Comment on Scribblenauts Unlimited Free Download by Drake Bonesteel        
i cant download it
          News: M200 Smoky Quartz Special Edition Demonstrator        
While not officially rumored, an announcement has been expected from Pelikan regarding a new fountain pen from their Classic line in the same color as this year’s Edelstein Ink of the Year, Smoky Quartz.  This model would follow a pattern established by two prior releases emulating a limited edition Edelstein ink, Amethyst (2015) and Aquamarine […]
          Limited Edition Spotlight        
Have you ever looked through a catalog or the literature accompanying a product that you’ve purchased and wished that the ads were in 3D so you could get a really good look at the item in question?  I feel that way when I look at catalogs for fountain pens.  While going through the literature that accompanied […]
          ASAHI INDIA GLASS LTD ANNOUNCES UNAUDITED FINANCIAL RESULTS FOR THE FIRST QUARTER ENDED 30TH JUNE, 2017        
by Shrutee K/DNS

New Delhi – AIS (Asahi India Glass Ltd.), India’s leading integrated glass Company announced its unaudited financial results for the first quarter ended    30th June, 2017 at its Board Meeting.

The consolidated financial performance highlights for the quarter ended 30th June, 2017 are as follows -

Sales (inclusive of Excise Duty) at Rs. 670.98 crores, reflected an increase of 8.60% over the previous period (Rs. 617.84 crores).

Operating EBIDTA i.e. Operating Earnings before Interest, Depreciation, Taxes and Amortisation was recorded at Rs. 109.85 crores registering an increase of 7.89% over the corresponding figure of Rs. 101.82 crores for the previous period.

Cash profit increased by 19.94% from Rs. 66.65 crores in Q4 FY 2016 to Rs. 79.94 crores in Q4 FY 2017.

PBT increased by 25.67% from Rs. 46.08 crores in Q1 FY2017 to Rs. 57.91 crores in Q1 FY2018.

PAT increased by 38.33% from Rs. 28.33 crores in Q1 FY2017 to Rs. 39.19 crores in Q1 FY2018.

The table below gives the details of the financial performance both on standalone and consolidated basis –  

AIS – Financial Results for the first quarter ended 30th June, 2017
(Rs. Lakhs)
Particulars
Standalone
Consolidated
2017
2016
Change (%)
2017
2016
Change (%)
Sales
65,891
61,022
7.98
67,098
61,784
8.60
Operating EBIDTA
11,314
10,427
8.51
10,985
10,182
7.89
Cash Profit
8,329
6,923
20.31
7,994
6,665
19.94
Profit Before Tax
6,202
4,963
24.96
5,791
4,608
25.67
Profit after Tax
4,145
3,058
35.55
3,919
2,833
38.33


We have also implemented some operational upgrades in our float glass plant at Roorkee leading to productivity increases from the next quarter. We also welcome the new regulations & standards from the government for architectural glass which shall be beneficial to everyone in the long term. As required by law, we have migrated to the new IndAS method of accounting and therefore, our results have been restated this quarter with minor upside on PAT coming from positives in depreciation.  Overall, we continue to look forward to consistent growth in auto and architectural segments as well as a stable macro environment.”

About AIS:
Asahi India Glass Ltd. (AIS) is a joint venture between the Labroo family, Asahi Glass Co. Ltd. of Japan, and Maruti Suzuki India Limited. AIS began operations in 1987.
AIS, today, is a leading integrated glass company in India, manufacturing a wide range of international quality automotive safety glass, float glass and architectural processed and value added glass. AIS operates under three strategic business units (SBUs), namely, Auto Glass, Architectural Glass and Consumer Glass.
Auto Glass is India's largest manufacturer of world class automotive safety glass and is, in fact, one of the largest in the field in Asia. It is the sole supplier to almost all the OEMs and has a market share of approx. 77 per cent in the Indian passenger car industry.
Architectural Glass is formed as a result of management merger of Float & Glass Solutions (Processed Glass) SBUs. This SBU manufactures quality float glass and deploys an extensive network of 4 zonal offices and over 1000 distributors. It also markets a wide range of AGC products in India as its distribution partner.
Consumer Glass SBU is Company’s interface with end users for its range of automotive and architectural glass offerings. Impeccable, customized and consumer centric solutions is the key differentiator of Consumer Glass SBU. It includes GlasXperts – a retail initiative in the Architectural Glass segment and Windshield Experts which is India’s only automotive glass repair & replacement specialist.

          BPCL awards its prestigious microsites design & implementation contract to Octaware Technologies        
by Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai, August 10, 2017: Octaware Technologies Limited (BSE – 540416), a leading software and business solutions development company, is pleased to announce that they have been awarded the prestigious contract from BPCL for the design and implementation of their loyalty and brand microsites. Octaware was one of the bidders and was awarded the contract, post evaluation and presentation of efficient solutions and capabilities to the evaluation committee.

The scope of work under the contract includes design and implementation of microsites for BPCL’s loyalty programs – SmartFleet & PetroBonus and other brands - Speed and In & Out. The engagement includes a period of 3 months for implementation of microsites and an additional three years of support and maintenance. Octaware Technology Limited’s expertise in the areas of online portals & enterprise systems helped them win the contract.

Commenting on the development, Mr. Aslam Khan, Chief Executive Officer, Octaware Technologies Limited, said, “We are extremely delighted to have won the prestigious contract from BPCL, our first major win in the Indian PSU sector, post our IPO in April 2017. The fact that it falls under one of Octaware’s key focus verticals of governance, demonstrates our consistent and steady inroads in the Indian market, surpassing some of the strong players in the region. We look forward to a long-term business association with BPCL”.

About Octaware Technologies Limited:
Incorporated in 2005, Octaware Technologies Ltd is a software development company providing a range of information technology solutions. The company designs, develops, and maintains software systems and solutions. Company's services include custom software development, ECM/portal solution, ERP and CRM implementation, mobile platform solution, RFID solution, cloud and IT infrastructure services, consulting services and geospatial services.
Octaware provides specialized software application and product development services and solutions in the areas of healthcare, finance, and e-government industry. The company has proprietary products for domestic, as well as international markets, such as PowerERM – Human Capital Relationship Management, Hospice – Healthcare and Citizen Services solution, and iOnAsset – Inventory management and tracking System etc. These products are available as packaged products as well as software-as-a-service model integrated with legacy system.
Octaware Technologies Limited (BSE – 540416), got listed on the BSE –SME platform on April 3, 2017 and was oversubscribed by 148%, providing testimony to the faith, the investors have reposed in the company.

          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.

          Ambi Pur’s New TVC Focuses on Refreshing Monsoons        
Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai, August 4, 2017:-Ambi Pur’s Smelly to Smiley campaigns have always challenged and conquered the toughest and most pungent odours in a real time set up with live experiments. The third edition of the Smelly to Smiley campaign focuses on yet another very relevant odour issue that most have us have encountered – the problem of the lingering monsoon odour that plagues all Indian households during the season. While monsoons have always stood for happy, fun times, growing up brings us face-to-face with monsoon-related issues. Akin to the advertisement format that has become synonymous to Ambi Pur, the new TVC is a real-life experiment at a real consumer’s home, where a unique sensorial challenge is conducted. After all, how often would you come across people with blind folds and pegs on their noses?

This interesting play on the senses reveals that a home, which may look immaculately clean, may, in reality, be perceived as unclean because it is doused with the damp monsoon odour. This TVC, conceptualized by Grey Group, features Brand Ambassador Boman Irani who presents a reality check in context to the damp, lingering odours that specially torment during monsoons. Launching nationally on August 03, the TVC positions the New and Improved Ambi Pur, with odour-clear technology, as the perfect solution to restore freshness to your favorite season. 

The recently released findings from a survey conducted by AC Nielsen, commissioned by Ambi Pur, unearthed the extent of suffering that these damp, musty odours impose on all of us. In fact, 9 out of every 10* women felt that monsoons bring issues within the household such as drying clothes inside, that lead to a musty damp odour.
 
Nidhish Garg, Brand Manager, P&G Home Care India, comments: “To drive awareness regarding the New & Improved Ambi Pur with patented odour-clear technology, we have launched the 3rdleg of the very popular Smelly to Smiley campaign. The brand stays with its ideology of putting the product to torture tests against relevant odour issues, and this time we take on the musty odour that all Indians face during monsoons. The TVC captures live reaction of a consumer who experiences the monsoon odour when visiting a friend’s home that looks perfectly clean. The same consumer sees Ambi Pur in action and how it completely eliminates the monsoon odour as opposed to temporarily concealing it with a fragrance. This format of communicating with our consumers through live experiments helps in building brand salience and credibility.”
 

Ambi Pur’s Brand Ambassador, Boman Irani further adds, “Monsoon is my favourite season but we all know the challenges that come with it, right from drying clothes inside to the rigorous cleaning regime. The new TVC shows that the house that looks clean may not actually smell clean due to the overwhelming moisture-heavy air giving out a feeling of lack of hygiene. It is always fun shooting for Ambi Pur ads, as well as extremely reassuring to witness the brand live up to toughest home odours in live experiments, year on year! This time too, Ambi Pur in its new avatar, truly eliminated the musty monsoon odour. So, it’s time to stop being enslaved by this moldy smell and refresh your monsoons with Ambi Pur.”

The New & Improved Ambi Pur uses a distinct formulation that focuses on odour removal, not just on emitting the fragrance. P&G has created a trademarked ‘Odour-clear technology’, which has been brought to India in July. The new technology fights odour at a molecular level, neutralizing it completely, and leaving behind a subtle fragrance, thus truly eliminating all tough odours.

All Ambi Pur fragrances, including the newly launched Sandalwood fragrance, are available across stores at a price of Rs. 299.

Agency Credits:
Lead Creative Agency: GREY Düsseldorf
Local Support: GREY Mumbai
Production House: Casta Diva Pictures, Mumbai

About Procter & Gamble
P&G serves consumers in India with one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Vicks ®, Ariel®, Tide®, Whisper®, Olay®, Gillette®, AmbiPur®, Pampers®, Pantene®, Oral-B®, Head & Shoulders® and Old Spice®. P&G operates through 3 entities in India of which 2 are listed on NSE & BSE. The listed P&G entities are: ‘Procter & Gamble Hygiene & Health Care Limited’ and ‘Gillette India Limited’, whereas the unlisted entity (which is a 100% subsidiary of the parent company in the U.S) operates by the name ‘Procter & Gamble Home Products Private Ltd.’ In the last 12 years, P&G’s signature CSR program P&G Shiksha has built and supported 1000 schools that will impact the lives of 10,00,000 underprivileged children across the country by providing them with access to education. Please visit http://www.pg-India.com for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G India and its brands.

          Gli infiniti possibili di Giorgio Sollazzi, musicista        
All'epoca ero molto ingenuo e molto presuntuoso e pensavo di poter scrivere “recensioni” di grandi opere musicali del passato. Le pubblicavo su un sito commerciale (che esiste ancora oggi). Quando mi venivano bene, erano “schede" molto pedantesche, contenenti le stesse informazioni che si possono trovare su una qualsiasi garzantina. Infatti, qualche anno dopo, quando Wikipedia arrivò in Italia, smisi di farmi sfruttare dal sito commerciale e trovai quella che probabilmente è la mia vera vocazione internettiana.

Ad ogni modo fu sul sito commerciale che conobbi Giorgio Sollazzi. Anche lui scriveva recensioni. Con la prima, importante differenza che lui è musicista, e quindi sa di cosa scrive, e con una seconda differenza: le sue recensioni erano avvincenti, estrose, godibilissime, anche e soprattutto quando sembrava che non avessero nulla a che fare col brano musicale che - in teoria - ne costituiva l'oggetto. Le recensioni di Giorgio non parlavano precisamente né del brano musicale “in sé”, né della sua ricezione da parte dell'ascoltatore-recensore. Si situavano, piuttosto, in qualche punto lungo la relazione fra questi due elementi, come un acrobata in equilibrio su un filo, o come uno dei fuochi di due specchi parabolici contrapposti. Non per niente “mirrors” (con la m minuscola) era il nickname che Giorgio si era scelto.

A un certo punto Giorgio uscì dal sito e cancellò il suo account. Dev'essere per questo che, cercando ora qualcuna delle meravigliose recensioni di mirrors, non ne trovo nessuna. Qualche tempo dopo si iscrisse nuovamente con un altro nickname e cominciò a pubblicare recensioni di forma più tradizionale, ma sempre molto belle, come ad esempio questa, sulla settima di Beethoven.

L'interpretazione verbale di un brano musicale è sempre un grosso azzardo. "Scrivere di musica è come ballare di architettura", diceva Frank Zappa. Le descrizioni che amo di più sono quelle di musiche inesistenti, come la sonata di Vinteuil in Proust o le composizioni immaginate da Thomas Mann nel Doktor Faustus. Proust mescolava genialmente le carte, inventandosi una sonata per violino e pianoforte che prendeva un po' dalla Sonata in re minore di César Franck, un po' da un quintetto di Saint-Saëns, senza essere né l'una né l'altro; in piena coerenza, d'altronde, con la sua estetica, dove non esistono "descrizioni" "realistiche" del "mondo esterno". Quanto a Mann, Arnold Schönberg s'inalberò quando seppe che la sua musica aveva ispirato quella del romanzo, al punto da pretendere una smentita da parte dello scrittore. E dal suo punto di vista Schönberg aveva anche ragione, in quanto Mann interpretava la dodecafonia come un fenomeno di dissoluzione morale, che era quanto di più lontano dagli intenti del severo musicista.

Ma anche divagare è un'arte, che a me non riesce: ci provo inutilmente, per poi subito ricadere nel mio solito modo di scrivere pedestre e nozionistico. Dunque, meglio rimanere on topic e parlare di Giorgio Sollazzi. Ecco: quando lo conobbi, non attraversavo quello che si dice un buon periodo. Mi ero laureato, avevo fatto il servizio civile, abitavo a casa dei miei in provincia, lontanissimo dall'università e dai miei amici di laggiù. Gli altri miei amici, quelli del liceo, erano sparsi in giro per l'Italia. Facevo pratica in uno studio legale. Ero, in sostanza, disoccupato, e mi sentivo terribilmente solo e senza prospettive. L'amicizia epistolare con Giorgio mi aiutò a tenermi in piedi. Ci scambiavamo commenti e messaggi sul sito commerciale (che fungeva anche un po' da social network), email, ma anche lettere cartacee: ricordo un plico meraviglioso che egli mi spedì con un CD che aveva masterizzato per me. Dentro c'erano un brano di Stockhausen, Il canto sospeso di Nono, un coro dal Trovatore, e non ricordo cos'altro.

A quel tempo Internet non aveva ancora stravolto la distribuzione della musica. C'era Napster, ma con le connessioni lente di allora non è che si riuscisse a scaricare granché. Per ascoltare musica bisognava ancora affidarsi alla radio, oppure ordinare il disco al negozio e aspettare che arrivasse. C'era poi una circolazione semiclandestina di audiocassette duplicate artigianalmente, che passavano di mano in mano come samizdat. Tutta una dimensione romantica, di scoperta, che si è persa dal momento in cui è bastato digitare un nome su un motore di ricerca per avere subito a disposizione l'intera produzione di qualsiasi musicista antico o contemporaneo.

Poco tempo fa ho chiesto a Giorgio se, come musicista, non si sentisse stimolato da questa odierna vasta disponibilità di musiche, e come mai ciò non lo inducesse a scrivere in una tale, enorme varietà di stili e di linguaggi: oggi un brano dodecafonico, domani uno pop, dopodomani uno free jazz, e via dicendo. Non ricordo esattamente il tenore della mia domanda - che comunque era piuttosto stupida, si capisce. Ricordo invece perfettamente la replica di Giorgio: fare come gli suggerivo io - mi ha risposto - avrebbe forse aumentato il suo tasso di libertà ma avrebbe diminuito il tasso di scelta.

In uno dei suoi romanzi, Nicola Lagioia offre alcune riflessioni molto interessanti a proposito del ritrovare sui social network i propri amici di gioventù. Queste amicizie del mondo reale divenute poi virtuali - osserva Lagioia - hanno una strana consistenza umbratile. Simile a quella degli spiriti nell'undicesimo libro dell'Odissea (o nel sesto dell'Eneide), aggiungerei io. Colpa del mezzo, evidentemente, e non dell'amicizia in sé - ma questo è un altro discorso.

Conosco Giorgio da sedici anni e non ci siamo mai incontrati di persona: solo via Internet, e qualche volta per telefono. Però non ho mai avvertito come un limite la virtualità della nostra amicizia. Forse perché nel suo caso manca il confronto con l'immagine mnemonica della persona reale, o forse per il felice paradosso che Giorgio riesce a realizzare nelle sue comunicazioni virtuali, allo stesso tempo lievi e intense.

Sto pensando che “lieve” e “intenso” potrebbero essere i due primi aggettivi che mi vengono in mente ascoltando la musica di Giorgio. Mi rendo conto che come contributo critico è parecchio inadeguato, ma ho già detto che non sono del mestiere. Giorgio ha esposto la sua poetica (o almeno, una delle sue poetiche) in uno scritto che potete trovare qui.

In questo saggio, Giorgio prende le mosse dal personaggio di Amleto (con annesso spettro del re di Danimarca?) per proporre una sua complessa concezione della composizione, come “apparizione” o “evocazione” di “potenziali”. 

Shakespeare era un altro interesse che ci univa quando scrivevamo sul sito commerciale. Giorgio ha molto riflettuto, e qualcosa ha anche scritto, sia in prosa sia in musica, sulla figura di Amleto.


Quanto a me, partendo dalla constatazione che su Internet in italiano c'era ancora poco materiale sull'argomento, mi ero messo in testa di compilare e mettere on line una "recensione" per ciascuno dei drammi del Bardo. Tanto ero sprovveduto, a quell'epoca.

Più tardi abbandonai l'insano progetto, assieme alle mie velleità di anglista, e praticamente smisi di leggere Shakespeare. Oggi amo recarmi, di quando in quando, a visitare l'abbazia cistercense di Morimondo. Questo non c'entra nulla con quanto ho detto finora. Però nell'abbazia c'è un bel coro ligneo di epoca rinascimentale.

Ogni volta che lo vedo recito mentalmente la prima quartina del Sonetto LXXIII.

La migliore traduzione italiana è quella di Ungaretti:

"Quel tempo in me vedere puoi dell'anno
Quando già niuna foglia, o rara gialla in sospeso, rimane
Ai rami che affrontando il freddo tremano,
Cori spogliati rovinati dove gli uccelli cantarono, dolci".

Di solito i commentatori sottolineano il senso di desolazione che promana da quei bare ruin'd choirs, vuoti, semidistrutti e muti. Sta di fatto che Shakespeare, mentre ce li descrive, riesce in qualche modo a farcene riascoltare il suono. Forse questa è una delle cose che il poeta vuole dirci: la memoria, aiutata dall'arte, può riuscire ad evocare la musica di un coro assente.














          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]
          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.

          La Quinta sinfonia di Brahms        
Vogliamo oggi parlare della meno eseguita fra le sinfonie di Brahms: la Sinfonia n. 5 in do maggiore, op. 123.

Questa sinfonia è il "canto del cigno" del grande musicista, che la terminò nel 1898, pochi mesi prima del suo definitivo crollo psichico.

Brahms visse ancora una decina d'anni chiuso nel manicomio di Amburgo, dove, secondo le relazioni cliniche e le testimonianze del personale ospedaliero, condusse una vita vegetativa, completamente immemore, punteggiata da intervalli di coscienza (ma non di lucidità), durante i quali il povero Brahms sosteneva di essere una taverniera; in tale sua immaginaria qualità di ostessa di una bettola di infimo ordine, Brahms interloquiva coi medici e gli infermieri, scambiandoli per avventori del suo locale. Lo si poteva allora udire in tutto il manicomio mentre, con voce stridula, urlava frasi del tipo: "Quante birre al tavolo sei?" - Tale scena penosa, su cui i biografi di Brahms hanno mantenuto, fino a tempi recenti, un imbarazzato silenzio, si ripeteva una o due volte la settimana.

Si direbbe che l'incombente follia abbia proiettato la sua oscura ombra anche sulla ricezione di quest'ultima opera brahmsiana, che già al suo apparire lasciò perplessi ascoltatori e critici, innanzitutto per la sua durata stranamente breve: la sinfonia dura circa venti o venticinque minuti, a seconda delle interpretazioni (diciotto minuti nella lettura di Toscanini, ventisette in quella di Klemperer; un'incisione dal vivo di Celibidache, con l'orchestra sinfonica della RAI di Napoli, arriva ai quaranta minuti, ma solo perché il direttore allunga fino all'inverosimile gli intervalli fra un movimento e l'altro). Decisamente poco per il pubblico dell'epoca, abituato al gigantismo formale.

Un altro motivo di stupore derivò poi dalla strumentazione, che comprende, oltre al solito organico orchestrale, anche una fisarmonica, un mandolino e un sassofono. Inoltre nell'ultimo movimento è introdotta una voce di basso.

Il primo movimento, Allegro amabile, in forma sonata, inizia con il primo tema, esposto dai soli archi. E' una melodia languida, per non dire sensuale, costruita sulle note Do - La - La - Mi bemolle - Do- Si. In tedesco, queste note si scrivono C - A- A- Es - C - H; si tratta perciò di un chiaro riferimento al nome di Clara Schumann, la musicista per la quale, com'è noto, Brahms nutrì a lungo una segreta e infelice passione. Dopo un ponte modulante, si passa al secondo tema, che è costituito, abbastanza sorprendentemente, dalla ben nota canzone goliardica italiana detta "delle osterie". Il tema viene ripetuto varie volte, con un crescendo rossiniano inconsueto in Brahms, passando da una sezione all'altra dell'orchestra, in modo sempre più insistente. Lo sviluppo è costituito da una ingegnosa combinazione contrappuntistica fra il primo tema e le ultime battute del secondo tema (quelle che, nel testo della canzone, corrispondono alle parole "Dammela a me, biondina, dammela a me, biondà"). La ripresa è assai regolare, ed è seguita da una coda in cui Brahms cita la melodia di un'altra canzone goliardica, Gaudeamus igitur, già da lui utilizzata nella sua Ouverture accademica, op. 80.

Il secondo movimento, Andante comodo, è in forma tripartita. Qui, dopo le stravaganze del primo tempo, ritroviamo con piacere il consueto Brahms di tanti suoi andanti sinfonici: nobile, compassato, un tantino soporifero. La parte centrale dell'Andante si distingue per il finissimo dialogo strumentale fra il sassofono e il mandolino, su una melodia che presenta sottili analogie strutturali con il tema dell'Andante del Trio op. 17 di Clara Schumann.

Non si discosta dal sostanziale classicismo dell'Andante il Minuetto con trio che costituisce il terzo movimento della sinfonia: anzi, questo Minuetto è così ostentatamente haydniano, così settecentesco in modo quasi iperrealistico, che nell'ascoltatore inizia a farsi strada il dubbio se Brahms stia facendo sul serio, e se, a questo punto, ci stia ancora con la testa.

Ogni dubbio viene meno con l'inizio del famigerato quarto movimento. Dapprima entra la fisarmonica solista, proponendo un Recitativo strumentale di sedici battute che non si sa veramente come definire. Dopodiché il basso, senza alcun accompagnamento strumentale, intona alcuni frammenti di Saffo, ordinati dallo stesso Brahms in una sequenza, di cui si ricorderà quarant'anni dopo il nostro Quasimodo nella sua traduzione dei lirici greci:

Tramontata è la luna
e le Pleiadi a mezzo della notte;
anche giovinezza già dilegua,
e ora nel mio letto resto sola.
Scuote l'anima mia Eros,
come vento sul monte
che irrompe entro le querce;
e scioglie le membra e le agita,
dolce amara indomabile belva.
Ma a me non ape, non miele;
e soffro e desidero.


E' difficile ascoltare questo recitativo senza provare disagio: il basso, infatti, inizia nel proprio registro centrale, ma poi sale gradualmente, terminando su delle note che si trovano talmente oltre il limite della sua estensione, che finora nessun cantante è riuscito ad intonarle se non in falsetto. Ebbene sì: qui al compositore ha decisamente dato di volta il cervello.

A questo punto entra l'orchestra, attaccando l'Allegretto, in forma di rondò, su cui il basso canta un testo, elaborato dallo stesso Brahms, tratto dal Cantico di Re Salomone. La singolare difficoltà di questa parte vocale, caratterizzata da repentini salti di registro, costituisce certamente uno dei motivi per i quali la Sinfonia n. 5 di Brahms viene eseguita così raramente, ma non è l'unico. Soprattutto è sconcertante la disinvoltura con cui Brahms si appropria di intere sequenze tratte dalla Traviata, dalla Carmen, dal Tristano di Wagner e dalla Manon Lescaut di Puccini, senza neppure sottoporle al lavorìo dell'elaborazione tematica e contrappuntistica di cui è maestro. No, qui Brahms prende interi brani di queste opere e li schiaffa pari pari nel suo rondò, che si trasforma così in una sorta di pot-pourri da operetta.

La Sinfonia n. 5 termina con un altro sberleffo musicale, questa volta affidato alla melodia della canzone napoletana "Oi Marì, oi Marì / quanto suonno aggio perso pe' tte!", eseguita all'unisono dall'intera orchestra e dal basso, per chiudere con un accordo violentemente dissonante che usa tutte e dodici le note della scala cromatica, più alcuni quarti di tono.

Mentre, come si è detto, i contemporanei di Brahms non nascosero l'inquietudine e l'imbarazzo di fronte a questa sinfonia, la critica novecentesca appare molto divisa. Il critico Giorgio Lukács, in una delle sue rare incursioni in ambito musicale, definisce la Quinta Sinfonia di Brahms "uno dei documenti più impressionanti della decadenza artistica e morale della borghesia capitalistica nella sua fase imperialista"; giudizio sostanzialmente riecheggiato da Teodoro Adorno, il quale ebbe a parlare, a proposito di questa sinfonia, di "evidente involuzione reazionaria, basata sulla negazione astorica della funzione sociale della relazione armonica, nella misura in cui il contrappunto, materialisticamente e dialetticamente inteso, cede il passo al costrutto timbrico falsamente progressivo, di carattere apoditticamente neoclassico, orientato a destra, prematurato e antani". La sinfonia fu invece molto lodata da Stravinsky e, ai nostri giorni, da Pierre Boulez, che ne ha dato l'interpretazione forse più vibrante.

Significativa, a suo modo, fu la reazione di Glenn Gould, il quale, durante un'intervista radiofonica col fido Bruno Monsaingeon, da questi interrogato su cosa ne pensasse della Quinta sinfonia di Brahms, per tutta risposta cominciò a ridere, dapprima sommessamente e poi in modo sempre più convulso e irrefrenabile, al punto che l'intervista dovette essere interrotta.

Ma è tempo di passare alla conoscenza diretta di questa composizione così controversa. Ecco il link, con l'avvertenza che, su alcuni browser e con sistemi operativi non aggiornati, la pagina potrebbe anche non aprirsi. Comunque, buon ascolto.

(Già pubblicato su Evulon).
          La stanza della duchessa        
Quello che segue è un racconto che ho scritto per partecipare a un concorso letterario. Le regole sono: un racconto dal titolo "La Stanza della Duchessa", della lunghezza massima di 3.600 caratteri, che contenga un riferimento alle scarpe (lo sponsor è il Museo della Calzatura di Vigevano). Il racconto dev'essere inedito, ma ne è ammessa la pubblicazione sul proprio blog. E allora, eccolo qua. La versione seguente è un po' più lunga di quella che invierò per il concorso (ho dovuto ridurre il testo per rientrare nel limite delle 3.600 battute).
Aggiornamento (25 febbraio 2012): pubblico qui di seguito la versione che ha partecipato al concorso (e che non ha vinto). La versione lunga, invece, la potete leggere su Evulon.


La notte del 7 gennaio 1463, a Parigi, dopo l'ora del coprifuoco, un uomo percorreva a grandi passi la rue Saint-Jacques deserta, diretto verso la Senna.
Era magro e allampanato, piuttosto malmesso. Portava una voluminosa borsa e, in più, teneva sotto il braccio un fardello malamente avvolto in un panno. Faceva molto freddo.
Giunto nei pressi del Petit Pont, l'uomo si fermò sotto una finestra, raccolse della ghiaia e la gettò contro i battenti. Poi chiamò con voce smorzata: "Margot! Aprimi!"
All'interno una candela si accese. L'uscio si aprì e una voce femminile mormorò: "Villon? Sei tu?"
"No, sono il re d'Inghilterra. Sei sola?"
"Sì. Stanotte non ho clienti".
"Allora dai, fammi entrare, o domattina uscendo mi troverai qui stecchito come un'aringa!"
"Grazie al cielo! Allora ti hanno scarcerato", disse Margot, guidando il suo amico su per la scala del modesto alloggio.
"Già" rispose lui, "la Suprema Corte ha accolto il mio appello. Per stavolta non finirò sulla forca. Però..."
Si interruppe, osservando con aria incerta Margot la quale, nel frattempo, si era seduta sul bordo del letto a due piazze che occupava quasi interamente la stanza.
"Come, per stavolta?" disse la ragazza. "In che altri guai ti vorresti cacciare? Siediti invece, e fammi vedere cosa c'è nel fagotto che hai portato. Un regalo per me, vero?"
François si accomodò accanto a Margot e srotolò il panno, che conteneva un paio di eleganti sandali di pelle dal tacco alto.
"Dove li hai comprati?" disse lei, sorridendo deliziata.
"Sono scarpe italiane" disse lui. "Erano sulla bancarella di un mercante lombardo, alle Halles. Non è che le ho proprio comprate. Mi sono detto: queste sono per la mia Margot! Allora mi sono avvicinato di soppiatto e..."
La donna lo zittì con un bacio. Poi spense la candela.
Intanto, fuori, iniziava a nevicare.

Quando François si svegliò (era mattina inoltrata), per prima cosa vide Margot che stava disegnando con un carboncino sul retro di un manoscritto.
"Scusa", disse Margot, "mi serviva un foglio e ho visto che la tua borsa ne era piena. E' il tuo ritratto", disse porgendo il foglio a François. "C'era scritto qualcosa di importante?"
"No", disse lui. "E' una stanza della ballata che scrissi cinque anni fa per la duchessa d'Orléans. Ma era una brutta poesia. Il tuo disegno, invece, è molto bello. Conservalo, te ne prego".
"Allora è deciso! Io la duchessa, tu il duca, e questo sarà il nostro castello!"
"Margot, ti devo dire una cosa. I giudici hanno annullato la mia condanna a morte, è vero. Però mi hanno bandito da Parigi".
La donna si avvicinò alla finestra e guardò fuori. Era tutto ricoperto di neve. "Per quanto tempo?", disse.
"Dieci anni. Devo lasciare la città entro oggi".
Margot si volse e, guardando François dritto negli occhi, disse: "Vengo con te".
Lui scese dal letto. Raggiunse Margot, che era in piedi davanti alla finestra. C'era il sole, e il riverbero illuminava i capelli di lei. Sempre guardandola negli occhi, François prese fra le sue le mani di Margot.
"Andremo in Italia", disse François. "Laggiù ci sono città accoglienti e ben governate, rette da leggi giuste. L'arte e la poesia sono onorate e apprezzate. Quello è il posto per noi! Potremmo andare a Firenze da Cosimo de' Medici, o anche a Napoli, da re Ferdinando. Oppure nel Ducato di Milano, da Francesco Sforza: mi hanno detto che lì si vive bene. Partiamo adesso!"
"Sì. E quando questa neve si sarà sciolta, noi saremo già lontano", disse Margot.


          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.
          '..If you can’t see this next crisis coming, you’re not paying the right kind of attention .. Financial politicians..' (no replies)        
'..If you can’t see this next crisis coming, you’re not paying the right kind of attention..'

'This Fed has already engineered the next crisis, just as Greenspan kept rates too low for too long, ignored his regulatory responsibility, and engineered the housing bubble and subprime crisis. If you can’t see this next crisis coming, you’re not paying the right kind of attention. The Trump Fed is going to have to deal with that crisis, but we still have many questions as to what a Trump Fed will actually look like or do.'

John Mauldin (Source, Jun 25, 2017)


'..Their empathy circuits get turned off.'

'Powerful people everywhere routinely make decisions that hurt others. We see it in central bankers, politicians, corporate CEOs, religious groups, universities – any large organization. The old saying is right: Power really does corrupt. And corruption is a barrier to sustainable economic growth. This is more than a political problem; it has a serious economic impact.

Recent psychological research suggests that powerful people behave remarkably like traumatic brain injury victims. Controlled experiments show that, given power over others, people often become impulsive and less sensitive to risk. Most important, test subjects often lose empathy, that is, the ability to understand and share the feelings of others.

..

Powerful people also lose a capacity called “mirroring.” When we observe other people doing something, our brains react as if we were doing the same thing. It’s why, when you watch a sporting event, you may unconsciously mimic a golf swing or the referee’s hand signals. Some portion of your brain thinks you are really there. But when researchers prime test subjects with powerful feelings, their mirroring capacity decreases.

You can see why this is a problem. The Protected-class members of the Federal Open Market Committee must feel quite powerful when they gather in that fancy room to make policy decisions. It’s no wonder they forget how their decisions will affect regular working-class people: Their empathy circuits get turned off.'

- Patrick Watson, The Wedge Goes Deeper, June 30, 2017


'..I now feel that it's highly likely we will face a major financial crisis, if not later this year, then by the end of 2018 at the latest..'

'Re-entering the news flow was a jolt, and not in a good way. Looking with fresh eyes at the economic numbers and central bankers’ statements convinced me that we will soon be in deep trouble. I now feel that it's highly likely we will face a major financial crisis, if not later this year, then by the end of 2018 at the latest. Just a few months ago, I thought we could avoid a crisis and muddle through. Now I think we’re past that point. The key decision-makers have (1) done nothing, (2) done the wrong thing, or (3) done the right thing too late.

Having realized this, I’m adjusting my research efforts. I believe a major crisis is coming. The questions now are, how severe will it be, and how will we get through it? With the election of President Trump and a Republican Congress, your naïve analyst was hopeful that we would get significant tax reform, in addition to reform of a healthcare system that is simply devastating to so many people and small businesses. I thought maybe we’d see this administration cutting through some bureaucratic red tape quickly. With such reforms in mind I was hopeful we could avoid a recession even if a crisis developed in China or Europe.

..

One news item I didn’t miss on St. Thomas – and rather wish I had – was Janet Yellen’s reassurance regarding the likelihood of another financial crisis. Here is the full quote.

Would I say there will never, ever be another financial crisis? 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. [emphasis added]

I disagree with almost every word in those two sentences, but my belief is less important than Chair Yellen’s. If she really believes this, then she is oblivious to major instabilities that still riddle the financial system. That’s not good.

..

Financial politicians (which is what central bankers really are) have a long history of saying the wrong things at the wrong time. Far worse, they simply fail to tell the truth. Former Eurogroup leader Jean-Claude Juncker admitted as much: “When it becomes serious, you have to lie,” he said in the throes of Europe’s 2011 debt crisis.'

- John Mauldin, Prepare for Turbulence, July 9, 2017


'..Market distortions – including valuations, deeply embedded complacency, and Trillions of perceived safe securities – have become only further detached from reality. And the longer all this unstable finance flows freely into the real economy, the deeper the structural maladjustment.'

'This week marks the five-year anniversary of Draghi’s “whatever it takes.” I remember the summer of 2012 as if it were yesterday. From the Bubble analysis perspective, it was a Critical Juncture – for financial markets and risk perceptions, for policy and for the global economy. Italian 10-year yields hit 6.60% on July 24, 2012. On that same day, Spain saw yields surge to 7.62%. Italian banks were in freefall, while European bank stocks (STOXX600) were rapidly approaching 2009 lows. Having risen above 55 in 2011, Deutsche Bank traded at 23.23 on July 25, 2012.

It was my view at the time that the “European” crisis posed a clear and immediate threat to the global financial system. A crisis of confidence in Italian debt (and Spanish and “periphery” debt) risked a crisis of confidence in European banks – and a loss of confidence in European finance risked dismantling the euro monetary regime.

Derivatives markets were in the crosshairs back in 2012. A crisis of confidence in European debt and the euro would surely have tested the derivatives marketplace to the limits. Moreover, with the big European banks having evolved into dominant players in derivatives trading (taking share from U.S. counterparts after the mortgage crisis), counter-party issues were at the brink of becoming a serious global market problem. It’s as well worth mentioning that European banks were major providers of finance for emerging markets.

From the global government finance Bubble perspective, Draghi’s “whatever it takes” was a seminal development. The Bernanke Fed employed QE measures during the 2008 financial crisis to accommodate deleveraging and stabilize dislocated markets. Mario Draghi leapfrogged (helicopter) Bernanke, turning to open-ended QE and other extreme measures to preserve euro monetary integration. No longer would QE be viewed as a temporary crisis management tool. And just completely disregard traditional monetary axiom that central banks should operate as lender of last resort in the event of temporary illiquidity – but must avoid propping up the insolvent. “Whatever it takes” advocates covert bailouts for whomever and whatever a small group of central bankers chooses – illiquid, insolvent, irredeemable or otherwise. Now five years after the first utterance of “whatever it takes,” the Draghi ECB is still pumping out enormous amounts of “money” on a monthly basis (buying sovereigns and corporates) with rates near zero.

..

Thinking back five years, U.S. markets at the time were incredibly complacent. The risk of crisis in Europe was downplayed: Policymakers had it all under control. Sometime later, the Financial Times - in a fascinating behind-the-scenes exposé - confirmed the gravity of the situation and how frazzled European leaders were at the brink of losing control. Yet central bankers, once again, saved the day – further solidifying their superhero status.

I’m convinced five years of “whatever it takes” took the global government finance Bubble deeper into perilous uncharted territory. Certainly, markets are more complacent than ever, believing central bankers are fully committed to prolonging indefinitely the securities bull market. Meanwhile, leverage, speculative excess and trend-following flows have had an additional five years to accumulate. Market distortions – including valuations, deeply embedded complacency, and Trillions of perceived safe securities – have become only further detached from reality. And the longer all this unstable finance flows freely into the real economy, the deeper the structural maladjustment.'

- Doug Noland, Five Years of Whatever It Takes, July 29, 2017


'..This whole episode is likely to end so badly that future children will learn about it in school and shake their heads in wonder at the rank stupidity of it all, just like many of us did when we learned about the Dutch Tulip mania.'

'While I've written about numerous valuation measures over time, the most reliable ones share a common feature: they focus on identifying "sufficient statistics" for the very, very long-term stream of cash flows that stocks can be expected to deliver into the hands of investors over time. On that front, revenues are typically more robust "sufficient statistics" than current or year-ahead earnings. See Exhaustion Gaps and the Fear of Missing Out for a table showing the relative reliability of a variety of measures. In April 2007, I estimated that an appropriate valuation for the S&P 500 stood about 850, roughly -40% lower than prevailing levels. By the October peak, the prospective market loss to normal valuation had increased to about -46%. As it happened, the subsequent collapse of the housing bubble took the S&P 500 about -55% lower. In late-October 2008, as the market plunge crossed below historically reliable valuation norms, I observed that the S&P 500 had become undervalued on our measures.

Again attempting to “stimulate” the economy from the recession that followed, the Federal Reserve cut short-term interest rates to zero in recent years, provoking yet another episode of yield-seeking speculation, where yield-starved investors created demand for virtually every class of securities, in the hope of achieving returns in excess of zero. Meanwhile, Wall Street, suffering from what J.K. Galbraith once called the “extreme brevity of the financial memory,” convinced itself yet again that the whole episode was built on something more solid than quotes on a screen and blotches of ink on paper..

..

..greater real economic activity was never the likely outcome of all this quantitative easing (indeed, one can show that the path of the economy since the crisis has not been materially different than what one could have projected using wholly non-monetary variables). Rather, Ben Bernanke, in his self-appointed role as Mad Hatter, was convinced that offensively hypervalued financial markets - that encourage the speculative misallocation of capital, imply dismal expected future returns, and create temporary paper profits that ultimately collapse - somehow represent a greater and more desirable form of “wealth” compared with reasonably-valued financial markets that offer attractive expected returns and help to soundly allocate capital. Believing that wealth is embodied by the price of a security rather than its future stream of cash flows, QE has created a world of hypervaluation, zero prospective future returns, and massive downside risks across nearly every conventional asset class.

And so, the Fed created such an enormous pool of zero interest bank reserves that investors would feel pressure to chase stocks, junk debt, anything to get rid of these yield-free hot potatoes. That didn’t stimulate more real, productive investment; it just created more investors who were frustrated with zero returns, because someone had to hold that base money, and in aggregate, all of them had to hold over $4 trillion of the stuff at every moment in time.

When you look objectively at what the Fed actually did, should be obvious how its actions encouraged this bubble. Every time someone would get rid of zero-interest base money by buying a riskier security, the seller would get the base money, and the cycle would continue until every asset was priced to deliver future returns near zero. We’re now at the point where junk yields are among the lowest in history, stock market valuations are so extreme that we estimate zero or negative S&P 500 average annual nominal total returns over the coming 10-12 year horizon, and our estimate of 12-year prospective total returns on a conventional mix of 60% stocks, 30% Treasury bonds, and 10% Treasury bills has never been lower (about 1% annually here). This whole episode is likely to end so badly that future children will learn about it in school and shake their heads in wonder at the rank stupidity of it all, just like many of us did when we learned about the Dutch Tulip mania.

Examine all risk exposures, consider your investment horizon and risk-tolerance carefully, commit to the flexibility toward greater market exposure at points where a material retreat in valuations is joined by early improvement in market action (even if the news happens to be very negative at that point), fasten your protective gear, and expect a little bit of whiplash. Remember that the “catalysts” often become evident after prices move, not before. The completion of this market cycle may or may not be immediate, but with the median stock at easily the most extreme price/revenue ratio in history, and a run-of-the-mill outcome now being market loss on the order of -60%, the contrast between recent stability and likely future volatility could hardly be more striking.'

- John P. Hussman, Ph.D., Hot Potatoes and Dutch Tulips, July 31, 2017


Context

(2017) - '..a deeply systemic debt crisis akin to the aftermath of 1929 .. the stage has now been set..'

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

'..the Next 30 Years: “Everything is Deflationary”..'

          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 WMO says that the "extreme and unusual" climate and weather trends have continued into 2017..' (no replies)        
'The WMO says that the "extreme and unusual" climate and weather trends have continued into 2017. At least three times this winter, the Arctic experienced the equivalent of a heatwave, as powerful Atlantic storms drove warm, moist air into the region.

Changes in the Arctic and the melting of sea-ice are also leading to a shift in atmospheric circulation patterns impacting other parts of the world. This is causing unusual heat in some areas - In the US, over 11,000 warm temperature records were broken in early 2017.

"Even without a strong El Niño in 2017, we are seeing other remarkable changes across the planet that are challenging the limits of our understanding of the climate system. We are now in truly uncharted territory," said David Carlson, World Climate Research Programme Director at the WMO.

In the face of all this information, climate researchers around the world are irked by the attitude of the Trump government in Washington.'

- Matt McGrath, 'Extreme and unusual' climate trends continue after record 2016, March 21, 2017


Context

Update (February 11, 2017) - '..ethical standards..' ('.. Dr. Bates appeared to distance himself from some of what he wrote in the blog post..')

'..Earth is warming more rapidly than previously thought was correct..'

          '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

          (Bazaarmodel - To Heal - Teal) - '..is it possible to build a truly Evolutionary-Teal school?' (no replies)        
'This factory-like system seems increasingly out of date. More and more people are crying out for innovation in education and starting to experiment with curricula, technologies, and governance in schools. But is it possible to build a truly Evolutionary-Teal school? And what would it look like? A superb example can be found in the center of Berlin in Germany. The “ESBZ” is a grade 7-12 school that opened its doors in 2007 with more than a bit of improvisation. Just three months before the start of the school year, the city council had suddenly given a decrepit prefabricated building from communist times to a group of pesky parents who simply wouldn’t let go of their dream. When the school year started, only 16 students were registered. A few months later, at the mid-year point, 30 more students had joined, mostly rejects and troublemakers other schools had expelled. Hardly a promising start for a new school. And yet today, only a few years later, the school has 500 students and attracts hundreds of principals, teachers, and education specialists from all over the country who want to study the ESBZ model.'

- Frederic Laloux, (Reinventing Organizations, Chapter 2.2 _ Self-management Structures), page 93


'..Yet unlike Sudbury, Montessori or Steiner schools, Rasfeld’s institution tries to embed student self-determination within a relatively strict system of rules. Students who dawdle during lessons have to come into school on Saturday morning to catch up, a punishment known as “silentium”. “The more freedom you have, the more structure you need,” says Rasfeld.

The main reason why the ESBC is gaining a reputation as Germany’s most exciting school is that its experimental philosophy has managed to deliver impressive results..'


'..At Oberländer’s school, there are no grades until students turn 15, no timetables and no lecture-style instructions. The pupils decide which subjects they want to study for each lesson and when they want to take an exam.

The school’s syllabus reads like any helicopter parent’s nightmare. Set subjects are limited to maths, German, English and social studies, supplemented by more abstract courses such as “responsibility” and “challenge”. For challenge, students aged 12 to 14 are given €150 (£115) and sent on an adventure that they have to plan entirely by themselves. Some go kayaking; others work on a farm. Anton went trekking along England’s south coast.

The philosophy behind these innovations is simple: as the requirements of the labour market are changing, and smartphones and the internet are transforming the ways in which young people process information, the school’s headteacher, Margret Rasfeld, argues, the most important skill a school can pass down to its students is the ability to motivate themselves.

“Look at three or four year olds – they are all full of self-confidence,” Rasfeld says. “Often, children can’t wait to start school. But frustratingly, most schools then somehow manage to untrain that confidence.”

The Evangelical School Berlin Centre (ESBC) is trying to do nothing less than “reinvent what a school is”, she says. “The mission of a progressive school should be to prepare young people to cope with change, or better still, to make them look forward to change. In the 21st century, schools should see it as their job to develop strong personalities.”

Making students listen to a teacher for 45 minutes and punishing them for collaborating on an exercise, Rasfeld says, was not only out of sync with the requirements of the modern world of work, but counterproductive. “Nothing motivates students more than when they discover the meaning behind a subject of their own accord.”

Students at her school are encouraged to think up other ways to prove their acquired skills, such as coding a computer game instead of sitting a maths exam. Oberländer, who had never been away from home for three weeks until he embarked on his challenge in Cornwall, said he learned more English on his trip than he had in several years of learning the language at school.

Germany’s federalised education structure, in which each of the 16 states plans its own education system, has traditionally allowed “free learning” models to flourish. Yet unlike Sudbury, Montessori or Steiner schools, Rasfeld’s institution tries to embed student self-determination within a relatively strict system of rules. Students who dawdle during lessons have to come into school on Saturday morning to catch up, a punishment known as “silentium”. “The more freedom you have, the more structure you need,” says Rasfeld.

The main reason why the ESBC is gaining a reputation as Germany’s most exciting school is that its experimental philosophy has managed to deliver impressive results..

..

Aged 65 and due to retire in July, Rasfeld still has ambitious plans. A four-person “education innovation lab” based at the school has been developing teaching materials for schools that want to follow the ESBC’s lead. About 40 schools in Germany are in the process of adopting some or all of Rasfeld’s methods. One in Berlin’s Weissensee district recently let a student trek across the Alps for a challenge project. “Things are only getting started,” says Rasfeld.

“In education, you can only create change from the bottom – if the orders come from the top, schools will resist. Ministries are like giant oil tankers: it takes a long time to turn them around. What we need is lots of little speedboats to show you can do things differently.” '

- Philip Oltermann, No grades, no timetable: Berlin school turns teaching upside down, July 1, 2016


Context

(To Heal - Teal - Bazaarmodel) - Striving for wholeness '..We have let our busy egos trump the quiet voice of our soul; many cultures often celebrate the mind and neglect the body..'

(Bazaarmodel - To Heal - Teal) - 'Your physical .. cultural .. soul heredity..'

(To Heal) - Overview of Focus Levels '..to areas of greater free will choice.'


(To Heal) - Overview of Focus Levels '..to areas of greater free will choice.'

          The Christmas Truce of 1914 - '..what might have happened if the truce had spread and this had caused the war to end earlier..' (no replies)        
'.."What If," points out that he thinks … and of course this is speculation, counterfactual history ... that if we had had no Russian Revolution, we wouldn’t have gotten to that point where communism took over, no Lenin, no Stalin, there would be no Treaty of Versailles, mistreated Germany, therefore Hitler would not have had his cause to rise and no Hitler and Nazism and World War II..'

'Deist: One thing that’s so remarkable about the Christmas Truce is this whole question of what might have happened if the truce had spread and this had caused the war to end earlier or be somehow limited. Weintraub addresses this in his book. We may not have had the rise of communism, the Russian Revolution and Stalin and Lenin, we certainly would not have had Versailles. As a result, we might not have had Hitler or Nazism or maybe even FDR. I mean, it’s remarkable to think about, isn’t it?

Denson: That’s right and that’s counterfactual history at its best. Weintraub, in his last chapter, entitled "What If," points out that he thinks … and of course this is speculation, counterfactual history ... that if we had had no Russian Revolution, we wouldn’t have gotten to that point where communism took over, no Lenin, no Stalin, there would be no Treaty of Versailles, mistreated Germany, therefore Hitler would not have had his cause to rise and no Hitler and Nazism and World War II, as I have argued in the past, World War II was simply a continuation of World War I with a truce, and World War I was to see if you could remake the world to benefit the English, the British, and the Russian Czar. World War II was to see if you could keep it that way, what they’d done in World War I. So, it would have changed the whole history, in my opinion, of the twentieth century. And, we are still in the Middle East, suffering the results of the treaties that ended World War I. I mean, the treaties that created Iraq, tried to give Syria to the French, and Israel was created in the middle of an Arab world and it’s still a problem that was created by the World War I treaties. So, all of that, the whole twentieth century, I think, would have been completely different, if it could have ended, say when the troops stopped at Christmas of 1914. It’s amazing to think about that.

..

..H. Kingsley Wood, a cabinet minister, got up and made a speech and he said, he had been in the trenches, he said in the front trenches in Christmas 1914 and he said, I took part in what was well known at the time as a truce. We went over in front of the trenches and shook hands with many of our German enemies and a great number of people and I think we did something that was degrading or wrong and refused to stop, he said, the fact is, we did it. And I then came to the conclusion that I have held very firmly ever since, that if we had been left to ourselves, there never would have been another shot fired. For a fortnight, the troops went on and we were on the most friendly terms and it was only the fact that we were being controlled by others that made it necessary for us to start trying to shoot one another again.

And he blamed the resumption of war on “the grip of the political system which was bad, and I and others who were there at the time, determined there and then, never to rest until we had seen whether we could change it.” And then it concludes. There are people that thrive on war, the military industrial complex and one of the results of the World War I revisionism showed that the people that do the armaments and make money off that, help cause war. There are people, bankers, that have an interest. JP Morgan had a big interest in America getting into World War I and he financed the British Army..'

- The Christmas Truce and the Future of War, December 24, 2016


Context

(Haptopraxeology) - '..We have lost three centuries as a result of ignoring our scholars!'

Christmas Truce of 1914

In The Electric Universe a Future of Peace and Love


'..the mismanagement and corruption of bankers and politicians..

Economics in One Lesson

          Google Classroom for SPED        

Google Classroom is a new offering for districts who use Google Apps for Education (GAFE).  Classroom is a combination of Edmodo and Doctupus; part social network and part document manager.  Once Classroom is enabled you are able to create classes and invite your students to join.  Google creates a folder in your Drive, a place for you to upload and/or create documents to share with those students.  From the main Classroom page you have options for posting Announcements or create assignments.  Assignments can be linked to a Drive Document, Youtube video, weblink or you can attach a file.  Students can then complete the work and turn it in via Classroom.  When using Google Docs you have the option to allow students to view the document, edit one document or it will create a separate document for each student.

For self-contained teachers this immediately solves issues with distributing and collecting Google Doc files.  It's also a place for students to communicate questions with their classmates or you.  While the interface is limited and the themes are pretty basic, I think the potential for this product is astounding.

From my new perspective of a push-in support teacher, I see this as a way to push out modified assignments to students.  Part of our new reading curriculum involves discussion guides and we, as a special education team, are considering modifying them so they are Google Docs.  This would give me a way to push out specific docs, to specific students easily.  I also think giving students a place they can post questions might be useful, especially students who may not want to speak up in class.  I can see it as a way for those students to contact me when we are not together in class.

I'm going to continue to give it a try, and see if there are other ways it can be utilized.  I'd love to hear some of your thoughts on using Google Classroom.  This week Google opened it all users with GAFE account, but there is one caveat.  You and your students must be on the same domain.  This is actually a problem in my district, my email ends in "d57.org" and our students are "students.d57.org" so I cannot create a Classroom unless I have a different login.  This is frustrating, but Google is aware and hopefully they will fix it in the near future.



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          Red Trinidad Scorpion Moruga Powder 1 oz         

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          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.


          UNI Plastic Bag Exchange        

The Office of Sustainability and Rod Library will host a plastic bag exchange in the east lobby of Rod Library.  Faculty, staff and students can exchange five or more plastic bags for a UNI reusable bag. Limit of one reusable bag per person. All plastic bags turned in will be recycled.

Special Events
Location: 
Rod Library
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 -
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Enter Your Email: 
Name: 
Eric O'Brien
Phone: 
(319) 273-7207
Share/Save
          Plastic Bag Exchange        

The Office of Sustainability is hosting an opportunity to go green. Bring at least five plastic bags to exchange for one reusable UNI bag; limit one bag per person.

Outreach/Service Projects
Location: 
Maucker Union
Monday, April 21, 2014 -
10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Enter Your Email: 
Name: 
Kelsey Ewald
Share/Save
          Around the Globe - Fundación Todo Mejora supports LGBT youth        

Todo Mejora means “it gets better”—and it’s this message that the Chile-based nonprofit has worked tirelessly to advocate for. In the wake of continual LGBT discrimination around the world, Fundación Todo Mejora strives to support the LGBT adolescents who face discrimination, including those considering committing suicide. Chile has one of the highest levels of suicide and school violence in Latin America. It’s projected that if nothing is done, in four years, one adolescent in Chile will end his or her life  nearly each day—an astounding metric that Fundación Todo Mejora hopes to change.1,2

Continuing  with our series about impactful organizations using Google for Nonprofits tools, this week we’re highlighting how Fundación Todo Mejora uses technology to spread its message and creates a safe space for these teenagers to find refuge in times of need.

Showing up when searching for help—Google Ad Grants

By implementing a strategic campaign using Google Ad Grants, the nonprofit targeted Google searches common to suicidal thoughts such as “I want to commit suicide”, “Who should I call if I want to kill myself?”, or “Help me, I want to die”. When a local person searches this on Google, Fundación Todo Mejora’s ads show up to intervene with supportive messages, and provide links to resources to find help. One 19-year-old girl who found support from these ads said, "Amidst my depression, I Googled how to commit suicide. Your foundation, ’Todo Mejora,’ popped up in my search results. It made me smile and reminded me the reason to go on.”

These ads have allowed Fundación Todo Mejora to save lives and navigate people to their website where they can find resources and support. As a result, website traffic increased by 20% in one year alone, which means the organization found a way to reach more people in need. This increase also prompted Fundación Todo Mejora to expand their suicide hotline support to 30 hours/week up from 7 hours/week.

Spreading the word—YouTube

To further increase visibility, Fundación Todo Mejora created a YouTube channel where adolescents share their personal stories, which have helped create a community of support, coupled with the call-to-action overlays inspiring others to follow suit, take initiative, and send donations. In their most popular video, with over 62,000 views, Demi Lovato speaks out against homophobic and transgender bullying and encourages victims to reach out for help.

TODO MEJORA - Demi Lovato, cantante

Storage & syncing—G Suite

Fundación Todo Mejora now uses G Suite exclusively for all its day-to-day operations, relying on Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Calendar to work productively. The unlimited user accounts and 30GB of storage per user has saved them time and money that once went towards paying for other storage products. Now, they can save important data in a shared and collaborative space which has helped them streamline their processes, preserve historical documents, and improve communication.

With more time, funding, and organizational processes, Fundación Todo Mejora can focus on expanding their support for youth in need and the LGBT community. Read more about their story on our Community Stories page on our Google for Nonprofits site.

To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, 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.

Footnote:  Statements are provided by Nonprofits that received products as part of the Google for Nonprofits program, which offers products at no charge to qualified nonprofits.

1 OECD (2016). Low Performing Students: Why They Fall Behind and How To Help Them Succeed. PISA. OECD Publishing. Paris

2.Ministerio de Salud de Chile (2013). Situación Actual del Suicidio Adolescente en Chile, con perspectiva de Género [Current Situation of Adolescent Suicide in Chile, with a gender perspective]. Programa Nacional de Salud Integral de Adolescentes y Jóvenes. Chile.


          3 Reasons why Chromebooks might be a good fit for your nonprofit        
Nonprofits - 08_11 - Chromebooks.JPG

When we speak with nonprofit organizations, we often hear about the challenges related to technological resources. So when it comes to investing in new technology, it’s important to consider three primary factors:

  • Security: Does it keep my information private and secure?
  • Compatibility: Does it work with the programs I use?
  • Price: Is it within budget?
To address these questions, Google created the Chromebook, a series of laptops built with ChromeOS. The vision behind Chromebooks is simple — to create a safe, accessible, and affordable laptop. To improve user privacy and security, Chromebooks  automatically update to provide virus protection, encryption and safe browsing. For easy access and collaboration, they’re outfitted with Gmail, Google Docs, Hangouts (and nonprofits receive the full Google Apps bundle with 30GB of space per user at no charge). What’s more, they start at $169 USD & that’s for a laptop that has up to 10+ hours of battery life!
Nonprofits_-_08_11_-_Chromebooks2.width-1600.png
ASUS Chromebook C201 ($169)

Case Study

Charity:water, a non-profit organization that provides clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries, has a “100 percent model,” where every dollar donated goes directly to fund clean water projects. As a result, resources are limited. In order to cover operational costs like salaries and supplies, the organization relies on a few passionate and dedicated supporters. With this in mind, Charity:water transitioned to Chromebooks to improve the efficiency of its staff’s workflow. Now, employees can spend more time focusing on their goals and working towards their mission to nourish the world.

Want to learn more?

Chromebooks gives nonprofits unified access to the Google Apps suite, including:

  • Google Docs, Sheets, Slides: Allows you to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in real time. They’re automatically backed up online, and you can also open and edit Microsoft Word, Powerpoint or Excel files.
  • Google Hangouts: Google Hangouts can be used to make phone calls, screenshare, and video chat.
  • Google Drive: Store, sync, and share documents in the cloud for secure and easy access.

As a nonprofit, you also receive discounted access to Chrome licenses, which give you management controls via the Chrome Device Management. Chrome Device Management is a unified way to manage all of your nonprofits’ users, devices, and data. For nonprofits, the Chrome management license is discounted to only $30 dollars — in comparison to $150!

Chromebooks are our vision for providing cheaper, easier to use, and more secure laptops. Installed with Google Apps out of the box, nonprofits can maximize impact, while saving both time and resources.


To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, 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.

To learn more about Chromebooks for nonprofits, take a look at Google for Work’s Chromebook’s website. To take advantage of the Google Nonprofit license discount, a Google partner will reach out to you once you fill out the Contact Us form.


          HAPPY 13TH BIRTHDAY, Google Ad Grants        
Happy 13th birthday, Google Ad Grants! We launched Ad Grants 13 years ago to offer nonprofits a free online advertising solution to share their causes with the world. 

Over the years, we’ve learned a lot together about what it means to be a nonprofit in the digital age. And as the industry landscape has changed, we’ve aimed to ensure that AdWords consistently helps to deliver your mission online. 


We’ve celebrated the ability of groups to change the world — one day, one person, one place at a time. At the same time, we’ve also come to understand the challenges of the nonprofit sector by both listening to your stories, as well as working directly alongside you. In doing so, we recognized that nonprofits struggle to find the time or resources to manage an AdWords account. So in 2015, we launched AdWords Express for Ad Grants as a part of Google for Nonprofits.

AdGrantsInfographic.width-495.png
With nonprofits’ limited time and resources in mind, we created AdWords Express to be an automated advertising solution that serves the same effective ads on Google Search as standard AdWords. AdWords Express requires less ongoing maintenance than AdWords, while still delivering an exceptional experience for Ad Grantees. 


With AdWords Express, your nonprofit can create an online ad quickly and easily, attracting more users to your website. There’s minimal ongoing management necessary, and AdWords Express runs and automatically optimizes your ads for you. Much like AdWords though, you can still reach customers on desktop computers and mobile devices (such as smartphones and tablets), as well as review the effectiveness of your ads in your dashboard. 


Sign up for Google Ad Grants here. For more information on AdWords Express, how to get started, and country availability, please visit our Ad Grants Help Center. 


To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, 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. 


          From LA to Tokyo: YouTube Spaces opens production studios to nonprofits free of charge        
We know that having a physical space to do your work matters, but it’s not just about where you work — it’s about what you create there. So today, we’re announcing special access to YouTube Spaces, YouTube’s global network of production studios, for eligible nonprofits to learn, connect, and create great content for YouTube.

Given that Google was started in a garage, we’re more than familiar with the limits of physical space. As a nonprofit, it can be difficult to find access to great spaces for video production, especially when time, location, and money are constraining factors. As a result, space often becomes limiting, rather than limitless, to producing great content on YouTube.

From LA to London, Tokyo to Mumbai, Berlin to São Paulo, YouTube Spaces empower nonprofits by providing them exclusive access to the best production resources around — all at no cost. All enrolled nonprofits with 1,000 or more subscribers are now eligible to apply for production access at YouTube Spaces.

But we’re also offering more than just physical space. In addition to our state-of-the-art production facilities, YouTube Spaces brings together creatives of all stripes. YouTube Spaces offers nonprofits opportunities to learn new skills through live workshops, as well as collaborate with the YouTube community through events, panels, screenings, and more! 

YouTube Spaces
Don’t know where to begin? Once enrolled in and approved by YouTube for Nonprofits, start with theYouTube Creator Academy. From there, nonprofits can take advantage of the workshops offered by YouTube Spaces to establish a successful foundation on the platform. From lessons on building your channel to learning physical production, these workshops will help your nonprofit define its strategy and engage subscribers. Then, it’s time to get the cameras rolling! 

Get out of your garage, and get ready to create something amazing. After all, spaces are not just about where we we work -- it’s about what we create there.

Find out more about the YouTube Spaces here. 


To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, 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.

Nonprofit must have signed up for the Google for Nonprofits program and be enrolled specifically in the YouTube for Nonprofits product with a YouTube channel that has at least 1,000 subscribers. Qualifying YouTube channels must be free of copyright and terms of use strikes.


          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.


          Case study: Youth-oriented nonprofit overcomes limited budget with Google tools        

Just because you don’t have a big budget doesn’t mean you can’t have a big impact. Robin Bossert found that to be true when he started Navigators USA, a nonprofit that provides scouting experiences for children and their parents to help them spend more time outdoors. With over 100 independent chapters in the US and a shoestring budget, Navigators USA uses Google for Nonprofits tools to maintain and grow their organization.

Case Study
As an organization that works with youth, Navigators USA needed to have a way to maintain privacy and security while still being able to share information quickly and efficiently with parents. They use Google Groups and Sites to control access when sharing information. Juggling so many chapters across the country can be a challenge. To keep an open dialogue and get timely feedback from chapter leaders, they use Google Forms to send out questionnaires and use Google Drive to share trip ideas with other chapters. Handling logistics like shipping uniforms across the country is managed through Google Sheets and enables them to track their inventory and make sure their chapters have the supplies they need. By not having to worry about their technology budget or capabilities, Navigators USA can focus on building a movement and get more children outside. 

Watch Robin and other members discuss how they used Google tools to help manage and grow Navigators USA here. 


          Proenhance patch - Be a better man        



No more worries for you regarding the scale of your penis - it's time for the pure joy! The medical professionals as well as the herbalists support the ProEnhance patch, a system that's designed so that men like you achieve their best male sexual potency.

It is a double system : the convenient and powerful ProEnhance herbal patch plus free unlimited access to the exercise programmes. The patch was developed for simple use and convenient, discreet male potential enhancement that with you everywhere - and is an alternative choice to the common pills or powders. The program for buttressing the sexual endurance is considered the leader, and is far better, safer and more comfy than working with penis pumps or the like.

A patch, where you worry about any serious changes in way of living wants.

Click here to learn more about Proenhance patch



The patch is like a ordinary bandage or a plaster - nobody suspected such a thing! Additionally, here is the best : the patch can be worn in the shower, while participating in sports and during the entire day.

The repeated feedback from the buyers as well as the ideal customer service will guarantees that folks feel in any way impeded by the patch in normal life, not in the shower, sport and all of the daily activities.

For the bulk of folk the results can be seen instantly or within a week with the "fast-acting" ProEnhance patch system and practice.

ProEnhance Patch is developed in order to make a contribution to a better orgasm, better erection, longer-lived encounters. What this suggests is that you thru the use of the ProEnhance patch you will definitely spot the following :
- A supercharged sex drive
- More solid erections that feel to be greater, wider and more total
- Large, impressive ejaculations
- More confidence in the love
- bigger, more content feeling
Some folk get results, while it may take longer for others.

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          Proenhance patch - Be a better man        



No more worries for you regarding the dimensions of your penis - it is time for the pure joy! The medical execs as well as the herbalists support the ProEnhance patch, a system that is designed so that men like you achieve their best male sexual potency.

It is a double system : the convenient and powerful ProEnhance herbal patch plus free unlimited access to the exercise programs. The program for reinforcing the sexual endurance is regarded the leader, and is better, safer and more comfy than working with john thomas pumps or the like.

From the beginning the manufactures of ProEnhance patvh wished to develop a completely new and different patch, a product that men can wear and use without asking questions. A patch, where you worry about any major changes in lifestyle wants. Rather than taking up to three tablets per day, or wear for hours stretching device, you can just take a patch and then replace all a few days, practice with the program when you have the time and you will achieve excellent results.

Click here to learn more about Proenhance patch



The ProEnhance herbal patch is developed to be sitting in the area of the stomach discreetly under your clothing. The patch is like a ordinary bandage or a plaster - no one suspected such a thing! Additionally, here is the best : the patch can be worn in the shower, while participating in sports and during the entire day.

The ProEnhance patch is very flexible and durable and in the product selection, the producers have tested many various patches to make sure that the choice is the best that is available.



ProEnhance Patch is developed to contribute to a better orgasm, better erection, longer-lived encounters. What this means is that you thru the use of the ProEnhance patch you may definitely notice the following :
- Large, electrifying ejaculations
- More confidence in the love
- larger, more comfortable feeling
- It is vital to recognize that the results can vary depending on the person. Some folk see results, while it could take longer for others.

Click here to learn more about Proenhance patch



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          Administrative Assistan - Nexant        
San Francisco, CA - Administrative Assistant -San Francisco, CA

San Francisco, CA - 2nd Street

About the Job


We are seeking an Administrative Assistant to support our CEO and the senior management team when necessary.

Some of the responsibilities may include, but are not limited to the
          Senior Teaching & Learning Specialist - Coursera        
Mountain View, CA - Teaching & Learning ? Mountain View, CA
Coursera is scaling a global platform to provide universal access to the world?s best education. We?re driven by the passion and mission to let people learn without limits.

At Coursera, the Teaching and Learning team, a passionate
          Compensation and People Analytics Lead - Coursera        
Mountain View, CA - Talent ? Mountain View, CA
Coursera is scaling a global platform to provide universal access to the world?s best education, and we?re driven by the passion and mission to let people learn without limits. To date, we?ve brought over 2000 courses to 27 million learners worldwide,
          How to Improve My Credit Score After a Default?        
Firstly, it is great that you are looking to improve your credit rating. We can all be irresponsible with our money at times. The trick is to learn from your mistakes and understand what you need to do to move forward. I'm sure many of you have asked the question, "How To Improve My Credit Score After A Default", so let's try and answer that for you.

It may not be something you want to hear initially, but often time is the greatest healer when it comes to improving your credit score. In the main, a default will show on your credit file for up to 6 years. This, of course, will severely impact on your ability to secure credit. However, it must be said that there are lenders out there that will lend to applicants with a default. Although, you must be aware that you will undoubtedly be charged a higher rate of interest for credit, than if you had a clean record.

You have the opportunity to check your credit reports for free once a year. So make sure you take advantage of this. Check that your records are up to date and free of any errors. You will find the longer that you have lived at your current address or the longer you have been with your current employer, will have a positive effect on improving your credit score after a default.

During the times that you don't require any credit, please ensure that you keep your finances intact. Always try and stay within your agreed overdraft limit and look to pay your monthly repayments and bills on a timely basis. Any potential lender will always look at your most recent credit history. Even if you have a default registered and a low credit score, the way you manage your accounts after the event will have certain repercussions. By making repayments in full and on time, this will help to improve your credit score and will also show lenders that you now have your finances under control.

There are many differing means and methods to improve your credit score. Don't ever think that having a default registered against you is the end of the world.

You may want to check out how high spending ex college student Chris Brisson went about raising his credit score by 135 points in 37 days. This was with defaults and late-pays registered against him.
          Discover The Secrets Behind Emergency Personal Loans        
If you suffering a financial crisis then being able to get emergency personal loans may solve all your problems. There are now many online lenders that can offer an instant payday cash advance, even to people who have bad credit.

The majority of payday loans that you will be offered will be up to a maximum of $500. However, dependant on your income, some companies may be willing to offer you up to $1500. The reason that these companies like to limit your borrowing is because this is a short term loan and will usually need to be repaid within 2 to 4 weeks. Remember this type of loan is for those who are cash-strapped till payday.

The internet has made the process of securing emergency payday loans a lot more convenient. This will afford you a lot more privacy and can also speed up the process. There is no need to book appointments and wait agonisingly for a decision. In most cases, you will be required to complete an online application and hold on for an immediate answer. You may be asked to produce payslips or bank statements as proof of earnings, but these can either be faxed or scanned and sent by e-mail to the company in question.

As mentioned, the online process and acceptance can be an immediate solution. You may find that if you apply on a weekday, that the funds could be transferred to your checking account on the same day as your initial application.

These lenders are taking a high risk as there are usually no credit checks completed, hence the reason that more substantial sized loans are not offered.

Perhaps you have tried to secure a payday advance before and been declined! If you have been struggling for any amount of time and are not sure what to do next, i suggest you check out Kim Roach's Instant Payday Loan Formula.
          Do You Have A Poor Credit Rating But Desperately Need A Loan?        
Are you someone who feels completely helpless because you have a poor credit rating and can't seem to get a loan? Being able to secure a loan would actually solve your credit problems and see you on the road to recovery. However, because of a poor credit history or poor credit rating, no lender in their right mind would ever consider you for a loan!

I'm sure that is a very familiar story for many of you. I know myself it is one of the worst feelings that you can ever have. I recall the days of having a fairly decent job and being offered credit left, right and centre. I'm not sure why, but I pretty much accepted all the offers of credit cards or loans. I think it was something to do with the “kid let loose in a sweet shop” scenario. The repercussions never really occurred to me at the time, so I continued to take out credit card after credit card and loan after loan.

If you can't wait any longer to secure a loan then Click Here to register for the "My Miracle Loans" program right now. For those of you who wish to read my story and review, you can access the program at the end of this article.

I think the effects of what I was doing finally hit me a few years down the line. I started to use less and less credit every month and tried to act a lot more responsibly. However, I had got to the stage where my minimum repayments for all my credit was pretty much the same amount as what I earned in a month. I once read a magazine article that stated – in order to repay $10,000 on a credit card, by just making the minimum payment, this would take up to 12 years. Wow! Unfortunately it wasn't just the one credit card I had to repay!

That's when it dawned on me that I had to do something...and quickly. After some careful investigation, I decided a debt consolidation loan and a couple of 0% APR credit cards was the way to go. I had racked up a total of $26,000 in debt. I looked at my current credit card limits and assumed I wouldn't get offered more than a $5000 dollar limit on a new credit card. So my plan was to apply for two 0% APR credit cards and a $16,000 loan. This would allow me to cut up all my credit cards and have all my debts cleared within 5 years. Or so I thought, I didn't count on getting declined for every bit of credit I applied for. My credit score was shot and at an all time low!

That's when I started searching for different methods and other forms of help. Nothing illegal, of course. I just thought to myself, I can't be the first person to find themselves in this situation and I definitely won't be the last! I actually found a total of 8 different companies, courses or websites, that said they could help and even provided me with testimonials of previous satisfied customers. Today I want to talk to you about My Miracle Loans.

My Miracle Loans is a program that will teach you a number of different strategies to obtain a loan. They advise you to read through their techniques and apply what you have learned. My Miracle Loans guarantee a 100% success rate, as long as you carry out their systems and procedures to the letter! They have helped people, like you and me, those with poor credit ratings, bad credit and even bankruptcies to secure credit and finance. My Miracle Loans are responsible for helping their members acquire over $10,000,000 in loans during 2008. They also claim to be able to help anyone secure a loan of $1,000 - $1,000,000 within 7 days! (Although it's very tempting, I think I will always steer clear of the possibility of securing a loan for $1,000,000!)

So what type of people can My Miracle Loans help:-

No job or proof of income – Obviously if you have a lot of money, you wouldn't need their help! You will never be asked for proof of income or to provide evidence of your income.

Bad Credit, No Credit or Slow Credit – There are absolutely no credit checks for some of the methods you will learn. So a poor credit history will not effect the outcome.

A FICO score of 450 – That's Bad! As mentioned above, many of methods you will learn do not require a credit check. So you're covered.

Bankruptcies in the last 7 years – My Miracle Loans dispel the myth that if you have been made bankrupt, you will not be able to borrow any money for up to 7 years. They can show you the exact methods to secure a loan or credit.

No Collateral or Assets – Their system has nothing to do with what worldly possessions you own. You will not be required to provide proof of what you do or do not own.

Been turned down before - Not a problem. These methods will still work for you.

I think that comprehensive list just about covers everyone. My Miracle Loans had quite clearly stated that not all the methods and techniques will work for everyone. Not all individuals are the same. This is why they have provided you with numerous different methods to try. If you do not get accepted for one, you move on and try the next one. They have an iron-clad guarantee that EVERYONE will find success with their program.

So for what purpose can you use the loans that My Miracle Loans will help secure for you?

Business loans – Whether you are purchasing a business, looking to expand or you need supplies. They will help you get whatever you want.

Cash Advance – Do you need a pay-day advance for your job? No problem you can secure that cash advance within 10 minutes!

Car Loans – You can get that luxury car of your dreams and you don't need the salary to match.

Student Loans – This is where my problems originally started. There are many students out there, who are yet to even start college, that may be affected by poor credit.

Debt Consolidation – If you need that peace of mind. Turn all your debts into one loan and make the monthly repayments easier to handle and keep track of.

Home Loans – You have no fear of being turned down, no matter how much you want to borrow. My Miracle Loans guarantee to help you find that dream home.

Personal Loans – A personal loan is usually determined and granted by you having a great credit score. My Miracle Loans will help those of you, who are not in a position to boast about your credit score!

So let me run through the main benefits that My Miracle Loans offer:-

100% success rate – As long as you carry out their instructions correctly, you will never be turned down again for a loan.

Take up to 30 years to repay the money – In many cases, lenders may penalize you for not paying back money as soon as you can. This is not the case with My Miracle Loans.

Receive your cash in 7 days guaranteed – This doesn't have to be a long drawn out process. My Miracle Loans will guarantee that you will receive your money in 7 days or less in the majority of cases.

Use your money for any purpose – as described earlier.

No upfront fees – Paying a company to lend you money does not seem ethical...does it?

Ease of use – this is not a complicated guide on how to write loan proposals or where to find investors and this is definitely not an outdated list of lenders willing to help people with poor credit secure a loan. This is a program that allows you access to many little known and closely guarded techniques.

So what's the catch? There is no catch! My Miracle Loans program will work for you no matter who you are and what your situation may be.

There is little more I can add about this great program. If you find yourself in the situation of having a poor credit rating and you desperately need a loan, you need look no further.

You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain by registering with this fantastic program.

Click here to get started and acquire that loan that will ease all your money problems today.
          Project Coordinator TS/SCI with CI Polygraph        
MD-Bethesda, TS/SCI with CI Polygraph required Duties: · Provide support in managing and overseeing the timely execution of internal and external tasks. · Production and management of staffing packets · Work with the project team to develop project artifacts including, but not limited to, plans, policies, instructions, briefings, reports, talking papers and memorandums of agreement · Provide oversight in the d
          Business in Buffalo        

Allot was accomplished while back in Buffalo over break. Some of it was already mentioned on facebook but this is where I can do some less official ranting.

So what I want to talk about is doing business in Buffalo. I’m sure allot of people have heard horror stories about working with in the city limits. I know for years people don’t me, don’t even bother if you’re not in the old boys club you can’t get anywhere in the city.  My experience was completely the opposite.

We had narrowed our search into the Black Rock area. I think it’s really an area on the up and up. The people there are really passionate about the neighborhood and eager for business to come back. The success of the black rock bar and kitchen and delish are sort of the test beds. As Chippewa seems to be  kicking out the college crowd there is going to need to be somewhere for all those older college students to go. I’m not saying Black Rock should open clubs and go crazy, just that older crowd is going to be looking for somewhere new to go and that could be black rock without a problem. Elmwood can be a bit ‘high end’ and Buff State is right across the river. Honestly Amherst is going to be where it’s at.

I’ve had the pleasure to bounce around the country for the last couple of years. My position in the Air Force requires allot of traveling form base to base, and I’ve found the same formula in all the ‘up and coming’ urban places is the same.

Provide a service or good that’s 100% better at 50% more cost. It’s what Craft Beer is all about, but it’s also what the whole urban movement seems to be able.  When I visit other cities and find something I think  could be a knock-out in Buffalo I write it down or grab a menu. Sadly for all the great ideas there is only so much money, but the formal is the same.

Chef’s in Manhattan KS is one of the business restaurants I’ve ever been in. It costs about 50% more then Denny’s but when you get Salmon Eggs Benedict, the $5 extra over a grand slam seems like nothing. I’m not saying I’ve stumbled upon the Holy  Grail or anything. I’m just finding that it seems to be true across the whole of the United States. It might the ‘Europeanization’ of America.  That’s a different topic so I’ll get back to Buffalo.

Where I wanted to get was armed with this formal and some really impressive growth numbers from Craft Beer the Councilmen Joe Golombek was willing to sit down for almost 2 hours with us, from that we got an audience with the City Office of Strategic Planning, Department of Labor, Tonawanda BOA, NYSBDC, SBA, ECIDC, NYSIDC. I’m missing once person from that list so I apologize. Point being they we’re great to sit down with, tell them what we want to do, and offer some suggestions on how to go about it. I didn’t run into some brick wall or have to cow tow to anyone to get this. I grew up 25 miles outside of the city, I went to School in Rochester. While Buffalo is my city, its not like I have a network. No Doubt I’m developing one, and the other companies we work with have been paramount to that.

Allot of reasons and things like the $1,000,000,000 that state is talking about I honestly don’t think is going to have nearly the effect it could have if it was $1 thousand million dollar grants or 10,000 $100,000 grants. The things about doing business in NYS being hard then other states.  That’s absolutely true, the taxes are terrible, the bureaucracy is enormous, and the law suits plentiful. Despite all that Government workers are really trying to work around it and with it to get Buffalo back on top.

Point being is Buffalo wants to grow, and the real growth is going to be by small business making an investment in the city, living here working here making that lifelong commitment to the area. There isn’t going to be a hand out from the government to get you started. It’s going to be with the help of people in Buffalo and on your own labors. I encourage anyone who’s thinking about starting to do
          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.

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

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          Sprint Prepaid Teams Up With Best Buy To Offer Free Month Of Service        
Sprint Prepaid Teams Up With Best Buy To Offer Free Month Of Service

Looks like Sprint is on a roll as we enter into the holiday season. The carrier offers another year-end special offer through its Sprint Prepaid brand, which is collaborating with retail giant Best Buy in giving customers one month of service that is completely free of charge. 

This special offer is a limited time offer only, and is open to all subscribers buying a new eligible handset from Best Buy and activating it under a Sprint Prepaid plan. Phones that eligible include the Samsung Galaxy S5, the Samsung Galaxy SIII, the LG Tribute, the LG Volt, and the Sharp Crystal.

Customers get to choose from three Sprint Prepaid plans that already include unlimited calls and unlimited text messaging. These plans are: the $35 monthly plan that includes 1 gigabyte of data, the $45 monthly plan that includes 3 gigabyte of data, and the $55 monthly plan 

Apart from unlimited calls and texting, Sprint Prepaid's plans also offer 50 minutes of off-network voice roaming per month. This is not usually offered by other prepaid service providers, which should delight those who decide to go for a prepaid plan from Sprint.

Sprint's free first month special offer is certainly a treat, but other prepaid brands also offer competitive deals. For instance, Cricket Wireless (AT&T's prepaid brand) has its Basic Plan, which offers unlimited calls, unlimited text messaging, and 1 gigabyte of high-speed data for $35 each month, that is once an AutoPay credit is applied.

New prepaid player Red Pocket also has an interesting offer. Via its GSMT Unlimited Everything plan, you get unlimited calls, unlimited text messaging, 200 minutes of international calls, and 2 gigabytes of data at full speed for $39.99 every recharge. This offer is also eligible for a full month of service free of charge from Red Pocket, provided the customer gets two months worth of recharges.

The year is not over yet, and we may still see other holiday deals from prepaid brands in the coming days or weeks. But Sprint Prepaid's offer is truly worth checking out. Customers can avail of it until January 31st of next year at all Best Buy retail stores in the United States.

Sprint has been rather busy in the past few weeks. The carrier has made its iPhone for Life and Easy Pay options available from Apple retails stores for the holidays. Apart from that, it has also teamed up with Uber in offering a free first ride promo for Sprint customers who sign up for the transport service. Interested to know more about Sprint's deals? You can compare plans and phones from the carrier here.

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          AT&T Expands Voice Over LTE To 18 Additional Markets        
AT&T Expands Voice Over LTE To 18 Additional Markets

AT&T first launched its Voice over LTE (VoLTE) service about seven months ago, but now the carrier is expanding its reach by adding 18 new markets for its VoLTE and HD Voice offerings.

The list of new markets include District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. 

The good news is that this is just the beginning. AT&T's target is to transition every consumer to VoLTE. That would be easier said than done for sure, considering the tons of networks that need to be set up and the hardware that needs to be deployed. But AT&T is positive about the outcome, and early signs of success are certainly visible.

As stated by John Donovan, AT&T's Senior Vice President of Technology and Operations, the carrier's VoLTE network is performing very well after some internal tests, scoring an average of more than 99 percent in terms of accessibility and retainability (how well the users stay connected).

For those not in the know, VoLTE technology lets users simultaneously make calls and browse the Internet using their smartphones with very fast 4G LTE data speeds. 

As for HD Voice, it is a type of wideband technology that allows for better call quality with minimal background noise, made possible through widening the frequency range of the audio signals.

Voice calls were previously transmitted on a rather limited frequency range (between 300 Hertz to 3.4 Hertz). But with HD Voice, that frequency range is extended from 50 Hertz to 7 KiloHertz, and sometimes even beyond, in order to achieve high definition quality in voice calls.

However, before users can enjoy HD Voice, they need to meet the requirements. Firstly, the service must be available in their geographical area (AT&T is working on it). Secondly, the person calling and the recipient of the call must both use handsets that are HD Voice capable. For AT&T customers, just about the only devices available from their carrier that meet this requirement are the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus.

AT&T is far from being the only major wireless carrier that offers HD Voice though. Sprint may have been the first off the blocks, offering its customers a 30-day trial run of its HD Voice service in June earlier this year. Even Verizon Wireless is working on its own HD Voice brand, and the talk is that the Big Red will utilizing the AMR-wideband standard (the industry norm) for its service.

Interestingly, AT&T and Verizon Wireless are working together in providing clear call quality in both their customers. If they can pull this off, AT&T customers will be able to call their friends and family who are on Verizon as clearly as possible, and vice versa.

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          AT&T Throttles Users On Unlimited Data Plans Regardless Of Network Congestion        
AT&T Throttles Users On Unlimited Data Plans Regardless Of Network Congestion

AT&T has confirmed that it is throttling subscribers under its unlimited data plans, no matter how congested the network is. 

As reported by Ars Technica, subscribers who are using non-LTE 3G/HSPA+ handsets and are under unlimited data plans only get throttled when network congestion becomes heavy, and when the users exceed 3 gigabytes of data within a single billing period. But apparently, these same conditions do not apply to customers on LTE.

If a subscriber is under, say, a legacy AT&T unlimited plan and uses up more than 5 gigabytes of data on an LTE-compatible handset in a span of a month, the subscriber's data speeds will automatically be reduced for the remainder of the billing period, even if the network remains free of congestion.

Ars Technica further reported that data speeds slowed down from 23.5 mbps on average to just 0.1 mbps. When the subscriber's billing period is reset, only then are the data speeds returned to their normal levels. However, once the subscriber reaches 5 gigabytes, data speeds are automatically reduced again.

For its part, AT&T issued a statement defending its network management practices as legitimate. The carrier claims that the throttling was put in place in order to provide optimum network service for its subscribers.

AT&T further added that it is planning to address the data throttling concerns between its LTE and non-LTE unlimited subscribers sometime next year. The carrier says that it will be reducing data speeds for LTE users in congested networks as soon as that option is made available.

AT&T may be claiming that it is throttling data speeds for the benefit of all customers using its networks. But others see the throttling as a ploy to lead on long-term customers to more lucrative limited data plans. This tactic has been employed before, namely by Sprint for its Unlimited My Way and My All-In plans. Even Verizon Wireless thought of doing the same thing, but then the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) stepped in and pressured Big Red to reverse its decision. 

Right now, fewer than 20 percent of all AT&T customers are under unlimited data plans. Those that are signed up for the plans because they were thinking they could stream and download without having to worry about high overage fees if they exceed their data allotments. But it appears that they are getting throttled anyway, rendering their data privileges useless. 

As for the network congestion claims, some may find it hard to believe, especially when the subscribers who are under more expensive data plans (up to 100 gigabytes each month) never get to experience throttled data speeds.

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          Sprint Introduces Deal To Reduce Bills Of AT&T, Verizon Customers In Half        
Sprint Introduces Deal To Reduce Bills Of AT&T, Verizon Customers In Half

When it comes to grabbing customers from rival wireless carriers, Sprint does not seem to shy away from unusual tactics. Just recently for instance, the carrier introduced a new deal that promises to cut the bills in half of any customer from competitors AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Of course, for the customers to avail of the deal, they would have to produce a current AT&T or Verizon bill. It is a gutsy move for sure, but will it be effective? 

Sprint is calling the deal the Cut Your Bill in Half promo. In this deal, anybody who is currently on an AT&T or Verizon plan and wants to switch to Sprint, must first furnish a copy of their current bills, and either upload them to Sprint's website, or hand-deliver them to any official Sprint store. Sprint will then evaluate the bill submitted, and decide which Sprint plan matches it in terms of calls, text messaging, and data allotment. Sprint will then offer that matching plan for half the price of the defecting subscriber's current AT&T or Verizon plan.

For instance, a customer who hands in a bill for a Verizon family plan costing $260 each month will be offered a family plan with similar inclusions but only for $130 each month.

Sprint already launched a promotion wherein it covered early termination fees up to $350 in the form of a prepaid Visa gift card. This can be paired with the new Cut Your Bill in Half promo, as long as the customer qualifies.

There are a few caveats, of course. One, those who avail of this promo will not be able to buy a subsidized handset from Sprint. They must sign up for the carrier's leasing program, make installment payments, or buy the device outright at its full retail price. Two, participants will have to turn in their current AT&T or Verizon handsets to Sprint. Understandably, it would be weird using an AT&T or Verizon device on Sprint's network, but still, you would be parting ways with something that you've gotten used to. What if you don't have a smartphone to turn in? (Got lost, perhaps?) Sprint will then charge you $200 per line of service. It is not clear yet what Sprint plans to do with the devices that are turned in though. 

Sprint's Cut Your Bill in Half promo is offered on a limited time only. However, people who participate in the deal will be able to keep enjoying discounted bills in the future as long as they do not add more data or minutes. Once they do, their plans will be reverted the normal pricing structure.

One more thing -- this promo is off limits to T-Mobile subscribers. One possible reason is that T-Mobile is already competing with Sprint in offering slashed data prices in a manner that the other carriers, AT&T and Verizon, are not. 

And because the promo is designed to lure AT&T and Verizon subscribers, Sprint's own existing subscribers will not be able to take advantage of the deal. Find out what other deals Sprint is offering right now -- start comparing Sprint plans and phones now.

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          AT&T Includes Data Throttling To GoPhone Prepaid Plans        
ATT Includes Data Throttling To GoPhone Prepaid Plans

AT&T has made changes to two its high-end GoPhone prepaid smartphone plans. The carrier's $60 and $45 prepaid smartphone plans now include unlimited calls and text messaging, plus 2.5 gigabytes and 1 gigabytes of data, respectively. 

Previously, subscribers would have to pay $10 for 1 gigabyte or 500 megabytes of extra data. But now with the latest changes in the GoPhone prepaid plans, once subscribers use up all of their high-speed allotment, they will still continue to get data -- it is just going to be throttled at speeds of up to 128 kbps (unlike before wherein the data gets completely cut off). 

AT&T's prepaid plan will keep on listing those $10 for 1 gigabyte/500 megabyte options, which means subscribers can still pay extra to add more high-speed data to their plans. 

We know, we know -- 128 kbps is certainly not much. Still, it is a better deal compared to having your data discontinued entirely if you do not want to or can not pay extra for additional data usage. 

So if you are currently under any one of AT&T's high-end prepaid smartphone plans, you no longer have to worry about your data getting cut off as your megabyte allotment is about to be used up, even if you still have a number of days left on your bill. 

Say, for example, you are currently under a 1 gigabyte data plan and you have already reached 1 gigabyte but still have 8 days left on the bill. Before, you wouldn't be able to get any additional data, and even if you did, you would be charged with the overage. 

Well, that changes now with AT&T's latest tweaks on its GoPhone prepaid smartphone plans. Instead of getting cut off, you simply get throttled data, down to speeds of up to 128 kbps. 

Let's face it -- 128 kbps is definitely slow by today's standards. But it is still unlimited, which means you can still download to your heart's content, just not as fast as you would prefer.

In related news, AT&T has also announced a new monthly plan for those in the United States, Canada,and Mexico. In this plan, users in those regions can enjoy unlimited calls, text messaging, and data with 1 gigabyte of high-speed data when in the US, for $55 per month. 

If you take your device and plan across the border to either Canada or Mexico, you can make calls at $0.01 per minute, send unlimited text, picture and video messages, and even purchase a $25 1 gigabyte data plan. 

If you are within the US, you get to enjoy unlimited text messaging to Canada, Mexico, and to more than 100 other countries.

Know more about AT&T deals -- start comparing AT&T plans here.

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          Sólo me queda desearte que te vaya bien        
“Pues… creo que sólo me queda desearte que te vaya bien“, dijo él ansiando tomarla de la mano, aunque de inmediato consideró que, por algún motivo incomprensible, era mejor limitarse a tocar con las puntas de sus dedos el dorso de la mano de ella. Esa mano que seguía tamborileando con impaciencia sobre la mesa, […]
          HTTP Verb Tampering Demo/Example/Tutorial         


What is HTTP Verb?

  •  According to Wiki "The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application protocol for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems.  HTTP is the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web.

  • Verb is nothing but HTTP methods used to indicate the desired action to be performed on the identified resource.


-  List of some basic HTTP Verb or Methods
  • OPTIONS
  • GET
  • HEAD
  • POST 
  • PUT
  • DELETE
  • TRACE
  • CONNECT



What is HTTP Verb Tampering? 

It's a method to bypass a defense technique by tampering the verb. Some secret directories have restricted access by  basic authentication. This directories are protected by the .htaccess file which can be easily exploited. This attack is a result of a Apache  htaccess file misconfiguration .

An administrator, limits the access to the private resource or directory just via POST request method. See the vulnerable code below.















Here AuthUserFile is the directory to the .htpasswd file which contains the username & password in encrypted format.

<LIMIT GET POST>
require valid-user
</LIMIT>


It just limits the POST method & matches the credentials that saved in htpasswd file, if wrong error page shows up.


Here the administrator has limited POST method, but also not blacklisted other methods?. This means any requests via other method would lead the attacker having access to the protected  private resources or directory. Below i have provided a video DEMO of  successful exploitation of an HTTP Verb tampering vulnerability via Live HTTP Headers ( Firefox add-on) on AT&T sub domain (Reported & Fixed). In the next post i will be showing you various ways to fix or apply a patch to this vulnerability .




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


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.

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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
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  •            Mandatory Reporting Law on Sexual Abuse Not So Mandatory -- Especially for Prep Schools / Abysmal Failures Noted on So-Called Background Checks        

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  • 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.









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    Erin Moriarty has been a correspondent for "48 Hours" since 1990. She has covered the death of Princess Diana, the JonBenet Ramsey investigation, the murder of financier Edmund Safra, and the war in Iraq.

    Drawing on her training as an attorney, Moriarty has examined some of the most important social and legal issues of the day, including DNA testing of evidence in death-row cases, the abortion controversy and battered women's syndrome. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing, the Columbine High School shootings and the 9/11 investigation, overseas. Her exclusive behind-the-scenes report on the defense of convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was broadcast on "60 Minutes" in 1997.

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  •           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.







  • more COOL JUSTICE







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  •           Battlefield Bad Company 2 - Battlefield Moments Ep.3        

    Aw man lol, then I may have preordered the Limited Edition also lol. oh well, at least i can see through walls with the tank when i play.


              Battlefield Bad Company 2 - Battlefield Moments Ep.3        

    Yeah but regardless of what I did, my gamestop said the only ones they're getting in is the limited edition.


              Battlefield Bad Company 2 - Battlefield Moments Ep.3        

    I was going to reserve the Limited Edition, but then i decided i am going to earn the upgrades.


              Yurt Life         
    We are moving into my mom's charming little yurt today!

    While waiting for our permanent home to be renovated (which, as it turns out, takes even longer than building a new home) - we've been living semi-nomadic life for close to four months now, about three of them in a yurt.

    Life in the yurt is different. There is no way around it (pun intended). For one thing, it provides a round space, that encompasses most of life's functions in one area: cooking, eating, reading, puzzling, snuggling, cat-feeding (an extra duty we've picked up on the way to freedom - not unlike an unwanted pregnancy that you just can't get herself to terminate), office work (whenever my MacBook Air has enough power to work for me - not to mention its battered battery now needs replacement, which turns out to be a HUGE ordeal in the land of milk and honey), Pilates practice, and even occasional entertaining (when it rains even my dear family avoids it like the plague). It's not truly all in one space, because it actually has an annex to the north, with the washroom (including a shower and a compost toilet - a killer combination for dirt and cleanliness), as well as a sleeping den which has beautiful greenery all around it, as it is built from old wooden windows.

    That beauty comes with the price of this space being as cold as the outdoors in the winter. In the summer this room is actually a lifesaver, because the yurt collects way too much heat, although it is much better insulated than the sleeping den - even when its skylight is open. We don't have an oven, but were able to pull together delicious and nourishing meals from the two-flamed gas stove, and have even prepared some raw treats for our daily tea parties. To be perfectly frank - mostly, we've been lazy and buying baklava and cookies whenever we are in the vicinity of a bakery - so I am now in the know of where to get good baked goods. I'm sure this knowledge will come in handy in the not so far future, even after we're back to our productive baking life. When it comes to baking, it's always good to have a good back-up plan.

    Of course, that did not stop us from being experimental in the kitchen, trying new ingredients such as nigella seed spread and authentic freekeh, which is an amazing way of preparing green wheatberries by burning them off the wheat chaff. The result is a smoky, nutty grain that is delicious and easy to cook (and digest) and really gives unmistakable character to dishes (the one I bought in Canada was actually stale wheat dyed green). More on that in another post!

    To sum it up - living in a yurt is "an experience". Just like camping is an experience. In camping terms this is a five star facility. I'm sure with its running water and gas-operated refrigerator it is also considered a luxury in comparison to straw huts in Africa or yurts in the Mongolian steppes. You get the picture. It's an experience. And we're three months into it and can't wait to experience something else.

    To lift the edge off the nervous anticipation for proper housing, I've decided to compile a little list of fragrances (both mundane and wearable) that will let you into this experience, even if just a little... This compilation is a random array of fragrance fit for yurt life, even though I imagine most people who choose to live in this humble abode would rather dab some animal fat and cooked cabbage juice behind their ear than any designer's fragrance. Nevertheless, I find the task amusing, and I hope it will make for a fun read.

    We are moving into my mom's charming little yurt today! Here is a view of the inside.

    I also hope that my mom does not get hurt because apparently in our parts of the world, patience ("Savlanut") is considered a virtue (which very few uphold), and also belongs grammatical to the same root as the word suffering ("Sevel"). And in this part of the world, stating the facts is considered complaining... I'm sure those who choose to live in a yurt or even just stay in it for a short amount of time will thoroughly enjoy it - it is cute, rustic, pretty, calm and completely in tune with nature. You get to experience all the elements - fire (sun), air (wind), water (we have running water, and thankfully also very little of water leakage despite its very temporary feel); and last but not least - you can't get any closer to earth than this. It is a very, very earthy dwelling and you really feel Mother earth's belly as you tickle it with your slippers walking to and fro. Last but not least: nothing compares to coming out of the yurt at night and seeing the clear black skies dotted with bright stars.

    Muscs Kublai Khan - for the obvious body odour effect - musk-enhanced unwashed hair and sweaty armpits with hints of rose and aldehydes.

    Kiehl's Fig Leaf & Sage - milky herbacous weirdness. It's unusual yet very easy to wear and has a freshness without being boring. It also goes well with the cucumber and parsley scented products we currently have in the house - hand wash, shampoo and conditioner. Something green and clear-smelling yet non pretentious.

    Aromatics Elixir - an earthy, big sage scent that is sophisticated yet at the same time rustic enough to wear in the wilderness. Especially grateful for it on cold wintry days.

    Arabie - the spice market, sweat and dusty cobblestones - and all the spices I have in storage (and don't have in my kitchen) kvetched into one bottle. Awesome.

    Coco Noir - the opposite of yurt life: polished, elegant, artificial and urban. Jasmine, berries and plums, rose, patchouli, musk and vetiver with a a dusting of cocoa.

    Poivre Samarkand - because I heard that there are also yurts in Samarkand (Uzbekistan). Can't find any perfume inspired by Mongolia (which is where the yurts supposedly originate). Besides, it's a perfect sprinkle of heat on those chilly nights when the shower runs only boiling water or ice cold ones, and when you step out of the shower it's the same temperatures as outside (not as extreme as in Canada, but 5-11c is cold enough to feel like real winter).

    Musc Nomade (Annick Goutal) - I'm picking this one because of the name alone. I remember smelling it very vaguely and that is was vegetal and delicate... Admittedly I'm also too lazy to go digging in my shipping container now and find the little box where I "filed" all my music samples but I'm pretty sure I've only tried it once when I was in Paris.

    Tam Dao - if you've ever encountered compost toilet, you know that it's the human equivalent of hamster cage. pine or cedar shavings are used to cover up the mess, and the result is a more subdued version of human waste, that eventually turns into a nice scent of the forest floor. Anyway, this explanation made me think of Tam Dao, which is a fine sandalwood and cedar fragrance and also has some clean smelling musks underneath, to make you forget all the other business.

    Tea for Two - We've been enjoying my limited selection of teas that I make a point of finishing off. True to form, we've been brewing lots of chai, which I've been already giving you plenty of recipes for... And of course Hulnejan - the wonderful root brew of galangal, dried ginger and cassia bark.
    Zangvil also reminds me of this "witch brew" with its notes of fresh and dried ginger, honey, amber, jasmine and ginger lily.

    Finjan - we've been drinking lots of espresso on the stove top mocha machine, and lots of Arabic/Druze/Turkish coffee (each nationality claims it as their own - but essentially this is very dark roasted coffee with cardamom that is brewed on the stove). The latter is well represented in the perfuem I created titled Finjan (the name of the little porcelain "shot" cups that you sip the coffee from; mistakenly, most Israelis refer to the little pot used to brew it as "finjan" - but its real name is "Ralai").

    Mastic - Whenever it rains or gets really chilly, the mastica bushes and wild ivy behind the yurt release their fresh, green-balsamic scent. Grin's smell encompasses this verdant freshness with its notes of galbanum, violet, oakmoss and a classic floral bouquet.

    Geranium and Wild Oranges - My citrus orchard was overcome by wild orange shoots, and I've really let it go. We finally pruned the orchard this fall, which mean an overwhelming amount of wild oranges that had to be put into use somehow. The result? An orange cello with a touch of herbs from the yurt's garden, among them rose geranium. One sip of this liquor is enough to uplift the spirits.





              Battlefield Bad Company 2 - Battlefield Moments Ep.3        

    It looks amazing, I really can't wait.  Reserved Limited Edition.


              Training: Free your courses from the confines of a classroom with Adobe Presenter 10        
    Topic: Free your courses from the confines of a classroom with Adobe Presenter 10 Description: Join us to learn how to create courses and modules for your learners which no longer limit them to learn inside the class. Take advantage of Adobe Presenter 10 to create video lectures – replete with quizzes, games and interactions […]
              GameStop Mobile launches as AT&T virtual carrier, gives us rare bring-your-own GSM in US (update)        

    Image

    Here's an expansion of mobile competition in the US that comes out of left field, even for us: GameStop as a cellular provider. GameStop Mobile, as it's called, is that rare bird of an AT&T-based MVNO that relies on a bring-your-own-device strategy. As long as your hardware works on AT&T's 850MHz and 1,900MHz bands and isn't locked to another carrier, you can bring any GSM- and HSPA-based phone (or data-only device) and use it contract-free: rates start at anything from a strictly pay-as-you-go $5 through to a $55 monthly plan with unlimited voice and text, if just an anemic 500MB of data. Tablet owners and other data-only fans can pay the same $55 for 1GB per month -- a bit stiff considering that those on AT&T proper can get 5GB of data for slightly less. No doubt this is to take advantage of iPad and iPhone trade-ins, PlayStation Vitas and the overall rise of unlocked devices. We're just wondering whether GameStop will catch a few customers subscribing as they pick up their Diablo III pre-orders or else face the uncertain future that befalls many MVNOs.

    Update: As our friends at Joystiq have pointed out, the GameStop Mobile website is no longer publicly accessible. Looks like someone may have pulled the switch a bit too early.


              PlayStation Vita gets a content management app, plays nice with PS3 and PC        
    Worried your PlayStation Vita is going to be so full of repurchased PSP content that you won't be be able to store it all? Yeah, neither are we -- but if you want another place to keep your Vita's picture, video, music and game content, Sony says your PC and PS3 will do nicely. An application page on the Japanese PlayStation website details a Vita app that lets users transfer data between the three platforms, noting that content can be purchased on the PC or PS3, and then transferred to the Vita for use later. Gamers looking to save scratch on that not-so-optional memory card will be able to use this content sharing feature to get the most out of whatever size storage they can afford. Sure, 4GB of storage the cheapest Vita memory card offers isn't ideal, but at least Sony is throwing you a bone to make it work.
              Percutian Ke Cameron Highland 2016         
    Salam..


    Hari ni dah masuk hari yang keenam kita umat Islam berpuasa. Ada yang dah ponteng tak? Hiksss... terasa rajin nak update blog sebab tadi bosan-bosan, sesaje scroll balik semua gambar dalam OneDrive, teringat holiday ke Cameron Highland few days sebelum puasa. 


    Cameron Highland merupakan destinasi percutian kegemaran wanie dengan cik abam. Last kitorang bercuti ke sana time habis intern di Heitech dulu. Time tu, tak leh nak boros-boros sangat sebab takde income lagi. Alhamdulillah, setelah hampir 2 tahun setengah, wanie berkesempatan lagi ke sana dan kali ni seronok sikit kan nak beli itu ini dah ada income sendiri... hahahahah~


    Macam biasa, cik abam akan booking 2 bilik di Copthorne Hotel (formerly known as Equatorial Hotel). Kali ni kami datang berempat, bawa 2 orang adik cik abam ikut sekali bercuti. The more the merrier kan... hehehe. 


    Dah jom layan sikit percutian kami... hehehe



    Selfie sket dalam bilik ... hehehe..


    Nak tangkap gambar Copthorne tu, tapi geng-geng bikers ni parking ramai-ramai depan tu. Sedih.. tapi tangkap jugaklah
    Kalau tak silap, waktu cik abam book hotel ni untuk 1 malam dalam RM 248 (booking 2 minggu awal melalui website)



    Disebabkan plan je nak ke Cameron Highland tapi dalam kepala cuma tahu ladang teh je, nasib baik jumpa board ni kat dalam hotel time check in. So, senang sikit nak tahu destinasi-destinasi menarik dalam Cameron Highland untuk dilawat.



    Time kitorang pergi ni cuti Wesak Day. Jem nya ya ampunnnnn! 
    P/S : Jangan minum air banyak sangat jem jem macam ni, nak shuu shuu nanti takde toilet.. dah la sejuk... hahaha



    Lepas check in hotel, terus ke Boh Sungei (Sungai??) Palas. Having a sip of hot tea really refreshing and feels like our trip totally worth the penny! Masing-masing stress dengan keja kan, dan dah lama sangat tak bercuti.

    Tapi sebab kitorang sampai pun dah agak lewat petang, tak sempat nak masuk tengok macam mana diorang proses tea. Sebelum balik, sempat lah beli teh songket all flavor sebagai souvenir. 


    Dan malamnya, kitorang tak plan ke pasar malam tu lagi sebab nak parking tu nangisssss wehhh~ Ramai teramat sangat. Kitorang plan nak ke Abang Nasi Kukus Sambal Strawberry yang famous tu. Tapi............................


    Nasi kukus ni hanya dibuka 7.30 pagi hingga 6 petang saje. Malamnya stimboat. Alaaaa~~ sedih hati, patutnya mana boleh limited macam tu sebab sambal strawberry tu signature dish kan... 

    So, kitorang decide dinner di satu kedai area situ jugak. Tak ingat apa namanya... wanie susah nak complain kalau makan tu tak sedap, tapi masalahnya, totally DISASTER! wanie order lain, yang lain yang datang... mahal pulak tu. Time tu memang cik abam nak mengamuk (susah nak tengok dia ni mengamuk tau!) tapi sebab dah masing-masing lapar sangat, kitorang makan je...

    Kitorang ni jenis tak cerewet, bukan sekali dua kalau makan tempat lain-lain yang order lain sampai nye lain, kitorang makan jugak sebab consider orang tu tersilap dan asalkan perut kenyang dan anggap je surprise~! Hahahaha~ benda-benda kecik chillex je dah kan...


    Sebab tak nak sedih-sedih, beli je lah yang dalam botol macam ni. Harga kalau tak silap dalam RM 16 - 17 macam tu. Ada 2 jenis - yang biasa macam dalam gambar ni dan juga extra spicy. Wanie beli dua-dua je. 

    Dah rasa dah... ok not bad lah. Ada ikan masin dalam sambal ni, jadinya ada rasa sweet, salty and spicy. Bila makan dengan nasik dan sambal ni, boleh rasa flavor strawberry tu dan biji-biji strawberry tu. Unik!


    OK... settle seharian. On the way balik hotel tu, singgah kejap jugak lah pasar malam. Beli cendawan goreng dan strawberry untuk nak makan-makan kat hotel.



    Ini dah hari kedua. Dah checkout hotel awal sebab plan nak visit tempat-tempat lain dan terus nak balik. So, kitorang ke Healthy Strawberry Farm untuk borong strawberry. Serious gaisss... kalau korang nak borong strawberry banyak-banyak, meh ke sini tau sebab murah sangat. Wanie ada jugak pergi visit Ravi Strawberry tu dengan Kasimanis Strawberry, this is the best and cheapest! Jangan lupa beli aiskrim strawberry homemade diorang, dan JANGAN BELI 1 sebab memang tak cukup! Hahahah sedap sangattttt!!




    Gambar-gambar kat atas ni diambil sewaktu wanie ke House of Lavender. Comel angat angat angat tau! Sebagai souvenir wanie beli sabun mandi dan lotion. Sabun tak guna lagi sebab kat rumah wanie je ada 3 jenis sabun yang wanie guna ikut citarasa hahahaha~ Lotion dia soft je bau, and quick absorbency. Kat sini wanie diberi taste cordial lavender tu, rasanya sooooo light and sweet. Tak berapa nak masuk taste so wanie tak beli... hehehe.. 



    OK last! On the way turun, kitorang minum-minum teh kat Cameron Valley. Pekena teh tarik dengan chocolate scone. Lepak-lepak jap, ambik angin dan cuba pujuk diri sendiri yang tak nak balik time tu! Hahahaha~


    Dan finally, gini lah muka kitorang semua yang tak nak terima hakikat kitorang tengah on the way balik! Orang belakang yang sengih-sengih tu tak yah sengih sangat sebab the next day dia ada exam! Hahaha~ wanie minta extra cuti sebab konfim letih dah sampai rumah, so sempat untuk bertenang dan cuba move on! Hahahah~


    Insyaallah... the next holiday tak plan lagi ke mana. Tapi, masing-masing simpan duit untuk hari besar kami berdua. Doakan segala perancangan kami berjalan lancar ya... 



              Homily: Trinity Sunday 2014        
    Through the centuries countless volumes have been written on this doctrine of three beings in one God. But due to the limits of our own language we have been forced to use metaphors when trying to describe the Trinity. But what if we took some time and stopped looking at God as a noun…and considered God as a verb? Could the mystery of the Trinity make more sense if we considered God more like some sort of dance or movement? Take a few minutes and check out my take on this concept which is really rooted in our faith – for it may just change the way you live your life!
              EL AUMENTO DE LOS IMPUESTOS ES CONSECUENCIA DEL AUMENTO DEL ESTADO        
    El recaudador de impuestos. Pieter Brueghel
    Para una de las materias de la Universidad en la maestría en economía tuve que hacer un largo escrito presentando una investigación. Mi tesis o trabajo de maestría será sobre impuestos. Aunque inicialmente [en realidad inicialmente pensé en algo muy enredado y como los fractales de longitud infinita] pensé dedicarme a denunciar el aumento de la retención en la fuente a título de renta que se observa en series de tiempo, creo que tengo motivos suficientes para ampliarlo al impuesto de renta.

    ¿Por qué ampliar un poco el tema al impuesto como tal? a La razón es que a veces para los particulares y empresas la retención en la fuente es conveniente. Luego de haber escrito una larga disertación de su inconveniencia, una amiga contadora me dijo que había casos en los que era conveniente. Coincidencialmente, luego del comentario de mi amiga contadora como agente retenedor me pidieron dos personas en menos de una semana que no se acogían a beneficios legales que me permitían no retenerles sino que por el contrario me pedían que les retuviera. Esto tiene también su fundamento en el flujo de caja, el impuesto de renta afecta fuertemente el flujo de caja, la retención en la fuente puede diferir esa afectación al flujo de caja que es el impuesto de renta.

    En todo caso, sin perjuicio de los alcances que la investigación vaya a tener o a cambiar quisiera compartir unas pequeñas notas sobre por qué los impuestos tienden a subir –o a bajar-. ¿Qué hace que paguemos más impuestos en términos reales? ¿Por qué el estado promueve reformas tributarias? Básicamente porque necesita dinero. A continuación se mostrarán dos perspectivas, la histórica y la teoría económica sobre por qué aumentan los impuestos. Ambas coinciden a pesar de su diferencia en perspectiva.

    Aunque  se desconoce si existe algún marco teórico que presente hechos estilizados [hechos que se repiten al aumentar los impuestos] o hipótesis de las causas que influyen en el recaudo, hay un hecho central los impuestos surgen de la necesidad que tienen los estados de financiar el “gasto público”.  Esto puede observarse tanto desde la perspectiva histórica como desde la teoría económica.

    1. PERSPECTIVA HISTÓRICA Y FILOSÓFICA
    A mi modo de ver hay hechos estilizados están en un análisis histórico. Mil años antes de Cristo en el libro primero de Samuel se hace una advertencia vital: ¡Los reyes cuestan! (1 Samuel vs 11-18). Se tienen registros de impuestos alrededor de 3000 años antes de Cristo en la China (NEW INTERNACIONALISM, 2008). En la antigua Grecia los impuestos se usaban para la guerra pero cuando esta terminaba se devolvían (NEW INTERNACIONALISM, 2008). Quien fuese el tutor de uno de los más grandes tiranos de la historia, Aristóteles, tenía claro que los impuestos no pertenecían al que los recaudaba sino al “tesoro público” (ARISTÓTELES, pág. Volumen 8) y que eran objeto de reembolso (NEW INTERNACIONALISM, 2008).

    En la Antigüedad parece entonces que los impuestos respondían a guerras y eran en general en cantidades pequeñas. El impuesto sobre las ventas del emperador Julio César era del 1% (NEW INTERNACIONALISM, 2008). Los impuestos para financiar las guerras como el crecimiento imperial eran la mayor motivación para cobrarlos como sus aumentos. Por ejemplo, Pedro el Grande en Rusia gravó todo lo que pudo (NEW INTERNACIONALISM, 2008) para sus ambiciones imperiales.  Por ejemplo en Inglaterra en 1914 el impuesto sobre el ingreso era del 6% y pasó al 30% al finalizar la primera Guerra Mundial en 1918  (NEW INTERNACIONALISM, 2008).

    En la antigüedad eran muy pequeñas las cantidades que prácticamente no tenían efecto sobre la mayoría de los ciudadanos. Sin embargo, con el paso del tiempo las ideas de limitar los impuestos o inclusive negar su legitimidad han ido aumentando. Claro de la mano del crecimiento del estado. Tan es así que sorprende lo poco que importaban a los grandes filósofos estos temas con únicamente pequeñas alusiones al tema, siendo la Aristotélica mucho más racional y la platónica suelta una denuncia en uno de los apartados de la República. No es sino hasta la escolástica española que se hace un análisis jurídico-económico a los impuestos. La historia también ha mostrado ejemplos de límites y desobediencia a los impuestos. Francisco Suárez nos cuenta Carlos Parma sintetizó basado en las enseñanzas de Santo Tomás los límites de los impuestos. Según él estos debían ser para que fuesen justos (LAMAS):

    -          debe ser impuesta por la máxima autoridad legislativa;
    -          su finalidad debe ser conocida y justa
    -          y la proporción del tributo establecido por ella debe ser acorde con su finalidad, en el momento de su creación y durante la subsistencia del impuesto.

    Derivado de estos principios es que Juan de Mariana denuncia la mutación de la moneda –el aumento del flujo circulante de dinero- como un impuesto encubierto. Este método en la actualidad consiste en que el Banco Central [en Colombia Banco de la República] prenda la máquina de billetes a favor de los acreedores del estado. Esa mutación de la moneda es un robo, o viéndolo más “objetivamente” es un impuesto encubierto.

    Por otro lado, las cuestiones tributarias han sido motivo de movimientos políticos como la independencia de los Estados Unidos (NEW INTERNACIONALISM, 2008).  También se cuenta que el pensador Norteamericano Henry David Thoureau autor de On the duty of civil disobedience fue encarcelado por no pagar un impuesto que financiaba una guerra que los Estados Unidos libraba con México (COY-FERRER, 1975, pág. 414). La oposición a los impuestos se encuentra de manera directa en las acciones de Thoureau, el filósofo Lysander Spooner (SPOONER, 1882)  al igual que el alemán Friedich Nietzsche (NIETZSCHE, pág. 68), consideran que no existe tal tesoro público sino que lo que “pertenece” al estado es robado.

    No presento las teorías que favorecen los impuestos por dos razones. La primera es que parecen estar implícitas en la mente de todos, como un lavado de cerebro muy bien hecho, así todos se quejen de ellos. Esta primera razón le explicará de entrada por qué le choca la cita Nietzscheana. La segunda razón es que más adelante sí hablaré de ellas.

    2. PERSPECTIVA ECONÓMICA
    Desde la perspectiva de la teoría económica hay una coincidencia total con la perspectiva histórica. La ventaja de la insípida perspectiva económica es que nos permite decir la verdad, sin necesidad de que usen nuestras ideas para distorsionar la veracidad de nuestras afirmaciones. El aumento del gasto público como impuesto presente o futuro es lo que se conoce como la equivalencia ricardiana. ¿Qué nos explica la equivalencia ricardiana?

    “Esta dice que cualquier cambio en el timing de los impuestos —es decir, por ejemplo, bajar transitoriamente impuestos hoy, financiar con deuda y repagar- la en el futuro— no tiene efectos sobre la economía, en particular sobre las decisiones del público. De ahí que se pueda argumentar que, a partir de esta idea, la deuda pública no es riqueza agregada, ya que al final hay que pagarla, y lo que la restricción del gobierno nos dice es que este pago se hará con impuestos.” (DE GREGORIO, 2007, pág. 148)

     Uno de los conceptos claves frente al recaudo es el déficit fiscal. El déficit fiscal puede expresarse matemáticamente la siguiente manera:


    Si es negativo se considera superávit fiscal e implica que los gobiernos o estados están gastando menos de lo que les ingresa lo cual es positivo en términos de finanzas públicas. Hay diversas distinciones sobre los distintos niveles de déficit pero la noción es clara. Ahora bien, ¿Qué pasa si el estado para crecer gasta más de lo que recauda? ¡Tiene necesariamente que endeudarse! Ya vimos que lo que enseña la equivalencia ricardiana tarde que temprano tiene que pagarse con más impuestos. Esto nos permite inferir la restricción presupuestaria del gobierno [o sea que el gobierno no tiene dinero absoluto en el tiempo] a lo largo del tiempo así:


    Esto quiere decir que el valor actual de todos los gastos más el valor actual de la deuda deben ser financiadas completamente por el flujo proyectado de impuestos. El último término significa que la deuda al final de los periodos tiene que tender a cero o decrecer lo que nos permite reexpresar así:



    Esto quiere decir que el valor actual de todo el flujo de impuestos, menos el flujo de gastos debe ser igual al valor actual de la deuda. Esta restricción presupuestaria intertemporal es la que impide que haya un déficit elevado y que la deuda no crezca a una tasa mayor que los intereses. Por tal motivo, habrá un momento que para suplir la restricción presupuestaria del gobierno habrá que aumentar los impuestos o estaríamos violando la condición de solvencia.

    Mejor dicho, a los estados también los pueden enviar a “cobro jurídico” por no pagar, por eso a la larga tendrán que pagar sus deudas. Pero ¿cómo pagan las deudas que son el precio del “bien común”? O vendiendo bienes propios o aumentando los impuestos porque es la única fuente de ingresos.

    3. IMPUESTOS EN EL ESTADO COLOMBIANO.
    Hemos visto que históricamente los afanes expansionistas estatales generan como consecuencia directa o indirecta el aumento de los impuestos. Y Colombia está en un afán estatal expansionista. Desde esta perspectiva, el flujo de gastos del estado colombiano se espera que crezca en los próximos años las razones son entre otras las siguientes:

    -          Las indemnizaciones a las víctimas del conflicto, el Consejo de Estado maneja la tesis de la reparación integral bastante costosa.

    -          El estado social de derecho que significa estado de bienestar en términos económicos y consiste en que el estadovela por el denominado “mínimo vital” de los individuos.

    -          Esto implica que los gastos en salud, educación, recreación, entre muchos otros sean prestados por el estado.

    ¿Quién paga esos costos? Derivado de la tesis del “mínimo vital” pronto caeremos en un pasivo pensional elevado, subsidios al agro, al desempleo –y al empleo-, subsidios a los ricos y a los pobres [que paga la clase media] que el estado tendrá que pagar con dinero recaudado de más impuestos.

    Previamente no citamos las corrientes que fundamentan los impuestos. Este es el momento. Si usted cree en el estado social de derecho tendrá que afirmar que el pago de los impuestos es vital para el sostenimiento de labores estatales como el “gasto público social”. Que es vital una estructura impositiva para redistribuir los ingresos de las clases más favorecidas a las menos favorecidas y que eso es labor del estado. En la teoría eso suena hermoso pero en la práctica es más impuestos para todos.

    Como el estado depende de una gran burocracia y ya no solamente se paga la corte del rey [por aquello de los “frenos y contrapesos”] sino la de Presidencia, Fiscalía, Procuraduría, Defensoría del Pueblo, Banco de la República, Gobernaciones, Alcaldías, Superintendencias, Establecimientos Públicos, Comisiones de Regulación, la DIAN, altas Cortes, Congreso –con altos salarios- con su aparato administrativo y todos aquellos extraterrestres administrativos como le decía una profesora (que creía en el estado) que podrían crecer ad infinitum. ¿Cómo así que pueden crecer ad infinitum? Pues infinitas son las formas de corrupción luego para preverlas se necesitan infinitos entes que también pueden ser corruptas: ¡una bonita serie de crecimiento geométrico! Es claro, con la burocracia que el estadoes un ente redistributivo, toma el dinero de las clases medias para dárselo a las altas o sea congresistas, funcionarios públicos, entre otras. Efectivamente ¿quién paga los impuestos? A más impuestos ¿quién pagará más si nadie quiere pagarlos?

    4.  REFLEXIÓN FINAL
    Uno de los objetivos del trabajo de grado no le gustaba al asesor, pero fue propuesto por el asesor [estos académicos no se ponen de acuerdo]. El objetivo es el siguiente:

    “Denunciar el peligro político y jurídico de que la retención en la fuente crezca a un ritmo porcentual superior al del ingreso de familias y empresas.”

    En este objetivo soy claro, mis afanes académicos tienen que tener una finalidad que sirva a la gente, sino escribiré buena carreta. De alguna manera hay algo entre este objetivo y esto que son notas previas a la investigación que en términos académicos llaman “marco teórico”. Sin embargo, el objetivo no se sobrepone a la conclusión que es levemente distinta: para reducir impuestos se requiere reducir el estado. Y ¿por qué es bueno reducir el estado? Pregúntese ¿De qué le sirve el estado? Y ¿Cuánto le cuesta el estado? Y con un análisis práctico quizás sepa la respuesta.

    Referencias.

    ARISTÓTELES. (s.f.). LA POLÍTICA (Vol. 8). La Editorial Virtual. Recuperado el 28 de 11 de 2013, de http://www.laeditorialvirtual.com.ar/pages/Aristoteles_LaPolitica/Aristoteles_LaPolitica_000.htm

    COY-FERRER, J. (1975). THOUREAU, HENRY DAVID. En E. RIALP, GRAN ENCICLOPEDIA RIALP (Vol. 22, págs. 413-414). Madrid: Ediciones RIALP S.A.

    DE GREGORIO, J. (2007). MACROECONOMÍA. TEORÍA Y POLÍTICAS. Santiago de Chile: Pearson. Recuperado el 28 de 11 de 2013, de http://www.degregorio.cl/pdf/Macroeconomia.pdf

    LAMAS, F. A. (s.f.). CARLOS PARMA. Recuperado el 28 de 11 de 2013, de Francisco Suarez y el impuesto injusto: http://www.carlosparma.com.ar/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=172:francisco-suarez-y-el-impuesto-injusto-&catid=47:filosofia-del-derecho&Itemid=27

    NEW INTERNACIONALISM. (01 de 10 de 2008). NEW INTERNACIONALISM. Recuperado el 27 de 11 de 2013, de A short history of TAXATION: http://newint.org/features/2008/10/01/tax-history/

    NIETZSCHE, F. W. (s.f.). ASÍ HABLÓ ZARATHUSTRA. España: Euroliber S.A.

    SPOONER, L. (1882). NATURAL LAW OR THE SCIENCE OF JUSTICE. Boston. Recuperado el 28 de 11 de 2013, de http://lysanderspooner.org/node/59


     OTROS ENLACES QUE TOCAN EL TEMA DE LOS IMPUESTOS



              Soberanía: sus verdaderas implicaciones.        
    La soberanía, un "constructo" que se come al individuo.
    Luego de que ciertos personajes que rara vez han tenido el sol en el cenit, en oficinas oscuras en Europa, hayan determinado "quitar" una cierta porción de mar a Colombia al Norte de San Andrés, se revela ese "constructo" de nación, de estado y de soberanía. El tema está bastante de moda, y probablemente, en otras oficinas en la fría capital de Colombia, con pieles no bronceadas y que quizás ni conocen ese pedazo de mar, se discute el impacto que tiene sobre "la soberanía nacional". Toda clase de reacciones se escuchan al respecto, bueno en general el sentimiento es de rechazo, hasta para mí, supuestamente que no creo en esas cosas.

    El problema para mí se resume básicamente en que las fronteras, Colombo-Nicaragüense en este caso, son "constructos" como dice Alias Aristóteles, que en últimas revelan ficciones. ¿El estado existe? Efectivamente, pero no es más que poder brutal organizado, sin más legitimidad que la que tendría una banda de ladrones, sicarios o terroristas. ¿Cómo comparas la bandera y la nación con ladrones? No sé si sean más buenos o más malos, eso a mí no me compete, lo que sí son es única e igualmente ilegítimos, más "visajosos", más usuales en mi vida y con una mentira mejor montada. Pero hay políticos de buena fe, sí, también hay ladrones, sicarios, terroristas de buena fe, ¿Qué tanto pesa la intención? Este poder brutal organizado es limitante.

    La palabra frontera es sinónimo de límite y es bastante curioso que se llame igual la división entre Colombia y Venezuela, como la división del territorio de las bandas de sicarios de Medellín. Ambas fronteras. Dicen que las de los combos o bandas son "invisibles", pero ¿alguien ha visto el meridiano 82? ¿en qué parte del río Táchira entre Villa del Rosario y San Antonio del Táchira hay una línea que separe como en los mapas? La carrera 90 puede ser tan visible o tan invisible como frontera que el río Táchira. El que haya visto el meridiano 82 debe estar bastante trabado y confundir la tierra con el mapa de la misma. Algo así hacen los poderes, nos hacen confundir la tierra con el dibujo que hizo un poderoso de la misma.

    Pero todo este dolor "patrio" por la pérdida de una franja de mar al norte de San Andrés, es un poco irónico la verdad. ¿Sentimos la misma "patria" en una vuelta en la DIAN? ¿Por qué las empresas han de dar el 33% de su renta líquida al estado? ¿Por la misma razón que nos duele la pérdida de "mar territorial" que la mayoría ni siquiera conocemos? ¿Cómo puede pertenecernos algo sobre el cuál ni remotamente ejercemos dominio? ¿Por qué alguien dibujó en un mapa, de forma más o menos arbitraria, que un lugar pertenecía a un país, lo hace suyo? ¿Dominio eminente? ¿Por qué? Si es así ¡qué buena forma de adquirir, dibujaré que la luna es mía y procederé a cobrar tributos cada que la miren!

    El caso es que la "patria" no existe, es un concepto arbitrario. Nietzsche al respecto habla más bien de la "hijatria" o el lugar que vamos a dejarle a nuestros hijos, esto lo decía con sarcasmo, quizás para negar lo adsurdo del concepto. Ese concepto de "patria" únicamente sirve para legitimar abusos. ¿Qué clase de abusos? Un señor nace en Nicaragua y otro a pocas millas náuticas en San Andrés, ¿Por qué el San Andresano no puede pescar en aguas "nicaragüenses" y el Nicaragüense en aguas Colombianas? Por ese "bello" y anquilosado concepto de soberanía que cree en nosotros el prejuicio que esas "aguas" son "nuestras". Por esa idea que tenemos en la cabeza, que es parte del dominio intelectual que ejerce el estado en nosotros a través de la educación, es que un pescador tiene esa limitación. 

    La naturaleza funciona de manera diferente un cardúmen de peces vive al vaivén de su alimento, alimento que un día estará más acá del meridiano 82 o más allá del mismo. La naturaleza de un buen pescador creería yo, no es la de portar una bandera en su bote, es la de seguir las mareas, corrientes marinas, los amaneceres y atardeceres y dirigirse allí para pescar con sus redes y sus estrategias. Sin embargo, la natural inclinación del trabajo del pescador, se ve truncada por "constructos" como el de soberanía. "Constructos" en la que creen una serie de burócratas en la Haya y se imaginan que con eso están salvando el mundo, mientras mantienen las ideas que limitan la pesca de unos seres humanos. Querido amigo pescador isleño, ¡pesque donde Haya, no donde le diga la Haya! Esto es un desafío, un día habrá en "Colombia" y otro día en "Nicaragua" y lo importante no es creer en la bandera, es hacer bien su trabajo.

    Por más que haya rechazo a todo lo que signifique Nicaragua, y que me linchen, el mismo derecho a pescar donde le plazca lo tiene el "Nicaragüense" que el "Colombiano". Un derecho que le nace porque los peces libres no son de nadie, por eso el primero que los encuentre y los aproveche se hará su dueño. Los Nicaragüenses son mis amigos, como lo puede ser cualquier ser humano. Me disgusta el presidente de Nicaragua, pero no porque sea nicaragüense, como la mayoría de la gente que me cae mal es de Colombia pero no me cae mal por ser colombiana. 

    La verdadera implicación de la soberanía es la frontera, frontera que limita, aliena e impone una serie de criterios arbitrarios que no son acordes con la naturaleza. Eso lo vemos claramente en los pescadores que de aquí o de allá deben pescar donde les plazca, no donde los "constructos" o imaginarios sobre cómo se divide la tierra. Ese "mar territorial" que nos duele, no es más que el dolor de que nos limiten en vez de limitar, pero es tan injusto limitar como que nos limiten. El prejuicio que nos crea la "patria" es lo que nos limita en negocios, amistades, acciones, nos limita a ser humanos más que ser un invento "colombianos". Invento que es bastante ridículo y teatral como reconocía el filósofo Fernando González, aun considerando la patria como una posibilidad. El "constructo" de Colombia ni si quiera es autóctono, es lo que decía Fernando González aún considerando esa posibilidad de patria. Finalmente, esos niños de la Haya creen que jugando con esos "constructos" e imaginarios limitantes, que nada tienen que ver con la verdadera naturaleza humana, evitan guerras, cuando la verdad es que sus ideas acerca del poder están más cercanas a la idea de clan, combo, masa ridícula, asociación de cazadores, no sé, esas ideas de películas con clanes y masas que con aquellas que van con la libertad, la justicia, el derecho natural y el desarrollo.

              ILIQUIDEZ E IMPUESTOS: Ineficiencias del sistema tributario.        
    Yo pesco y el estado pesca lo que pesco...
    El sistema tributario justo es aquel que no existe. En justicia todo derecho tiene su causa en términos antropológicos o económicos. Ahora bien, si no hay una causa para una determinada erogación, por más que sea "legal", estamos ante una injusticia y un enriquecimiento sin causa. Ahora bien, dirán los constitucionalistas -que creen que un texto es vinculante porque sí- que es que es nuestra "contribución al bien común". La verdad eso no son más que teorías que producen unos sofistas burócratas para permanecer en sus deliciosos tronos de poder. ¿Acaso usted firmó la constitución? ¿Por qué tiene que pagar por proyectos de los políticos que muchas veces son ineficientes de los cuales no está de acuerdo con muchos?

    Por ejemplo, a muchas personas que estamos en desacuerdo con el Asesinato de Niños por nacer, nos obligan a financiar ese crimen por una decisión de 5 magistrados. ¿Por qué en aras del supuesto bien común tendría yo que seguir como un esclavo aquellos lineamientos? ¿Por qué tenemos que permitir que el dinero que nosotros ganamos se utilice para financiar el crimen de unas pocas multinacionales perversas? 

    Ya decía Lysander Spooner:
    "Todos los grandes gobiernos de la tierra - los que hoy existen como los que han ido desapareciendo - han tenido el mismo carácter. No pasan de simples bandas de ladrones que se han asociado con el fin de despojar, conquistar y someter a sus semejantes." (Tomado de SPOONER, Lysander. “El derecho natural: la ciencia de la justicia” En Wikisource tomado dehttp://es.wikisource.org/wiki/El_derecho_natural:_la_ciencia_de_la_justicia 08/10/2009 02:39 p.m. Capítulo III. El derecho natural contra la legislación. Segunda parte del Capítulo.)
    Y es que el fenómeno es bastante cierto y se observa por ejemplo en los denominados "combos" de Medellín que muchos quieren incluir en la "institucionalidad". Estos combos son bandas asociadas de delincuentes que dominan unas zonas limitadas por "fronteras invisibles", tienen allí el monopolio de las armas, cobran "vacuna" que no es más que una suma mensual a cambio de "protección". Inclusive se ha llegado a afirmar que los combos suelen tener mejor logística que la Policía Metropolitana. Nadie negaría que los "combos" son bandas delincuenciales, pero quiero que alguien me diga cuál es la diferencia de estos con el estado. A mi modo de ver la diferencia radica en el cómo, los combos son auténticos, el estado mentiroso. Además, los combos no requieren gigantescas justificaciones ideológicas para legitimar su acción, hacen lo que hacen y listo. Son delincuentes y lo saben, en cambio, muchas de las personas que trabajan en el estado ni si quiera se han dado cuenta para quién trabajan...

    LAS INEFICIENCIAS TRIBUTARIAS.
    Uno de los tantos "tributos" sin sentido.
    Norte de Santander cobra a todos las personas
    que salen del aeropuerto Camilo Daza de Cúcuta,
    esta estampilla. ¿Por qué? ¡Pura recocha!
    Contrario a los combos dueños de fronteras invisibles, restringiendo la entrada a dichas zonas, el estado se ha devanado el cerebro en generar justificaciones absurdas a su accionar y frente a los impuestos siempre está el trasfondo de la eficiencia. ¿Cómo recaudar más (para nada) sin desincentivar el trabajo de sus víctimas? El trasfondo de incentivar cierta actividad económica o cierta acción conveniente al estado provoca una serie de disposiciones tributarias. Conclusión un complejo enmarañado de disposiciones que generan una serie de costos operativos adicionales para la gestión empresarial.

    Ese enmarañado sistema genera que en Colombia haya un exceso de tributación. Tanto como los griegos que le tenían altar al "dios desconocido" en Colombia puede llegar un momento en que nos toque pagar al "impuesto desconocido". A grandes rasgos los principales impuestos en Colombia son:

    • Impuesto sobre la renta y complementarios.
    • Impuesto sobre el valor agregado (IVA).
    • Gravámen a los movimientos financieros (4 X 1000)
    • Impuesto de Industria y Comercio y Avisos y Tableros (Municipal).
    Estos impuestos, en apariencia simples, plantean una serie de complicaciones operativas a las empresas que hacen prácticamente que tenga una o dos personas de tiempo completo como mínimo resolviendo el problema de los impuestos. Es tal que muchos de los enredos provienen de presumir la mala fe del "contribuyente".

    SE PRESUME LA MALA FE DEL CONTRIBUYENTE.
    La verdad creo que este es un principio acertado de la tributación, ¡NADIE QUIERE PAGAR IMPUESTOS! No creo que haya alguien que pague la declaración bimestral del IVA o el impuesto de renta con una satisfacción y una sonrisa "Hoy contribuí al bien común" y pensando "Un compromiso tan lindo que no puedo evadir". Bueno quizás Ned Flanders en un capítulo de los Simpson, capítulo donde se hace una crítica anarquista y capitalista bastante positiva... y donde obviamente se ve que los impuestos son un dolor de cabeza...Aquí pueden verlo http://www.seriescoco.com/capitulo/los-simpsons/capitulo-20/40521

    El caso es que esa presunción de mala fe del contribuyente genera un enmarañado inteligentísimo que el estado llamó "retención en la fuente". La retención en la fuente aplica para todos los impuestos (excepto para el 4 X 1000 dado que éste ya es de por sí una retención del banco al dueño de la cuenta). Pero no se dio cuenta el inteligentísimo legislador que estaba confiándole el aumento de las contribuciones a la misma serie de personas de las que desconfiaba. Linda solución crear penalizar la "omisión del agente retenedor":

    ARTICULO 402. OMISION DEL AGENTE RETENEDOR O RECAUDADOR. <Ver Notas del Editor> <Penas aumentadas por el artículo 14 de la Ley 890 de 2004, a partir del 1o. de enero de 2005. El texto con las penas aumentadas es el siguiente:>

     El agente retenedor o autorretenedor que no consigne las sumas retenidas o autorretenidas por concepto de retención en la fuente dentro de los dos (2) meses siguientes a la fecha fijada por el Gobierno Nacional para la presentación y pago de la respectiva declaración de retención en la fuente o quien encargado de recaudar tasas o contribuciones públicas no las consigne dentro del término legal, incurrirá en prisión de cuarenta y ocho (48) a ciento ocho (108) meses y multa equivalente al doble de lo no consignado sin que supere el equivalente a 1.020.000 UVT.

    En la misma sanción incurrirá el responsable del impuesto sobre las ventas que, teniendo la obligación legal de hacerlo, no consigne las sumas recaudadas por dicho concepto, dentro de los dos (2) meses siguientes a la fecha fijada por el Gobierno Nacional para la presentación y pago de la respectiva declaración del impuesto sobre las ventas.

    Tratándose de sociedades u otras entidades, quedan sometidas a esas mismas sanciones las personas naturales encargadas en cada entidad del cumplimiento de dichas obligaciones.

    Ante esa circunstancia cualquiera que inicie una nueva persona jurídica o quiera "cumplir alegremente con los aportes a la nómina de los congresistas" queda mágicamente obligado a retener y de no retener el estado  te cobrará con la cárcel.

    ¿NO MÁS REMEDIO QUE HACER BILLETES?
    El artículo de la omisión del agente retenedor nos hace preguntarnos ¿bueno y cuándo sería la fecha en la que se generaría este delito? Pues la respuesta mágica es ¿desde cuándo tengo que hacer la retención o cobrar el IVA? Pero ¿cuándo es eso? Resulta que tenemos que acudir a la teoría de la "causación". ¿En qué consiste eso de la causación? El momento en el cuál surge un derecho. La teoría de la causación no está mal, pero que se genere un derecho a mi favor o una obligación en mi contra no implica... BILLETES EN EL BOLSILLO. ¿Y cuándo se causa una retención o un IVA? Esto es lo más interesante del asunto...

    Si uno mira el artículo 437 del Estatuto Tributario la regla general consiste en que el Impuesto Sobre las Ventas se causa en cualquiera de los dos primeros casos:

    • Pago
    • Al momento de la facturación o abono en cuenta (causación).
    Si la facturación se da primero, en el caso del impuesto sobre las ventas, ya la empresa que cobra el IVA tendrá una deuda en dinero que tendrá que pagar en la declaración siguiente, así el deudor se demore en pagar la factura. 

    Lo mismo sucede en el caso de la retención en la fuente, la regla general es la misma, se retiene o al momento del pago o al de la causación (abono en cuenta). Para eso puede observarse el artículo 392 del Estatuto Tributario que consagra exactamente la misma idea de la causación. Adicionalmente, esto ha sido reiterado en conceptos de la DIAN ¿cuándo se ocasiona la retención?: 

    "Momento de causación de la retención en la fuente Tal como lo establecen las disposiciones del Estatuto Tributario y lo ha precisado la doctrina de la DIAN (Conceptos No 008054 y No 095988 de 1998, entre otros), la retención en la fuente a título del impuesto sobre la renta debe efectuarse, por regla general, en el momento del pago o abono en cuenta, lo que ocurra primero. Se entiende por "pago" la extinción total o parcial de una obligación mediante la prestación de lo que se debe y por "abono en cuenta" el reconocimiento contable de una obligación independientemente de su cancelación o pago." (Concepto 003580. 12 de Enero de 2006. DIAN. En http://actualicese.com/normatividad/2006/Conceptos/Enero/003580-06.htm Consulta 17/4/2012)

    Esto se puede resaltar en cualquier portal de información contable:
    "La contabilidad en Colombia, según el decreto 2649, opera bajo el sistema de causación, lo que significa que los hechos se deben reconocer al momento de surgir la obligación o el derecho, aunque no se haya hecho o recibido el pago." (Gerencie.com. Retención en la fuente en operaciones de la misma fecha con un mismo proveedor. En http://www.gerencie.com/retencion-en-la-fuente-en-operaciones-de-la-misma-fecha-con-un-mismo-proveedor.html Publicado el 20/12/2010. Consultado 17/05/2012)
    Es decir, así uno no haya recibido el dinero o no tenga con qué pagar, mágicamente su cuenta tiene que tener billetes a la hora de las declaraciones de retención y de IVA. En términos de derechos y obligaciones, quizás esa teoría de la "causación" esté bien, pero es demasiado teórica a la hora de afrontar la realidad.

    Causar una obligación a su favor no implica tener esa obligación en efectivo. De hecho, tenerla causada significa precisamente que no se ha utilizado un bien líquido llamado dinero que la cancele. El poder liberatorio del dinero implica eso, la capacidad de cancelar las obligaciones causadas.

    Pero ¿cómo si no se ha cancelado la obligación mágicamente el contribuyente va a tener dinero para pagar la declaración? Esta tesis de la causación desconoce la realidad de los negocios en Colombia, donde la puntualidad en el cobro es rápida (o sea se factura rápido) pero el pago es lento. Así las instituciones tienen el reto de enfrentar una "cartera" morosa de obligaciones "causadas" que generan IVA. Sin embargo, mientras el deudor se demora en cumplir, no puede quien cobra el IVA sustraerse de su obligación de pagar con dinero que no ha entrado en su flujo de caja. 

    UN CASO TÉTRICO
    La omisión del agente retenedor se ocasiona dos meses después de causada la obligación. Imaginemos en el normal tráfico jurídico un IVA causado en Abril, cuya declaración ha de pagarse los primeros días de mayo y el deudor se ha demorado en pagar (porque a su vez a él le han incumplido), ya si la mora llega a los primeros días de Julio y el Agente recaudador del IVA no ha podido pagar ya ha cometido omisión del agente retenedor. Para ir a la cárcel se requiere que concurran otros dos factores aparte de describir la conducta en el artículo, "antijuridicidad" y "culpabilidad", la defensa es amplia... empezando por la ridiculez de la irrealidad del legislador, pero en todo caso las vueltas, las llamadas de la DIAN, entre otras dudo que sean agradables. Y casos así conozco bastante cercanos...

    DAR DEL AGUA QUE NO TENGO.
    Para que se comprenda el tema del "flujo de caja", podemos comparar el dinero con el agua que fluye. Si yo le digo a otro "lléneme este balde" y el otro va a buscar el agua, no puede un ladrón pedirme el agua que no tengo simplemente porque "ya se causó la obligación de traer agua". ¿De dónde va a sacar el agua? ¿De la humedad relativa del ambiente? ¿Escupiendo? ¿Robando? El dinero, como cualquier bien, está sometido a una serie de reglas y como tal su movimiento depende de la sencilla realidad de recibirlo.

    Es claro que en materia dineraria se puede acudir a la figura del crédito y al contrato de factoring que sirve para resolver esos casos "tétricos". Pero acudir al crédito implica una pérdida, sacar del dinero que no tengo, pagar luego intereses por una obligación sin sentido o que implicaba "causación".

    EL EXTREMO DEL ABSURDO, EL PRINCIPAL ASESINO DEL FLUJO.
    El leviatánUna de las retenciones más ridículas es la que se conoce como el IVA teórico, o mal llamado "rete-iva", el término correcto es la asunción del IVA en el régimen simplificado. Resulta que en el IVA hay dos clases de regímenes, el régimen común y el denominado régimen simplificado. Sin embargo, el régimen simplificado debería llamarse más bien "régimen complicado" y es que es bastante complicado. Los agentes del régimen simplificado no tienen que pagar el IVA, pero eso no implica que el estado no desee recibir algo de aquella operación. 

    Resulta que por arte de magia un genial legislador (que si trabajara para otro sector tendría la denominación de estafador) se le ocurrió que los responsables del régimen común paguen el IVA que no recaudan los del régimen simplificado. Es así como el artículo 437- 1 del Estatuto Tributario en su numeral 4 manda a que los contribuyentes hagan magia y de la buena reteniendo el IVA en operaciones con régimen simplificado. Pero no es que se lo descuenten a la persona perteneciente al régimen simplificado: ¡HA DE PAGARLO ÍNTEGRO! 

    Y ha de seguir la misma teoría de la causación. Aunque si bien es cierto, este es descontable de la declaración del IVA (vaya enredo) tiene que pagarlo cada que haga un contrato con el régimen simplificado y supere los topes legales. Es decir, si soy del régimen común y causo una deuda con una persona del régimen simplificado, así no haya recibido el flujo con el que le pagaré, no solamente debo retener del flujo de caja que no tengo, sino sacar dinero adicional a lo que me están cobrando. 

    Aunque la situación final del "contribuyente" quede en cero, es preferible no pagar nada y luego no recibir nada a cambio que pagar lo que no tengo para luego descontarlo. Además, se paga cada mes la declaración de retenciones, pero el IVA es cada dos meses luego el estado tendrá esos recursos un mes ¿me pagará intereses por ello? ¡NO! Pero en cambio al "contribuyente" sí le tocará pagar por el precio de contar con dinero antes: ¡Valor anticipado! ¿No es evidente quién se enriquece a costa de quién?

    CONCLUSIÓN.
    Sin perjuicio que lo mejor es que no existieran impuestos pues no tienen causa, las complicaciones del mismo aumentan tanto los costos de transacción empresarial que hacen más ineficiente la actividad económica como consecuencia de ello. Una de las cosas más ineficientes es la forma en la que afectan el flujo de caja empresarial en especial en lo que se refiere al IVA y a la retención en la fuente. El dinero, como el agua o el aire, fluye de una forma natural de acuerdo al tráfico de los negocios humanos. Estas formas tributarias lo que hacen es desconocer la forma como circula el dinero en la sociedad para aumentar su calidad tributaria, generando un aumento innecesario en los costos de generación de flujo de caja en las empresas.

    No me gusta la palabra conclusión pero sino la sociedad no entiende. Lo que quisiera es seguir criticando el sistema tributario a ver si algún día desaparece. Más aún esto lo que debería es oxigenar de alguna manera el debate de la reforma tributaria que propone el gobierno de "Prosperidad democrática". Un mínimo sería que desaparecieran todas esas ideas absurdas de retención en la fuente que cargan al "contribuyente" con obligaciones ridículas por las que no recibe nada a cambio.







              Â¿LA POBREZA PROVIENE DE LA FALTA DE DINERO?        
    Para un niño es es fácil de creer que la pobreza proviene de la falta de dinero. Si a uno le dicen, "los ricos tienen mucha plata, los pobres poca plata" pues la inferencia lógica sería "pues la pobreza proviene de la falta de dinero". Adicionalmente si uno medio piensa el asunto, podría fácilmente concluir, que el problema se resolvería haciendo billetes para los pobres. Podríamos citar el intento de chiste "había una persona tan pobre, tan pobre que solo tenía plata" para explicar la falsedad de esta situación. Eso sin perjuicio que si el estado produce dinero, prende la maquinita de billetes, lo que está haciendo es una forma muy sutil de robo, como ya lo denunciaba Juan de Mariana en su libro sobre la mutación de la moneda. Una persona con dinero en una isla desierta cabría en el ejemplo del intento de chiste. Efectivamente ¿de qué me sirve tener un millón de dólares si no lo puedo cambiar por comida, bebida, refugio?

    Es así como para responder a la pregunta, la respuesta tajante es NO. La pobreza es la insatisfacción de ciertas necesidades, diferentes para cada persona, en cada situación, contexto. El dinero, en un contexto social, puede cambiarse por cosas que satisfagan necesidades pero no puede hacer que se produzcan esas cosas. Ni la expansión de la oferta monetaria, ni los créditos bancarios, ni nada puede hacerse si nadie produce. Muy por el contrario, si se descubre una forma de vivir -y las personas la acogen- que facilite el intercambio sin dinero y producen mucho, no necesitarán dinero para satisfacer sus necesidades. El dinero es un excelente invento para agilizar los intercambios, pero bien pueden existir otros medios para agilizarlo. Sin embargo, las tesis económicas actuales que se centran en un monetarismo y la centralización de la producción de dinero en los estados convierten al dinero en fin y no en medio. Efectivamente mi querido Keynes, haciendo billetes no vas a calmar el hambre de los pobres, pero sí la perversa avaricia de los gobernantes. 

    ¿ESCLAVOS DEL DINERO?
    La economía actual pretende someter y alienar mediante un exagerado culto al dinero. Es que la ciencia económica actual produce la alienación de la persona humana (Véase GARCÍA MUÑOZ, 2011). La visión económica actual parte de la idea que el ser humano es netamente un número que consumo y que la producción está fatalmente determinada (Véase GARCÍA MUÑOZ, 2011). Adicionalmente, al ser el dinero el medio por el cual se mueve el mercado, pues controlar el dinero en el mercado es una alternativa para que ese personaje adicto al consumo (la persona en su reducida visión) no dañe a los otros consumidores... más bien no deslegitime el poder del estado. Es así como la tesis de derecho y economía del santo de hoy 28 de Enero del profesor José Alpiniano nos centra en un punto esencial: "Esta visión aliena la personalidad humana en tanto que somete al hombre al imperio fatal de algo creado por él mismo: el mercado." (GARCÍA MUÑOZ, Derecho y Economía según Tomás de Aquino, Tesis Doctoral, 2011, pág. 131). Y si el mercado surge de intercambios con dinero, en la actualidad nuestra personalidad humana se encuentra alienada al dinero. 

    Así ve la economía actual
    al ser humano.

    Mediante la oferta dineraria, la producción de billetes, intervenciones macroeconómicas en las tasas de interés, control del aumento de los salarios, el incentivo o desincentivo de créditos para consumo, etc., no vamos a lograr satisfacer nuestras necesidades. De hecho, yo he vivenciado eso en términos prácticos. Una situación económica compleja no se resuelve por más sumas, restas, multiplicaciones o divisiones que se realicen con el dinero que se tiene. Es volver al problema que hablábamos en SOBRE EL DINERO un millón de dólares en una isla desierta no sirven para nada.

    La alienación económica, es decir, la confusión del dinero con la riqueza, se refleja también en el management o administración. Que el dinero al ser medio de cambio de todas las mercancías mida la riqueza no significa que sea la riqueza en sí. Es como decir que un edificio de 30 metros son 30 metros, no es un edificio. Sería como decir que el avalúo de ese edificio, sea ese edificio. Veamos cómo se ve esta problemática en el management.

     De acuerdo con Hamel y Prahalad (Prahalad QEPD es, entre otras, el creador de la idea "mercadeo en la base de la pirámide" que es aplicada, entre otros, por el profesor César Betancourt de la Universidad de la Sabana en el área de mercadeo) el rendimiento de una inversión se explica de la siguiente manera: "Ahora bien, el rendimiento de la inversión (o rendimiento de los activos netos, o rendimiento del capital empleado) tiene dos componentes: un numerador, que es la renta neta, y un denominador, que es la inversión, los activos netos o el capital empleado." (HAMEL & PRAHALAD, 1999, pág. 44). La estrategia común en la mayoría de los directivos es la reestructuración empresarial, ¿en qué consiste? En disminuir el nivel de gastos, costos y generalmente, la primera idea que se le viene a la cabeza a cualquiera -por más socialista que hubiese sido en su juventud- son los recortes de personal. ¿Por qué esta estrategia? Precisamente por un auto-engaño matemático, si recorto lo que pago en salarios podré, en mi división, ver cómo aumentan los rendimientos y en últimas auto-engañarme creyendo que por esto soy más rico. 

    ¿Esclavos de la economía?
    Pero ¿Qué consideran los autores Hamel y Prahalad frente a esa táctica de mejorar los rendimientos? Frente a esto plantean los citados autores lo siguiente: "A pesar de que quizás ha sido inevitable y en muchos casos loable, la reestructuración ha destruido vidas, hogares y comunidades en nombre de la eficacia y de la productividad" (HAMEL & PRAHALAD, 1999, pág. 44). Si una reestructuración pretende mostrar un número que dice que el rendimiento aumenta, pero destruye familias, hogares, etc., ¿no es eso muestra de la tesis central de Alpiniano sobre cómo la economía nos aliena? ¿Aumento de acciones a costa de destruir vidas? No es que la reestructuración sea mala en sí, sino que en muchos casos no es justa. Por ejemplo, cuando se despiden a tres empleados que trabajan intensamente y se deja a un cuarto con ese trabajo por el mismo salario ¿podemos decir que se aumentó la productividad? Dicen Hamel y Prahalad "la gestión del denominador [o sea reestructuración y recorte de personal] es un atajo contable para aumentar la productividad de los activos" (HAMEL & PRAHALAD, 1999, pág. 45). 


    A pesar de que en apariencia los rendimientos aumentan, simplemente por un "atajo matemático", esto no es necesariamente un bien para la empresa: "la reestructuración raramente da como resultado una mejora fundamental de la empresa. En el mejor de los casos sirve para ganar tiempo." (HAMEL & PRAHALAD, 1999, pág. 47). Es así como ese autoengaño bien podía producir efectos al corto plazo, pero no a mediano o a largo plazo en la valoración de las acciones:

    "Un estudio realizado entre dieciséis grandes empresas estadounidenses que llevaban, como mínimo, tres años en reestructuración, reveló que, aunque la reconversión normalmente mejoraba el precio de las acciones de la empresa, dicha mejora casi siempre tenía carácter temporal. Tres años después de iniciar la reestructuración, el precio de las acciones de las empresas encuestadas era, en promedio, incluso inferior a la tasa de crecimiento anterior al inicio del procedimiento de reestructuración."  (HAMEL & PRAHALAD, 1999, pág. 47)

    Sin embargo, no se trata de condenar a la reestructuración, que es una alternativa necesaria cuando en la empresa se forman estructuras injustas que limitan su eficiencia. Por ejemplo, que en una empresa de familia el hijo gerente gana lo mismo que su hermano que realiza una gestión operativa es un claro ejemplo de estructura injusta. En ese caso hay un desorden que no da al aporte del trabajo de cada uno su justa retribución. Además, debe ser posible reestructurar esa estructura injusta. A veces, como en el caso de las fusiones empresariales es necesario tolerar -por un tiempo- esa estructura injusta porque de lo contrario se quebraría y sería más injusto aún con todos. 

    CONCLUSIÓN INCONCLUSA.
    Tanto desde tesis doctorales como del management encontramos que se suele alienar al ser humano a costa de los números de la medida. Confundimos la riqueza con una forma de medirla y por eso, manipulamos su medida en aras de ver mejores resultados. La riqueza no es su medida. ¿Qué es entonces la riqueza? ¿Qué es entonces la pobreza? Para ello escribiremos dos cortos escritos uno sobre cómo el exceso de dinero se utiliza como robo y no genera riqueza y dos sobre lo que es la riqueza.

    OTROS ARTÍCULOS
    1. EL ALISPRUZ : ¿POR QUÉ SURGE EL DINERO?
    2. EL ALISPRUZ : SOBRE EL DINERO
    3. EL ALISPRUZ : ¿QUÉ PASA SI HACEMOS BILLETES?

    BIBLIOGRAFÍA


    GARCÍA MUÑOZ, J. A. (2011). Derecho y Economía según Tomás de Aquino, Tesis Doctoral. Pamplona, España: Universidad de Navarra. Facultad de Filosofía .

    HAMEL, G., & PRAHALAD, C. K. (1999). Compitiendo por el Futuro. En H. B. Press, La gestión en la incertidumbre (R. Aparicio Aldazabal, Trad., págs. 37-56). Bilbao, España: Ediciones Deusto S.A.

    PUBLICIDAD EXTERNA



                      
    Tendencias del Empaque Flexible

    Las mas marcadas son:

    Gradual sustitucion del aluminio: Ya sea por costos o por politicas internas la mayoria de empresas estan sustituyendo la barrera del aluminio en lamina por la de los metalizados y coextruidos, la barrera de un metalizado puede llegara ser superior a las del aliminio a la hora de presentarse en el punto de venta pues en el manejo y traslado se puede quebrar o agujerear el aluminio en lamina (foil) lo que anula su caracteristica de barrera.

    Coextrusiones mas tecnologicas: Con la nueva generacion de coextrusoras se puede formar laminas de materiales compuestos que son altamente superiores a los monocapa en barrerras y rigidez asi como en precio por unidad de venta. Las coextruisiones pueden llegar a sustituir a las laminaciones, como por ejemplo la bolsa de leche para UHT de coextruision que da tres meses de vida a la leche, aun que esta por debajo del tetra pack en vida de anaquel el costo es bastante mas bajo.

    Incremento de la impresion en Flexografia: La mejora en calidad de esta tecnica de impresion y la incursion de materiales nuevos que sustituyen a las tradicionales planchas fotosensibles ha permitido que empresas que no tienen requerimiento de alta grafica migren a este sistema por sus bajos costos de fotomecanica y rapidez de desarrollo.

    Polipropilenos: Existen muchos desarrrollos nuevos en este campo por parte de las empresas fabricantes como la Mobil, por ejemplo desde hace años tienen materiales de baja memoria (quese mantienen doblados) y con distintas apariencias, sin embargo su porduccion aun es limitada y de alto precio por lo que aun no estan disponibles en la region.

    Descenso en los gramajes de las estructuras: Se esta trabajando fuertemente en desarrollar materiales mas delgados que hagan lo mismo que los materiales actuales, esto baja costo y reduce en impacto ambiental por unidad vendida.
              Empaque flexible y sus materiales mas comunes        
    Breve descripcion del Empaque Flexible:

    Se llama empaque flexible los materiales que se pueden transformar en laminas, que ya sea solos o en conjunto (estructuras) y que se presentan en primera instancia como rollos o bobinas para ser transformados en bolsas o pliegos con la finalidad de contener un producto para mantener o resguardar su integridad.
    Regularmente es usado como envase primario pero tambien se puede presentar como empaque secundario (bolsa docenera) y hasta embalaje (sacos).

    Materiales que se utilizan en el empaque flexible:

    Dentro de los materiales que al momento se utilizan y que se prevee a un futuro proximo y lejano se seguiran usando prevalecen los polimeros (polietilenos de varias densidades, poliesteres, polipropilenos, PVC etc.), el aluminio (como lamina o metalizacion), los papeles, el celofan, las parafinas, los adhesivos (con y sin solvente) las tintas y los solventes.

    Polietilenos: Estos constituyen la mayoria (en porcentaje por peso) de los materiales flexibles usados en el mundo, son exclelentes para laminar materiales, dar cuerpo a las estructuras y para sellado, lamentablemente no ofrecen ninguna barrera significativa al vapor de agua y al oxigeno a menos que sean modificados con otros componentes o polimeros de otros tipos durante su proceso de extrusion. Para empaque flexible se pueden extruir por cortina y por soplado (blow extrussion) que puede a su vez ser por proceso de una sola capa o de varias capas en cuyo caso se llama coextrusion.

    Polipropilenos: Conforme han avanzado tecnologicamente se han converrtido en la tendencia a seguir, se han desarrollado altas barreras, bajos grosores, mejoras en la resistencia y mejores apariencias ademas del precio, se podria decir que son los materiales que dominan la industria del empaque en cuanto a desarrollos. Su limitante radica en que son muy susceptibles a deformarse en el proceso de transformacion, empaque y sellado por su sensibilidad a la temperatura, requieren de maquinaria de empaque de alta presicion.

    Poliesteres: Tambien llamados Nylons (por ser la marca del poliesterde Dupont) se destacan por su resistencia a las altas temperaturas a la hora de sellar y la hora de congelar, poseen buenas barreras cuando son metalizados y exelente maquinabilidad ademas de buena resistencia al rasgado y ponchadura.

    Aluminio: La mejor de las barreras, aun que esta depende en gran parte de el manejo que se la va a dar al producto (muy facilmente se fractura en los dobleces) y a la calidad del productor pues presentan una cantidad definida de agujeros (pin holes) por metro cuadrado y cuando esta supera los estandards de la industria la barrera se compromete. Por ser un metal su precio es muy alto en comparacion con los demas materiales flexibles.

    Adhesivos: Son de dos tipos, los con solventes que se usan para industria que no requiere contacto con alimentos y altos niveles de adhhesion (bond) y los sin solventes que son de relativa reciente utilizacion y que son usados para unir sustratos (capas de materiales) de estrucuturas para la industria de alimentos.

    Papeles: Sirven para dar aspecto, ayudar a eliminar memoria (que el material se resista a permanecer doblado), dar cuerpo y como capas absorventes. Cuando son brillantes para impresion llevan por fuera un recubrimiento de caolin, loshay de distintos tipos como kraft, tissue etc.

    Celofanes: Se fabrican a partir de cululosa (similar al papel) y antes del surgimiento de los poliesteres y polipropilenos eran la opcion que habia para poder empacar alimentos, actualmente estan en desaparicion dado que por sus carcteristicas y precio no puede competir con con materiales mas modernos su demanda es menor y ya hay solo pocos productores.

    Parafinas: Estas se usan como capas sellantes en caliente y antes de la tecnologia de los adhesivos se usaba para laminar sustratos para la industria de alimentos pero daban un bond muy debil. Su barrera es baja y son muy sensibles a la temperatura.

    Tintas: Son pigmentos de color que disueltos en un solvente se adhieren a la superficie del empaque (ya sea por fuera o por dentro) para dar los efectos deseados en la impresion. En conjunto con los costos de desarrollos de artes graficas son la parte mas cara gramo por gramo de costo total del empaque. Hay tintas genericas o basicas (cyan, magenta, amarillo y negro) de las que se forman todas las demas y tintas directas como las que son emblematicas de una marca como el rojo Marlboro. Hay tambien tintas para rotograbado y flexografia que son las dos formas de impresion industriales en nuestra region centro americana, hay empresas que estan ya ofreciendo impresion inkjet para empaque flexible.



              DeKalb County Employees Forced to Work in Bed Bug-Infested Building        
    If an employee is injured on the job in Georgia, the employee is generally entitled to medical, rehabilitation, and financial benefits to help the employee return to work. However, an “injury” compensable under Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Act has to meet certain requirements. A compensable injury is limited to an injury by accident arising out of […]
              Word of the Day: Options        
    Options A contract giving an investor a right to buy (call) or sell (put) a fixed amount of shares (usually 100 shares) of a given stock (or indexes and commodities) at a specified price within a limited time period (usually three, six, or nine months). The purchaser hopes that the stock's price will go up (if he bought a call) or down (if he bought a put) by an amount sufficient to provide a profit when he sells the option. Source: www.environmentalinvestors.com
              Selective Amnesia of Reagan’s Legacy        

    Amazingly and audaciously, the mainstream media and liberal pundocracy has created a narrative that President Obama’s newly found centrism is molded in the inspirational optimism of President Reagan.  This narrative seems confusing, when many liberals excoriate Reagan’s economic policy as the grim reaper of capitalism coming to instill all the inequities of the free market.


    Reagan, like the Tea Party, believed heavily in the primacy of the individual over the government and limited self-government constrained by the Constitution.  
    Reagan, in his “A Time for Choosing” speech, echoed these sentiments by saying, “A government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they know when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. They also knew, those Founding Fathers, that outside of its legitimate functions, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector of the economy.”


    On the flipside, President Obama in his State of the Union Address enunciated the greater need for “investment” (i.e. government spending and subsidies) wrapped in the rhetorical trappings of American exceptionalism and greatness.   This deceptive rhetoric attempted to mask the policy that undergirded Obama’s State of the Union address which called for more dubious government subsidies for green energy and an increase in spending for high-speed rail boondoggles.  If American citizens were groping and longing for high-speed rail,  wouldn’t it be flourishing by now after nearly 30 years since the French launched their Paris-Lyon TGV line?

     
    If there is no demand for these industries, how else can government make them appealing, but by way of force, coercion or wasteful subsidizing hoping to create a market for these currently unwanted and inefficient products?

     
    Are we to forget the GM bailout,  Dodd-Frank financial regulation and an intrusive government intervention into our healthcare system?  Do President Obama’s policies even close to matching his own rhetoric in the State of the Union, let alone Reagan’s?


    These pontificators may be well-intentioned, but it is more than condescending to attempt to link President Obama with the former President merely based on oratorical flourishes and Reaganesque-style optimism.  Their ideas on the proper function and role of the government stand in stark contrast.


    As AEI’s Steven Hayward insightfully notes, Reagan believed that modern liberalism unequivocally left him.  

    Reagan's invocation of Paine, as well as his quotation of John Winthrop's "City upon a Hill" sermon, expresses the core of his optimism and belief in the dynamism of American society, a dynamism that can have unconservative effects. But he explained his use of Paine in conservative terms way back in his 1965 autobiography, Where's the Rest of Me? "The classic liberal," Reagan wrote, "used to be the man who believed the individual was, and should be forever, the master of his destiny. That is now the conservative position. The liberal used to believe in freedom under law. He now takes the ancient feudal position that power is everything. He believes in a stronger and stronger central government, in the philosophy that control is better than freedom. The conservative now quotes Thomas Paine, a longtime refuge of the liberals: 'Government is a necessary evil; let us have as little of it as possible.'"

    Maybe It is time for President Obama to return to some of Founder's writings in order to rediscover his inner centrism.  He can begin with Thomas Paine.

     


              Kilmarnock's the hub for tri Nations        

    Young people will form a six-day scrum in Kilmarnock next week to explore how the sport of rugby can bring together diverse individuals, communities and cultures. The overarching theme of the event is 'tackling limiting assumptions', those held by individuals about what they can achieve personally and those held by people who assume individuals with learning difficulties cannot play rugby or be part of a team.


              Had an awesome day today! Stayed within my ...        
    Had an awesome day today! Stayed within my calorie limit and got some exercise in. Cant wait for tommorows weigh in!
              Book publishing site reports that Amazon is aggressive in deleting less-than-valid book reviews of self-published books         

    A site called “Just Publishing” offers what looks like good advice to new authors especially with self-published books, especially POD.

    “Why did Amazon delete my book reviews?  Because there was a problem with how you got the reviews”, link.

    I can certainly understand that paying for reviews is unethical (although you would wonder if people pay for Yelp and Angie's List, which both companies adamantly say you cannot).

    I can understand that family is off limits.  But the article also implies social media friends is a no-no.  That’s getting difficult, and I hadn’t heard that before.  People who network enough to sell their books the old fashioned way probably would attract quality Facebook friends and Instagram and twitter followers.  Such a policy would sound a bit self-defeating.

    It is true that there are industry statistics on the expected reasonable ratio of books sold to reviews – it’s high.



    I’ve noticed something else about the POD business.  POD companies often mark the list prices high, which will be only slightly discounted on the Amazon and BN sites, and perhaps some others.  Then they encourage authors to try copies themselves by buying hundreds of copies at maybe 50% off or so.  An author who really wants to operate her own wholesale (with bookstores) and retail (with consumers) could mark them up to about 60% or so and make a profit.  But that would be so time consuming that the author wouldn’t have time for new material.

    It’s frankly very difficult to sell books, or sell advertising on a blog, unless you have built a reputation first in some niche that relates to something people will pay for.  Fiction sometimes provides an exception, but even then it is often niche-like.  Hopefully it’s legitimate (not porn). Given the “gofundme” culture online today (which has become much more prominent than it was two decades ago when I got into this) there is probably opportunity to “sell” in the special needs area – but I have my own psychological and perhaps moral qualms about this.



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              Post-apocalyptic survival RPG 'NEO Scavenger' just snuck onto the Play Store        

    Popular PC survival roguelike NEO Scavenger has just been released onto the Play Store, and you can try it out for free for an unlimited amount of time. While the demo has limited some features, you can unlock the full version for $9.99 through the game's only in-app purchase. So if you are looking for a new roguelike that allows you to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, NEO Scavenger may just be what you are looking for.

    Read More

    Post-apocalyptic survival RPG 'NEO Scavenger' just snuck onto the Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


              Avoiding Death by A Thousand Cuts        
    By:  Andrew Johnson, Ph.D. Time.  You never seem to have enough of it and it is the great equalizer of companies of any size whether they realize it or not.  In a startup, you have a limited amount of time to get everything done so that you have a strong product launch before your funds […]
              Vivo Internet Pré        
    A Vivo acabou de lançar pacotes de dados para seus clientes pré-pagos, disponíveis tanto para quem tem uma linha de voz quanto para quem adquirir o kit de modem mais linha exclusiva para dados.
    São 3 opções de pacotes:
    1. Vivo Internet Diário, com um custo de R$12,00 e limite de tráfego de 150MB;
    2. Vivo Internet Semanal, com um custo de R$35,00 e limite de tráfego de 250MB;
    3. Vivo Internet Mensal, com um custo de R$130,00 e limite de tráfego de 1GB.
    Em todos os casos, caso se atinja o limite de tráfego a velocidade cairá para 128kbps.
    Para ativar o pacote de sua linha pré-paga, envie a palavra "DIARIO", "SEMANAL" ou "MENSAL" por SMS para o número 8200. O sistema enviará um SMS de confirmação que deverá ser respondido com a palavra "SIM".
    Os pacotes, após ativados, não podem ser cancelados.
    Na minha opinião os preços estão um pouco salgados, mas trata-se de uma boa maneira de manter-se conectado, por exemplo, numa viagem de férias e não ficar dependendo do WiFi caro dos hotéis...
    Mais informações podem ser encontradas no site da Vivo.
              Comment on Dear QRG… Am I A Misogynist? #DearQRG by Henry        
    Well the others have said it all. Feminists are rarely quite silly enough to openly claim that there are millions of men who seriously hate all women. But they work their way towards implying it. We "see evidence of misogyny" in adverts, wage-gaps etc - though how this works remains unspecified. Anyone who opposes unlimited abortion rights for women is *definitely* a misogynist, just for disagreeing with them. Though feminists seem to use misogyny interchangeably with "sexism", they never define the word. I know this, as I've asked many times and just get a mystifying silence in reply. One feminist once lectured me about how you can tell a misogynist because he's "awkward with women". Of course! That's what misogyny is! Just her vague impression of a bloke she doesn't get on with, through no fault of her own (ahem) If you question whether misogyny exists, you probably a misogynist - which tells you everything you need to know: it's one big confidence trick. And feminists have persuaded some ordinary men and women of this nonsense. They use the word in all media with tedious repetitiveness. .... aaaaand the writer of the letter apparently thinks his doubts over feminists' version of male privilege is misogyny too. I don't know what to say to you, mate. You're having doubts about something you've been told. You really think that means you're full of hate? Blimey
               A conexão e o silêncio ou Desconectar para Conectar