Senior Associate and Medical Planner at GBBN Architects, where she focuses on enhancing quality of life through built environments—connecting great design with user needs. Her background in design, business management, and research on socio-cultural contexts provides a unique perspective on how culture is reflected in architecture and user experience. Mazzi serves on the Board of Regents for the American College of Healthcare Architects (ACHA), the Board of AIA Cincinnati, the Advisory Committee for the Institute for Patient-Centered Design, and was an Advisory Board member for Arizona State University's Healthcare Design Program in its initial years. Her research linking wellness to design has been published in many healthcare journals and been presented at both national and international conferences.

FOLLOW GBBN ARCHITECTS

@GBBNArchitects
www.facebook.com/GBBNArchitects


          Tifiamo Scaramouche!        
Tifiamo Scaramouche è una raccolta di racconti in quattro volumi che possono essere scaricati liberamente in formato PDF dal sito dei Wu Ming. Si tratta di una fan fiction derivante da L'armata dei sonnambuli, l'ultimo romanzo storico del collettivo uscito nel 2014.

A curare la raccolta è stato Simone Scaffidi L. Da un'idea di: Pietro Pace, Mauro Vanetti e Alessandro Villari (Avvocato Laser). Il progetto grafico e l'impaginazione si devono a Franco Berteni (Mr Mill) e Simone Scaffidi L. La copertina e le illustrazioni sono di Alessandro Caligaris e Francesca Sibona.

Qui di seguito, ecco il mio contributo, pubblicato nel terzo volume della raccolta. Buona lettura.


Il flauto tradito
Parigi, 1801

1.

A suo modo, Ludwig Wenzel Lachnith era un uomo generoso. La sera del 20 agosto 1801, dopo la trionfale prima della sua opera I misteri d'Iside al Teatro della Repubblica, il compositore offrì la cena all'intera troupe, comparse e suggeritore compresi.
Benché relegate al tavolo meno prestigioso dell'ampia sala del ristorante, le due comparse Léo Modonnet e Emanuele Gizzio potevano udire facilmente i discorsi del tavolo principale, quello dove sedeva Lachnith assieme al manager del teatro, al librettista Étienne Morel de Chédeville e ai cantanti protagonisti. Per meglio dire, potevano udire il monologo del torrenziale musicista boemo, la cui voce sopravanzava quelle di tutti gli altri.
«Eh sì, caro Chédeville! Il buon Mozart aveva del talento, questo nessuno lo vorrà negare; ma aveva anche un'esecrabile tendenza al lambiccato, all'insolito... In una parola: troppa complicazione! Oggigiorno il pubblico non ne vuole sapere di una musica che sia troppo difficile. La gente vuole ariette semplici, presentate con garbo, che tocchino il cuore senza affaticare il cervello. Prendete il Don Giovanni: quante graziose melodie! Parola mia, credo che abbiamo fatto bene a prenderne una in prestito, per il nostro terzetto. Tuttavia, andiamo... La scena con la statua nel finale secondo... Chi può sopportare una tale rombante cacofonia? Pensate solo questo: in quattro battute, quel povero basso deve cantare tutte e dodici le note della scala cromatica. Sapete? Un mio amico italiano, galantuomo e compositore eminente, mi parlava tempo fa con orrore di un certo quartetto per archi, dove Mozart ha accumulato tante di quelle dissonanze da creare un ripugnante caos, direi quasi un giacobinismo sonoro, dove va completamente perso ogni giusto criterio di gerarchia tra le sette note... Di proposito dico sette, non dodici; giacché nessuno, a meno che il suo orecchio non sia guastato dalla musica per tastiera, crederà mai che un re diesis possa essere uguale a un mi bemolle... Anzi: un re è sempre un re, come dicono in Italia, non è vero?».
«Ma va' curcati, buffuni!» commentò Gizzio a mezza voce.
«Perciò, quando mi fu proposto di allestire per le nostre scene Il Flauto magico, la prima cosa che pensai fu: sta bene; ma, per carità, sfrondiamo! Semplifichiamo!
Smussiamo le asperità del testo! Rendiamo il tutto più comprensibile, più adatto alle orecchie del nostro pubblico. Più elegante, anche. E l'esito così radioso di questa serata ha dimostrato che avevamo avuto pienamente ragione. Prima di tutto: i nomi. Tutti quei Tamino, Papageno e Papagena del testo originale, così goffi e plebei, noi li abbiamo cambiati nei molto più raffinati Isménor, Bochoris e Mona...».
Modonnet rise.
«Non voglio parlare della parte musicale. Ho dovuto lavorare parecchio di forbici e d'ingegno per dare una veste accettabile alla barbarica partitura. Ma, per quanto riguarda il vostro lavoro, Chédeville, potete andare orgoglioso di avere addolcito il carattere di quella terribile regina della notte. Certo, l'aria del secondo atto l'abbiamo dovuta proprio espungere: a parte che è impossibile da cantare, ma quel testo “der hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen...”, “vendetta infernale sento nel mio petto”... Ahimè! Una gentile e amabile donzella come voi, signorina Maillard, avrebbe dovuto intonare tali parole? Per carità! Abbiamo già sofferto abbastanza, qualche anno fa, con quella spaventosa Medea di Cherubini. Basta, basta! I personaggi femminili, a teatro, devono rassicurare, non inquietare! Belle fanciulle, mogli e madri esemplari: questo vuole il nostro distinto pubblico. Perché la gente, la sera, vuole distrarsi dai traffici quotidiani del commercio e della Borsa, e trovare sollievo dalle cure dello Stato. Dirò di più: nell'epoca moderna la gente vuole vivere il proprio tempo come un affascinante, mutevole, infinito spettacolo. In una parola, vuole divertirsi. Il nostro compito è di farli divertire. E questa sera ci siamo riusciti; possiamo affermarlo con fierezza. Brindiamo!».

2.

Erano passate le quattro del mattino quando Modonnet e Gizzio ritornavano al foborgo Sant'Antonio. Davanti alle botteghe dei fornai c'erano già le prime code. I volti e i discorsi delle persone in fila per il pane manifestavano stanchezza, frustrazione, rabbia.
«Quattordici soldi per quattro libbre di pane! Così non si può andare avanti».
«Uno schifo, altro che!».
«Bonaparte non sta facendo un cazzo».
«Sbagli, cittadina. Bonaparte sta facendo parecchio. Solo, non per noialtri».
«Per i grandi proprietari. Per i nobili, gli speculatori, i fornitori dell'esercito e i finanzieri. Per quei merdosi, ecco per chi sta lavorando il Primo console...».
Gizzio sembrava ancora più taciturno del solito. Per tutto il cammino dal centro al foborgo, dove lui e Modonnet abitavano, disse a malapena due parole, eccettuate le strane bestemmie che ogni tanto sputava tra i denti.
«Toglimi una curiosità» gli chiese alla fine Modonnet mentre stavano per arrivare a casa. «Al tuo paese è normale invocare con tanta frequenza la ghigliottina su Gesù Cristo, sulla Madonna e su tutti i santi, come fai tu?».
Gizzio rise amaramente: «Lo facciamo di continuo. Tutti, anche i bambini e i preti. Vieni a vivere un mese dalle mie parti, e capirai».
«Non mi ricordo mai come si chiama la tua città».
«Io stesso vorrei non ricordarmene. Comunque, non è una città: è un villaggio di poche anime sperduto nell'Aspromonte. Ammesso che esista ancora. Non ho sue notizie da due anni, cioè da quando sono venuto qui a Parigi».
Era il discorso più lungo che Modonnet gli avesse mai udito fare.
«Ma no» proseguì Gizzio, come parlando fra sé. «Giudico troppo severamente i miei compaesani. In fondo, nessuno di loro si è arruolato nell'Armata cristiana e reale». Gizzio pronunciò queste ultime parole con una smorfia di disgusto.
«Ne ho sentito parlare» commentò Modonnet. «Le bande del cardinale Ruffo, non è vero? Una specie di Vandea...».
«Molto peggio. I vandeani, almeno, sapevano per cosa combattevano; i sanfedisti invece si sono solo fatti affascinare dai feudatari e dai preti. Hanno avuto quello che si meritavano. Li aspettano altri due o tre secoli di dispotismo e di miseria. E ti dico la verità: penso che anche qui, in Francia, andrà a finire allo stesso modo. Te lo concedo: finora il popolo di Parigi si è comportato bene, specialmente i tuoi compagni del foborgo Sant'Antonio. Ma quanto ancora potranno resistere? I contadini francesi non sono affatto
più intelligenti di quelli del Regno di Napoli; nelle campagne già da tempo monta la reazione. Gente che cerca solo un padrone cui obbedire; e in buona parte l'ha già trovato. E allora non chiedermi perché bestemmio, Léo: mi è rimasto solo questo, mannaia lu signuri!».
«Ho sempre apprezzato il tuo ottimismo, cittadino Gizzio!» concluse Modonnet.

3.

Uno dei vantaggi del mestiere teatrale è che permette di dormire sino a tardi; quando si ha un tetto sotto cui ripararsi, naturalmente. Léo Modonnet, per ora, l'aveva; ma quella mattina dormì lo stesso un sonno assai inquieto. Verso mezzogiorno, poco prima di svegliarsi, fece uno dei sogni più enigmatici della sua vita.
Era un sogno musicale. Modonnet udiva con una chiarezza allucinatoria una breve melodia, gentile e saltellante, in uno stile antiquato, suonata da una piccola orchestra. Poi, lo stesso tema, ma eseguito da un'orchestra molto più grande, con accenti molto più imperiosi e con una chiusa cromatica vagamente minacciosa. A questo punto appariva uno strano ometto, che si esprimeva con un forte accento tedesco. «Ogni vero artista, mein Freund, è anche uno Zauberer – un mago –, sì. Può capitargli di prevedere un futuro imprevedibile. Cosa, o chi, aveva in mente Rousseau quando, riferendosi alla Corsica, scriveva: “ho il vago presentimento che un giorno questa piccola isola stupirà l'Europa”? E quel ragazzino di dodici anni, che un giorno nel mio giardino mise in scena il suo Bastien und Bastienne – come poté presentire che un giorno la volontà generale sarebbe stata manipolata e circuita da un tiranno? Eppure, mein Freund, la storia non è mai un copione già scritto, così come una partitura non è mai immodificabile. E quando ci si accorge che la pagina è guasta, rimane sempre una soluzione: strapparla».
Modonnet si svegliò frastornato e con un forte mal di testa. Senza sapere bene perché, la prima cosa che fece fu aprire il suo baule per cercarvi un involto. Dentro c'erano una maschera nera, un mantello e un bastone dal manico lucente.
Quella notte, Ludwig Wenzel Lachnith, davanti al portone di casa sua, mentre frugava un po' alticcio nelle tasche del suo soprabito per cercare la chiave, notò una scritta di colore rosso fosforescente sul muro proprio accanto alla porta:

RACHE

Prima che avesse il tempo di chiedersi cosa stava succedendo, avvertì il brivido freddo di una lama proprio sotto il mento, e udì alle sue spalle una voce altrettanto metallica e tagliente: «Cittadino musicista, vogliate cortesemente condurmi nel vostro studio».
«Come volete, amico mio» diceva Lachnith mentre saliva le scale, tallonato da Scaramouche. «Non c'è bisogno di tutta questa commedia... vi ho riconosciuto, sapete?».
«Merda» pensò Modonnet.
«Eravate con me a cena ieri sera. Ammetto che il ruolo che vi è stato assegnato nell'ultima produzione è al di sotto delle vostre capacità attoriali; ma tenete conto che si tratta di un'opera, e che Voi non sapete cantare. Ho delle conoscenze, e posso farvi ottenere una buona scrittura per la prossima stagione di prosa... però, immagino che vogliate un risarcimento più immediato, e in contanti».
Erano intanto entrati nello studio del compositore.
«Immaginate male» disse Scaramouche. «Voglio solo porre rimedio a uno dei più insensati e odiosi crimini contro il buon gusto e il buon senso che si possano citare nella storia dell'arte musicale. Voglio cancellare la macchia con cui voi avete insudiciato la memoria di un grande musicista. Voglio che mi diate la partitura originale di quello scempio chiamato I misteri d'Iside».
«Eccola». Lachnith sollevò un manoscritto dal ripiano della sua scrivania e lo consegnò a Scaramouche: «Cosa ve ne farete, adesso?».
«Non lo so ancora. La strapperò in mille pezzi e la getterò nella Senna. Oppure ne attaccherò i fogli ai muri di Parigi per denunciare la vostra cialtroneria».
Lachnith rise: «Vedo che siete un idealista. Forse non vi siete accorto che i tempi sono cambiati e che la rivoluzione è finita. Permettetemi di darvi un consiglio: perché non ve ne tornate in Italia? Laggiù c'è ancora da fare per le teste calde come voi. Già che ci siete, portate con voi quel musone del vostro amico, e ditegli che non è colpa nostra se i giacobini napoletani erano degli imbecilli... se avessero dato subito la terra ai contadini, anziché perdere tempo in chiacchiere, le cose sarebbero andate molto diversamente».
«Ce ne ricorderemo per la prossima rivoluzione» disse Scaramouche.

Nota bibliografica

Questo racconto deve molto al primo capitolo del libro di Augusto Illuminati Gli inganni di Sarastro, Einaudi, Torino 1980, che indaga – sia pure con qualche eccessivo schematismo – le relazioni fra la teoria politica di Rousseau, le scoperte di Franz Anton Mesmer, il Bastien und Bastienne – la cui prima rappresentazione si dice abbia avuto luogo nel giardino della casa di Mesmer a Vienna – e Il flauto magico di Mozart.
Hector Berlioz nelle sue Memorie critica con estrema durezza l'adattamento molto libero de Il Flauto Magico realizzato da Lachnith sotto il titolo de Les mystères d'Isis. Il testo originale delle Mémoires di Berlioz (Parigi 1865) è facilmente reperibile in Internet.
Sulle critiche rivolte a Mozart dal musicista suo contemporaneo Giuseppe Sarti si veda il saggio Sarti contro Mozart di Massimo Mila, ora in M. Mila, Mozart. Saggi 1941-1987, Einaudi, Torino 2006, pp. 332-58.
La sorprendente identità fra il tema iniziale dell'ouverture del Bastien und Bastienne e l'inizio della Terza Sinfonia di Beethoven è, secondo Hermann Abert – citato da Wolfgang Hildesheimer nella sua nota biografia mozartiana –, una pura coincidenza. Com'è noto, Beethoven intendeva intitolare la sinfonia a Napoleone Bonaparte; secondo la tradizione, il musicista strappò la dedica quando seppe che Napoleone si era fatto incoronare imperatore.
Il parallelo fra Napoleone Bonaparte e il Sarastro di Mozart/Lachnith si trova in Jean Tulard, Napoleone. Il mito del salvatore, Rusconi, Milano 1980, p. 9. Alle pp. 183-85 dello stesso libro si parla della crisi alimentare in Francia fra la primavera del 1801 e il 1802.
Le idee esposte qui da Lachnith sulla modernità come spettacolo e sulla “gente” che si vuole divertire derivano in realtà dal libro di Alessandro Baricco L'anima di Hegel e le mucche del Wisconsin, Feltrinelli, Milano 2009.


          1994        

From: "scrittore della domenica" <scritdom72@unimi.it>
To: "lorenzo" <Lrnz73@unipi.it>
Date sent: Mon, 14 Feb 1994 12:09:05
Subject: Eccomi

Mannaggia a te! Che c'era di male nelle lettere cartacee? Signornò. "Dai, mandami un'e-mail! E' facile, divertente, vedrai!". - Intanto ho dovuto iscrivermi al laboratorio d'informatica di questa cavolo di università, dove bisogna fare domanda in carta bollata anche per un caffè al bar. Poi, io il computer manco lo so usare. A quest'ora dovrei essere in sala studio a preparare l'esame di diritto privato comparato (capirai); invece sto qua ad arrovellarmi con tastiera e mouse.

Va beh. Ti scrivo per questo: devi assolutamente registrarmi un po' di cassette di musica rock. Hai presente? Quella che tu hai sempre detto che io la snobbo. Specialmente, quanto più progressive anni '70 riesci a procurarmi. Non so, gli Yes, i Genesis, i King Crimson, quella roba là. E poi il grunge. Non i Nirvana, ché onestamente non li reggo: Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden. E magari della musica da discoteca, però di un certo livello. E ci sarebbe un pezzo di un gruppo inglese che mi ossessiona, si chiama... ce l'ho sulla punta della lingua. Basta, appena mi ricordo il titolo te lo dico.

No, non sono impazzito. E' che ho conosciuto una ragazza molto simpatica che ha questi gusti musicali. Anche molto bella, a dire la verità. Anzi, la sola cosa che le vorrei dire è proprio questa: che la trovo bellissima. Ma, tu mi conosci; non c'è verso; se provo ad affrontare l'argomento, ammutolisco senza rimedio. Così mi servono urgentemente altri argomenti di conversazione. Lei studia inglese, e fin qui posso arrangiarmi. L'ho anche accompagnata a lezione, ho studiato i suoi appunti. Sai? Sto diventando, credo, il massimo esperto di T. S. Eliot di tutto il basso Ionio reggino. Quest'estate, se non altro, potrò esibirmi nei locali sul lungomare recitando The Waste Land a memoria.

Ma tutto questo non basta. Prima o poi dovrò trovare il coraggio di invitarla a uscire una sera, che so, ad un concerto, o addirittura (non ridere) a ballare. Perché ho capito che alle matinée in Conservatorio lei non ci viene. Ebbene, è qui che subentri tu. Devi aiutarmi ad andare oltre Beethoven. Ripeto, procurami del rock, perché mi serve come il pane!

Attendo tue notizie, stammi bene.

P.S. Mi sono ricordato il titolo di quella canzone: Creep, dei Radiohead.


From: "scrittore della domenica" <scritdom72@unimi.it>
To: "lorenzo" <Lrnz73@unipi.it>
Date sent: Mon, 21 Mar 1994 15:31:22
Subject: Re: Re: Eccomi

Grandi novità! Abbiamo occupato. Ora la nostra casa dello studente è Pensionato Universitario Occupato Autogestito. L'abbiamo deciso venerdì sera, al termine di un'agitata assemblea sugli ultimi aumenti delle rette e della mensa. Io mi sono aggiudicato la gran parte dei turni di notte in portineria: sia per evitare i turni di pulizia, sia perché mi piace fare le ore piccole e perché durante l'occupazione c'è un bel clima. Si parla, si beve, si fuma tabacco e non solo: effettivamente, non sto studiando granché. Però mi diverto.

Ieri, per esempio, verso la mezzanotte la situazione comprendeva una bottiglia di mirto, uno stereo, sei-sette persone fra cui Alice (la ragazza di cui ti ho parlato nella mia ultima lettera) e me. Il guaio è che dopo un'oretta loro sono usciti, per andare credo in discoteca, mentre io dovevo rimanere per continuare il turno; ma mi hanno lasciato la bottiglia, d'altronde semivuota, e lo stereo. O forse due bottiglie e due sterei, a quel punto non capivo più bene. Sono riuscito, in qualche modo, a togliere la cassetta dei Rage Against The Machine e a mettere su il Lamento d'Arianna di Monteverdi, che in quel momento era anche più adatto.

A proposito: mi hai registrato le cassette che ti ho chiesto? Se scendi anche tu in Calabria per le elezioni, tra una settimana me le puoi dare. Ma l'hai visto quel pagliaccio miliardario? E pensa che magari qualcuno lo voterà anche. Viviamo in un paese meraviglioso.


From: "scrittore della domenica" <scritdom72@unimi.it>
To: "lorenzo" <Lrnz73@unipi.it>
Date sent: Fri, 15 Apr 1994, 16:05:30
Subject: buona notte al secchio

La sai una cosa? Tre anni fa, dopo il diploma, commisi un solo errore.

Allo sportello della stazione chiesi un biglietto per Milano. Sbagliai: avrei dovuto comprare un sola andata per Londra, o per Parigi, o per Berlino.

L'occupazione è finita. L'Ente per il Diritto allo Studio ha promesso che, col nuovo bilancio, ben il 3,75% delle risorse aggiuntive sarà stanziato per porre rimedio ai recenti rincari delle tariffe, compatibilmente con il principio del pareggio contabile.

Insomma: non abbiamo ottenuto un bel niente.

Ho saputo che Alice si è fidanzata. Con uno studente d'ingegneria, milanese da varie generazioni e di ottima famiglia, buon giocatore dilettante di basket. Ha una macchina svedese con doppia alimentazione, benzina verde e gas, perché bisogna proteggere l'ambiente. Un bravissimo ragazzo.

Tutto è perduto. Mentre questa ridicola nazione, consegnatasi ancora volontaria nelle mani di un tirannello squilibrato, si avvia verso il suo triste destino, io ti comunico la mia irrevocabile decisione.

Pongo rimedio al mio errore.

Espatrio.

E basta, con queste e-mail del piffero! Ti farò avere prossimamente il mio nuovo recapito estero.

La sai un'altra cosa? Siamese Dream degli Smashing Pumpkins è molto più noioso della più tediosa sinfonia di Bruckner.


From: "scrittore della domenica" <scritdom72@unimi.it>
To: "lorenzo" <Lrnz73@unipi.it>
Date sent: Tue, 26 Apr 1994 16:28:43
Subject: scherzavo

E niente: all'estero non sono andato.

Ti spiego cos'è successo.

Sai che mi è sempre piaciuto stare sveglio fino a tardi; ultimamente sto esagerando; mi succede spesso di fare l'alba. Da un po' non scendo neanche più in sala studio, per non rischiare d'incontrare Alice. La sera me ne sto tappato in camera, ascoltando Brahms.

Un mio consiglio per i giovani: se abitate in una casa dello studente, cercate di non innamorarvi mai di un'altra persona ospite del pensionato. Soprattutto se non corrisposti.

Bene: domenica notte, mentre studiavo, ho messo su il Tristano. Così, tanto per cambiare. Ma, poco dopo il preludio, ho dovuto spegnere.

Frisch weht der Wind
Der Heimat zu
Mein Irisch Kind,
Wo weilest du?


Mi si è annebbiata la vista, e ho scoperto che avevo finito i kleenex. Ho chiuso il libro. Mi sono alzato dalla sedia e sono andato a lavarmi il viso con l'acqua fredda. Poi sono tornato alla scrivania.

Ho acceso il quinto canale della radio (quello che trasmette solo classica). C'era un brano di avanguardia; una cosa che non conoscevo, una specie di collage sonoro sul tipo di Revolution 9 dei Beatles, hai presente? Folle in tumulto, suoni strani, rumori ambientali, nastri in loop, voci umane che declamano sillabe incomprensibili. Un delirio.

Roba forte! Ho attaccato lo spinotto delle cuffie alla radio e mi sono sparato il brano nelle orecchie, chiudendo gli occhi e reclinando indietro la testa. A un certo punto, dal tappeto sonoro ha cominciato a emergere una voce femminile, che sembrava pronunciare un testo coerente. Dapprima si sentiva sullo sfondo, e non si capiva bene cosa dicesse; qualcosa sul Vietnam. Man mano, la voce diventava sempre più forte, più netta, e veniva sempre più in primo piano. Alla fine, con una presenza sonora impressionante, la voce scandiva, anzi no scolpiva, queste parole: "Rimanete qui, e combattete per la vostra dignità di uomini".

"Avete ascoltato: Luigi Nono, Contrappunto dialettico alla mente", ha detto l'annunciatore.

Ho staccato lo spinotto, ho tolto le cuffie e ho spento la radio.

Ho riconsiderato la mia intenzione di espatriare. Ho pensato: ma non l'ho già fatto? Sono già emigrato. E prima di me mio padre, proprio negli anni in cui Nono componeva quel pezzo.

Quante volte ancora voglio fare le valigie?

Possibile che l'unica soluzione sia quella di scappare sempre più lontano?

L'indomani, 25 aprile, sono andato alla manifestazione. Il concentramento era alle due del pomeriggio; ma mi sono svegliato così tardi che non ho potuto neanche fare colazione. Ho preso un caffè al distributore automatico giù in atrio e sono uscito, in direzione porta Venezia.

Era previsto un corteo molto grande. E' stato immenso. Mai vista tanta gente tutta insieme! E che varietà, quanti colori, che musiche, che allegria! Quanta pioggia, anche: veniva giù a secchiate, per tutta la durata della manifestazione.



Io ero in fondo al corteo, e pensa che non sono neppure riuscito a entrare in piazza Duomo, tanto era gremita! Ho svoltato per piazza Fontana, poi per via Larga. Ho vagato per un pezzo; non so chi o cosa mi aspettassi di trovare, a parte qualcosa da mettere sotto i denti, dato che avevo una fame da lupo.

Mi sono ritrovato, non so come, in piazza Sant'Alessandro, vicino alla facoltà di lingue, che naturalmente era chiusa; c'era però un bar-tavola calda miracolosamente aperto; mi ci sono fiondato dentro.

Ero seduto sul mio sgabello, dando le spalle all'ingresso, e divoravo la mia pizzetta, ovviamente pessima come solo a Milano la sanno fare, quando mi è parso di vedere una sorta di variazione nella luce. Come se avesse improvvisamente smesso di piovere e fosse uscito un sole splendente.

Mi giro, e vedo Alice entrare nel locale e raggiungermi.

Era in tenuta da manifestazione: jeans sdruciti, camicia grunge, niente make-up (lei che di solito è così curata). I lunghi capelli biondi inumiditi dalla pioggia, che intanto continuava a scrosciare.

"Ciao", le dico. "Dov'è il tuo fidanzato?"

"Sciocco", mi ha risposto. "Oggi ci sono cose più importanti", ha detto. "C'è mezza casa dello studente qui fuori: abbiamo fatto uno striscione molto figo, lo andiamo ad attaccare al portone dell'I.S.U. Cosa fai qua, solo come un gufo? Vieni anche tu!"

Non me lo sono fatto dire due volte.

E dunque. Fra un mese ho l'esame di diritto sindacale. Materia interessante, sai? Credo che chiederò la tesi.

Per ora rimango qui.

(Racconto già pubblicato su Evulon. Ogni riferimento a fatti, persone, città, eventi, uomini politici, bar e pizzette della realtà è puramente casuale).
          Cinque buoni motivi per (non) leggere D'Annunzio        
Quest'estate ho intrapreso un viaggio in automobile attraverso i classici della prosa italiana. Per non partire da troppo lontano, ho limitato l'arco temporale agli ultimi due secoli; sono entrato al casello dell'Ortis, ho proseguito per Manzoni, poi ho attraversato le Operette morali e lo Zibaldone e, già che c'ero, mi sono concesso una deviazione per i Canti e i Paralipomeni. Durante la sosta in autogrill, davanti a una piadina e a un quartino di Chianti, ho pensato a quanto ero fortunato per il fatto che né Carducci né Pascoli si fossero mai dedicati alla narrativa; poi ho imboccato con fiducia il rettilineo che conduce al grande De Roberto attraverso il grandissimo Verga.

Fin qui tutto bene. Ma già sapevo che, dopo la barriera in uscita dall'A-800, e prima di imboccare con decisione l'A-900, avrei dovuto attraversare un tratto di raccordo pericoloso e arduo.

Ecco che già si snoda sotto i miei occhi la temutissima tangenziale D'Annunzio, con le sue cinque uscite.

1. E' un classico. Può esservi capitato, per motivi di lavoro o di studio, di dover leggere parecchi testi italiani risalenti alla fine del diciannovesimo o all'inizio del ventesimo secolo. Non necessariamente testi letterari: anche articoli di giornale o saggistica. Vi sarete accorti di quanto spesso lo stile appare gonfio, ampolloso, enfatico. E' come se, in quel periodo, un'epidemia di cattiva retorica (il "dannunzianismo") si fosse abbattuta sulla prosa italiana. E però: quando un autore riesce a imprimere in modo così massiccio e durevole la propria impronta sulla lingua nella quale scrive, questo autore è ciò che si dice un classico. Vale a dire che D'Annunzio non può essere tralasciato, in quanto rappresenta una fase di evoluzione della lingua italiana.

"Ma, trapassando il simbolo materiale, ci abbandoniamo con ansia alla virtù evocatrice dei profondi accordi in cui il nostro spirito sembra oggi trovare il presentimento di non so qual sera grave di belle fatalità e d'oro autunnale su un porto quieto come un bacino d'olio odorifero ove una galera palpitante d'orifiamme entrerà con uno strano silenzio come una farfalla crepuscolare nel calice venato d'un gran fiore".

2. E' decadente. Mettiamo che un bel mattino vi svegliate e vi sentiate esteti. Ovviamente non lavorate, e non avete il problema della sussistenza materiale. Fra i moltissimi modi a vostra disposizione per iniziare la giornata (il sesso, l'equitazione, il gioco d'azzardo, le droghe, bighellonare per il centro cittadino, ecc.) scegliete di leggervi un buon libro. Siete snob, e quindi sdegnate l'idea di leggere una volgare traduzione. Siete pigro, e non vi va di approcciare Proust né Wilde in lingua originale. Siete italiano, e vi dovete accontentare di quello che passa il convento. E allora non c'è via di scampo. Alla richiesta "estetismo decadente", la letteratura italiana risponde con D'Annunzio. O cambiate arte (Puccini è una validissima alternativa), oppure vi tocca tirare giù dall'ultimo scaffale il poeta di Pescara.

"Ricordi la ventesima delle variazioni beethoveniane sul tema del Diabelli dedicate ad Antonia Brentano? - diceva Aldo, svegliando nella profondità della nera cassa quegli accordi in cui per una miracolosa trasfigurazione il tema principale è irriconoscibile. - Non sembra armonizzata su quel fondo ove la croce le scale i corpi i singhiozzi le grida gli aneliti la luce non penetrano? Ascolta; e guarda quell'azzurro opaco sordo eguale, senza raggio, senza nube, di là da cui spazia forse quella regione della vita ove una sola cosa importa".

3. E' un poeta. Nonostante tutto, in D'Annunzio c'è del bello. Egli si autodefinì "l'Imaginifico" (con la I maiuscola, e una emme sola). Infatti, la sua prosa è caratterizzata da una strabordante varietà di immagini, di similitudini e di metafore. In gran parte sono rumore di fondo e gratuito orpello kitsch. Ma, per un puro fatto statistico, ogni tanto qualcuna è giusta. In altre parole, D'Annunzio funziona un po' come quei comici che producono battute a raffica, velocissime: alla fine ridi, un po' per sfinimento e un po' perché fra le tante ce n'era una buona.

"E nella faccia e nella mano era tanta forza d'espressione e d'illuminazione, ch'elle parevano sorpassare la realtà e intagliarsi nel cielo stesso del fato, come quando il crinale delle Dolomiti solo arde nei crepuscoli inciso contro tutta l'ombra e ciascuno dei suoi rilievi s'addentra nell'anima di chi mira e vi s'eterna".

4. E' conseguente. Come si sa, l'opera di D'Annunzio ha anche una ben precisa connotazione politica. Non mi dilungo su questo aspetto, però voglio rilevare che, sotto questo punto di vista, moltissimi italiani sono dannunziani, senza saperlo o sapendolo. Non tanto, e non solo, per una questione di appartenenza a certi partiti o a certe ideologie; quanto per il fatto di condividere con D'Annunzio un determinato rapporto con il reale. Infatti, il tipico atteggiamento dannunziano nei confronti della realtà non consiste nel riconoscerla così com'è, né tanto meno nel cercare di cambiarla. Consiste nel mistificare, sempre e comunque, e con ammirevole pertinacia e coerenza, la realtà. Se D'Annunzio fosse un software, sarebbe una specie di Matrix che trasfigura esteticamente tutti gli oggetti dell'esperienza facendo apparire "bella" ogni cosa. Se D'Annunzio fosse un odierno manager della TV, la sua ambizione sarebbe quella d'ideare un palinsesto così avvincente da tenere tutti i telespettatori attaccati allo schermo ventiquattr'ore su ventiquattro, dimentichi della vita e desiderosi di sempre nuove illusioni. Se D'Annunzio fosse un politico... Ma lo fu, tra l'altro. E fece scuola, ed ebbe tanti seguaci. E molti ne avrebbe ancora oggi, se fosse vivo.

"Né soltanto verso quella moltitudine ma verso infinite moltitudini andò il suo pensiero; e le evocò addensate in profondi teatri, dominate da un'idea di verità e di bellezza, mute e intente dinanzi al grande arco scenico aperto su una meravigliosa trasfigurazione della vita, o frenetiche sotto il repentino splendore irradiato da una parola immortale. E il sogno d'un'arte più alta levandosi in lui anche una volta, gli dimostrò gli uomini novamente presi di reverenza verso i poeti come verso coloro i quali potevano soli interrompere per qualche attimo l'angoscia umana, placare la sete, largire l'oblio. E troppo gli parve lieve quella prova ch'egli compiva; poiché mosso dal soffio della folla il suo spirito si stimò capace di generare finzioni gigantesche".

5. E' morto. Alla fine questa è la cosa più importante. Dall'esperienza dannunziana la nostra letteratura uscì vaccinata: per un paio di generazioni gli scrittori sfuggirono la retorica e cercarono una lingua scabra ed essenziale.

"Io non comprendo perché oggi i poeti si sdegnino contro la volgarità dell'epoca presente e si rammarichino d'esser nati troppo tardi o troppo presto. Io penso che ogni uomo d'intelletto possa, oggi come sempre, nella vita creare la propria favola bella. Bisogna guardare nel turbinio confuso della vita con quello stesso spirito fantastico con cui i discepoli del Vinci erano dal maestro consigliati di guardare nelle macchie dei muri, nella cenere del fuoco, nei nuvoli, nei fanghi e in altri simili luoghi per trovarvi invenzioni mirabilissime e infinite cose".

Sì, certo.
E l'orifiamma e la ventesima variazione e l'arco scenico e le Dolomiti...
Le Dolomiti?
Mi sa tanto che ho sbagliato uscita.
Sto andando verso il Brennero.
Arrivederci, Italia!

[Già pubblicato su Evulon]
          Giuseppe Genna: Grande madre rossa        
Oggi è il primo di agosto e sono piuttosto insoddisfatto di me stesso in generale e di questo blog in particolare. Vorrei scrivere qualcosa di incisivo e pregnante. Come al solito, non ci riesco. Invece, ho deciso di riciclare una recensione a Grande madre rossa di Giuseppe Genna che scrissi tre anni fa per un sito commerciale e che ripubblico qui di seguito, con minime variazioni. E' brutta, ma se non altro vi trapela un po' di entusiasmo: qualcosa che al momento mi manca.

Che libro è Grande madre rossa? In prima approssimazione, è un thriller. Ma, se incontrate l'autore, non insistete troppo su questa definizione. Tempo fa, Giuseppe Genna dichiarò che avrebbe regalato una copia del Codice da Vinci al primo che gli avesse detto che lui scriveva thriller. Inutile aggiungere che Genna non è precisamente un estimatore di Dan Brown.

Ecco la trama. Una spaventosa esplosione polverizza il Palazzo di Giustizia di Milano, facendo più di mille vittime. L'attentato non è stato rivendicato, ma se ne temono altri e il commissario Guido Lopez della Questura di Milano, sulla traccia dei colpevoli, lotta contro il tempo e forse contro ostacoli e depistaggi dei servizi segreti italiani e di quelli stranieri...

Certo, trattandosi di un thriller, sarebbe delittuoso (appunto) svelare ulteriori dettagli. Non lo farò. Dovete fidarvi della mia parola quando vi dico che il libro l'ho letto per intero e tutto d'un fiato.

Mentre Genna scriveva questo romanzo, vivevo e lavoravo a Milano (tra l'altro abitavo nel quartiere popolare di Calvairate, che Genna conosce bene e di cui spesso parla nei suoi romanzi, compreso questo). Ricordo benissimo la paura, che in quel periodo serpeggiava, di un nuovo e terribile attentato. Infatti, dopo l'11 settembre e dopo la strage della stazione ferroviaria a Madrid, tutti temevano che il prossimo bersaglio dei terroristi sarebbe stato la metropolitana di Milano: la quale, in quegli anni, l'undici di ogni mese risultava stranamente meno affollata rispetto agli altri giorni... Grande madre rossa rende assai bene quel clima di psicosi collettiva.

Ma è veramente un thriller, Grande madre rossa? E' un romanzo di spionaggio, di fantapolitica? E' un romanzo "realistico", qualunque cosa questa parola voglia dire? - Consentitemi di riportare per esteso la nota apposta al suo romanzo da Giuseppe Genna a mo' di premessa.

"Le vicende qui narrate sono finzioni letterarie al 100%. In esse compaiono nomi di persone e circostanze 'reali' in qualità di pure occasioni narrative. I nomi di aziende, strutture istituzionali, media e personaggi politici vengono utilizzati soltanto al fine di denotare figure, immagini e sostanze dei sogni collettivi che sono stati formulati intorno a essi, e si riferiscono quindi a un ambito mitologico che non ha nulla a che vedere con informazioni od opinioni circa la verità storica effettiva degli avvenimenti o delle persone - in vita o scomparse - su cui questo romanzo elabora una pura fantasia."

Attenzione: non si tratta del solito disclaimer messo lì solo per motivi legali (del tipo "ogni riferimento ecc. è del tutto casuale"). In questo romanzo i riferimenti non sono affatto casuali, tuttavia quando Genna usa le espressioni "sogni collettivi", "ambito mitologico" e "pura fantasia" dobbiamo prenderlo sul serio.

Di fatto, Genna dimostra con questo romanzo una eccezionale capacità di giocare con l'inconscio collettivo, di evocare sogni o incubi metropolitani, e di svelare (o forse di creare) archetipi remotissimi e affascinanti. Da questo punto di vista Grande madre rossa è molto più vicino a Lautréamont, ai surrealisti francesi, a William Burroughs, di quanto non lo sia a Grisham o a Ian Fleming.

Ho trovato veramente straordinaria tutta la parte del romanzo ambientata nel Cimitero Monumentale di Milano. Opera architettonica ottocentesca di notevole cattivo gusto, in questo senso equivalente milanese (anche se meno celebre) del Vittoriano di Roma, nonché una delle parti più neglette ed ignorate della città di Milano, nelle pagine di Genna il Cimitero Monumentale diventa genialmente il luogo dell'inconscio e del rimosso ove risiede la verità nascosta della città. Da gustare, in questo romanzo d'azione, crudo e hard-boiled secondo le migliori tradizioni del suo genere, il "cameo" dedicato al Manzoni:

"Non c'era più posto nel Vecchio Famedio, tempestato di lapidi in ogni centimetro quadro. Il tempio del tempo scaduto per Alessandro Manzoni. Manzoni: polvere sul mogano della cattedra, polvere di gesso. L'epidemia ubiquitaria, transgenerazionale, scolastica, che colpisce ogni italiano quindicenne: Manzoni.
Cosa c'entra Manzoni oggi?"


Fin dai tempi di Emilio Praga e della scapigliatura, Manzoni è il bersaglio polemico dell'avanguardia artistica milanese... Anche da questo punto di vista, Genna è veramente figlio della sua città. Qui, però, non è realmente chiaro se Genna stia polemizzando contro l'autore dei Promessi sposi, o non piuttosto contro la nostra epoca, così degradata da non trovare più posto per un Manzoni.

Bellissimo è poi il finale del romanzo, che descrive una ipotetica Milano post-catastrofe, in apparenza uguale ma forse enigmaticamente diversa, forse migliore. La piazza dove prima si trovava il Palazzo di Giustizia, distrutto dall'immane esplosione:

"La nuova piazza, larga, aperta, immensamente chiara: il luogo dove sorgeva, come un sogno, il Palazzo.
Come puntine da disegno e graffette, in controluce, i nonni e i bambini, che giocano, a passeggio, nell'incredibile spazio bianco della nuova piazza."


E, nella piazza,

"il monumento di marmo bianco, una colonna altissima, messo in verticale, l'architrave di quello che fu il Palazzo di Giustizia.
E' la nuova colonna infame."


Ed ecco, dunque, che abbiamo ritrovato anche il buon vecchio Manzoni... L'autore della Storia della colonna infame non poteva essere liquidato così facilmente, dato che la riflessione sul rapporto tra diritto e giustizia è uno dei temi portanti di Grande madre rossa.

Grande madre rossa è stato inserito da Wu Ming 1 nel "canone" delle opere più significative del cosiddetto "New Italian Epic", di cui tanto si è discusso negli ultimi due anni. Se fra le caratteristiche del "New Italian Epic" c'è anche quella di sapersi mantenere su livelli elevati di elaborazione mitico-simbolica, direi che questo romanzo merita ampiamente di rientrare nel novero. Parlando di mitologia, va detto che in Grande madre rossa si trovano quei puntuali riferimenti al matriarcato (il leggendario ordinamento sociale preistorico in cui comandavano le donne, studiato fra gli altri da Bachofen, da L. H. Morgan e da Engels) che il lettore legittimamente si attende da un romanzo con tale titolo.

Il romanzo di Genna può essere interpretato anche come una grandiosa, veramente "epica", fantasia di rivalsa. In questa sede non posso essere più preciso, ma consiglio ai lettori di tenere bene a mente la citazione da Ulrike Meinhof posta in esergo.

A proposito, ho letto recentemente un passo di Bachofen che sembra un commento anticipato a Grande madre rossa:

"Questo diritto materno materiale è il più sanguinario di tutti i diritti. Esso impone la vendetta anche là dove mentalità superiori la fanno apparire come un delitto. [...] Il diritto materiale della prima epoca mostra che la sua legge è quella del sangue [...]. L'idea della giustizia superiore, che considera ogni circostanza [...] proviene dal cielo. In precedenza esisteva solo la vendetta sanguinaria che non ascoltava alcuna difesa e che proveniva dalla materia. [...] L'età del diritto femminile è quella della vendetta e del sanguinario sacrificio umano, quella del patriarcato è l'epoca del tribunale, dell'espiazione, del culto senza spargimento di sangue".

BIBLIOGRAFIA

- Giuseppe Genna, Grande madre rossa, n. 1550 del periodico "Segretissimo", aprile 2009; prima edizione Mondadori, Milano 2004 (attualmente esaurita, spero che venga ristampata presto, perché il libro lo merita assolutamente).

- Johann Jakob Bachofen, Il matriarcato. Storia e Mito tra Oriente e Occidente, [antologia] a cura di Giampiero Moretti, Christian Marinotti Edizioni, Milano 2003, pp. 65, 66-67.

- Sul "New Italian Epic", vedi la relativa voce in Wikipedia.

- Il sito Internet di Giuseppe Genna.

- Per chi ne fosse curioso, la recensione di Genna al Codice da Vinci.
          Sulla critica del diritto nel giovane Gramsci        
E' successo che, preparando un commento all'ultima sortita di Saviano a proposito di storia della sinistra italiana, ho ripreso in mano, dopo anni, il vecchio volume dell'Einaudi (Torino, 1960) che raccoglie i corsivi pubblicati da Gramsci sull'"Avanti!" nella rubrica Sotto la Mole (1916-1920). Qui mi è capitato sotto gli occhi il commento di Gramsci alla sentenza sui "fatti di Torino", cioè (annotano i curatori dell'edizione) "lo sciopero generale per il pane e contro la guerra, che sfociò nella sommossa del 23-26 agosto 1917". [1]

Il commento di Gramsci fu pubblicato sull'"Avanti!" il 20 ottobre 1918: il testo, come di frequente, uscì con vistosi "vuoti" dovuti all'azione della censura. Eccolo qui di seguito [2].

BELLU SCHESC' E DOTTORI!

Il giudice Emanuele Pili non è senza storia, come gli uomini e i popoli felici. Ma la storia del giudice Emanuele Pili ha una lacuna; iniziatasi col protagonista autore drammatico, riprende ora col protagonista «ragionatore» di sentenze, e riprende con una gloriosa e strenua pugna: il «ragionamento» della sentenza per i fatti di Torino, che nell'ultimo numero della «Gazzetta dei tribunali» il misuratore di crani prof. Vitige Tirelli qualifica «dotta».
Benedetto Croce ha scritto: «Chi ha pratica dei tribunali sa che molto spesso un magistrato, presa la decisione e stabilita la sentenza, incarica un suo piú gio [dodici righe e mezzo censurate]. E il giudice giovane ha fatto sfoggio di dottrina; e il giudice giovane — poiché nella prima gíoventú aspirava alla gloria di Talia e dedicava le sue fresche energie intellettuali a scrivere commedie nei vari dialetti di Sardegna e non poté studiare tutti i risultati delle ultime ricerche sulla natura del diritto e delle costituzioni — ha ragionato [una riga censurata] nella sentenza dei fatti di Torino, rovistando nei vecchi cassettoni, rimettendo alla luce tutti gli imparaticci scolastici del primo anno universitario, quando ancora si frequentano le lezioni e si prendono gli appunti.
[Venticinque righe censurate].
Gli sono estranee le correnti del pensiero moderno che hanno ringiovanito tutta la dottrina dello Stato e del Giure — superando le concezioni puerilmente metafisiche della dottrina tradizionale, degli imparaticci da scoletta universitaria — colla riduzione dello Stato e del Giure a pura attività pratica, svolta come dialettica della volontà di potenza e non piú pietistico richiamo alle leggi naturali, ai sacrari inconoscibili dell'istinto avito, alla banale retorica dei compilatori delle storiette per la scuola elementare. Il «ragionamento» del giudice Pili è solo una filastroccola di banalità retoriche, di gonfiezze presuntuose: esso è il ridicolo parto di un fossile intellettuale, il quale non riesce a concepire che lo Stato italiano almeno giuridicamente (e come giudice questa apparenza della realtà doveva solo importare al «giovane» da tribunale) è costituzionale, ed è parlamentare per tradizione (l'on. Sonnino è gran parte dello Stato attuale, ma crediamo che il suo articolo Torniamo allo Statuto! non sia ancora diventato legge fondamentale del popolo italiano): [cinque righe censurate]. La «dottrina» del giovane da tribunale infatti si consolida (!) in esclamazioni enfatiche contro chi ha «resistito» o è accusato di aver resistito: non cerca (come era suo compito) di dimostrare, alla stregua delle prove concrete e sicure, un delitto per passare l'esatta commisurazione alla sua entità di una pena contemplata nel codice. No, il «giovane» vuole sfoggiare, come una contadina ricca del Campidano di Cagliari le vesti multicolori che hanno servito alle sue antenate per le nozze e per decine e decine di anni sono rimaste seppellite in un vecchio cassettone a fregi bestiali e floreali tra lo spigo e una dozzina di limoni: e sfoggia tutti i vecchiumi, tutti gli scolaticci dei vespasiani giuridici chiusi per misura d'igiene pubblica.
Il giudice Emanuele Pili ha scritto una commedia dialettale: Bellu schesc' e dottori! (che bel pezzo di... dottore!) L'esclamazione potrebbe essere la conclusione critica della lettura di una sentenza, cosí com'è il titolo di una commedia.

La prima lacuna è stata integrata facilmente dai curatori del testo gramsciano. Si tratta di una citazione dalla Logica di Croce, riportata come segue:

«Chi ha pratica dei tribunali sa che molto spesso un magistrato, presa la decisione e stabilita la sentenza, incarica un suo piú giovane collega di "ragionarla", ossia di apporre una parvenza di ragionamento a ciò che non è intrinsecamente e puramente prodotto di logica, ma è voluntas di un determinato provvedimento. Questo procedere, se ha il suo uso nella cerchia pratica o giuridica, è affatto escluso da quella della logica e della scienza» (B. CROCE, Logica come scienza del concetto puro, Bari 1917, pp. 87-88).

Quando Gramsci nel suo corsivo parla delle "correnti del pensiero moderno che hanno ringiovanito tutta la dottrina dello Stato e del Giure", si riferisce appunto alla filosofia del diritto di Benedetto Croce. Croce aveva infatti affermato l'assoluta separazione tra morale e diritto, e aveva sottoposto il diritto alle categorie dell'utile e della forza. Nella concezione di Croce, il diritto è forza, che viene applicata per il raggiungimento di uno scopo ritenuto (da chi agisce questa forza) utile; il diritto è inoltre amorale, in quanto prescinde dal giusto e dall'ingiusto.

E' interessante notare che qui Gramsci si serve della teoria del diritto di Croce per porre un'istanza di garantismo giuridico. Infatti, ciò che Gramsci rimprovera al giudice Pili, estensore della sentenza sui fatti di Torino, è di aver confuso il diritto con la morale. Il giudice avrebbe dovuto limitarsi a vagliare le prove, accertare se fosse stato commesso un reato, e, in caso affermativo, determinarne la pena secondo le norme del codice. Invece, questa sentenza (scrive Gramsci) pretende di condannare gli imputati non sulla base della legge, bensì sulla scorta di considerazioni di ordine moralistico, la cui infondatezza giuridica è mascherata dal ricorso all'enfasi e alla retorica.

La linea del ragionamento gramsciano è abbastanza riconoscibile, nonostante i buchi lasciati dalla censura, e nonostante un probabile refuso tipografico [3]. Comunque, in un poscritto all'articolo del giorno successivo (Le vie della divina provvidenza, 21 ottobre 1918), Gramsci scrive:

P.S. Nell'articolo pubblicato ieri sul giudice Emanuele Pili la censura ha lasciato solo la parte «floreale» che può far supporre aver noi scritto un puro pamphlet per insolentire un magistrato. La censura ha imbiancato le giustificazioni delle insolenze: la giustificazione filosofica trovata nella Logica del senatore Benedetto Croce; la giustificazione storica trovata in una notizia pubblicata dal «Journal des Débats» l'8 novembre 1817 (milleottocentodiciassette!), la giustificazione costituzionale trovata nello Statuto albertino. Un'insolenza giustificata da «pezze» di tal genere crediamo non sia piú insolenza, ma espressione plastica della imparziale giustizia. La censura pertanto ci ha solo diffamati, senza che le leggi ci diano il modo di dar querela.

La "giustificazione filosofica" delle critiche che Gramsci rivolge al magistrato corrisponde, lo abbiamo visto, ad una citazione da Croce. Rimane la curiosità di sapere quali potessero essere le altre due "giustificazioni"  imbiancate dalla censura.

La "giustificazione costituzionale", che corrisponde alla lacuna di cinque righe, si trova, dice Gramsci, nello Statuto albertino; e potrebbe forse trattarsi di uno degli articoli che, in quel testo costituzionale, tutelavano i diritti civili: per esempio l'art. 26, secondo comma, "niuno può essere arrestato e tradotto in giudizio, se non nei casi previsti dalla legge, e nelle forme che essa prescrive".

Naturalmente, non è da pensare che Gramsci si facesse particolari illusioni circa l'effettività delle garanzie prescritte dallo Statuto. Sappiamo, invece, che Gramsci sempre ritenne la borghesia italiana incapace di creare un vero Stato di diritto che tutelasse le libertà individuali [4]. Un articolo di Gramsci di qualche anno successivo a quello che stiamo ora esaminando (Lo Stato italiano, in "L'Ordine Nuovo", 7 febbraio 1920) contiene una puntuale critica, da questo punto di vista, allo Statuto albertino:

Lo Stato italiano [...] non ha mai neppure tentato di mascherare la dittatura spietata della classe proprietaria. Si può dire che lo Statuto albertino sia servito a un solo fine preciso: a legare fortemente le sorti della Corona alle sorti della proprietà privata. I soli freni infatti che funzionano nella macchina statale per limitare gli arbitrî del governo dei ministri del re sono quelli che interessano la proprietà privata del capitale. La Costituzione non ha creato nessun istituto che presidî almeno formalmente le grandi libertà dei cittadini: la libertà individuale, la libertà di parola e di stampa, la libertà di associazione e di riunione. Negli Stati capitalistici, che si chiamano liberali democratici, l'istituto massimo di presidio delle libertà popolari è il potere giudiziario: nello Stato italiano la giustizia non è un potere, è un ordine, è uno strumento della Corona e della classe proprietaria. 

Gramsci sottintendeva questo tipo di considerazioni anche all'articolo qui in commento, laddove scriveva che lo Stato italiano "almeno giuridicamente" (cioè solo formalmente) era costituzionale, ed era "parlamentare per tradizione", nel senso che lo Statuto albertino non istituiva una vera e propria democrazia parlamentare, bensì l'ordinamento parlamentare dello Stato derivava da una semplice consuetudine che poteva essere in ogni momento abrogata: così come aveva proposto di fare Sidney Sonnino nel suo articolo del 1897, appropriatamente richiamato da Gramsci, Torniamo allo Statuto!,  e come poi farà il fascismo.

Tuttavia, il fatto che la monarchia sabauda fosse uno Stato di diritto carente e imperfetto non avrebbe dovuto esimere il magistrato dall'applicare comunque quelle garanzie (pur se insufficienti) che la legge disponeva a favore degli imputati: "come giudice questa apparenza della realtà doveva solo importare" al giudice Pili, osserva giustamente Gramsci.

La "giustificazione storica", che corrisponde alla lacuna di venticinque righe, è data (scrive Gramsci) da una notizia pubblicata sul numero dell'8 novembre 1817 del "Journal des Débats". Internet consente oggi di consultare facilmente quel numero di giornale per cercare quale potesse essere la notizia che costituiva la "giustificazione storica" invocata da Gramsci.

Una delle notizie ivi contenute, che possono essere state utilizzate da Gramsci ai fini del suo commento, è una corrispondenza dalla Gran Bretagna datata 3 novembre, che riporto qui di seguito in una mia traduzione (il testo originale è in nota):

Quattro individui di nome Booth, Brown, Jackson e King, prima delle ultime assisi di Derby, erano stati condannati a morte per crimine di ribellione. Condotti sul patibolo, al momento stesso della morte hanno avuto l'audacia empia di arringare la folla, affinché li venisse a liberare. Questa folla era composta da loro vecchi amici che li avevano frequentemente visitati in carcere; ma il luogo dell'esecuzione era sorvegliato da folti distaccamenti di cavalleria e di fanteria, e la legge ha avuto esecuzione [5].

Inizialmente ho pensato che questa notizia potesse aver attratto l'attenzione di Gramsci (per analogia con i fatti di Torino) perché riferita a un episodio di ribellione delle classi subalterne conclusosi con una condanna penale. Episodio che forse è leggibile nel quadro della fase di irrequietezza sociale che fu caratterizzata, in Gran Bretagna, dalle proteste contro la legge sul grano del 1815, fase che sfociò nel massacro di Peterloo.

Tuttavia, non ho trovato alcun elemento che potesse suffragare questa ipotesi. Non è chiaro neanche se i quattro uomini giustiziati a Derby nel 1817 siano stati effettivamente condannati a morte per reati politici, o non piuttosto per reati comuni; in un elenco dei giustiziati nel carcere di Derby, compilato da Celia Renshaw, una storica locale, questi Booth, Brown, Jackson e King risultano essere stati condannati per aver appiccato il fuoco a dei covoni di paglia [6]. Inoltre è noto che Gramsci non amava gli atteggiamenti tribunizi e teatrali, né apprezzava particolarmente i gesti individuali di ribellione: lo si evince dal suo stesso comportamento di imputato durante il "processone" del 1928 [7], nonché dal suo commento, contenuto nei Quaderni del carcere, ad un libro che raccoglieva i resoconti di una serie di processi contro anarchici libertari [8]. Perciò mi sembra improbabile che, nel suo corsivo del 1918 che stiamo ora commentando, Gramsci possa aver preso ad esempio il comportamento di quattro condannati a morte per reati contro il patrimonio che, dal patibolo, incitano la folla alla rivolta.

C'è però un'altra notiziola, sempre nella prima pagina  del "Journal des Débats" dell'8 novembre 1817, che potrebbe aver attirato l'attenzione di Gramsci. Si tratta di una corrispondenza da Losanna datata primo novembre:

Il Cantone Esterno di Appenzell ha da poco emesso una singolare sentenza contro un ragazzino accusato di alcuni piccoli furti. Lo hanno condannato a 50 fl. di ammenda e a trenta colpi di verga. Gli sarà inoltre assegnato un posto particolare in chiesa per un periodo di due anni: dovrà trovarsi colà per due volte ogni domenica, e sarà punito severamente in caso d'inosservanza [9].

In questa notizia di cronaca (un ragazzino condannato con sentenza penale ad andare a messa due volte la settimana) troviamo un esempio estremo e grottesco di quella perniciosa, pre-moderna confusione tra diritto e morale, che Gramsci stigmatizza nella sua polemica col giudice relatore della sentenza sui fatti di Torino. Perciò ritengo che sia stata questa la pezza giustificativa di quella parte dell'argomentazione gramsciana, che la censura ha cancellato lasciando nell'articolo un buco di venticinque righe.

Note

[1] Sempre secondo l'apparato critico dell'edizione citata, la sentenza fu emessa dal Tribunale militare di Torino il 2 agosto 1918; il testo della sentenza è reperibile in "Rivista storica del socialismo", n. 2, 1960.

[2] A. Gramsci, Sotto la Mole, ed. cit., pp. 447-48. L'articolo è stato poi raccolto nella più recente edizione degli scritti gramsciani precarcerari: A. Gramsci, Il nostro Marx 1918-1919, a cura di Sergio Caprioglio, Einaudi, Torino 1984, pp. 360-2. In Internet si trova qui: http://www.liberliber.it/mediateca/libri/g/gramsci/sotto_la_mole/pdf/sotto__p.pdf, p. 269.

[3] "Passare l'esatta commisurazione alla sua entità di una pena contemplata nel codice" è frase di cui si capisce il senso, ma che sembra guasta anche grammaticalmente. Penso che Gramsci abbia invece scritto "fissare l'esatta commisurazione della sua entità ad una pena contemplata nel codice".

[4] Cfr. Leonardo Rapone, Cinque anni che paiono secoli. Antonio Gramsci dal socialismo al comunismo (1914-1919), Carocci, Roma 2011, pp. 162-6.

[5] Quatre individus nommés Booth, Brown, Jackson et King, antérieurement aux dernières assises de Derby, avoient été condamnés à mort pour crime de rebellion. Amenés sur l'échafaud, ils ont eu, même au moment de la mort, l'audace impie de haranguer la multitude, et de l'engager à venir les délivrer. Cette multitude étoit composée de leurs anciens amis qui les avoient fréquemment visités dans leur prison; mais le lieu de l'exécution étoit gardé par de forts détachements de cavalerie et d'infanterie, et la loi reçut son exécution.

[6] Fonte: http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/DERBYSGEN/2009-08/1250276359

[7] Cfr. Giuseppe Fiori (a cura di), Antonio Gramsci: cronaca di un verdetto annunciato, I Libri de "l'Unità", supplemento al numero del 4 aprile, Roma 1994. 

[8] Antonio Gramsci, Quaderni del carcere, edizione critica a cura di Valentino Gerratana, Einaudi, Torino 1975, pp. 6-7 e 1896-7.

[9] Les Rhodes extérieurs d'Appenzell viennent de rendre une singulière sentence contre un enfant accusé de quelques petits vols. Ils l'ont condamné à 50 fl. d'amende et à trente coups de bâtons. Il lui sera d'ailleurs assigné une place particulière à l'église pendant deux ans; il devra s'y trouver deux fois chaque dimanche sous des peines séveres.

          Sull'"Elogio dei riformisti" di Roberto Saviano        
1. Affinità e divergenze fra Saviano e noi. Considero Gomorra uno fra i libri letterariamente più importanti di questi anni nonché fra i capolavori del giornalismo d'inchiesta italiano. Ammiro e rispetto Roberto Saviano, anche se a volte non sono stato d'accordo con lui su alcune delle sue prese di posizione (ad es. sulla politica dei governi israeliani, oppure sugli scontri di piazza che hanno contrassegnato l'ultima fase del governo Berlusconi).

Ho trovato molto superficiale e semplicistico l'articolo di Saviano uscito su "La Repubblica" del 28 febbraio, dedicato all'elogio del riformismo.

Prendendo spunto da un recente libro di Alessandro Orsini sulla storia della sinistra italiana, libro che contrappone Turati a Gramsci, Saviano traccia una riga sulla lavagna, mettendo da una parte i riformisti e dall'altra i comunisti. I primi sarebbero pacati, realisti, tolleranti e liberali, i secondi sarebbero fanatici, violenti, malati di dogmatismo e d'ideologia.

Scrive Saviano: "i comunisti hanno educato generazioni di militanti a definire gli avversari politici dei pericolosi nemici, ad insultarli ed irriderli. Fa un certo effetto rileggere le parole con cui un intellettuale raffinato come Gramsci definiva un avversario, non importa quale: 'La sua personalità ha per noi, in confronto della storia, la stessa importanza di uno straccio mestruato'. Invitava i suoi lettori a ricorrere alle parolacce e all'insulto personale contro gli avversari che si lamentavano delle offese ricevute [...]. Arrivò persino a tessere l'elogio del 'cazzotto in faccia' contro i deputati liberali. I pugni, diceva, dovevano essere un 'programma politico' e non un episodio isolato".

Viceversa, sempre secondo Saviano:

"in quegli stessi anni Filippo Turati, dimenticato pensatore e leader del partito socialista, conduceva una tenacissima battaglia per educare al rispetto degli avversari politici nel tentativo di coniugare socialismo e liberalismo".


Questa contrapposizione fra estremisti e riformisti, dice Saviano, si protrae fino ad oggi:

"Naturalmente, oggi, nel Pd erede del Pci, non c'è più traccia di quel massimalismo verboso e violento, e anche il linguaggio della Sel di Vendola è molto meno acceso. Ma c'è invece, fuori dal Parlamento, una certa sinistra che vive di dogmi. Sono i sopravvissuti di un estremismo massimalista che sostiene di avere la verità unica tra le mani", sono quei "pacifisti talmente violenti da usare la pace come strumento di aggressione per chiunque la pensi diversamente". Eccetera.

Quindi tutto lineare, nello schema di Saviano. Tutto semplice. Riformisti, buoni, in parlamento; comunisti, fuori dal parlamento, cattivi. Chiaro, no?

E però, se si va a verificare nel dettaglio gli esempi storici addotti da Saviano, ecco che le cose si complicano.

2. Cosa c'era prima degli assorbenti. Vediamo ad esempio la prima frase "incriminata". Di un suo avversario politico ("non importa quale", dice Saviano), Gramsci scrisse: "La sua personalità ha per noi, in confronto della storia, la stessa importanza di uno straccio mestruato".

La similitudine usata da Gramsci, al nostro orecchio di contemporanei, suona senza dubbio molto sgradevole. Intollerabilmente sessista, fra l'altro. Proviamo però a collocarla nel suo contesto. La frase è tratta da un articolo di Gramsci, allora venticinquenne, pubblicato sull'edizione torinese dell'"Avanti!" il 19 aprile 1916. In quel periodo la redazione di Torino dell'"Avanti!", di cui Gramsci era giornalista, stava conducendo una campagna di stampa sugli sprechi e sulle ruberie di cui si erano resi responsabili i promotori dell'Esposizione Universale di Torino del 1911. Come spesso succede in Italia quando si tratta di "grandi opere", anche questa era stata accompagnata da malversazioni, che Gramsci e i giornalisti dell'"Avanti!" avevano puntualmente denunciato.

Fra i bersagli di questa campagna di stampa c'era il conte Delfino Orsi, che all'epoca faceva parte della direzione della "Gazzetta del Popolo", un giornale monarchico, filogovernativo e interventista. L'articolo di Gramsci del 19 aprile 1916 è appunto una risposta ad un altro giornalista che aveva accusato l'"Avanti!" di aver attaccato Delfino Orsi non per il ruolo di quest'ultimo nello scandalo dell'Esposizione Universale, bensì invece perché Orsi era "una delle più influenti figure dell'interventismo subalpino".

Teniamo sempre presente il contesto storico. In Italia, nel 1916, lo scontro politico fra governo e opposizione era polarizzato sul problema della guerra. Era soprattutto lo scontro fra interventisti e pacifisti. Era in corso la Prima guerra mondiale, un conflitto che oggi praticamente tutti gli storici valutano come un'orrenda ecatombe, una catastrofe che segnò l'inizio del declino della civiltà europea, e che, in Italia, aprì la via al fascismo. In Italia il bilancio della guerra fu di circa 680.000 morti e quasi 500.000 invalidi permanenti. Il Partito Socialista Italiano, nel quale all'epoca militavano sia Gramsci sia Turati, era su posizioni pacifiste, e si opponeva compattamente alla guerra. A favore della guerra erano invece i nazionalisti, i liberali e il Partito Socialista Riformista Italiano, composto perlopiù da riformisti, come Bonomi e Bissolati, che erano stati espulsi dal P.S.I. già nel 1912 per il loro appoggio alla guerra di Libia.

Tale era il contesto della polemica fra l'"Avanti!" di Gramsci da una parte, e la "Gazzetta del Popolo" di Delfino Orsi dall'altra.

Quando, nell'agosto 1917, a Torino la popolazione diede vita ad una rivolta spontanea contro la guerra e contro la mancanza di pane (rivolta che fu ovviamente repressa nel sangue, con circa 50 morti e 200 feriti fra gli operai e le loro famiglie), la "Gazzetta del Popolo" di Delfino Orsi fu tra gli organi di stampa che giustificarono la repressione.

Più tardi, coerentemente, Delfino Orsi fu deputato nel Parlamento fascista, ed era ancora tale quando morì nel 1929 (mentre Gramsci era in carcere). Il gerarca Federzoni, nel suo elogio funebre pronunciato alla Camera dei Deputati l'11 dicembre 1929, disse di Orsi fra l'altro: "egli poté rinverdire i fasti patriottici della Gazzetta del Popolo, levando ancora la gloriosa bandiera del Risorgimento per le nuove battaglie dell'intervento nella grande guerra, della difesa delle aspirazioni nazionali, della rivoluzione fascista".


Delfino Orsi era appunto l'uomo che Gramsci paragonò ad uno "straccio mestruato". Un epiteto certamente poco gentile. Ma possiamo veramente dire, con Saviano, che "non importa quale" individuo egli fosse, né in quale periodo storico fosse situata la polemica fra lui e Gramsci?

Che diremmo di un giornalista il quale scrivesse, di alcuni suoi concittadini (non importa quali, direbbe Saviano), che essi sono "vigliacchi, in realtà", un "manipolo di killer", "abbrutiti e strafatti", un "branco di assassini" che "vivono come bestie"? Sono insulti pesanti e hanno ben poco di mite e di liberale. Ma se collochiamo questi epiteti nel contesto dell'articolo da cui sono tratti, scopriamo che si riferiscono ad una banda di camorristi responsabili di svariati omicidi, e che l'autore del pezzo è Roberto Saviano ("la Repubblica", 22 settembre 2008). Dobbiamo condannare il giornalista per la sua eccessiva violenza verbale? O non dobbiamo piuttosto ritenere che l'indignazione di Saviano, seppure si esprima in termini poco urbani, sia alquanto giustificata dalle circostanze?

3. La nobile arte. Vediamo, ancora, un altro passo gramsciano cui si riferisce Roberto Saviano. Si tratta dell'articolo intitolato "Elogio del cazzotto", uscito sempre sull'"Avanti!" il 12 giugno 1916. L'episodio cui si riferiva Gramsci in questo articolo era il seguente. Dei deputati socialisti, come gesto dimostrativo, avevano lanciato nell'aula di Montecitorio alcune cartoline con l'effige di parlamentari russi che erano stati deportati in Siberia a causa della loro opposizione alla guerra (c'era ancora il regime assolutista dello zar, e la Russia era alleata in guerra con le potenze della Triplice Intesa, con l'Italia, e contro la Germania e l'Impero asburgico). Un deputato interventista, Giuseppe Bevione, in quell'occasione accusò i socialisti di essere al soldo del nemico. Ne nacque un tafferuglio, durante il quale il socialista Nino Mazzoni colpì Bevione con un pugno. Questo, nello specifico, fu il "cazzotto" cui si riferisce Gramscì nel suo articolo, scrivendo fra l'altro:

"Non siamo entusiastici ammiratori del diritto del pugno; eppure quei pugni vibrati robustamente sul ceffo di Bevione ci riempiono di giubilo e di ammirazione".

Anche qui: possiamo dire che sia davvero ininfluente collocare la citazione di Gramsci nel suo contesto?

4. Vota Antonio. Veniamo ora ad un'altra delle dicotomie che Roberto Saviano delinea nel suo pezzo: quella fra opposizione parlamentare Vs. opposizione extraparlamentare. La prima riformista e "buona", la seconda estremista e "cattiva". E confrontiamo questa dicotomia con un esempio storico.

Nel giugno 1924, dopo il rapimento di Giacomo Matteotti, i parlamentari dell'opposizione antifascista decisero di disertare le aule del Parlamento, dando così luogo a quella forma di protesta extraparlamentare che passò alla storia come "secessione dell'Aventino". Fra loro c'era Filippo Turati, assieme a tutti i socialisti riformisti. C'era anche la piccola pattuglia dei deputati comunisti, che però, nel novembre 1924, verificata l'inefficacia della protesta aventiniana, decisero di rientrare in Parlamento, dove rimasero a contrastare la maggioranza fascista, praticamente da soli, per altri due anni, fino a quando il partito comunista non fu messo fuori legge. (A che tipo di pacifica dialettica parlamentare fossero avvezzi i deputati fascisti lo si può vedere consultando la voce di Wikipedia dedicata a Francesco Misiano).

Quindi, ricapitolando. Nel 1925 abbiamo il socialista riformista Turati fuori dal parlamento. In parlamento c'è una maggioranza parlamentare "estremista" fascista e una minoranza comunista (parimenti "estremista" secondo Saviano) di cui Gramsci fa parte. Comunque si voglia giudicare la situazione, si tratta di un caso in cui la realtà storica si rivela più complessa dei rigidi schematismi delineati da Saviano.

5. Conclusione. Con tutto questo discorso non voglio dire, naturalmente, che la violenza verbale nella lotta politica va sempre bene, che è sempre giustificata. Sono d'accordo con Saviano nel condannare certe forme di settarismo inutile e controproducente (di cui è un esempio il giudizio su Turati espresso da un Togliatti al peggio del suo stalinismo, citato da Saviano nel suo articolo). Né intendo affrontare discorsi astratti sul punto se sia meglio la lotta extraparlamentare o quella parlamentare.

Dico che ogni situazione fa storia a sé, che occorre giudicare caso per caso, e che generalizzazioni astratte e astoriche, come quella proposta da Saviano nell'articolo in questione, non hanno alcun significato.
          Baricco e il postmodernismo da quattro soldi        
Sul "Primo Amore" Antonio Moresco ha pubblicato una bella lettera aperta ad Alessandro Baricco, in risposta a un'intervista concessa da quest'ultimo al "Venerdì di Repubblica".

Baricco, parlando del suo ultimo romanzo, non si limita ad esporre la sua personale poetica di scrittore, ma pretende di far assurgere quest'ultima al livello di teoria generale della letteratura valida per tutti. Moresco rimprovera giustamente a Baricco l'arroganza di tale pretesa.

Baricco non è nuovo a questo genere di smargiassate, così le chiamava il mio professore di filosofia del liceo (si riferiva alle teorie pseudo-storiciste di Francis Fukuyama, ma la definizione è adatta anche a quelle di Baricco). Nel 1992 lo stesso Baricco pubblicò per l'editore Garzanti un testo teorico sulla musica moderna (oggi reperibile in edizione Feltrinelli) dove, con piglio zdanoviano, condannava tutta la musica "atonale" in quanto non adeguata ai gusti della "gente". Nel 2003, qui, pubblicai una recensione di questo libro. La ripropongo ora qui in calce, con minime variazioni. Non mi piace molto com'è scritta, però contiene un'idea che, dopo aver letto il fondamentale libro del collettivo Wu Ming sul New Italian Epic, mi è diventata più chiara: l'idea, cioè, che il "postmodernismo da quattro soldi" sia una delle forme più pervasive e insidiose in cui si presenta oggi l'ideologia dominante. Ecco la recensione.

Alessandro Baricco, L'anima di Hegel e le mucche del Wisconsin. Una riflessione su musica colta e modernità, Garzanti, Milano 1992, pp. 101.

Avvertenza per gli estimatori di Alessandro Baricco: la presente è una stroncatura.

1. Riassunto dei contenuti del libro

Nel primo capitolo, intitolato L'idea di musica colta, Baricco individua l'origine del concetto di musica colta nell'idealismo romantico dell'Ottocento, la cui figura principale, Beethoven, stabilisce il paradigma a cui tutti i successivi compositori, nonché gli interpreti e il pubblico, si attengono: "una musica impegnata, spirituale e difficile" (p. 19). Tale concetto è oggi, secondo Baricco, sopravvissuto a se stesso, dato che ne sono venuti meno i presupposti storici, ideologici e sociali ("qualcuno sa cosa significa spirito?", p. 20). Ma gli esecutori e i fruitori della musica colta si ostinano a riproporre questa concezione ormai superata, e a riproporre i capolavori del passato in forma mummificata e inerte, secondo un malinteso concetto di fedeltà al testo, fondamentalmente perché - sempre secondo Baricco - hanno "paura" della modernità.

Nel secondo capitolo, come alternativa alla prassi corrente, Baricco propone la "sua" idea di interpretazione. La musica "colta" del periodo classico si proponeva di organizzare il caos entro un preciso ordine formale; compito dell'interprete di oggi è, secondo Baricco, di far esplodere tale ordine per far sì che le "schegge" del materiale musicale si possano ricomporre secondo nuove geometrie provvisorie, momentanee, ogni volta diverse, secondo costellazioni di senso sempre rinnovate, piacevoli e sorprendenti.

Il terzo capitolo è dedicato alla musica atonale del Novecento. Baricco parte da un'audace constatazione: ma questa musica, dopo più di settant'anni, ancora non ha un suo pubblico! Gli ascoltatori, per quanto si sforzino, non la apprezzano e non la capiscono! Hanno torto loro? No, naturalmente: hanno invece avuto torto Schoenberg e i suoi successori (tutti quelli che hanno composto musica atonale, vale a dire i tre quarti dei compositori del Novecento da Berg a Webern fino alla scuola di Darmstadt e oltre).

Baricco spiega il perché: esistono "invalicabili limiti fisiologici" (p. 55) che impediscono all'orecchio umano di apprezzare la musica atonale. Infatti ogni brano musicale, continua Baricco, altro non è che un "meccanismo di piacere" (ibid.) basato su un gioco di previsione da parte dell'ascoltatore/risposta da parte della musica: se si cancella la logica tonale, sparisce l'orizzonte della previsione e si elimina il "piacere dell'ascolto" (p. 56).

La musica seriale è ormai superata, e anche qui Baricco non manca di dare la sua spiegazione sociologico-storica: l'atonalità di Schoenberg e seguaci nasce come espressionistico grido di orrore di fronte alla tragica realtà dei massacri e dei totalitarismi del Novecento. Ma nel secondo dopoguerra, "una volta sfumata quella follia" (p. 63) e venuti meno i conflitti ideologici e sociali che caratterizzarono la prima metà del secolo, anche tale giustificazione per l'atonalismo viene a mancare. Perciò non ci sono più motivi validi per i quali i compositori debbano ostinarsi a frustrare "le legittime aspettative del pubblico" (p. 65) continuando a proporre musica così inascoltabile, e perpetuando "lo strappo profondo e grottesco tra quella musica e la gente" (p. 66).

Occorre dunque richiamare i compositori "ai doveri della modernità" (p. 67), "ricreare una sintonia col sentire collettivo. Con una certezza: la modernità è innanzitutto uno spettacolo" (p. 73) e la gente vuole innanzitutto divertirsi, anche nelle sale da concerto: i musicisti devono dunque accettare "l'allegra realtà di un'umanità inconsapevolmente e sanamente drogata" (p. 70), di una modernità dove "la spettacolarità del reale e quella delle forme di rappresentazione si inseguono in un'escalation per la quale anche l'orribile diventa meraviglia" (ibid.).

Nell'ultimo capitolo del suo libro, Baricco propone ai compositori contemporanei due modelli da seguire: Puccini e Mahler. Secondo Baricco, questi due autori avrebbero accettato la concezione moderna di spettacolarità, senza temere di adottare un linguaggio musicale primitivo, né d'infarcire le loro opere di elementi volgari o di cattivo gusto, pur d'intercettare il bisogno di spettacolo dell'ascoltatore odierno, precorrendo così l'estetica del cinema.

2. Critica

Sui primi due capitoli non c'è molto da dire: si tratta di luoghi comuni che Baricco espone come se si trattasse di trovate sue; interpreti come Pierre Boulez (nella sua attività di direttore d'orchestra) e Maurizio Pollini adottano da sempre prassi esecutive antiformalistiche senza bisogno di attendere lezioncine da parte di Alessandro Baricco: di propriamente suo c'è solo un certo superficiale edonismo.

Circa i restanti capitoli del libro, premesso che reputo agghiacciante ognuna delle frasi o espressioni di Baricco che sopra ho citato tra virgolette (reazione molto soggettiva, lo ammetto), la prima osservazione critica da fare su questo testo è che Baricco propone un'estetica normativa, vale a dire un'estetica che pretende di prescrivere agli artisti come devono lavorare (non dovete più scrivere musica atonale, dovete farvi capire dalla "gente", ecc).

Ora, ogni estetica normativa è un'aberrazione, indipendentemente dal suo contenuto. Se poi si vuole valutare quest'ultimo, bisognerà osservare che Baricco si accosta ad Andrej Zdanov, il "teorico" sovietico del realismo socialista: anche lui pretendeva dai compositori una musica dal linguaggio semplice, tradizionale, accessibile alle grandi masse popolari. Zdanov avanzava tale pretesa in nome del superiore interesse del socialismo, Baricco in nome della "modernità" e della fine delle ideologie, ma il risultato non cambia. Baricco, nella sua irritante e dilettantesca superficialità, non sembra neanche rendersi conto del totalitarismo implicito nella pretesa che gli artisti debbano conformare la loro produzione ai gusti della "gente".

D'altra parte neppure si capisce bene quale pubblico Baricco abbia in mente: il pubblico che frequenta le sale da concerto è così esiguo che non vale neanche la pena che i musicisti si affannino per compiacerlo: e peggio per tale pubblico se non riesce ad apprezzare Anton Webern. Viceversa, il pubblico che non ha mai messo piede in un auditorium e non ascolta Schoenberg e Stockhausen, nella sua stragrande maggioranza non ascolta neppure Mahler e Puccini, ed evidentemente non per motivi ascrivibili al solo linguaggio musicale.

In ogni caso, dal fatto che la lettura di questo libro non mi ha impedito neppure per un minuto di continuare ad ascoltare il mio CD con i pezzi per pianoforte di Schoenberg, deduco che quella degli "invalicabili limiti fisiologici" è una colossale sciocchezza, con cui Baricco cerca malamente di giustificare la propria opposizione ideologica alla musica d'avanguardia.

La sua valenza ideologica è in realtà l'unico aspetto un poco interessante di questo libro. Esso, con la sua esaltazione del disimpegno, delle gioie del consumismo e della "gente" che vuole divertirsi, appare come un esempio tipico di quella versione euforico-ebetudinaria del postmoderno che ha furoreggiato nel nostro paese durante tutti gli anni '80: un'epoca nella quale a molti intellettuali non è parso vero di poter finalmente riproporre (nell'aggiornatissimo linguaggio filosofico post-strutturalista) l'antico, tradizionale qualunquismo italiano. Appare tristemente ironico che alcuni di quegli intellettuali si scaglino oggi dalle pagine dell' "Unità" o di "Repubblica" contro le impreviste (ma prevedibili) conseguenze politiche della loro stessa filosofia.

P.S. Ad un certo punto del suo testo, Baricco inserisce alcune oscure insinuazioni a proposito di presunte "coperture politiche" di cui gli artisti dell'avanguardia musicale avrebbero goduto nel nostro paese. Sorge allora la tentazione di leggere questo libro, il cui valore teorico-critico è nullo, in chiave direttamente pratica: forse Baricco si è proposto di approntare un "manifesto" per i musicisti della cosiddetta scuola neo-romantica?

Mi sono allora comprato un disco antologico di un esponente di questa corrente musicale, che ebbe anch'essa un effimero momento di notorietà nel corso degli anni '80: Marco Tutino, Operas, CD Aura Music AUR421-2, 2000, Euro 4,25. Si tratta di composizioni carine, indubbiamente orecchiabili, il cui linguaggio musicale si colloca fra le colonne sonore di Bernard Herrmann e i balletti di Aaron Copland, il tutto realizzato senza troppa fantasia e con circa trent'anni di ritardo.

Bene, ho fatto un piccolo esperimento. Un brano di questo CD di Marco Tutino l'ho fatto ascoltare ad un mio coinquilino che ascolta solo reggae ed hip-hop (e che, così facendo, qualche volta supera gli invalicabili limiti fisiologici delle mie capacità d'ascolto), e poi gli ho fatto sentire qualche minuto di Contrappunto dialettico alla mente di Luigi Nono (1968). Nessuno dei due brani gli è piaciuto, ma ha trovato di gran lunga più interessante quello di Nono.
          Pausa pranzo        
Torno a casa. Metto una pentola d'acqua sul fornello e lo accendo. Poi prendo un dischetto e lo metto nel lettore.

Beethoven, Sonata op. 106 nell'orchestrazione di Felix Weingartner. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, diretta dallo stesso Weingartner. Incisione storica, del 1930. Riversata su CD, edizione economica.

Che idea bislacca, trascrivere l'Hammerklavier per orchestra. L'opera, così, non funziona. E' incongrua, fuori posto. O forse è l'arrangiamento che non va bene: tutto in legato! Come no: siccome al piano non si può fare e con l'orchestra sì, allora mettiamo il glissando un po' dovunque...

Non importa. L'op. 106 è bellissima anche così. Beethoven è l'unico musicista che riesce a commuovere anche nelle esecuzioni più impossibili, e nelle situazioni d'ascolto più precarie.

Audiocassette in edizioni da autogrill della Quinta o della Sonata al chiaro di luna ascoltate in auto, d'estate, andando verso la spiaggia, coi finestrini aperti e quasi tutta la musica che si perde nel rumore...

C'è qualcosa di disneyano, nell'orchestrazione anni '30 di Weingartner. Quando ho visto per la prima volta Fantasia? Non ricordo, ma dovevo avere quattro o cinque anni. A Milano. I miei mi portarono al cinema, sicuramente, e qualcosa deve essersi depositato profondamente nella mia memoria. La Sesta sinfonia mi sembra di conoscerla da sempre.

Questa, però, è preistoria. La storia dei miei ascolti musicali comincia invece a metà degli anni '80. Avevo (o meglio, i miei genitori avevano) un magnetofono da tavolo a cassette, di quelli che si usavano per registrare pro-memoria e appunti vocali. Io lo usavo per sentire musica. Le cassette le avevo comprate all'uscita da scuola, prima di prendere il treno che mi avrebbe ricondotto a casa.

Il corso principale della città dove frequentavo il liceo scientifico aveva due negozi di dischi. Quello della signora Esposito era il più fornito: aveva dei meravigliosi cataloghi delle principali case discografiche. I cataloghi, però, mi mettevano in imbarazzo. Avrei voluto consultarli per ore, ma non stava bene: a un certo punto bisognava scegliere e ordinare. E poi, la cassetta arrivava dopo settimane, e a quell'epoca ero molto impaziente.

Il negozio del signor Cavo (dischi ed elettrodomestici, nomen omen) era più piccolo, ma aveva la particolarità di essere praticamente sempre aperto. Arrivavi col treno la mattina presto e trovavi già la saracinesca alzata, oppure perdevi il primo treno del ritorno, e potevi comunque rifugiarti una mezz'oretta da Cavo a contemplare lo scaffale con le cassette, senza essere disturbato (era, e per quanto ne so è ancora, un uomo di una discrezione esemplare, cosa non frequente in provincia). Potevi stare lì davanti quanto volevi prima di scegliere cosa comprare, oppure anche uscire senza aver preso niente, con un semplice grazie e arrivederci.

Ma, quando avevo diecimila lire in tasca, mi piaceva sempre entrare da Cavo per poi uscirne con una cassetta di Mozart o di Beethoven ben sistemata in mezzo ai libri - che tenevo orgogliosamente legati con una cinta elastica, per distinguermi dai miei compagni che sfoggiavano zainetti Invicta dai quali, durante l'intervallo, tiravano fuori i loro dischi di musica pop.

Intanto l'acqua bolle. Mezzo cucchiaino di sale. Apro la dispensa: pennette rigate o spaghetti? Opto per gli spaghetti: cuociono prima.

"La città dove frequentavo il liceo". Ho già scritto il nome di questa città? No. Lo scrivo adesso: Locri. Provincia di Reggio Calabria.

Da una vita, la semplice domanda "Di dove sei?" mi obbliga a fornire spiegazioni complicate e, suppongo, noiose, e anche poco convincenti. Ai tempi del liceo la risposta era semplice: di Africo. Se l'interlocutore era discreto, bastava così. Altrimenti scattava l'altra domanda: "E perché parli con l'accento milanese?" - Sai, la mia famiglia abitava a Milano, poi ci siamo trasferiti in Calabria. "Ah, allora i tuoi sono milanesi". - Niente affatto, siamo calabresi da chissà quante generazioni; ma i miei erano emigrati a Milano alla fine degli anni '60. "E come mai siete tornati qui?" - Uffa...

Da quando sto al Nord, la spiegazione è diventata ancora più involuta e implausibile. Se ci penso, mi vedo in un commissariato di polizia, seduto davanti a una lampada da tavolo puntata addosso a me, mentre l'ispettore, nascosto in una minacciosa penombra, mi inquisisce. "Ricominciamo daccapo. Di dove sei?" - Di Vigevano. "Ma non parli con l'accento di Vigevano". - No, perché sono calabrese. "Ma sul documento c'è scritto che sei nato a Milano". - Sì, perché all'epoca i miei abitavano lì. "Ah. E adesso dove abitano?" - Ad Africo. "Prima hai detto a Bianco." - Sì, anagraficamente stanno a Bianco. Sono due paesi confinanti. In realtà casa dei miei è tra Africo e Bianco, sulla statale. Ma comunque è più vicina ad Africo che a Bianco, anche se, sulla carta, è nel territorio di Bianco. Però i miei sono di Africo. "Ricominciamo daccapo..."

Intanto l'op. 106 di Beethoven, trascritta da Weingartner, è finita. Devo cambiare il CD. Ho ancora una cinquantina di minuti prima di tornare in ufficio. Cosa metto?

Scelgo velocemente, prima che la pasta scuocia: Invenzioni a due e tre voci di J. S. Bach. Glenn Gould, al pianoforte.

Butto gli spaghetti nello scolapasta. Che senso ha suonare il piano facendo finta che sia un clavicembalo? Venticinque anni che ascolto Gould e me lo chiedo.

Dicembre millenovecentoottantotto. Pomeriggio. Devo studiare per l'interrogazione di matematica. Non ne ho proprio voglia. Slego il fardello dei libri di scuola e ne estraggo il mio acquisto di oggi. Una cassetta made in U.S.A., dall'elegantissima copertina nera bordata d'oro. Bach, Inventions and Sinfonias. Glenn Gould.

Metto la cassetta nel mangianastri. Una musica astratta, trasparente, cantabile. Sembra provenire dallo spazio siderale, eppure i contorni si distinguono con precisione. Una sensazione di freddo secco, fine e pungente.

Guardai fuori. Non potevo crederci: stava nevicando. La casa dei miei è sul mare; l'Aspromonte dista solo una cinquantina di chilometri, ma qui sulla costa l'inverno è mite, la neve è un evento che capita forse una volta ogni dieci anni. Capitò quella volta. Mi alzai dalla scrivania e andai alla finestra a vedere i cristalli che scendevano lentamente.

L'inverno è mite, sulla costa ionica della Calabria. La stagione peggiore è l'autunno. A fine ottobre le piogge arrivano improvvise, massicce e violente, e possono durare per settimane. Non c'è che da chiudersi in casa e aspettare che passino.

Ho sedici anni e sto correndo attraverso la piazza principale di Locri verso la stazione. Il cielo è nero, l'aria è elettrica e tra poco scoppierà un forte temporale. Stavolta ho perso troppo tempo dalla signora Esposito, non sapevo decidermi, alla fine ho comprato la Sesta sinfonia di Beethoven e i concerti K. 488 e K. 491 nell'interpretazione di Daniel Barenboim, ma ora rischio di perdere il treno. La Sesta un po' la conosco, è quella della pubblicità. Ma il Concerto in do minore. Chissà com'è. Mozart scrive raramente in minore. Ma quando lo fa, mette i brividi. Mi precipito con il cuore in gola, mentre le bobine sbattono ritmicamente contro l'involucro di plastica nascosto fra i libri.

"Secondo le testimonianze di molta gente che ha vissuto in prima persona quei tragici giorni dell'alluvione e attraverso dei libri pubblicati da alcuni scrittori del paese, il 15 ottobre 1951 rappresenta una data indimenticabile e storica per il popolo di Africo in quanto un evento imprevisto sconvolse l’esistenza di Africo e della sua frazione, Casalnuovo. Per quattro giorni consecutivi dal 15 al 18 ottobre 1951, una bufera di vento, pioggia e nevischio si abbatté ininterrottamente sui due paesi causando frane, crolli di abitazioni e la distruzione di intere colture. La gente, spaventata, si riversò in massa in chiesa, pregando Dio e il suo Santo protettore, San Leo. La catastrofe avvenne soprattutto giorno 17 con continue frane, smottamenti di terreno, pioggia battente e violenta".

"La mattina del 18 ottobre la gente ricorda un'aria rossastra su nel cielo che metteva paura solo ad osservarla. [...] Molti furono quelli che, sorpresi dal maltempo, non fecero in tempo a mettersi in salvo, perché la piena del fiume impedì loro la via del ritorno a casa. Alla fine i due paesi contarono i danni: i morti furono sei a Casalnuovo e tre ad Africo. Gran parte del bestiame fu trascinato dal fiume, le case furono per la maggior parte distrutte e sepolte, le colture non più esistenti perché trascinate dalla pioggia."

"La lenta organizzazione della vita civile e della lotta politica fu sconvolta dall'alluvione del 1951. Una frana spazzò via il paese. I morti furono pochi, ma Africo scomparve. La storia della ricostruzione è allucinante. Per tutto un decennio gli africoti cercarono il terreno per ricomporre la loro comunità. Si iniziò una lotta tra chi voleva tornare nel vecchio territorio, dove erano restate le misere proprietà, e quelli che cercavano una sistemazione nuova. La scelta di una soluzione divise i due campi, anche la sinistra. Alla fine prevalse la tesi, sostenuta da don Stilo e dalla DC, di costruire un nuovo comune in una località distante 50 chilometri dal vecchio paese. Per lunghi anni la maggioranza degli africoti visse in un campo profughi. All'inizio del 1960 era sorta Africo Nuovo".

Un bambino di nove anni. Una bambina di due anni. Che esperienza possono aver fatto della catastrofe, e poi della loro condizione di profughi? Come l'hanno vissuta? Che tracce ha lasciato su di loro?

I miei genitori mi hanno parlato pochissimo dell'alluvione e degli eventi successivi. Hanno sempre insistito affinché studiassi, hanno incoraggiato i miei interessi per la musica, la letteratura, le scienze. Mi hanno sostenuto fino al diploma, poi fino alla laurea. Ma sugli eventi del loro paese non mi hanno mai detto molto.

Mio padre non sopporta il vento. Se è notte, e fuori c'è vento, non riesce a dormire.

"Non si è mai capito - manca una documentazione e mancano anche testimonianze orali credibili - se fu la mafia calabrese a premere per ricostruire Africo nel territorio di Bianco, senza terra, senza delimitazione territoriale e stato giuridico (com'è rimasto fino al 1980), in una località dove i contadini poveri, la grande maggioranza degli abitanti, sarebbero stati privati di quei diritti civici - il legnatico, il seminativo, il pascolo - di cui godevano nel vecchio paese. Da una montagna aspra al mare. Un caso esemplare di perdita dell'identità individuale e collettiva: gli abitanti di Africo infatti non sono più pastori né contadini, odiano il mare e non sono diventati né pescatori né marinai".

Ho diciannove anni. Preparo l'esame di maturità ascoltando la Sinfonia Italiana di Mendelssohn e la Sinfonia Incompiuta di Schubert. L'incongruità della situazione mi è divenuta insopportabile: che senso ha vivere in Calabria stando sempre chiuso in casa, parlare con un ridicolo accento settentrionale e, in generale, far finta di abitare in Mitteleuropa? A questo punto, non è meglio emigrare? Spengo il registratore e accendo la radio. Trasmettono The End dei Doors. C'è l'anniversario della morte di Jim Morrison.

Alla maturità, filosofia non è uscita. Peccato. Mi sarebbe piaciuto portare Kant. Non capisco perché tutti dicono che è un pensatore difficile: a me sembra così naturale, così ovvio. Certo: lo spazio, il tempo, sono forme della nostra mente. Ma, in sé, non esistono affatto.

Spengo lo stereo, aziono la lavastoviglie. E' ora di tornare in ufficio.

(Racconto pubblicato anche su Evulon. Nota: tutti i paragrafi tra virgolette sono tratti dal sito Internet di un mio compaesano, http://www.giuseppemorabito.it tranne l'ultimo che è tratto da Corrado Stajano, L'Italia ferita. Storie di un popolo che vorrebbe vivere secondo le regole della democrazia, Cinemazero, Pordenone 2010, pag. 96).
          Mozart schedato da Buscaroli        
Va subito detto che il titolo del libro di Piero Buscaroli, La morte di Mozart (Rizzoli, Milano 1996, pp. 373) è fuorviante. L'oggetto della trattazione di Buscaroli non è, infatti, "la morte di Mozart", bensì gli ultimi dieci anni di vita del grande compositore. L'intento dichiarato di Buscaroli è quello di demolire tutta una serie di leggende, falsità e luoghi comuni che, secondo lui, si sarebbero accumulati intorno alla figura di Mozart ad opera dei suoi biografi otto e novecenteschi: il Mozart di Buscaroli sarebbe infine quello genuino ed autentico, finalmente restituitoci dopo due secoli di menzogne.

Mi sembra che il punto di vista di Buscaroli sia politicamente determinato e che questa componente politica sia un elemento essenziale del suo metodo. Infatti, Buscaroli è un nostalgico dell'ancien régime, né più né meno. Tutto ciò che deriva dall'Illuminismo e dalla Rivoluzione francese, per Buscaroli, è pura e semplice aberrazione. Buscaroli non accetta nulla della modernità; del feudalesimo, invece, rimpiange ogni aspetto (per esempio anche l'elevata mortalità infantile, p. 261). Questo suo punto di vista radicalmente antimoderno dovrebbe, nelle intenzioni di Buscaroli, garantirgli una completa indipendenza dalle ideologie correnti nella nostra epoca e consentirgli così di vederci più chiaro di ogni altro biografo mozartiano prima di lui.

In altre parole, il libro di Buscaroli non si basa affatto su una ricerca archivistica che abbia prodotto fonti inedite e di prima mano. Si basa, invece, sulla reinterpretazione delle fonti già note, le quali, sotto l'occhio limpido e scevro di pregiudizi di Piero Buscaroli, rivelerebbero alfine quella verità che nessuno, prima di lui, aveva veduto.

Le fonti principali di Buscaroli sono infatti: l'epistolario mozartiano; la raccolta di documenti a cura di Erich Deutsch Mozart. Die Dokumente seines Lebens, Kassel 1961; e le prime biografie mozartiane di Schlichtegroll (1793), Niemetschek (1798), Nissen (1828) e Jahn (1856-59). Sono tutti materiali ben conosciuti e ampiamente utilizzati dalla critica mozartiana. Buscaroli esprime invece il massimo disprezzo per il W. A. Mozart di Hermann Abert (1921), opera considerata fondamentale da tutti ma non da Buscaroli il quale, naturalmente, è anche in costante e aspra polemica con quasi tutta la critica mozartiana novecentesca.

Vediamo allora, più nel dettaglio, qual è il bersaglio polemico della ricostruzione buscaroliana.

Mozart, che all'età di venticinque anni lasciò il servizio dell'Arcivescovo di Salisburgo per trasferirsi a Vienna, dove cercò di mantenersi con i proventi della sua attività di pianista e compositore, è oggi celebrato come il primo grande musicista dell'epoca borghese, colui il quale, per primo, tentò di conquistarsi lo status di libero artista, riscattando così la figura del musicista dal suo ruolo di dipendente delle corti. Nelle parole del sociologo Norbert Elias (1991): "Da outsider borghese al servizio della corte, Mozart combatté fino in fondo, con incredibile coraggio, una battaglia di affrancamento dai suoi padroni e committenti aristocratici. Lo fece di propria iniziativa, per amore della propria dignità di uomo e del proprio lavoro di musicista. E perse la battaglia [...]". Secondo Elias, Mozart perse la battaglia (e la vita) in quanto i tempi non erano ancora maturi per lui: la lotta di Mozart si svolse in una nazione, l'Austria del settecento, che si trovava "in una fase dello sviluppo sociale nella quale i rapporti di potere tradizionali erano praticamente ancora intatti".

Per l'ultrareazionario Buscaroli, questa moderna visione di Mozart come artista rivoluzionario è fumo negli occhi. Con grande insistenza, Buscaroli ci propone invece un Mozart meschino, pavido e conformista, caratterizzato dalla "evidente mancanza di superiori doti intellettuali e morali" (p. 342). "Mai anelò al riscatto sociale e politico della figura dell'artista, cercava un reddito fisso, ma alto" (p. 32). "Il libero mercato dell'arte gli si spalanca, e lui continua a sperare in un impiego a corte, meglio a Vienna, dove potrebbe, tutt'al più, raddoppiare lo stipendio di ora. Uomo libero è solo a parole [...]. I suoi sogni sono quelli di un impiegato" (pp. 183-4).

Tutto il libro di Buscaroli pullula di simili osservazioni, che in verità sono reiterate tanto spesso, quanto poco sono seriamente argomentate. E non potrebbe essere diversamente, dato che, come ho detto sopra, le fonti di Buscaroli sono le stesse dei critici mozartiani che lui tanto disprezza. Se, per loro, queste fonti disegnano una determinata figura e per Buscaroli la figura esattamente opposta, ciò dipenderebbe solo dal fatto che Buscaroli è intelligente e onesto, mentre gli altri autori sono stupidi e/o in malafede.

Un esempio del metodo argomentativo di Buscaroli lo si trova nella trattazione delle dimissioni di Mozart dalla corte arcivescovile di Salisburgo nel giugno 1781. In quella circostanza, com'è noto, il segretario dell'Arcivescovo, un tale conte Arco, per tutta risposta all'insistenza con cui Mozart continuava a chiedergli di accettare la sua richiesta di dimissioni, assestò al musicista un calcio nel sedere. Questo episodio, che ha suscitato l'indignazione unanime di tutta la posterità, viene raccontato da Buscaroli con le tecniche adottate dagli avvocati difensori di chi viene processato per stupro:
A) minimizzare. "Credette di dover ridurre alla ragione il musicista ribelle con la zotica seppur benintenzionata famigliarità elargita a sguatteri e inservienti".
B) Insinuare dubbi sulla veridicità del fatto. "E se fosse tutta invenzione [...]?"
C) Sostenere che la vittima, in fondo, se l'è cercata. "E il giovane genio dal corpo minuto [...] fece tutto quanto poteva per trarlo fuori dai gangheri" (tutte le citazioni sono dalla p. 53).
Il tutto al palese scopo di tessere l'apologia di un sistema sociale, nel quale era possibile che un Mozart venisse preso a calci dallo scagnozzo di un feudatario.

A ciò aggiungiamo il fatto che, della musica di Mozart, Buscaroli parla poco o nulla: al Don Giovanni sono dedicate in tutto 3 (tre) pagine, nelle quali Buscaroli si limita a dirci che Da Ponte copiò il libretto da Giovanni Bertati; e sai che novità! Questo ci dà la misura di quanto la lettura di questo libro possa risultare tediosa e irritante.

Questo, almeno, per le prime duecentosessanta pagine. E' solo quando Buscaroli inizia a parlare degli ultimi mesi di vita di Mozart, che il suo discorso comincia a farsi un minimo interessante. A proposito della genesi del Requiem, Buscaroli propone una tesi che, pur non essendo necessariamente giusta, non è né futile né banale. Secondo Buscaroli (il quale, per una volta, avverte onestamente il lettore di non aver prove di quanto afferma: p. 324), l'incompiutezza del Requiem non sarebbe dovuta alla morte improvvisa del compositore, bensì ad una sua scelta deliberata. Infatti, Mozart fu incaricato della composizione da un nobile musicista dilettante, il conte Walsegg-Stuppach, il quale intendeva appropriarsi della stessa paternità dell'opera: il conte voleva cioè far eseguire il Requiem (dalla propria orchestra di corte) figurandone lui come autore.

Secondo Buscaroli, quando Mozart si rese conto dei termini di questo incarico (che inizialmente aveva accettato per necessità di denaro), maturò un invincibile disgusto per il lavoro che gli era stato commissionato: la sua coscienza artistica e professionale si ribellò all'idea di dover comporre un'opera che non avrebbe mai potuto rivendicare come sua. Sarebbe questo, secondo Buscaroli, il vero motivo per cui il Requiem rimase incompiuto.

Una prova a sostegno della sua ricostruzione sarebbe costituita, secondo Buscaroli (il quale considera il Requiem di Mozart un'opera minore e mal riuscita), dalla stessa scarsa qualità musicale della composizione. Mozart, cioè, sapeva di dover scrivere un'opera che sarebbe andata sotto il nome di un musicista dilettante: perciò la scrisse in modo volutamente sciatto, adoperando ad esempio un "contrappunto opaco, scontato, da manuale" (p. 325), e alla fine si rifiutò senz'altro di completarla, meditandone probabilmente la distruzione.

Buscaroli, però, sembra non rendersi conto che quanto lui scrive in queste pagine finali, a proposito del Mozart autore del Requiem, contraddice in modo stridente quanto egli stesso ha sostenuto nel corso di tutti i capitoli precedenti. Se Mozart, dal 1781 fino all'estate del 1791, era quel piccolo-borghese pusillanime e opportunista che Buscaroli si è sforzato di dipingere, come si spiega questo improvviso scatto di orgoglio e di dignità a pochi mesi dalla morte?

A me sembra, invece, che in queste pagine finali gli occhiali dell'ideologia siano in qualche modo caduti dal naso di Buscaroli, il quale, alla fine, non può a fare a meno di riconoscere a Mozart quelle qualità umane che fin qui gli aveva ostinatamente e faziosamente negato.

Per finire, ho seri dubbi sulla valutazione critica che Buscaroli riserva al Requiem. Non trascurerei il fatto che quest'opera sembra attualmente la più popolare fra quelle del suo autore. Ad esempio, se si digita Mozart nella casella di ricerca di "YouTube", il Requiem è la prima opzione che viene proposta. Senza dubbio, ciò si deve in gran parte al film Amadeus. Ma in parte, secondo me, lo si deve anche alla relativa semplicità di fruizione del Requiem che Buscaroli, a suo modo, evidenzia, pur senza comprenderne le ragioni. Non dimentichiamo che Mozart, poco prima di morire, fu testimone dell'enorme successo del suo Flauto Magico, un'opera scritta per un teatro della periferia di Vienna e destinata ad un pubblico popolare.

Forse Mozart, dopo aver volutamente sfidato il gusto dell'aristocrazia, e dopo l'amara esperienza del mancato sostegno da parte del pubblico borghese, negli ultimi mesi di vita iniziò a intravedere la possibilità di rivolgersi ad un pubblico interamente nuovo, posto al di fuori delle classi dominanti del presente e dell'immediato futuro. E cominciò a orientare la sua scrittura musicale all'obiettivo di conquistare ed educare, se necessario anche calibrando il livello di complessità compositiva, questo nuovo pubblico.

(Trovate la presente recensione anche su Evulon).
          Il terremoto di Messina del 1908        
Ripubblico qui di seguito una mia recensione (risalente a sei anni fa) al libro di Giorgio Boatti, La terra trema. Messina 28 dicembre 1908. I trenta secondi che cambiarono l'Italia, non gli italiani, Mondadori, Milano 2004, pp. 414, € 18,50.

"Ore 5.20 terremoto distrusse buona parte Messina - Giudico morti molte centinaia - case crollate sgombro macerie insufficienti mezzi locali - urgono soccorsi per sgombro vettovagliamento assistenza feriti - ogni aiuto sarà insufficiente".

E' il testo del telegramma con cui il governo italiano apprese del terremoto di Messina: inviato dal comandante di una nave militare da una stazione telegrafica calabrese alle 14.50 del 28 dicembre 1908, giunse al Ministero degli Interni alle 17.35 dello stesso giorno, cioè dodici ore dopo il disastro.
In questo telegramma la valutazione dei danni è naturalmente molto sottostimata: il terremoto, dell'undicesimo grado della scala Mercalli, distrusse quasi completamente le città di Messina e Reggio Calabria e causò, secondo le statistiche ufficiali, 77.283 morti (in altre valutazioni la cifra oscilla fra le 80.000 e le 140.000 vittime).

A volte, quando ci si sofferma a considerarla, la storia del nostro paese sembra un'ininterrotta sequela di disastri. Ogni generazione ha la sua catastrofe civile da ricordare e anzi spesso più d'una, a volte d'origine naturale e a volte umana. Il copione sembra sempre lo stesso: evento tragico; prime ricostruzioni giornalistiche, concitate e a forti tinte; interviste ai superstiti; il cordoglio della nazione; le autorità dello stato si precipitano sul luogo dell'evento; polemiche sulla tempestività dei soccorsi e sulla loro efficienza; i parenti delle vittime accusano; funerali solenni; ancora polemiche finché i riflettori dei mass-media si spengono.

Questo libro di Giorgio Boatti sul terremoto di Messina si basa in gran parte su uno studio accurato dei giornali dell'epoca. Una prima constatazione è che in essi lo schema che ci è tristemente familiare appare già operante. Il governo di Giovanni Giolitti dovette ben presto difendersi dalle accuse di non aver compiuto in modo adeguato e tempestivo l'opera di soccorso delle popolazioni colpite. In particolare, l'opinione pubblica dell'epoca fu colpita dal fatto che i primi soccorsi organizzati non vennero apprestati da parte italiana, bensì, a partire dalla mattina del 29 dicembre, dagli equipaggi di squadre navali russe e inglesi che casualmente si trovavano nei pressi al momento del terremoto (equipaggi che, secondo tutte le testimonianze, svolsero la loro opera eroicamente). I primi soccorritori italiani, dell'ottavo reggimento dei Bersaglieri, provenienti da Palermo, sbarcarono solo nel pomeriggio inoltrato dello stesso giorno.

Ma la cosa che più colpisce nella reazione all'evento da parte del governo italiano non consiste tanto nella lentezza o inefficienza dei soccorsi, per la quale si possono addurre delle circostanze attenuanti: l'Italia era allora un paese povero, sottosviluppato rispetto alle altre nazioni europee; la stessa tecnologia dell'epoca non consentiva una grande rapidità di reazione; il terremoto danneggiò molto seriamente le infrastrutture e le vie di comunicazione nelle zone colpite; infine non esisteva ancora il moderno concetto di protezione civile e lo Stato italiano non era preparato ad affrontare simili emergenze.

Ciò che realmente sorprende è che fin dall'inizio, il governo e una parte della pubblica opinione sembrarono considerare il terremoto principalmente come un problema di ordine pubblico. Fra le prime preoccupazioni si registrano, infati, il timore delle epidemie e la paura dei saccheggi.

Scrive il quotidiano "La Tribuna" del 2 gennaio 1909: per impedire un'epidemia occorre "compiere l'opera distruggitrice perpetrata dal terremoto: buttare giù quel poco che resta di queste case, buttarlo giù nel modo più energico, più rapido: a colpi di cannone. Far sgomberare i pochissimi superstiti e dalle navi bombardare queste scarnificate vestigia della città (...) non v'è altra via per impedire che il luogo dov'era Messina diventi un centro d'infezione a cui nessuno osi più avvicinarsi". (p. 118). "Il Mattino" del 6-7 gennaio rilancia la stessa idea attribuendone la paternità al Re, mentre "Il Messaggero" del 6 gennaio suggerisce di ricorrere al fuoco: "Si dia in preda alle fiamme [Messina] per purificarla, o si ricostruisca con piccole case come una cittadina giapponese" (p. 119).

E' sconcertante che fra le prime misure suggerite dopo un terremoto, vi sia quella di deportare la popolazione colpita e poi bombardare la città: sembra che nel caso di Messina non si sia arrivato a tanto solo perché, a distanza di molti giorni dalla catastrofe, si continuavano a trovare dei sopravvissuti sotto le rovine. Ma si rimane ancora più stupiti quando si apprende che uno dei motivi che suggerirono queste misure estreme, fu la necessità di preservare dai furti i valori rimasti sotto le macerie e soprattutto i caveaux delle banche.

Il regio decreto del 4 gennaio 1909 stabiliva lo stato d'assedio nei territori colpiti dal terremoto e conferiva i pieni poteri per l'emergenza al generale di corpo d'armata Francesco Mazza (annota Boatti che una diceria popolare fa discendere dal suo cognome l'etimologia della locuzione siculo-calabra "non capire una mazza"). Installatosi con il suo stato maggiore a bordo di una lussuosa nave militare al largo, e senza scendere quasi mai a terra, il generale Mazza provvide a circondare Messina di un cordone sanitario di truppe, cui diede l'ordine di sparare su chiunque dall'esterno si avvicinasse alla città senza lasciapassare. Questo per impedire che bande di saccheggiatori si riversassero sul luogo del disastro.

Ecco alcuni passi tratti dal bando emanato dal generale Mazza il 10 gennaio, riportato integralmente a p. 374 del libro di Boatti: "1 - Sono sospesi fino a nuovo ordine gli scavi delle macerie da parte di privati cittadini, sia per rintracciare cadaveri, sia per recuperare valori. (...) Le persone trovate a scavare saranno considerate come ladri e deferite al tribunale di guerra. [Questo mentre ancora i parenti delle vittime cercavano i loro cari sotto le macerie, n.d.r.] Anche le truppe, nei lavori stradali che compiono, si limiteranno esclusivamente ai lavori di assestamento evitando di eseguire scavi. (...) 3 - E' proibito l'ingresso in città a tutte le persone non munite di regolare permesso rilasciato dall'autorità politica della provincia da cui provengono..."

Il 6 gennaio l'autorità militare ordina di sospendere la distribuzione di viveri ai superstiti. Saranno distribuiti viveri a bordo delle navi, solamente ai profughi che accetteranno d'imbarcarsi per lasciare la città. L'idea, commenta Boatti, è perciò quella di "utilizzare l'arma della fame e della sete per imporre (..) la desertificazione di Messina" (p. 135). Questa cinica soluzione non viene attuata perché, come accennavo sopra, alcuni dei sepolti sotto le macerie si ostinano a farsi ritrovare vivi anche dopo giorni e giorni dal terremoto; ma altresì per le perplessità espresse da una parte della pubblica opinione e anche per le proteste degli stessi messinesi: un'assemblea autoconvocata di cittadini chiede il 19 gennaio la revoca dello stato d'assedio. Stato d'assedio che - osserva con sarcasmo il corrispondente de "Il Mattino" del 6 gennaio 1909 - sembra avere lo scopo precipuo di garantire "il sonno ai morti e la biancheria, gli oggetti e i titoli di banca ai vivi" (p. 137).

In seguito Giolitti giustificò la scelta di dare priorità al recupero dei valori, adducendo il timore di speculazioni al ribasso sulla lira (p. 146). Boatti propone un'altra spiegazione: "La difesa delle proprietà, la guardia ai caveaux delle banche, il salvataggio dei lingotti che mette in secondo piano altri interventi è una linea d'azione adottata, anzi, sbandierata, perché dal disordine - anche sociale - del terremoto emerga alfine una visione dove a prevalere è l'ordine, lo status quo, l'autorità e il prestigio dell'apparato dello Stato. (...) Salvare milioni, o lingotti, dopo tutto è meno complicato che cercare di strappare alla morte, in una gara contro il tempo, migliaia di sepolti vivi" (p.155).

A questo atteggiamento grettamente calcolatore da parte degli apparati dello Stato si contrappone lo slancio di solidarietà manifestato da più parti della società. In poche settimane si raccolgono più di ventun milioni di lire (dell'epoca) in sottoscrizioni, buona parte delle quali provenienti dall'estero. La cosa non manca anzi di creare preoccupazioni nelle alte sfere: non si rischierà di creare l'abitudine all'assistenza, al farsi mantenere dallo Stato, a quello che oggi si chiama assistenzialismo? Sua Altezza Reale il Duca d'Aosta esprime autorevolmente questo cruccio quando afferma che "è immorale mantenere un'orda di vagabondi e creare oziosi" (p. 234).

Non si trattò soltanto di solidarietà finanziaria. Volontari affluirono da tutta Italia per prestare opera di soccorso. Boatti dedica particolare attenzione alla vicenda di uno di essi, il parlamentare parmense Giuseppe Micheli, un deputato cattolico che, arrivato a Messina pochi giorni dopo il terremoto, subito mise in piedi, con la collaborazione dell'Arcivescovo, un "comitato messinese di soccorso", a carattere volontario, che si rivelò un'organizzazione semiufficiale sotto molti aspetti più efficiente di quella statale (pp. 263-68). Un'altra figura che emerge è quella dell'ex sindaco socialista di Catania Giuseppe De Felice Giuffrida, che era stato protagonista pochi anni prima di una delle esperienze politico-amministrative più avanzate della Sicilia dell'epoca: da sindaco della sua città aveva promosso forme di socializzazione dei servizi pubblici (forni municipalizzati, cucine popolari), la cui esperienza risultò ora preziosa per organizzare la distribuzione dei viveri ai superstiti del terremoto (pp. 203-4).

La miseria delle regioni colpite dal terremoto impressionò molti degli osservatori e degli inviati giunti sul luogo della catastrofe. Qualcuno propose dei rimedi; ad esempio il letterato Giovanni Cena suggerì, naturalmente quale misura temporanea, quella di emigrare. "Parecchi anni di duro tirocinio all'estero (...): poi gli emigranti calabresi torneranno altri uomini e non domanderanno più nulla, fuorché il loro buon diritto di cittadini" (p. 381). (Oggi si può dire che noi calabresi abbiamo seguito il consiglio, e che gli "anni di tirocinio" sono stati effettivamente molti, anzi durano tuttora. Sarà che siamo un po' lenti ad imparare?).

Il libro di Boatti non manca di sottolineare l'imprevidenza e anche l'incoscienza generalizzata che indussero i cittadini di Messina e Reggio Calabria (le città che oggi qualcuno vorrebbe unire con un ponte lungo tre chilometri, inutile, dannoso e pericoloso) a costruire tutto, anche gli edifici pubblici, al di fuori delle più elementari regole di sicurezza. Le fotografie che corredano il volume illustrano un panorama di distruzione impressionante, ove emerge, unica costruzione intatta perché edificata con criteri antisismici, il villino di un medico messinese.

Nella sua ricognizione della pubblicistica dell'epoca, Boatti dedica due capitoli ad alcune singolari polemiche: quella (cap. XVII) fra autorità laiche e cattoliche riguardo alla sistemazione degli orfani del terremoto (il Vaticano pretendeva ovviamente che fossero tutti educati "in Cristo" nei suoi istituti), e quella concernente il destino dell'Università di Messina, di cui alcuni illustri cattedratici proposero senz'altro la chiusura, in base alla considerazione che di università ce n'erano fin troppe e che in particolare quelle meridionali erano diplomifici per giovani sfaccendati (pp. 276-7).

Boatti chiude la sua esposizione con un'osservazione suggestiva: la "meglio gioventù" dei volontari del terremoto, poco dopo, buttò via inutilmente la propria carica di idealismo e di amor patrio, la propria volontà di fare e di cambiare le cose, nelle trincee della Prima guerra mondiale. Agli ordini (aggiungo io) di quella medesima classe dirigente ignorante, ottusa, autoritaria, incapace e meschinamente arroccata nella difesa dei propri privilegi, che aveva già dato prova di sé nella gestione ufficiale dell'emergenza-terremoto e che di lì a poco "inventerà" il fascismo.

Questo testo di Giorgio Boatti fa luce su un episodio importante e poco conosciuto della nostra storia nazionale, e lo fa (a differenza della pseudo-storiografia sensazionalistica e superficiale oggi di moda) con grande scrupolosità e metodo: il volume si chiude con ben cento pagine di appendice documentaria e di note al testo. Anche solo per questo sarebbe da raccomandare. Per chi come me proviene da una delle zone disastrate, la lettura di questo libro è irrinunciabile e consente di ritrovare la radice di mali antichi.

Originariamente pubblicato il 22 febbraio 2005, qui.
          Stella rossa sull'Europa        
"Buongiorno, Anne. Buon anno".
"Buongiorno, Valentin. Buon anno anche a te. Novità?"
"Sì. Un nuovo arrivo. Sabato notte. Hai il colloquio già fissato per le undici. Trovi tutti i dettagli in agenda".
Anne Dupont, psicologa del Centro di Prima Accoglienza di Calais, entrò nel suo ufficio, accese il terminale e consultò la sua agenda elettronica.

Lunedì 5 gennaio 2011, ore 11,00. Colloquio con Monsieur Philip Brasser. Cittadino britannico. Età 38. Celibe. Operazione di salvataggio in mare, Canale della Manica, acque internazionali, 3 gennaio u.s. Condizioni fisiche buone. Non parla francese. Attribuzione provvisoria: codice blu.

Bene, pensò Anne. Un rifugiato politico. Iniziare l'anno nuovo con un codice blu era di buon auspicio. Il colloquio era di lì a due ore. Non c'erano altri impegni per la giornata. Completò con calma alcuni referti clinici iniziati la settimana precedente, fece una partita a Tetris, chattò con alcuni amici in Internet. Quando fu il momento, si aggiustò il make-up e si recò in sala colloqui.

Era una stanza non troppo ampia, arredata come un normale studio specialistico ma con qualche accorgimento per mettere gli ospiti a proprio agio: colori pastello, luci soffuse, lettino basso, comoda poltrona. Su quest'ultima, di fronte alla scrivania della dottoressa, era già seduto il signor Brasser.

"Good morning, Mr. Brasser. Prima di tutto, come sta?"
La domanda non era solo formale. L'uomo appariva molto provato. I tanti capelli bianchi, la pelle del viso magro solcata da numerose rughe, le profonde occhiaie dietro le lenti spesse, lo facevano sembrare più vecchio di dieci anni rispetto alla sua età anagrafica. Al posto degli abiti che indossava al momento del suo salvataggio, fradici e inservibili, gli avevano fornito un nuovo completo, che era tuttavia di due numeri più largo e accentuava la gracilità del suo fisico. Gli tremavano le mani.
Quegli scafisti maledetti, pensò Anne.
"Adesso sto meglio, grazie. Certo, suppongo che la notte passata all'addiaccio su quel canotto non abbia migliorato granché la mia cera. Ma ho fatto una buona dormita, qui da voi, e la vostra cucina è ottima". La sua voce era ferma, con una sfumatura d'ironia. "Solamente, non sono riuscito a procurarmi neppure una sigaretta, dottoressa..."
"Dupont. Ma può chiamarmi Anne. Temo che non ne troverà neppure in futuro. Nell'Unione non se ne producono più. Fino a qualche tempo fa, le importavamo dal suo paese".
"Oh, già, ora ricordo. Le esportazioni cessarono sei anni fa. Troppo pochi fumatori, qui da voi. Non c'era abbastanza profitto. Lo so perché all'epoca lavoravo in un'agenzia di rating".
"Lei è analista finanziario?"
Il signor Brasser rise. "No. Laureato in agraria. Da Troody's ero operatore al call center. Ogni grande compagnia ha il suo. E' la mansione che ho sempre svolto, durante tutta la mia carriera. Ho lavorato per almeno trenta società diverse, ogni volta per non più di sei mesi. Si imparano tante cose, sa?"
"Non ho dubbi. Ma veniamo al punto. Lei ha chiesto lo status di rifugiato politico. Data la sua provenienza, certamente la sua richiesta sarà accettata. Lei diventerà fra breve, a tutti gli effetti, cittadino dell'Unione delle Repubbliche Socialiste d'Europa. Già adesso, comunque, lei è libero di circolare in tutto il territorio dell'Unione, ed eventualmente anche di tornare da dove è venuto..."
"No grazie! Non ci tengo affatto".
"Dicevo per dire. In genere, qui da noi i rifugiati si integrano abbastanza in fretta. Tuttavia, non si può escludere che, all'inizio, lei si trovi un po' spaesato. Il nostro sistema sociale è molto diverso da quello da cui lei proviene. A sua richiesta, lei può fruire di adeguata assistenza psicologica e culturale, per superare eventuali difficoltà di adattamento. In questa fase iniziale, se vuole, mi consideri pure come suo referente".
"Oh. E quanto dura questa... fase iniziale?"
"Può finire anche subito, se crede. L'unico suo obbligo, se intende rimanere nell'Unione, è di iscriversi nelle liste di collocamento e nelle graduatorie per gli alloggi. Non credo che le sarà difficile trovare un lavoro e una casa. Se lei non ha esigenze particolari, penso che troverà una sistemazione accettabile nel giro di un paio di settimane. Fino ad allora, comunque, può rimanere qui, o spostarsi in una delle altre strutture di prima accoglienza nel territorio dell'Unione".
"Sembra magnifico. Dov'è la fregatura?"
"Ecco. Era proprio ciò che intendevo. Non c'è nessuna fregatura, per quanto lei sia abituato a pensare che debba per forza esserci. Non pretendo che lei mi creda. Presto se ne accorgerà da sé".

Non c'erano straordinari da fare, quel giorno. Alle tredici, Anne spense il computer, salutò i colleghi che arrivavano per il turno pomeridiano e, senza passare dalla mensa, prese l'elio-tram che, serpeggiando silenziosamente lungo la costa, la portò a casa sua in dieci minuti. Era una magnifica giornata di sole. Il mare era inusualmente calmo, in quei giorni. Una fortuna, per Brasser. Aveva evitato il triste destino di tanti boat-people che partivano clandestinamente dalla riva inglese ma non riuscivano a raggiungere i nostri mezzi di soccorso nelle acque internazionali.

Anne abitava da sola. Si preparò un leggero pranzo macrobiotico, poi un caffé d'orzo. Accese la radio; la spense. Si guardò nello specchio del soggiorno. Sorrise. Tutto sommato, si piaceva. Si chiese come sarebbe stato il suo sembiante, alla sua età, se anziché in Europa continentale fosse vissuta in quell'inferno che doveva essere Londra. I profughi le avevano raccontato storie orribili. Inquinamento, degrado. Se andava bene, orari lavorativi di dieci o dodici ore. Altrimenti, la disoccupazione, l'emarginazione e la pazzia. Oppure, per una ristretta minoranza, la ricchezza e il potere, ma a costo di rinunciare a qualsiasi barlume d'umanità. Un'altra forma di follia, in fondo.

Mercoledì 7 gennaio, ore 10,00. Secondo colloquio con Monsieur Brasser.

Quella mattina l'aspetto di Mr. Brasser era molto migliorato. Anne glielo disse.
"Grazie, Dottoressa. Lei è gentile quanto bella".
Anne Dupont ignorò il complimento.
"Se ho chiesto un nuovo colloquio" continuò Brasser, "non è per ottenere assistenza psicologica".
"Davvero? E perché, allora?"
"Ho due domande da porle".
"Le risponderò, se posso. Ma prima, permetta che le faccia io una domanda. Cosa sa, lei, dell'Unione?"
"Poco, in realtà. So che dapprima ci fu la Rivoluzione d'Ottobre, in Russia, nel 1917. Poi, tra il '18 e il '20, il capitalismo fu abbattuto in Germania, in Ungheria e in Italia. In rapida successione, tutte le colonie europee in Asia e in Africa conquistarono l'indipendenza. L'India nel 1925, la Cina nel '27, e così via. Poco dopo fu la volta dell'Algeria e del Marocco, e a quel punto la rivoluzione scoppiò anche in Francia e in Spagna. Alla fine degli anni '30, tutta l'Europa continentale era socialista.
Frattanto, il crollo di Wall Street nel 1929 aveva gettato l'America nella crisi più nera. Le elezioni presidenziali del 1940 furono vinte da Charles Lindbergh, un fanatico antisemita che instaurò negli U.S.A. una dittatura razzista, appoggiata dal grande capitale. Presto quel regime si circondò di una serie di stati-satellite che coprivano tutta l'America del Sud e del Nord.
Negli anni '80, quelle dittature iniziarono ad implodere, dapprima in America Latina e poi in Canada. Quando nel 1989 cadde il Muro di Tijuana, finalmente il capitalismo crollò negli stessi Stati Uniti. Da allora, secondo la nostra propaganda, il Regno Unito di Gran Bretagna è rimasto l'ultimo baluardo del libero mercato e della civiltà, contro la barbarie socialista che ha travolto tutto il resto del globo. Questo è quanto".
"Bene - disse la dottoressa - a parte la faccenda del baluardo, il quadro storico è corretto. Non le sarà stato facile ricostruirlo..."
"No, infatti. Da noi, formalmente, la cultura è libera, e ognuno può leggere ciò che vuole. Si possono prendere in prestito, nelle poche biblioteche rimaste, anche testi di Marx o di Lenin, e persino di Fabio Volo. Non è vietato. Di fatto, però, ci sono materie che non conviene approfondire troppo. Se si viene a sapere che lei fa certe letture e che ha determinate idee (e si viene a sapere sempre), non speri di trovare lavoro tanto facilmente. Io me la sono cavata con i call center, solo perché le mie origini non sono troppo umili. Quando avevo vent'anni, i miei riuscirono persino a mandarmi all'università. Certo, oggi non potrei più frequentarla. Da allora le rette sono decuplicate."
"Ah, lei ha letto Fabio Volo? Complimenti. Da noi, molti lo considerano un autore troppo difficile".
"Sì, è molto rigoroso e denso, ma se si ha tempo da dedicargli, è un pensatore affascinante. Le consiglio la Critica del tempo unidimensionale, se non l'ha ancora letta. A me ha aperto la mente. In realtà, uno dei motivi per cui mi sono deciso ad espatriare è che anche studiare per conto proprio da noi è diventato impossibile. Troppo costoso, da quando il dizionario è stato privatizzato".
"Il dizionario?"
"Sì. Tutti i sostantivi che iniziano per vocale appartengono alla Mircosoft. Quelli che iniziano per consonante sono del gruppo Murdogh. Gli avverbi sono di Merdaset, e così via. Per leggere o per usare comunque le parole bisogna pagare il noleggio ai legittimi proprietari. Quando lei scrive una e-mail, oppure quando chatta o quando telefona, un sistema di contatori automatici calcola la cifra e l'addebita sul suo conto. Ottimo sistema, fra l'altro, per controllare i contenuti della comunicazione. Io, per esempio, ho fatto quindici giorni di carcere per uso illecito di marchio registrato, la volta che in una mia mail ho scritto che la Cocca Colla mi faceva schifo".
"Senta, Mr. Brasser. Quali sono i suoi progetti? Cosa intende fare, ora che è venuto qui da noi?"
"Primo, togliermi una curiosità che mi ha tormentato a lungo. Ed è la prima delle due domande che volevo farle, si ricorda?"
La dottoressa Dupont sbuffò. "Va bene. Spari".
"La domanda è: perché non ci avete invaso? Come avete potuto lasciarci a mollo in quella fogna?"
Anne si appoggiò sullo schienale della sedia. "Beh, alcuni partiti in seno all'Internazionale erano per dichiarare guerra. Ma infine prevalse l'idea che il socialismo non può essere imposto con i carri armati. Se ci avessero attaccato, ci saremmo difesi. Per fortuna non accadde. Oggi, poi, molti sostengono che una pluralità di sistemi sociali diversi non è necessariamente un male. In India, in Giappone e in Sud America, dove la transizione al comunismo è molto avanzata, stanno già smantellando le strutture dello Stato, per sostituirle con vari tipi di organizzazione non statuale. In Europa e in Africa ci troviamo ancora nella fase socialista, in vari stadi di sviluppo a seconda dei territori. Forse è bene che ci siano delle zone dove ancora vige il capitalismo."
"Sarà un bene per voi, che ci osservate dall'esterno come se fossimo allo zoo! Ma per noi che siamo in gabbia è un altro discorso".
"Lei ora non è più in gabbia. Comunque, mi sembra che il suo atteggiamento nei confronti del suo paese d'origine sia un po' troppo negativo, non crede?"
"Mi dica lei cosa ci vede di bello, in quel letamaio", ribatté Brasser.
"Beh, che so... Avete una scena musicale molto vivace. Un sacco di gruppi pop, rock, punk, post-punk... Wim Wenders ci ha fatto anche un film. Poi, comunque, il vostro sistema ha ancora una base di consenso popolare".
"Si riferisce a West End London Social Club, vero? Quel film mi dà la nausea! Le televisioni del regime lo replicano senza tregua. L'unico film d'autore trasmesso in prima serata, e senza interruzioni pubblicitarie."
"Ecco, ad esempio - lo interruppe la dottoressa - Perché lei parla di televisioni di regime? Da voi ci sono sei o sette canali, se non sbaglio, tutti privati e in concorrenza fra loro..."
"... e trasmettono tutti le stesse schifezze. Non si distinguono l'uno dall'altro. Anne, lei non ha capito: da noi l'economia è allo sfascio, la società è in piena decadenza, la cultura è morta e sepolta. L'unica attività che va a gonfie vele è la manipolazione del consenso per mezzo dei mass-media. Quella è l'unica industria che non conosce crisi!"
"Non volevo farla arrabbiare. Si calmi. Lei ora è al sicuro. Andrà tutto bene. Respiri profondamente, e mi faccia la seconda domanda che voleva pormi".
"Mi scusi. La domanda è questa. Lei è libera stasera? Ho letto sul giornale che in un cinema d'essai a Dunkerque proiettano L'Atalante di Jean Vigo. E' una vita che desidero vedere quel film, e mi chiedevo se... lei volesse venire con me a vederlo, ecco."


Pubblicato su Evulon in due puntate: la prima il 7 gennaio 2011 qui, e la seconda il 12 gennaio 2011, qui.
          '..to get rid of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2025..' - Britain bans gasoline and diesel cars starting in 2040 (no replies)        
'..The Netherlands and Norway previously said they wanted to get rid of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2025 and Germany and India announced similar plans ahead of 2030.'

- Chloe Farand, France will 'ban all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040', July 6, 2017


'..Dirty air has been linked to cancer, asthma, stroke and heart disease, among other health issues. The problem is especially pronounced in big cities including London.'

'Britain will ban sales of new gasoline and diesel cars starting in 2040 as part of a bid to clean up the country's air.

The decision to phase out the internal combustion engine heralds a new era of low-emission technologies with major implications for the auto industry, society and the environment.

"We can't carry on with diesel and petrol cars," U.K. environment secretary Michael Gove told the BBC on Wednesday. "There is no alternative to embracing new technology."

Gove said the government's air quality plan, which is set to be officially announced later on Wednesday, was needed because gasoline and diesel engines contribute to health problems, "accelerate climate change, do damage to the planet and the next generation."

Roughly 40,000 deaths in Britain each year are attributable to outdoor air pollution, according to a study published last year by the Royal College of Physicians. Dirty air has been linked to cancer, asthma, stroke and heart disease, among other health issues. The problem is especially pronounced in big cities including London.

The timeline for ending sales of internal combustion engines mirrors one proposed in early July by France. President Emmanuel Macron has given the auto industry the same deadline to make the switch to cleaner tech.

"We are quite rightly in a position of global leadership when it comes to shaping new technology," Gove said.

- Charles Riley, Britain bans gasoline and diesel cars starting in 2040, July 26, 2017


Context

'..to Ban Internal Combustion Engines by 2030'

'..committed to 100 percent clean energy by the year 2050.'

(Global) - '..a revolutionary shift to net zero emissions by 2080..'


'Thorium reactor: cleaner, safer and sustainable nuclear energy within sight'

(Fusion Power) - LPP Focus Fusion 1; '..FF-1 results are right now far ahead..'

'..to develop a series of electric and hybrid aircraft..'


The "CityTree" - 'Air pollution is one of the world's invisible killers.'

          (2017) - '..a deeply systemic debt crisis akin to the aftermath of 1929 .. the stage has now been set..' (no replies)        
'..But after a decade of unprecedented expansion of government debt and central bank Credit, the stage has now been set for a more systemic 1929-like financial dislocation.'

'June 27 – Reuters (William Schomberg, Marc Jones, Jason Lange and Lindsay Dunsmuir): “U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Tuesday that she does not believe that there will be another financial crisis for at least as long as she lives, thanks largely to reforms of the banking system since the 2007-09 crash. ‘Would I say there will never, ever be another financial crisis?’ Yellen said… ‘You know probably that would be going too far but I do think we're much safer and I hope that it will not be in our lifetimes and I don't believe it will be,’ she said.”

While headlines somewhat paraphrased Yellen’s actual comment, “We Will not see Another Crisis in Our Lifetime” is reminiscent of Irving Fisher’s “permanent plateau” just weeks before the great crash of 1929. While on the subject, I never bought into the popular comparison between 2008 and 1929 – and the related notion of 2008 as “the 100-year flood”. The 2008/09 crisis was for the most part a private debt crisis associated with the bursting of a Bubble in mortgage Credit – not dissimilar to previous serial global crises, only larger and somewhat more systemic. It was not, however, a deeply systemic debt crisis akin to the aftermath of 1929, which was characterized by a crisis of confidence in the banking system, the markets and finance more generally, along with a loss of faith in government policy and institutions. But after a decade of unprecedented expansion of government debt and central bank Credit, the stage has now been set for a more systemic 1929-like financial dislocation.

As such, it’s ironic that the Fed has branded the banking system cured and so well capitalized that bankers can now boost dividends, buybacks and, presumably, risk-taking. As conventional central bank thinking goes, a well-capitalized banking system provides a powerful buffer for thwarting the winds of financial crisis. Chair Yellen, apparently, surveys current bank capital levels and extrapolates to systemic stability. Yet the next crisis lurks not with the banks but within the securities and derivatives markets: too much leverage and too much “money” employed in trend-following trading strategies. Too much hedging, speculating and leveraging in derivatives. Market misperceptions and distortions on an epic scale.

Compared to 2008, the leveraged speculating community and the ETF complex are significantly larger and potentially perilous. The derivatives markets are these days acutely more vulnerable to liquidity issues and dislocation. Never have global markets been so dominated by trend-following strategies. It’s a serious issue that asset market performance – stocks, bond, corporate Credit, EM, real estate, etc. – have all become so tightly correlated. There are huge vulnerabilities associated with various markets having become so highly synchronized on a global basis. And in the grand scheme of grossly inflated global securities, asset and derivatives markets, the scope of available bank capital is trivial.

I realize that, at this late stage of the great bull market, such a question sounds hopelessly disconnected. Yet, when markets reverse sharply lower and The Crowd suddenly moves to de-risk, who is left to take the other side of what has become One Gargantuan “Trade”? We’re all familiar with the pat response: “Central banks. They’ll have no choice.” Okay, but I’m more interested in the timing and circumstances.

Central bankers are now signaling their desire to proceed with normalization, along with noting concerns for elevated asset prices. As such, I suspect they will be somewhat more circumspect going forward when it comes to backstopping the markets - than, say, back in 2013 with Bernanke’s “flash crash” or with the China scare of early-2016. Perhaps this might help to explain why the VIX spiked above 15 during Thursday afternoon trading. Even corporate debt markets showed a flash of vulnerability this week.'

- Doug Noland, Weekly Commentary: The Road to Normalization, July 1, 2017


Context (Banking Reform - English/Dutch) '..a truly stable financial and monetary system for the twenty-first century..'

'Unsound Finance gets to the heart of the issue.'

'..Like monetarists, Keynes held no capital theory .. the role time plays..' - Jesús Huerta de Soto

'..Loose financial conditions and record debt issuance..'


'..investors’ fear of missing out is looking increasingly desperate..'

'..a giant passive 'beta' bubble .. This may be the Mother of all beta bubbles..'

'..The same combination prevailed at the 1929, 1972, 1987, 2000, and 2007 market peaks..'


(Banking Reform - Monetary Reform) - '..debt is our biggest security threat..'

          (To Heal) - Genesis - Driving the last spike (no replies)        
We came from the North,
and we came from the South
with picks and with spades
and a new kind of order
showing no fear of what lies up ahead
They'll never see the likes of us again

Can you hear me?
Can you see?
Don't you hear me?
Don't you see?


Genesis - Driving the last spike

Leaving my family behind me
not knowing what lay ahead
waving goodbye, as I left them in tears
remembering all we'd said

I looked to the sky, I offered my prayers
I asked Him for guidance and strength
but the simple beliefs of a simple man
lay in His hands, and on my head (my head)

I gave everything that they wanted
but still they wanted more
we sweat and we toiled
good men lost their lives
I don't think they knew what for

I sold them my heart
I sold them my soul
I gave everything I had
Ah, but they couldn't break my spirit
my dignity fought back
fightback

Can you hear me?
Can you see?
Don't you hear me?
Don't you see?

We worked in gangs for all we were worth
the young boys pulling the wagons
We were digging the tunnel, shifting the earth
It was then that it happened.

No one knew how the cracks appeared,
but as it fell they all disappeared
stone fell like rain

Can you hear me?
Can you see?
Don't you hear me?
(Can) Can you breathe?

The smoke cleared, the dust it settled
No one knew how many had died
All around there were broken men
They'd said it was safe, they'd lied
you could hear the cries, you could smell our fear
but good fortune that day was mine
and it occurred to me that the heart of a good man
it seems is hard to find.

Ah, can you hear me?
Can you see?
Don't you hear me?
Don't you see?

We worked, how we worked like
the devil for our pay
through the wind, through the snow,
and through the rain

Blasting, and cutting through God's country like a knife
sweat stinging my eyes, there has to be a better life

Ah but I can hear my childrens' cry
I can see the tears in their eyes
memories of those I've left behind
still ringing in my ears
Will I ever go back again?
Will I ever see her face again?
O, I'll never forget that night
As they waved goodbye to their fathers

We came from the North,
and we came from the South
with picks and with spades
and a new kind of order
showing no fear of what lies up ahead
They'll never see the likes of us again

Driving the last spike,
lifting and laying the track
with blistering hands,
the sun burning your back

Oh, but I can hear my childrens' cry
I can see the tears in their eyes
memories of those I've left behind
still ringing in my ears
Well I'll always remember that night,
As they waved goodbye to their fathers

We followed the rail, we slept under the stars
digging in darkness, and living with danger
showing no fear of what lies up ahead
they'll never see the likes of us again.

Can you hear me?
Can you see?
(Don't) Don't you hear me?
(Don't) Don't you see?


Context

(To Heal)(Management innovation) - '..Teal Organizations to start healing the world..'

(In The Electric Universe) - '..Reading “The Wisdom of Near-Death Experiences” caused me to reconsider my views on death..'

(Bazaarmodel - To Heal - Teal) Dream - Semco Style


Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Diana Ross

You just feel what you want it to be

          The "CityTree" - 'Air pollution is one of the world's invisible killers.' (no replies)        
'..the "CityTree", a mobile installation which removes pollutants from the air, has been popping up in cities around the world, including Oslo, Paris, Brussels and Hong Kong.'

'(CNN) Air pollution is one of the world's invisible killers.

It causes seven million premature deaths a year, making it the largest single environmental health risk, according to the World Health Organization.

In urban areas, air quality is particularly problematic. More than 80% of people living in areas where pollution is monitored are exposed to air quality levels that exceed WHO limits. And given that by 2050 two thirds of the global population will be urban, cleaning up our cities' air is a matter of urgency.

One well-established way to reduce air pollutants is to plant trees, as their leaves catch and absorb harmful particulates.

But planting new trees is not always a viable option.

That's why the "CityTree", a mobile installation which removes pollutants from the air, has been popping up in cities around the world, including Oslo, Paris, Brussels and Hong Kong.

Moss is in the air

Each CityTree is just under 4 meters tall, nearly 3 meters wide and 2.19 meters deep, available in two versions: with or without a bench. A display is included for information or advertising.

Berlin-based Green City Solutions claims its invention has the environmental benefit of up to 275 actual trees.

But the CityTree isn't, in fact, a tree at all -- it's a moss culture.

"Moss cultures have a much larger leaf surface area than any other plant. That means we can capture more pollutants," said Zhengliang Wu, co-founder of Green City Solutions.

..

So far, around 20 CityTrees have been successfully installed, with each costing about $25,000.

..

Wu also argued that the CityTree is just one piece of a larger puzzle.

"Our ultimate goal is to incorporate technology from the CityTree into existing buildings," he said.

"We dream of creating a climate infrastructure so we can regulate what kind of air and also what kind of temperature we have in a city." '

- By Chris Giles, This 'tree' has the environmental benefits of a forest, June 8, 2017


Context

'..to Ban Internal Combustion Engines by 2030'

'..committed to 100 percent clean energy by the year 2050.'

'The future of shipping is, without a doubt, silent and emission free.'


(Global Infrastructure Upgrade) - Mexico's former president: Global infrastructure needs an upgrade

'Thorium reactor: cleaner, safer and sustainable nuclear energy within sight'

'..reductions in air pollution and lower costs .. moving to low-carbon electricity generation..'


Crowdfunding Focus Fusion (since May 6, 2014) - 'Focus Fusion: Clean Energy For All'

(Fusion Power) - LPP Focus Fusion 1; '..FF-1 results are right now far ahead..'

June, 2017 - 'Renewable sources of energy have generated more electricity than coal and gas in Great Britain..'

          '..the amount of leverage and excess that has accumulated in bond and Credit markets..' (no replies)        
'..the amount of leverage and excess that has accumulated in bond and Credit markets over the past eight years of extreme monetary stimulus.'

'The Fed is not blind. They monitor stock prices and corporate debt issuance; they see residential and commercial real estate market values. Years of ultra-low rates have inflated Bubbles throughout commercial real estate – anything providing a yield – in excess of those going into 2008. Upper-end residential prices are significantly stretched across the country, also surpassing 2007. They see Silicon Valley and a Tech Bubble 2.0, with myriad excesses that in many respects put 1999 to shame. I’ll assume that the Fed is concerned with the amount of leverage and excess that has accumulated in bond and Credit markets over the past eight years of extreme monetary stimulus.

..

The Fed collapsed fed funds from 6.50% in December 2000 to an extraordinarily low 1.75% by the end of 2001. In the face of an escalating corporate debt crisis, the Fed took the unusual step of cutting rates another 50 bps in November 2002. Alarmingly, corporate Credit was failing to respond to traditional monetary policy measures (despite being aggressively applied). Ford in particular faced severe funding issues, though the entire corporate debt market was confronting liquidity issues. Recall that the S&P500 dropped 23.4% in 2002. The small caps lost 21.6%. The Nasdaq 100 (NDX) sank 37.6%, falling to 795 (having collapsed from a March 2000 high of 4,816). No financial instability?

..

I revisit history in an attempt at distinguishing reality from misperceptions. Of course the Fed will generally dismiss the consequences of Bubbles. They’re not going to aggressively embark on reflationary policies while espousing the dangers of asset price and speculative Bubbles. Instead, they have painted the “housing Bubble” as some egregious debt mountain aberration. And paraphrasing Kashkari, since today’s stock market has nowhere as much debt as housing had in 2007, there’s little to worry about from a crisis and financial instability perspective.

Well, if only that were the case. Debt is a critical issue, and there’s a whole lot more of it than back in 2008. Yet when it comes to fragility and financial crises, market misperceptions and distortions play fundamental roles. And there’s a reason why each bursting Bubble and resulting policy-induced reflation ensures a more precarious Bubble: Not only does the amount of debt continue to inflate, each increasingly intrusive policy response elicits a greater distorting impact on market perceptions.

I doubt Fed governor Bernanke actually anticipated that the Fed would have to resort to “helicopter money” and the “government printing press” when he introduced such extreme measures in his 2002 speeches. Yet seeing that the Fed was willing to push its monetary experiment in such a radical direction played a momentous role in reversing the 2002 corporate debt crisis, in the process stoking the fledgling mortgage finance Bubble. And the Bernanke Fed surely thought at the time that doubling its balance sheet during the 2008/09 crisis was a one-time response to a once-in-a-lifetime financial dislocation. I’ll assume they were sincere with their 2011 “exit strategy,” yet only a few short years later they’d again double the size of their holdings.

..

Despite assertions to the contrary, the bursting of the “tech” Bubble unleashed significant financial instability. To orchestrate reflation, the Fed marshaled a major rate collapse, which worked to stoke already robust mortgage Credit growth. The collapse in telecom debt, an unwind of market-based speculative leverage and the rapid slowdown in corporate borrowings was over time more than offset by a rapid expansion in housing debt and the enormous growth in mortgage-related speculative leverage (MBS, ABS, derivatives).

..

I’ve never felt comfortable that Chinese authorities appreciate the types of risks that have been mounting beneath the surface of their massively expanding Credit system. Global markets seemed attentive a year ago, but have since been swept away by the notion of the all-powerful “China put” conjoining with the steadfast “Fed put.” These types of market perceptions create tremendous inherent fragility.'

- Doug Noland, Discussions on the Fed Put, March 25, 2017


'It’s now an all-too-familiar Bubble Dynamic. The greater the Bubble inflates, the more impervious it becomes to cautious “tightening” measures..'

'The problem today is that years of ultra-loose monetary conditions have ensured everyone is crowded on the same bullish side of the boat. Tipping the vessel at this point will be chaotic, and the Fed clearly doesn’t want to be the instigator. Meanwhile, timid little baby-step increases only ensure more problematic market Bubbles and general financial excess.

It’s now an all-too-familiar Bubble Dynamic. The greater the Bubble inflates, the more impervious it becomes to cautious “tightening” measures. And the longer the accommodative backdrop fuels only more precarious Bubble Dynamics, the more certain it becomes that central bankers will approach monetary tightening timidly. Yellen confirmed to the markets Wednesday that the Fed would remain timid – still focused on some theoretical “neutral rate” and seemingly oblivious to conspicuous financial market excess. The fixation remains on consumer prices that are running just a tad under its 2% target. Meanwhile, runaway securities market inflation is completely disregarded.'

- Doug Noland, Another Missed Opportunity, March 18, 2017


'..In terms of Credit Bubble momentum, it’s notable that Net Worth inflated over $2.0 TN in both Q3 and Q4.'

'The unprecedented amount of system-wide debt is so enormous that the annual percentage gains no longer appear as alarming. Non-Financial Debt expanded 4.7% in 2016, up from 2015’s 4.4%. Total Household Debt expanded 3.6%, with Total Business borrowings up 5.6%. Financial Sector borrowings expanded 2.9% last year, the strongest expansion since 2008.

Securities markets remain the centerpiece of this long reflationary cycle. Total (debt and equities) Securities jumped $1.50 TN during Q4 to a record $80.344 TN, with a one-year rise of $4.80 TN. As a percentage of GDP, Total Securities increased to 426% from the year ago 415%. For comparison, Total Securities peaked at $55.3 TN during Q3 2007, or 379% of GDP. At the previous Q1 2000 cycle peak, Total Securities had reached $36.0 TN, or 359% of GDP.

The Household Balance Sheet also rather conspicuously illuminates Bubble Dynamics. Household Assets surged $6.0 TN during 2016 to a record $107.91 TN ($9.74 TN 2-yr gain). This compares to the peak Q3 2007 level of $81.9 TN and $70.0 TN to end 2008. Q4 alone saw Household Assets inflate $2.192 TN, with Financial Assets up $1.589 TN and real estate gaining $557bn.

With Household Liabilities increasing $473bn over the past year, Household Net Worth (assets minus liabilities) inflated a notable $5.518 TN in 2016 to a record $92.805 TN. As a percentage of GDP, Net Worth rose to a record 492%. For comparison, Household Net Worth-to-GDP ended 1999 at 435% ($43.1 TN) and 2007 at 453% ($66.5 TN). Net Worth fell to a cycle low 378% of GDP ($54.4TN) in Q1 2009. In terms of Credit Bubble momentum, it’s notable that Net Worth inflated over $2.0 TN in both Q3 and Q4.

..

UBS analysts forecast (above) $3.3 TN of 2017 Chinese Total Social Financing (TSF). And with TSF excluding national government deficit spending, let’s add another $300bn and presume 2017 Chinese system Credit growth of around $3.6 TN. As such, it’s possible that China and the U.S. could combine for Credit growth approaching an Unparalleled $6.0 TN. There are, as well, indications of an uptick in lending in the euro zone, and Credit conditions for the most part remain loose throughout EM. Importantly, the inflationary biases that have gained momentum in asset and securities markets and, increasingly, in consumer prices and corporate profits provide a tailwind for Credit expansion.'

- Doug Noland, Unparalleled Credit and Global Yields, March 10, 2017


Context

'..the S&P 500 is now far more overvalued than in 2000, 2007, or indeed in any prior point in history..'

          (Banking Reform - Monetary Reform) - '..debt is our biggest security threat..' (no replies)        
'Now that he is president, Trump likes to tout the fact he’s listening to America’s generals. Perhaps he needs to talk to General Mike Millen, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Perhaps then he would see that the greatest threat America faces isn’t from China, Russia, or North Korea – it is from the national debt. Until Trump reverses course on military spending, and gets tough on entitlements, his "America First" budget will only make the US worse off.'

- Tho Bishop (Source, March 20, 2017)


'..a crippling national debt..'

'Under a Republican budget resolution, the national debt will explode by a third from an already staggering $19 billion to $29 trillion over the next ten years. Although counterintuitive, Democratic presidents, at least those after World War II, have reduced deficits as a portion of the value of the national economy (GDP) while Republican presidents have increased them — thus accumulating less public debt as a percentage of GDP. Yet neither political party has paid enough attention to this burgeoning national security problem.

National security problem? Yes. General Mike Mullen, while he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation’s top military man, was enlightened enough about long-term health of American power to realize that it takes continuing infusions of money to acquire the weapons and equipment, personnel, training, maintenance and benefits to create a credible military to adequately defend the country. In addition, all other indices of national power — political, diplomatic and cultural — require money too.

To generate those resources, a strong economy is needed. The number one problem dragging down economic growth rates through the George W. Bush and Barack Obama presidencies was a crippling national debt..'

- Ivan Eland, National debt is our biggest security threat: Column, January 11, 2017


Context

'..World Debt Hits $152 Trillion.'

'Our nation and the world are paying a very heavy price for a failed experiment in Inflationism..' - Doug Noland

'..Global policies since the 2008 crisis have spurred the expansion of speculative finance to multiples of pre-crisis levels..'


'Germany Plans to Cut 2017 Debt Sales .. Balanced-Budget..'

'..monetary knowledge .. of currency reform under difficult conditions you have to go to Carl Menger.'

(Banking Reform - Monetary Reform) - '..The Theory of Money and Credit .. an invaluable guide for ending the business cycles of our own time.'


(Banking Reform - English/Dutch) '..a truly stable financial and monetary system for the twenty-first century..'

          'We have no experience in stopping a nuclear war.' - Sidney Drell (no replies)        
'..My greatest concern is the lack of public awareness about this existential threat, the absence of a vigorous public debate about the nuclear-war plans of Russia and the United States, the silent consent to the roughly fifteen thousand nuclear weapons in the world. These machines have been carefully and ingeniously designed to kill us. Complacency increases the odds that, some day, they will. The “Titanic Effect” is a term used by software designers to explain how things can quietly go wrong in a complex technological system: the safer you assume the system to be, the more dangerous it is becoming.'

'The harsh rhetoric on both sides increases the danger of miscalculations and mistakes, as do other factors. Close encounters between the military aircraft of the United States and Russia have become routine, creating the potential for an unintended conflict. Many of the nuclear-weapon systems on both sides are aging and obsolete. The personnel who operate those systems often suffer from poor morale and poor training. None of their senior officers has firsthand experience making decisions during an actual nuclear crisis. And today’s command-and-control systems must contend with threats that barely existed during the Cold War: malware, spyware, worms, bugs, viruses, corrupted firmware, logic bombs, Trojan horses, and all the other modern tools of cyber warfare. The greatest danger is posed not by any technological innovation but by a dilemma that has haunted nuclear strategy since the first detonation of an atomic bomb: How do you prevent a nuclear attack while preserving the ability to launch one?

..

..the Cuban Missile Crisis, when a series of misperceptions, miscalculations, and command-and-control problems almost started an accidental nuclear war—despite the determination of both John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev to avoid one. In perhaps the most dangerous incident, the captain of a Soviet submarine mistakenly believed that his vessel was under attack by U.S. warships and ordered the firing of a torpedo armed with a nuclear warhead. His order was blocked by a fellow officer. Had the torpedo been fired, the United States would have retaliated with nuclear weapons. At the height of the crisis, while leaving the White House on a beautiful fall evening, McNamara had a strong feeling of dread—and for good reason: “I feared I might never live to see another Saturday night.”

..

The personnel who command, operate, and maintain the Minuteman III have also become grounds for concern. In 2013, the two-star general in charge of the entire Minuteman force was removed from duty after going on a drunken bender during a visit to Russia, behaving inappropriately with young Russian women, asking repeatedly if he could sing with a Beatles cover band at a Mexican restaurant in Moscow, and insulting his military hosts. The following year, almost a hundred Minuteman launch officers were disciplined for cheating on their proficiency exams. In 2015, three launch officers at Malmstrom Air Force Base, in Montana, were dismissed for using illegal drugs, including ecstasy, cocaine, and amphetamines. That same year, a launch officer at Minot Air Force Base, in North Dakota, was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison for heading a violent street gang, distributing drugs, sexually assaulting a girl under the age of sixteen, and using psilocybin, a powerful hallucinogen. As the job title implies, launch officers are entrusted with the keys for launching intercontinental ballistic missiles.

..

..A recent memoir, “Uncommon Cause,” written by General George Lee Butler, reveals that the Pentagon was not telling the truth. Butler was the head of the U.S. Strategic Command, responsible for all of America’s nuclear weapons, during the Administration of President George H. W. Bush.

According to Butler and Franklin Miller, a former director of strategic-forces policy at the Pentagon, launch-on-warning was an essential part of the Single Integrated Operational Plan (siop), the nation’s nuclear-war plan. Land-based missiles like the Minuteman III were aimed at some of the most important targets in the Soviet Union, including its anti-aircraft sites. If the Minuteman missiles were destroyed before liftoff, the siop would go awry, and American bombers might be shot down before reaching their targets. In order to prevail in a nuclear war, the siop had become dependent on getting Minuteman missiles off the ground immediately. Butler’s immersion in the details of the nuclear command-and-control system left him dismayed. “With the possible exception of the Soviet nuclear war plan, [the siop] was the single most absurd and irresponsible document I had ever reviewed in my life,” Butler concluded. “We escaped the Cold War without a nuclear holocaust by some combination of skill, luck, and divine intervention, and I suspect the latter in greatest proportion.” The siop called for the destruction of twelve thousand targets within the Soviet Union. Moscow would be struck by four hundred nuclear weapons; Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine, by about forty.

After the end of the Cold War, a Russian surprise attack became extremely unlikely. Nevertheless, hundreds of Minuteman III missiles remained on alert. The Cold War strategy endured because, in theory, it deterred a Russian attack on the missiles. McNamara called the policy “insane,” arguing that “there’s no military requirement for it.” George W. Bush, while running for President in 2000, criticized launch-on-warning, citing the “unacceptable risks of accidental or unauthorized launch.” Barack Obama, while running for President in 2008, promised to take Minuteman missiles off alert, warning that policies like launch-on-warning “increase the risk of catastrophic accidents or miscalculation.” Twenty scientists who have won the Nobel Prize, as well as the Union of Concerned Scientists, have expressed strong opposition to retaining a launch-on-warning capability. It has also been opposed by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State George Shultz, and former Senator Sam Nunn. And yet the Minuteman III missiles still sit in their silos today, armed with warheads, ready to go.

William J. Perry, who served as Secretary of Defense during the Clinton Administration, not only opposes keeping Minuteman III missiles on alert but advocates getting rid of them entirely. “These missiles are some of the most dangerous weapons in the world,” Perry wrote in the Times, this September. For many reasons, he thinks the risk of a nuclear catastrophe is greater today than it was during the Cold War. While serving as an Under-Secretary of Defense in 1980, Perry also received a late-night call about an impending Soviet attack, a false alarm that still haunts him. “A catastrophic nuclear war could have started by accident.”

Bruce Blair, a former Minuteman launch officer, heads the anti-nuclear group Global Zero, teaches at Princeton University, and campaigns against a launch-on-warning policy. Blair has described the stresses that the warning of a Russian attack would put on America’s command-and-control system. American early-warning satellites would detect Russian missiles within three minutes of their launch. Officers at norad would confer for an additional three minutes, checking sensors to decide if an attack was actually occurring. The Integrated Tactical Warning/Attack System collects data from at least two independent information sources, relying on different physical principles, such as ground-based radar and satellite-based infrared sensors. If the norad officials thought that the warning was legitimate, the President of the United States would be contacted. He or she would remove the Black Book from a briefcase carried by a military aide. The Black Book describes nuclear retaliatory options, presented in cartoon-like illustrations that can be quickly understood.

..

Although the Air Force publicly dismissed the threat of a cyberattack on the nuclear command-and-control system, the incident raised alarm within the Pentagon about the system’s vulnerability. A malfunction that occurred by accident might also be caused deliberately. Those concerns were reinforced by a Defense Science Board report in January, 2013. It found that the Pentagon’s computer networks had been “built on inherently insecure architectures that are composed of, and increasingly using, foreign parts.” Red teams employed by the board were able to disrupt Pentagon systems with “relative ease,” using tools available on the Internet. “The complexity of modern software and hardware makes it difficult, if not impossible, to develop components without flaws or to detect malicious insertions,” the report concluded.

In a recent paper for the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, Andrew Futter, an associate professor at the University of Leicester, suggested that a nuclear command-and-control system might be hacked to gather intelligence about the system, to shut down the system, to spoof it, mislead it, or cause it to take some sort of action—like launching a missile. And, he wrote, there are a variety of ways it might be done.

..

Strict precautions have been taken to thwart a cyberattack on the U.S. nuclear command-and-control system. Every line of nuclear code has been scrutinized for errors and bugs. The system is “air-gapped,” meaning that its networks are closed: someone can’t just go onto the Internet and tap into a computer at a Minuteman III control center. At least, that’s the theory. Russia, China, and North Korea have sophisticated cyber-warfare programs and techniques. General James Cartwright—the former head of the U.S. Strategic Command who recently pleaded guilty to leaking information about Stuxnet—thinks that it’s reasonable to believe the system has already been penetrated. “You’ve either been hacked, and you’re not admitting it, or you’re being hacked and don’t know it,” Cartwright said last year.

If communications between Minuteman control centers and their missiles are interrupted, the missiles can still be launched by ultra-high-frequency radio signals transmitted by special military aircraft. The ability to launch missiles by radio serves as a backup to the control centers—and also creates an entry point into the network that could be exploited in a cyberattack. The messages sent within the nuclear command-and-control system are highly encrypted. Launch codes are split in two, and no single person is allowed to know both parts. But the complete code is stored in computers—where it could be obtained or corrupted by an insider.

Some of America’s most secret secrets were recently hacked and stolen by a couple of private contractors working inside the N.S.A., Edward Snowden and Harold T. Martin III, both employees of Booz Allen Hamilton. The N.S.A. is responsible for generating and encrypting the nuclear launch codes. And the security of the nuclear command-and-control system is being assured not only by government officials but also by the employees of private firms, including software engineers who work for Boeing, Amazon, and Microsoft.

Lord Des Browne, a former U.K. Minister of Defense, is concerned that even ballistic-missile submarines may be compromised by malware. Browne is now the vice-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonprofit seeking to reduce the danger posed by weapons of mass destruction, where he heads a task force examining the risk of cyberattacks on nuclear command-and-control systems. Browne thinks that the cyber threat is being cavalierly dismissed by many in power. The Royal Navy’s decision to save money by using Windows for Submarines, a version of Windows XP, as the operating system for its ballistic-missile subs seems especially shortsighted. Windows XP was discontinued six years ago, and Microsoft warned that any computer running it after April, 2014, “should not be considered protected as there will be no security updates.” Each of the U.K. subs has eight missiles carrying a total of forty nuclear weapons. “It is shocking to think that my home computer is probably running a newer version of Windows than the U.K.’s military submarines,” Brown said.In 2013, General C. Robert Kehler, the head of the U.S. Strategic Command, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee about the risk of cyberattacks on the nuclear command-and-control system. He expressed confidence that the U.S. system was secure. When Senator Bill Nelson asked if somebody could hack into the Russian or Chinese systems and launch a ballistic missile carrying a nuclear warhead, Kehler replied, “Senator, I don’t know . . . I do not know.”

After the debacle of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Soviet Union became much more reluctant to provoke a nuclear confrontation with the United States. Its politburo was a committee of conservative old men. Russia’s leadership is quite different today. The current mix of nationalism, xenophobia, and vehement anti-Americanism in Moscow is a far cry from the more staid and secular ideology guiding the Soviet Union in the nineteen-eighties. During the past few years, threats about the use of nuclear weapons have become commonplace in Moscow. Dmitry Kiselyov, a popular newscaster and the Kremlin’s leading propagandist, reminded viewers in 2014 that Russia is “the only country in the world capable of turning the U.S.A. into radioactive dust.” The Kremlin has acknowledged the development of a nuclear torpedo that can travel more than six thousand miles underwater before devastating a coastal city. It has also boasted about a fearsome new missile design. Nicknamed “Satan 2” and deployed with up to sixteen nuclear warheads, the missile will be “capable of wiping out parts of the earth the size of Texas or France,” an official news agency claimed.

..

Russia’s greatest strategic vulnerability is the lack of a sophisticated and effective early-warning system. The Soviet Union had almost a dozen satellites in orbit that could detect a large-scale American attack. The system began to deteriorate in 1996, when an early-warning satellite had to be retired. Others soon fell out of orbit, and Russia’s last functional early-warning satellite went out of service two years ago. Until a new network of satellites can be placed in orbit, the country must depend on ground-based radar units. Unlike the United States, Russia no longer has two separate means of validating an attack warning. At best, the radar units can spot warheads only minutes before they land. Pavel Podvig, a senior fellow at the U.N. Institute for Disarmament Research, believes that Russia does not have a launch-on-warning policy—because its early-warning system is so limited.

For the past nine years, I’ve been immersed in the minutiae of nuclear command and control, trying to understand the actual level of risk. Of all the people whom I’ve met in the nuclear realm, Sidney Drell was one of the most brilliant and impressive. Drell died this week, at the age of ninety. A theoretical physicist with expertise in quantum field theory and quantum chromodynamics, he was for many years the deputy director of the Stanford Linear Accelerator and received the National Medal of Science from Obama, in 2013. Drell was one of the founding members of jason—a group of civilian scientists that advises the government on important technological matters—and for fifty-six years possessed a Q clearance, granting him access to the highest level of classified information. Drell participated in top-secret discussions about nuclear strategy for decades, headed a panel that investigated nuclear-weapon safety for the U.S. Congress in 1990, and worked on technical issues for jason until the end of his life. A few months ago, when I asked for his opinion about launch-on-warning, Drell said, “It’s insane, the worst thing I can think of. You can’t have a worse idea.”

Drell was an undergraduate at Princeton University when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed. Given all the close calls and mistakes in the seventy-one years since then, he considered it a miracle that no other cities have been destroyed by a nuclear weapon—“it is so far beyond my normal optimism.” The prospect of a new cold war—and the return of military strategies that advocate using nuclear weapons on the battlefield—deeply unnerved him. Once the first nuclear weapon detonates, nothing might prevent the conflict from spiralling out of control. “We have no experience in stopping a nuclear war,” he said.

..

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin confront a stark choice: begin another nuclear-arms race or reduce the threat of nuclear war. Trump now has a unique opportunity to pursue the latter, despite the bluster and posturing on both sides. His admiration for Putin, regardless of its merits, could provide the basis for meaningful discussions about how to minimize nuclear risks. Last year, General James Mattis, the former Marine chosen by Trump to serve as Secretary of Defense, called for a fundamental reappraisal of American nuclear strategy and questioned the need for land-based missiles. During Senate testimony, Mattis suggested that getting rid of such missiles would “reduce the false-alarm danger.” Contrary to expectations, Republican Presidents have proved much more successful than their Democratic counterparts at nuclear disarmament. President George H. W. Bush cut the size of the American arsenal in half, as did his son, President George W. Bush. And President Ronald Reagan came close to negotiating a treaty with the Soviet Union that would have completely abolished nuclear weapons.

Every technology embodies the values of the age in which it was created. When the atomic bomb was being developed in the mid-nineteen-forties, the destruction of cities and the deliberate targeting of civilians was just another military tactic. It was championed as a means to victory. The Geneva Conventions later classified those practices as war crimes—and yet nuclear weapons have no other real use. They threaten and endanger noncombatants for the sake of deterrence. Conventional weapons can now be employed to destroy every kind of military target, and twenty-first-century warfare puts an emphasis on precision strikes, cyberweapons, and minimizing civilian casualties. As a technology, nuclear weapons have become obsolete. What worries me most isn’t the possibility of a cyberattack, a technical glitch, or a misunderstanding starting a nuclear war sometime next week. My greatest concern is the lack of public awareness about this existential threat, the absence of a vigorous public debate about the nuclear-war plans of Russia and the United States, the silent consent to the roughly fifteen thousand nuclear weapons in the world. These machines have been carefully and ingeniously designed to kill us. Complacency increases the odds that, some day, they will. The “Titanic Effect” is a term used by software designers to explain how things can quietly go wrong in a complex technological system: the safer you assume the system to be, the more dangerous it is becoming.'

- Eric Schlosser, World War Three, By Mistake, December 23, 2016


Context

The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

          '..Russia .. cyberpower proved the perfect weapon .. political sabotage..' (no replies)        
' “We’d have all these circular meetings,” one senior State Department official said, “in which everyone agreed you had to push back at the Russians and push back hard. But it didn’t happen.”

..

Mr. Putin, a student of martial arts, had turned two institutions at the core of American democracy — political campaigns and independent media — to his own ends..

..

..The Russians clearly had a more sophisticated understanding of American politics, and they were masters of “kompromat,” their term for compromising information.

..

..the hackings of the State Department, the White House and the Pentagon..

..

What seems clear is that Russian hacking, given its success, is not going to stop. Two weeks ago, the German intelligence chief, Bruno Kahl, warned that Russia might target elections in Germany next year. “The perpetrators have an interest to delegitimize the democratic process as such,” Mr. Kahl said. Now, he added, “Europe is in the focus of these attempts of disturbance, and Germany to a particularly great extent.” '



'..the White House’s reluctance to respond forcefully meant the Russians have not paid a heavy price for their actions, a decision that could prove critical in deterring future cyberattacks.

..

..President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia moved beyond mere espionage to deliberately try to subvert American democracy and pick the winner of the presidential election.

..

..A low-cost, high-impact weapon that Russia had test-fired in elections from Ukraine to Europe was trained on the United States, with devastating effectiveness. For Russia, with an enfeebled economy and a nuclear arsenal it cannot use short of all-out war, cyberpower proved the perfect weapon: cheap, hard to see coming, hard to trace.

..

The United States had two decades of warning that Russia’s intelligence agencies were trying to break into America’s most sensitive computer networks. But the Russians have always managed to stay a step ahead.

Their first major attack was detected on Oct. 7, 1996, when a computer operator at the Colorado School of Mines discovered some nighttime computer activity he could not explain. The school had a major contract with the Navy, and the operator warned his contacts there. But as happened two decades later at the D.N.C., at first “everyone was unable to connect the dots,” said Thomas Rid, a scholar at King’s College in London who has studied the attack.

Investigators gave it a name — Moonlight Maze — and spent two years, often working day and night, tracing how it hopped from the Navy to the Department of Energy to the Air Force and NASA. In the end, they concluded that the total number of files stolen, if printed and stacked, would be taller than the Washington Monument.

Whole weapons designs were flowing out the door, and it was a first taste of what was to come: an escalating campaign of cyberattacks around the world.

..

The Russians were also quicker to turn their attacks to political purposes. A 2007 cyberattack on Estonia, a former Soviet republic that had joined NATO, sent a message that Russia could paralyze the country without invading it. The next year cyberattacks were used during Russia’s war with Georgia.

..

Mr. Obama was briefed regularly on all this, but he made a decision that many in the White House now regret: He did not name Russians publicly, or issue sanctions. There was always a reason: fear of escalating a cyberwar, and concern that the United States needed Russia’s cooperation in negotiations over Syria.

“We’d have all these circular meetings,” one senior State Department official said, “in which everyone agreed you had to push back at the Russians and push back hard. But it didn’t happen.”

..

Last year, the attacks became more aggressive. Russia hacked a major French television station, frying critical hardware. Around Christmas, it attacked part of the power grid in Ukraine, dropping a portion of the country into darkness, killing backup generators and taking control of generators. In retrospect, it was a warning shot.

..

..CrowdStrike’s nicknames for the two Russian hacking groups that the firm found at work inside the D.N.C. network. Cozy Bear — the group also known as the Dukes or A.P.T. 29, for “advanced persistent threat” — may or may not be associated with the F.S.B., the main successor to the Soviet-era K.G.B., but it is widely believed to be a Russian government operation. It made its first appearance in 2014, said Dmitri Alperovitch, CrowdStrike’s co-founder and chief technology officer.

..

Only in March 2016 did Fancy Bear show up — first penetrating the computers of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and then jumping to the D.N.C., investigators believe. Fancy Bear, sometimes called A.P.T. 28 and believed to be directed by the G.R.U., Russia’s military intelligence agency, is an older outfit, tracked by Western investigators for nearly a decade. It was Fancy Bear that got hold of Mr. Podesta’s email.

..

It was bad enough that Russian hackers had been spying inside the committee’s network for months. Now the public release of documents had turned a conventional espionage operation into something far more menacing: political sabotage, an unpredictable, uncontrollable menace for Democratic campaigns.

..

Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder and editor, has resisted the conclusion that his site became a pass-through for Russian hackers working for Mr. Putin’s government or that he was deliberately trying to undermine Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy. But the evidence on both counts appears compelling.

..

Mr. Putin, a student of martial arts, had turned two institutions at the core of American democracy — political campaigns and independent media — to his own ends. The media’s appetite for the hacked material, and its focus on the gossipy content instead of the Russian source, disturbed some of those whose personal emails were being reposted across the web.

..

In late 2014, hackers working for Kim Jong-un, the North’s young and unpredictable leader, had carried out a well-planned attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment intended to stop the Christmastime release of a comedy about a C.I.A. plot to kill Mr. Kim.

In that case, embarrassing emails had also been released. But the real damage was done to Sony’s own systems: More than 70 percent of its computers melted down when a particularly virulent form of malware was released. Within weeks, intelligence agencies traced the attack back to the North and its leadership. Mr. Obama called North Korea out in public, and issued some not-very-effective sanctions. The Chinese even cooperated, briefly cutting off the North’s internet connections.

As the first Situation Room meetings on the Russian hacking began in July, “it was clear that Russia was going to be a much more complicated case,” said one participant. The Russians clearly had a more sophisticated understanding of American politics, and they were masters of “kompromat,” their term for compromising information.

..

..code was put out in the open by the Russians as a warning: Retaliate for the D.N.C., and there are a lot more secrets, from the hackings of the State Department, the White House and the Pentagon, that might be spilled as well. One senior official compared it to the scene in “The Godfather” where the head of a favorite horse is left in a bed, as a warning.

..

As the year draws to a close, it now seems possible that there will be multiple investigations of the Russian hacking — the intelligence review Mr. Obama has ordered completed by Jan. 20, the day he leaves office, and one or more congressional inquiries. They will wrestle with, among other things, Mr. Putin’s motive.

..

Did he seek to mar the brand of American democracy, to forestall anti-Russian activism for both Russians and their neighbors? Or to weaken the next American president, since presumably Mr. Putin had no reason to doubt American forecasts that Mrs. Clinton would win easily? Or was it, as the C.I.A. concluded last month, a deliberate attempt to elect Mr. Trump?

In fact, the Russian hack-and-dox scheme accomplished all three goals.

What seems clear is that Russian hacking, given its success, is not going to stop. Two weeks ago, the German intelligence chief, Bruno Kahl, warned that Russia might target elections in Germany next year. “The perpetrators have an interest to delegitimize the democratic process as such,” Mr. Kahl said. Now, he added, “Europe is in the focus of these attempts of disturbance, and Germany to a particularly great extent.” '

- Eric Lipton, David E. Sanger and Scott Shane, The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S., December 13, 2016


Context '[Russia] may become a threat to the world. That is the worst thing that could happen to Russia.' - Yegor Gaidar

'..Russian strategy of hybrid influence and destabilization .. German Council on Foreign Relations.'

'German intelligence says Russia is trying to destabilize German society..' - '..war that Moscow is waging against the West..'

'[Putin is doing] anything that can and will expand Russian influence to U.S.S.R.-era levels of power.'


'..Zero tolerance for Russian intrusions .. Estonia .. policy of publicly naming or prosecuting spies..'

'..the Soviet Union was cut off from Western financial markets and was effectively under permanent sanctions..'

          AAC/Medicare Changes        

I was hoping to have written this post last week, so that you might have more time to help out, but life got in the way!  This is a VERY important post, especially to those of you who rely on Medicare to secure AAC devices.  Specifically this is related to patients with ALS, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Rett Syndrome,spinal cord injuries, spinal muscular atrophy and other impairments and their ability to retain and receive Speech Generation Devices (SGD).

As of September 1, Medicare will be changing the rules and will not allow patients to receive this devices to "unlock" them.  Thereby, denying individuals the ability to communicate with their families and other individuals via email, text, video chat, etc...  Even though the unlock fee is not paid by Medicare, they will no longer allow individuals to purchase devices that this could be done on.

Medicare has also been denying Eye Gaze devices for those individuals whose only means of access if via an eye gaze system.  Many of these cases have 2 medical professionals certifying the need for an eye gaze system and it is still denied. The backlog of appeals is years long and many patients are being denied the ability to communicate.

Please take a moment and go to this website - Center for Medical Advocacy, fill in your zip code, and the short form that follows to contact your representatives and urge them to sign a petition to stop these rule changes!  It takes just 2-3 minutes.  You only have until August 27, so please do it right away!



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          weekly Diigo Post (weekly)        

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


          Jadilah Engkau Ahlul Mujahadah        
Ibnu Qayyim Al-Jauzi mengatakan, orang-orang yang berhak mencapai maqam ‘Iyyaka Na’budu’ itu, tidak mudah. Tentu untuk mencapai maqam ‘Iyyaka Na’budu’ itu memerlukan mujahadah dan tajarrud (totalitas). Mujahadah dengan segala jiwa dan raganya agar mencapai maqam yang hendak dituju. Tidak mungkin hanya dapat dicapai dengan bentuk raganya, tanpa jiwa dan bathinnya ikut bermujahadah.
Diantaranya, golongan pertama yang berpendapat, bahwa ibadah yang paling utama dan paling bermanfaat, ialah yang paling berat dan paling sulit atas jiwa. “Karena ia paling jauh dari hawa nafsu, dan merupakan hakikat ta’abud. Pahala diberikan berdasarkan kadar kesulitannya.” Seperti diriwayatkan dalam sebuah hadist, “Amal yang paling utama ialah yang paling sulit dan paling melarat.”
Mereka ini adalah ahlul mujahadah dan orang-orang yang mampu mengendalikan hawa nafsu. Di tengah-tengah beratnya godaan, yang terus-menerus dialami dengan segala bentuknya, dan mereka dapat selamat dari semua godaan, tanpa sedikitpun tersentuh oleh godaan dan hawa nafsu yang datang dari setan. Golongan ini, berkata, “Sesungguhnya jiwa hanya dapat lurus dengan ibadah yang sulit dan berat, karena jiwa mempunyai karakter malas, dan menyukai kerendahan dan kehinaan. Ia tidak dapat menjadi lurus, kecuali dengan melakukan hal-hal yang berat dan memikul kesulitan.”
Meninggalkan segala kenikmatan, kemewahan, angan-angan akan keindahan dunia, harta yang banyak , semuanya harus dipupus. Selain itu, harus meninggalkan orang-orang yang selalu menawarkan kenikmatan, keindahan, pangkat, serta buaian wanita-wanita yang cantik, dan dengan segala bujukan keindahan dan kenikmatan yang selalu ditawarkannya. Semuanya itu hanyalah akan mendera jiwa dan bathinnya,dan tak akan dapat membuat dirinya mencapai maqam ‘Iyyaka Na’budi wa Iyyaka Nata’in”.
Tidak mungkin dapat mencapai maqam ‘Iyyaka Na’budu’ bagi jiwa dan bathin orang-orang yang terus menerus hidupnya dipenuhi dengan khayalan dan dikotori oleh kehidupan dunia, yang tidak pernah henti-henti. Kehidupan dunia hanyalah ambisi orang-orang yang lalai, dan tidak menyukai maqam ‘Iyyaka Na’budu”, karena hakikatnya mereka tidak lagi mempercayai janji dari Allah Azza Wa Jalla. Mereka ini hanyalah menjadi budak dunia, dan kemudian berwala’ (memberikan loyalitasnya) kepada hamba-hamba setan.
Bagi mereka yang menginginkan maqam ‘Iyyaka Na’budu’, hanya dapat dicapai dengan melakukan hal-hal yang berat dan memikul kesulitan. Kesulitan dan beban berat yang harus dipikul, pasti akan bermunculan dalam kehidupan ini, terutama bagi mereka yang ingin mencapai maqam ‘Iyyaka Na’budu’, karena tantangan dalam kehidupan jahiliyah, yang tak lagi mengenal batas-batas, yang sudah ditetapkan dalam Qur’an dan Sunnah. Kencintaan pada hawa nafsunya telah membawa mereka meninggalkan segala kebaikan yang bersifat fitrah yang diberikan oleh Allah Azza Wa Jalla kepada mereka.
Bagi mereka yang ingin menggapai maqam ‘Iyyaka Na’budu”, orientasi hidup mereka hanyalah mencari ridho Allah. Tidak mencari ridho makhluk termasuk manusia. Ketika, ibadah utama di masa jihad adalah mengutamakan jihad, dan meninggalkan wirid-wirid, seperti shalat malam, dan puasa sunah pada siang hari, bahkan sampai meninggalkan kesempurnaan shalat fardhu seperti dalam kondisi aman. Mereka pergi berjihad di jalan Allah Rabbul Alamin.
Karena mereka tahu bagi mereka yang memiliki maqam ‘Iyyaka Na’budu’, nilai berjihad itu lebih utama, dan akan janji Allah Azza Wa Jalla, di mana akan memasukkan ke dalam surga-Nya, tanpa melalui hisab, bagi mereka yang mati syahid. Betapa indahnya kehidupan bakal digapai kelak di akhirat.
Bagi mereka yang ingin mendapatkan maqam ‘Iyyaka Na’budi’, lebih menyukai bangun malam, melakukan shalatul lail, membaca Qur’an, berdo’a, berdzikir, beristighfar, meninggalkan segala urusan saat datangnya adzan, melaksanakan shalat fardhu dengan penuh ikhlas, dan pergi ke masjid-masjid shalat berjamaah. Mereka tetap shalat berjamaah dalam kondisi apapun. Tidak sekali-kali masbukh. Masjid sebagai ‘Baitullah’ lebih utama dari segalanya. Tidak berarti apapun baginya, kecuali hanya masjid yang berharga bagi kehidupannya, di mana setiap saat sesuai dengan ketentuan Rabbnya, dan selalu melaksanakannya dengan penuh keikhlasan dan kesungguhan.
Saat orang-orang membutuhkan pertolongan baik jabatan, fisik, maupun harta, maka ia akan segera memberikan pertolongan, dan berpikir panjang tentang pribadinya, dan mensegerakan kepentingan dari saudaranya yang tertimpa musibah.
Ketika membaca Qur’an, tak ada lagi yang diingatnya, karena Qur’an itu adalah ‘Kalamullah’, dan membaca dengan sepenuh hati, memahami makna-maknanya, dan berjanji melaksanakan semua perintah-Nya. Seperti generasi Salaf, yang terus melaksanakan apa saja, yang diperintahkan oleh Allah Azza Wa Jalla, sehingga mereka mendapatkan kemuliaan dan kejayaan.
Ketika, menjelang hari terakhir di bulan Ramadhan, ia tinggalkan semunya, dan beri’tikaf di masjid-masjid, dan hanya mengharapkan datangnya maghfirah dari Rabbnya. Tidak lagi menyibukkan diri dengan kehidupan dunia, yang justru akan merusak hari terakhir puasa, yang akan membawanya kepada golongan muttaqin.
Mencapai maqam ‘Iyyaka Na’budu’ sebuah perjuangan yang sangat berat bagi manusia. Karena manusia selalu digoda oleh hawa nafsunya, dan sifat malasnya untuk melakukan kebaikan dan mencintai Rabbnya.
Manusia jahiliyah hidupnya hanyalah dipenuhi dengan berebut sekerat kehidupan dunia, yang diakhirat menjadikan mereka golongan yang merugi. Wallahu’alam.
          Three days in Berlin (or improving the pim user experience)        

KDE Project:

Last weekend I've met with some of our old timer KDEPIM developers and some of the newer ones who are interested in KDEPIM or related technologies in the KDAB offices in Berlin.
Being a KDAB employee for a few years already (wow, time is passing quickly), the place was familiar, the people looked familiar. The foosball table was slightly familiar, although some players changed their dresses in order to spread confusion inside the visitor's heads. That is the only reason we've lost against locals with 5-0, 5-0.
Suprisingly enough, the table wasn't used that much. Why? Because people were busy either working and talking. What they talked about I don't know too much, as I focused on some issues I planned to fix, but others can testify that Volker did not sit too much in front of his computers, but was dragged from one place to another for various discussions.
Most of us started on Friday around noon. I won't tell too much about what others did, that is mostly their problem. Especially if they were on the other side of the room and I didn't saw their screens, I can't tell if they worked at all or not. They looked like they did though. ;) I can share some things about what some sitting nearby did. See later.
As recently I became the de-facto maintainer and bugfixer for mail filters, I worked mostly on them. Unfortunately the first attempt to fix a bug failed: a bug that bothers me, although it is not the most reported one. It is about mails not being filtered for a while after a resume from hibernation. It is hard to reproduce, and although I run into it, I couldn't reproduce reliably enough and in a way I can debug it. After fighting with it and realising it won't work, I gave up. See you next time.
Meantime we had some excellent food in an Indian restaurant, then when finally everybody arrived (almost everybody to be honest, plus even some more from KDAB who didn't sign up, but show up there), we were ready to start with presenting the kdepim and Akonadi architecture. Old time pimsters Volker Krause, Kevin Krammer and Tobias Koenig helped me with it, and sometimes saved me, as my knowledge in some area proved to be superficial. We ended up with a pretty impressive drawing on the whiteboard:
Hopefully for those being on site it was understandable.

Time passed, so we went out for dinner to a Greek restaurant at the corner. Nice place, third time being there, good food (seems Berlin has only good eating places). We even saw how Germany won over Ireland. Too bad Steveire (Stephen Kelly) was not there... We continued with some more talks and hacking, then everybody went to their sleeping places.
Some left earlier, some later waiting for remote developers to show up and discuss the patches (he didn't show up).

Day 2
Next day started around 9 o'clock for some. Later for others. I continued with the filter debugging and fixing. I looked at the bugreports and tried to come up with some bugs that are both would help the users and myself. I'm selfish, I want to fix the bugs I run into. ;) One problem that bothered me for a long time is that email content from online IMAP is downloaded even if no filter for IMAP requires it (but a filter for e.g POP3 needs the full content). Now this is fixed and those who use online imap could notice a great speedup in mail syncing (depending on their filter setup). Another often reported issue was duplicating the mails, especially after spam filtering. You've ended up with a mail in the spam folder and a mail in the original place. This could be combined with a conflict dialog shown up as well for that mail. This problem actually revealed a not-well handled case down inside the Akonadi stack that was created by a reordering of filter commands in the filtering code. For those who want technical details: if there was a move action (like "move mail to spam folder") followed by a modify action (like "mark as read"), the filter reordered this to "mark as read" followed by a move. Unfortunately this exposed two problems, (mostly, but not only) IMAP specific: on IMAP you can't modify a mail, instead you create a new one and delete the old. What happened here is that a filter changed the mail (run through bogofilter/spamassasin), then the "mark as read" action was executed, which uploaded the changes, including the changed mail to the IMAP server. This caused a new ID for the item on the IMAP server. The mail with the old ID was deleted. Then the filter agent performed a move, but he had only the *old* ID, before the modifications. The move - if performed between two different resources, like IMAP and local maildir - is technically a copy followed by a delete. The copy worked fine, but the delete didn't. It tried to delete the old mail again (which was gone), not the modified version. That's how you ended up with a duplicate.
The current solution is to reorder the filtering pipeline, so the move is performed before the flag modifications. The extra benefit is that the filtered message is not uploaded again just to be deleted the next second. Speedup, less network traffic, better user experience. This doesn't fix the main problem with Akonadi, but it is an acceptable workaround. The reordering is so far only in the master branch (KDE 4.10), but the relevant code will be backported to the 4.9 branch, so it will be in 4.9.3.
And speaking of conflicts, that was the next hot topic, and one of the often reported bugs. It was mostly caused by conflicting flag changes (read/spam/important/etc), either caused by KMail itself plus the filtering or just KMail. After some discussion we agreed, that reporting conflicts on flag changes doesn't make sense, so we should not bother the user. It is not data loss, and in worst case some flag is reset. In normal case nothing wrong happens, as Akonadi is able to merge two changes in the flags (or so claims Volker).
I have to admit that this fix was not completed at the sprint, I finished it today, as I noticed more code in KDEPIM that didn't disable conflict check on flag changes.
While doing the changes, I did quite some refactoring, cleaning up the code as much as I could do for the parts I touched. The code was originally deep inside KMail (as most of other code), got extracted from it for 4.8.0, and now we are at the stage that we can make the extracted code more cleaner, we can remove some things that doesn't make sense anymore now that the filtering is not inside KMail.
While reading the bug reports, I also run into one indicating that mails arriving to an MBOX account (like /var/spool/mail/username) are not filtered automatically. Sounds like an easy bug to fix and so was it. Now they are filtered.
Finally another annoying issue was fixed: there was no indication that filtering is ongoing. Now when this happens, you can see in the KMail's progress bar.
The net result of the above: faster filtering, less annoying and useless error dialogs for the users. And according to bugzilla, 31 bugs less (some were duplicates though).

Nepomuk...one of the things that, well, so far I was always recommending for users to turn off. Slight detour here: what is Nepomuk and its relation to KMail? Nepomuk helps you to find data. It indexes all kind of data and with some queries you can find e.g every file where my name is mentioned, all email addresses from any file, etc. There is a process that goes through the akonadi data (emails, calendars, etc) and "feeds" to it for Nepomuk to be indexed. Then there are queries and code in KMail accessing Nepomuk: getting email addresses for composer's autocompletion, searching inside mail bodies, tagging your emails with custom tags, etc.
Unfortunately there are problems around it. One is that some queries ae processed quite slowly, that in turn slows down KMail, leading to poor user experience. E.g switching between mails, sending mails, etc. is slow. Or startup is slow or even blocked. I tried to fix the last part as I just run into it, but as this was my very first Nepomuk related patch, I'm not sure 100% succeeded. We found a problem with the Nepomuk API itself, and I informed Vishesh, the Nepomuk developer about it (even if I used non-blocking calls against Nepomuk, one call is blocking without question). He suggested something I might try later, although I'd be more happier if somebody with real Nepomuk knowledge could give a review of the pim Nepomuk usage.
Then there is the Akonadi feeder, that gives the data to Nepomuk. Something is not perfect there and the indexing causes a serious slowdown, where either itself or Nepomuk (actually its storage backend, virtuoso) starts to use the CPU *a lot*. This is the main reason I recommend to users to disable Nepomuk so far. We had Christian Mollekopf the author of the feeder in the sprint, and he worked on some optimizations. Hopefully this will improve the situation. Meantime we (and I) tried to convince Vishesh to use KMail, so he can see himself the problems our users face.

As a break we had another presentation, this time about KMail itself, what components make up KMail, how they are distributed. As far as I saw, this was less interesting to the audience, they rather looked at their computers and hacked on something. Luckily our KMail maintainer, Laurent Montel, is super active, but I wouldn't mind more contributors. Too bad he wasn't at the sprint.

We had a lunch at a nearby place, nothing extra, but the food was (again) good.

What did other do? Let's see what I can remember... Sune dreamed about crypto stuff and composite jobs. He worked on making some cryptographic code asynchronous and started to get faimiliar with kdepim code. I'd not say he picked up the easiest job.
Volker run around all the time, discussed various things like "spanish sync" with Alex Fiestas (see here), database backends with Martin, change recorder with David Faure (who remotely joined the meeting and got lost inside the change recorder code ... he has the solution now in his head, so be patient, we will end up with a better implementation for it that again speeds up Akonadi), job pipelines with me, and who knows what with others, as for a long time he just disappeared with a bunch of developers. They actually ended up in the lobby discussing "stuff". Milian Wolf, who is not (or not yet?) a KDEPIM developer, but mainly a KDevelop one, joined us and used massif to track down some ugly memory usage in KMail. And he did a good job in it. Previously KMail used more and more memory as you navigated between large folders (Alex mentioned some 2GB for him), while now it levels up at one point and doesn't increase. He might blog himself about, as he has also some nice graphs.
Then there were two guys from KDAB, who are old time pim developers (quiz: find their names in this blog), but they cooked something else, not related to KDEPIM, not related concretely to KDE, but to a lower level: to Qt. It is an amazingly cool stuff, but I don't want to give more details. Expect it to be presented a the Qt Developer Days, either in a talk or at the KDAB booth. Don't worry, I'm pretty sure it will be freely available what they did and KDE can enjoy it in the future.
I'm sorry that I don't remember what the rest did. In general I know that Martin Klapetek worked on the social network resources, Mark Gaiser, who recently started to work on KDEPIM stuff eagerly listened to our presentations and worked on a QML calendar application, Alex kept reporting bugs and discussed improvements with Volker, while John Layt, the "timezone KDE guy" worked on plasma calendar related issues.
As a KDE person Chani also joined us for a while, we quickly nominated her as the QML and Plasma person, so all questions related to them were immediately redirected to Chani. Jos Poortvilet was also supposed to join for some talks, but he could show up only on Sunday for personal reasons.
At the end of the day everybody was so busy, so instead of going out for eating, we just ordered some pizza. And most of us stood in the office well past midnight.

Day 3
Well, the above partially happened on Sunday. It was a shorter day for me, due to the late night standup before, and that I had to go to the airport after lunch. A lunch that wasn't exactly as planned. We went out for a Doner Kebab place that is supposed to be the best one in Berlin. It is just a small kiosk on the sidewalk in a street, but man, there was a big queue for it. On a Sunday! Locals says it is worse on weekdays. Even after almost an hour, we still had 10 persons in front of us, my departure time was approaching, so I gave up and instead bought some (quite good) chinese fast-food from a nearby place, then rushed to the airport.
A long journey awaited me with a 3 hour stopover in Munich, but luckily I had a power supply there and even some network (they offer 30 minutes/day/phone number), so I could continue on the work I started at the sprint. After flying and driving another 2.5 hours, I arrived late (or rather early) morning next day back home, and after sleept until around 10. Then I started to work again for KDAB, a work that is just as enjoyable as working for KDE. After all, the two communities has a serious overlap. ;)
That's from the sprint. If you'll be at the Qt Developer Days Europe, we might meet there. I'm looking forward for a good conference.


          KMail - making it more usable        

KDE Project:

KMail is one of the most important applications inside KDE, I think hardly can argue anybody about it. Everybody is using email, and even if some think that a webmail solution can be just as good, most of us still do what we did 10-15 years ago: download mail to our computer/phone/tablet and carry that around.
And for that we need a mail application.
It is not news that KMail got just too big and not flexible enough in the KDE 3.x days. Somehow it was ported to KDE 4, but this was a crude port, without much improvements in its design. A new generic PIM backend was growing up meantime, and with some corporate support from KDAB, a new generation of KMail, KOrganizer and other PIM application started to take shape.
From those I can tell about KMail, as I was more involved into it. As we wanted to have a mobile, touchscreen version as well, the work of porting KMail to Akonadi was done together with breaking KMail into smaller pieces, more or less standalone libraries to reuse as much code as possible. Time, manpower and other reasons limited what we could do, so this was a part success. We created and improves some generic usage libraries (KIMAP, KMime), some internal libraries that are nice, some that are not that nice, and in the end we had something that could have been a good foundation for KMail 2 series.
I started to use KMail2 at that time, and in the beginning it was a fustrating experience. I can't count how many times I deleted and created again the accounts, the Akonadi database. But after a while I realized that I don't have to do anymore. KMail2 was still not released to the public, but got better and better. Unfortunately only slowly, as even less people worked on it, and only in their free time. It had bugs, some more annoying, some less annoying, but was usable enough to not force me to go back to KMail1.
Then the PIM community took a deep breath - just like the KDE community did with KDE 4.0 - and finally released KMail2 officially.
Funny or not, around this time I started to have problems with it. A migration of my second computer failed horribly. A cleanup of the Akonadi database and changing from the mixed maildir to maildir format was also painful. I blamed the developers a lot (including myself :) ). Then things started to move on and KMail got a new maintainer, who is very active (hi Laurent!). And we organized a developer sprint to stabilize KMail.
The sprint took place last weekend in KDAB's Berlin office and was sponsored by the company. Everybody who knows the KDAB office, knows about the famous foosball table. Do I have to said that in the weekend we played only once? Yes, people were coding intensively, Volker had to raise the priority of the "FOOD" topic often.
Issues were listed on the whiteboard. And everybody picked up what he was interested to do. Work was done on the migrator, the mixed maildir agent, the maildir resource, on the akonadi server, performance bottlenecks were identified and a new filtering resource was created, fixing the most hated KDE bug (should be closed as soon as Tobias Koenig is happy with his work).
My choice in the sprint was mostly maildir related work, I tried to make it more reliable, more standard compliant and somewhat faster than before. And the biggest win is that I fixed most issues that bothered me with KMail's maildir handling. Yes, I was selfish.
The sprint did not end in Berlin, for me it continued on the flight back home (that thanks to the weather and Lufthansa was almost a day longer than expected). And somewhat still continues as of now, although daily work reduces the time I can allocate to KDE.
I can say that I'm happy again with KMail and Akonadi starts to gets less and less in the way of me and the users. The biggest success will be when users will not know that there is a nice server helping them, called Akonadi.
For those eager to try out the changes, unfortunately most of them are in the master branch only (the upcoming KDE 4.8). We will try to port as much as possible into the KDE 4.7 bugfix releases, but as some changes required library additions, this won't be always possible.


          KDE and NVidia (updated)        

KDE Project:

The above combination was never a painless experience, still at some point in past it seemed to be better to have a NVidia card on Linux then anything else, so I continued to buy them whenever my system was upgraded. Lately although it started to make me rather bad. I have two computers, one that is a 4 core Intel CPU with 8GB of memory, the other is a Core2Duo with 3GB. The latter is a Lenovo laptop. Both have NVidia, nothing high end (Qudaro NVS something and 9300GE, both used with dual monitor setup), but they should be more than enough for desktop usage. Are they?
Well, something goes wrong there. Is that KDE, is that XOrg, is that the driver? I suspect the latter. From time to time (read: often), I ended up with 100% CPU usage for XOrg. Even though I had 3 cores doing nothing the desktop was unusable. Slow scroll, scroll mouse movements, things typed appearing with a delay, things like that. Like I'd have an XT. I tried several driver version, as I didn't always have this issues, but with newer kernel you cannot go back to (too) old drivers. I googled, and found others having similar experience, with no real solution. A suspicion is font rendering for some (non-aliased) fonts, eg. Monospace. Switching fonts sometimes seemed to make a difference, but in the end, the bug returned. Others said GTK apps under Qt cause the problem, and indeed closing Firefox sometimes helped. But it wasn't a solution. Or there was a suggestion to turn the "UseEvents" option on. This really seemed to help, but broke suspend to disk. :( Turning off the second display and turning on again seemed to help...for a while. Turning off the composite manager did not change the situation.
Finally I tried the latest driver that appeared not so long ago, 256.44. And although the CPU usage of XOrg is still visible, with pikes going up to 20-40%, I gain back the control over the desktop. Am I happy with it? Well, not....
As this was only my desktop computer. I quickly updated the driver on the laptop as well, and went on the road. Just to see 100% CPU usage there. :( Did all the tricks again, but nothing helped. Until I had the crazy idea to change my widget theme from the default Oxygen to Plastique. And hurray, the problem went away! It is not perfect, with dual monitor enabled sometimes maximizing a konsole window takes seconds, but still in general the desktop is now usable. And of course this should also make me have more uptime on battery.
Do I blame Oxygen? No, not directly. Although might make sense to investigate what causes there the NVidia driver going crazy and report to NVidia.

So in case you have similar problems, try to switch to 256.44 and if it doesn't help chose a different widget style.

Now, don't say me to use nouveau or nv. Nouveau gave me graphic artifacts and it (or KDE?) didn't remember the dual card setup. Nv failed the suspend to disk test with my machine and doesn't provide 3D acceleration needed eg. for Google Earth.

UPDATE: I upgraded my laptop to 4.5.1 (from openSUSE packages).Well, this broke composition completely, I got only black windows. I saw a new driver is available (256.53), let's try it. So far, so good, even with Oxygen. Let's see on the long run how it behaves, I didn't test it in deep.


          KDE 4.2 - progress in a year        

KDE Project:

More than a year ago I wrote a post about KDE 4.0, I was quite unsatisfied with how in was and that we are going to release a product that has defects and in the eyes of the users will be a step back. I actually switched to KDE4 as my main desktop sometime during the 4.1 developing cycle. Since then I use KDE trunk on one machine and whatever my distro (openSUSE) provides on another one. There is always a shock when I have to use the distro packages. They did a very good job on integration and in many cases the distro package looks more polished than my self compiled one, still I was always liked the trunk version better. The improvement between 4.1.x and 4.0.x and 4.x.x and 4.1.x is just so big, using the older version is like going back several years. Not talking when I use KDE 3.5 on some other machines. I miss KDE 4.2 a lot in that case. Was it good that we released 4.0 a year ago? I think it was bad from PR point of view, but probably needed to actually have a 4.2 like the one will appear soon in the wild.
Yes, there are still issues, yes there are some applications that aren't ported or their port is not up to the expectations (yet). Luckily, unless your distribution did it wrong, it is possible to run the KDE3 applications under KDE4, without much hassle.
In the previous blog I complained about performance. My system is almost the same, except the video card is a newer one. And buying a new card at that time caused more trouble, and virtually no visible speedup at that time. Meantime the drivers improved (also due to KDE!), KDE improved (both kwin and plasma), and now I can use my system with effects enabled without thinking about performance. The current performance problems are actually caused by the flash plugin and its wrappers, in many case they start to use 100% CPU power. I'm not sure it can be fixed by us or the wrapper developers, what I know that both Konqueror and Firefox suffer from this problem. I just had to close down Firefox running in a KDE3 session because the X server for that session used completely one core.
I'm happy now with KDE4 and trunk already has some improvements compared to 4.2 that I enjoy. :) I'm amazed by the progress of KDE, aren't you amazed as well?

PS: If you miss Quanta being ported and you know C++/Qt, you should help. The only way to make it a KDE4 application is to finish the port, it won't happen magically if noone works on it. :(


          Chrome: good and bad news        

KDE Project:

Maybe you already know, maybe you don't: Google created its own browser, called Chrome. The good is that it is based on WebKit, thus contains KDE technology. That's is another recognition for the work of KDE developers. The bad is that they mention Apple's WebKit and nothing about KDE/khtml. Sad. :(
See http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/09/fresh-take-on-browser.html .


          Call for developers: Quanta Plus and KDEWebDev        

KDE Project:

Time is passing by. Sometimes I'm also amazed that it was more than 5 years ago when I wrote my first KDE application and soon after I joined the Quanta Plus project. And a few months later Quanta Plus become part of the KDE releases, I think with version 3.1.
Probably many of you know that I worked full time on Quanta in the past years, thanks to Eric Laffoon and many other supporters, who made this possible. But things have changed, and I cannot spend all my time anymore on this beloved project. I don't abandon it, just realized that alone it would take just too much time to get a release for KDE 4.x series out in time. Therefore I call for help, I'd like to ask the community, existing developers or users with some C++ knowledge, developers who would like to find a challenging project in the open source world to come, join us. Help to make Quanta4 a reality and make many users happy throughout the world. You don't have to be afraid of the size of the project, one of the goals of Quanta4 is to have a modular code, build up as KDevPlatform (KDevelop) plugins.

There are other projects inside the KDEWebDev module that need help, some even maintainers:

- Kommander: just take a look at www.kde-apps.org and you will be amazed by the number of Kommander scripts uploaded by the users. Help to have a good Kommander for KDE4 as well!
The executor is already ported, but we have lots of new ideas waiting to be implemented.

- KFileReplace: useful search and replace tool, unfortunately without a current maintainer. It works, but needs some love.

- KImageMapEditor: don't let web developers without a KDE image map editor!

Of course our priority would be Quanta Plus and Kommander, but if you are interested in either of the above, just contact us on our developer list.


          KDE4: is it usable for you?        

KDE Project:

I know it is not so nice to complain and bash a project when you don't contribute to it. And yes until now, I did not contributed to the KDE4 desktop as I wished. I compiled it regularly and used the libraries, but did not run the KDE4 desktop or KDE4 version of the applications except KDevelop and Quanta.
But as 4.0 is approaching, I decided that it is time to test, use, report bugs and even make fixes to it. I use KDE since a long time (~7 years), I think I always compiled from source, and for several years I compiled from CVS/Subversion regularly. I wasn't afraid to use the alpha/beta/whatever version as my daily desktop.
But with KDE4 somehow I feel lost. I tried a few days ago to start a KDE4 session. After getting through some issues that the libraries were not found unless LD_LIBRARY_PATH is modified (and knotify even with this setup has problem to find libkaudiodevicelist.so), I finally got it running. Well, it looks nice at first. So what to do there? I can start the KDE4 applications from the Run Command dialogbox. This dialog is a nice improvement over the old version, especially the autocompletion is handy.
In my version the menu was still missing, which isn't nice, but I don't care that much. What I care more is the speed, or to be exact, the lack of it. I blamed first the debug version of the libraries and the desktop, so I did a complete fresh build without debug information (a sidenote: my KDE3 is compiled WITH debug info and works fast enough). Sadly, it isn't faster. An example: right click on the desktop, and until the menu is shown, 3-4 seconds can pass. During this time Plasma and XOrg are heavily using the CPU. Moving around a window makes again ~58% CPU load (by kwin). Moving the mouse over the taskbar gives me 60% CPU usage by plasma AND 50% CPU usage by XOrg.
This slowness if everywhere on the desktop. I click somewhere and it takes some seconds until it reacts. The "natural" reaction is to click again, which makes things worse. What is the reason of this slowness, I don't know. But I am worried about it, because I have a fairy decent computer here, everything is fast except my video card: AMD Opteron 180 Dual Core (2.4Ghz), 2GB Dual Channel RAM, 7200RPM SATA HDD, Nvidia FX5500 card (with the binary drivers). The card isn't the state of the art one, but should be more than enough for desktop usage. I tried compiz with it, and it works OK. I can see the reaction lag with compiz as well (compared to the KDE3 version of kwin, which is lightning fast), but it is still quite usable.
I tried to remove kwin and use another window manager. This made at least the window operations faster, but the desktop was still slow.
That's about the speed.
Now about the usability side: I have no idea if what I tried is implemented at all or not, if there are plans to do them for the final release or not, but certainly I can say that as it is now, it is close to be unusable. There is the panel on the bottom with the taskbar and the clock. The taskbar let's say works, but I couldn't figure out what really a left/right click on an empty area of the taskbar does. It minimizes/restores the running applications, but I don't see the logic. I also don't know how to move around the taskbar on the panel. I don't know how to move the panel. It is possible to add new applets to the desktop, but I don't know how to move those applets to a panel. Moving them around on the screen is terribly slow.
There is also an Unknown Applet on my panel which "could not be created". I have no idea what it is or how it appeared there.
I also saw some bugs, like black boxes on top of windows appearing when you move a window over an applet, but this kind of issues are just simple bugs, acceptable at this stage of the development.
Unfortunately this experience can have only one outcome: I cannot use KDE4 as my daily desktop. Not even as a testing desktop.
So the solution is to test only the libraries and the applications. Luckily it is pretty easy to have a setup where you can run KDE4 applications under KDE3. Well, the first and one of the most important applications is Konqueror. I'm writing this blog from Konqueror4. Altough I feel a slowness here as well (when navigating through the menus, for example), this isn't a big issue, it is usable. I saw some rendering bugs, an ugly infinite loop when loading a certain page, but I saw similar issues with the old Konqui as well.
There is a problem with the editor area where I write the blog text (home bring to the beginning of the text, not the beginning of the line, mouse scrolling does not work) and the closing buttons on the tabs do not work, but again, in beta stage these are "normal" bugs.
For the applications the solution is to report the bugs or try to fix them. :) I will happily report them.

My conclusion: as it is now, the KDE4 desktop should not be released. Luckily we have some months left until the final release, so who knows, it might really be usable. I have more confidence in the base libraries and the applications. I think there only some polish is needed, in general they should be usable, but as I said, I didn't test many of them either. But what I started up for a quick test seemed to work.


          App Deep link Generator สำหรับ Lazada Affiliate        
ตอนนี้เราสามารถเลือกสร้างลิงค์สินค้าของ Lazada เพื่อให้มีการเด้งเปิดแอพมือถือได้แล้ว แน่นอนว่ามันดีกว่าการเปิดแค่เว็ปเพราะ มันจะทำให้โอกาสจบการขายได้ดีกว่าเดิมเอามากๆ การสร้างก็ไม่ได้ยากเย็นอะไรนัก ดูขั้นตอนได้จากที่นี่เป็น Youtube VDO ที่ทาง Lazada ทำเอาไว้เสียงอาจจะไม่ค่อยดังสักเท่าไหร่นัก แต่ว่าดูจากภาพเอาก็น่าจะทำตามกันได้ไม่ยาก
          Homemade accordian-style Y-axis leadscrew cover and clear acrylic CNC mill enclosure by iXen-CNC        

Sherline may offer these someday, but for now you can make your own thanks to very well done plans and videos you can find on the Internet at http://www.ixen-cnc.com/. The Y-axis has the only exposed leadscrew on the Sherline mill. CNC milling generates a lot of chips, and the machine is often run unattended, allowing […]

The post Homemade accordian-style Y-axis leadscrew cover and clear acrylic CNC mill enclosure by iXen-CNC appeared first on Millhill Supplies Ltd..


          Old School Machine Shop        

A look around Central Texas Tools in Abiline, Texas. This is what many will consider an old school machine shop, and is also a family run small business. Three generations of the Carpenter family currently work in the shop and the business spans four generations. Can your work place function efficiently and effectively without a […]

The post Old School Machine Shop appeared first on Millhill Supplies Ltd..


          Improve your nonprofit’s account security with 2-step verification        

While online accounts allow nonprofits to easily communicate with partners, volunteers and donors across the world, this shared network can also leave your account vulnerable to intruders. As your nonprofit continues to grow its online presence, it’s crucial to keep confidential information (e.g., finances or donor’s information) safe. While passwords have historically been the sole guardian for online account access, research from Google has shown that many passwords and security questions can easily be guessed. That's why we strongly recommend that all nonprofits using GSuite for Nonprofits, or Google products like Gmail, use 2-Step Verification (2SV) as an additional protection on their account(s). 

Account hijacking—a process through which an online account is stolen or hijacked by a hacker—constitutes a serious threat to your nonprofit’s operations. Typically, account hijackings are carried out by phishing attempts or hackers who guess weak passwords. Because of this, it’s especially important for your nonprofit to maintain strong and unique account passwords to keep sensitive data safe.

But 2SV goes beyond just a strong password. It's an effective security feature that combines "something you know" (e.g., a password) and "something you have" (e.g., a text, a prompt, or a Security Key) to protect your accounts. Think of this like withdrawing money from an ATM/cash machine: You need both your PIN and your debit card.

Google Authentication app.png
Our free Google Authenticator app is available for Android and iOS devices, which generates a code for you each time you want to sign in to your account.

Now that you know what 2SV is, head over to our Help Page to start improving your nonprofit’s online security now. (Quick tip: Remember to keep your account settings up to date and configure backup options to use if your phone is ever lost or stolen). Stay safe, nonprofits!  

To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more at no charge. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.


          Bella Communities: Utilizing technology & Google tools to drive "volunteer-ship"        

In 2009, Khoi Pham co-founded Bella Communities to address low-income housing issues and resident supportive services. Today, Bella Communities is harnessing the energy of thousands of community leaders, affordable housing owners, neighbors, nonprofits, resident volunteers, and professionals to offer a meaningful livelihood to their low-income housing tenants.  In addition to providing affordable housing, Bella’s signature program aims to mobilize low-income residents with an economic-opportunity modeled volunteering program. This programs enables residents to engage with other nonprofits, building civic engagement and social capital; improving career and personal skills; and earning rent credits to have financial capability and housing stability. Through this innovative “volunteer-ship” training program, they seek to help families “not just get by but also get ahead.” 

Bella Communities
What was the key to their success? We sat down with Khoi to hear exactly how they utilized technology and Google Apps for Nonprofits to achieve their goals.

Which role does technology play in Bella Communities?

Khoi: It’s critical! Technology allows us to communicate with our constituencies efficiently and cost-effectively which is vital for us. We want to empower our low-income residents with the tools needed to achieve economic development. With Google Apps for Nonprofits, we’ve built our own technology platform serving this objective. We have been able to switch from a desktop, web-based platform to a smart-phone mobile application, increasing engagement and participation from our residents using Google Forms. Most of them have skipped desktop to go mobile first!

Do you think technology has changed the way you work?

Khoi: Absolutely. It allowed us to operate in multiple states, virtually and real time! Communication, collection, and sharing data became seamless and effortless, which is fundamental to keeping pace.

Also Google Apps for Nonprofits has allowed us access to technology without heavy IT costs in order to preserve limited start-up resources and marshal them effectively. Google tools are all cloud-based and do not require us to build an internal IT infrastructure, which has enabled quick adaptability and flexibility to change. I have been amazed by the intuitiveness of the tools and how easily they integrate with one another!

Can you tell us more about your homemade program “Resident Volunteership United Program”?

Khoi: A study by the Corporation for National and Community Service showed that volunteers have a 27% greater chance  of finding a job after being out of work than non-volunteers? That is precisely why Bella Communities designed and tested an innovative supportive service program to simultaneously tackle both financial empowerment and civic engagement mobilization.  The Resident Volunteership United Program (ReV-UP) engages residents living in low-income communities to volunteer with other non-profit organizations in the immediate neighborhood to build community and economic development..

Google Apps was vital to the deployment of this program — we never would’ve been able to do it without that! It allowed us to manage workflow, and most importantly, it allowed us to gather, collect, and share data to build a case for supporting our program.

How are you measuring the success of this program?

Khoi: Using Google Forms and Google Drive, our low-income residents can easily manage their volunteer records online, as well as share and report their activities to the program managers. For the program pilot years, they contributed nearly 3,500 volunteer hours to their communities and generated earned approximately $21,000 in rent credits for their households.

Want to traverse the IT curve without the huge dollar investments? Find out how your nonprofit can better utilize technology with Google Apps for Nonprofits.

To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate in the nonprofit programs, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.

Bella Communities’ statements are made in connection with receiving free products as a participant in Google for Nonprofits, a program which provides free Google products to qualified nonprofits.


          Proenhance patch - How can you Use Effectively The Proenhance Patch        



Many of us don't like swallowing pills. Many others don't need to waste time to exercise or pumping the penis. Many other still don't wish to trust the safekeeping of his penis to some means of traction.

The patches have found so far great achievement in abandonment of smoking, in the old-muscle inflammation and certain hormonal treatments.

ProEnhance was developed in order to supply a safe, trustworthy and efficient help to lengthen your penis. ProEnhance is a mixture of ancient awareness of herbal drugs and complicated technologies, resulting in a product that will guarantee the desired level of success.

Click here to learn more about Proenhance patch



Through intensive research, the company that produces the Proenhance patch for penis enlargement have chosen a variety of natural ingredients that certainly affect the further enlargement of the penis. The different herbs can drastically change penis size.

A few of these herbs are Fo-Ti, Damiana, Saw Palmetto, Gotu Kola as well as Menthol. Since the parts are one hundred pc natural, you can enjoy all the benefits of a bigger penis, without worrying about upsetting side effects.

The ProEnhance patch is a strategy that received approval recently by several pros from many countries of the world. Being a completely natural product and being tested by independent bodies could be one strategy of consider the ProEnhance penis enlargement market more fascinating and definitely the least intrusive when it comes to the enlargement of your penis.

On the other hand, the Proenhance patch is a transdermal product.

The Proenhance patches are extremely convenient to carry, but there are still some questions that will be asked about the product, generally when you are at a security check of an airfield. On the other hand, Proenhance patch is fashioned more of a bandage and you may be sure no one will ask you questions about bandages! In view of the indisputable fact that you are at any time wearing it on your body, they are to a certain extent discreet and convenient.

therefore , in many ways, using the Proenhance patch is a more convenient way of enlarging the penis than the herbal pills alternative. This is the explanation why you may begin now seriously thinking about making the swap over to the Proenhance patch.

Click here to learn more about Proenhance patch



Related info:
Penis enlargement devices - The reason why it is popular
Penis enlargement devices - The reason why it is popular
Penis enlargement devices - The reason why it is popular
Penis enlargement devices - Truth about penis enlargement devices

          Proenhance patch - How can you Use Effectively The Proenhance Patch        



Many folks do not like swallowing pills. Many others do not wish to waste time to exercise or pumping the penis. Many other still don't want to entrust the care of his penis to some method of traction. So which strategy to choose for penis enlargement? Another strategy would be the patch.

The patches have found so far great achievement in abandonment of smoking, in the old-muscle inflammation and certain hormonal treatments.

ProEnhance is a mix of traditional awareness of herbal medicine and sophisticated technologies, leading to a product that can guarantee the desired level of success.

Click here to learn more about Proenhance patch



The different herbs can drastically change penis size.

Since the components are one hundred pc natural, you can enjoy all the advantages of a bigger penis, without worrying about upsetting complications. ProEnhance is also flanked by an one hundred percent guarantee and a purchaser service 24 hours on twenty-four.

The ProEnhance patch is a technique that was given approval recently by several pros from many nations of the world. In addition to this, these patches are produced by a cGMP Certified Pharmaceutical facility. Being a completely natural product and being tested by independent bodies may be one method of consider the ProEnhance penis enlargement market more interesting and actually the least intrusive when it comes to the enlargement of your penis.

You need to attach it on the skin and all the active ingredients are without delay driven to the bloodstream all the way through the skin. So, you don't have to fret about any harmful ingredients the patch might are taken into your bloodstream in their total.

The Proenhance patches are intensely suitable to carry, but there are still some questions that can be asked about the product, generally when you are at a security check of an airport.

therefore , in a number of ways, using the Proenhance patch is a more convenient way of enlarging the penis than the herbal pills alternative.

Click here to learn more about Proenhance patch



Related info:
Penis enlargement devices - Learn more about penis enlargement devices
Penis enlargement devices - The reason why it is popular
Penis enlargement devices - Learn more about penis enlargement devices
Penis enlargement devices - Learn more about penis enlargement devices

          Senior Manager Demand Generation - Rescale         
San Francisco, CA - San Francisco, CA
Responsibilities:

Generate and nurture qualified leads via content marketing (white papers, case studies, social media, infographics, webinars, etc.) and digital marketing (SEO, A/B testing, email, ads, etc.)
Evangelize and demonstrate the product to relevant
          General Application - Lendio        
South Jordan, UT - South Jordan, UTFull-time
Company Description
At Lendio, we have brought together the brightest minds in business with one goal? help fuel the American Dream by making small business loans simple. Each day our team makes a positive impact on the lives of small business owners in
          Accounts Receivable Specialist-B2B VIP Accounts - Travel Holdings        
Altamonte Springs, FL - Location: Altamonte Springs, FLDepartment: Accounting and FinanceType: Full TimeMin. Experience: Entry Level
Responsible for managing B2B accounts that require special attention due to their VIP status and the high volume of manual work they generate on reconciliation. This
          Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing - HealthHelp, Inc.        
Houston, TX - Job Description
This role is responsible for creating sales strategies, building revenue-generating pipeline and developing relationships within the managed care market. Maintain familiarity with managed care solutions and practices as well as connections with key decision
          I know, I know, I'm a terrible blogger        
Silas has taken to pooping in the house in the same exact spot every time. Like it's his own personal carpeted potty. He'll do it right after he comes inside too. I'm really not sure what to do about it. I'm about to break down and pay for a flipping dog whisperer or something. I mean. Really.
Also he keeps nipping at us. And sometimes it hurts. And he still has puppy teeth. I can't even imagine what it will feel like once he has his big boy teeth.
On top of everything, work, my crazy dog, my messy house and did I mention work? On top of everything, people have been really difficult to deal with lately. I don't know if it's cause I'm tired or stressed or a combination of the above, but I take everything anyone says or does at a very personal level and I've been crying at the drop of a hat.
For instance. The boy's little sister wrote a blog post on her myspace about her faith and about religion in general and I commented in a way that I would to any of my friends. I talk to people as if they are intelligent human beings and I want to engage them in logical and thoughtful discussions. Is that such a crime? Well, in any case, one of her friends commented below mine saying, basically, not to pay attention to that "dumb girl your brother is datin" because she is all up on her high horse and who does she think she is? And I got upset. Like crying and almost hysterical upset. And I have no idea why. I cried because some 15 year old kid made fun of me on myspace??? Seriously? I don't know, I think it probably boils down to frustrations over my feelings that the boy's family thinks I'm just another "stupid girl" that he is "datin" even though we've been together for 2 and half years and are very committed. I don't think they'll ever take me seriously, or at least not anytime before our ten year wedding anniversary, which for all I know could be 40 years away.
And then someone else removed me from her facebook friends. And I shouldn't be upset about that. Because I really don't ever want to be friends with her again. We had a huge row about a month ago, and even before that she treated me (in my opinion) quite poorly and did not make me feel happy, which is what I think friends should do. But seriously? Removing me from your friends list? Are we 12????
The end.
PS: I promise to not be such a Debbie Downer with the next post.
          OMG WATCH: Elders react to viral new animated gay short film IN A HEARTBEAT        

Does the generational aspect vary their reactions? What does Nana think, ah? We see many asking, “Why Elders for this episode?” Couple reasons. Reality is...
          Comment on PHP PDF generators compare review by Sam        
Thanks for the comparison. This is an old blog, but it's still hard to find a good comparison of PDF generation options. Codecourse on YouTube seems to have a good option of snapshotting a rendered phantom.js page...hope I said that right.
          Comment on PHP PDF generators compare review by Joe Johnson        
Ok - this is useful. PHP really needs a good PDF generator library. Even a paid product will do fine and be welcomed.
          Is Getting A Loan With Bad Credit Really That Hard?        
Have you ever wondered why lenders seem to treat people with a bad credit history so badly? If you have bad credit and apply for a loan, you know, generally you're going to be declined or charged some extortionate rate of interest.

You simply want any potential lender to recognise that you haven't always had a bad credit history. You probably had a decent credit rating once, then, unfortunately some unforseen circumstance or an inevitable event forced you into having your credit record damaged.

However, what guarantee does a lender have that someone who has a perfect credit rating now, may not default on that loan at some time in the future. Circumstances change, things happen and nothing can be 100% guaranteed. It seems as though you are still being punished for what happened in the past.

Lenders have now started to notice, with the rising number of people falling in debt and bad credit, it no longer makes sense not to conduct business with everyone, good credit, bad credit or otherwise. Many specialized loans, credit cards and products have spread through the financial marketplace. You can now get a bad credit loan for a wide variety of purposes. Car Loans, Holiday Loans, Debt Consolidation loans.

A lender may ask for you to put up some form of collateral or asset as security against your loan. This can work well for both parties. A lender has some form assurance by way of an asset, usually your home...and as the borrower who has a bad credit history, in can be a case of once bitten, twice shy. You have been through the hell of bad credit, and all it brings, once. So why would you wish to lose an asset such as your home by making the same mistakes again.

Getting a Loan with bad credit without having to provide any collateral is possible as well. Usually an unsecured loan is only ever offered to people with a great credit rating. Some lenders may accept a borrower with a bad credit history, but you can usually expect to pay a higher rate of interest and sometimes you may be asked to pay a high fee and have to adhere to some near impossible terms of repayment.

Despite that, don't worry, there are lenders out there who will charge a reasonable rate of interest to those wih bad credit. Prior to approaching a lender or even an intermediary company for help, there are a few things you need to consider - You must decide exactly how much you need to borrow. Then the exact dispersal of your loan. Maybe, some of your loan is to consolidate some other debts, while some is to pay some bills and some is merely for pleasure. Then you need to work out an affordable budget and timescale to repay the loan. You don't want to fall into the same trap again of missing payments and eventually defaulting on a loan.

Once you have calculated all this, then you can approach a lender to find out if they can offer a loan that fits within your criteria. Finally, if you have managed to secure that all important loan, this will do wonders for your credit rating. By making your payments in full and on time, this will help to repair that bad credit history.
          National Account Manager / Remote        
CA-San Diego, Mitchell 1/ (A Snap-on Company), is a leading provider of vehicle repair information, and business management solutions for automotive and heavy duty shops. We are currently seeking a National Account Manager for the Heavy Duty Truck Group. The territory for this position includes the Central and Eastern United States. This is a work from home and considered a remote position. GENERAL FUNCTIONS: O
          Inside Sales Rep        
CA-Poway, General Functions: As a Mitchell 1 inside sales representative, the individual will understand and perform duties specific to meeting goals and objectives as set by Sales Management. The main focus of this individual is to: 1) Act as Mitchell 1 product/sales consultant to both existing and potential customers. 2) Listen to and assess the needs of each customer. 3) Quickly provide appropriate Mitch
          Viaggiare e muoversi in Brasile, dritte utili        
Sono ormai 10 anni che mi muovo tra Italia e Brasile ed ho imparato a destreggiarmi abbastanza bene tra le tariffe da e verso il Brasile, ed anche per muovermi al suo interno. Ecco qualche consiglio generale per iniziare ad orientarti nella preparazione del viaggio. Viaggio per e dal Brasile Compagnie aeree più convenienti In assoluto le compagnie […]
          Ð§ÐµÑ€Ñ€Ð¸ / About Cherry (2012) BDRemux 1080p | L1        

Категория: Фильмы/HDTV/HD/Blu-Ray/MKV
Размер: 17.56 GB
Траффик: Раздают (отдают): 9,886, Скачивают (качают): 3,172
Добавлен: 2017-08-10 13:45:08
Описание: Информация о фильме
Название: Черри
Оригинальное название: About Cherry
Год выхода: 2012
Жанр: драма

Режиссер: Стивен Эллиот
В ролях: Эшли Хиншоу, Лили Тейлор, Дев Патель, Джонни Уэстон, Джеймс Франко, Хизер Грэм, Дайан Фарр, Майя Рэйнс, Винсент Пало, Элана Крауш

О фильме:
История 18-летний девушки начинающей работать в порнографическом бизнесе после того, как она переезжает в Сан-Франциско. Первое о чем ей предстоит позаботиться – какой-нибудь заработок. Новый город – новые друзья, новая судьба и пьянящая возможность легко и весело заработать, снимаясь у профессионалов. Сначала фото, потом видео - можно показать себя, пускай и полностью, без цензуры. Для раскованной симпатичной девчонки это легко.

http://s.rutor.info/imdb/pic/1945062.gif http://www.kinopoisk.ru/rating/592037.gif

Страна: США
Студия: Enderby Entertainment, Gordon Bijelonic / Datari Turner Films
Продолжительность: 01:42:11
Перевод: Любительский одноголосный, закадровый [Kerob]

Файл
Кодек: h.264
Качество: BDRemux
Видео: 1920x1080, 24598 Kbps, 23.98 fps
Звук:
AC3, 48 KHz, 6 ch ~ 448 Kb/s (русский);
DTS, 48 KHz, 6 ch ~ 1510 Kb/s (английский).
Субтитры:
Английские (полные), PGS;
Испанские (полные), PGS;
Русские (полные), SRT;
Русские (форсированные), SRT.

Семпл

Скриншоты

M.I

          FotoJet: editare immagini online, creare collage di foto, realizzare grafiche accattivati via web        
FotoJet è un’interessante applicazione web che permette di editare immagini online, creare collage di foto, realizzare grafiche accattivati via web. L’app è infatti suddivisa in tre sezioni: design, collage, edit. Tramite l’editor fotografico si possono applicare alle immagini caricate tutte le classiche modifiche di questo genere di strumenti: ridimensionare, ritagliare, ruotare, gestire i colori, l’esposizione, […]
          Upcoming Review: Skincare products from Althea        
Look what arrived at my doorstep today! My althea orders!

I needed a new face wash and an eye cream. I choose laneige as the brand of choice since it is the most reliable brand for my skin. So I bought Laneige Multi-cleanser and Laneige Water Bank Eye Gel. Bought it on 11 November because of the additional 11% off because of the singles day :). The item arrived on the 18 November, so it took approximately 7 days to arrive. The order includes a tracking number but the tracking stops once it reaches the distribution centre in singapore (singpost).

Anyway my items were nicely bubble wrap. Here is a picture of the parcel when it arrive. Althea was also generous enough to include samples in the parcel. One of it is a facial mask from Missha and another is skin repair essence.

Nicely bubble wrapped althea box



The items were individually wrapped too


I really like althea's packaging. You can look forward to my reviews of these products soon. Stay tuned!

          Side talk: Not your regular kpop songs        
When we talk about kpop, we often relate it to Girls Generation (SNSD), Super Junior (Suju), Big Bang, 2NE1, AOA, EXO and many more.

I have been into kpop for 10 years already and I have listened to various genre of music in the kpop industry. I believe some songs deserve more recognition. For this post I hope to be able to share or introduce fantastic songs that could spice up your playlist.

Lets start with one of my favourite album of all time:

Blue Brand is a hip-hop album project that compiled various hip-hop songs from by hip hop legends. Verbal Jint, Dynamic Duo, Supreme Team, Dok2, K.Will, and many more. The song lineup is simply fantastic. There are two volume to this album. The first volume was released in 2009 while volume two release in 2010. Below are some great songs you can find in the two volumes!

Kim Jin Pyo (feat Jan Di) - How to be cool when you breakup

Supreme Team (feat Soulman) - You're to blam

Supreme Team (feat Soulman) - Because of you

Supreme Team is a hip hop duo name Simon D. and E-Sans. Unfortunately, the group disbanded recently as E-Sans terminated his contract with Amoeba Culture. Also, E-sans is involved with a marijuana scandal. I really like their songs and they are pretty nice to listen to despite the long rapping. 

Here is another of my favourite song from one of Supreme Team album.

Supreme Team (feat Young Jun) - Then Then Then

Another artist you should check out it TETE (테테). His music is very relaxing and definitely worth listening during the nights and ranning days. I really like Floral ran by TETE especially the remix version. The remix version is an eargasm. Do change

테테 (TETE) - Floral Rain


Tete (테테) - Floral Rain (Acid Punk Dynamite Remix)

Lastly, I would like to introduce all of you to Standing Egg. Its a well known k-indie group but some of you may not be familiar with them. Nonetheless, do check out Farewell For You, Not Yet For Me by Standing Egg.


Standing Egg - Farewell For You, Not Yet For Me

Thats the end of this week side talk. What do all think of the songs I have recommended? Do leave your comments!





          Side-talk: The Ramen Stall at 787 North Bridge Road        
Recently I heard raves about this newly halal food establisment that sells Japanese. I see pictures of their food on various social networking platform like facebook and instagram (especially instagram). Although Singapore has sizable a muslim population, it is not easy to get halal japanese food here; especially good ones. This is because japanese usually uses mirin and pork broth in their cookings. The newly halal restaurant that I am referring to is call The Ramen Stall, located at 787 North Bridge Road. When I heard that still stall sells halal ramen, I was really excited because I am avid viewer of Japanese Hour on Channelnewsasia and often see people eating ramens. I have never tasted japanese ramen simply because it is difficult to get halal ones. I even considered going to Tokyo to get taste of halal ramen there.


So yesterday I decided to give it a try after work. The place is located all the same street as Zam Zam. I was expecting a crowd since it is newly halal certified and I was right about 7.30pm and there was already a long queue. My friend and I then comtemplated whether we should go to Afterwit which was located nearby and serves Mexican food. Alas, we decided to queue up. Fortunately, we got a seat after 10 minutes becauses there was only two of us. Those who came in big groups in front of us has to wait longer.



I knew what to order straight away. I ordered their Volcano Ramen ($11). My friend to longer to decide because she is not familiar with Japanese food (unlike someone who watches Japanses Hour). She settled for Oyakodon ($9.90). We also ordered a sides, Torched Beef Sushi ($7.90).


The first dish to arrive was our Torched Beef Sushim It was soo good that I even considered on seconds. The beef was so soft and well marinated and smokey. It kinda melt in my mouth. It really went well with the wasabi and the preserved radish. Usually I dont even like to put wasabi on my sushi.


The came my volcano ramen. I selected level 1 because I not really a fan of spicy food. I like those which are savourly spicy. The broth before mixing with the chilli was quite mild. It tasted better after mixing with the chilli. The restaurant was quite generous with the toppings but I find the noodles quite little. Maybe because I like carbohydrate. I especially like the kale/seaweed, minced meat and the eggs in the soup. But I find this Volcano Ramen kinda overhyped.


My friend Oyakodon. It is like chicken mixed in batter of ingredients and then fried and placed on top of rice. It is then topped with raw egg and drizzled with soy based sauce. My friend found it nice and mind you she is a picky eater. The serving was also quite big.

There was also a 17% service charge when you dine in. I will definitely come back to try their sushis and unagi rice! 

          Side-Talk: FIX Cafe at Ah Hood Road        
Met up with my friends few weeks ago to take time off from studying. I suggested that we have dinner at FIX cafe. Have been eyeing this place ever since it got its halal certification. Their desserts look so photogenic on photos. However its location is a little out of the way from where we usually hangout. Suggested this place because the others do not have any better suggested, so we went….

We took a bus there and it took us almost an hour to reach but it was worth it. Got seated near the pool. It was not very crowded and the lighting of the cafe was good for photo taking. You have to the counter to order. I went to the counter to order but forget what my friends wanted to buy as soon as I was about to order haha. I bet the cashier thought I was weird. Went back to our table and asked my friends to come with to order haha. They also commented why I went to cashier without bringing my wallet -.- Scumbag brain.

Okay back to the food we ordered. We had Chicken Tikka Naanwich, Turkey Ham and Cheese Naanwich, Fish & Chips, Soy-glazed Chicken Drumlets and Strawberry Pistachio Rose Tart. For drinks we had ice-lemon tea, Iced Mocha and Iced Chocolate. The price came about $51 dollar, if I remembered correctly. And that is very reasonable.

Didn't manage to take lot of the photos of the food because we were all very hungry and could not wait to dig in. Here is my take on each of the item we had.





1) Chicken Tikka Naanwich (S$11)

This main comes with a cup of Nachos. The chicken tikka was nicely spiced and goes well with everything else. The portion of chicken was pretty generous. The only complain I have is that there was  too little cheese on the Nachos.

2) Turkey Ham and Cheese Naanwich (S$11)

Likewise this main comes with a cup of Nachos. I like the combination of everything. The oozing yolk completes the dish. The naan is not too hard and it is buttery. The turkey ham is good too, but felt that the slices were too little. It might look difficult to eat but you can just cut into sections and eat it. The ingredients complements each other well.

3) Fish & Chips (S$11)

The fish is quite plump. The inside is soft and the outside has just enough crust. I can actually taste the slight peppery taste to it. The fries is quite mediocre in my opinion.

4) Soy-glazed Chicken Drumlets ($7)

The skin of the Chicken has a nice crunch to it. However, the soy-glazed is kinda sweet for my liking. Maybe I should have squeezed more of the lemon slice that came with it.

5) Strawberry Pistachio Rose Tart ($6)



I was really to the tart visually. I also like how FIX presents their deserts, it looked quite luxurious. Some of the strawberries are sweet and some were not haha. We shared the dessert and my friend kept getting the sour ones haha. I like the pistachio base, because I like anything that is nutty. Anyway, my sister particularly like the combination of the pistachio base with the strong tasting strawberry jam. The sweetness is just right and it is a pretty light dessert.

Don't be deceived by how the mains look, they are pretty filling. Initially we all said that we are going to order more but we were extremely full and couldn't even finish the chicken. What I like about this cafe is that the prices are reasonable, a lot of halal cafes out there have ridiculously expensive food and they are not even good :/. Overall I will come back again. I really can't wait to taste their other desserts. The owner of FIX cafe is going to open another halal establishment called FIX grill. It is located just beside FIX cafe. Gonna give it a try after my exams. 

          Side-talk: So Pho review at NEX        
I decide that I should occasionally do food review on this blog too after my first food-related post on Swensens' mooncake here. Hope you readers like it :). Yesterday, my sister and I decided to have an impromptu dinner after a long day at school. It has been quite some time since we pamper ourselves with good food since year 4 in university has been quite hectic. So we decide to NEX at Serangoon since it is on the way and it has quite a few halal eateries there.

I arrives at NEX first since NTU is further away than NUS. I had to wait for 30 minutes or so. We settled for So Pho, since my sister is craving for something soupy. There wasn't a queue but we had to wait quite sometime to get a seat. However that place was pretty packed.

We had Pho Bo (Vietnamese Slice Beef Noodle Soup) and Lychee Mint Freeze for drinks. I think Pho Bo is their specialty. I didn't take long for food to come, but it took quite long to the waiters to take our orders. I guess they are short of staff.

I would say that the Beef noodle is pretty good. The noodles are nice and chewy, I really like the texture. The soup is nice too, with a just enough hint of spiciness. The portion is pretty generous. The bowl is big, I thought it would just be because of the soup. But there is generous portion of noodles and beef.


Lychee Mint Freeze was a nice surprise. I taste quite unique I would say. But since it is ice-blended, it doesn't really quench out thirst.

We pack home seafood fried rice and the prawn and lemongrass chicken summer rolls for our parents. My mum really liked the summer rolls. Sorry no photos for that.

Pho Bo - $8.80

Lychee Mint Freeze - $4.50
Do give So Pho a try if you haven't!


          AT&T Adds 2.1 Million Net New Customers In Second Quarter Of 2015        
AT&T Adds 2.1 Million Net New Customers In Second Quarter Of 2015

AT&T recently announced that it has added 2.1 million net new customers during the second quarter of this year. Interestingly, almost all of the carrier’s new additions is attributed to strong sales of tablets, and to connected cars. As a matter of fact, AT&T has added one million new additions driven by tablets and connected cars in the period spanning April to June.

It appears that there is a visible shift in the makeup of AT&T’s subscriber base, with a significant part of the new customer additions spurred by tablets and connected devices. Also, it seems that traditional subscribers -- i.e. those that use phones -- may be on the decline, at least in AT&T’s case. It is also possible that such diminished growth from traditional phone customers for AT&T is connected to the increased pressure from competitors like Sprint and T-Mobile, who are only eager to usurp AT&T’s place as the second biggest wireless carrier in the United States.

Earlier in July, T-Mobile had announced that it had added 2.1 million customers during the second quarter of this year. And just a few days ago, Verizon Wireless had revealed that it had gained over 1 million net new customers, and 1.1 million post-paid subscribers. 

As for AT&T, it had added 410,000 post-paid subscribers, however the growth entirely consisted of 600,000 tablets. In the second quarter of this year, the carrier had lost about 200,000 basic phone subscribers. Still, AT&T was able to add 331,000 prepaid customers as a result of boosting its prepaid arm Cricket Wireless. 

A new focus for AT&T is in connected cars. The carrier is signing up with the largest number of automobile manufacturers in order to bring cellular connectivity to vehicles. But perhaps the more pressing question is -- will people actually pay extra money to connect their cars to a cellular network? The potential is there, but for now, it remains to be seen. 

AT&T also managed to generate a profit in the amount of $3.04 billion, or $0.58 per share, during the second quarter of 2015. During the same period in the previous year, the carrier had a profit of $3.55 billion, or $0.68 per share. Not counting costs associated with its acquisition of two wireless carriers based in Mexico and its looming deal with DirecTV, AT&T managed $0.69 per share of adjusted earnings. Moreover, revenues increased 1.4 percent to $33 billion. As per data compiled by Yahoo, analysts predict, on average, revenue of $33.04 billion and earnings of $0.63 per share.

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          Sprint Called Out For Cramming Customer Accounts        
Sprint Called Out For Cramming Customer Accounts

Oops. Sprint has been busted for charging tens of millions of dollars in unauthorized third-party messaging charges to customer bills.

Moreover, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is about to issue a fine in the amount of $105 million for the carrier's dubious charges, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. Interestingly, the amount of the fine is the same as the one AT&T paid to the FCC earlier this year in a case that is similar.

The fine is not official yet -- the FCC is still waiting for the commissioner to approve it. However, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is not wasting any moment -- on behalf of the carrier's disgruntled subscribers, the CFPB is filing a lawsuit against Sprint.

According to the CFPB, Sprint should have made it a priority to protect its subscribers from third-party billing scams. But unfortunately for its customers, the carrier had let suspicious fees for unauthorized premium text messages show up on the customers' billing statements.

The CFPB further alleges that Sprint is choosing to ignore the tens of thousands of complaints and refund requests from disgusted subscribers due to the incorrect billing. The bureau also believes that with the carrier keeping about 40 percent of all the revenue generated from bills crammed with third-party fees, it is a lot easier for Sprint to turn a blind eye.

Even though the major wireless carriers in the United States have agreed to cease billing their subscribers for premium third-party services, the practice of cramming customer bills has always been frequently done by service providers for years. By doing so, they can generate some extra income out of unsuspecting wireless subscribers.

Last October this year, AT&T agreed to settle with the FCC over cramming complaints from its subscribers. Even T-Mobile had to deal with its own cramming lawsuit back in July of this year. Out of the $105 million fine paid by AT&T, the FCC took $80 million to be refunded to subscribers who were affected. For sure, the FCC will work to achieve the same result with its lawsuit against Sprint. 

For its part, Sprint is denying the allegations. The carrier claims that it took certain steps to protect its subscribers from unauthorized third-party billing practices. 

If the $105 million fine does go through, it will mark the first time that the FCC and the CFPB have joined forces together in taking action against a major wireless provider.

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          SHOCK: ABC Positively Portrays Scripture Reading        

On Christmas Eve 1968, after successfully becoming the first men to orbit the moon, the crew of Apollo 8 read from the book of Genesis. According to Wikipedia, at the time, it was the most-watched tv broadcast ever.


          Comment on Episode 210: Characterization by Megan        
I practice for RPGs, but generally when I know that I'm going to be doing a character thing that doesn't specifically come naturally to me. For example, I practiced accents and vernacular prior to heading into the studio to record with One Shot Podcast a few weekends ago. That to me felt more like acting than playing a game to me, and I approached it like I would a performance gig. I've done prep work for Jank Cast APs before when I know that we're recording a specific thing for an audience to listen to, because again - it's a permanent thing that will exist for people to consume as entertainment. As far as games I'm not "performing" in, I do tend to research things that will be instrumental to my character so that when the time comes for me to add to the narrative, I can do it from an informed place. I did some prep like this for my latest Mountain Witch game, mostly so that when I was describing things my samurai used and wore that they were correct, and so that when I added detail into the narrative, that it was period correct. I find that I draw a lot of my RP in the moment via improv and Meisner technique skills I've learned over the years, so from a perspective of relationships and allowing myself to be affected by actions/dialogue/events, I prefer to be a blank slate in game. This does not, however, keep me from making speeches that I WOULD HAVE SAID in that perfect moment when I get home from a game session that I just didn't think of at the time. My cats love them. Even though it's a weird little unpacking mechanism I have, I do find it helps to set me up for the next session, because I can practice my character's voice and their intentions.
          Comment on Episode 210: Characterization by William Palmer        
Nice episode, I feel like y'all only scratched the surface on this one. I like the idea of characterization coming in the moment, from choices. So in a RPG context every time you have to make a choice or speak in character (which I guess is a choice) you decide in that moment who your character is, based on what has come before, and then from the directors stance, what you want to happen. in a video game context like Mass Effect every time you come to a decision point, the game is asking you to characterize your version of its protagonist to be either Paragon, neutral or correct. :) As much as we'd like perfect consistency, characterization changes (outside of intentional character arcs) whether we want it to or not. This comes from the gaps between play sessions, differences in our emotional play state (bleed), and the (almost necessarily) fluid nature of characters in the shared imagined landscape. This isn't a bad thing most of the time because it's minor and we modify our characters slightly based on the outcomes we as players would like to see. In a recent game of Eclipse Phase I just ran over Roll20 I had all the characters introduce themselves with a dream sequence. I made it very clear that this was to be an opportunity for solo storytelling and had everyone else follow the microscope rules of shutting up and not helping as to preserve a unique vision. It went over really well, even if we had a few more pauses for thought than normal, and even over Roll20 the characterization was very clear and shined through. That's another thing, characterization is much easier in person or through text than it is online which has always been one of my bigger pet peeves with online gaming. In person you get to use all of your senses, through text you get to expound as much as you'd like, online you're normally restricted to voice and actions. It makes you work harder and practice which brings a lot to in person games. Yet another thing, how quickly does a character come to you? Are most NPCs at the same level of characterization in their first min of screen time as say an ApoWo character? Obviously we know more about the ApoWo character but does that come through right away or do you build that character up with every interaction/decision? I would say the later. Another way to say that would be: Are most characters defined more by what's on their sheets or what's in our heads? Could y'all post a link to 183 days from the rants section? I seem to be having trouble finding it. https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#newwindow=1&q=183+days+rpg Oh, have y'all ever Janked (that's now a thing, I'm making it a thing) about practicing for RPGs? If not, I have a potentially stupid topic for a cast, Do You Practice for RPGs? We practice writing, tennis, medicine, improv, calculus, sex, woodworking, and juggling; why not RPGs? This may be something that I'm alone in doing but I first took up acting in local theater partially because I thought it would bring something to my "craft" of role-playing. A lot of the time when I'm watching movies (especially bad but interesting ones like "In Time" or Divergent) I'm thinking about how I would translate that into a game (Fate conversion and Misspent Youth in those cases) and I'm logging away interesting choices or details that I can later bring back to the table. Staying in genre can be difficult when you have 5 different peoples conceptions of what noir is. But when you reference a movie or book everyone is familiar with then people are suddenly on the same page both conceptually and thematically. In general when I'm about to play in a game, or even worse run one, I often immerse myself in fiction of that genre to get it right. which seems like practicing a genre for an RPG to me. I've watched more than a few online videos on voice acting (see Roll20 stuff above). My bedside readers are fiction and things like Long-Form Improv by Hauck and Writing 21st Century Fiction by Maass. I've even run experimental one shots before to test out narrative concepts, like extreme flashbacks that only tie in tangentially to the main story, or practice something else unusual. I've never really retroactively declared anything longer than a one shot practice before but my first couple of fumbling forays into RPGs with D&D (because of coarse it was D&D) could certainly be called practice. I know RPGs aren't supposed to have a goal per se but what I'm striving for are improvisational stories that surprise me, thrill me, and touch my heart. What I'm after is a fluid game with little overt communication about it between players in the moment (all I'm asking for is mind reading here!). What I desire is a game that could be written down and sold as a good book and I feel like that takes practice. I practice to impress others, I practice to feel more relaxed and confident, but most importantly I practice to have a more distilled, better quality of fun. P.S. Your'e welcome for the text wall!
          Comment on Episode 202: A Chat With Jason Pitre About Spark by Jason Pitre        
If people want more information on Spark, you can check out the website at www.genesisoflegend.com or at http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/115661/Spark-Roleplaying-Game
          Comment on Episode 197: What's Wrong With Bein' Sexy? by Teogli        
Whenever Joe talks about slash, I feel a combination of joy and despair. Joy because- slash! And despair because- Teen Wolf >_< I know he will forgive the many foibles of that particular fandom as one does in the first blush of infatuation... after all, I started out in Gundam Wing, and I'm still reading (other) slash fifteen years later. I shouldn't rag on TW, it's no more fail-tastic than many other fandoms I have enjoyed over the years, but you kind of want to put your best foot forward, you know? On that note, I'm sure Joe has discovered Archive of Our Own, repository of all that is beautiful and terrible in the fanfic world. May I also recommend Slash Report, a discussion/recommendation/banter podcast on fandom and fanfiction in general? One host feels even more strongly about Teen Wolf than I do, but the other is all about that craziness and has done more that one episode on it. I'd say start at the beginning, but I'm extremely poly-fandom, and I really like their banter, so YMMV.
          Malware: How we are Infected [InfoGraphic]        
So you have a computer, but if it was infected with a virus, what would you do? Would you even know it was there? It is a well-known fact that over 32% of all computers in the world have malware of some sort. Today we will be talking about the infamous computer virus and what it is.

So let's start with something you all have probably heard of, Malware. Malware is a program made to infiltrate your computer, disable parts of it, and thus gain access to your hard drive, search history and such to aid with stealing information. However, there are other types of malware out there. Let's get to know them and how much of the 32% they infect.

At 57%, first we have the virus. This is a software that has the capability to copy itself and send itself into other folders. Then there is the "Trojan" at 21%. The Trojan is malicious software that hides on the internet disguised as some sort of program or free item, and ce you download it, you will soon discover it is malicious. But the Trojan has a brother at 7%, called the "Trojan Downloader". This type of virus does the same thing as the simple Trojan, but once on your computer it downloads more viruses and software, then begins to use those programs.

Then at 3% there is the "Exploit", which finds a glitch, bug or system error and uses that to hack into your computer. Next we have the "Worm" at 2%, this malicious bug works the same as a Trojan, but then copies and pastes itself across your computer network.

But not all viruses seem so bad when you get them, for instance the "Adware" at 3%. This type of virus infects your computer so nothing happens at first, but once you log into your web browser, then immediately your screen will be flooded with ads. There is also the "Monitoring Tool" with 2% of the 32% infected. This malware infects your computer and hides, not doing anything but monitoring your activity, (Search history, keyboard history etc.) and then sends those back to a remote server.

There is also one of the worst at 1%, the "Back Door". This virus infects your computer remotely, not allowing your anti-virus security to even detect it, but sure enough it does. And lastly we have one of the worst but luckily at a low percentage of 0.01%, "Spyware". This diabolically designed software infects your computer and takes the most important pieces of information it can find and sends it back to wherever it came from. This information is generally passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive information.
All of these viruses have devastating effects. Last year there were 27 million strains of malware made, which means 74,000 new viruses are created every day. The number of homes in the United States that experience spam is 24 million. The number of homes with serious viruses in the last 2 years is 16 million, and the number of houses that had spyware in the last 6 months is 6 million. But most devastating of all, over 1 million of all homes have lost money to spyware in the last year. Another devastating fact is that Viruses cost the world 4.55 billion USD every year.

So be safe, don't download anything you are unsure of, and be sure to have an anti-virus software. But most importantly learn how to detect these programs when you get them.























          Technology and it's threat         

Technology and its threat

It's true that technology makes everyone dance on its tone. Now we have computers with the help of which we can get information about everything. It has also changed the way of communication. Earlier we use to talk via letters and phones. But, now we have a webcam through which we can do video calling or conferencing. It's true that machines have been created by men, but they make fewer mistakes as compared to men. You just need to program the computer properly and it will work accurately. With the help of computer everything is done perfectly in less time. Now days it’s not surprising if students carry their laptop and mobile to school. Technology has truly made our lives easier.



But a computer also faces health issues, which can be treated by an Antivirus Software program.
Following are  top 8 threats and no one should ever ignore them

Viruses: - The name itself describes it. It can disrupt a computer and can damage the available data. Viruses can be received via numerous options that also include e-mail attachments. So, always beware when you get an e-mail from an unidentified server or person.

Spyware: - A Spyware is used to spy on computers. It can steal your personal information and send it to others who can misuse it. Today everyone is concerned about being the victim of identity theft. Spyware are generally attached to a freeware downloaded from the web. So be cautious when downloading and installing a software tool.

Spam: - Spam mails are promotional in nature and usually promote products of sexual or dubious nature. Some websites are harvested by spammers, from where they steal your e-mail ids.
Adware: - Adware are responsible for producing advertisements on a system without user’s consent, which you often see on your computer screen. It can be in the form of pop-ups, pop-under, and other sources. People generally do get irritated by these adware but at many times are not aware of its causes.

Dialers: - Dialers are the programs, which are designed to redirect phone calls to expensive numbers without even informing you. You’ll get to know about it, when you will receive the bill.
Hackers: - A computer always consists of so much personal data, including your bank and credit card details. Hackers always try to steal this data and recover your passwords in order to do malicious activities and even may burgle you.

Hijackers: - The hijackers take remote control of your computer screen and can reset your homepage and search pages. They do it in order to do thievery on your behalf so that they can be away from the agencies and you’ll be in danger.

Phishing: - Phishing has become the most threat full of all malicious activities over the internet. It is because Phishing websites look similar to the real websites, and are designed to make fools out of the customer and are generally scams to harvest usernames and passwords of prominent websites.

In order to be away from these 8 threats, download Security Software Optimo Defender, which also scans for threats and performs virus removal programs on a computer by offering various features like Antivirus,

Anti-Trojan, Anti-Spyware, and System Security Suite. There are a lot of Antivirus programs available on the internet, but like everything else they also vary in quality. You tend to get what you pay for.
Anna Asthesia is chief technical head in optimodefender.com & working from last 5 years. She likes to write article on antivirus software program, security software & how to find genuine online tech support for Laptops, Computers & Smartphones.

About the Author
Anna Asthesia is chief technial head in optimopro.com & working from last 5 years. She likes to write article on windows registry , computer problems & how to find genuine online tech support for Laptops, Computers & Smartphones.You can read her latest blogs onblog.optimopro.com



          Basics Of Wi-Fi Security         


Hi all today i am just going to discuss how you can secure your wifi network from hackers. you must have came across many tips on securing wifi network from various blogs and all but here we will discuss from a hackers point of view and all practical and genuine approach to securing Wi-Fi network so lets begin.










 

 

Tips On Securing Wi-Fi Network -


Be Sure To Use the strongest wireless encryption your modem or router provide Making your wireless modem with wpa or wpa2 encrypt do give a trust that your wifi netwok is safe. Typically our router or modem uses various methods of encryption to protect data sent over wifi network. Always use WAP or WPA2 to use secure your wifi network if your router/modem is not having those encryption then never select that brand router/modem. If your modem/router does not provide WPA or WPA2 encryption it is strongly recommended that a new device be purchased.So you must have heard about WEP (Wired Equivalency Privacy) it is quite older technique of securing which easy for hackers to crack with that I can never say you are completely secure.




Remember the use(Change default pass) of strongest possible network password / network
key always ensure better security -














Again Its a simple tips which applies on all field for better security, As  you know general rule, the longer and more complicated the password, the more difficult for hackers to crack it. I do recommend to use minimum an eight character password should be used to allow access to your wireless network. And remember don't forget to change your modem/router default password people do forget it many time which lead to compromise the wifi network. Never use the same password to control or access more than one system or program and never use your wireless network name as your password! Doing such stupid activity makes things too easy for anyone to hack your wifi easily. Its obvious thing that most of the time our modems are designed to use a default password such as “admin”, “password” or the manufacturer’s name. These settings are easily accessible to a user when the modem and network is being set up, however because they are easily accessible and often use weak passwords will unless changed, remain potentially accessible to anyone who wishes to gain access. There are many sites available on internet which give away default passwords for modems /routers (vendor specific as well). Changing your modem or router’s default password offers a simple but effective security measure against unauthorized remote access.




Hide your SSID (network name)  - 









I know the Wi-Fi network is still Hack-able when SSID Is hidden but it makes thing bit difficult for hackers to crack any Wi-Fi network which is invisible. Typically all Wi-Fi network broadcast its presence (beacon frames) when they are turned on so making the SSID hidden keep another layer of protection in securing Wi-Fi network because if the network is not broadcasting its name that make difficult for hackers to hack it.




Access to Remote modem administration -

These days most modern modems or routers can be remotely administered over the internet. If yours can, then someone besides you can potentially locate your modem’s IP (Internet Protocol) address and potentially hack your modem.A simple fix to this vulnerability is to disable remote administration for your modem or router. If you absolutely require remote access then you can try limiting access to a particular IP address or limited range of addresses, to reduce the chance of unauthorized users gaining access to your modem’s configuration settings. As a general rule for home networks, remote access is not necessary and possibly the safest thing is to disable remote access to your modem/router.




MAC address filtering for improve security -



Encryption including WPA2 and strong passwords are the best methods to control who accesses your network, however most modems and routers offer further methods to control your network. It is a better option to make your Wi-Fi network more secure is to use mac filter as you know mac address (unique hardware address of a system)  so it ensure better protection .i know mac address can be spoofed but with all WPA2 and strong password ,mac filtering whole together ensure better security . All Most all modern modems offer the capability to restrict access to a wireless network to known devices (known MAC addresses). Trouble here is if you not setting mac filter properly then you man miss the Wi-Fi services (cannot connect to the network).





Enable modem/router firewall and security features -

Most modern modems and routers come standard with a built in firewall. A firewall can prevent unauthorized people accessing your network, can control which programs inside the network access the internet and should be enabled by default.Some hi-tech modems and routers also feature security programs known generally as intrusion detection systems (IDS). Such systems are capable of detecting attempts at unauthorized access to the system they are protecting and block many forms of attack. For additional security, all computers connected to your network should also have a software firewall system installed, or the manufacturer provided operating system firewall enabled.




Update your modem/router Firm-ware -

Some if your modem is outdated firm ware it may lead to some ready-made exploits using which any attacker can hack your network so it’s better to update firmware also the modem manufacturer provide this update firmware service for free (On modem’s website). Also keep one thing on mind unnecessary you should not make your wifi modem broad cast signal to long distance range (100m).its better to limit your modem/router signal upto 20-30 m. also always better to keep your modem at central position.So keep these things on mind while installing any wifi network and i am sure the hackers will definitely have to go through Hercules task.




This article is a Guest post by -  Chandrakant Nial



          Arbitrary or Unrestricted File Upload        
Arbitrary or Unrestricted File Upload is a type of web application vulnerability which occurs due to improper validation of the file which is being uploaded on the server.
Suppose there is a website which allows users to upload image files with the extension like .jpg, .png, .gif and so on, but if the website is unable to properly verify the image file being uploaded, an attacker can take control over the whole website/server. This is especially true for files with the extension .php & .asp because they are automatically executed by the server.


So in this post I will be explaining you how this vulnerability is caused by studying the source code. This post has been written keeping in mind that you are new to this type of vulnerability, so examples which will be explained will be basic ones. Advanced example will be posted in PART 2 of this post.

Example
The following is an HTML upload forum which allows pictures to be uploaded on the server.

<form action="upload.php" method="post" enctype="multipart/form-data">
Choose a file to upload:
<input type="file" name="filename"/>
<br/>
<input type="submit" name="submit" value="Submit"/>
</form>
 
When the file is submitted, it is send to upload.php on the server. The file is been stored in a temporary location until it is retrieved by the server side code. So after the file is uploaded, it is sent to a permanent directory or location through upload.php
 
// Define the target location where the picture being
// uploaded is going to be saved.
$target = "pictures/" . basename($_FILES['uploadedfile']['name']);

// Move the uploaded file to the new location.
if(move_uploaded_file($_FILES['uploadedfile']['tmp_name'], $target))
{
echo "The picture has been successfully uploaded.";
}
else
{
echo "There was an error uploading the picture, please try again.";
}
 
The problem with the above code is that, the file type is not verified which is being uploaded, as a result an attacker can upload a malicious file on the server.

Once the malicious file is uploaded on the server, arbitrary command execution is possible.

Well, a simple solution to patch this type of problem is to check for MIME type in the uploaded request.
 
if($_FILES['userfile']['type'] != "image/gif") {
      echo "Sorry, we only allow uploading GIF images";
      exit;
}
 
Well this method too can be bypassed by the manipulation of Request Header allowing
What can be done instead is that use PHP functions to check that the file type is indeed of desired type, for example: ‘getimagesize()’ function of PHP takes a file name as an argument and returns the size and type of the image

Some File Upload Vulnerabilities : 



http://www.hackingsec.in/2012/03/testing-imageshell-and-deface-upload.html

http://www.hackingsec.in/2012/03/file-manager-remote-shell-and-deface.html

http://www.hackingsec.in/2012/02/fckeditor-remote-file-upload-exploit.html

http://www.hackingsec.in/2012/01/file-thingi-deface-and-shell-upload.html

http://www.hackingsec.in/2012/01/another-deface-and-shell-upload.html

http://www.hackingsec.in/2012/01/defaceshell-and-image-upload.html



          "Todos estamos decididos a atacar las causas que generan la violencia que nuestro país sufre cada día"        
La ministra de Justicia y Derechos Humanos, Marisol Pérez Tello, habla sobre el curso virtual “Infancia sin violencia, un pacto por la ternura”, desarrollado por Inversión en la Infancia, a través de la Asociación Salgalú para el Desarrollo, y las organizaciones Save the Children y World Vision, con apoyo del Ministerio de Justicia y Defensoría del Pueblo.
          â€œEl gobierno está dando muestras de interés en la infancia”        
Las acciones y metas propuestas por el nuevo gobierno de Pedro Pablo Kuczynski en temas como educación inicial y combate contra la anemia y la desnutrición infantil, son analizadas en la siguiente entrevista por Gloria Helfer, ex ministra de Educación, ex congresista y actual integrante del Grupo Impulsor Inversión en la Infancia. Señala que los primeros planteamientos del gobierno generan expectativas positivas.
          â€œAcortar las brechas de desigualdad es el reto central del próximo gobierno”        
Psicólogo social y doctor en educación, investigador principal y director general del Instituto de Estudios Peruanos (IEP), Ricardo Cuenca analiza las políticas públicas para la primera infancia, sus resultados y sus principales problemas. También comenta sobre la presencia de los temas de primera infancia en los planes de gobierno de los candidatos a la presidencia y se refiere a los principales retos que tendrá el próximo gobierno.
          â€œLa infancia es la mejor inversión que se hace para el país”        
En entrevista en el programa Diálogo Abierto de Salgalú TV Online (www.salgalu.tv), el 4 de setiembre, Ariela Luna, viceministra de Políticas y Evaluación Social en Ministerio de Desarrollo e Inclusión Social, destacó la expectativa que ha generado el III Encuentro Nacional por la Primera Infancia, organizado por el Grupo Impulsor Inversión en la Infancia, que se realizará el 18 y 19 de setiembre. En este diálogo también abordó el problema de la anemia infantil y las políticas para combatirla, entre otros temas.
          â€œLa principal garantía de la democracia y de la supervivencia es la participación de la gente”        
En entrevista con el Blog Inversión en la Infancia, Diego García – Sayán, director general de la Comisión Andina de Juristas (CAJ), juez y ex presidente de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, analiza la importancia del proyecto de capacitación virtual en derechos humanos que desarrollarán, gracias a un convenio de cooperación interinstitucional, la CAJ y Salgalú Comunicación & Responsabilidad Social. Estos cursos se centrarán en cuatro temas: Sistema Interamericano de Derechos Humanos, conflictos sociales, pueblos indígenas y coyuntura jurídica.
          Testosterone doesn't boost functioning in older men        
Older men who use testosterone gel may see small improvements in their muscle-to-fat ratio but are unlikely to glean any benefits in flexibility, endurance and general ability to get around, new research suggests.
          New test may help guide prostate cancer treatment        
A new genetic test to gauge the aggressiveness of prostate cancer may help tens of thousands of men each year decide whether they need to treat their cancer right away or can safely monitor it.
          Sperm is healthiest in winter, early spring        
Autumn is the time of year most associated with bumper crops of new babies, and that may be because human sperm are generally at their healthiest in winter and early spring, according to a new study from Israel.
          Too tough to get sick: Why men won't see the doc        

James Chisum, 28, doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke and doesn’t believe men his age should have yearly medical check-ups. Turns out, he's not the only guy who feels that way. Many American men, such as 28-year-old James Chisum, simply refuse to go to the doctor, ever, either out of male pride, out of white-coat fear or simply out of lifestyle habit.  That mindset could be genetic, experts suggest.



          In one type of cancer, heavier men may live longer        
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Extra pounds may not be good for your health in general, but heavy men appear more likely to survive a particular form of immune system cancer, a new study finds.
          What is your Dream Home’s view?        
Homeownership is part of the American dream.  Ask any generation and they will overwhelmingly agree.  The pros outweigh the cons and the American public has spoken.  However, like snowflakes, no two dreams are exactly alike. Some find peace with the waves crashing against the beach.  Others find solace in being nestled in the mountains.  But, not every market has such amenities.  Here is the Dallas/Fort Worth people strive for different views.  All of which are to escape this cities fast paced lifestyle.Lake View 1013 Private Road 5937, Emory, TX 75440 - Impressive water front property on Lake Fork with 500 feet of waterfront with retaining wall. Paved pathway meanders through the treed lot to boat house.Golf Course View 6619 Clubhouse Cir, Dallas, TX 75240 - Sophisticated and Elegant Custom backs to Northwood Club and boasts a magnificent View of the 10th Fairway and Wooded Creek!Breathtaking Sunsets 2177 Fm 740 S, Heath, TX 75032 - Built in 2008, this gorgeous Hill Country estate sits on 9 rolling acres and features an open floor plan that exudes country sophistication. Pamper yourself with your own private hilltop.   Personal Oasis 1215 Winding Brook Dr., Garland, TX 75044 - Stunning Upgrades, inside & out. This is a 5 Bedroom Custom Home on a stunning cul-de-sac. Take advantage of the professionally landscaped creek lot with oversized custom spa, plus retaining wall-walking path.Whatever your preference is we are able to make your dream come true.     
           General Questions on Personal Finance and Investing        
[+5] Discussion by Robert Gentel on 03/30/16 11:58 AM Replies: 12 Views: 1,819
Tags: Personal Finance, Retirement, Money, Investing
Last Post by cicerone imposter on 12/15/16 1:45 PM
          Daniel Boone        

Daniel Boone

BOONE, Daniel, pioneer, born in Berks County, Pennsylvania, 22 October, 1734 (For more on Daniel Boone's birthplace please visit his Homestead); died in Missouri, 26 Sept., 1820. Among the immigrants that landed, 10 Oct., 1717, at Philadelphia was George Boone, of Exeter, England, who came with his wife and eleven children, bought land near Bristol, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and joined the society of Friends. His son, Squire Boone, married Sarah Morgan, and Daniel was their son. Squire Boone, who was a farmer, moved, about 1748, to Holman's Ford, on the Yadkin, in North Carolina.

Daniel's education was very limited; he could read and write, but beyond that all he knew related to the fields, the woods, the net, the rifle, and hunting. He was a hunter born, and loved the solitude of the forest. Strong, brave, lithe, inured to hardship and privation, he traced his steps through the pathless forest, sought out the hiding places of panther, bear, and wolf, and was the match of any Indian in the sagacity with which he detected the footsteps of the red man. About 1755 he married Rebecca Bryan and set up his own log cabin, but, displeased with the encroachments of civilization on his solitude, and incited by the glowing accounts brought by John Finley, who had penetrated into the unknown regions of Kentucky, formed a company of six kindred spirits, and, bidding adieu to his family and the comforts of home, on 1 May, 1769, set out on his perilous journey of exploration.

America's Four Republics: The More or Less United States
By: Stanley Yavneh Klos
Edited: Naomi Yavneh Klos, Ph.D.

  • First United American Republic: United Colonies of North America: 13 British Colonies United in Congress was founded by 12 colonies on September 5th, 1774 (Georgia joined in 1775)  and governed through a British Colonial Continental Congress.  Peyton Randolph and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief;
  • Second United American Republic: The United States of America: 13 Independent States United in Congress was founded by 12 states on July 2nd, 1776 (New York abstained until July 8th), and governed through the United States Continental CongressJohn Hancock and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief; 
  • Third United American Republic: The United States of America: A Perpetual Union was founded by 13 States on March 1st, 1781, with the enactment of the first U.S. Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, and governed through the United States in Congress Assembled.  Samuel Huntington and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief; 
  • Fourth United American Republic: The United States of America: We the People  was formed by 11 states on March 4th, 1789 (North Carolina and Rhode Island joined in November 1789 and May 1790, respectively), with the enactment of the U.S. Constitution of 1787. The fourth and current United States Republic governs through  the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate in Congress Assembled, the U.S. President and Commander-in-Chief, and the U.S. Supreme Court.  George Washington served as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief.

After numerous adventures with the Indians, having become intimately acquainted with the character of the country, established an enviable reputation for sagacity and integrity on important frontier service assigned to him by Lord Dunmore in the campaign against the Indians, usually called "Lord Dunmore's War," and constructed a strong fort on the left bank of Kentucky river, which he named "Boonesborough," he determined to bring his wife and family to the new home. Some of his neighbors joined him, and he conducted the party, numbering upward of thirty, safely to "Boonesborough" without having encountered any other difficulties than such as are common to this passage. 



 Daniel Boone founded Boonesborough while he worked for Richard Henderson of the Transylvania Company.


On one occasion Boone, with an armed party of thirty men, had gone for a supply of salt to a place called "Salt Licks," nearly 100 miles north of Boonesborough, and was captured, with twenty-seven of his men, by a band of more than 100 Indian warriors led by two Frenchmen. 



They carried them first to Old Chillicothe, on the Miami, and then to Detroit, where they surrendered for a ransom all their prisoners except Boone; him they took back to Old Chillicothe, where the great Blackfish, a renowned Shawanese chief, adopted him into his family under an imposing but painful ceremonial; all his hair, except a tuft three or four inches in diameter on the crown of the head, was plucked out; that tuft was allowed to grow to the length of the "warlock," dressed with feathers and ribbons; an ablution in the river was supposed to cleanse him from the taint of white blood; a coat of paint on his face, and a solemn charge from Blackfish, completed the rite. 

After a prolonged and anxious residence among them, during which he was kindly treated, he discovered their intention of marching upon Boonesborough, and resolved, at the peril of certain death in the event of recapture, to attempt his escape and save his family and friends. Chased by 450 Indians, he performed that daring feat in the forty-third year of his age, and thus simply records it: "On the 16th [of June], before sunrise, I departed in the most secret manner, and arrived at Boonesborough on the 20th, after a journey of 160 miles, during which I had but one meal." 




At the fort he learned that his wife and children, despairing of ever seeing him again, had returned, and safely reached her father's home in North Carolina. The Indians assailed the fort, but were repelled with loss, and retreated. Boone then, in the autumn of 1778, rejoined his family on the Yadkin, and returned with them to Kentucky in 1780. 

The country, though well settled, was still unsafe, and, soon after his return, Boone and his brother, Squire, were surprised by Indians; Squire was killed and scalped, and Daniel had a narrow escape. A sanguinary engagement, called the "Battle of the Blue Licks," took place in 1782, in which Boone's two sons fought at his side. One of them was killed, and the other severely wounded. Boone was full of expedients, and on one occasion extricated himself from four armed Indians by blinding them with tobacco dust. Kentucky was admitted into the union, 4 Feb., 1791, and in the survey of the state the title to Boone's land was disputed. The case was decided against him, and, stung to the quick by the wrong, he had again to seek a new home, which he established at Point Pleasant, between the Ohio and the Great Kanawha; but in 1795 he removed to Missouri, then a Spanish possession, and received not only the appointment of commandant of the Femme Osage district, but a grant of 8,000 acres. The Spanish possessions passed into the hands of Napoleon, who sold them to the United States, and, in the survey that followed, the Spanish grant of Boone's lands was pronounced invalid. An appeal to the legislature of Kentucky, and another to congress, resulted in a grant by the latter of 850 acres. Boone was then seventy-five years of age, hale and strong. The charm of the hunter's life clung to him to the last, and in his eighty-second year he went on a hunting excursion to the mouth of Kansas river. He had made his own coffin and kept it under his bed, and after his death they laid him in it to rest by the side of his wife, who had passed away seven years before. 

On 13 Sept., 1845, their remains were removed to the cemetery near Frankfort, Kentucky, a few miles from the fort of Boonesborough, by the concurrent action of the citizens of Frankfort and the legislature of Kentucky. 


Cemetery in Frankfort, Kentucky where Daniel and Rebecca Bryan Boone were re-interred


His son, Enoch, born in Boonesborough, Kentucky, in 1777 ; d. 8 March, 1862, was the first white male child born in Kentucky. Daniel Boone's wife, with her daughters, went to live with her husband in his palisaded fort in June, 1776, and while there gave birth to this son; but after Boone's capture, on 7 Feb., 1778, his family returned to North Carolina. -- Edited Appleton's American Biography Copyright© 2001 by Stan Klos TM




An American biographical and historical dictionary Containing an account of the lives, characters, and writings of the most eminent persons in North America from its first settlement, and a summary of the history of the several colonies and of the United States. By: W. Hyde, 1832.


BOONE, Daniel, colonel, one of the first settlers of Kentucky, was born about 1730. While he was young, his parents, who came from Bridgeworth,England removed from Pennsylvania or Virginia to the Yadkin river in North Carolina. 






He was early addicted to hunting in the woods; in the militia he attained to the rank of colonel. In 1769, in consequence of the representation of John Finley, who had penetrated into the wilderness of Kentucky, he was induced to accompany him in a journey to that country. He had four other companions, John Stuart, Joseph Holden, James Money, and William Cool, with whom he set out May 1. On the 7th of June they arrived at the Red river, a branch of the Kentucky; and here from the top of a hill they had a view of the fertile plain's, of which they were in pursuit. They encamped and remained in this place till Dec. 22, when Boone and Stuart were captured by the Indians near Kentucky river. In about a week they made their escape; but on returning to their camp, they found it plundered and deserted by their companions, who had gone back to Carolina.




Stuart was soon killed by the Indians; but Boone being joined by his brother, they remained and prosecuted the business of hunting during the winter, without further molestation. His brother going home for supplies in May 1770, he remained alone in the deep solitude of the western wilderness until his return with ammunition & horses July 27th. During this period this wild man of the woods, though greeted every night with the howlings of wolves, was delighted in his excursions with the survey of the beauties of the country and found greater pleasure in the solitude of wild nature, than he could have found amid the hum of the most elegant city. With his brother he traversed the country to Cumberland river. It was not until March 1771, that he returned to his family, resolved to conduct them to the paradise, which he had explored.


Students and Teachers of US History this is a video of Stanley and Christopher Klos presenting America's Four United Republics Curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. The December 2015 video was an impromptu capture by a member of the audience of Penn students, professors and guests that numbered about 200. - Click Here for more information



Having sold his farm, he set out with his own and 5 other families, Sept. 25,1773, and was joined in Powell's valley by 40 men. After passing over two mountains, called Powell's and Walden's, through which, as they ranged from the north east to the south west, passes were found, and approaching the Cumberland, the rear of the company was attacked by the Indians on the 10th of October, when six men were killed, among whom was the eldest son of colonel Boone. One man was also wounded, and the cattle were scattered. This disaster induced them to retreat about 40 miles to the settlement on Clinch River, where he remained with his family, until June 6,1774, when, at the request of gov. Dunmore, he conducted a number of surveyors to the falls of Ohio. On this tour of 800 miles he was absent two months. After this he was entrusted by the governor, during the campaign against the Shawanese, with the command of three forts. 



Early in 1775, at the request of a company in North Carolina, he attended a treaty with the Cherokee Indians at Wataga in order to make of them the purchase of lands on the south side of the Tennessee river. After performing this service, he was employed to mark out a road from the settlements on the Holston to the Kentucky river. While thus employed, at the distance of about 15 miles from what is now Boonesborough, the party was attacked March 20, and 23, 1775 by the Indians, who killed four and wounded five. Another man was killed in April. On the first day of this month at a salt lick, on the southern bank of the Kentucky,in what is now Boonesborough a few miles from Lexington, he began to erect a fort, consisting of a block house & several cabins, enclosed with palisades. On the 14th of June he returned to his family in order to remove them to the tort.. His wife and daughters were the first white women, who stood on the banks of the Kentucky river. Dec. 24th one man was killed and another wounded. July 14, 1776, when all the settlements were attacked, two of Colonel Calway's daughters and one of his own were taken prisoners; Boone pursued with 18 men and in two days overtook the Indians, killed two of them, and recovered the captives.






The Indians made repeated attacks upon Boonesborough; Nov. 15,1777 with 100 men, and July 4 with 200 men. On both sides several were killed and wounded; but the enemy were repulsed; as they were also July 19 from Logan's fort of 15 men, which was besieged by 200. The arrival of 25 men from Carolina and in August of 100 from Virginia gave a new aspect to affairs, and taught the savages the superiority of "the long knives," as they called the Virginians. Jan. 1, 1778 he went with 30 men to the blue licks on the Licking river to make salt for the garrison. Feb. 7, being alone, he was captured by a party of 102 Indians and 2 Frenchmen; he capitulated for his men, and they were all carried to Chillicothe on the Little Miami, whence he and 10 men were conducted to Detroit, where he arrived March 30. The governor, Hamilton, treated him with much humanity, and offered 1001, for his redemption. But the savages refused the offer from affection to their captive. Being carried back to Chillicothe in April, he was adopted as a son in an Indian family. He assumed the appearance of cheerfulness ; but his thoughts were on his wife and children. Aware of the envy of the Indians, he was careful not to exhibit his skill in shooting. In June he went to the salt springs on the Sciota. On his return to Chillicothe he ascertained, that 450 warriors were preparing to proceed against Boonesborough. He escaped June 16, and arrived at the fort June 20th, having travelled 160 miles in 4 days, with but one meal. His wife had returned to her father's. Great efforts were made to repair the fort in order to meet the expected attack. On August 1st, he went out with 19 men to surprise Point Creek town on the Sciota; meeting 30 Indians, he put them to flight and captured their baggage. At last, Aug. 8, the Indian army of 444 men, led by captain Dugnesne and 11 other Frenchmen, and their own chiefs, with British colors flying, summoned the fort to surrender. 



The next day Boone, having a garrison of only 50 men, announced his resolution to defend the fort, while a man was alive. They then proposed that 9 men should be sent out 60 yards from the fort to enter into a treaty; and when the articles were agreed upon and signed, they said it was customary on such occasions, as a token of sincere friendship, for two Indians to shake every white man by the hand. Accordingly two Indians approached each of the nine white men, and grappled with the intent of making him a prisoner; but the object being perceived, the men broke away and re-entered the fort.



An attempt was now made to undermine it; but a counter trench defeated that purpose. Atlast on the 20th the enemy raised the siege, having lost 37 men. Of Boone's men two were killed and four wounded. "We picked, up," said he, "125 pounds of bullets, besides what stuck in the logs of our fort, which certainly is a great proof of their industry." In 1779, when Boone was absent, revisiting his family in Carolina, Colonel Bowman with 160 men fought the Shawanese Indians at old Chillicothe. 



In his retreat the Indians pursued him for 30 miles, when in another engagement col. Harrod suggested the successful project of mounting a number of horses and breaking the Indian line. Of the Kentuckians 9 were killed. June 22nd,1780, about 600 Indians and Canadians under col. Bird attacked Riddle's and Martin's stations and the forks of Licking river with 6 pieces of artillery, and carried away all as captives. Gen. Clarke, commanding at the falls of Ohio, marched with his regiment and troops against Reccaway, the principal Shawanese town on a branch of the Miami, and burned the town, with the loss of 17 on each side. 


About this time Boone returned to Kentucky with his family. In Oct. 1780, soon after he was settled again at Boonesborough, he went with his brother to the Blue Licks, and as they were returning the latter was slain by a party of Indians, and he was pursued by them by the aid of a dog. By shooting him Boone escaped. The severity of the ensuing winter was attended with great distress, the enemy having destroyed most of the corn. The people subsisted chiefly on buffalo's flesh. In May 1732 the Indians having killed a man at Ashton's station, captain A. pursued with 25 men, but in an attack upon' the enemy he was killed with 12 of his men. Aug. 10 two boys were carried off from major Hay's station. Capt. Holden pursued with 17 men; but he also was defeated, with the loss of four men. In a field near Lexington an Indian shot a man and running to scalp him, was him- self shot from the fort and fell dead upon his victim. On the 15th Aug. 500 Indians attacked Briant's station, five miles from Lexington,and destroyed all the cattle; but they were repulsed on the third day, having about 30 killed, while of the garrison 4 were killed and 3 wounded. Boone, with cols. Todd and Trigg and major Harland, collected 176 men and pursued on the 18th.



They overtook the enemy the next day a mile beyond the Blue Licks, about 40 miles from Lexington, at a remarkable bend of a branch of Licking river. A battle ensued, the enemy having a line formed across from one bend to the other, but the Kentuckians were defeated with the great loss of 60 killed, among whom were cols. Todd and Trigg, and Major Harland, and Boone's second son. Many were the widows made in Lexington on that fatal day. The Indians having 4 more killed, 4 of the prisoners were given up to the young warriors to be put to death in the most barbarous manner. 

General Clarke, accompanied by Boone, immediately marched into the Indian country and desolated it, burning old Chillicothe, Peccaway, New Chillicothe, Willis town, and Chillicothe. With the loss of four men he took seven prisoners and five scalps, or killed five Indians. In October the Indians attacked Crab orchard. One of the Indians having entered a house, in which were a woman and a negro, and being thrown to the ground by the negro, the woman cut off his head. From this period to the peace with Great Britain the Indians did no harm. "Two darling sons and a brother," said Boone, "have I lost by savage hands, which have also taken from me 40 valuable horses and abundance of cattle. Many dark and sleepless nights have I spent, separated from the cheerful society of men, scorched by the summer's sun and pinched by the winter's cold, an instrument ordained to settle the wilderness."

From this period he resided in Kentucky and Virginia till 1798, when in consequence of an imperfect legal title to the lands, which he had settled, he found himself dispossessed of his property. In his indignation he fled from the delightful region, which he had explored, when a wilderness, and which now had a population of half a million. With his rifle he crossed the Ohio and plunged into the immense country of the Missouri In 1799 he settled on the Femme Osage river with numerous followers. In 1800 he discovered the Boone's Lick country, now a fine settlement: in the same year he visited the head waters of the Grand Osage river and spent the winter upon the head waters of the Arkansas. At the age of 80, in company with a white man and a black man, laid under strict injunctions to carry him back to his family, dead or alive, he made a hunting trip to the head waters of the Great Osage, and was successful in trapping beaver and other game.




In January 1812 he addressed a memorial to the legislature of Ky. stating that he owned not an acre of land in the region, which he first settled; that in 1794 he passed over into the Spanish province of Louisiana, under an assurance from the governor, who resided at St. Louis, that land should be given him; that accordingly 10 thousand acres were given him on the Missouri and he became Syndic or chief of the district of St. Charles; but that on the acquisition of Louisiana by the United States his claims were rejected by the commissioners of land, because he did not actually reside; and that thus at the age of 80 he was a wanderer, having no spot of his own, whereon to lay his bones.

The legislature instructed their delegates to congress to solicit a confirmation of this grant. He retained, it is believed, 2,000 In his old age he pursued his active course of life, trapping bears and hunting with his rifle. Though a magistrate and sometimes a member of the legislature of Virginia, and much engaged in agriculture; yet he preferred the solitude of the wilderness to the honors of civil office and the society of men.


He died at the house of his son, Major A. Boone, at Charette, Montgomery Company, September 26th, 1820, aged nearly 90 years. His wife died in the same place. He left sons and daughters in Missouri. In consequence of his death the legislature of Missouri voted to wear a badge of mourning for 20 days. A brother died in Mississippi Oct. 1808, aged 81. 

Col. Boone was of common stature, of amiable disposition, and honorable integrity. In his last years he might have been seen by the traveler at the door of his house, with his rifle on his knee and his faithful dog at his side, lamenting the departed vigor of his limbs, and meditating on the scenes of his past life.

Whether he also meditated on the approaching scenes of eternity and his dim eyes ever kindled up with the glorious hopes of the christian is not mentioned in the accounts of him, which have been examined. But of all objects an irreligious old man, dead as to worldly joy and dead as to celestial hope, is the most pitiable. An account of his adventures, drawn up by himself, was published in Filson's supplement to Imlay's Description of the Western Territory, 1793.— Niles Register, March 13, 1813.

Capitals of the United States and Colonies of America

Philadelphia
Sept. 5, 1774 to Oct. 24, 1774
Philadelphia
May 10, 1775 to Dec. 12, 1776
Baltimore
Dec. 20, 1776 to Feb. 27, 1777
Philadelphia
March 4, 1777 to Sept. 18, 1777
Lancaster
September 27, 1777
York
Sept. 30, 1777 to June 27, 1778
Philadelphia
July 2, 1778 to June 21, 1783
Princeton
June 30, 1783 to Nov. 4, 1783
Annapolis
Nov. 26, 1783 to Aug. 19, 1784
Trenton
Nov. 1, 1784 to Dec. 24, 1784
New York City
Jan. 11, 1785 to Nov. 13, 1788
New York City
Nov. 1788 to March 3,1789
New York City
March 3,1789 to August 12, 1790

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          A CERCA DE MEXIQUEÑO        
Mexiqueño es una marca de diseño mexicano, de reciente lanzamiento, que abarca joyería, accesorios, juguetes, luminarias y de más elementos. Buscamos resaltar la gama de elementos mexicanos y combinarla con creatividad y colorido, de tal manera que al convivir con nuestros productos se regocije la pupila y se transmitan sensaciones de colorido y textura que te hagan querer devorar los objetos, que te exalten los sentidos y te despierten la conciencia de nuestra riqueza cultural. Trabajamos con materiales naturales y rústicos y nos proyectamos a largo plazo como una empresa amigable ambientalmente, de manufactura artesanal para cuidar paso a paso los detalles de nuestros productos y digna de representar a México dentro y fuera del país. Queremos que cada objeto tenga algo de único, y para lograrlo generamos un concepto transportador de mensaje, sensaciones y cultura. La mente a cargo de la creatividad es la de Mitzin Cuéllar soñadora y fundadora de esta propuesta.
          COLABORADORES        



Mitzin Cuéllar García nació el 29 de noviembre de 1985, niña precoz con intereses en la lectura y los colores, siempre inventiva y traviesa demostró predilección por las imágenes a muy corta edad. En 1996 participó en la convocatoria “Vida y Obra de Carlos Pellicer”(lanzada por el museo de Tepoztlán, Morelos ) donde obtuvo el segundo lugar en la categoría de dibujo.
En 2004 tomó talleres de pintura y expresión plástica, con el pintor Eduardo Robles (Profesor de dibujo en “La Esmeralda”).

Sus raíces Jalicienses, la cercanía con el Distrito Federal y el marcado ambiente cosmopolita de Tepoztlán, Morelos, (donde vivió la mayor parte del tiempo) le proporcionaron destreza inventiva y una tendencia rebelde y original, tanto para el dibujo como para el diseño.
Del 2001 al 2003 participa en el grupo de poesía “La oveja negra” donde se ejercían tertulias literarias y lecturas de grandes escritores como Augusto Monterroso (de donde el grupo obtiene el nombre), y redacciones y poemas escritos por los integrantes, bajo la tutela de Malena.
A mediados del 2003 y hasta el año 2004 labora para López Orfebres, de manera permanente en el área de ventas y eventualmente tanto en el taller de fabricación de las joyas como en el montaje de exhibiciones y desfiles donde coordinaba los eventos y de ser necesario participaba como modelo. Aquí adquiere conocimiento sobre relaciones públicas, y en el ámbito estético se relaciona por primera vez con la pedrería y la plata, así como en el diseño de bolsas y chalinas.
En el 2004 inicia la carrera de diseño industrial, y a la par se crea un proyecto propio llamado “Aerografílicos”, también en Tepoztlán, donde se realizaban playeras de diseños propios y del artista plástico y diseñador Ian Attie Sánchez, principalmente en las técnicas de aerografía y serigrafía. El proyecto le proporciona a Mitzin conocimiento de las técnicas y experimentación de su creatividad.
En 2006, colaboró como asistente del fotógrafo Víctor Benítez, en el Estudio G130, ahí se capturan reproducciones de artistas plásticos como el célebre escultor Javier Marín y el finado Juan Soriano; y obras arquitectónicas de reconocidos creadores como Nogal y Artigas, entre otros.

A mediados del 2007 inicia la colaboración creativa en el diseño de producción para Facto Teatro en el proyecto "Panteón de Fiesta" de donde surgen distintas propuestas para la marca Mexiqueño, culminando en la línea de productos “Mictlancito”.

En 2008 , gracias al diseño del marco principal se otorga al proyecto una beca por parte de Jim Henson Foundation de N.Y. EUA, como apoyo para la producción.
La obra se estrena en “The Music Center of Los Angeles Country”.

En Marzo del 2009 la obra se presenta en el festival “Titerías de la Ciudad de México”.
En Mayo del 2009 participa en el “Festival de Títeres de Paris” y en Junio del mismo año se presentan en “La Puntual”, en Barcelona, España.

En Septiembre del 2008 culmina la carrera de Diseño Industrial.

En Febrero del 2009 comienza a participar con la fabricación de títeres para TV Educativa de la Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, diseñando y fabricando la mascota oficial de rectoría general y a Chiko, personajes creados para la “Coordinación de Vinculación” de la Institución.

Actualmente labora en Mexiqueño como creadora y directora general de la marca, y trabaja en colaboración con el Departamento de Métodos y Sistemas de la División de Ciencias y Artes para el Diseño, en la UAM-X, investigando, experimentando y proponiendo diseño con fibras, pigmentos y aglutinantes naturales.

          CREACIÓN BALAM        
Balam, es la mascota de la Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexiqueño elaboró estos títeres planos de 50 cm en proporción, para programas de TV educativa creados por la rectoría general de la Universidad; son de papel recortado, y tienen mecanismos para animar la cola y los ocicos.

          CHIKO        
"Chiko" es un personaje creado por mexiqueño para una serie de programas de T.V. educativa, su función es interactuar de manera amena con los entrevistados.
El personaje aparece en T.V. UNAM con una producción de Rostro Universitario, por parte de Rectoría General de la UAM.

          Forty summers ago – July 5, 1977 – grand jury began hearing testimony, piercing, slightly, the ongoing Showalter hit-run cover-up in New London, CT        


Editor’s Note: The Showalter grand jury is noteworthy in that forces for justice – Judge Joseph Dannehy, Special Prosecutor Austin McGuigan and as many as 17 Connecticut State Police detectives – could only knock down some of the walls protecting New London Police, State’s Attorney C. Robert Satti, Asst. State’s Attorney Harold Dean, Judge Angelo Santaniello, former Mayor Harvey Mallove and others who escaped complete discovery. The cover-up continues to this day, highlighted by the suppression and disappearance of the grand jury transcripts.




The foundation for investigative reporting in this case was developed by John Peterson, who was managing editor of The Norwich Bulletin during the grand jury. The grand jury began hearing testimony on July 5, 1977
.








Special Prosecutor McGuigan became Chief State’s Attorney, then was fired after convicting appointees of the governor and many other public officials.

---
Chronology, Grand Juror Report, Follow-up Columns
Via
Law And Justice In Everyday Life, CT Law Tribune


F. Lee Bailey on Law and Justice in Everyday Life and the Showalter case:

This book - which is mainly about public officials, police, judges and lawyers either shaming or shining - is a good read. Many of the stories stand alone, like slices of life. Others will appear early in the book, with follow-up chapters later. The crown jewel, in my view, is his handling of the strange death of Kevin Showalter, who was slammed 50 feet down the road in New London, Connecticut on Christmas Eve 1973 while changing a tire on the traffic side of a parked car. For many years, Andy Thibault dogged a case which public officials seemed determined to let die, despite the presence of a likely suspect. He tells me his mentor, John Peterson, broke the case open and then handed over the torch. Joined by the victim's mother, Lucille, who revealed herself as a determined but delightful woman as the story unfolds, Andy beats up on police, prosecutors, judges and governors until finally there is action. Spurred on by an appointment hastened by Gov. Ella Grasso, Judge Joseph Dannehy conducted one of the most brilliant and thorough investigations I have ever seen. If this book were only about the Showalter case, it would be worth the price.

APPENDIX

THE SHOWALTER CHRONOLOGY – A FOUR YEAR SEARCH FOR JUSTICE


New London, Ct.

1973

December 24

Approximately 11:10 to 11:20 p.m. Kevin B. Showalter is killed. Car leaves scene. Only taillights observed by a neighbor.

There is much confusion. Mr. Showalter had been changing a tire on his companion’s car. His companion Debra Emilyta, was sitting about six feet away from the car on a stone wall.

Ms. Emilyta told police she heard a thud, but did not see the car which struck Mr. Showalter. She said she ran across the road, a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue near Plant Street, before seeing Mr. Showalter’s body.

Mr. Showalter’s body was thrown 22 feet from the believed point of impact, onto a sidewalk near a large tree. The police report prepared that night noted the deceased’s shoes were found 110 feet apart. Part of a leg bone was found 75 feet away.

Michael Buscetto of Mike’s Auto Body gives police body putty, apparently from the car which struck Mr. Showalter. The putty never made it to the police station. Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko later denies its existence.

December 25

Autopsy performed. No trace of alcohol or drugs found. Cause of death listed as lacerated liver and broken neck.

In efforts to console Mrs. Showalter, friends, neighbors, witnesses and officials volunteer information about the accident. She quietly listens for about six weeks, taking it for granted that police are acting on the same information. December 26

New London police begin full-scale search for red car.

1974

February 6

FBI report describes paint particles on Mr. Showalter’s clothing as “racing green” or “forest green” used on 1968 Chrysler products.

February 7

Mrs. Showalter notes she had the impression local police were not actively pursuing the case. She began interviewing those persons who came to her voluntarily and made a written record of her findings.

During the next three weeks, Mrs. Showalter spends much of her time making telephone calls and knocking on doors. She and her youngest son Craig, then 14, visited a number of local auto dealers and garages. She said in most cases they were told police had not made any inquiries of them.

February 28

New London police conduct first interview with Harvey N. Mallove, the downtown merchant and former mayor and city councilor. Mallove stated he drove by Pequot Avenue near Plant Street shortly before 11:15 p.m. on Christmas Eve 1973. Seven people near the accident scene contradict what he said he saw.

April 20

Mrs. Showalter writes to State’s Atty. Edmund J. O’Brien, requesting a one-man grand jury investigation into her son’s death. O’Brien never responds.

On the same day, Atty. Thomas Bishop, representing Mrs. Showalter as the administratix of Mr. Showalter’s estate, asks Atty. Joseph Moukawsher to conduct a coroner’s inquest of the hit-run death.

April 23

Moukawsher agrees to conduct inquest but must confer with New London police before setting date.

June 4

Mrs. Showalter writes to New London Police Chief John J. Crowley, asking for a progress report on the investigation by his force. Crowley neither acknowledges receipt of letter nor responds. Copies of letter were sent to City Manager C. Francis Driscoll, and Abraham Kirshenbaum, then chairman of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee.

June 10

Mrs. Showalter asks Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello to call for a grand jury investigation.

June 24

Santaniello notes Moukawsher has agreed to conduct coroner’s inquest. He tells Mrs. Showalter, “If it appears that during any stage of this proceeding that any further intercession is necessary, appropriate action will be taken at that time.”

July 2

Mrs. Showalter writes to City Manager C. Francis Driscoll, asking for a report from his office assessing the police department’s handling of the case. She also asks for a reply to her June 4 letter to Police Chief Crowley.

July 9

Driscoll tells Crowley to prepare a complete report for Mrs. Showalter.

July 10

Bucko completes report on fatal accident.

July 25

Driscoll sends Mrs. Showalter Bucko’s report. The report said Mr. Showalter’s body was in the road, but the ambulance crew which took Mr. Showalter to Lawrence Memorial Hospital said they found him on the sidewalk several feet away. No police officer ever saw the body at the scene since the first officer arrived as the body was being placed in the ambulance.

Bucko says paint particles from a 1968 Plymouth at the U.S. Naval Submarine Base in Groton are similar to those found on Mr. Showalter’s clothing, but the same paint is used on any 1968 Chrysler product.

Bucko also says a piece of metal Mrs. Showalter found near the accident scene is in the detective bureau. When Mrs. Showalter first offered the metal to police, they refused to sign a receipt for it.

August 6

Mrs. Showalter writes to Driscoll regarding Bucko’s report. She lists six pages of comments on allegedly “serious omissions” and “strictly opinion judgments” by Bucko.

Mrs. Showalter also writes to Chief State’s Atty. Joseph Gormley, asking him to send a representative to the coroner’s inquest. She includes copies of correspondence with local officials and Bucko’s report.

August 9

Mrs. Showalter requests a meeting with the City Council’s Public Safety Committee.

August 15

Bucko updates report, at request of city manager Driscoll.

Bucko said of the body location, “the position he (Mr. Showalter) was found in at the scene of the accident, in my opinion, would not help in solving this matter.” Erroneous on the report is the position of the car jack which is shown on the front bumper. The car Mr. Showalter was working on, a Ford Pinto, had to be jacked from the side of the vehicle.

Omitted from the report is the location of a car mat seen to the rear of the car and the spare tire Mr. Showalter never got to put on the car.

August 20

Gormley writes to Mrs. Showalter, telling her the local police investigation “has proceeded smoothly,” and there is “no reason for this office to initiate its own investigation.”

August 28

The Public Safety Committee of the New London City Council meets in closed session for one hour to discuss the hit-run death. Chief Crowley requested the closed session. He said there is evidence that could jeopardize future action.

Mrs. Showalter submitted a 12-page statement for the meeting, but did not attend.

Crowley said the case is not closed and it appears an arrest may be made.

August 31

Mallove submits official statement to New London police.

November, 1974

After being postponed several times, the coroner’s inquest hears testimony from 50 persons. No findings issued.

1975

January 24

A state police detective participating in the federal grand jury probe of the city police department has told one of its patrolmen they identified the driver of the car which struck and killed Mr. Showalter on Christmas Eve, 1973.

“We know who killed the Showalter kid, how come you don’t?” the detective was quoted in The Norwich Bulletin as saying.

March 19-22

The Bulletin, in a four-part series, shows:

- Eyewitnesses and what New London police called “near witnesses” drastically differed in their accounts of the accident.

- Microscopic paint particles found on Mr. Showalter’s clothing on which police based their search may not have been left by the vehicle which struck him.

- Evidence entrusted to police officers at the scene has never been seen since.

- A claim by police that it would cost as much as $1,200 to trace vehicles possible involved in the mishap was declared false by the state Motor Vehicle Department.

The Bulletin, when preparing the series of articles, made repeated efforts to discuss the case with police officials but Lt. K.T. Bucko, who headed the case, on the advice of then Police Chief John Crowley, would not.

April 3 State police conduct an extensive door-to-door inquiry in the Pequot Avenue region. State police have been looking into the case as part of a federal grand jury investigation into alleged corruption within the city force.

July 12

The state of Connecticut offers a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the hit-run death of Mr. Showalter. A total of $3,000 is now being offered. Classmates and friends of Mr. Showalter’s have already collected $1,000.

July 21

A community effort by friends and classmates raises the reward to $5,000.

November 8

The transcript of the coroner’s inquest of the hit-run death conducted nearly a year ago has yet to be typed, Coroner Joseph Moukawsher confirms. He said he wants to review the transcript even though he believes his six-day long inquest did not establish any guilt in the case. He said he has not spoken with the court reporter assigned to the case since the early summer.

December 10

Mrs. Showalter writes to State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti, requesting a one-man grand jury investigation. No response.

1976

January 6

Satti refuses to confirm or deny the existence of Mrs. Showalter’s request. Mrs. Showalter has also asked Satti’s office to ascertain the location of recorded tapes made during the coroner’s inquest.

January 9

Mrs. Showalter sends a special delivery letter to Satti asking for a response to the December 10 request. No response.

February 19

In a feature article, also carried statewide by the Associated Press, The Bulletin profiles Mrs. Showalter on page one.

Some public officials regard her as a persistent nuisance, someone to be ignored and sidestepped, but Mrs. Lucille M. Showalter will not breathe easily until they tell her who killed her son, Bulletin reporter Fred Vollono wrote.

“The official comment seems to be there is nothing to it,” Mrs. Showalter said. “It is just the ramblings of a grief-stricken mother. But there are many people who urge me to go on. They say, ‘Lucille, if you stop, then nothing will ever be done.’”

February 23

Mrs. Showalter receives a letter of confession from an inmate at Somers state prison. The inmate said he was plagued by news accounts of the death. Every time he seems to forget the accident, the inmate said, he reads another news story.

April 2

Mrs. Showalter submits a third written request to Satti for a grand-jury probe. No response.

May 6

Common Pleas court Prosecutor Harold Dean quashes the only lead in the two and a half year old investigation, The Norwich Bulletin reports. The lead was the letter of confession written by the inmate at Somers Prison. State police arrested the inmate for harassment of the victim’s mother, Mrs. Showalter, to whom the letter was sent. Dean nolled the case and allowed it to be dismissed despite a prior meeting with state police when the significance of the arrest was discussed.

State police did not believe the letter writer was responsible for the hit-run death, but they thought the letter contained possibly significant information. Dean said he was certain the accused had no knowledge of the case, because he was incarcerated when Mr. Showalter was killed.

August 7 The day following the Bulletin’s report of Dean quashing the lead, Chief State’s Atty. Joseph Gormley says he had “no idea” why the lead “which very well could have led to something,” resulted in a dead end. Two state police officers had met with Gormley to discuss the letter of confession.

August 6

State police list the investigation into the killing of Mr. Showalter as “closed pending further development.” That classification came 31 days after Dean threw the harassment case out of court.

August 30

Mrs. Showalter again asks Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello to call for a one-man grand jury probe.

September 1

Mrs. Showalter publicly renews her efforts to have a one-man grand jury reopen the investigation into the hit-run killing of her son. In a statement sent to 22 media outlets, Mrs. Showalter says she made the appeal in an August 30 letter to Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello. She says she was asking the judge to “make good on a promise” he made to her in June 1974. Santaniello wrote in a June 24, 1974 letter, Superior Court intercession would be possible if the investigation required it.

Santaniello said, “probably the proper person” to approach would be State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti. But Mrs. Showalter said she is ignoring Satti because he failed to respond to her December 1975 letter asking for the grand jury.

September 23

State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti says he needs another three weeks to review information on the killing of Mr. Showalter before deciding whether the investigation should be reopened or shelved.

Satti says he had hoped to have the matter resolved by today, but the sinking of his 35-foot cabin cruiser two weeks ago, an unexpected report of crimes by New London police, and a new trial forced him behind schedule.

November 23

Mrs. Showalter turns to Governor Ella T. Grasso for help.

“I cannot endure this loss of a beloved son in the midst of a governmental system that appears to neither act nor care,” Mrs. Showalter says in a letter to the governor.

Mrs. Showalter says she is skeptical the New London County State’s Attorney’s review of the case will result in the one-man grand jury she has requested. Satti today said he is still reviewing transcripts of the Coroner’s Inquest and refused further comment.

December 21

Just three days before the third anniversary of the killing of Kevin B. Showalter, the state’s chief court administrator orders the city’s only unsolved hit-and-run case reopened.

John P. Cotter signs an order creating a one-man jury to probe the death, renewing hopes that allegations of police bungling and mishandling of the case will be settled.

“I can’t yet believe it,” says Mrs. Showalter, calling the action a “literal miracle.”

Cotter, a justice on the state Supreme Court, selects retired Superior Court Judge Raymond J. Devlin to head the one-man grand jury.

An attorney representing Mrs. Lucille M. Showalter also files a $600,000 lawsuit against the unnamed person(s) responsible for the killing of her son. Atty. Averum J. Sprecher of East Haddam says the suit is aimed at protecting Mrs. Showalter’s rights.

“The action as I have filed it will definitively preserve her rights when the investigative bodies finally determine who killed the boy,” he said. The suit is aimed at heading off fears the state’s statute of limitations might preclude Mrs. Showalter from pursuing civil action if the killer is found.

December 24

Superior Court Judge Joseph F. Dannehy is ordered to replace State Referee Raymond J. Devlin as the one-man grand juror investigating Mr. Showalter’s death. Chief Court Administrator John P. Cotter says Judge Devlin had asked to be taken off the case because he was too busy with other duties, and would be unable to commute from his New Haven office.

1977

January 4

Austin J. McGuigan, the special prosecutor assigned to the one-man grand jury probing the hit-run death of Mr. Showalter promises to pull “all the stops” in his investigation but says he needs help from the public to succeed.

McGuigan has worked for the state for two years as the top investigator of organized crime. He appeals to anyone with information to call him confidentially.

February 8

State Police Commissioner Edward P. Leonard, as part of a last-resort effort, makes a personal appeal to area residents for information about the killing of Mr. Showalter. In a letter to the people who live near the Pequot Avenue site where Mr. Showalter died, Leonard asks for facts – “No matter how insignificant they may appear” – which might shed light on the car, the driver or the accident scene.

Special Prosecutor McGuigan says police “had no suspects.” However, he says if a suspect is found police believe there is sufficient evidence to tie the person to the case.

April 18

Investigators say they feel confident the Showalter case will be solved.

The new optimism comes after a public appeal netted more than 300 leads, new laboratory analysis of existing evidence, and an accounting of each of the more than 10,000 green Chrysler products registered in Eastern Connecticut when Mr. Showalter was killed.

The new evidence means “there is a significant possibility the vehicle in question was not a green Chrysler,” Special Prosecutor Austin McGuigan says. While the investigators will not say what other color the car might have been, the evidence apparently opens new avenues for the investigation. Previously, other theories on who drove the death car, theories which have had some substantiation, were locked into the green Chrysler theory, police acknowledge.

May 10

State police investigators spend two and a half hours recreating and filming the Pequot Avenue death scene where Mr. Showalter was the victim of the hit and run.

May 18

State police again film and re-create death scene.

June 22

The Bulletin reports that one of the most intensive investigations in state police history, the probe into Mr. Showalter’s hit-run death, will be given to a one-man grand jury July 5 in Windham county Superior Court.

Judge Joseph F. Dannehy, the grand juror, imposes a gag order on all investigators assigned to the case. Special Prosecutor McGuigan and 17 state police detectives had gathered evidence for the grand jury.

June 23

More than 50 persons will be subpoenaed and the scope of the probe will be expanded to include subsequent actions connected with the accident, The Bulletin reports.

June 24

Eleven New London police officers, including the top detective involved in the first of three investigations of the hit-run death, have been subpoenaed, The Bulletin reports.

July 5

The grand jury begins behind closed doors with testimony by New London Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko.

Outside, a television camera crew drips with sweat under the glare of a hot summer sun.

Inside it is quiet and cool – almost like any other day. The state police detectives and reporters talk about golf, baseball and other summertime activities. Because of the gag order imposed by Judge Dannehy, they can’t talk about what is most on their minds, what has brought them all together – the unsolved hit-run death of Kevin B. Showalter.

The session lasts about five hours and also includes testimony by Mrs. Showalter and Debra Emilyta, Mr. Showalter’s companion the night he died.

Ms. Emilyta has been sitting on a wall about 6 feet from Mr. Showalter when he was killed. She told police she only heard the 20-year-old Mitchell College student struck, and did not see the car which struck him.

July 6

Witnesses include Michael Buscetto of Mike’s Arco in New London. What he identified as body putty, apparently from the car that struck and killed Mr. Showalter, has never been seen since police officers placed it in an envelope that night, according to sources.

Ms. Emilyta concludes testimony.

Also testifying are Dr. Robert Weller, members of his family, and a friend, who while returning home from church drove past Mr. Showalter as he was changing the tire. They were among the last persons to see Mr. Showalter alive.

Other witnesses include Mrs. Ruth P. Hendel and Mrs. Charles (Shirley Pope) Alloway, her daughter.

On Christmas Eve, 1973, Mrs. Hendel had just turned away from the window of her home on Pequot Avenue where she had been watching Mr. Showalter work on the Emilyta car. She heard the noise of the car striking Mr. Showalter and turning back quickly she caught a glimpse of the taillights. Her first impression of the fleeing southbound car was that it was bright-colored, possibly red.

Mrs. Hendel continued to watch the accident scene as she telephoned Mrs. Alloway, the wife of a New London police officer.

Arthur Adams of New London, a Mitchell College security guard and former state policeman, also testifies. Aside from Ms. Emilyta and the hit-run driver, Adams may have been one of the last persons to see Mr. Showalter alive.

Adams saw Mr. Showalter working on the car and Ms. Emilyta sitting on the stone wall, swinging her legs. He observed the girl with a coat collar wrapped around her head, in conversation with Mr. Showalter, after the Weller party had driven by.

Adams continued on his rounds towards the Montauk Avenue side of the campus. Sometime after 11 p.m., he saw an ambulance heading for the hospital and two police cars heading down Plant Street.

July 7

Some of the last persons who saw Mr. Showalter alive and one of the first who saw him dead testify.

Six members of the Sitty family, who were celebrating Christmas Eve and occasionally watching Mr. Showalter change a tire from inside a house on Pequot Avenue, tell the grand jury what they knew about the case, Edmond Sitty had brought out a blanket and a corduroy coat to put over Mr. Showalter’s body after he had been struck and killed.

A New London High School classmate of Mr. Showalter, Arthur Petrini, was a passenger in a car that passed the accident scene sometime after Mr. Showalter was killed and before the ambulance and police arrived. He also testified.

July 12

Witnesses included two firemen and a dispatcher, two nurses and an orderly, the New London County Medical Examiner, the first man to officially identify Mr. Showalter, and a woman who lives near the accident scene.

Larry Grimes, a security guard who knew Mr. Showalter from Mitchell College, had made the preliminary identification at Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals, where he also worked. Mrs. Dorothy Bryson of Pequot Avenue, who came upon the accident scene, also testifies.

July 13

New London police officers pack the waiting room of the Windham County Courthouse. Of the 11 who were subpoenaed last month, at least seven are present.

The 11 include Patrolmen Vincent McGrath, Steven Colonis, Thomas P. Bowes Jr., and Cpl. Joseph Chiapponne, all of whom were involved in the initial investigation. With the change of shift, Sgt. Joseph Jullarine, Patrolmen Richard West and Glenn Davis and Det. Sgt. Konstanty T. Bucko joined the probe. Bucko was off duty at the time.

McGrath filed the motor vehicle report of the accident and the sketch on the report was by Bowes. Bucko took photographs of the scene and gathered evidence. His photographs may be the only ones taken. Bucko also went to the hospital and got the victim’s clothing, according to sources.

Colonis, the first officer on the scene, apparently arrived as Mr. Showalter was being placed in the ambulance. He interviewed Ms. Emilyta and took her to the station to file a 13-sentence statement.

There is some confusion of whether Colonis drove an unmarked police car that night. Sources say police made conflicting statements on that question.

July 14

Thomas Wainwright, who played tennis with Kevin Showalter at New London High, saw his lifeless body on a sidewalk on Pequot Avenue before an ambulance or police arrived, and is among those testifying today. Arthur Petrini, who testified last week, was a passenger in Wainwright’s car.

Mr. and Mrs. Donald Wainwright, who were stopped by police after circling the scene in another auto, also testify.

At least seven New London police officers are at the courthouse, but it is not known how many are testifying.

July 19

The grand jury shifts beyond reconstructions by “near witnesses,” as Sgt. Joseph Jullarine, now retired, testifies. He was the squad leader who reportedly conducted “an intensive investigation” for a red car during the 11:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. shift on Christmas Day 1973.

July 20

The grand jury investigators spend much of the day alone reviewing physical evidence and testimony. Only three witnesses – New London police who have already appeared during the proceedings – are present.

July 21

Det. Bucko appears for at least the fourth time in the nine days the grand jury has convened. The session begins at 10 a.m. and ends about 5:45 p.m., with his departure.

A nurse’s aide who knelt by Mr. Showalter’s body, feeling for a pulse, also testifies, Sue Costello, who heard the report of an accident as she was leaving Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals in New London from her shift, had arrived on the scene before ambulance personnel and police.

July 26

The scope of the grand jury probe goes beyond Mr. Showlater’s death and runs smack into a crucial area of dispute with the appearance of New London police detective Walter Petchark.

On Christmas Day 1973, with evidence already missing and news of Mr. Showalter’s death on the radio, Petchark reportedly received a call from former mayor Harvey N. Mallove. Mallove later told The Bulletin there was no truth to the report. But he allegedly told Petchark he thought he saw the accident the night before.

Three city police detectives – Bucko, Petchark, and Carmello Fazzina – were present at the inquiry. They were followed by laboratory technicians from the FBI, who lent their expertise in the analysis of headlight glass possibly belonging to the death vehicle.

July 27

The former counsel for the estate of Mr. Showalter testifies. Atty. Thomas Bishop confirms his representation of the estate was severed in June 1974.

Thomas and Donald Wainwright return for further testimony.

July 28

Witnesses include Mrs. S.F. Zimet of Ledyard. Mallove said he was visiting at her home on Christmas Eve 1973, left about 10:45 p.m., and was home in New London about half an hour later.

Mrs. Zimet is accompanied by her attorney, L. Patrick Gray. Gray, like Bishop, is a member of the New London law firm Suissman, Shapiro, Wool, and Brennan.

Other witnesses include New London city Manager C. Francis Driscoll and Elise Mallove, Mallove’s daughter. Miss Mallove was home for her Christmas vacation in 1973.

The grand jury begins a four-week recess. More than 50 persons were called during the first 12 days of the inquiry.

August 30

New London police investigators and a newspaper editor who has followed their unsolved hit-run death case for three years are among the witnesses.

Retired Police Chief John Crowley and Det. Lt. K.T. Bucko, who refused repeated pleas by The Bulletin in March of 1975 to discuss the death of Kevin B. Showalter, gives testimony – as did the paper’s managing editor, John C. Peterson.

Peterson testifies for three hours.

August 31

The attorney who conducted a coroner’s inquest into Mr. Showalter’s death, the results of which have never met public scrutiny, is the first witness today. Atty. Joseph Moukwasher, who heard testimony from 50 witnesses during six days in September and November of 1974, is one of the few persons familiar with the substance of that investigation.

It took more than two years for the transcripts of the hearings to be typed and submitted to State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti.

State Police Sgt. Donald Crouch, who in 1974 and 1975 worked for the federal grand jury investigating alleged corruption in the New London force, also testifies. Other witnesses included Rosemary Benson and Carol James.

September 1

Physical exhibits appear to outnumber witnesses in the 15th day of proceedings. Two state police technicians from the crime lab in Bethany carry satchels concealing evidence into the closed courtroom. One exhibit is a light colored automobile fender, which was dented and streaked.

September 2

Det. Edward Pickett of the New London County State’s Attorney’s office, who helped administer a lie detector test to Ms. Emilyta, testifies. Ms. Emilyta passed the test.

Another detective, private investigator Joe Harris, is also called. A former Waterford police sergeant, he worked on the case for a brief time, on his own.

Other witnesses in a short session include State Police Sgt. Charles Trotter, a principal investigator in the federal grand jury probe of the New London city police.

September 12

Two persons who saw Mr. Showalter on Christmas Eve 1973, hours before he was killed testify.

Ramona Ricci, a coworker of Mr. Showalter’s at a Waterford discotheque, attended one of two parties Mr. Showalter had planned to go to after work that night. Nancy Wicksham, who also testified, had joined friends that holiday evening at the club.

September 18

Mallove says his status as a suspect in the case is “nothing new.” During testimony in a New Jersey courtroom, Connecticut State Police revealed Mallove is a prime suspect in the hit-run case. The testimony concerned refusal by two New Jersey men to comply with a subpoena issued by the one-man grand jury. Trooper Charles Wargat also testified he was told the two men repaired Mallove’s car on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day 1973.

Mallove tells The Bulletin he did not know the men and never had a car repaired at their shop on Reed Street in New London. He says he didn’t kill Mr. Showalter and doesn’t know anything about anybody who did.

September 19

One of the two men who testified with immunity today has said in a published account he has no knowledge of the case and denied any car was repaired in his New London shop on Christmas Eve 1973.

Walter String Jr. made those comments in the New Jersey Courier Post. He and his son, Walter String III, had been ordered to appear today by a New Jersey judge, after refusing to comply with a subpoena.

Among the dozen or so witnesses are New London city police Sgt. Donald Sloan and Cpl. Charles Alloway. They took the first full statement from Ms. Emilyta, five days after the accident.

September 26

Darlene Barnes, a friend of Mr. Showalter who patronized the Waterford discotheque where he worked, is among the witnesses today. Ms. Barnes was also one of the 50 witnesses during the coroner’s inquest of 1974.

October 3

Larry Grimes testifies again. The Mitchell College security guard who made the first identification of Mr. Showalter at Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals, was also at the courthouse on July 12, and Sept. 26.

The grand jury will be in recess until October 17. It has convened 20 times since July 5 and heard about 90 witnesses.

October 11

Judge Dannehy says published reports that Mallove is a prime suspect in the case “couldn’t bother me in the least.”

“They (the newspapers) are free to speculate if they wish,” Dannehy says. “I am not concerned with their claimed right to freedom of expression.

I think that sometimes their attitude is to publish and be damned, but they don’t bother me.”

“Why don’t you wait” for the grand jury report? Dannehy asked.

October 17

The sales manager of a New London auto firm who said he has sold a number of cars to the family of a suspect in the hit-run case testifies.

In 1970, Peter Emmanuel Sr. of New London Motors sold a Lincoln Continental to Harvey N. Mallove, whom state police have identified as a suspect in the Christmas Eve, 1973 death. A compact car was among the other autos the New London firm sold to Mallove.

State police were looking for a green Chrysler product when they first questioned New London motors personnel, Emmanuel said before he testified. But the firm didn’t sell Mallove such a vehicle, which police had believed was the death car, he added.

October 24

The grand jury does not convene today because the investigators were not ready to proceed, Judge Dannehy said. He said he plans to conduct several more sessions before adjourning to write the final report, but did not specify.

November 14

The grand jury meets for its first regular session since October 17 and hears one witness. The witness, Gary Jordan of New London, said he was dating Elise Mallove on Christmas Eve 1973.

Sources say the grand jury conducted at least one special session since October 17, but it was not known who testified.

November 21

State police continue working long and irregular hours probing Mr. Showalter’s death as they re-create the hit-run scene on Pequot Avenue near Plant Street for at least the third time.

November 29

The man whom state police have said they consider a prime suspect in New London’s only unsolved hit-run death has his day in court.

Harvey N. Mallove testifies for about four hours before the secret grand jury probing Mr. Showalter’s death. Atty. Leo J. McNamara accompanies Mallove to the Windham County Courthouse.

Mallove says he was one of a number of persons who drove by the accident scene shortly before or after Mr. Showalter was killed. But a four-part series by The Bulletin in March of 1975 showed Mallove saw a scene that seven other persons said could not have taken place.

Mallove passed the accident scene within a minute or two after an ambulance call was logged. His statement to New London police – dated eight months later – conflicts with accounts of seven persons at the scene or looking out their windows seconds after Mr. Showalter was struck.

Mr. Showalter was struck by a car as he changed a tire on a friend’s parked Ford Pinto, on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue near Plant Street.

In his statement, Mallove said he saw an automobile parked at an angle in front of the Pinto. None of the seven persons saw any car stopped at the scene immediately after the victim was hit according to the July 10, 1974 report by New London Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko.

Mallove’s vivid description of a middle-aged man talking with a girl near the car also conflicts with statements by the seven persons.

In his statement, Mallove said he assumed the man was a member of the police department. But Bucko claims in the July 10 report that Mallove told him the talking to the girl was “NOT” a policeman.

Bucko’s report also claims Mallove learned on Christmas Day 1974 that “a man had been killed and he remarked to some people that he saw the body.” But Bucko continued to report that after Mallove viewed photographs of the scene he realized what he mistook for a body was a floor mat. In his statement, Mallove said he saw a “flat object which I assumed was a blanket or a mat.”

In his August 31, 1974 statement, Mallove said, “Seeing no trouble, accident, or any evidence of anything out of place…I continued on my way home.”

In the July 10, 1974 report, Bucko claims; “Mr. Mallove stated he was going to stop because he realized there had been an accident.”

Mallove has told The Bulletin that Bucko misquoted him.

December 7

The calling of witnesses ends with Mallove’s second appearance.

The proceedings included a film screening, apparently of the death scene as re-created by state police.

After the 35 minute screening, Special Prosecutor McGuigan and Judge Dannehy questioned Mallove for about 40 minutes. That was the bulk of the afternoon session.

The question of whether indictments should be handed down in New London’s only unsolved hit-run death now rests with Judge Dannehy.

After 24 sessions and more than 100 witnesses, Dannehy said the next step for the grand jury is the final report on who killed Kevin B. Saltwater.

1978

Feb. 17 Report filed.

Feb. 22

Report made public.

  • THE DANNEHY REPORT


  • SHOWALTER COVERUP COLUMNS

    Chapter 1

    Law and Justice in Everyday Life

    Cover-Up In New London

    Hit-And-Run Continues To Mock Justice


    Sept. 4, 2000

    If Connecticut Chief State’s Attorney John Bailey wants to bring closure to cold cases, here’s one from New London that should top the list: The Showalter hit-and-run cover-up is a dark chapter in Connecticut history, a tale more appropriate for a Third World country.

    And yet, only one thing bothers former New London County State’s Attorney C. Robert Satti about the Showalter case: that it was investigated at all.

    Satti, now retired, made the point again and again, most recently this year. Satti’s complaint, made during the wake of the late state police Detective George Ryalls, was that Ryalls’ obituary mentioned the suspect the prosecutor refused to pursue in the Showalter probe.

    Kevin B. Showalter, a 20-year-old Mitchell College student, was killed at 11:12 p.m. on Christmas Eve 1973. He was changing a tire on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue on the New London shoreline when he was struck and killed. His girlfriend, sitting only 6 feet away on a stone wall, claims she saw nothing.

    Auto body putty from the death car disappeared after a tow truck driver gave it to New London police. The evidence file that was supposed to contain the putty was stuffed with bathroom tiles. The file that was supposed to contain headlight glass from the death car instead contained glass from three different headlights. State police and others suspected that, in order to throw legitimate investigators off the trail, the late young man's clothing was pounded on a different-colored car than the one that killed him.

    The victim's mother, Lucille M. Showalter, tried to get a grand jury investigation of the cover-up. She was rebuffed repeatedly by the presiding judge, Angelo Santaniello who, it later became clear, was best friends with the leading suspect. Santaniello then referred Showalter to prosecutor Satti, who happened to be his former law partner. Satti refused to acknowledge registered letters from Mrs. Showalter pleading for a grand jury probe.

    Satti did finally meet with Mrs. Showalter in 1978, after Judge Joseph Dannehy of Willimantic, acting as a one-man grand jury, named former New London Mayor Harvey N. Mallove as the probable driver of the hit-run vehicle. Satti called the three-hour meeting, in which he repeatedly told Mrs. Showalter that there never should have been a grand jury investigation under Dannehy.

    Mallove held a good hand; he had the best legal muscle in New London County on his side. New London police would not question him for more than seven months, and then only in a perfunctory manner. They would say they inspected his cars, but they did not. Significantly, Mallove’s Lincoln had been repaired, but it wasn’t until state police took over the case four years after the accident that the fender was finally seized.

    Santaniello would arrange for a coroner’s inquest and put his niece in charge of typing the transcript. Only after two years of intense public pressure would the transcript be typed. But the inquest never issued a finding.

    Santaniello tipped off Mallove that he was a suspect. The judge was also aware of what local police knew about the case. Mrs. Showalter memorialized the admissions in tape-recorded telephone conversations.

    “I did talk to Harvey,” Santaniello told Mrs. Showalter on Oct. 17, 1975, “and I said, `You’re suspected.’ As a matter of fact, at that time a police officer came to him on the same day or the next day, and told him you were making accusations about him and that he was a prime suspect.” The day before, Mallove told Mrs. Showalter, “Judge Santaniello is of the opinion that you fingered me.”

    It was not until 1977 that state police, who took over the case at the behest of former Gov. Ella Grasso, formally named Mallove a suspect. Next week, I'll propose a means to solve the Showalter cover-up.

    Showalter Cover-Up Is New London's Shame

    Sept. 11, 2000

    New London, where I grew up and began working in the 1960s and ‘70s, was a dirty little city with character.

    It had a restaurant called the Hygienic that was everything but. There were at least a couple bars where the cops couldn't do anything, except maybe a little business.

    The top pimp in town never went to jail until he was about 60 and a certain court official retired.

    New London will always be the city that tried to cover up the Christmas Eve 1973 hit-and-run death of Kevin B. Showalter. It's been doing a pretty good job for nearly 27 years, but the onion is beginning to peel.

    The local daily newspaper admitted -- in its official history published this year -- that it did a shoddy job on the Showalter case. Specifically, The Day admitted its failure to explore the relationship between a former mayor and a top judge, and their influence on the course of the criminal investigation. That’s a beginning.

    Political and police corruption goes back a couple generations in New London. By the 1970s, New London police were widely known to be involved in the selling of women, dope and refrigerators, among other things. A federal grand jury took note. But as with the Showalter case, there were these little problems with the evidence.

    A jewelry store owner and former city mayor multi-millionaire Harvey Mallove was the prime suspect in the hit-and-run death of Showalter, a student at Mitchell College. Showalter’s date that night, Christmas Eve 1973, said she saw nothing from her vantage point six feet away, sitting on a stone wall under a streetlight on a residential street as a young man changed the tire of her car.

    Harvey was everybody’s pal. He would take kids to the Super Bowl, then, down the road, get them jobs as cops. He was friends with bums in the street and bums in high political office. He was wired. The standing joke among reporters became: Harvey's a great guy to have a beer with, just don't change your tire if he's driving by.

    “I didn't kill the kid in any way, shape or form,” Harvey told me many times. As mayor, Harvey helped hire a few police chiefs. His best friend was the administrative judge for the county; that was the judge who controlled the early stages of the investigation, specifically a coroner’s inquest that never issued a finding.

    State police followed up a report that Mallove’s best friend, County Administrative Judge Angelo G. Santaniello, was with Mallove on Christmas Eve 1973. Santaniello reportedly was No. 11 on a guest list for a party at the home of his political mentor, the late state Sen. Peter Mariani. The Mariani party was one of two Mallove attended that night.

    Santaniello told reporters he never went out on Christmas Eve.

    Another state judge, Joseph F. Dannehy, conducted two grand jury investigations. In 1978, Dannehy named Mallove as the probable driver of the hit-run vehicle, but said evidence that might have ensured conviction was either mishandled or destroyed.

    Mallove died a few years ago with this legacy. Others still have time to come clean and tell the truth about the cover-up. Mrs. Showalter tried unsuccessfully to have Satti, Santaniello and others prosecuted for hindrance of prosecution (CGS Section 53a-166) warning of impending discovery, providing means of avoiding discovery, preventing discovery by deception. Because a conspiracy to hinder prosecution is an ongoing crime, those with information could tell Chief State's Attorney John Bailey, who has begun an initiative to solve some of the state's cold homicide cases.

    Isn’t it time? No one kept the system honest when it counted, though some tried. Most stood by as the system that was supposed to protect the victim and his family betrayed them all.

    Where is the conscience of the community?

    Cold Case On Ice Forever

    Nov. 6, 2000

    One way to deflect attention from a suspect is to get investigators involved in meaningless, time-consuming tasks. Another way is to create a bogus suspect who is then exposed as such, causing a belief that the case is just too hazy to pursue.

    Both of these devices were used repeatedly in the cover-up of the Showalter hit-run case in New London. Whether this was happenstance, indifference, incompetence or malfeasance, the result was the same. The system failed.

    And now, it seems, the truth will remain buried forever.

    Judge Joseph F. Dannehy, the grand juror who investigated the case, wrote in his finding of fact: “After December 25, 1973, the New London Police Department did virtually nothing to solve the hit-run death of Kevin B. Showalter.” The accident occurred the night before.

    Local police and court officials, however, were pro-active in another sense. Their actions served to protect the assailant.

    For example, New London police claimed it would cost as much as $1,200 to trace vehicles using data from the state Motor Vehicle Department. The motor vehicle department declared there was no such charge.

    Nevertheless, New London police spent their time hand-sorting local motor vehicle cards. They looked for a green Chrysler. That was likely a false lead; state police said paint particles found on the victim's clothing did not come from the car that killed him.

    Former Mayor Harvey Mallove began meeting informally with police and court officials as early as Dec. 25, 1973. Mallove wanted to know what the police knew.

    The only lead after two and a half years was quashed by then New London Common Pleas Court Prosecutor Harold Dean in May 1976. The lead was a letter of confession written by a Somers prison inmate to the victim’s mother, Lucille Showalter.

    “I told Harold how important that was to me,” Mallove, the prime suspect, confided to an associate. He also acknowledged discussing the purported confession with his best friend, the presiding judge for the county, Angelo Santaniello.

    The author of the letter was known to be connected with “fences,” or purveyors of stolen goods in the New London area. State police arrested him for harassment of Mrs. Showalter. Two state troopers met with Dean for an hour. They told him the letter contained possibly significant information. State police also believed they could connect the dots in New London between the letter writer and the powers-that-be. Did he owe some favors? Was he paid? Police knew the author had no liability for the accident; he was actually in Florida at the time of the hit-run.

    Dean nolled and dismissed the case without telling the troopers or Mallove. Soon thereafter, state police listed the killing of Showalter as “closed pending further development.” Upon learning of Dean's action, Chief State's Attorney Joseph Gormley remarked he had “no idea” why the lead, “which very well could have led to something,” resulted in a dead end. The case would remain closed for six months, until Gov. Ella Grasso brought the matter to Justice John Cotter.

    Was there criminal activity connected with the Showalter cover-up? It appears we will never know for certain. Dannehy named Mallove as the probable driver, noting that evidence which might have ensured conviction was destroyed. The Chief State’s Attorney’s Office reviewed aspects of the case this fall after a series of columns appeared in The Law Tribune. However, the statute of limitations for the most likely potential charge, conspiracy to hinder prosecution of motor vehicle misconduct, has expired. This shameful case, it appears, is destined to stay on ice forever.

    - AND:

    Olympic Gold for Missing Evidence


    November 28, 2005

    Judge Ellen Gordon was in way over her head with what she tried pass off as a ruling in Day Publishing v. State's Attorney.

    Clueless Gordon was handed a hot one, a case no one has ever wanted in the so-called New London Judicial District. Every single time this case has come to court, begging for justice, The Robes, the prosecutors and their minions have either desecrated their oaths or looked the other way. Clueless Gordon, fairly new to the scene, has managed to join the list of those who are both ostriches and failures.

    The Day newspaper asked Gordon this year to release the grand jury testimony regarding the cover-up of the 1973 hit-run death of Kevin Showalter. Before Gordon probably ever heard of Showalter, five New London County judges recused themselves from a John Doe civil suit against the driver because they were friends with the prime suspect, Harvey Mallove. Mallove -- the late mayor of New London and multimillionaire jeweler who picked police chiefs, planned to run for Congress and starred in the social scene -- was prone to say, "I never killed the kid -- in any way, shape or form."

    It's not like we could expect a New London judge to show guts or brains in this case. Compelling testimony from the first of two grand juries implicated local law enforcement and court officials in a widespread cover-up.

    On Christmas Eve 1973 at 11:12 p.m., as the call came in, a high-ranking New London officer, said, "F--k him, he's dead," and then left to go home. Showalter, a 20-year-old Mitchell College student, lay dead on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue by the shoreline. His body was thrown 22 feet from the point of impact. His shoes were found 110 feet apart. A leg bone was 75 feet away.

    A tow truck driver gave police auto body putty from the death car. The putty was never seen again. New London police mixed headlight glass from at least three different cars in what they called the evidence file. Replacing the auto body putty was bathroom tile. A local coroner's inquest never issued a finding. State police, who took over the case at the behest of Gov. Ella Grasso, were bewildered and angry when they could not find the transcript of the coroner's inquest. Mallove's best friend -- the presiding judge for the county, Angelo G. Santaniello -- had put his niece in charge of typing that transcript. Santaniello also tipped off Mallove to his status as a suspect.

    Now, Clueless Gordon can't find the 3,000-page transcript of the first grand jury. Does she care? Court clerks allegedly performed a diligent search. Would any reasonable person believe or accept any of this?

    Among the last persons known to possess the grand jury report was the late State's Attorney, C. Robert Satti. Satti, who refused to investigate the case before a special prosecutor was appointed, claimed he returned a copy to the grand juror, then Willimantic Superior Court Judge (later Supreme Court Justice) Joseph Dannehy. Both Dannehy and Satti are dead. Did "Do Nothing Bob" -- Mallove's moniker for Satti -- take it with him? We might as well ask Harvey, also dead, or Kevin.

    Gordon's pathetic decision, dated Nov. 7, went on for about a sentence before its first fatal error. It might sound like a technical error, but it's much, much more than that. She actually said New London police investigated the case.

    Before this, I thought it might take generations to remove the stench from the New London courthouse. Alas, for New London, the stench of this cover-up is forever.


    Find & Open
    the Showalter File

  • Hartford Courant Editorial








  • more COOL JUSTICE








  •            Mandatory Reporting Law on Sexual Abuse Not So Mandatory -- Especially for Prep Schools / Abysmal Failures Noted on So-Called Background Checks        

    NEW:
    Mandatory Reporting [NOT Really] Column
    on Sexual Abuse Cases Generates Range of Comments


    Meriden Record-Journal Post 7-18-17 Follows Hearst CT [links below]
    & Cool Justice Blog 6-4-17


  • Column via Record-Journal

  • Facebook Tag Leads to Comments




  • State Reports Only 14 Arrests & Four Convictions in Past Seven Years
    Statute of Limitations Just One Year for This Misdemeanor








    By Andy Thibault
    The Cool Justice Report
    http://cooljustice.blogspot.com/
    June 4, 2017









    Editor's Note: This column may be reprinted or re-posted courtesy of The Cool Justice Report http://cooljustice.blogspot.com.

    Connecticut has been a very safe place to avoid arrest and prosecution for failing to report sexual abuse -- especially if you're a teacher or administrator at a prep school.

    That's just part of the picture.

    Suppose you lose your teaching job after being accused of rape. Just don't put that job on your resume. You'll be fine for perhaps a decade or more. It also helps to amend your full name on the resume. Supposed background checks will fail to detect resume gaps and irregularities.

    But what about that mandatory reporting law compelling teachers and administrators to report suspected abuse to the state? No problem. It hasn't been enforced with any great enthusiasm at the preps: No report, no warning for future employers or victims.

    The revelations come after a series of articles by The Boston Globe Spotlight Team and an investigation by the powerhouse law firm Covington & Burling for Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford. The Globe found that abuse victims routinely suffered retaliation at private schools in New England. The schools in turn covered up the abuse. Choate, for example, failed to report abuse incidents prior to 2010.

    A spokeswoman for Connecticut courts told The Cool Justice Report there were just 14 arrests in the state for failing to report sexual abuse from January 2010 through late April 2017. During the same time, there were only four convictions, according to the data provided via the state Judicial Department. One of the convictions was of a day care operator. No additional data was available immediately.

    There is only a one-year statute of limitations for failure to report sexual abuse claims, and that crime is a misdemeanor. Connecticut Deputy Chief State's Attorney Len Boyle said in a statement there are no plans to try to change that, but he noted there is a five-year statute of limitations for a felony charge if prosecutors are able to cite willfulness or other aggravating factors. Willfulness, like intent, carries with it a significant burden of proof.

    "The one-year statute of limitations," Boyle said, "is largely consistent with the limitations periods for all crimes (i.e.: one year for a misdemeanor and five years for a felony). We have not sought to lengthen it. The more egregious cases of failure to report (willfulness, gross negligence, etc.) are felonies and provide a five year limitations period."

    Boyle's office is investigating whether anyone at Choate broke the law by failing to report suspected abuse, The Hartford Courant reported in April.

    Among the 12 teachers accused of abuse in the Choate report, one went on to become a teacher and administrator at several public schools in Connecticut. He was able to avoid detection partly by amending his name and omitting two teaching jobs at private schools -- Choate and The Gunnery, in Washington, CT -- on his resume. The resume, obtained under Connecticut's Freedom of Information law, also shows some overlap for jobs at public schools in Connecticut and New York.

    This teacher / administrator, Jaime E. Rivera, aka Jaime Rivera-Murillo, resigned as principal of Wamogo High School in Litchfield in April. Before that, he was a teacher and assistant principal at Newtown High School for about 11 years. The first teaching job listed on his resume was at Henry Abbot Technical High School in Danbury, beginning in 2001. That leaves a seven-year gap following his graduation from St. Michael's College in Vermont, where he reported earning a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language.

    The Covington & Burling report says Rivera-Murillo was fired after being accused of anally raping one student and grabbing the breast of another during a Choate field trip to Costa Rica in 1999. Rivera, a faculty leader for the trip, denied engaging in sexual misconduct but admitting drinking alcohol including beer with students and "local moonshine" with others.

    Choate did not report the alleged assaults at the time as required by law. The alleged rape victim told the Covington & Burling team that a female administrator admonished students not to discuss what happened.

    The process for vetting resumes at Connecticut public schools like Wamogo and Newtown high schools and Abbot Tech seems to be check the boxes and wave the guy through with barely a pretense of scrutiny. This abysmal failure of diligence and critical thinking should be alarming to students, parents and all taxpayers.

    "He didn't list Choate as a former employer when he applied," Christine Chinni, the lawyer for Regional District 6 which includes Wamogo, told The Boston Globe.

    District 6 Superintendent Edward Drapp, asked about the committee of 12 that reviewed Rivera-Murillo's credentials and the review process, declined to discuss his procedures for background checks. Besides the resume, which he produced after a formal FOI request, Drapp was also asked to provide documents related to that review committee. Here is Drapp's response: "Attached is a copy of Mr. Rivera's resume. This is the only document in the district's possession that meets the criteria of your FOI request. For the remainder of the school year I will be focused on the students and therefore I am not doing any additional interviews or making any other statements on this matter."

    Drapp's response sounds like the result of bad coaching from an inept lawyer. The assertion that there are no documents regarding the review committee is not credible. Are we to believe the review committee never had a meeting?

    The Globe reported in April that the sexual misconduct at Choate occurred from 1963 to 2010 and ranged from intimate kissing to groping and sexual intercourse. The Covington & Burling report cites 12 teachers. Other Globe stories cited more than 100 private schools in New England with more than 300 former students saying they faced sexual abuse or harassment.

    Just last month, The Kent School was sued and accused of failing to report a 49-year-old teacher who had sex with a 15-year-old student in the late 1980s.

    The student claims her advisor scolded her for spreading vicious rumors. Another teacher allegedly told the student she was a sinner for committing adultery. The suit claims the abuse was widely known at the school and that the student was shunned, called "obviously crazy" and blamed for the teacher's breakdown. During a church service the student attended at the school, the suit asserts, Kent staff openly prayed for the teacher's well being. The teacher subsequently got a job at a private school in Indiana.

    Kent School, founded in 1906, charges more than $60,000 annually for tuition, board and fees.

    Rev. Richardson Schell, the headmaster, said in a statement: "We do not know why [the student] has elected to pursue a lawsuit at this time."

    Schell opened the statement by saying he had reviewed the complaint: " ... I am deeply sorry for the wrongful actions of the former Kent teacher who engaged in an inappropriate relationship with this former student ... as the Headmaster of the school then, I responded immediately and to the best of my ability."

    The statement does not address the school's duty to report the alleged abuse in a timely manner.

    Notably, Schell undertook a massive letter writing campaign some years later when he was annoyed by what he called a TV sitcom's "obnoxious, objectionable content." His letter writing campaign netted responses from 17 companies and he also reached out to publications including Advertising Age and Media Week to generate publicity regarding his concerns about popular culture, The New York Times reported.

    Finally, on the national front, The Associated Press reported that a former president of Penn State and two other former university administrators were each sentenced Friday to at least two months in jail for failing to alert authorities to a 2001 allegation against ex-assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, a decision that enabled the now-convicted serial predator to continue molesting boys.

    Thibault, a private investigator for the Hartford office of Integrated Security Services http://www.intesecurity.com/, is the author of a second collection of newspaper columns, “more COOL JUSTICE” http://morecooljustice.com/, credited with helping to free a woman unjustly convicted of first degree murder. His public service includes four years on a local board of education. Follow him on Twitter @cooljustice.









  • The Choate Report










  • Short version of column
    Via Hearst CT dailies


  • Danbury News Times


  • Connecticut Post


  • Norwalk Hour


  • Greenwich Time


  • Stamford Advocate







  • more COOL JUSTICE







  •           Reprise: Ongoing Cover-Up in Badaracco Homicide, Dog Killers, RFK 2nd Shooter & Many Other Matters in the Public Interest        

  • Complete list of SPJ winners


  • 'Therefore whatever you have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which you have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed on the housetops.'
    - Luke 12:3







    Finalists,
    CT SPJ Contest, 2016


  • Complete list


  • Annual dinner


  • Dinner highlight:
  • Diane Smith and Maureen Croteau to be inducted into Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame



  • Partial List of Finalists

    Courts/Crime
    Regional B




    Hartford won’t indemnify cops in killing of child’s dog; Officers’ personal assets attached; CTNewsJunkie; Andy Thibault
  • Complete article


  • Crime levels are surging in Plainfield; Norwich Bulletin; John Penney

    'Problem pockets' worry residents; Stamford Advocate; Nelson Oliveira, John Nickerson

    Lawyers have personal, professional reasons to help Community Speaks Out fight opioid crisis; The Day; Karen Florin

    Bones, tissue, teeth: Small details help investigators identify remains; The Day; Lindsay Boyle

    General Column
    Regional B




    Andy Thibault Cool Justice: Pretend investigations the norm in Badaracco homicide for 32 years; Litchfield County Times; Andy Thibault

  • Complete Article




  • Andy Thibault Cool Justice: Important questions about a homicide are ignored or deflected; Litchfield County Times;

  • Complete Article




  • Cool Justice: How judges and prosecutors circle the wagons to shaft public, protect themselves; Litchfield County Times;

  • Complete Article



  • Rabbi a man for all seasons, all people; News-Times; Brian Koonz

    Why would women vote for a misogynist? ; News-Times; Jacqueline Smith

    High noon in the wild west town of Bethel; News-Times; Jeff Gewert

    Police drug testing not a routine thing; Norwich Bulletin; Brendan Cox

    MPD secrecy standard procedure; Record-Journal; Eric Cotton

    Judge’s ruling says state must re-invent town-by-town system of schools; Record-Journal; Glenn Richter

    We’ve just made the wrong person president; Record-Journal; Glenn Richter

    Football is great, but is it worth the health risks? ; Record-Journal; Jeffery Kurz

    Coping with President Trump; Stamford Advocate; Jeff Gewert

    Biggest little fan meets Moriah; The Chronicle; Jennifer Lemanski

    The Coast Guard museum has no parking plan; The Day; David Collins

    Why was seizure-prone Sen. Maynard driving? ; The Day; David Collins

    In-Depth
    Regional B

    No place to play in western Greenwich; Greenwich Time; Emilie Munson





    Cool Justice: RFK Jr. points to forensic evidence of second gunman in his father’s assassination; Litchfield County Times; Andy Thibault

  • Complete Article




  • Year after Nina Coe’s disappearance from Middletown, family pleads for answers; Middletown Press; Cassandra Day

    Plight of low-wage workers worsens; News-Times; Rob Ryser

    Hihchey, Bilda went on $340,000 trip; Norwich Bulletin; Ryan Blessing

    Over decade, many NPU salaries jump 40%; Norwich Bulletin; Ryan Blessing

    Family devastated by loss of ‘hero’ mom killed in Meriden hit-and-run; Record-Journal; Leigh Tauss

    Pedestrians, bicyclists prohibited from accessing new trail through Wallingford condo complex; Record-Journal; Leigh Tauss

    Man who shot at Meriden mosque comes full circle as prison term approaches; Record-Journal; Mike Savino

    We were children, I wasn't the only victim; Stamford Advocate; Amanda Cuda

    Stamford's surging development demolishes old homes; Stamford Advocate; Liz Skalka

    Damning report details DCF failure in near-starvation of Groton toddler; The Day; Deborah Straszheim

    Navy gets under sailors’ skin; The Day; Julia Bergman

    Norwalk works to keep Millennials coming; The Hour; Kaitlyn Krasselt, Robert Koch







  • more COOL JUSTICE








  •           The worlds energy crisis        
    The world’s energy crisis The world is gradually marching towards a severe energy crisis, what with an ever-increasing demand of energy overstepping its supply. We have always known that the energy we use everyday is not unlimited, yet we take it for granted. Oil, gas, power, even water has limited availability. Yet, we have not taken enough precautions to deal with a possible energy crisis. When I say ‘we’, I am not referring to the governments but to all of us, the common people.

    Oil and gas have already become too expensive, and with each passing day, they are moving towards being extinct. Some ignorant people think that energy crisis is a myth. They fail to see the big picture. There have been three major energy crises so far – the 1973 oil crisis, the 1979 energy crisis, and the 1990 oil-price hike, apart from several regional crisis. Prices have been rapidly increasing for the last five years, thanks to the ever-increasing demand and the increasing shortage of energy resources. How soon will it be all gone?
    Are the cynics right in saying that we are making a mountain of a molehill, or is the energy crisis for real? Picture this: We have already exhausted 50 percent of the available oil. At the current rate of consumption, the rest of the oil will finish in 32 years! Imagine if the rate of consumption increases! We all know it is bound to increase. So, even the present generation will face an acute energy crisis in the later years, let alone future generations.

    What are we doing about it? Are we equipped to face the impending energy crisis? What can you and I do to tackle it? For starters, we need to understand the importance of energy in our lives and stop taking it for granted. We have to minimize the use of oil, gas, electricity, or any other fuel. We cannot afford to waste any available energy. It is also important to spread awareness about limited availability of energy resources. Simple things like joining a car pool, switching off car engines at traffic lights, and minimizing the use of gas and oil in everyday activities will help a long way in crisis-readiness.

    What are the alternate energy options?
    As a responsible world citizen, start looking for alternate energy solutions like solar energy and wind energy. Employing these alternate power solutions is extremely feasible and cost-effective. You will not only cut down your power bills but also contribute to a better future of the world.

    Make power at home with solar and wind energy to eliminate your power bill. Get our complete guide at www.renewableenergyrescources.com

    Make power at home with solar and wind energy to eliminate your power bill.
    Get our complete guide at
    www.renewableenergyrescources.com


              Protecting Our Houses of Worship: Guest Column by Security Expert / Retired NYPD Detective Sergeant         

    By ALAN SCHISSEL

    Founder & Chief Executive Officer

  • Integrated Security Services

  • According to the Washington Post, “it’s been a bad 2017 for Jews.” During the month of January, 48 bomb threats were called in to Jewish community centers across the country. Also last month, a neo-Nazi made national news by promising to hold a march in Whitefish, Montana to intimidate the town’s small Jewish population.

    This, of course, was followed by another unprecedented press conference by our President during which two reporters were moved to ask Mr. Trump about the rise in anti-Semitism. Many of us were aghast at the President’s rude and dismissive response, and his unwillingness to address the question seriously. The fact is, the country is experiencing an alarming increase of anti-Semitic incidents, and this has been trending upward since 2015. A security report issued by the Department of Homeland Security on protecting houses of worship stated that the United States has approximately 345,000 religious congregations representing 230 denominational groups and roughly 150 million members. Despite being sanctuaries from the troubles of the world, houses of worship have also been targets as violence has spiked across the country in recent years. The killing of nine people at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina was the largest mass shooting in a house of worship since 1991, when nine people were shot at the Wat Promkunaram Buddhist temple in Waddell, Arizona, northwest of Phoenix.

    [Under relentless pressure, the President subsequently denounced anti-Semitism.]

  • Empathy and action: Muslims unite to help fix vandalized Jewish cemeteries


  • The intent of this column is to generate awareness and provide a short guide which contains security practices for religious institutions, parishioners and our non religious communities to help deter threats, mitigate hazards and risks, and minimize the damage caused by an incident in or around a house of worship, including mass casualty events.

    I preface with the word “short” because there is a wide range of methods from programmatic and procedural considerations to technological enhancements that religious facilities and their leadership may consider implementing based upon the most likely threats to their facilities and their available resources. Basic security principals would suggest taking a blended approach to security and safety with the goal of hardening the facility to deter, detect and/or delay a criminal occurrence before it happens. The next steps are equally important and this is where lives are saved and mass casualties are reduced. Selecting the appropriate response to a threat or armed intrusion will help facilitate a safe transition into an effective recovery and restoration of services mode.

    Identifying Your Threats & Vulnerabilities

    Identifying and evaluating a known or potential threat to a given facility is the first step of a security assessment. The results of which will guide the process of developing a security plan. A proper readiness plan will aim to deter a threat or mitigate a threat by reducing the religious facility’s vulnerability to those threats.

    Natural Hazards vs. Targeted Violence

    As stated before, all life safety solutions should be designed using a blended approach to managing risk. Protecting a religious facility means your emergency management plan(s) must address an all-hazard approach to both natural hazards, e.g., infectious diseases and illnesses, fire, and seismic and weather-related events (hurricanes, tornadoes, flash floods) as well as targeted attacks. Spontaneous and pre-planned attacks are likely to occur by individual(s) who use firearms; improvised explosive devices (IEDs); vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs); chemical, biological, or radiological attacks; or arson in order to inflict a number of casualties and damage to religious facilities.

    Protective Measures

    As previously mentioned earlier, a house of worship environment is managed by creating layers of protective measures in collaboration with state and local partners that allow religious institutions to deter, detect and delay threats. These layers also allow an institution to consider a threat as soon as possible and to more effectively respond to, further deter, eliminate or mitigate that threat.

    • Technological sensors such as CCTV surveillance cameras or alarms (fire, smoke, wind, and intrusion detection) will trigger informed decision-making.

    • Barriers, such as locked doors or fixed barriers or uniform security personnel should be in place to deter or delay a threat and afford more time for effective decision making.

    • Having the correct inbound and outbound communication network in place will influence a number key decisions. Time, or the lack of time, is a principle disrupter of effective decision-making. Sound communication strategies such as emergency email blasts, voice activated alert systems, and silent alert systems help to improve response to and during a crisis. An effective communication protocol should expand the window of time available to leaders to make sound decisions.

    Additional Measures to Consider:

    • Reporting Procedures

    • Establishing Collaborative Planning Teams

    • Starting an Emergency Operations Plan

    • Define Roles and Responsibilities

    • Notification Procedures

    • Evacuation Lockdown and Shelter‐In‐Place Policies and Procedures

    • Plans for Diverse Needs of Children and Staff

    • Necessary Equipment and Supplies

    • Common Vocabulary

    • Emergency Drills

    Call us at (212) 808-4153, or write us to tell what you think or how we can be of more assistance and remember, always dial 911 first in an emergency!







  • Integrated Security Services


  • About Alan Schissel










  • Cool Justice Editor’s Note: By way of disclosure, Cool Justice is an occasional denizen of Integrated’s Hartford office and once in a while even does a little work …

  • more COOL JUSTICE

  • Hartford PI Stars in Network Real-Life Manhunt Show

  •           Chá de Fraldas Scheila Carvalho        


    Nasceu, no começo da tarde dontem (21), Giulia, filha da apresentadora Scheila Carvalho e do cantor Tony Sales, ex-vocalista do grupo baiano É o Tchan, do qual Scheila foi dançarina. Segundo informou um funcionário do hospital Aliança, onde foi realizado o parto, mãe e criança passam bem. A previsão de alta é para esta quarta-feira (22).

    Confira o chá de fraldas que foi organizado, pouco mais de um mês para a chegada de Giullia, com presenças de amigos, familiares e a comadre Carla Perez.





























              Cravo e Canela | Scheila Carvalho        


    Desde 1985 no mercado, a Cravo & Canela Confeitaria é uma empresa familiar que tem como compromisso fazer com que seus clientes estejam sempre satisfeitos, dando-lhes atendimento personalizado.
    Composta por uma equipe especializada em confeitaria,comandada pela cake design Nadjane Andrade Azevedo,que durante quatro anos exerceu o cargo de presidente da Associação dos Profissionais de Culinária da Bahia.
    Participante de Congressos e Cursos Nacionais e Internacionais na área da confeitaria fina, instrutora de arte culinária desde 1988, realizando trabalhos junto a empresas
    nacionais e multinacionais por todo o estado da Bahia.

    A Confeitaria Cravo e Canela foram os responsáveis pelos doces personalizados que embelezaram o chá de fraldas da apresentadora Scheila Carvalho, no último dia 05 de Maio no Buffet Planeta Aventura, em Salvador










              Resistance at Standing Rock: Dispatches from the Front Lines        

    UPDATES:





  • Water Protector Legal Collective Files Suit for Excessive Force against Peaceful Protesters


  • Veterans to Serve as ‘Human Shields’ for Dakota Pipeline Protesters



  • Oceti Sakowin encampment on Oct. 6, 2016. The proper name for the people commonly known as the Sioux is Oceti Sakowin, (Och-et-eeshak-oh-win) meaning Seven Council Fires.








    Story and Photos by John Briggs

    Cool Justice Editor's Note: OK to repost, courtesy of John Briggs and The Cool Justice Report.







    Corporate – Government Alliance Versus the American People

    Native Americans from tribes across the country have gathered on the windswept plains of North Dakota to pray with Mother Earth to keep the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) from pumping 500,000 gallons of oil a day beneath the Missouri River. The natives know the pipeline will most certainly leak or break, as have most U.S. pipelines, fouling the water for the Great Sioux Nation and 18 million non-Natives downstream.

    The standoff -- which began in April -- continues as a new U.S. administration ascends to power with a president-elect who campaigned denying human-caused climate change and threatening the Paris Climate accords. This remains the overriding reality despite a mini walk back by Donald Trump pledging an open mind to The New York Times this week.

    Standing Rock illuminates the brazen alliance that has developed between corporate and government interests. Viewed from the front lines, the law has been turned into a fig leaf for repression and suppression. Only the discipline and spiritual clarity of the water protectors and the native elders has kept people from being killed or seriously injured since April when the movement began.

    The fused police-DAPL force is doing everything it can to incite a violent reaction from the resisters so as to crack down, clear the camps, imprison, or even gun down the natives. More than one commentator has found the atmosphere at Standing Rock similar to what led to the Wounded Knee massacre in 1890 when 300 Sioux were murdered by government troops who mistook their prayerful Ghost Dance for a war dance.

    A great deal is at issue at Standing Rock. The Sioux and their numerous native and non-native allies face a militarized force whose composition tells us something dark about the complex façade that U.S. democracy has become and suggests the proto-fascist zombi lurking beneath. More deeply, Standing Rock also emblemizes a struggle that is taking place at this moment in human history between two distinct modes of human consciousness.

    One mode is the familiar anthropocentric (human-centered) consciousness that the dominant culture most of us were born into favors—a consciousness that assumes reality is a collection of objects to be extracted, owned, and branded. Humans are the focus of this consciousness, meaning that our concerns about climate change focus primarily on the fate of our own species.

    Distinct from this anthropocentric mind-set is a second, ancient and spiritual mode of awareness that understands that the earth and its landscapes are not objects; they are relationships, including the tangle of relationships that gave us birth. This ancient mode of consciousness is potential in everyone, but for most it has been buried beneath the piles of conceptual objects that we have come to believe constitute our reality.

    The Indigenous Peoples gathered at Standing Rock are guided by this ancient, holistic, earth-mind consciousness, and so they understand that humans are not the most valuable living objects on the planet: we are not in control of the planet; it is not our job to manage nature; rather, our sacred task is to work with Mother Earth and other beings as members of Earth’s family. If we don’t, Mother Earth will make us face this spiritual truth one way or another.

    Guided by their ancient, earth-mind awareness, Native Americans have taken up a role as “water protectors.” “Mni Wiconi, Water is Life” is the slogan of the Standing Rock movement.

    Every day scores of Sioux from North Dakota, South Dakota and nearby states, along with Paiute, Shoshoni, Diné, and a sampling of other Natives from the 300 or so tribes whose flags fly at the Standing Rock encampments set out to pipeline construction sites in a convoy to engage in “actions” on the “front lines.”

    There the protectors sing and pray in the face of physical harassment and arrests by heavily armed police fused with a corporate security force.

    DAPL and their overlord company, Energy Transfer Partners, have lavished campaign contributions on politicians in North Dakota and the U.S. Congress so that they could use the state’s eminent domain powers to force purchase of land for the pipeline all across North Dakota, beginning in the Bakken fields in the northwest corner of the state where the fracked crude oil is extracted. Similar eminent domain arrangements were achieved in other states through which the 1,200-mile line traverses before reaching a river port in Illinois. The company promised Congress and the public that the pipeline would carry oil for 100 percent domestic use only, but it is clear from reporting done by the website The Intercept that the oil will be sold on international markets.

  • Though Promised for Domestic Use, Dakota Access Pipeline May Fuel Oil Exports


  • The DAPL line, now virtually complete except for permission from the Army Corps of Engineers to fill in the link that crosses under the Missouri River, passes just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and Cannon Ball, North Dakota. The DAPL construction runs through sacred burial and archeological grounds that the Lakota people were given free access to by treaties with the U.S. Government in the 19th Century. In mounting their resistance to the pipeline, the Standing Rock Sioux have been turned into “trespassers on their own land.”

    In late August, the tribe’s lawyers filed a stop work petition in federal court detailing areas where sacred sites would be disturbed if construction continued on its planned trajectory. The federal judge routinely forwarded a copy of the filing to DAPL. Over Labor Day weekend, when the company would not have been expected to work, pipeline crews leapfrogged to the disputed sacred and preemptively bulldozed them under. Too late, the judge granted the Sioux an emergency restraining order, but, then in a curious move, allowed construction in some areas where sacred sites have been discovered. DAPL has ignored a request from the Obama administration not to work in buffer areas on either side of the river. No fines have been imposed for intentionally bulldozing the disputed sacred sites.

  • The Legal Case for Blocking the Dakota Access Pipeline


  • Burial ground at center of police confrontations is known historical site


  • In recent live-stream videos from the front lines, DAPL-police snipers can be seen perched on top of a sacred mound called Turtle Island, their high-powered rifle crosshairs trained on the water protectors who are standing in prayer in the frigid lake below.

    North Dakota wants the federal government to pick up the tab for the massive expenditures required to keep the Native Americans under their guns. Alternatively, the CEO of Energy Transfers, Kelcy Warren, has offered to pick up the millions-of-dollars tab.

  • ETP CEO Kelcy Warren Says They Have Offered to Pay Protest Related Expenses


  • Native media have documented that DAPL has already been supplying military-style equipment, drones, armored vehicles, riot gear, water canons, concussion grenades and other armaments. The tax-payer-funded and corporate-sponsored front lines phalanx is led by the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, which has local jurisdiction, reinforced by North Dakota State Troopers, North Dakota National Guard units, sheriffs and police from six nearby states—all interpenetrated by DAPL security (while the FBI lurks in the background). A contingent of Hennepin County, Minnesota, Sheriffs’ Deputies were recalled following protests back home. Residents in the state of Ohio are writing letters and calling legislators to express their distress that their law enforcement has been enlisted into this repressive force.

  • Hennepin Co. sheriff's deputies leave Standing Rock protest


  • Native media’s live stream videos show DAPL security teams in mirror-visor helmets and black ops body armor with no identification, mingling with the police, sometimes directing them when and who to mace or pepper spray. They point out media making video for arrest. The big fossil fuel company evidently has plenty of experience dealing with protestors around the world. In their blank, reflecting visors we can see the soulless Darth Vader face of the government-corporate proto-fascist state the U.S. is becoming.

    Of course, this struggle with the Wasi’chu (Lakota word for the white man, meaning literally “takes too much”) is an old story for Native-Americans. In the 18th and 19th centuries it took the form of the Sioux nations trying to hold back the tsunami of colonizers flooding into their ancestral lands, occupying and despoiling them. The big difference now is that the fire-power of the state (think Custer’s 7th Cavalry or present day militarized police) has been fused with vast profit centers dependent for their existence on plundering the earth in the name of energy-squandering lifestyle survival.

    The provocations the water protectors endure take many forms. There is the psychological pressure of constant surveillance: the heavy police presence on the roads around tribal and reservation lands, the DPLA helicopter and a small plane that circle constantly above the encampments; there is the Bureau of Indian Affairs station set up on a knoll to suck out data from the cell phones of anyone in the area. There is the pepper spraying and tasing of water protectors who are praying. There is the more recent blasting of the protectors with freezing water canons in sub zero weather. There is the constant threat of weapons pointed at them. One twitching trigger finger could set off a slaughter.

    The water protectors are unarmed. The resistance movement does not allow guns in the encampments. One day, at one of the front line actions, an armed man showed up with a pistol and began firing. Possibly he was paid by DAPL to create an incident. The Natives are aware of paid provocateurs or agitators passing through the camps, pulling dirty tricks, looking to start something. Antimedia reported about the man with the gun: “According to an official statement from the tribe, the man fired several shots from his gun before being peacefully apprehended by tribal police. Witnesses at the scene say he pointed his gun at several protesters. The man was clearly trying to provoke violence that could later be used to demonize protesters who have so far remained peaceful.”

    The news site added, “The Morton County Sheriff’s Department circulated a false report claiming the man was shot, presumably by protesters… [As images show], the man was not harmed. The Sheriff’s Department has since retracted that report. Anti-Media’s attempts to obtain clarifying comments from Morton County Sheriffs were ignored.”

  • Dakota Access Caught Infiltrating Protests to Incite Violence, Funding Trolls Online


  • On a hill overlooking Oceti Sakowin, the largest of the Standing Rock encampments, an old army tent houses the field office of the rotating teams of lawyers who come to Standing Rock to help out. They use donations made to the resistance to bail out protectors who have been arrested; they try to negotiate with the police so the protectors can be allowed to pray. The constant arrests on trumped-up charges are an ongoing harassment—people maced or beaten, violently thrown to the ground and zip-tied. Often activists are charged with trespass and “riot” on the Morton County Sheriff’s novel legal theory that if several people are arrested for trespass that must signify that they were engaged in a riot.

    All this naturally requires court time and money to defend, incarceration in usually unpleasant conditions, including dog kennels. (Though the white allies who are arrested seem to get better treatment.)

    Arrests are to be expected as a consequence of civil disobedience. But some arrests are directed at chilling speech. One lawyer who came to Standing Rock from the Oregon-based Civil Liberties Defense Center, an activist defense nonprofit primarily involved in climate protests, https://cldc.org/ told Jordan Chariton of The Young Turks Network that often after the day’s action was over, police would stop the last cars in the caravan. They would then make “snatch and grab” arrests, impounding the cars of people who had come to support the water protectors but had no expectation that they’d be arrested when the action was over and the police told them to leave. They have to pay heavy fines ($900) to get their cars back. She said the arrests and impoundment fines for their cars are unlawful. “The intention with those types of actions is to scare out-of-towners from being comfortable coming to these actions. So they’re trying to chill the rights of others to come and participate in these protests.”

  • Environmental Lawyer Explains Standing Rock Legal Issues




  • The authorities regularly characterize the natives as terrorists, and local radio spreads false rumors of farm animals being slaughtered and stolen, reported vandalism—the kind of thing you would expect from psychologically projected homesteader fears about savage Indians of earlier centuries.

    Yes, Magazine on Oct. 31 reported: “The county sheriff is claiming the water protectors were violent and that police were stopping a riot. But hours of live video feed from people caught in the confrontation showed instead a military-style assault on unarmed people: police beating people with batons, police with assault rifles, chemical mace, guns firing rubber bullets and beanbag rounds, tasers.”

  • Why Police From 7 Different States Invaded a Standing Rock Camp—and Other Questions


  • The UN has sent human rights observers. According to Salon, Nov. 16, 2016: “The U.N. special rapporteur said that American law enforcement officials, private security firms and the North Dakota National Guard have used unjustified force against protesters.

    “ ‘This is a troubling response to people who are taking action to protect natural resources and ancestral territory in the face of profit-seeking activity,’ [Maina] Kiai [U.N. special rapporteur] said in his statement, which was issued by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and was endorsed by several other U.N. experts.

  • Native Americans facing excessive force in North Dakota pipeline protests – UN expert


  • “At least 400 activists have been detained and often have been held in ‘inhuman and degrading conditions in detention,’ Kiai added. Some indigenous protesters have said they were treated like animals and even held in dog kennels.

  • Dakota pipeline protesters say they were detained in dog kennels; 268 arrested in week of police crackdown


  • “ ‘Marking people with numbers and detaining them in overcrowded cages, on the bare concrete floor, without being provided with medical care, amounts to inhuman and degrading treatment,’ the U.N. expert said.

    “ ‘The excessive use of State security apparatus to suppress protest against corporate activities that are alleged to violate human rights is wrong,’ he continued, noting that it violates U.N. guidelines on business and human rights.

    “Amnesty International USA, which has repeatedly criticized authorities for not respecting the rights of protesters, issued another statement on Tuesday noting that U.S. authorities had put up roadblocks to prevent journalists and human rights observers from documenting the protests and the official response.”

  • U.N. experts call for halt in Dakota Access pipeline, blast “excessive force” against protesters


  • Living on Earth reporter Sandy Tolan reflected: “You know, at times I felt I was back reporting in the West Bank, and not the Northern Plains…”

  • Standing With the Standing Rock Sioux


  • The Bundy crew was the cowboys, not the Indians

    Compare the government response at Standing Rock with the response occasioned by Ammon Bundy and his gang of armed militants when they occupied Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for over a month in January 2016. Imagine if the Bundy gang had been pepper sprayed, beaten, hit with water cannon, tased. But the Bundy crew were taking over the refuge to proclaim their belief that public lands should be given free to the profit-making private ranching business. In other words, the Bundy crew was the cowboys, not the Indians.

    The mainstream corporate media has largely ignored the stand-off at Standing Rock. Rallies have taken place around the world at places like Tokyo, Stockholm, and Auckland, but the sad truth is many foreigners have heard more about Standing Rock than Americans have. Not surprising. The news editors, working for corporate media conglomerates, choose what they believe we should know and what fits the larger corporate agenda, and so they devote massively more play to Brad Pitt, to the gossipy politics of who’s-on-first, and to whatever the latest glittering consumer thing is than they do to climate change and issues highlighted by the poor and the powerless, like Standing Rock. What coverage that does exist is usually cursory and misleading.

    Fortunately, alternative media have been on the scene and active at Standing Rock. As someone who taught journalism for more nearly 20 years, it has been refreshing for me to see what the alternative press is accomplishing.

    Amy Goodman of the webcast Democracy Now brought the prayer-resistance movement to national attention over the summer. She was arrested and charged with riot in absentia for her live reports of water protectors being set upon by dogs. The charge was later dismissed in court.

    Jordan Chariton of The Young Turks Network has done searching interviews and incisive commentary from the scene.

    But my absolute favorite news source at Standing Rock is Myron Dewey’s Digital Smoke Signals. Dewey does updates every day, which he posts on Facebook. I highly recommend anyone who has a Facebook account to “follow” him. I went to Standing Rock on Oct. 4-11 with two friends and I have since been able to keep up with developments on the ground through Dewey’s Facebook broadcasts. He posts live stream unedited clips that constitute what he calls an ongoing “documentation” of what is happening day-to-day at the movement.

    Here is Dewey at night standing on a hillside next to the Oceti Sakowin encampment. His face appears in the glow of his screen. Then he’s panning and zooming in on a large grassfire as he’s telling us about it. His finger appears in the screen and points out where the fire started. He says the helicopter which constantly circulates over the camp suddenly disappeared 20 minutes before they saw the first flames. He zooms to the area where he and the person he is with first spotted the fire. He says, “It looked like someone using a drip torch.” He says they called 911, but it’s been over an hour and the Morton County Fire Department hasn’t shown up. He tells the people in the camp, his audience, not to worry, though. It looks like the fire was started by DAPL employees to scare them or hurt them. But the Oceti Sakowin is full of Indians who supplement their income by wild-land firefighting, work that also benefits Mother Earth; he mentions that he is himself a “hotshot” firefighter [one of the elite crews]. He and his fellow firefighters can tell by the wind direction that the fire won’t harm the camp.

    Now here’s Dewey on a bright morning walking along the road by Oceti Sakowin. A young man appears on screen, and Dewey asks him who he is and why he’s here. He’s from the Paiute nation. “I’m here to protect the water,” he says. Dewey asks him to sing a Paiute song. The young man closes his eyes and sings.

    In another nighttime broadcast find we ourselves looking through a car windshield, headlights illuminating the highway, centerlines whizzing by. We hear voices talking in the backseat. The car drives on and on. We’re just watching the road. Then ahead is a police roadblock. The police van looms. Dewey gets out with his camera and calls over to the officers, asks them where they’re from, inquires about where the road blocks are, what are the open routes. At one level it’s a mundane exchange between a citizen and police, but you experience the edginess of the situation. More deeply, you feel the riskiness and pathos that is involved any human interaction. Dewey firmly exercises his right to have these protect-and-serve police respond to him civilly; he is cordial and respectful in a way that reinforces to them and to his viewers that he is after all not their enemy but a fellow human being. Dewey asks more questions and the lead officer says he doesn’t want to be filmed; Dewey offers to turn his camera away from them and onto himself. The distant officers disappear from the screen and Dewey’s face fills it. The contact officer walks nearer; we can hear his voice. Dewey can’t resist a joke, though. He asks the officer if he’s sure he doesn’t want to become famous by putting his face on Dewey’s screen? You realize these are just guys doing their job. Dewey understands that, but he also wants to educate them about the water protectors’ mission. He never misses an opportunity to educate his adversary, as well as his own people about the larger dimensions of the Standing Rock resistance. When he gets back in the car, someone in the back seat says “Let’s get out of here; this is enemy territory.” Dewey laughs, turning the car around, “It’s not enemy territory.”

    I believe you learn more about Standing Rock by watching Dewey’s unedited video than you ever could from watching any number of dramatically produced, commercially constricted reports on CNN, complete with the drumb-drumb latest crisis theme music.

    Dewey explains to his viewers that what they’re seeing is a “documentation” that’s not edited. “It’s not scripted. It’s not acted out.”

    After a month of watching Dewey’s daily reports I realize more fully than I ever have before how ghastly and vacuous mainstream news reporting is: a production where facts have been emptied of the humanity of real encounters, replaced by the shallow performances of reporters and news sources, slick, clichéd phrasing, behavior slotted into ready made categories, events analyzed and even predigested. The news about reality comes to us compartmentalized in trays like tasteless microwave dinners. Rarely is the reader or viewer allowed to simply experience the event unfolding through the reporter’s eyes or camera. The stories are crafted and slickly packaged. Their very polish and stimulating presentation sabotages their meaning and replaces it with a meaningless, artificial understanding.

    Note that I am not saying that the news these days is politically biased. Some obviously is, but the left or right bias charge is a serious red herring, a mis-direction. In fact, in mainstream media’s very effort to appear neutral and unbiased means events are chopped up and pieced together to fit the templates of a few hackneyed forms of storytelling: the winner-loser story, the conflict story, the individual overcoming obstacles story, the facing bad choices stories, he-said, she-said stories, scandal stories, hypocrisy stories. You’ve seen them all, repeatedly.

    Most of these templates come plated with a cynicism, skepticism, superiority, or sentimentality that grabs our attention by adding a dash of disgust. The current journalistic manner of telling stories reduces and dismisses the story in a way that sometimes makes the commercials and pop-up ads come as a relief. None of the common journalistic templates or attitude has much to do with real life as it’s lived in the moment. It’s not what people really experience in their lives. Instead, it’s how they’ve been conditioned to wrap up experience afterward in a dramatized way that leaches out the nuance, that leaves out the moment-to-moment uncertainty, or as the Lakota call it, the Wakan, the deep mystery of relationships that permeates every event. And that’s what Dewey’s broadcasts have in abundance. You get to see him interacting with the people who show up on his screen. You get to feel his humanity and the mystery of everyday relationships taking place at Standing Rock that he brings to light. It’s certainly not dramatic or melodramatic. It’s not interesting or stimulating in the usual way. It does seem really important.

    So when Dewey sits in his parked car and does an update video on “10 things to know about DAPL” (Nov. 18, 2016), there’s no editing and no script, meaning that you get to see him thinking through what those top 10 things might be. Some points he makes are incisive and comic, others not so much. But the not-so-much ones can lead you to thinking about gray areas, the imprecise observations we all make. He asks a guy who just got in the car to help out with his list and the guy, William Hawk Birdshead, goes immediately serious on him until Dewey says, “I was trying to keep it light.” So the Birdshead says, “Laughter is good medicine.” Suddenly they’re off. Dewey mimics the shifty-eyed look of the FBI guys lurking around the area and denying they are FBI, the DAPL security characters trying to look all steely and tough. We learn that in the encampments they say that “DAPL dresses up like Ninja Turtles.” You can tell that it’s DAPL undercover because those guys never drive rez cars, which are rusted and dented. Nobody is spared. Dewey describes the water protectors just arriving from California as dudes who’ve “got their animal spirits on… They’re all furred up. They’re coming in all mystical and crystals.” He and his buddy laugh, which Dewey says is laughter “in a good way,” because the whole thing going on at Standing Rock is deadly serious but you need laughter, because that’s good medicine for healing. And healing and praying are about “getting reconnected with the Earth.”

    This points to a major difference between anthropocentric prayer as most of us know it and earth-mind prayer. In the prayer that most people are familiar with, an individual seeks intercession for human needs with a transcendent being. The Native prayer is about healing not getting. The prayer is a community ceremony or song or ritual to maintain or restore the balance between and among beings, both animate and inanimate. Prayer is to all my relatives, all my relations, the birds, the water, the wind, the buffalo, my family, even those who oppose me as enemies. Mitakuye Oyasin is an important Lakota phrase that means “all my relations.” When you’re watching a Dewey update from Standing Rock you’re experiencing Mitakuye Oyasin in action. It’s newscasting as a kind of prayer, in the earth-mind sense. Whether he’s engaging in laughter or educating about the spiritual importance of water, you can see that what he’s getting at is healing relationships. Watching and listening, you get to be part of that healing.

    What Dewey does goes way beyond advocacy journalism.

    Our traveling companion for our visit to Standing Rock, Lakota elder Tiokasin Ghosthorse, also provides a good way to keep up with developments through the interviews he conducts for his weekly syndicated broadcast from WPKN in Bridgeport Conn. and WBAI in New York City. On Oct. 31, 2016, Tiokasin interviewed a young man who was seized on Oct. 27 when a frontline camp was destroyed by police. Trenton Joseph Castillas Bakeberg, in the bloodline of Crazy Horse, was praying in a sweat lodge when the militarized police swept through the camp. They yanked him out of the sweat lodge and arrested him. The young water protector told Tiokasin:

    “I pray that we’ll be able to keep a state of prayer and peace, as we have been… Although there’s some people on our side are more likely to tend toward violence. But there’s also people on our side to stop them. Don’t start a fight. That’s what it’s all about, keeping it peaceful because the elders told us in the beginning that all it takes is one single act of violence, one person attacking a police officer and they’ll unleash the fear on all of us. This wrath that we have with our military overseas, we’re beginning to see it now in the heart of our own country. All for the greed and the corporate interests of this government. They say we’re a democracy but it’s not showing anymore. The people didn’t want this pipeline, but this foreign entity that they call a corporation, Energy Transfers, is saying, we don’t care. We want this money. We need this for economic stability of the country and that somehow trumps the interests of our communities and our nation as a whole….We’re standing up to this corporate machine with prayer and love.”

  • Forcibly removed from prayer at Standing Rock


  • Against a heavily armed, corporatized democracy designed to ensure that only powerful business and political elites rule the land and possess the wealth of its objects, the Native-American people at Standing Rock stand in defense of Mother Earth armed with songs, prayers, and an understanding that Earth’s objects are us, and we are them. They are our relatives. It seems better armament than most of us Wasi’shu possess. Webster defines fascism as “a political system headed by a dictator in which the government controls business and labor and opposition is not permitted.” It’s an incendiary word, and readers might think ill of me for introducing it here. Certainly we are not a fascist state yet. But for the prayer-resistance at Standing Rock, the clear alliance between corporate and government interests to quell their opposition under color of the law has a fascist flavor.

    It should not surprise anyone that the new US president reportedly holds stocks that directly fund the Dakota Access Pipeline and that the DAPL CEO Kelcy Warren gave the Trump campaign a substantial donation.

  • Trump's Personal Investments Ride on Completion of Dakota Access Pipeline


  • This is how the proto-fascism works. Ironically (or perhaps absurdly), Trump may have been elected by people hoping he would somehow counter the tightening grip of multinational corporations on their lives. One might wish for that to happen.

    At a deep level, Standing Rock may suggest that such absurdities as a Trump presidency occur because our mode of consciousness is impaired or inadequate to the situation it has created on our planet at this historical time. Too many of us have gone dead to the natural world we come from. Our obsessive anthropocentric mode of consciousness has reduced nature and reality at large to a bunch of things we have names for—things that feed our greed. Fortunately, many Indigenous people have retained an acute and ancient consciousness that we are those rocks and trees and clouds, and birds and water that we see outside our windows, and that restoring our relationships with them is incumbent on us.

    John Briggs is emeritus distinguished Professor of Writing and Aesthetics from Western Connecticut State University. He was the English Department’s journalism coordinator for 18 years and was one of the founders of Western’s Department of Writing, Linguistics, and Creative Process. He is the author of several well-known books on chaos theory, fractals and creativity. He lives in the hilltown of Granville, Mass., where served as a Selectman for five years and as reserve police officer for 10 years.


    When people at Standing Rock talk about the black snake they mean the pipeline, referring to an old Sioux legend about a black snake that will threaten the end of the world. The Lakota prophet Black Elk said that in the seventh generation, the Sioux tribes would unite to save the world.

    Media covering the Standing Rock resistance movement:

  • Digital Smoke Signals


  • Myron Dewey, Facebook


  • The Antimedia


  • Democracy Now


  • The Intercept


  • The Guardian


  • Censored News


  • Unicorn Riot


  • Living on Earth


  • The Indigenous Environmental Network


  • Status of Standing Rock court claim



  •           Burn After Reading        

    Who’s Who
    What’s What

    In the World of CIA Fronts, Partners, Proprietaries & Contractors




    NEW BOOK:

    The Almost Classified Guide to CIA Front Companies, Proprietaries & Contractors
    By WAYNE MADSEN
    ISBN: 978-1-365-11196-9


    Cool Justice Editor's Note: Following are excerpts from author Madsen's introduction and the body of the work. Additional suggested reading: News story about Madsen's book via the Washington, D.C. based Justice Integrity Project [link at the bottom of this post].

    EXCERPTS:

    From the Introduction


    One of the most pervasive uses of companies as intelligence partners was under the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD. During the Cold War, the CIA, often with the approval of corporate executives, infiltrated their agents to work as journalists in newspapers, radio and television networks, wire services, and magazines. The following pages in this book are rife with examples of this penetration of the Fourth Estate – all too many in the opinion of this journalist. The CIA admitted to at least 400 journalists on the agency’s payroll at the height of MOCKINGBIRD. The CIA traditionally understates its capabilities, especially when its covert activities become publicly known. Moreover, the end of the Cold War did not stop the practice of the CIA in infiltrating the media and slant news reports to its wishes.

    *

    An insightful look behind the veils of secrecy into the CIA’s use of fronts, proprietaries, and partners calls into question the purpose of the CIA. Created by President Harry S Truman to serve as a central collector and repository of intelligence, the CIA became much more than that. A few weeks after the United States witnessed the assassination of President Kennedy in the middle of downtown Dallas, Truman penned an op-ed piece that appeared in several newspapers around the country. In it, Truman shared his regret for having created the CIA in 1947:

    “I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency—CIA . . . For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas.

    "I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue.”

    *

    The 21st century’s CIA’s partners are more likely to be found among high-tech companies marketing the latest and greatest mobile applications and data mining programs than among banks, law offices, and advertising agencies. However, in the post-World War II era, the CIA’s top and middle echelons were normally found operating through cover as typewriter-pecking journalists, traveling Madison Avenue admen, corporate lawyers, and chain-smoking oilmen. In the 1970s and 80s, CIA contractors and partners began showing up in the high-tech field, with database, local area networking, and on-line information retrieval systems attracting the most interest by Langley.

    *

    As this book went to press, the smart phone game application Pokémon Go fad was sweeping the planet. Unbeknownst to many of the on-line game’s avid fan’s was the connection of the game’s developers to the CIA’s venture capital firm IN-Q-TEL. All users saw their geo-location and other smart phone data being swept up by a CIA partner firm.

    SELECTED ENTRIES

    Amazon, Inc. [CIA contractor]. Company provides cloud computing services for the CIA. Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos also owns The Washington Post.

    American Historical Society. [CIA partner]. Many society officials were OSS/CIA officers.

    American Press Institute. [CIA front]. Operating out of Columbia University, the institute’s director in the 1950s was a CIA officer.

    AmeriCares. [CIA partner]. A non-profit organization that is often the “first in” at refugee situations. Founded by tycoon J. Peter Grace, a board chairman of the CIA front, the American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD) and a trustee of another CIA front, the American Committee for Liberation from Bolshevism, AmeriCares was involved in funding the Nicaraguan contras. The group has also provided the CIA with recruiting opportunities at mass refugee sites, particularly in Latin America and Asia.

    Bechtel Corporation. [CIA contractor]. Bechtel is a large construction company that has included former CIA director Richard Helms, CIA pseudonym “Fletcher M. Knight,” among its executive ranks. Bechtel was active in providing corporate cover for the OSS in the Middle East during World War II. Bechtel has been a consummate service company for various CIA operations, including support for the CIA-inspired coup against the Syrian government in 1949, the Iranian government of Prime Minister Mohamed Mossadeq in 1953, and President Sukarno of Indonesia in 1965. From the 1960s to the 1970s, Bechtel provided cover for CIA agents in Libya under both the regime of King Idris and his successor, Muammar Qaddafi. Sometimes called a “secret arm” of the CIA, Bechtel’s executives included those who would join President Reagan’s Cabinet, including Secretary of State George Schultz and Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger.

    Before World War II, Steve Bechtel formed a military-industrial complex partnership with John McCone. McCone later became the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and later, director of the CIA. The CIA has used Bechtel to provide cover for non-official cover CIA operatives abroad.

    Blackstone Investment Group. [CIA front]. With offices in Washington, DC and Moscow, arranged for the purchase of KGB documents following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Among the documents sought by the front company were any related to illegal CIA activities during the Cold War, including the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

    Bourbon and Beefsteak Bar and Restaurant. [CIA front]. Opened in 1967 in King’s Cross in Sydney, Australia. Served as a rendezvous point for CIA, Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), and organized crime figures. Its proprietor was Bernie Houghton, a CIA operative with links to Nugan Hand Bank, CIA weapons smuggler Edwin Wilson, and CIA clandestine services officers Theodore Shackley, Rafael Quintero, and Thomas Clines.

    Center for Democracy. [CIA front]. Administered under the aegis of Boston University, the center maintained offices in Boston, Washington, DC, Guatemala City, and Strasbourg, France. Involved in CIA operations in eastern Europe, Central America, and Africa.

    Colt Patent Firearms Company. [CIA partner]. Based in Hartford, Connecticut, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad.

    Daddario & Burns. [CIA partner]. Headed by former OSS officer Emilio Daddario, a Democratic Representative from Connecticut, the Hartford-based law firm provided services to the CIA.

    DC Comics. [CIA partner]. Worked with the International Military Information Group (IMIG), a joint CIA/Pentagon unit at the State Department, to disseminate propaganda comic books, featuring Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, in Serbo-Croatian and Albanian, to youth in the Balkans during the military conflicts in that region.

    Disney Corporation. [CIA partner]. CIA agents who were adept at creating front companies and shell corporations in Florida, worked closely with Disney in preparation for the construction of Disney World near Orlando, Florida. OSS veteran “Wild Bill” Donovan and CIA shell company expert Paul Helliwell helped create two fake Florida cities, Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, as well as a number of shell corporations, to keep secret the plans for Disney World. This kept land prices low because real estate speculators were unaware of the prospective value of the land in a desolate area of central Florida.

    Emory School of Medicine. [CIA partner]. Located in Atlanta, Georgia. Involved in the CIA’s MK-ULTRA behavioral modification project.

    Enron Corporation [CIA partner]. Houston-based firm that was used by the CIA to provide commercial cover for its agents around the world. There were at least 20 CIA employees on Enron’s payroll. Andre Le Gallo, a former official of the CIA’s Operations Directorate, went to work as a corporate intelligence officer for Enron.

    Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC). [CIA front]. Officially established by American Trotskyists, the group was penetrated by CIA operatives. The FPCC New Orleans office was a CIA front that provided cover for the anti-Fidel Castro activities of Lee Harvey Oswald, Clay Shaw, and David Ferrie, among others. The New Orleans FPCC office was located at 544 Camp Street and shared the same building entrance with Guy Banister Associates, Inc., a private detective agency, the address for which was 531 Lafayette Street and around the corner from 544 Camp Street.

    In December 1963, after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the FPCC ceased all U.S. operations.

    General Electric Company. [CIA partner]. Based in Fairfield, Connecticut, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad.

    General Foods Corporation. [CIA partner]. Advertising account at CIA’s Robert Mullen Company handled by an active CIA employee.

    Google, Inc. [CIA partner]. Developed as a result of a research grant by the CIA and Pentagon to Stanford University’s Department of Computer Science. The CIA referred to the research as the “google project.”

    Greenberg Traurig. [CIA partner]. Washington, DC “connected” law firm.

    Guy Banister Associates, Inc. [CIA partner]. New Orleans private detective agency headed by former FBI agent Guy Banister. The detective agency coordinated the activities of various anti-Castro Cuban groups in New Orleans, including Banister’s own Anti-Communist League of the Caribbean, as well as the Cuban Revolutionary Council, the Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front, Friends of Democratic Cuba, and the Crusade to Free Cuba Committee.

    Banister and Associates shared office space with the CIA’s New Orleans front, the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, headed by Lee Harvey Oswald.

    Hale and Dorr. [CIA partner]. Boston-based law firm that provided cover for CIA’s Independence and Brown Foundations.

    Halliburton. [CIA contractor]. Based in Houston, it is the world’s largest oil service company. Recipient of a number of CIA sole-source contracts for services worldwide.

    Harper and Row, Inc. [CIA partner]. Manuscripts submitted to the New York publisher that dealt with intelligence matters, particularly CIA operations, were turned over to the CIA for censoring edits before publication.

    Hewlett Packard Corporation. [CIA partner]. Sold computers to Iraq for Saddam Hussein’s missile program with the knowledge and approval of the CIA.

    Hill & Knowlton. [CIA partner]. Public relations firm that teamed with the CIA on a number of operations. Hill & Knowlton’s numerous offices abroad provided cover for CIA agents. One known Hill & Knowlton office that was a CIA front operation was in Kuala Lumpur.

    Kerr-McGee. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating overseas.

    Kissinger Associates, Inc. [CIA partner]. New York-based international consulting firm founded by former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger. Former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft is a co-owner. The firm provided support to the CIA-linked American Ditchley Foundation and the Bilderberg Group. Much of the 1982 seed money for Kissinger Associates was provided by Goldman Sachs.

    Knight Foundation. [CIA partner]. Also known as the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Based in Miami, the foundation provides funding for various CIA-connected media operations in the United States and around the world.

    Kroll Inc. [CIA partner]. Founded in 1972 by Jules Kroll, who had links to both U.S. and Israeli intelligence. Based in Manhattan. French domestic law enforcement believed Kroll’s Paris office was a CIA front. Kroll handled the security for the World Trade Center after the 1993 terrorist bombing and continued to be responsible for security up to, during, and after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. Kroll employed former FBI assistant director for counter-terrorism John O’Neill, who died in the collapse of the World Trade Center.

    Lincoln Savings and Loan. [CIA partner]. Based in Irvine, California and headed by notorious swindler Charles Keating, Jr., involved in laundering funds for the Iran-contra scandal.

    Lone Star Cement Corporation. [CIA partner]. Based in Stamford, Connecticut and linked to the Bush family, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad. Involved in the Iran-contra scandal.

    Mary Carter Paint Company. [CIA front]. A money-laundering operation for the CIA. Involved in casinos in the Bahamas.

    Monsanto. [CIA partner]. The firm contracted with former CIA official Cofer Black’s Total Intelligence Solutions (TIS), a subsidiary of the CIA-connected Blackwater USA, later Xe Services, to monitor animal rights groups, anti-genetically modified (GM) food activists, and other groups opposed to Monsanto’s agri-business operations worldwide.

    National Enquirer. [CIA partner]. The tabloid’s founder, Generoso (Gene) Pope, Jr., worked for the CIA’s psychological warfare unit and the agency’s Italy branch in 1950. In 1952, Pope acquired The New York Enquirer broadsheet and transformed it into a tabloid, renaming it The National Enquirer. This transformation bore the imprimatur of the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD media influence program.

    Newsweek. [CIA partner]. Magazine reporters and stringers fed information to the CIA. Newsweek’s stringers in southeastern Europe and the Far East were CIA agents. When Newsweek was bought by The Washington Post Company in 1961, cooperation between the magazine and the CIA increased. It was a participant in the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD media influence program. Much of the staff of Newsweek was absorbed into a new online publication, The Daily Beast, which continues to disseminate CIA-influenced articles. See Washington Post.

    Nieman Foundation. [CIA partner]. Located at Harvard University, the foundation awarded Nieman Fellowships, some on behalf of the CIA, for foreign journalists to study at Harvard. The journalists were subjected to CIA recruitment efforts prior to their returning to their home countries.

    Pamela Martin & Associates. [CIA partner], Escort firm run by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the so-called “DC Madam.” During her 2008 trial for mail fraud, Palfrey attempted to invoke the Classified Information Procedures Act in order to discuss her relationship with the CIA. The U.S. Court refused Palfrey’s request and she was convicted and later said to have committed suicide before her sentencing hearing in Washington, DC. One of her clients was Randall Tobias, the head of the CIA-connected USAID. Another was Louisiana Republican senator David Vitter.

    Paris Review. [CIA front]. Literary magazine edited by George Plimpton. Published works by Jack Kerouac and Samuel Beckett. The magazine’s co-founder, Peter Matthiessen, relied on his affiliation with the magazine as his CIA cover.

    Quaker Oats Company. [CIA partner]. Worked with the CIA and Atomic Energy Commission to place trace amounts of radiation in breakfast cereal served to boys at the Fernald School for the mentally retarded in Waltham, Massachusetts.

    Radio Corporation of America. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad, particularly in Iran, Philippines, Japan, and West Germany. Provided technical assistance to CIA-financed clandestine and propaganda radio stations worldwide, including Radio Free Europe. RCA founder David Sarnoff was a major supporter of CIA operations, including propaganda dissemination around the world. RCA chairman and chief executive officer Thornton F. Bradshaw was active in the operations of the CIA-linked American Ditchley Foundation.

    Reily Coffee Company. [CIA partner]. Also known as William B. Reily Coffee Company and based in New Orleans, this company employed Lee Harvey Oswald and a number of other U.S. government employees, many of whom were suspected CIA officers.

    Robert M. Mullen Company. [CIA proprietary]. A Washington, DC public relations firm, it was used as a front for CIA activities. E. Howard Hunt, the CIA agent, worked for Robert Mullen when he was arrested in the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington in 1972. The Senate Watergate Committee reported that “the Mullen and Company has maintained a relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency since its incorporation in 1959. It provided covers for agents in Europe (Stockholm), Latin America (Mexico City), and the Far East (Singapore) at the time of the Watergate break-in.”

    Rockefeller Foundation. [CIA partner]. Used by the CIA to direct scholarships and grants to the Third World and Eastern Europe. Rockefeller Foundation money was funneled to the American Committee for a United Europe (ACUE), created in 1948. The chairman of ACUE was OSS chief William J. Donovan and the vice chairman was Allen Dulles. One of ACUE’s board members was Walter Bedell Smith, the first CIA director.

    Summa Corporation. [CIA partner]. Owned by Howard Hughes, Summa is believed to have skimmed gambling profits from the Sands, Desert Inn, Frontier, Silver Slipper, Castaways, and Landmark casinos in Las Vegas and Harold’s Club in Reno for the CIA and the Mafia. Provided financial cover for the CIA’s Glomar Explorer project.

    Teneo Intelligence. [CIA partner]. Branch of Teneo Holdings, which is headquartered in New York. Teneo Holdings’s intelligence branch includes former CIA officials. Teneo is closely linked to former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. Teneo Intelligence has offices in New York, London, Rome, Brussels, Dubai, Bogota, New Delhi, and Tokyo.

    Texas Commerce Bank (TCB). [CIA partner]. Houston-based bank founded by the family of James Baker III. Texas Commerce Bank was used to provide commercial cover for CIA agents. After serving as vice president for Texas Commerce Bank in Caracas from 1977 to 1979, Jeb Bush joined his father’s presidential campaign in 1980. Serving with Bush on the campaign was Robert Gambino, the CIA deputy director of security who gave Bush his orientation brief at Langley in 1977.

    Kenneth Lay, the chairman of Enron, which had its own links to the CIA, served on the board of Texas Commerce Bank. Texas Commerce Bank was acquired by Chemical Bank in 1987.

    The bank provided major loans to Howard Hughes’s Summa Corporation. See Summa Corporation.

    United Fruit Company [CIA partner]. Involved in 1954 CIA overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz government in Guatemala. Published the Latin America Report, a publication that was a CIA front used for clandestine activities. The CIA transferred weapons to United Fruit employees in Guatemala who were involved in undermining the Arbenz government. The joint CIA-United Fruit plan was code named OPERATION FORTUNE. Company provided an airfield in Guatemala for the CIA’s training of Cuban exiles for the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

    U.S. Rubber Company. [CIA partner]. Headquartered in Naugatuck, Connecticut and later called Uniroyal, provided corporate cover to CIA officers operating abroad. Included those operating under the cover of the Dominion Rubber Company of Canada, a subsidiary of U.S. Rubber Company.

    U.S. Youth Council (USYC). [CIA front]. Founded in 1945 and based in New York. Some 90 percent of its funds came from the CIA. USYC received funding from the Foundation for Youth and Student Affairs (FYSA), a CIA front. The USYC was composed of American Youth Hostels, Camp Fire Girls, 4-H, American Unitarian Youth, National Catholic Welfare Conference, National Students Assembly, YMCA and YWCA.

    Wackenhut. [CIA contractor]. Wackenhut, a Palm Beach Gardens, Florida-based security firm, stood accused of providing the CIA with specialized services around the world, including Chile, Greece, and El Salvador. Its Venezuelan branch, Wackenhut Venezolana, C.A., was accused in 2002 of involvement in the CIA’s coup against President Hugo Chavez. William Casey served as Wackenhut’s outside counsel before becoming CIA director in 1981.

    Wackenhut eventually merged into the global security firm G4S.

    Washington Post. [CIA partner]. The Washington Post was part of the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD, the agency’s media influence project. Post publisher Phil Graham was a close friend and associate of MOCKINGBIRD chief Frank Wisner, Sr. and CIA director Allen Dulles. Wisner assisted Graham in acquiring The Washington Times-Herald and WTOP radio, creating a sizable CIA-influenced media operation in the nation’s capital.

    W. R. Grace. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover to CIA officers operating abroad, particularly in Latin America. Provided donations to CIA front foundations.

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  • FLASHBACK: Video - Widow Pressed for Answers 42 years ago


  • Brief highlights of Caporino case:

    Excerpts from

  • more COOL JUSTICE

  • Chapter 4

    *

    Did Gabe Caporino just disappear or were hidden forces at play? AT

    *

    Gabe Caporino, a 40-year-old corporate executive from Westchester, NY, never returned to his wife and two teenage daughters after a business trip in 1974. The night he disappeared, Gabe Caporino spoke with his wife and daughters, asking about a school parents' night and confirming a dinner date with friends for the weekend.

    *

    There isn’t much of a trail for Gabe Caporino, but we know a good bit of what police did and did not do in the crucial days following his disappearance on Thursday, March 7, 1974. We also know some of what his employer, the General Foods corporation, did and did not do.

    *

    Under pressure from Gabe Caporino’s wife, Grace, now a retired teacher and recognized Holocaust scholar, General Foods sent a team to New Orleans over the weekend. One of them, Bill Bevans of the personnel department, snatched Gabe Caporino’s briefcase from his hotel room. The other GF team members were security director Jack Edward Ison, who had been an FBI agent for nine years; and White Plains, NY police detective James Lynch.

    “Our chief of security Jack Ison will ... take over this investigation,” GF personnel director Frank Dorito told Grace Caporino.

    Indeed, he did.

    On Sunday, March 10, 1974, Ison and his colleagues met privately with New Orleans police, barring members of the Caporino family. This crucial meeting presaged, if it did not predestine, the shocking and abysmal refusal of the New Orleans Police Department to follow up on basic and compelling leads, including the forgery of Gabe Caporino's credit card four days after he was reported missing. This forgery was ultimately documented by the FBI crime lab. Significantly, a Sears employee who witnessed three individuals using Gabe’s credit card recanted after a visit by New Orleans police ...

    ... Officer Roma Kent, who went on to work as a federal public defender, got the clerk to change his story ...

    *

    CBS producer Barbara Gordon, on assignment in 1974, put it this way: “The New Orleans Police Department is holding hands with General Foods and there is a cover-up down here.”

    The Gabe Caporino case was the subject of a CBS documentary produced by Gordon and reported by Chris Borgen, a retired New York City narcotics detective. The program aired beginning in May 1974 on the show Eye On New York. It was rebroadcast in New York and several times throughout the country on local affiliates – but not in New Orleans.

    As the air date neared, Borgen told Grace Caporino the reporting team received threats that GF might pull advertising from CBS. Borgen recounted the phone call from a GF public relations staffer: “This documentary is not in our best interests. We have a significant advertising budget with CBS.”

    *



    New Orleans police ... reported the discovery of Gabe Caporino’s rental car in a way that could not have occurred.

    His rented car was found abandoned about 10 days later in front of a school by Spain and [N.]Ramparts streets with the keys stuck outside the vehicle in the door lock. Police officers told me a car in this location with the keys outside the vehicle might have lasted there up to an hour. Additionally, any fingerprints left in or on the car were wiped off.

    “It is certainly not the kind of place where a new car would sit for a week with the keys in the door,” said Gabe Caporino’s nephew Anthony Emma, who made two trips to New Orleans in 1974. “Certainly not the kind of place a new car would sit even locked up without being disturbed for a week ... I always found that hard to believe.”



    *

    As time went on and the Caporino family struggled to survive, General Foods appealed the awarding of benefits to the widow and children multiple times. At one of the hearings, Jack Edward Ison admitted he was the source of the smears about Gabe Caporino in law enforcement files.

    A hearing officer asked Ison: “How do you know this about Mr. Caporino?”

    “Just things you hear people say,” Ison responded. He was not pressed to elaborate.

    In a particularly disturbing incident on March 16, 1974 – the day that would have been Gabe Caporino’s 41st birthday – family, friends and neighbors gathered at the home in Yorktown Heights. Ison called Grace Caporino. She told Ison family and friends did not want her to be alone on that day. Ison paused and said: “Well, if Gabe has any heart, surely he'll call you on his birthday. Bye, I’ve got to go.”

    *

    October, 2011. NEW ORLEANS, LA – Thirty seven years ago – with several police officers crowding her – Grace Caporino briefly touched and read a number of pages in a 3-inch-high stack of reports about her missing husband. After a few minutes, they forced her to leave. Today, the New Orleans Police Department still doesn’t want to know or hear anything about the Gabe Caporino case – or the reports ... *

    The current New Orleans police superintendent, Ronal Serpas, ignored two certified letters she sent him last year ...

    The New Orleans Police Department – notorious as perhaps the most corrupt and incompetent in U.S. history – has routinely engaged in public executions of civilians. The coroner tends to call these homicides slips and falls or accidents, even when someone’s face and teeth are kicked in and various body parts have hemorrhaged. Officers have worked as cocaine dealers on the job, hired hitmen to kill civilians, stolen from car dealers and held up liquor stores in uniform. Officers have been heard on police scanners saying: “Is he dead yet? No. Kill him now. String him up by the balls.”

    A short list of recent convictions includes two officers who beat and kicked a local man to death, then covered it up. In the infamous Danzgier bridge trial, also this year, five current and former officers were found guilty of shooting six civilians – killing two of them – and covering it up. Those local citizens were walking to a grocery store.

    Civilians filming police assaulting civilians are routinely charged with inciting a riot. After police shot and killed unarmed trombone player Joe Williams, returning from a jazz funeral in 2004, officers broke up a memorial service for the popular member of the Hot 8 Brass Band. Local attorney Mary Howell told the PBS show Frontline police advised her that “merely having a video camera or camera in a situation like this where the police are interacting with the community was considered to be inciting a riot.”

    After Hurricane Kartina, the National Rifle Associaton sued New Orleans Police for stripping law-abiding citizens of their ability to defend themselves. “They just stole people’s guns and weapons,” Howell said.

    The unofficial body count from Hurriance Katrina is upwards of 1,500. “We do not have a clear understanding of how many people were shot and killed by the New Orleans Police Department,” Howell told Frontline.

    Of course, there are also many officers who keep their oath to protect and serve no matter what the risk from criminals and buffoons in the streets or among their ranks and supervisors ...

    *

    August, 2012

    ... the New Orleans Police Department actually admitted it had failed to comply with the Louisiana public records law. This happened through a series of depositions of detectives and other personnel [in a Freedom of Information lawsuit in Parish Court] ... “Nobody has gone digging through those files specifically looking for a file relative to the disappearance of Gabe Caporino, have they?” The question was posed by ... attorney, Brett Prendergast.

    “No, sir,” Detective Gwen Guggenheim responded.

    ... A supervised search of the NOPD “storage area” [revealed the following from] ... a dimly-lit and musty room on the second floor by the NOPD parking garage.

    Most of the boxes of files were covered with layers of grime and old insulation. He had to move evidence including sections of a chain-link fence to get at the boxes.

    The files dated from 1890 to the present. Besides homicide cases, there were also files for juvenile offenses and sex crimes.

    There was not a single missing persons file in storage ...

    ... As recently as 1995, then-Police Superintendent Richard Pennington had a detective review the Caporino case and all the reports and documents. Now, the official word is, the file does not exist – just as missing persons don't officially exist ...

    *

    Retired General Foods investigator Emil Monda, reached ... on the West Coast, said about the Caporino case: “We always thought there was foul play, but never came up with anything.”

    Monda said he did not know why the New Orleans Police failed to follow leads including the forgery of Caporino’s credit card ...


              Hit-and-Run Chronology, Grand Jury Report & Follow-up Columns, Re; Library Discussion 9-22-16        

    Open
    the Showalter File

  • Hartford Courant Editorial




  • Cool Justice Editor's Note:
    This post is primarily for patrons and guests of the Sprague Public Library, who might participate in a discussion on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. A link to announcements of that event is at the very bottom of this post. Thanks for reading, AT.


    Via
    Law And Justice In Everyday Life


    F. Lee Bailey on Law and Justice in Everyday Life and the Showalter case:

    This book - which is mainly about public officials, police, judges and lawyers either shaming or shining - is a good read. Many of the stories stand alone, like slices of life. Others will appear early in the book, with follow-up chapters later. The crown jewel, in my view, is his handling of the strange death of Kevin Showalter, who was slammed 50 feet down the road in New London, Connecticut on Christmas Eve 1973 while changing a tire on the traffic side of a parked car. For many years, Andy Thibault dogged a case which public officials seemed determined to let die, despite the presence of a likely suspect. He tells me his mentor, John Peterson, broke the case open and then handed over the torch. Joined by the victim's mother, Lucille, who revealed herself as a determined but delightful woman as the story unfolds, Andy beats up on police, prosecutors, judges and governors until finally there is action. Spurred on by an appointment hastened by Gov. Ella Grasso, Judge Joseph Dannehy conducted one of the most brilliant and thorough investigations I have ever seen. If this book were only about the Showalter case, it would be worth the price.

    APPENDIX

    THE SHOWALTER CHRONOLOGY – A FOUR YEAR SEARCH FOR JUSTICE


    New London, Ct.

    1973

    December 24

    Approximately 11:10 to 11:20 p.m. Kevin B. Showalter is killed. Car leaves scene. Only taillights observed by a neighbor.

    There is much confusion. Mr. Showalter had been changing a tire on his companion’s car. His companion Debra Emilyta, was sitting about six feet away from the car on a stone wall.

    Ms. Emilyta told police she heard a thud, but did not see the car which struck Mr. Showalter. She said she ran across the road, a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue near Plant Street, before seeing Mr. Showalter’s body.

    Mr. Showalter’s body was thrown 22 feet from the believed point of impact, onto a sidewalk near a large tree. The police report prepared that night noted the deceased’s shoes were found 110 feet apart. Part of a leg bone was found 75 feet away.

    Michael Buscetto of Mike’s Auto Body gives police body putty, apparently from the car which struck Mr. Showalter. The putty never made it to the police station. Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko later denies its existence.

    December 25

    Autopsy performed. No trace of alcohol or drugs found. Cause of death listed as lacerated liver and broken neck.

    In efforts to console Mrs. Showalter, friends, neighbors, witnesses and officials volunteer information about the accident. She quietly listens for about six weeks, taking it for granted that police are acting on the same information. December 26

    New London police begin full-scale search for red car.

    1974

    February 6

    FBI report describes paint particles on Mr. Showalter’s clothing as “racing green” or “forest green” used on 1968 Chrysler products.

    February 7

    Mrs. Showalter notes she had the impression local police were not actively pursuing the case. She began interviewing those persons who came to her voluntarily and made a written record of her findings.

    During the next three weeks, Mrs. Showalter spends much of her time making telephone calls and knocking on doors. She and her youngest son Craig, then 14, visited a number of local auto dealers and garages. She said in most cases they were told police had not made any inquiries of them.

    February 28

    New London police conduct first interview with Harvey N. Mallove, the downtown merchant and former mayor and city councilor. Mallove stated he drove by Pequot Avenue near Plant Street shortly before 11:15 p.m. on Christmas Eve 1973. Seven people near the accident scene contradict what he said he saw.

    April 20

    Mrs. Showalter writes to State’s Atty. Edmund J. O’Brien, requesting a one-man grand jury investigation into her son’s death. O’Brien never responds.

    On the same day, Atty. Thomas Bishop, representing Mrs. Showalter as the administratix of Mr. Showalter’s estate, asks Atty. Joseph Moukawsher to conduct a coroner’s inquest of the hit-run death.

    April 23

    Moukawsher agrees to conduct inquest but must confer with New London police before setting date.

    June 4

    Mrs. Showalter writes to New London Police Chief John J. Crowley, asking for a progress report on the investigation by his force. Crowley neither acknowledges receipt of letter nor responds. Copies of letter were sent to City Manager C. Francis Driscoll, and Abraham Kirshenbaum, then chairman of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee.

    June 10

    Mrs. Showalter asks Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello to call for a grand jury investigation.

    June 24

    Santaniello notes Moukawsher has agreed to conduct coroner’s inquest. He tells Mrs. Showalter, “If it appears that during any stage of this proceeding that any further intercession is necessary, appropriate action will be taken at that time.”

    July 2

    Mrs. Showalter writes to City Manager C. Francis Driscoll, asking for a report from his office assessing the police department’s handling of the case. She also asks for a reply to her June 4 letter to Police Chief Crowley.

    July 9

    Driscoll tells Crowley to prepare a complete report for Mrs. Showalter.

    July 10

    Bucko completes report on fatal accident.

    July 25

    Driscoll sends Mrs. Showalter Bucko’s report. The report said Mr. Showalter’s body was in the road, but the ambulance crew which took Mr. Showalter to Lawrence Memorial Hospital said they found him on the sidewalk several feet away. No police officer ever saw the body at the scene since the first officer arrived as the body was being placed in the ambulance.

    Bucko says paint particles from a 1968 Plymouth at the U.S. Naval Submarine Base in Groton are similar to those found on Mr. Showalter’s clothing, but the same paint is used on any 1968 Chrysler product.

    Bucko also says a piece of metal Mrs. Showalter found near the accident scene is in the detective bureau. When Mrs. Showalter first offered the metal to police, they refused to sign a receipt for it.

    August 6

    Mrs. Showalter writes to Driscoll regarding Bucko’s report. She lists six pages of comments on allegedly “serious omissions” and “strictly opinion judgments” by Bucko.

    Mrs. Showalter also writes to Chief State’s Atty. Joseph Gormley, asking him to send a representative to the coroner’s inquest. She includes copies of correspondence with local officials and Bucko’s report.

    August 9

    Mrs. Showalter requests a meeting with the City Council’s Public Safety Committee.

    August 15

    Bucko updates report, at request of city manager Driscoll.

    Bucko said of the body location, “the position he (Mr. Showalter) was found in at the scene of the accident, in my opinion, would not help in solving this matter.” Erroneous on the report is the position of the car jack which is shown on the front bumper. The car Mr. Showalter was working on, a Ford Pinto, had to be jacked from the side of the vehicle.

    Omitted from the report is the location of a car mat seen to the rear of the car and the spare tire Mr. Showalter never got to put on the car.

    August 20

    Gormley writes to Mrs. Showalter, telling her the local police investigation “has proceeded smoothly,” and there is “no reason for this office to initiate its own investigation.”

    August 28

    The Public Safety Committee of the New London City Council meets in closed session for one hour to discuss the hit-run death. Chief Crowley requested the closed session. He said there is evidence that could jeopardize future action.

    Mrs. Showalter submitted a 12-page statement for the meeting, but did not attend.

    Crowley said the case is not closed and it appears an arrest may be made.

    August 31

    Mallove submits official statement to New London police.

    November, 1974

    After being postponed several times, the coroner’s inquest hears testimony from 50 persons. No findings issued.

    1975

    January 24

    A state police detective participating in the federal grand jury probe of the city police department has told one of its patrolmen they identified the driver of the car which struck and killed Mr. Showalter on Christmas Eve, 1973.

    “We know who killed the Showalter kid, how come you don’t?” the detective was quoted in The Norwich Bulletin as saying.

    March 19-22

    The Bulletin, in a four-part series, shows:

    - Eyewitnesses and what New London police called “near witnesses” drastically differed in their accounts of the accident.

    - Microscopic paint particles found on Mr. Showalter’s clothing on which police based their search may not have been left by the vehicle which struck him.

    - Evidence entrusted to police officers at the scene has never been seen since.

    - A claim by police that it would cost as much as $1,200 to trace vehicles possible involved in the mishap was declared false by the state Motor Vehicle Department.

    The Bulletin, when preparing the series of articles, made repeated efforts to discuss the case with police officials but Lt. K.T. Bucko, who headed the case, on the advice of then Police Chief John Crowley, would not.

    April 3 State police conduct an extensive door-to-door inquiry in the Pequot Avenue region. State police have been looking into the case as part of a federal grand jury investigation into alleged corruption within the city force.

    July 12

    The state of Connecticut offers a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the hit-run death of Mr. Showalter. A total of $3,000 is now being offered. Classmates and friends of Mr. Showalter’s have already collected $1,000.

    July 21

    A community effort by friends and classmates raises the reward to $5,000.

    November 8

    The transcript of the coroner’s inquest of the hit-run death conducted nearly a year ago has yet to be typed, Coroner Joseph Moukawsher confirms. He said he wants to review the transcript even though he believes his six-day long inquest did not establish any guilt in the case. He said he has not spoken with the court reporter assigned to the case since the early summer.

    December 10

    Mrs. Showalter writes to State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti, requesting a one-man grand jury investigation. No response.

    1976

    January 6

    Satti refuses to confirm or deny the existence of Mrs. Showalter’s request. Mrs. Showalter has also asked Satti’s office to ascertain the location of recorded tapes made during the coroner’s inquest.

    January 9

    Mrs. Showalter sends a special delivery letter to Satti asking for a response to the December 10 request. No response.

    February 19

    In a feature article, also carried statewide by the Associated Press, The Bulletin profiles Mrs. Showalter on page one.

    Some public officials regard her as a persistent nuisance, someone to be ignored and sidestepped, but Mrs. Lucille M. Showalter will not breathe easily until they tell her who killed her son, Bulletin reporter Fred Vollono wrote.

    “The official comment seems to be there is nothing to it,” Mrs. Showalter said. “It is just the ramblings of a grief-stricken mother. But there are many people who urge me to go on. They say, ‘Lucille, if you stop, then nothing will ever be done.’”

    February 23

    Mrs. Showalter receives a letter of confession from an inmate at Somers state prison. The inmate said he was plagued by news accounts of the death. Every time he seems to forget the accident, the inmate said, he reads another news story.

    April 2

    Mrs. Showalter submits a third written request to Satti for a grand-jury probe. No response.

    May 6

    Common Pleas court Prosecutor Harold Dean quashes the only lead in the two and a half year old investigation, The Norwich Bulletin reports. The lead was the letter of confession written by the inmate at Somers Prison. State police arrested the inmate for harassment of the victim’s mother, Mrs. Showalter, to whom the letter was sent. Dean nolled the case and allowed it to be dismissed despite a prior meeting with state police when the significance of the arrest was discussed.

    State police did not believe the letter writer was responsible for the hit-run death, but they thought the letter contained possibly significant information. Dean said he was certain the accused had no knowledge of the case, because he was incarcerated when Mr. Showalter was killed.

    August 7 The day following the Bulletin’s report of Dean quashing the lead, Chief State’s Atty. Joseph Gormley says he had “no idea” why the lead “which very well could have led to something,” resulted in a dead end. Two state police officers had met with Gormley to discuss the letter of confession.

    August 6

    State police list the investigation into the killing of Mr. Showalter as “closed pending further development.” That classification came 31 days after Dean threw the harassment case out of court.

    August 30

    Mrs. Showalter again asks Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello to call for a one-man grand jury probe.

    September 1

    Mrs. Showalter publicly renews her efforts to have a one-man grand jury reopen the investigation into the hit-run killing of her son. In a statement sent to 22 media outlets, Mrs. Showalter says she made the appeal in an August 30 letter to Superior Court Judge Angelo Santaniello. She says she was asking the judge to “make good on a promise” he made to her in June 1974. Santaniello wrote in a June 24, 1974 letter, Superior Court intercession would be possible if the investigation required it.

    Santaniello said, “probably the proper person” to approach would be State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti. But Mrs. Showalter said she is ignoring Satti because he failed to respond to her December 1975 letter asking for the grand jury.

    September 23

    State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti says he needs another three weeks to review information on the killing of Mr. Showalter before deciding whether the investigation should be reopened or shelved.

    Satti says he had hoped to have the matter resolved by today, but the sinking of his 35-foot cabin cruiser two weeks ago, an unexpected report of crimes by New London police, and a new trial forced him behind schedule.

    November 23

    Mrs. Showalter turns to Governor Ella T. Grasso for help.

    “I cannot endure this loss of a beloved son in the midst of a governmental system that appears to neither act nor care,” Mrs. Showalter says in a letter to the governor.

    Mrs. Showalter says she is skeptical the New London County State’s Attorney’s review of the case will result in the one-man grand jury she has requested. Satti today said he is still reviewing transcripts of the Coroner’s Inquest and refused further comment.

    December 21

    Just three days before the third anniversary of the killing of Kevin B. Showalter, the state’s chief court administrator orders the city’s only unsolved hit-and-run case reopened.

    John P. Cotter signs an order creating a one-man jury to probe the death, renewing hopes that allegations of police bungling and mishandling of the case will be settled.

    “I can’t yet believe it,” says Mrs. Showalter, calling the action a “literal miracle.”

    Cotter, a justice on the state Supreme Court, selects retired Superior Court Judge Raymond J. Devlin to head the one-man grand jury.

    An attorney representing Mrs. Lucille M. Showalter also files a $600,000 lawsuit against the unnamed person(s) responsible for the killing of her son. Atty. Averum J. Sprecher of East Haddam says the suit is aimed at protecting Mrs. Showalter’s rights.

    “The action as I have filed it will definitively preserve her rights when the investigative bodies finally determine who killed the boy,” he said. The suit is aimed at heading off fears the state’s statute of limitations might preclude Mrs. Showalter from pursuing civil action if the killer is found.

    December 24

    Superior Court Judge Joseph F. Dannehy is ordered to replace State Referee Raymond J. Devlin as the one-man grand juror investigating Mr. Showalter’s death. Chief Court Administrator John P. Cotter says Judge Devlin had asked to be taken off the case because he was too busy with other duties, and would be unable to commute from his New Haven office.

    1977

    January 4

    Austin J. McGuigan, the special prosecutor assigned to the one-man grand jury probing the hit-run death of Mr. Showalter promises to pull “all the stops” in his investigation but says he needs help from the public to succeed.

    McGuigan has worked for the state for two years as the top investigator of organized crime. He appeals to anyone with information to call him confidentially.

    February 8

    State Police Commissioner Edward P. Leonard, as part of a last-resort effort, makes a personal appeal to area residents for information about the killing of Mr. Showalter. In a letter to the people who live near the Pequot Avenue site where Mr. Showalter died, Leonard asks for facts – “No matter how insignificant they may appear” – which might shed light on the car, the driver or the accident scene.

    Special Prosecutor McGuigan says police “had no suspects.” However, he says if a suspect is found police believe there is sufficient evidence to tie the person to the case.

    April 18

    Investigators say they feel confident the Showalter case will be solved.

    The new optimism comes after a public appeal netted more than 300 leads, new laboratory analysis of existing evidence, and an accounting of each of the more than 10,000 green Chrysler products registered in Eastern Connecticut when Mr. Showalter was killed.

    The new evidence means “there is a significant possibility the vehicle in question was not a green Chrysler,” Special Prosecutor Austin McGuigan says. While the investigators will not say what other color the car might have been, the evidence apparently opens new avenues for the investigation. Previously, other theories on who drove the death car, theories which have had some substantiation, were locked into the green Chrysler theory, police acknowledge.

    May 10

    State police investigators spend two and a half hours recreating and filming the Pequot Avenue death scene where Mr. Showalter was the victim of the hit and run.

    May 18

    State police again film and re-create death scene.

    June 22

    The Bulletin reports that one of the most intensive investigations in state police history, the probe into Mr. Showalter’s hit-run death, will be given to a one-man grand jury July 5 in Windham county Superior Court.

    Judge Joseph F. Dannehy, the grand juror, imposes a gag order on all investigators assigned to the case. Special Prosecutor McGuigan and 17 state police detectives had gathered evidence for the grand jury.

    June 23

    More than 50 persons will be subpoenaed and the scope of the probe will be expanded to include subsequent actions connected with the accident, The Bulletin reports.

    June 24

    Eleven New London police officers, including the top detective involved in the first of three investigations of the hit-run death, have been subpoenaed, The Bulletin reports.

    July 5

    The grand jury begins behind closed doors with testimony by New London Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko.

    Outside, a television camera crew drips with sweat under the glare of a hot summer sun.

    Inside it is quiet and cool – almost like any other day. The state police detectives and reporters talk about golf, baseball and other summertime activities. Because of the gag order imposed by Judge Dannehy, they can’t talk about what is most on their minds, what has brought them all together – the unsolved hit-run death of Kevin B. Showalter.

    The session lasts about five hours and also includes testimony by Mrs. Showalter and Debra Emilyta, Mr. Showalter’s companion the night he died.

    Ms. Emilyta has been sitting on a wall about 6 feet from Mr. Showalter when he was killed. She told police she only heard the 20-year-old Mitchell College student struck, and did not see the car which struck him.

    July 6

    Witnesses include Michael Buscetto of Mike’s Arco in New London. What he identified as body putty, apparently from the car that struck and killed Mr. Showalter, has never been seen since police officers placed it in an envelope that night, according to sources.

    Ms. Emilyta concludes testimony.

    Also testifying are Dr. Robert Weller, members of his family, and a friend, who while returning home from church drove past Mr. Showalter as he was changing the tire. They were among the last persons to see Mr. Showalter alive.

    Other witnesses include Mrs. Ruth P. Hendel and Mrs. Charles (Shirley Pope) Alloway, her daughter.

    On Christmas Eve, 1973, Mrs. Hendel had just turned away from the window of her home on Pequot Avenue where she had been watching Mr. Showalter work on the Emilyta car. She heard the noise of the car striking Mr. Showalter and turning back quickly she caught a glimpse of the taillights. Her first impression of the fleeing southbound car was that it was bright-colored, possibly red.

    Mrs. Hendel continued to watch the accident scene as she telephoned Mrs. Alloway, the wife of a New London police officer.

    Arthur Adams of New London, a Mitchell College security guard and former state policeman, also testifies. Aside from Ms. Emilyta and the hit-run driver, Adams may have been one of the last persons to see Mr. Showalter alive.

    Adams saw Mr. Showalter working on the car and Ms. Emilyta sitting on the stone wall, swinging her legs. He observed the girl with a coat collar wrapped around her head, in conversation with Mr. Showalter, after the Weller party had driven by.

    Adams continued on his rounds towards the Montauk Avenue side of the campus. Sometime after 11 p.m., he saw an ambulance heading for the hospital and two police cars heading down Plant Street.

    July 7

    Some of the last persons who saw Mr. Showalter alive and one of the first who saw him dead testify.

    Six members of the Sitty family, who were celebrating Christmas Eve and occasionally watching Mr. Showalter change a tire from inside a house on Pequot Avenue, tell the grand jury what they knew about the case, Edmond Sitty had brought out a blanket and a corduroy coat to put over Mr. Showalter’s body after he had been struck and killed.

    A New London High School classmate of Mr. Showalter, Arthur Petrini, was a passenger in a car that passed the accident scene sometime after Mr. Showalter was killed and before the ambulance and police arrived. He also testified.

    July 12

    Witnesses included two firemen and a dispatcher, two nurses and an orderly, the New London County Medical Examiner, the first man to officially identify Mr. Showalter, and a woman who lives near the accident scene.

    Larry Grimes, a security guard who knew Mr. Showalter from Mitchell College, had made the preliminary identification at Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals, where he also worked. Mrs. Dorothy Bryson of Pequot Avenue, who came upon the accident scene, also testifies.

    July 13

    New London police officers pack the waiting room of the Windham County Courthouse. Of the 11 who were subpoenaed last month, at least seven are present.

    The 11 include Patrolmen Vincent McGrath, Steven Colonis, Thomas P. Bowes Jr., and Cpl. Joseph Chiapponne, all of whom were involved in the initial investigation. With the change of shift, Sgt. Joseph Jullarine, Patrolmen Richard West and Glenn Davis and Det. Sgt. Konstanty T. Bucko joined the probe. Bucko was off duty at the time.

    McGrath filed the motor vehicle report of the accident and the sketch on the report was by Bowes. Bucko took photographs of the scene and gathered evidence. His photographs may be the only ones taken. Bucko also went to the hospital and got the victim’s clothing, according to sources.

    Colonis, the first officer on the scene, apparently arrived as Mr. Showalter was being placed in the ambulance. He interviewed Ms. Emilyta and took her to the station to file a 13-sentence statement.

    There is some confusion of whether Colonis drove an unmarked police car that night. Sources say police made conflicting statements on that question.

    July 14

    Thomas Wainwright, who played tennis with Kevin Showalter at New London High, saw his lifeless body on a sidewalk on Pequot Avenue before an ambulance or police arrived, and is among those testifying today. Arthur Petrini, who testified last week, was a passenger in Wainwright’s car.

    Mr. and Mrs. Donald Wainwright, who were stopped by police after circling the scene in another auto, also testify.

    At least seven New London police officers are at the courthouse, but it is not known how many are testifying.

    July 19

    The grand jury shifts beyond reconstructions by “near witnesses,” as Sgt. Joseph Jullarine, now retired, testifies. He was the squad leader who reportedly conducted “an intensive investigation” for a red car during the 11:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. shift on Christmas Day 1973.

    July 20

    The grand jury investigators spend much of the day alone reviewing physical evidence and testimony. Only three witnesses – New London police who have already appeared during the proceedings – are present.

    July 21

    Det. Bucko appears for at least the fourth time in the nine days the grand jury has convened. The session begins at 10 a.m. and ends about 5:45 p.m., with his departure.

    A nurse’s aide who knelt by Mr. Showalter’s body, feeling for a pulse, also testifies, Sue Costello, who heard the report of an accident as she was leaving Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals in New London from her shift, had arrived on the scene before ambulance personnel and police.

    July 26

    The scope of the grand jury probe goes beyond Mr. Showlater’s death and runs smack into a crucial area of dispute with the appearance of New London police detective Walter Petchark.

    On Christmas Day 1973, with evidence already missing and news of Mr. Showalter’s death on the radio, Petchark reportedly received a call from former mayor Harvey N. Mallove. Mallove later told The Bulletin there was no truth to the report. But he allegedly told Petchark he thought he saw the accident the night before.

    Three city police detectives – Bucko, Petchark, and Carmello Fazzina – were present at the inquiry. They were followed by laboratory technicians from the FBI, who lent their expertise in the analysis of headlight glass possibly belonging to the death vehicle.

    July 27

    The former counsel for the estate of Mr. Showalter testifies. Atty. Thomas Bishop confirms his representation of the estate was severed in June 1974.

    Thomas and Donald Wainwright return for further testimony.

    July 28

    Witnesses include Mrs. S.F. Zimet of Ledyard. Mallove said he was visiting at her home on Christmas Eve 1973, left about 10:45 p.m., and was home in New London about half an hour later.

    Mrs. Zimet is accompanied by her attorney, L. Patrick Gray. Gray, like Bishop, is a member of the New London law firm Suissman, Shapiro, Wool, and Brennan.

    Other witnesses include New London city Manager C. Francis Driscoll and Elise Mallove, Mallove’s daughter. Miss Mallove was home for her Christmas vacation in 1973.

    The grand jury begins a four-week recess. More than 50 persons were called during the first 12 days of the inquiry.

    August 30

    New London police investigators and a newspaper editor who has followed their unsolved hit-run death case for three years are among the witnesses.

    Retired Police Chief John Crowley and Det. Lt. K.T. Bucko, who refused repeated pleas by The Bulletin in March of 1975 to discuss the death of Kevin B. Showalter, gives testimony – as did the paper’s managing editor, John C. Peterson.

    Peterson testifies for three hours.

    August 31

    The attorney who conducted a coroner’s inquest into Mr. Showalter’s death, the results of which have never met public scrutiny, is the first witness today. Atty. Joseph Moukwasher, who heard testimony from 50 witnesses during six days in September and November of 1974, is one of the few persons familiar with the substance of that investigation.

    It took more than two years for the transcripts of the hearings to be typed and submitted to State’s Atty. C. Robert Satti.

    State Police Sgt. Donald Crouch, who in 1974 and 1975 worked for the federal grand jury investigating alleged corruption in the New London force, also testifies. Other witnesses included Rosemary Benson and Carol James.

    September 1

    Physical exhibits appear to outnumber witnesses in the 15th day of proceedings. Two state police technicians from the crime lab in Bethany carry satchels concealing evidence into the closed courtroom. One exhibit is a light colored automobile fender, which was dented and streaked.

    September 2

    Det. Edward Pickett of the New London County State’s Attorney’s office, who helped administer a lie detector test to Ms. Emilyta, testifies. Ms. Emilyta passed the test.

    Another detective, private investigator Joe Harris, is also called. A former Waterford police sergeant, he worked on the case for a brief time, on his own.

    Other witnesses in a short session include State Police Sgt. Charles Trotter, a principal investigator in the federal grand jury probe of the New London city police.

    September 12

    Two persons who saw Mr. Showalter on Christmas Eve 1973, hours before he was killed testify.

    Ramona Ricci, a coworker of Mr. Showalter’s at a Waterford discotheque, attended one of two parties Mr. Showalter had planned to go to after work that night. Nancy Wicksham, who also testified, had joined friends that holiday evening at the club.

    September 18

    Mallove says his status as a suspect in the case is “nothing new.” During testimony in a New Jersey courtroom, Connecticut State Police revealed Mallove is a prime suspect in the hit-run case. The testimony concerned refusal by two New Jersey men to comply with a subpoena issued by the one-man grand jury. Trooper Charles Wargat also testified he was told the two men repaired Mallove’s car on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day 1973.

    Mallove tells The Bulletin he did not know the men and never had a car repaired at their shop on Reed Street in New London. He says he didn’t kill Mr. Showalter and doesn’t know anything about anybody who did.

    September 19

    One of the two men who testified with immunity today has said in a published account he has no knowledge of the case and denied any car was repaired in his New London shop on Christmas Eve 1973.

    Walter String Jr. made those comments in the New Jersey Courier Post. He and his son, Walter String III, had been ordered to appear today by a New Jersey judge, after refusing to comply with a subpoena.

    Among the dozen or so witnesses are New London city police Sgt. Donald Sloan and Cpl. Charles Alloway. They took the first full statement from Ms. Emilyta, five days after the accident.

    September 26

    Darlene Barnes, a friend of Mr. Showalter who patronized the Waterford discotheque where he worked, is among the witnesses today. Ms. Barnes was also one of the 50 witnesses during the coroner’s inquest of 1974.

    October 3

    Larry Grimes testifies again. The Mitchell College security guard who made the first identification of Mr. Showalter at Lawrence and Memorial Hospitals, was also at the courthouse on July 12, and Sept. 26.

    The grand jury will be in recess until October 17. It has convened 20 times since July 5 and heard about 90 witnesses.

    October 11

    Judge Dannehy says published reports that Mallove is a prime suspect in the case “couldn’t bother me in the least.”

    “They (the newspapers) are free to speculate if they wish,” Dannehy says. “I am not concerned with their claimed right to freedom of expression.

    I think that sometimes their attitude is to publish and be damned, but they don’t bother me.”

    “Why don’t you wait” for the grand jury report? Dannehy asked.

    October 17

    The sales manager of a New London auto firm who said he has sold a number of cars to the family of a suspect in the hit-run case testifies.

    In 1970, Peter Emmanuel Sr. of New London Motors sold a Lincoln Continental to Harvey N. Mallove, whom state police have identified as a suspect in the Christmas Eve, 1973 death. A compact car was among the other autos the New London firm sold to Mallove.

    State police were looking for a green Chrysler product when they first questioned New London motors personnel, Emmanuel said before he testified. But the firm didn’t sell Mallove such a vehicle, which police had believed was the death car, he added.

    October 24

    The grand jury does not convene today because the investigators were not ready to proceed, Judge Dannehy said. He said he plans to conduct several more sessions before adjourning to write the final report, but did not specify.

    November 14

    The grand jury meets for its first regular session since October 17 and hears one witness. The witness, Gary Jordan of New London, said he was dating Elise Mallove on Christmas Eve 1973.

    Sources say the grand jury conducted at least one special session since October 17, but it was not known who testified.

    November 21

    State police continue working long and irregular hours probing Mr. Showalter’s death as they re-create the hit-run scene on Pequot Avenue near Plant Street for at least the third time.

    November 29

    The man whom state police have said they consider a prime suspect in New London’s only unsolved hit-run death has his day in court.

    Harvey N. Mallove testifies for about four hours before the secret grand jury probing Mr. Showalter’s death. Atty. Leo J. McNamara accompanies Mallove to the Windham County Courthouse.

    Mallove says he was one of a number of persons who drove by the accident scene shortly before or after Mr. Showalter was killed. But a four-part series by The Bulletin in March of 1975 showed Mallove saw a scene that seven other persons said could not have taken place.

    Mallove passed the accident scene within a minute or two after an ambulance call was logged. His statement to New London police – dated eight months later – conflicts with accounts of seven persons at the scene or looking out their windows seconds after Mr. Showalter was struck.

    Mr. Showalter was struck by a car as he changed a tire on a friend’s parked Ford Pinto, on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue near Plant Street.

    In his statement, Mallove said he saw an automobile parked at an angle in front of the Pinto. None of the seven persons saw any car stopped at the scene immediately after the victim was hit according to the July 10, 1974 report by New London Det. Lt. Konstanty T. Bucko.

    Mallove’s vivid description of a middle-aged man talking with a girl near the car also conflicts with statements by the seven persons.

    In his statement, Mallove said he assumed the man was a member of the police department. But Bucko claims in the July 10 report that Mallove told him the talking to the girl was “NOT” a policeman.

    Bucko’s report also claims Mallove learned on Christmas Day 1974 that “a man had been killed and he remarked to some people that he saw the body.” But Bucko continued to report that after Mallove viewed photographs of the scene he realized what he mistook for a body was a floor mat. In his statement, Mallove said he saw a “flat object which I assumed was a blanket or a mat.”

    In his August 31, 1974 statement, Mallove said, “Seeing no trouble, accident, or any evidence of anything out of place…I continued on my way home.”

    In the July 10, 1974 report, Bucko claims; “Mr. Mallove stated he was going to stop because he realized there had been an accident.”

    Mallove has told The Bulletin that Bucko misquoted him.

    December 7

    The calling of witnesses ends with Mallove’s second appearance.

    The proceedings included a film screening, apparently of the death scene as re-created by state police.

    After the 35 minute screening, Special Prosecutor McGuigan and Judge Dannehy questioned Mallove for about 40 minutes. That was the bulk of the afternoon session.

    The question of whether indictments should be handed down in New London’s only unsolved hit-run death now rests with Judge Dannehy.

    After 24 sessions and more than 100 witnesses, Dannehy said the next step for the grand jury is the final report on who killed Kevin B. Saltwater.

    1978

    Feb. 17 Report filed.

    Feb. 22

    Report made public.

  • THE DANNEHY REPORT


  • SHOWALTER COVERUP COLUMNS

    Chapter 1

    Law and Justice in Everyday Life

    Cover-Up In New London

    Hit-And-Run Continues To Mock Justice


    Sept. 4, 2000

    If Connecticut Chief State’s Attorney John Bailey wants to bring closure to cold cases, here’s one from New London that should top the list: The Showalter hit-and-run cover-up is a dark chapter in Connecticut history, a tale more appropriate for a Third World country.

    And yet, only one thing bothers former New London County State’s Attorney C. Robert Satti about the Showalter case: that it was investigated at all.

    Satti, now retired, made the point again and again, most recently this year. Satti’s complaint, made during the wake of the late state police Detective George Ryalls, was that Ryalls’ obituary mentioned the suspect the prosecutor refused to pursue in the Showalter probe.

    Kevin B. Showalter, a 20-year-old Mitchell College student, was killed at 11:12 p.m. on Christmas Eve 1973. He was changing a tire on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue on the New London shoreline when he was struck and killed. His girlfriend, sitting only 6 feet away on a stone wall, claims she saw nothing.

    Auto body putty from the death car disappeared after a tow truck driver gave it to New London police. The evidence file that was supposed to contain the putty was stuffed with bathroom tiles. The file that was supposed to contain headlight glass from the death car instead contained glass from three different headlights. State police and others suspected that, in order to throw legitimate investigators off the trail, the late young man's clothing was pounded on a different-colored car than the one that killed him.

    The victim's mother, Lucille M. Showalter, tried to get a grand jury investigation of the cover-up. She was rebuffed repeatedly by the presiding judge, Angelo Santaniello who, it later became clear, was best friends with the leading suspect. Santaniello then referred Showalter to prosecutor Satti, who happened to be his former law partner. Satti refused to acknowledge registered letters from Mrs. Showalter pleading for a grand jury probe.

    Satti did finally meet with Mrs. Showalter in 1978, after Judge Joseph Dannehy of Willimantic, acting as a one-man grand jury, named former New London Mayor Harvey N. Mallove as the probable driver of the hit-run vehicle. Satti called the three-hour meeting, in which he repeatedly told Mrs. Showalter that there never should have been a grand jury investigation under Dannehy.

    Mallove held a good hand; he had the best legal muscle in New London County on his side. New London police would not question him for more than seven months, and then only in a perfunctory manner. They would say they inspected his cars, but they did not. Significantly, Mallove’s Lincoln had been repaired, but it wasn’t until state police took over the case four years after the accident that the fender was finally seized.

    Santaniello would arrange for a coroner’s inquest and put his niece in charge of typing the transcript. Only after two years of intense public pressure would the transcript be typed. But the inquest never issued a finding.

    Santaniello tipped off Mallove that he was a suspect. The judge was also aware of what local police knew about the case. Mrs. Showalter memorialized the admissions in tape-recorded telephone conversations.

    “I did talk to Harvey,” Santaniello told Mrs. Showalter on Oct. 17, 1975, “and I said, `You’re suspected.’ As a matter of fact, at that time a police officer came to him on the same day or the next day, and told him you were making accusations about him and that he was a prime suspect.” The day before, Mallove told Mrs. Showalter, “Judge Santaniello is of the opinion that you fingered me.”

    It was not until 1977 that state police, who took over the case at the behest of former Gov. Ella Grasso, formally named Mallove a suspect. Next week, I'll propose a means to solve the Showalter cover-up.

    Showalter Cover-Up Is New London's Shame

    Sept. 11, 2000

    New London, where I grew up and began working in the 1960s and ‘70s, was a dirty little city with character.

    It had a restaurant called the Hygienic that was everything but. There were at least a couple bars where the cops couldn't do anything, except maybe a little business.

    The top pimp in town never went to jail until he was about 60 and a certain court official retired.

    New London will always be the city that tried to cover up the Christmas Eve 1973 hit-and-run death of Kevin B. Showalter. It's been doing a pretty good job for nearly 27 years, but the onion is beginning to peel.

    The local daily newspaper admitted -- in its official history published this year -- that it did a shoddy job on the Showalter case. Specifically, The Day admitted its failure to explore the relationship between a former mayor and a top judge, and their influence on the course of the criminal investigation. That’s a beginning.

    Political and police corruption goes back a couple generations in New London. By the 1970s, New London police were widely known to be involved in the selling of women, dope and refrigerators, among other things. A federal grand jury took note. But as with the Showalter case, there were these little problems with the evidence.

    A jewelry store owner and former city mayor multi-millionaire Harvey Mallove was the prime suspect in the hit-and-run death of Showalter, a student at Mitchell College. Showalter’s date that night, Christmas Eve 1973, said she saw nothing from her vantage point six feet away, sitting on a stone wall under a streetlight on a residential street as a young man changed the tire of her car.

    Harvey was everybody’s pal. He would take kids to the Super Bowl, then, down the road, get them jobs as cops. He was friends with bums in the street and bums in high political office. He was wired. The standing joke among reporters became: Harvey's a great guy to have a beer with, just don't change your tire if he's driving by.

    “I didn't kill the kid in any way, shape or form,” Harvey told me many times. As mayor, Harvey helped hire a few police chiefs. His best friend was the administrative judge for the county; that was the judge who controlled the early stages of the investigation, specifically a coroner’s inquest that never issued a finding.

    State police followed up a report that Mallove’s best friend, County Administrative Judge Angelo G. Santaniello, was with Mallove on Christmas Eve 1973. Santaniello reportedly was No. 11 on a guest list for a party at the home of his political mentor, the late state Sen. Peter Mariani. The Mariani party was one of two Mallove attended that night.

    Santaniello told reporters he never went out on Christmas Eve.

    Another state judge, Joseph F. Dannehy, conducted two grand jury investigations. In 1978, Dannehy named Mallove as the probable driver of the hit-run vehicle, but said evidence that might have ensured conviction was either mishandled or destroyed.

    Mallove died a few years ago with this legacy. Others still have time to come clean and tell the truth about the cover-up. Mrs. Showalter tried unsuccessfully to have Satti, Santaniello and others prosecuted for hindrance of prosecution (CGS Section 53a-166) warning of impending discovery, providing means of avoiding discovery, preventing discovery by deception. Because a conspiracy to hinder prosecution is an ongoing crime, those with information could tell Chief State's Attorney John Bailey, who has begun an initiative to solve some of the state's cold homicide cases.

    Isn’t it time? No one kept the system honest when it counted, though some tried. Most stood by as the system that was supposed to protect the victim and his family betrayed them all.

    Where is the conscience of the community?

    Cold Case On Ice Forever

    Nov. 6, 2000

    One way to deflect attention from a suspect is to get investigators involved in meaningless, time-consuming tasks. Another way is to create a bogus suspect who is then exposed as such, causing a belief that the case is just too hazy to pursue.

    Both of these devices were used repeatedly in the cover-up of the Showalter hit-run case in New London. Whether this was happenstance, indifference, incompetence or malfeasance, the result was the same. The system failed.

    And now, it seems, the truth will remain buried forever.

    Judge Joseph F. Dannehy, the grand juror who investigated the case, wrote in his finding of fact: “After December 25, 1973, the New London Police Department did virtually nothing to solve the hit-run death of Kevin B. Showalter.” The accident occurred the night before.

    Local police and court officials, however, were pro-active in another sense. Their actions served to protect the assailant.

    For example, New London police claimed it would cost as much as $1,200 to trace vehicles using data from the state Motor Vehicle Department. The motor vehicle department declared there was no such charge.

    Nevertheless, New London police spent their time hand-sorting local motor vehicle cards. They looked for a green Chrysler. That was likely a false lead; state police said paint particles found on the victim's clothing did not come from the car that killed him.

    Former Mayor Harvey Mallove began meeting informally with police and court officials as early as Dec. 25, 1973. Mallove wanted to know what the police knew.

    The only lead after two and a half years was quashed by then New London Common Pleas Court Prosecutor Harold Dean in May 1976. The lead was a letter of confession written by a Somers prison inmate to the victim’s mother, Lucille Showalter.

    “I told Harold how important that was to me,” Mallove, the prime suspect, confided to an associate. He also acknowledged discussing the purported confession with his best friend, the presiding judge for the county, Angelo Santaniello.

    The author of the letter was known to be connected with “fences,” or purveyors of stolen goods in the New London area. State police arrested him for harassment of Mrs. Showalter. Two state troopers met with Dean for an hour. They told him the letter contained possibly significant information. State police also believed they could connect the dots in New London between the letter writer and the powers-that-be. Did he owe some favors? Was he paid? Police knew the author had no liability for the accident; he was actually in Florida at the time of the hit-run.

    Dean nolled and dismissed the case without telling the troopers or Mallove. Soon thereafter, state police listed the killing of Showalter as “closed pending further development.” Upon learning of Dean's action, Chief State's Attorney Joseph Gormley remarked he had “no idea” why the lead, “which very well could have led to something,” resulted in a dead end. The case would remain closed for six months, until Gov. Ella Grasso brought the matter to Justice John Cotter.

    Was there criminal activity connected with the Showalter cover-up? It appears we will never know for certain. Dannehy named Mallove as the probable driver, noting that evidence which might have ensured conviction was destroyed. The Chief State’s Attorney’s Office reviewed aspects of the case this fall after a series of columns appeared in The Law Tribune. However, the statute of limitations for the most likely potential charge, conspiracy to hinder prosecution of motor vehicle misconduct, has expired. This shameful case, it appears, is destined to stay on ice forever.

    - AND:

    Olympic Gold for Missing Evidence


    November 28, 2005

    Judge Ellen Gordon was in way over her head with what she tried pass off as a ruling in Day Publishing v. State's Attorney.

    Clueless Gordon was handed a hot one, a case no one has ever wanted in the so-called New London Judicial District. Every single time this case has come to court, begging for justice, The Robes, the prosecutors and their minions have either desecrated their oaths or looked the other way. Clueless Gordon, fairly new to the scene, has managed to join the list of those who are both ostriches and failures.

    The Day newspaper asked Gordon this year to release the grand jury testimony regarding the cover-up of the 1973 hit-run death of Kevin Showalter. Before Gordon probably ever heard of Showalter, five New London County judges recused themselves from a John Doe civil suit against the driver because they were friends with the prime suspect, Harvey Mallove. Mallove -- the late mayor of New London and multimillionaire jeweler who picked police chiefs, planned to run for Congress and starred in the social scene -- was prone to say, "I never killed the kid -- in any way, shape or form."

    It's not like we could expect a New London judge to show guts or brains in this case. Compelling testimony from the first of two grand juries implicated local law enforcement and court officials in a widespread cover-up.

    On Christmas Eve 1973 at 11:12 p.m., as the call came in, a high-ranking New London officer, said, "F--k him, he's dead," and then left to go home. Showalter, a 20-year-old Mitchell College student, lay dead on a well-lit section of Pequot Avenue by the shoreline. His body was thrown 22 feet from the point of impact. His shoes were found 110 feet apart. A leg bone was 75 feet away.

    A tow truck driver gave police auto body putty from the death car. The putty was never seen again. New London police mixed headlight glass from at least three different cars in what they called the evidence file. Replacing the auto body putty was bathroom tile. A local coroner's inquest never issued a finding. State police, who took over the case at the behest of Gov. Ella Grasso, were bewildered and angry when they could not find the transcript of the coroner's inquest. Mallove's best friend -- the presiding judge for the county, Angelo G. Santaniello -- had put his niece in charge of typing that transcript. Santaniello also tipped off Mallove to his status as a suspect.

    Now, Clueless Gordon can't find the 3,000-page transcript of the first grand jury. Does she care? Court clerks allegedly performed a diligent search. Would any reasonable person believe or accept any of this?

    Among the last persons known to possess the grand jury report was the late State's Attorney, C. Robert Satti. Satti, who refused to investigate the case before a special prosecutor was appointed, claimed he returned a copy to the grand juror, then Willimantic Superior Court Judge (later Supreme Court Justice) Joseph Dannehy. Both Dannehy and Satti are dead. Did "Do Nothing Bob" -- Mallove's moniker for Satti -- take it with him? We might as well ask Harvey, also dead, or Kevin.

    Gordon's pathetic decision, dated Nov. 7, went on for about a sentence before its first fatal error. It might sound like a technical error, but it's much, much more than that. She actually said New London police investigated the case.

    Before this, I thought it might take generations to remove the stench from the New London courthouse. Alas, for New London, the stench of this cover-up is forever.







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  •           J&K police forms SIT to probe Amarnath bus attack        

    Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir police on Friday constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) led by a DIG-rank officer to probe the July 10 terror attack on a bus carrying Amarnath Yatra pilgrims in south Kashmir.

    "We have constituted the six-member SIT headed by South Kashmir Deputy Inspector General of Police S.P. Pani for speedy investigation in this important case," Inspector General of Police Kashmir Munir Ahmad Khan said.

    Other members include Anantnag Senior Superintendent of Police Altaf Ahmad Khan, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, and other officers who will assist in the probe. 

    Seven pilgrims were killed and 19 injured when their bus heading towards Jammu from Srinagar was attacked by militants at 8.30 p.m. at Batengo in Anantnag district on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway on July 10.

    The bus was not registered with the Amaranth Shrine Board and had reportedly violated the travel rules. 

    Soon after the attack, the Kashmir IGP had said that the Lashkar-e-Taiba was behind the attack. 

    "Initial investigation reveals it is a group of Lashkar militants headed by Abu Ismail of Pakistan who carried out the attack," the IGP had said.

    J&amp;K police forms SIT to probe Amarnath bus attack
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              Burning through the Desert         
    Dan Rielger & Ayala Moriel

    A few months ago (the last day of April, to be exact, which was also the first day of my Orientals week-long course), I had the pleasure and honour to host a special guest throughout the day: Dan Riegler of Apothecary's Garden - a purveyor of fair trade resins from around the world - especially frankincense and myrrh that are wild crafted in the traditional methods in countries such as Somalia, Yemen and Kenya. He also sources Cretan labdanum, and other rare raw materials, and sells resin-centrered products that he concocts himself, which you can find on his online shop. One of them being a highly fragrant moustache wax which basically surrounded him with a cloud of frankincense - so obviously he made an instant good impression on me!

    We started the day at the Baha'i Gardens in Akko (which deserve a full post dedicated to them) and then went to my studio to make incense - and burn a bunch too. Little did I know what I was signing up for. On top of the usual things I burn for this class (palo santo chips, sandalwood incense sticks, one type of myrrh and frankincense resins and my own rendition of Egyptian Kyphi) - Dan had a trunk-load of resins that he just imported from Africa, and was immensely kind and generous to share with us the most incredible incense resins with me and my class. We spent the afternoon burning rare myrrh, olibanum, and also some gums I never knew existed, namely Sandarac and Ammoniacum, the latter of which totally blew my mind.

    I learned so much from Dan, about the resins (and the other raw materials he curates and sells), how they are harvested and collected, the chemical makeup of the resins and how it affects the stages of burning (it turns out that incense resins also have top, heart and base notes) - and this post is just a little taste of all the beautiful resins we burnt when he was here. I'm looking forward to meeting him again on his next visits in Israel on the way to the African continent.

    Boswellia carterii
    Frankincense usually comes in "tears" shape as this Boswellia carterii - but not always. Below is a specimen of the less known B. neglecta that look more like a chunk of resinous granules. B. carterii has the characteristic, most unmistakable scent of frankincense - beginning with sweet citrus notes of lemon drops and orange candy and continuing into more resinous, woody and even balsamic, caramel-like nuances as the incense burns on the charcoal.

    While looking pretty much the same, other frankincense species provide further nuances and a whole frankincense burning comparative study (or incense games a-la Japenese Koh-Doh) can easily occupy half a day. Compare this to Maydi (Boswellia frereana) which albeit its slightly herbaceous (sage-like) opening, is more subtle, woody and perfumey. In fact, it smells almost powdery like violet and iris. Ethiopian frakincince (Boswellia papyrifea) is even finer with its suave, light perfume notes, slightly sweet and with notes of burnt sugar at the end of the charcoal burning process.

    Boswellia negoecta - black and white

    Boswellia neglecta is endemic to north Kenya and comes in white and black forms (as you can see in the photo) and is not widely known. The white and the black smell significantly different. The white begins resinous-green, piney and mysterious, surprisingly juice like crushed leaves with hints of parsley, galbanum and ammonia (smells a lot like amoniacum).  It has a hint of sweaty note, a little like coriander seed. The final burning moments bring to mind the smoke coming out of autumnal piles of fall leaves.

    The black neglecta smells completely different - you wouldn't think it came from the same plant: it smells dark and looming, like moss, mushrooms, decaying fall leaves, peat, forest floor and hints of campfire. It's surprising and magical that a resin can possess so many different facets.

    Sandarac
    Sandarac (tetraclllyris) comes from Malta and just like its pure milky appearance, burns clean with a woody-balsamic-resinous scent that is fine and very pleasant. It's a little bit like elemi, a little like mastic but not quite. There is a tiny hint of seashore to it that I only detected after many times of burning. It is quite lovely, even if underwhelming at first impression.

    Ammoniacum
    Ammoniacum is intense and pungent, like a mixture of galbanum, asafoetida, sulphur, greens. It it a very interesting odour but I suspect it would have better effect in magic and exorcism ceremonies rather than contemplative incense rituals.

    Commiphora confusa

    Commiphora confusa, as the name suggests, is a type of myrrh that is hard to identify, and for several reasons: the flowers look different on each plant, the resin looks different as well - and the most surprising of all: it smells more like frankincense than myrrh.

    Commiphora myrrha

    Commiphora myrrha (from Ethiopea) has the characteristic bitter, rubbery scent when burnt, and is what I'd imagine the Queen of Sheba to wear on her neck when seducing King Solomon.

    Commiphora karat

    Commiphora kataf (from Kenya) has pieces of wood in it (which would change the smell of the smoke depending on which chunk you burn). It has a strange, sulphuric-sweaty odour. I guess you could call it spicy, as it has a hint of cumin in it too. Overall it reminds me more of the smell of food than incense - barbecuing kebabs comes to mind.

    Commiphira holziana
    Commiphora holtziana does not smell like myrrh at all to me. It's more woody than C. myrrha, and a tad fresh to start with. Dan describes it as briny and sea-like but I'm not getting it.

    Arabian/Yemeni Myrrh
    Arabian/Yemeni Myrrh is by far the most incredibly beautiful myrrh resin I've ever burnt. Although it came in a strange looking chunk, containing pieces of the plastic bags used by the collectors, and even a piece of wool yarn, it has the most fantastic scent, like a perfume on its own accord. It reminds me of the unique "version" of frankincense that B. papyrifea offers. I would love to have this as an essential oil and create a perfume with it.


              Za'atar         
    Summer Za'atar on the border with Lebanon
    There is a little confusion around the name "Za'atar" and what exactly does it refer to: A condiment? A spice mix? An herb? And if so - which herb exactly - Hyssop? Thyme? Oregano? Marjoram?

    The truth is that za'atar is an Arabic word used interchangeably for a number of wild herbs that grow wild in the Mediterranean region, and all contain thymol and carvacrol. Hence their similar sharp and warm aroma, bitter taste and spicy, almost hot "bite". They also share similar medicinal properties, most of them used in folk medicine for most digestive ailments and respiratory complaints. The mixture known to us as "Za'atar" is in fact a misnomer. Za'atar is originally the name of the plant now classified as Origanum syriacum, but in Arabic it is loosely applied to several other related wild and not so wild herbs.

    Zaatar

    The name for the condiment is in fact "doukka" (pronounced often as "Do-ak" with a very throaty "K" that almost sounds like an "A" so in reality the word sounds more like "Do-ah"). In Arabic this means "to grind". Each region in the Arab world has its own "Doukka", which is either sprinkled on food, or more commonly covered in olive oil to which the traditional regional bread is dipped. For example - Egypt has a complex nut-based doukka with toasted hazelnuts or walnuts, to which toasted or untoasted spices such as cumin, coriander seeds, green peppercorns and sweet fennel have been added.

    In the Levant "doukka" happens to be made primarily of a mixture of thymol-containing herbs, with "The" Za'atar (Origanum syriacum) being the star of the show. Lesser amounts of other herbs, will be added - the most important of which are "Za'atar Farsi" (winter savory), Israeli Thyme (Corydothymus capitatus), Zuta זוטה לבנה ( Micromeria fruiticosa barbata), a delicate wild white mint known in English as White-Leaved Savory (which does not even belong to the savory genus, but to micromeria because of its tiny leaves). Common oregano (Origanum vulgare) makes a good addition, albeit cannot substitute for the real Za'atar or Syrian oregano if you actually know the real deal. Likewise, marjoram and thyme can also make a good addition but not be at the centre. Even though their profiles are similar - there are some nuances that will be lost if using only the garden variety oreganos and thymes and none of the wild stuff.

    Many other things can be added to the mix, the most important being sumac berries (Rhus coriaria) for their wonderful salty-sour flavour, and toasted sesame seeds for their pop-in-the-mouth nuttiness. But you'll also find spices sometimes, including more obscure ones such as butum (بطم) - toasted terebinth fruits (Pistachia palestina), which are really like tiny pistachios with the outer red peel intact. I've got a few of those drying right now, because I've never seen them in any market before and I'm very curious how they taste as a spice.

    The following are several authentic Za'atar recipes I've collected - and of course you are welcome to browse google's universe of shared recipes, but be cautious of a few things if you want to make an authentic za'atar:
    1) Use actual Origanum syriacum even if a generic "oregano" is called for
    2) Do not by any stretch of the imagination use "fresh" leaves. They must be dried first. And only then will you grind them up with the rest of the ingredients. This is a dried herb and spice mix. Not a fresh herb concoction.
    3) Usage of salt, although found in many recipes, seems very superfluous to me, unless you are not using sumac berries. These have a unique taste - equally salty and tangy. The whole point of using them is so you do not need to use salt. Likewise, using citric acid is a way to fake the sumac effect. Which I'm not quit sure why would anyone do that aside from laziness. Sumac berries are difficult to grind manually (or even in a coffee grinder) - but you can find ground sumac easily in many spice shops and markets.

    When shopping for pre-made spice mixes, or any ground spices for that matter, the main culprit is adulteration and using old raw material that are "dressed up" as authentic. It's hard to teach someone who've never tasted or smelled za'atar what to look for, but some things are a telling sign. For example: if you don't see the dark maroon red and still taste salt or tanginess, it is probably from salt and citrus acid, and not from the (missing) red sumac berries. Secondly, another visual sign - za'atar leaves are rather grey in colour when dried, so any other colour you see (olive green) is either food colouring or a combination of other types of "za'atar" herbs (i.e.: thyme, za'atar farsi, etc.). Best sign is by taste - if it taste like dust (and looks like dust) it's either too old or just a fake.

    I suggest you start with the most basic three ingredients, and then play with the proportions and adding other herbs and/or spices. You can even start with equal amount of za'atar leaves, sumac and sesame and adjust to taste.

    Safta Ada's Za'atar Recipe 
    This is my mom's handmade recipe that she would make from wild harvested za'atar (before it was illegal to pick any) and would even send it to Vancouver so I can enjoy a taste of home.
    1 cup dried za'atar leaves, coarsely crushed between your palms, or pounded with mortar and pestle to a finer powder
    4 Tbs ground sumac berries (I suggest you purchase them pre-ground, otherwise their seeds can break your teeth!)
    2 Tbs toasted brown sesame seeds, whole

    May Bsisu wrote an excellent book, The Arab Table, which I highly recommend, and it includes a unique Palestinian style of za'atar that includes caraway:
    10oz oregano (I assume she means za'atar)
    5oz thyme
    3 Tbs sumac, ground
    1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
    2-1/2 Tbs coarse salt
    1/2 tsp allspice, ground
    1/4 tsp caraway seeds, ground 

    Easy Lebanese Recipes provides a "Traditional Rich Recipe" for za'atar that I'm compelled to try, with dried za'atar, roasted sesame, sumac, marjoram, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, fennel, aniseed and salt.

    Mamma's Lebanese Kitchen recipe contains thyme, marjoram, sumac, sesame, cumin, coriander, fennel, cinnamon and salt.

    How to consume za'atar?
    Use your za'atar mixed with olive oil as a dip for bread, on top of labneh (strained yoghurt cheese) or as a substitute for butter under any other soft or hard cheese, avocado, etc.
    It's also a nice addition to salads, and for baking fish or poultry. I also like to add it to chickpeas that I fry whole in olive oil, after they've been cooked and drained.

    Fresh za'atar leaves come in late winter and can be enjoyed all through spring, and can be fried in olive oil much like tender sage leaves and become this wonderful crispy topping for fresh bread, pasta, roasted vegetables, etc. Also, they can be used as they are in salads (May Bsisu has a recipe for fresh oregano salad in that book as well), with lots of onion and tomatoe. The Druze use it to season the dough or the fillings for various savoury pastries, such as sambusak (a flatbread that is folded in half to conceal a thin layer of highly seasoned stuffing, and baked in the tabun) and fatayer (little dough pockets filled with cheese), and the dried whole leaves can be used much like oregano in meat and pasta sauces, in soups, stews, breads, etc.

    Now, let's explore the Za'atar "group" of plants:

    Hyssop (Wild Oregano)

    Ezov (the Hebrew word for the Biblical Hyssop - not the European Hyssopus officials which is also a medicinal plant, and produces a rather toxic essential oil), which is now classified as an oregano, Origanum syriacum (formerly Majorana syriaca). Like many of the other aromatic plants from the Lamiaceae family, za'atar has a winter and spring foliage and a summer foliage, which is smaller in order to preserve water and survive the long arid season. I suspect the essential oils also aid with the survival of these plants in such harsh conditions - because whenever they are grown in regions where the water is more abundant (British Columbia, for example) - their flavour is largely lacking. What you see above is the luscious winter "look", which features soft and larger leaves, and their colour is much greener, and therefore more similar to the common oregano (Origanum vulgare).

    Satureja

    Za'atar Farsi (meaning Persian Za'atar), or as it is called in Hebrew צתרה ורודה - Tzatra Vruda (Pink Tzatra) which really is winter or mountain savory (Satureja montana). Its long needle-like leaves have a sharp, spicy taste. When we were growing up my mom would spice the egg for French Toast with them and make them literally savoury.

    Thymbra spicata צתרנית משובלת
    Mediterranean Thyme (Thymbra spicata), in Hebrew צתרנית משובלת Tzatranit Meshubelet is also called in Arabic "Za'atar farsi", and has a very similar leaf shape (only a bit longer, narrower and softer) and almost identical odour and aroma profile. It has flowers that look a bit more like chaffs of wheat (not unlike those of Lavandula dentata, and is even more rare to find than Satureja montana.

    Coridothymus capitatus
    Israeli Thyme (Corydothymus capitatis / Thymus capitatus / Thymbra capitata) or in Hebrew Koranit Mekurkefet קורנית מקורקפת is also known by many other names - Israeli oreganum (oil), Cretan thyme, Corido thyme, Headed savory, Thyme of the Ancient, Conehead thyme and most commonly - Spanish Oregano (even though it is not classified as "origanum"). This oil is what is often sold as "oregano oil", by the way. This is now a rare plant that in our area grows only along the rocky seashores of the North Coast leading to Lebanon. The leaves are tiny and sharp, like a miniature version of the Pink Tzatra, but they grow more dense and close together to form clusters around the tip of the branches. The branches are woody-looking almost like bonsai trees that crawl all over the rocks - and the flowers tiny and purplish-pink. The aroma is clean and maybe a little more simple than that of za'atar, but also the taste is much more sharp and phenolic.




              Druze Tea        

    Herbal arrangement for tea brewing
    For those unfamiliar with the Druze culture, it is unique to the Levant (Lebanon, Syria and Israel). This minority group originated about a thousand years ago in the Ismaillia sect of early Islam, and was largely prosecuted after splitting off from it. Therefore, mate

    they usually dwell on mountains and have long tradition of bravery since they've always needed to fend for themselves in a rather hostile environment. In Israel, the Druze communities are all located in the north - from Mount Carmel in the largest Druze town Daliat el Carmel and all the way up north to the Western Galilee, the Golan Heights especially around Mount Hermon.

    Near my village alone there are four Druze villages - Jath, Yanuh, Yirka and Julis. We've held strong friendly relationships with our Druze neighbours. Growing up, two elders from the village Yanuh will travel on foot or by donkey and come help us build our village - they taught our parents how to built terraces from the many rocks around here so that we can grow crops along the hillsides, how to cultivate wild olives and do the grafting so the trees grow strong and bear good fruit, and we went every summer to the miller and grind our wheat (when we still grew our own), and every autumn to line up with all the other olive growers and press our olives into fine olive oil and buy handmade olive soap that was made on the spot from the pommace left from the pressing process. As the nearby village Yirka developed into a small town bustling with businesses - we go there also to do most of our shopping and other business (that's where I usually go to the ship my online orders, by the way), and continue to build business and work relations with our neighbours. My house (both the old and the new part) was built almost entirely by a Birka-Born team of construction experts who became my closest new friends since moving here, and their wives come to practice Pilates with me.

    Growing up here, I remember my mom being especially enthusiastic about learning from the Druze women about the bounty of edible and medicinal wild plants around here. From them she also learned to drink olive oil in the morning on empty stomach, and how to make a special scorpion antidote (from the scorpion that stung you, fried in olive oil). I never tried either, and probably never will. But I do love to learn from them about the nearly magical properties of the plants that grow everywhere around here. It's as if there is an entire pharmacy out in the open, here in the wild. 

    Besides, there is much to be learned from the Druze traditional way of living, which is very family centred and values hospitality and taking the time to sit and enjoy a cup of anything - tea, coffee, and more and more coffee. The latter is served everywhere you go - from the hardware store to the mobile phone shop. And of course you can't enter a home without being invited for at least a cup of coffee, and if it's dinnertime - to break bread with the whole family.

    Ka'kat Isfar
    As is widespread in all of Israel - among both the Arab and Jewish population - the Druze adore za'atar, sage and the many wild harvested and then dried herbs from around here. They are  popular as digestifs or medicinal brews for various ailments or as preventative measures: wild sage, white mint, savory, wild oregano, and more are either infused on their own or added, dried or fresh, to black tea.  The love for za'atar is so profound that it is even added to some sweet pastries, such as this traditional ka'akat isfar ("yellow cake") - a mildly sweet yeasted flatbread that is coloured with turmeric and additionally spiced with sesame and nigella seeds, hints of za'atar (this umbrella name could be wild oregano, savoury or thyme - more on that in another post), and hints of mysterious spices that I'm yet to identify (I detected nutmeg and perhaps even some cardamom or allspice but I can't be sure of the latter two). It has become a favourite of mine, but is never found in a pastry shop. Some families would sell their traditional homemade ka'kat isfar when they make it, and the recipes vary. The first one I tried was only spiced with turmeric. This particular version that I'm very fond of was made by a random person I met on one of my traveling tea parties, and I doubt I will be able to taste ever again. The only recipe I found that seems close is written in Arabic and I'm far from being proficient enough to follow a recipe in that language.

    Many of my Vancouver perfume studio guests have been indirectly introduced to Druze culture through the special tea I would brew each winter (we fondly called it "witch brew") of dried hulnejan (a particular type of dried galangal root) and ginger roots, which is simmered forever in a large pot, simultaneously cleansing the air, warming the chest and keeping colds at bay. It is often served with pecan nuts sprinkled on top, and a lot of sugar, which is how most Druze like their teas. I personally prefer it unsweetened, and like to add cinnamon bark which has its own natural sweetness. Sometimes I would add honey but not often.

    But Hulnejan is not the only interesting thing about the Druze tea culture. As it turns out, in the 19th Century, many Druze - especially from Syria - left for Argentina, and they brought back with them mate, and a special fondness for this unique South American concoction. They drink it socially, sharing the same bombilla (the silver straw), traditionally sucked from the tea which is brewed in a dried decorative gourd.

    Mate, Druze-style

    In this photo, I am holding a dainty cup of mate that was offered to me on the streets of Majdal Shams, a remote Druze village come ski tourist town on Mount Hermon (Jabal Sheikh), formerly part of Syria. 

    On Saturday morning, we were having a hard time finding a place to eat breakfast. The breakfast place recommended to us the night before was still closed at 8:30am - it turns out it was them who had the wedding the night before with the parade that blocked the streets) - and so we were directed by a local lady to a corner shop that sells coffee, cigarettes, local cherries and freshly whipped before your eyes malyukh (Druze flat bread that is baked on top of a saj - an iron dome much like an upside down wok) on top of open fire. The bread is baked only on one side, than folded and smeared with generous amounts of labneh (soft cheese made from strained yoghurt), za'atar mixture, and homemade hot sauce that I swear was spiked with cinnamon.  We were also offered black tea "on the house" which turned to be fragrant with "Ootra" - Arabic for the popular Pelargonium graveness. The lady was impressed with my Arabic (very basic, but still better than nothing) and even more so that I recognized what she put in the tea and know the Arabic name for it.

    I chatted her up as I was munching on the malyukh and sipping the tea, and learned that while Majdal Shams is not as big as Yirka - it is a lot more "modern" to her words. There is a high percentage of post-secondary education, most of which was acquired in Syria, where up until the civil war was offered for free to all Syrian citizens. As a background - you should know that up until 1967, the Golan Heights and Mt. Hermon, including the four Druze villages  there - Majdal Shams, Mas'ade, Ein Kiniya and Buq'ata - were under Syrian rule, and their culture is quite different than what you'll find in the Galilee. One thinks of the border between Israel and Syria (sworn enemies since the establishment of the state of Israeli in 1948) as hermetically sealed, but in fact there was a dynamic flow of the Druze population between the countries - especially for weddings and for family reunions, but also for studying abroad. This lady's brother lived in Syria for many years - he went there to study medicine, got married and lived there until the war started, and then requested to return, and came back to Israel via Jordan with his wife and their children.

    We finished our delicious breakfast, thanked the lady and crossed the street to where our car was parked, right in front of a bakery (the only other place that was already open by 9am). In front of it, two ladies sat on a bench and a couple of upside-down plastic grocery boxes, boiling water on a portable gas stove and sipping non other than mate from a dainty little jug. I was so astonished I could not hold my gasp of delight. In return, they offered me to sit down and join them, rinsing the bombilla with boiled water from the kettle and pouring fresh water over and over the mate to bring out the flavour time and again. I was so thrilled that even though we're only two hours drive from home, and are already experiencing new culture that is so different yet invites us to share a cup of tea together.
    I had a couple of jugs of mate with them and thanked the big spirit that's in this world that encouraged me to finally set up on my tea journey. 

              Auto-generation of Closed Captions to be discontinued        
    Owing to low usage levels, Adobe has decided to discontinue the auto-generation of closed captions that was available with Adobe Presenter 8, 9, 10 & 11 and Adobe Presenter Video Express 11. The auto-generation will continue to be live till Friday, July 15, 2016. Post July 15th, we will enable the ability for you to […]
              Welcome to the Hyper Natural World – A talk with Massimo Scognamiglio, artist and visionary        
    In the Hyper natural world people develop new relationship with the objects and the objects themselves change and evolve, enabling people to communicate, live and exist with/from/to objects: in that sense objects need men and men need objects in a circular relationship between technical evolution and generation of new use cases.
              Now you can stop asking me when “Jericho” and “Law & Order” will be back.        
    Sorry if that sounds snippy but, look, I'm only human. If I had a lollipop for every time somebody asked me what happened to those shows, I'd have Dum Dums for the entire city of Seattle. And Portland. And Eugene.
              Optimización libre y solidaria        
    Motorela
    El mundo tiene más sorpresas que las que uno espera. En un viaje los detalles pequeños saltan a la vista con mayor facilidad que las grandes diferencias de lenguaje, historia, ubicación, etc. Una de las que más me ha llamado la atención es este medio de transporte llamado "Motorela". 

    Al norte de Mindanao, en Misamis Oriental, entre Camiguin y Cagayan de Oro en Filipinas se ve este curioso medio de transporte. Se trata de una moto con un remolque que -mágicamente- permite acomodar 10 personas. ¿Cómo? La palabra es esa... magia. Aunque tenga un uso masivo, sea un espacio pequeño, que todo quepa o o que nada se cae a pesar de que todo parezca inestable este medio tiene algo muy especial.

    ¿Cuál es su especialidad? Se trata de una optimización libre. Los filipinos mencionan sutilmente la ubicación y el conductor sutilmente acepta o rechaza el destino propuesto. Una vez aceptada la dirección, en silencio el conductor se dirige a ese lugar. Los peatones se acercan y mencionan otros lugares. El conductor simplemente asiente o niega la ruta deseada por los otros pasajeros. El vehículo se llena y los pasajeros se van bajando en el lugar deseado y uno llega a su destino. El precio son 7 pesos filipinos (PHP) el equivalente a aprox 14 centavos de dólar o 540 pesos colombianos (COP).

    ¿Qué tiene eso de novedoso? Lo que he podido observar es que el medio permite satisfacer la necesidad de transporte, su cupo se utiliza plenamente, es un transporte colectivo y el conductor con una señal sutil está optimizando la ruta. ¡Muestra un fenómeno emergente que sin control previo genera resultados ordenados! ¿Podrían las grandes plataformas como Über, Waze, Google Maps lograr procesos de optimización donde en lugares precisos se recogan personas que vayan hacia la misma ruta? 

    Lo mejor de todo es que rompe el paradigma tecnocrático de que la mejor opción de transporte es planificada. ¿Podría esa moda de alcaldes tecnócratas colombianos lograr un medio óptimo, cooperativo y a la vez libre? La planificación que empieza a utilizar varias variables se pierde rápidamente. Es fácil perder el rastro de simples supuestos programados en Excel al punto de que los archivos cobran vida. Sin embargo, un conductor de forma sencilla y ante todo libre resuelve problemas colectivos que llevan a resultados óptimos. 

    Muchas acciones individuales llevan al orden, pocas acciones de un "líder" generan caos... ¿Por qué? La libertad tiene atractores extraños y eficientes a pesar de su caos, el orden forzado produce caos...   


              SÍ, HAY UN PAÍS QUE SE LLAMA FILIPINAS...        

    ¿Para qué sirve un reinado de belleza? Los reinados son muy útiles porque no sirven para nada. Nos sirven para no pensar... y bueno nos enseñan que existe Filipinas y que queda en Asia. Dan espectáculo, enseñan que Confucio se inventó la confusión (Señorita Panamá 2009) "y también del mismo y en el sentido contrario" (Señorita Antioquia 2008). Y los reinados nos recuerdan que "estamos para darnos cariño, para darnos amor" (Señorita Antioquia 2008). Esto tratando de emular un sistema de citas digno de los reinados. Claro pero tienen la utilidad de trascender la psicología geográfica mundial... ¿En serio hay un país que se llama Filipinas? La gente en Colombia -quizás en el mundo- aprende de geopolítica, geografía e historia haciendo chismografía sobre reinados de belleza. Así que más allá del reinado y del "ese país existe" hablemos de Filipinas...

    Geografía psicológica de las tragedias

    Geografía Filipina y Sistema Político...
    Sí gente que en común padece una arbitrariedad llamada Colombia, hay un país que se llama Filipinas, son 7107 islas al sur del mar de China y al norte de Malasia e Indonesia. En total ocupan un área de 300.000 Km2 y su población es de 100 millones de habitantes. Fueron colonia española y de Estados Unidos. Idiomas oficiales Tagalo e Inglés, pero hablan otros como el Cebuano (que allá conocen como Bisaya). Entre sus islas se transportan en ferry. 
    Mapa de Filipinas
    Política y economía...
    Filipinas tiene la mitad del ingreso per cápita de Colombia.  Su moneda el Peso Filipino PHP es alrededor de 70 COP. El Peso Colombiano se ha devaluado también frente al PHP. Pero en todo caso, los salarios en Filipinas siguen siendo inferiores a los de Colombia. En general me parece un país barato. Al igual que Colombia el excesivo presupuesto público en Filipinas también desaparece. ¿Por qué? Porque al igual que en Colombia en Filipinas los políticos son "honestos"... Sin embargo, en Filipinas los únicos ricos son los políticos que "honestamente" se aprovechan del Pondo público. Bueno, las celebridades también tienen plata allá...

    Tienen una economía altamente proteccionista que prácticamente prohíbe los negocios de los extranjeros. Ningún extranjero puede adquirir propiedad raíz. Los casos comunes de jurisprudencia en propiedad es si un extranjero que compra a través de un filipino pueden transferir legítimamente propiedad a un tercero. Lo que, contrario a mis amigos de izquierda, es para mí la razón por la cual no tienen el desarrollo de Hong Kong, Singapur o Malasia. Filipinas es uno de los pocos países que no le exige Visa a los colombianos...claro si no siguen poniendo estupideces en redes sociales. Por culpa de algunos colombianos es que a otros nos da vergüenza mostrar el pasaporte. 

    Esa arbitrariedad llamada estado también genera problemas políticos en Asia. Hay un problema de aguas territoriales como Colombia. Colombia lo tiene con Nicaragua, algo la verdad relativamente fácil de lidiar. Pero ¿con quién tiene ese diferendo limítrofe Filipinas? ¡Con China! Un país conquistador y con un poder fuerte. En Filipinas por su pobreza y pequeño ejército tienen miedo al imperialismo del gobierno Chino. Por eso la pregunta de las bases militares. 

    ¿Actitud conspirativa...?
    Contrario a la cultura colombiana, en Filipinas no ven robos improvisados en cada esquina. Para ellos básicamente se trató de una situación muy incómoda, y un error de buena fe lo que pasó en el reinado. Si fuera lo contrario ¿cómo sería la actitud de este país sudaca?

    Cultura y religión...
    Los filipinos tienen un respeto por los mayores, algo común en la cultura asiática. A todo hombre mayor se le dice kuya y a toda mujer mayor ate. Su lenguaje utilizando la palabra po cambia a una expresión más educada. Por ejemplo, Salamat po es más educado que sólo salamat. Eso significa "gracias". En Colombia no hay respeto por los mayores sino por los cartones...

    Algunas palabras o curiosidades

    Kumustá ... Viene el español ¿Cómo está? Y es el saludo.
    Paki Significa por favor
    Pagbati Significa "feliticationes"
    Ako ay mula sa Kolombiya: Significa soy de Colombia en Tagalo.
    Paano mo sabihin? Cómo se dice?
    Mahal kita... Te quiero o te amo...
    Oo Sí
    Hindi No
    Ang babae Mujer
    Ang lalaki hombre
    Ang pusa Gato
    Ang tubig agua
    Ang = el/la/los/las
    ng= de (de pertenencia)
    sa= de (de procedencia)

    Es un idioma en el que uno ve muchas a, muchas m y n, muchas g y muchas p. Tienen una letra que es la ng que para mí suena como una ñ, aunque para ellos es más dulce.

    Es quizás el único país mayoritariamente cristiano de Asia con amplia influencia católica, aunque hay otras iglesias...

    Es muy curioso porque la influencia española en Filipinas duró más que en Colombia. ¿Por qué no hablan entonces español? ¿Por qué conservaron sus idiomas regionales pero aceptaron la religión? Si los españoles eran... lo que todo el mundo piensa... ¿No debería ser Filipinas un país donde se hablara español? 

    ¿Qué piensan de Colombia?
    Pero tranquilos que en Filipinas también desconocen de Colombia. Pero, a diferencia de Filipinas, Colombia es un país mucho más "x". Ellos creen que latinoamérica es como México. Aunque tienen razón porque latinoamérica es mera telenovela. Empezando por la política colombiana entre Uribe y Santos. Semejante divorcio no habría podido ser anticipado por ningún guionista mexicano. Y pase a Venezuela con Maduro y sus llantos "ya no les doy casa porque han roto mi corazón. A quien mi comandante nombró desde su corazón". Siga con Ecuador y "van a matar al Presidente". Y sobre latinoamérica no entienden el chiste de que el papa es el único Argentino humilde jajaja...

    También insisten en que hay una gran diferencia entre los ojos de los asiáticos. Claro, de la misma manera que no somos mexicanos. No es lo mismo los ojos de un chino, de un japonés y de un coreano... Ni los de un rolo... Para nosotros todos son chinos. Encuentre las diferencias...

    En Colombia pensamos que Manila es el componente de un sobre. No, Manila es la capital de Filipinas. El sobre efectivamente es hecho con cáñamo que se cultivaba en la región de Manila.

    A diferencia del orgullo de acá, ellos creen que las mujeres latinas son las más bonitas. ¿Por qué? ¡Porque suelen ganarse los reinados de belleza! Y puede que Ariadna no haya quedado de primera, pero había dos colombianas en ese escenario...

    En fin... qué importa quién gane el reinado. Hay mujeres lindas aquí y allá, 17.000 km de distancia, idiomas, culturas, creencias y economía deben unirnos en aquel gran trasfondo de humanidad. Somos humanos, dejemos de compararnos y recordemos como dijo la señorita Antioquia "estamos para darnos cariño, para darnos amor". Que Confucio no invente la confusión y conozcamos más allá de las diferencias las similitudes que tienen dos países tan extraños como Colombia y Filipinas...  


              LA GRAN "UTILIDAD" DE LA OEA...        
    Asamblea General 35 de la OEA.
    Decía en estos días el dictador venezolano Nicolás Maduro que a la OEA no la quiere nadie. ¿Cómo va a ser verdad una frase de tan despreciable personaje? ¡Tiene que estar "equivocado"! ¡La "verdad" únicamente la dice gente inteligente y agradable! Para refutar la frase de Maduro (aunque estaría "refutada" por quien la dice) vamos a mostrar la inmensa utilidad de la OEA.

    En los inicios de la juventud hay un idealismo que raya con la ingenuidad. Todos los recién egresados de colegio vibran por cambiar el mundo. Saben más de la profesión que piensan estudiar los que ya la estudiaron. Una época hermosa con unas ansias de cambiar el mundo más fuertes que las de Putin y las de Obama... Y es aquí donde viene la OEA. Con el ánimo de implantar "valores democráticos" se crean simulaciones de la OEA. Los jóvenes por un instante juegan a cambiar el mundo. Los hombres de corbata y las niñas de sastre. Una elegancia que eleva su "espíritu" a la categoría de aquellos representantes del continente... Sin la OEA ¿A qué jugarían nuestros jóvenes?


    Maduro diría que podrían jugan a un modelo de la "Asamblea Nacional". Más de uno elegiría ser Diosdado Cabello sin lugar a dudas. Pero la Asamblea Nacional Bolivariana es muy aburrida. La mayoría tendrían que gritar que están "rodilla en tierra" con el comandante eterno. La minoría básicamente tendría que gritar que "no existen garantías para la oposición". Lo único es que podría armarse un "bochinche" y liberar aquellas bajas pasiones... Tal vez esa sea una simulación un poco más auténtica del costoso circo de la política. Pero ¿Acaso eso eleva su noble y digno espíritu de nuestra juventud? 


    La diplomacia es el arte, que requiere enorme valentía, de sonreirle a quien en condiciones normales querrías pegarle un puño. No es hipocresía, para nada, por el contrario se requiere una gran valentía para sonreírle a alguien que detestas. Esto es incomprensible por algunas personas sobre todo en Antioquia y la Costa Colombiana.  Sin embargo, en su mayoría la gente en Colombia es "diplomática". En todo caso, más vale una sonrisa falsa que una guerra auténtica...


    Uno de los grandes beneficios conseguidos por la diplomacia es el de la "inmunidad diplomática". Más allá de entrar a analizar tan "valiosa" institución en sus debidas "excepciones" es claro que esto representa un beneficio. La inmunidad diplomática no solamente se presenta para "misiones diplomáticas" ante países, sino para aquellas ante instituciones como la OEA o la ONU.


    En un mundo donde priman principios como "la libertad de circulación" o la no-discriminación por razones de nacionalidad (leáse pasaporte) ¿Cómo se sacarían beneficios adicionales para personas "iguales ante la ley"? ¡Con la inmunidad diplomática! Se trata de una discriminación positiva en razón del pasaporte, de uno especial claro está. Siendo todos iguales ante la ley ¿cómo podríamos encontrar una forma para que a alguien le dijeran "Su Excelencia"? Eso sin contar que eso facilita el tránsito en aeropuertos demorado por medidas proteccionistas (que surgen "precisamente" como formas para facilitar la libertad de circulación y la no-discriminación) como las visas o las aduanas. Sin tantas instituciones internacionales ¿Cómo haría el político para incluir en la lista de su gigantesco número de "amigos" de los beneficios del poder? Ese carrusel de roscas, beneficios y adulación requiere privilegios especiales...


    Hay un tercer beneficio que presenta la OEA. Se trata de una Organización que no escatima en realizar toda serie de eventos, cocteles, tratos especiales, etc. Se trata de la socialización del más alto nivel. En estos eventos como "foro para la erradicación del hambre" se invita a "líderes comprometidos" a "discutirlo" en hoteles del más alto nivel. Se trata de eventos que sus asistentes no solamente no pasen hambre, sino que coman esquisitos manjares. Manjares que los motiven a una "reflexión profunda" para sacar una resolución, declaración, etc., donde se diga que se quiere acabar con el hambre. Â¿Cómo conseguiríamos aquellas "valiosísimas" declaraciones que se dan en eventos del más alto nivel?


    Eso sin contar con que, los organismos internacionales son buenos empleadores. ¿Qué pasaría con empleos como los del Secretario General, despachos, asistentes, adjuntos? No se puede negar que, en un mundo lleno de problemas económicos, se requiere resolver los problemas de empleo. Es "vital" para nuestra economía que haya personas encargadas de manejar varios tipos de sellos y la logística que ello implica. Más aún, por su directa relación con emitir otras de declaraciones acerca de la importancia de acabar con el hambre. Situación que llevará a otras declaraciones sobre tan importante problema... Eso sin contar que las facultades de relaciones internacionales perderían inmensas "ventajas" para el mercadeo de sus programas. ¿Dónde van a trabajar sus egresados? En esta economía global hay que "garantizarles" un empleo...


    Es así como Nicolás Maduro está equivocado. No solamente por ser él quien lo dice, sino por la importancia de la institución que se trata. Sin ella ¿Qué remedarían los jóvenes para cambiar el mundo? ¡Se perderían empleos, se desperdiciarían inmunidades diplomáticas (que podría darle a sus "amigos")! Sin la OEA y las instituciones internacionales ¿cómo podríamos tener un circo donde los payasos cumplan al pie de la letra el protocolo y la etiqueta? Sin ellos no tendríamos quien lograra darnos pan... bueno declaraciones que harán que este aparezca mágicamente...

              ECO-IMPERIALISMO, HIDROELÉCTRICAS, MENTIRAS Y VERDADES        
    Esta mañana me encontré este artículo en el muro de un amigo http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2705631/el_quimbo_colombia_enelendesas_low_carbon_hydroelectric_racket.html. El artículo por un imperialismo ecológico critica el imperialismo económico, pero su crítica, aunque razonable en algunos puntos, no deja de tener el trasfondo errado de muchos ecologistas: ¡imponer condiciones a los países subdesarrollados para que los ecologistas de los desarrollados sigan contaminando en paz! Pero lo irónico es que The ecologist critica una de las fuentes de generación de energía renovable más bonitas, eficientes y que puede darle a la gente que vive en ese territorio que llaman Colombia fuentes de riqueza. Además, la crítica se hace de manera ligera pasando por alto las consideraciones del International Panel on Climate Change acerca de sus ventajas.  En el punto que acierta es precisamente en los abusos del estado sobre las comunidades, donde vale la pena resaltar que el aprovechamiento del potencial hidroeléctrico no da derecho a expropiar, en favor del que sea. 

    Este escrito consta de varias partes. El primero es que hay una confusión entre inversión extranjera y concesión de monopolios extranjeros, donde los ecologistas aciertan. Y para la aclaración cito a un a un profesor de la Universidad de New York, a Murray Rothbard. Luego, muestro que tras el ecologismo hay también imperialismo, pero uno que suele gustarle a ciertas izquierdas, uno que impone condiciones insoportables a los países pobres, para que los ecologistas nórdicos no tengan cargos de conciencia por prender la calefacción, dado que en las zonas tropicales hay selvas que se beneficiarán de su cariño al planeta. En ella explico que hay una falacia en cuanto a la consideración que hace el artículo de las hidroeléctricas, incluso basándome en el IPCC. Posteriormente, se muestra que las hidroeléctricas además de ser tecnologías que producen energía eficiente sin emisiones de CO2 (no se discute acá el tema de si el cambio climático es originado o no por el hombre) es una oportunidad de ofrecer energía barata. El precio de la energía se relaciona con el crecimiento económico, inclusive una disminución de la demanda de energía puede ser un indicio previo a una crisis económica. La energía eléctrica es clave en la industria y una energía más barata puede disminuir costos. Finalmente, ante un planteamiento del artículo que menciona las pérdidas de energía en transmisión y distribución (o sea los cables que llevan la energía de la planta a su casa) que denuncian a que se deben ¿a las leyes de la física? ¿a viabilidad técnica pero no económica? ¿a ineficiencia? Esto porque consideraban que era más importante disminuir las pérdidas que construir hidroeléctricas. Hasta cierto punto, por física, las pérdidas en transmisión son inevitables, no sé cuál sea el punto. Pero eso no es una excusa para no mejorar la oferta. 

    IMPERIALISMO ECONÓMICO Y MONOPOLIO ESTATAL
    El imperialismo ecológico es una realidad. Sin embargo, muchos partidos de izquierda al ser ecologistas están convencidos de que no es imperialismo. Ya Hayek denunciaba que existía una imposición de países ricos y contaminados que obligaban a países pobres y selváticos a generar amplias áreas protegidas. Esto genera como dice don Alpiniano en El Tomismo Desdeñado unos beneficios a unas personas que no les corresponden, imponiendo cargas a otros que no las merecen. Sin embargo, luego de que en estos países -como Colombia- nadie puede hacer nada, ni tiene cómo adquirir recursos para explotar sus ventajas ahí sí llegan empresas extranjeras que, haciendo convenios con el gobierno, adquieren los beneficios que los nacionales no han tenido. 

    Hace Murray Rothbard, citado por el instituto Mises Hispano una distinción importante entre la sana inversión extranjera y la alianza de empresas ricas con gobiernos ineptos pobres:

    "Los conservadores norteamericanos insisten en particular en resaltar ante los países retrasados las grandes posibilidades y la importancia de las inversiones privadas procedentes de los países avanzados, y les incitan a crear un clima favorable a las mismas, de modo que no se vean sujetas al instigamiento de los gobernantes. Todo ello es muy cierto, pero, una vez más, a menudo es irreal, dada la situación de estos países. Estos conservadores caen persistentemente en el error de no saber distinguir entre las inversiones exteriores legítimas del mercado libre y las basadas en concesiones monopolistas y en donaciones de vastas extensiones de tierras otorgadas por los Estados subdesarrollados. En la medida en que las inversiones exteriores se basan en monopolios y en agresiones contra el campesinado, en esa misma medida adquiere el capitalismo extranjero las características de los señores feudales y debe ser combatido con los mismos medios"

    En este sentido, estoy de acuerdo con el artículo -y en contra del imperialismo económico- en que el estado confunde inversión extranjera con monopolio extranjero. Y el monopolio es desagradable venga de donde venga, sea el monopolio estatal tan "nacional", como cualquier otro. Por eso, cuando Robledo, senador del Polo, defendía a los arroceros por la imposición ridícula de tener que comprar nuevas semillas estaba promoviendo algo anarcocapitalista y liberal, aunque con argumentos de izquierda. 

    Lo mismo pasa en este caso, si se trata de una inversión privada ¿por qué el estado entra y desaloja campesinos? ¿Por qué expropia? Y por más que la ley diga que la expropiación requiere una indemnización al precio del avalúo comercial, ¿es el avalúo comercial el precio de venta? Hombre, no estoy en momento de calcular las rentas campesinas vs las rentas hidroeléctricas, pero sospecho que las rentas hidroeléctricas son más altas. Ahora, si el campesino no quiere vender al precio que dice el avaluador ¿por qué le quita el estado su tierra bajo la excusa del "bien común" para las rentas particulares? No creo que si la transacción se diera en condiciones de libre mercado los campesinos salieran a protestar. Hay alrededor de un millón de kilómetros de líneas de transmisión eléctrica, y si uno viaja por carretera suele ver vacas o sembrados alrededor. ¿Por qué esos campesinos no protestan? Porque 1. esos terrenos no son expropiados sino que cuentan con servidumbres de paso, 2. Se suelen hacer arreglos de mercado. Hombre, hay casos de casos, pero en general no se ve un descontento generalizado. 

    Pero, no, la herramienta de la expropiación es el arma para el bien común, como en Venezuela que hay mucho "bien común", siendo tan paradisiado que prefieren venirse para Colombia. La expropiación existe pero tiene sus límites. En todo caso, sin estado Â¿quién expropiaría para que se hicieran las vías? 

    IMPERIALISMO ECOLÓGICO

    Sin embargo, las razones ecológicas que plantean para oponerse a las hidroeléctricas son más bien pobres. En primer lugar, las consideran también causa del calentamiento global. ¿Cómo? No quiero citar el artículo porque me da pereza pero la idea se resume en 1. cortan bosques tropicales que recogen el CO2, 2. son fuentes de Metano. Hombre ¿cómo un artículo que cita el Panel Intergubernamental sobre el Cambio Climático para defender a los campesinos y el agro sale a decir que son más contaminantes? En primer lugar, si uno revisa lo que dice el IPCC en materia de energía hidoeléctrica (sacaron un documento sobre energías alternativas) su resumen -de la IPCC- arranca así: "Hydropower offers significant potential for carbon emissions reductions" http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/special-reports/srren/Chapter%205%20Hydropower.pdf. Creo que en ese punto "The ecologist" se equivoca. 

    Por otro lado argumenta que las represas (reservoirs) son fuentes de Metano. La verdad, lo que dicen los científicos climáticos es que si bien el metano CH4 es un gas efecto invernadero, su absorción es más rápida que el CO2, una diferencia que va desde unas décadas en el metano, hasta miles de años para el dióxido de carbono. Además, de acuerdo con la siguiente imagen que proviene del último reporte del IPCC parte del CO2 proviene del uso de la tierra http://www.slideshare.net/fullscreen/IPCCGeneva/fifth-assessment-report-synthesis-report/11:
    Francamente, si queremos disminuir TODAS las emisiones humanas de CO2 hay que empezar por dejar de respirar. ¿Y todas las artificiales? Dudo que la energía que utiliza "The ecologist" sea propiamente energía que no emita CO2 -bueno, puede ser nuclear que no les gusta tampoco- pero no es de las "terribles" hidroeléctricas. 

    ¿Qué otra razón puede tener "The ecologist"? ¿Proteger los bosques de los países subdesarrollados? ¿Para qué? ¿Para que haya bosques que puedan chuparse el CO2 que producen sus plantas a carbón, gas, petróleo, etc. a costa de energía más costosa, menor productividad, entre otras, en nuestros países? ¿Para que ellos puedan seguir subsidiando sus industrias a cambio de que las nuestras no puedan competir en sus mercados por el costo de la energía?

    DEFENDIENDO LAS HIDROELÉCTRICAS

    LAGO CALIMA
    Lago Calima.
    Uno de los embalses en Colombia.
    En un apartado anterior cuestioné el manejo del monopolio estatal con la empresa. El estado es una asociación de políticos corruptos con empresarios ineficientes. Pero tanto la oportunidad a nivel de recursos hídricos que hay en Colombia, la eficiencia energética de las hidroeléctricas, su costo en comparación con las térmicas a base de carbón, gas, gasolina, su posibilidad de cambiar potencia (a diferencia de otras renovables de potencia inestable) y almacenar la energía, entre muchas otras, me hacen tenerle cariño a esta tecnología. Creo que en el punto anterior quedó desvirtuado que las hidroeléctricas tengan impactos a nivel global vía CO2 (lo que hacen es quitar el calmadero de conciencia de los ecologistas ricos que les permite seguir emitiendo CO2 bajo la tranquilidad que los bosques tropicales los recogerán). El metano no me preocupa realmente y creo que es una afirmación que no estaba fundamentada, al fin y al cabo, los embalses no son aguas estancadas. 

    El potencial hidroeléctrico de ese territorio que llaman Colombia es una maravilla. Eso sin contar con el potencial energético de otras tecnologías renovables como las fotovoltaicas por su ubicación terrestre, las mareomotrices, entre otras. Que cualquiera venga y lo explote es necesario, aunque en condiciones de mercado, no monopólicas ni imperialistas. Adicionalmente, la energía hidroeléctrica es más barata. En el siguiente gráfico hay un promedio de los precios mensuales en comparación al porcentaje de generación térmica en Colombia:

    Por puro azar puede observarse con claridad la correlación entre el porcentaje de generación térmica en Colombia y el precio constante (deflactado con IPC) de la energía. Como la gráfica de generación térmica de alguna manera encaja con la hidráulica (la cogeneración y la eólica representan porcentajes insignificantes) podría afirmarse que a mayor generación hidráulica en general menos precio. ¿Por qué se presentan esos baches en la generación? La razón es muy simple, el agua es renovable pero no predecible. Si uno mira las correlaciones de series de ingresos los caudales en dos o tres días tienen altas correlaciones, pero alrededor de dos meses -algo que corroboré con un ex empleado de ISA e ISAGEN- las correlaciones son nulas. 

    Hay incertidumbre en el ingreso del agua. Adicionalmente, en unas ocasiones por década se presenta el fenómeno del niño. El fenómeno del niño genera lluvias en Perú -un país desértico- y trae sequía a un país lluvioso como Colombia. Como el agua escasea hay que producir la energía con un sustituto: las termoeléctricas. El costo de la energía se dispara. En este momento parece que están las condiciones para que se dé el fenómeno del Niño si es que no estamos ya en él. De ese fenómeno se ha venido especulando desde que empecé a investigar este tema en Junio del año pasado (o sea el 2014). Esa especulación posiblemente también influye en los precios, el aumento de la producción térmica y la disminución de la hidroeléctrica porque ante el riesgo de escasez se empieza a guardar el agua. El profesor John Jairo García y otros de EAFIT en un paper al respecto proponía medir las expectativas de aportes al sistema en relación con el precio: 

    "Una variable importante sobre la determinación del precio en el mercado no regulado que debiera incluirse en estudios futuros son las expectativas climatológicas; en la medida en que se espere una disminución del recurso hídrico, generará expectativas de aumentos en el precio.". http://revistas.upb.edu.co/index.php/cienciasestrategicas/article/view/1093/1313

    La intuición tras el análisis es muy buena, pero dudo que pueda encontrarse una variable de expectativas climatológicas. Aunque si algo me soprendió de John Jairo era esa capacidad de creatividad econométrica. El caso es que la ventaja de tener un sistema donde el "combustible"que es el agua es variable, permite inferir que, al menos en las condiciones geográficas de los Andes Colombianas, es más barato que el uso de otros combustibles.

    Es así como la construcción de hidroeléctricas -aunque respetando los derechos de propiedad privada- es una necesidad para mantener bajos los precios de la energía. Hay muchos trabajos que buscan predecir el precio de la energía y lo hacen en función de variables hídricas. Pero nada mejor que leer los errores de las predicciones pasadas de los economistas. En este artículo participó mi amigo y profesor de econometría Mauricio Lopera y dice lo siguiente:

    " La coherencia del resultado se corrobora en el mes de enero de 2014, donde se aprecia una caída grande en el precio producto de la entrada en operación de El Quimbo y Sogamoso, las cuales en conjunto aumentan la oferta de electricidad en 1220 MW" http://www.redalyc.org/pdf/1552/155226077004.pdf
    Mauricio nos insistía mucho que verificáramos que el resultado econométrico coincidiera con la "intuición" económica.  El problema es que las predicciones se equivocan y fuertemente. En el artículo citado, se muestra que los precios caerían en enero de 2014, la razón sería lógica la entrada de hidrosogamoso y quimbo (que es la que menciona The ecologist). Los precios en 2014 en bolsa fueron altísimos, y apenas hoy 16/01/2015 leí que estaban inaugurando la planta de hidrosogamoso. Lo que es cierto es que esas plantas deberían influir en la disminución del precio por el aumento de la oferta, además, de un insumo mucho más barato como "combustible" que el carbón. En eso acertó el trabajo de Mauricio y otros. Pero el cómo o cuánto bajarán los precios no podemos calcularlo con exactitud. 

    DEFICIENCIAS DEL SISTEMA
    Los cables suelen dañar las fotos de paisajes.
    Pero ¿no puede haber buenas fotos de cables de alta tensión?

    El sistema de energía que nace con las leyes 142 y en concreto 143 de 1994 tiene muchas deficiencias. Aunque la L143/94 trataba de dar paso a un modelo más parecido al de un mercado, esa distinción del mercado regulado del consumidor de energía hace que nos saquen un ojo de la cara porque sus precios están muy por encima de los de bolsa; aunque relativamente influidos por ellos como lo mostraba el profesor John Jairo García. El modelo aunque avanza hacia tratar de liberar lo que considera de mercado y regular lo que considera "monopolio natural" se queda corto. Pero realmente si hay algo aburrido es la regulación del sistema de energía, como todas las regulaciones. Hablemos más bien de leyes bonitas, las del "fatum" o de la naturaleza... las humanas dan asco. 

    Quiero enfocarme más en los problemas que mencionaba "The ecologist" y es las "pérdidas" de energía del sistema de transmisión y distribución. Una de las leyes de la física es la ley de la entropía. Básicamente consiste en que aunque la energía no se destruye, solamente se transforma, se degrada a formas de energía más "desordenadas". Básicamente la energía se transforma en "calor", o que es lo mismo que movimiento y vibración molecular. Utilizaremos el término "pérdida" de energía en un sentido amplio, o económico, pero entendiendo que solamente es una transformación no utilizable.  Esta es la razón por la cual no existe una máquina perfecta, sin desgaste y de movimiento absoluto. Por esta razón los relojes de péndulo necesitaban que les dieran "cuerda". 

    De esta manera, por cada 1 KWh (3.600.000 Joules) que produce uno recibe una cantidad menor de energía porque esta se ha "pérdido" transformándose en calor. Esto se debe a que los transformadores -que no entiendo cómo funcionan pero cambian el voltaje- generan pérdidas, la transmisión de energía puede generar calor, en la costa el desgaste de los cables genera pérdidas. Todo esto, como me decía un ex trabajador del sector eso es parte del costo de la energía. Dice textualmente "The ecologist" que se pierde alrededor del 16% de la energía generada:

    "Yet the Government is neglecting simple options to raise power supply - like reducing the high level of losses in transmission and distribution, which run at about 16% of power generation and amount to some 10,000 GWh per year - more than four times the energy production of El Quimbo."
    Pero es que por las leyes de la física: ¡tiene que "perderse" parte de la energía generada! De la energía potencial del agua embalsada el 80%-90% se transmite por medio de la electricidad y el 10%-20% se "pierde" o sea se transforma en "calor". ¡Y es de las más bajas! Las térmicas pierden el 59% de la energía contenida en el combustible, las nucleares el 70%  (CARTA GONZÁLEZ, CALERO PÉREZ, COLMENAR SANTOS, CASTRO GIL, & COLLADO FERNÁNDEZ, 2013, pp. 113-114). Puede que pueda perderse menos bajo un mantenimiento mucho más costoso, o puede que efectivamente pueda perderse menos. El caso es que siempre se va a "perder" algo de la energía. 

    Puede que The Ecologist tenga razón en que se aumente la eficiencia energética. Algo que puede ser inviable o física o económicamente. Pero eso no es razón para impedir que se produzcan plantas de producción de energía eléctrica, es bueno aumentar la oferta por todos los medios. 

    Lo que no puede el gobierno es ordenar que se cree energía, ni que no se degrade una parte en otras formas. Gracias a Dios las leyes de la física son inderogables, imprescriptibles, inembargables, anteriores al ser humano mismo. ¿Puede imaginarse una ley que cree energía? El Congreso de Colombia Decreta "Créase energía a partir de la nada...". Gracias a Dios eso no es posible, no soy capaz de imaginarme la inflación energética lo que produciría, al menos la moneda de la naturaleza es absolutamente neutral. O una ley que diga "Derógase la gravedad", el totazo que se pegarían de cuenta de creer en su validez sería de lo lindo...

    IN CONCLUSIÓN
    En primer lugar pido perdón al lector por tratar la energía de una forma tan política. Es decir, es demasiado pobre, aunque no más pobre que el Ministro de Minas que confundió potencia con energía, pero ¿quién es uno para cuestionar a los "doctores" Ministros? ¡De pronto ignoro una ley que asimila energía con potencia! En segundo lugar, no es esta, ni más faltaba una defensa al régimen de energía eléctrica Colombiana, tan no lo es, que arranco dándole la razón a los ecologistas en que muchas de esas empresas grandes y concesionadas arrasan con las comunidades. El problema de esas empresas grandes, no es la falta de estado, por el contrario, su exceso, lo que falta es libertad. 

    Lo que sí creo es que en sanas condiciones de mercado y con precios justos a los dueños de las tierras, la construcción de hidroeléctricas es una de las ventajas que tiene este territorio geográficamente llamado Colombia. Es vital empezar a utilizar en este territorio las ventajas que ofrece el desarrollo de miles de tecnologías de energía renovable, como la solar, la mareomotriz, la eólica y la más fuerte la hidroeléctrica. En esta región se podría utilizar un potencial enorme para producir energía barata, renovable y libre de elementos contaminantes. Esta energía se podría exportar. ¿Por qué no hay líneas de transmisión a Panamá y Centro América? ¿Por qué no hay líneas de transmisión al Perú? ¿Imposibilidad logística? ¿No serán más bien los elevados costos regulatorios -que agudizan las barreras de entrada- sumado al monopolio estatal? ¿O el monopolio de la transmisión es "natural"? 

     BIBLIOGRAFÍA
    Casi todas las citas salen de internet así que si no refiero la fuente, está el link. Las formalidades APA o lo que sea me parecen demasiado engorrosas para escribir informalmente. Con el internet debería bastar con el link. El único libro que cito, con todas las normas mamonas para probar su existencia, es:

    CARTA GONZÁLEZ, J. A., CALERO PÉREZ, R., COLMENAR SANTOS, A., CASTRO GIL, A., & COLLADO FERNÁNDEZ, E. (2013). Centrales de energías renovables. Generación eléctrica con energías renovables. (P. E. S.A. Ed. SEGUNDA ed.). Madrid, España.




              BREVES COMENTARIOS SOBRE LA REFORMA TRIBUTARIA        
    Para vergüenza mía tengo que confesar que he perdido el tiempo leyendo la reforma tributaria. Bueno, es algo "ñoño", aparte que no he entendido ni la mitad de sus consecuencias. Sin embargo, quisiera compartir mis apreciaciones dado que el gobierno se ha desgastado (y comprado con sus recursos) una serie de propagandas para insistir en la reforma tributaria. Una de esas es que no afecta a la clase media.

    Lo primero que hay que decir es que la reforma tributaria cuenta con una redacción en extremo confusa. Los políticos no tienen incentivos para clarificar sus reformas tributarias porque quieren que nadie sepa para quien es el totazo. Y es verdad que de acuerdo con su publicidad una lectura rápida no muestra que se esté gravando a la clase media. Eso hay que estudiarlo a profundidad. 

    JUGANDO AL IMPUESTO TEMPORAL
    Pienso de lo que entendí y lo que pude leer entre líneas es que los impuestos que se crean son temporales. Una creación de impuestos temporales es entre señal de debilidad del estado y un peligro inmenso porque nada más permanente que un impuesto temporal. El mejor ejemplo es el 4 X 1000 que nació por decreto inconstitucionalmente para salvar a los bancos en el gobierno de Pastrana, pero luego se saneó la inconstitucionalidad. Este impuesto lo están desmontando desde que tengo uso de razón tributaria. La anterior reforma tributaria, no hace menos de 2 años, había ordenado su desmonte. Ésta ¡hace lo mismo, pero deroga el desmonte anterior! ¿Qué qué? ¡Más 4 X 1000 por ahora! Una reforma tributaria no puede venir sin beneficios. Así que también hay una prórroga de beneficios temporales de leyes anteriores.

    EL DISCURSO DE LA CLASE MEDIA
    Como la ley 1607 de 2014 gravó onerosamente con el Impuesto Mínimo Alternativo Nacional a la renta donde claramente los ingresos eran de personas de clase media, esto fue muy criticado. La opinión pública y el análisis fueron claros al insistir lo intenso del gravamen. Como el gobierno quiere la paz, digo estar en paz, tiene que mostrar un discurso que no grave a la clase media. ¿Qué hacer entonces?

    Una vieja estrategia que se remonta hasta Marx es generar en el colectivo la imagen del "capitalista" rico. "El rico es malo y no hay legitimidad en la forma de generarla". Por eso se crea el "impuesto a la riqueza". Que además es "transitorio". Dice el presidente:

    "Por supuesto, esta reforma supone un esfuerzo para las empresas más grandes del país –unas 32 mil que tienen patrimonio superior a los mil millones de pesos– y para los colombianos más ricos –unos 50 mil que tienen también un patrimonio por encima de esa suma–.
    Pero no afecta a la clase media del país, ni a las pequeñas y medianas empresas –las pymes–.
    Además, como ya dije, esta reforma se hizo escuchando las inquietudes y sugerencias de los empresarios, motivo por el cual el impuesto a la riqueza –yo prefiero decirle impuesto contra la pobreza– desaparece en 2018.". http://wp.presidencia.gov.co/Noticias/2014/Diciembre/Paginas/20141223_03-Palabras-Presidente-Santos-sobre-la-sanciom-Ley-Reforma-Tributaria.aspx

    Palabras más palabras menos hay que quitarle a los más ricos para darle a los más pobres. Pero, ¿Tiene el impuesto a la riqueza una destinación específica?  Â¡No! O sea que lo que paguen por concepto de impuesto a la riqueza va a cualquier gasto del estado. No está ni dedicándose a los programas de primera infancia, educación, lucha contra la pobreza, etc. Así que Robin Hood no le está quitando a los ricos para darle a los pobres, sino quitándole a los ricos para darle al más rico e inútil: ¡el estado! Tan no es así que otro de los novedosos inventos es la "sobretasa al CREE" pero, a diferencia del CREE que sí tiene una destinación social específica:

    ARTÍCULO 22°. No destinación específica. La sobretasa al impuesto sobre la renta para la equidad – CREE no tiene destinación específica. Los recursos que se recauden por este tributo no estarán sometidos al régimen previsto en los artículos 24 y 28 de la Ley 1607 de 2012, no formarán parte del Fondo Especial sin personería Fondo CREE, y harán unidad de caja con los demás ingresos corrientes de la Nación, de acuerdo con las normas previstas en el Estatuto Orgánico del Presupuesto. http://www.comunidadcontable.com/BancoMedios/Documentos%20PDF/105%20-%2014%20s%20-%20134%20-%2014%20c%20reforma%20tributaria.pdf

    Sin embargo, en este impuesto hay una gran confusión entre riqueza y su medida. Los tan expertos en análisis económico y tributario parecen no comprender un balance. Un balance cuenta con activos líquidos y activos ilíquidos o fijos. Una empresa puede estar llena de activos fijos pero padecer iliquidez. 

    ¿Qué de la reforma toca a la clase media? Aunque cabe reconocer que de manera rápida no encuentro un empeoramiento a las condiciones de la "clase media" en materia tarifaria. Lo único es que el gobierno aumentó a las sociedades sujeto del "CREE" del 8% al 9%. Además de novedosos enredos en este impuesto.

    ¿Y es que el gobierno no beneficia a los ricos? Recordemos que el mencionado 4 X 1000 nació como el 2 X 1000 precisamente con la intención de salvar a los Bancos. Vea este video de Rudolf Homes cuando en aquella época http://youtu.be/bRgATyQm54A. Los comentarios agudos de Jaime Garzón son muy buenos ¿es que por encima de las leyes sociales están los bancos? ¿Es que los bancos cuando ganan no reparten y cuando pierden sí reparten? El estado es un aliado de los bancos, para eso puede leer a Mises que lo explica muy bien en el libro Human Action. Lo irónico del 4 X 1000 es que ¡terminó afectando a los bancos! ¿No ha oído a nadie decir "págueme en efectivo para que no me cobren el 4 X 1000"?

    ¿POR QUÉ HACERLO FÁCIL SI PODEMOS HACERLO DIFÍCIL?


    Esta imagen de www.actualicese.com da en el punto de los enredos de la reforma tributaria. Ponga la primera parte del índice tapando el meñique y abrazando el anular, que a su vez atrapa el intermedio que abraza el meñique aunque sobresale. Finalmente deje el pulgar afuera. ¡La esencia es el pulgar afuera y los demás enrollados! Podemos hacerlo fácil como a la derecha, o difícil como a la izquierda ¡El efecto es el mismo!

    Esa imagen, sin proponérselo, logra ser una descripción virtual del siguiente artículo: 

    ARTÍCULO 16°. Modifíquese el artículo 23 de la Ley 1607 de 2012 el cual quedará así:

    “Artículo 23. La tarifa del impuesto sobre la renta para la equidad - CREE a que se refiere el artículo 20 de la presente ley, será del ocho por ciento (8%). 
    Parágrafo. A partir del período gravable 2016, la tarifa será del nueve por ciento (9%).Parágrafo transitorio. Para los años 2013, 2014 y 2015 la tarifa del CREE será del nueve (9%). Este punto adicional se aplicará de acuerdo con la distribución que se hará en el parágrafo transitorio del siguiente artículo.” http://www.comunidadcontable.com/BancoMedios/Documentos%20PDF/105%20-%2014%20s%20-%20134%20-%2014%20c%20reforma%20tributaria.pdf

    ¿Qué? Lo que dice el artículo 23 se resume en "La tarifa del CREE será del 9%. Esta tarifa tiene efectos para los años 2013 y 2014 inclusive". Pero primero decir que es el 8%, luego que es el 9% desde el 2013. Incluyo la segunda frase simplemente porque la ley tiene efectos a futuro a menos que se especifique otra vigencia. Pero ¿para qué hacerlo en una frase si podíamos hacerla confusa?

    ¿IMPORTAN LOS ENREDOS EN LA ECONOMÍA?

    A finales de la década de los 30 Ronald Coase planteaba la teoría de la firma donde incluía su exitosa creación del concepto de "costo de transacción". Los costos de transacción son lo que cuesta realizar un intercambio. Por ejemplo, salir a comprar ropa implica no solamente pagar el precio, sino también una tarde perdida en un centro comercial, unas medidas incómodas, caminar, gasolina, etc. Todo para comprar unos benditos zapatos. ¿Cuál es el costo de transacción de pagar impuestos? Lo primero es entender qué toca pagar, luego cuándo y luego cómo. 

    Uno de los casos más comunes del pago de impuestos es la retención en la fuente. El que es agente retenedor tiene que aplicar unos enredos a la hora de pagarle a los "empleados". Pero un empleado tributario, además del empleado del Código Sustantivo de Trabajo, también lo es el independiente. Vea los artículos 383 y 384 del Estatuto Tributario sobre cómo se retiene el la fuente. Eso sin contar que tiene que pedirle el comprobante de pago de la seguridad social al independiente. Este costo de transacción de ignorarse puede generarse sanciones y de asumirse genera más trabajo al que lo hace. 

    Si una reforma tributaria es confusa para un abogado, estudiante de maestría en economía con experiencia en el día a día tributario-contable. Es confusa, también, para expertos consultores en materia de impuestos y planeación tributaria ¿Va a ser fácil de entender para el trabajador del común? Hice el experimento con estudiantes de último semestre de una carrera donde tienen contabilidad, costos, impuestos, etc. en su pénsum y escasamente pudieron comprender el ejemplo anterior. 

    En la medida en que los impuestos se hacen más confusos, es más difícil pagarlos. Esto implica una elección "no pagarlos y arriesgarse", "pagarlos y perder valiosas horas de productividad". Tampoco creo que ayude al recaudo, en la medida que la administración de impuestos estará muy ocupada entendiendo, aclarando, recibiendo interpretaciones diferentes. En Estados Unidos, y no es mi paradigma tributario, un doctor en ingeniería me decía que allá hacía fácilmente la declaración, acá le toca contratar un contador. Si un experto consultor se demoró un mes en entender el "Impuesto Mínimo Alternativo Nacional" ¿Va a ser fácil para las personas del común manejar estos costos? Y si los maneja ¡está dejando de pensar en cosas que sí le aportarían a su productividad! ¡Está dejando de producir y de trabajar por pagar impuestos! 

    No faltará el que salga con que eso genera empleo para los contadores. La verdad no creo que un contador realmente gane con la reforma tributaria. Realmente una reforma confusa no aumenta la productividad del contador, realmente la disminuye, lo obliga a vivir de capacitación en capacitación y le dificulta llevar el trabajo que ya tiene. Es posible que pueda cobrar más, pero porque la demanda aumenta y la oferta disminuye. Puede que el contador cobre más pero ¿a qué costo? Al costo de una labor más compleja. Es como decir que el médico ganaría más con la enfermedad, pues sí, pero hasta el punto que le den sus fuerzas: ¡Bendita sea la enfermedad que da trabajo a los médicos!

    ¿INEVITABLE?
    Puede que usted sea un creyente ferviente de esa ideología llamada Constitución de 1991. Que ame el estado social de derecho, como si por ponerle "social" capitán Constitución resolviera la pobreza, que crea que pagar impuestos es bueno. Crea usted que el  estado es un generoso Robin Hood que le quita a los "ricos tacaños" y que por ende, es inevitable resolver el déficit fiscal. Sepa varias cosas:

    A) La reforma tributaria trae más confusión, una mayor confusión tributaria es un virus que eleva los costos de producción de todas las empresas. Eso ya de por sí es una pérdida.

    B) Tenga en cuenta que hay muchas labores del estado que no tienen sentido. Por ejemplo, piense en el cargo de procurador judicial que todos sabemos que son una traba en procesos, especialmente los penales donde se juega con la libertad de las personas. Y ¿cuánto ganan? Piense en los carruseles de pensiones de las altas cortes mientras el juez promedio no tiene ni lapiceros. Tenga en cuenta la desigualdad de muchos funcionarios donde los altos tienen salario en especie con vehículos, escolta, entre otras. ¡Sí, la burocracia es más desigual todavía que las empresas privadas! 

    C) Tenga en cuenta que las reformas tributarias son confusas porque se quiere ocultar su verdadero sentido. Por eso incluyen exenciones con nuevos gravámenes lo que las hace más confusas todavía. Las exenciones se dan a costa de los gravámenes favoreciendo grupos económicos concretos. Lea algunas de las exenciones o descuentos y verá cómo los "ricos" pero "especiales" también ganan. Además si la intención es cubrir el "hueco fiscal" ¿cree que va a haber más descuentos que beneficios? Los beneficios son el "premio de consolación", ¿no cree que su intención es más psicológica?

    D) Finalmente, si quiere que el estado cubra el déficit funcionaría mejor si pensara en disminuir el gasto y priorizar. No se tiene que hacer una reforma tributaria si la intención es favorecer a los más pobres. Lo que se tiene que hacer es darle prioridad a los más pobres sacrificando el valioso "servicio" del procurador judicial, las pensiones presidenciales, el número de Congresistas, el carrusel de pensiones. ¿Cuánto no es el gasto de los órganos de control? 


    CONCLUSIÓN
    Concluir sobre 52 páginas y 72 artículos que remiten a otros artículos no termina aquí. La reforma tributaria no se acabó ¡apenas empieza! Pronto va a haber decretos, resoluciones, conceptos de la DIAN, seminarios, cursos, actualizaciones (en menos de dos años), sentencias, líos, enredos... Va a haber líos para resolver los líos, enredos para aclarar los enredos. Así si razona ad infinitum los enredos que trae la reforma son infinitos. Si quiere profundice en http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2157804, un análisis especial de las leyes tributarias gringas, que al lado de las colombianas son ¡fáciles! Así que esto es cuestión de tiempo que se difundan los daños que hace la reforma, por más buenas intenciones que tengan quienes la promovieron...



              COLCIENCIAS ¿PROMOTORA O TRABA?: CIENCIA A LA COLOMBIANA...        
    ¿Ciencia a la Colombiana? Este es un artículo que va en contra de la corriente actual, de alguna manera podrán decir que estoy en contra de la "ciencia" lo que me parece en cierto sentido excelente. Hace pocos días se desató el escándalo de que le iban a quitar plata a Colciencias. Para mí fue motivo de decepción: ¡Deberían cerrarla! Si yo fuera presidente lo primero que cerraría sería Colciencias y eso que es complicado dado como se comporta la academia actual, deseo que eso pase, que cierren a Colciencias... no ser presidente.

    ¿Qué ha pasado? La verdad hay un exceso de noticias que impiden afirmar científicamente qué fue lo que pasó. Hay dos hechos que creo claros: 

    1. "La directora de COLCIENCIAS dijo que iban a quitarles presupuesto"
    2. "La directora de COLCIENCIAS dejó su cargo a los pocos días"

    COL CIENCIA... RAZONAMIENTO INDUCTIVO A LA COLOMBIANA...
    ¿Qué pasó realmente? ¿Cómo se supo la "noticia" difundida como escándalo nacional? Lo primero que genera inquietud es ¿cómo sabía la directora que les iban a quitar presupuesto? ¿Le escribieron el ministro o el presidente? De acuerdo con un artículo de "El Tiempo" (al que hay que leer a favor de Colciencias por el sesgo a favor del presidente) http://www.eltiempo.com/estilo-de-vida/ciencia/colciencias-recibira-menos-presupuesto-en-el-2015/14203881 manifestó que recibió un correo de su director de planeación, es decir, un funcionario de ella. ¿Y ese funcionario de dónde la recibió? El confuso artículo del periódico El Tiempo menciona al Departamento Nacional de Planeación. Esa mención parece una "Colcienciada..." es decir una imprecisión de tipo periodístico como se da en Colombia. Pero ¿y si viniera del DNP? Si uno mira las funciones del DNP frente al presupuesto sus funciones son más de carácter burocrático y asesor que realmente quien elabora el presupuesto https://www.dnp.gov.co/Qui%C3%A9nesSomos/Funciones.aspx . Por su parte, quien realmente elabora y sigue el presupuesto, por tener la misión de la política fiscal y la definición del gasto público es el Ministerio de Hacienda http://www.minhacienda.gov.co/HomeMinhacienda/presupuestogeneraldelanacion. 

    ¿Entonces era información veraz con la que se basaba la directora de Colciencias? Es factible que la información fuera veraz. ¿Y cómo lo comprueba? Pero no es una información que uno pueda tomar como concluyente.  Lo sería si hubiera conocido el proyecto de ley del presupuesto presentado al congreso, ni siquiera un borrador permitiría una inferencia que "les quitaron el presupuesto". Solamente podría hablarse de una intención. Pero releamos las palabras: "Voy a dar la mala noticia que me acaba de llegar en un correo. Me dice mi jefe de Planeación: 'Directora, le mando la confirmación del presupuesto del año entrante, que es 289.000 millones de pesos. Estamos ya a 125.000 millones del presupuesto del año pasado". Pero bueno esa es la ciencia a la colombiana, una declaración no confirmada de una funcionaria -con autoridad de dirigir la "ciencia colombiana"- da para que toda una academia proteste porque "le van a bajar el presupuesto a Colciencias". 

    Pero bueno ese es el ridículo argumento de autoridad -no verdaderamente científico- por el que la "academia" reconoce un hecho probado: le van a disminuir el presupuesto a "Colciencias". Ni el más formalista, ni el menos riguroso de los académicos validaría una información de ese calibre. Es más ni siquiera hace bien el único trabajo que ese el estado: ¡producir formularios y saber llenarlos! Es como si un científico dijera que en su laboratorio la presión atmosférica es de 900 HPa porque se lo dijo su "asistente". Uno como mínimo mira el barómetro. Pero es ciencia a la colombiana... una mentalidad que se cree pensadora porque sabe muchos chismes... Recuerdo que hablaba una vez con una niña que estudiaba periodismo y ella leía "las fuentes son... el ministro". Y yo le dije que eso no era real, que la fuente es el acto -que es como se comunica el ministro como ministro- no la opinión -política además-del ministro. Bueno, tal vez la directora de "ciencias a la colombiana" quería rebelarse contra la ¡producción de formularios! y ver que puede haber verdad confirmada más allá del formulario... en especial lo referente al futuro...

    UNA INSTITUCIÓN PARA "FOMENTAR" LA "INVESTIGACIÓN"
    "Deseo tener el país más educado: ¡todos tendrán un diploma!"
    ¿Qué es Colciencias? Uno podría quedarse por lo que dicen los decretos que la crean, que es el mismo copy paste de esos sueños que quedan en las leyes. Acá creemos que el tiempo y el reloj se mueven por decreto, sino pregúntele a Juan Manuel Santos su ridícula e improvisada propuesta que pasó a la historia como "la hora Gaviria" y que cancelaron casualmente en el momento en que astronómicamente era inconveniente... manifestando que "ya era económicamente viable". Así como creemos que por decreto va a salir la ciencia, la tecnología y la innovación, creemos que necesitamos gente "trabajando" para hacer magia el decreto. Y eso hace "Colciencias":

    Colciencias es el Departamento Administrativo de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación.
    Promueve las políticas públicas para fomentar la CT+I en Colombia. Las actividades alrededor del cumplimiento de su misión implican concertar políticas de fomento a la producción de conocimientos, construir capacidades para CT+I, y propiciar la circulación y usos de los mismos para el desarrollo integral del país y el bienestar de los colombianos.  http://www.colciencias.gov.co/sobre_colciencias?vdt=info_portal%7Cpage_1

    ¿Las cosas se conocen por el qué o por el cómo? Seguramente por el cómo. ¿Cómo promueve, fomenta, (y mil sinónimos de la burocracia para enfatizar sus objetivos) la Ciencia, la Tecnología y la Innovación? Contaré mi experiencia. ¿Qué hace Colciencias?

    Siendo uno de los pocos privilegiados que pudo pasar por la universidad recuerdo varias cosas. Una de mis grandes amigas (que seguro estará en desacuerdo y podrá precisar este artículo) era la Direct