Notes on a web journey

posted on: 19 July 2009

Paolo Borsellino

filed under: @ 12:38:03

Seventeen years ago Paolo Borsellino was killed.

Car bomb image - Palermo

Following new evidence seems like the investigation has been opened again. Mafia, politics, secret services, the history of Italy is filled with unexplained killings and their unnamed, untouchable masterminds. As usual, the indifference makes the difference. When all of us, the people, will finally wake up then things may start to really change, but until then...we get what we deserve.


posted on: 13 March 2009

Arms trade treaty

filed under: @ 14:08:23

Despite the suffering and poverty fuelled by irresponsible arms transfers, there is still no comprehensive, binding international treaty on the trade in conventional arms. Since 2003, the Control Arms Campaign has been calling for a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), a legally binding international instrument, which will draw together and consolidate states' current obligations under international law.

Arms Trade Treaty


posted on: 04 February 2009

Politicians camp training

filed under: @ 10:21:03

An estimated 2.7 million people are scattered in camps across western Sudan, dependent on an international community that has no clear idea what to do with them, no sure way of protecting them and has repeatedly failed to find a solution. Although the violence in Darfur has fallen significantly since its peak five years ago, both its victims and those who help them remain trapped in a cycle of fear, despair and powerlessness.

No way out for nearly 3 million

I have an idea. We, people of all nations, should demand that anyone that wants to begin a career in politics should first work in a refugee camp for two years at the lowest possible level, cleaning waste and dressing wounds. After that, they would, hopefully, be fit to begin making decisions involving other people lives.


posted on: 15 April 2008

Of bad choices

filed under: @ 09:56:02

My deepest condolences to my country for one of the worst choices ever. The numbers are now officially inverted, not 21st but 12th century.


posted on: 26 July 2007


filed under: @ 08:57:12

Americans need to educate themselves, from elementary school onward, about what their country has done abroad. And they need to play a more active role in ensuring that what the United States does abroad is not merely in keeping with a foreign policy elite's sense of realpolitik but also with the American public's own sense of American values. Because at their core, those values are sound. That is why, even in places where you'll find virulent anti-Americanism, you'll also find enormous affection for things American.

Why Do They Hate Us?

I saw her nearly every time I went to dinner in the chow hall at my base in Iraq. She wore an unrecognizable tan uniform, so I couldn't really tell whether she was a soldier or a civilian contractor. The thing that stood out about her, though, wasn't her strange uniform but the fact that nearly half her face was severely scarred. Or, rather, it had more or less melted, along with all the hair on that side of her head. She was always alone, and I never saw her talk to anyone. Members of my platoon had seen her before but had never really acknowledged her. Then, on one especially crowded day in the chow hall, she sat down next to us.

Shock Troops


posted on: 02 October 2006

Lex Gabinia

filed under: @ 09:50:21

IN the autumn of 68 B.C. the world's only military superpower was dealt a profound psychological blow by a daring terrorist attack on its very heart. Rome's port at Ostia was set on fire, the consular war fleet destroyed, and two prominent senators, together with their bodyguards and staff, kidnapped.The incident, dramatic though it was, has not attracted much attention from modern historians. But history is mutable. An event that was merely a footnote five years ago has now, in our post-9/11 world, assumed a fresh and ominous significance. For in the panicky aftermath of the attack, the Roman people made decisions that set them on the path to the destruction of their Constitution, their democracy and their liberty. One cannot help wondering if history is repeating itself.

Pirates of the Mediterranean

An interesting article, except that, after more then two thousand years, I'd expect people to be more aware, to learn from history, to finally understand that what needs to be fixed are the causes and not the effects. Wrong..possibly people are less aware now then in Roman times, even if today it's much easier to find news and explanations of current political and economical affairs.


posted on: 21 September 2006

Lebanon war

filed under: @ 19:00:06

Watching Lebanon

It's a disturbing article, food for thought. I know that that's the way many people think but I really don't see how it could ever bring anything positive along. It seems to me as if everybody actively involved is avoiding to see the causes of all this, only concentrating on the effects, as I never tire to say.


posted on: 12 September 2006

Deceit and self deception

filed under: @ 08:57:02

In the 1970s, a Harvard class taught by evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers ignited a controversy that would escalate into the “sociobiology wars”. His papers provided a Darwinian basis for understanding complex human activities and relationships. Across town at MIT, revolutionary linguist Noam Chomsky had earned a reputation as a leading opponent of the Vietnam War. Throughout those pivotal years, and in the following decades, the two explored similar ideas from different perspectives. Long aware of each other's work, they had never met until a couple of months ago, when they sat down to compare notes on some common interests: deceit and self-deception.

Noam Chomsky + Robert Trivers
via The Nonist


posted on: 02 August 2006

1980: Bologna

filed under: @ 19:29:07

Bologna's train station bombing - 1980 - Italy

On the 2nd of August, 1980 a bomb exploded in the train station of Bologna at 10:25 am, killing 85 people and injuring two hundred more.

Today, on the 26th Anniversary of the massacre, the masterminds behind the bombing are still unknown.

1980: Bologna


posted on: 19 July 2006

Remembering Paolo Borsellino

filed under: @ 20:10:02

Fourteen years ago, in 1992, Paolo Borsellino was killed by a car bomb.

Car bomb image - Palermo

In a Country where all kind of political prevarication goes unpunished but the World Football Cup gets thousands of people on the street there is a strong need to remember and regain some sort of dignity and understanding of what is important in life.


posted on: 13 July 2006

Guantanamo and Geneva

filed under: @ 10:56:07

What do they have in common? Not much, apparently..

On the BBC: detainees to get Geneva rights

All US military detainees, including those at Guantanamo Bay, are to be treated in line with the minimum standards of the Geneva Conventions.

Daniel Dell'Orto, a defence department lawyer who was the first to testify, said there were about 1,000 detainees in US military custody around the world. Guantanamo Bay holds an estimated 450. Mr Dell'Orto did not say where the others were being held.

The new Pentagon policy applies only to detainees being held by the military, and not to those in CIA custody.

It is the year 2006, isn't it?..sometimes I believe we are living in a time warp..


posted on: 16 June 2006


filed under: @ 09:55:32

On The Guardian: disappeared, but not forgotten


posted on: 15 June 2006

Armaments, Disarmament and International Security

filed under: @ 18:53:28

Armaments, Disarmament and International Security:
SIPRI Yearbook 2006

The Chapter 8 is about military expenditure and makes me think about a previous post.


posted on: 01 June 2006

The wages of chaos

filed under: @ 09:35:21

On the Guardian: wages of chaos

As usual the people has to pay for all kind of political and economical reasons. I doubt that anybody, except the warlords and the powerful businessmen, understands what's going on. Western governments play their games and then the effects are felt all over the world. Famine, disease, poverty, desperation, illegal immigration. Fix the causes, don't patch the effects.


posted on: 09 April 2006


filed under: @ 13:33:42

The Economist cover page on Berlusconi

Basta in Italian means enough and I believe change is overdue.


posted on: 06 April 2006

Berlusconi vs. Coglioni

filed under: @ 09:40:12

Berlusconi under fire, another example of intelligence and decorousness..

I'm proud to be one of the "coglioni" that will NOT vote for Berlusconi.


posted on: 31 March 2006

Rise and fall?

filed under: @ 19:43:23

On Newsweek: rise and fall

I hope common sense (the fall) will prevail otherwise my Country really deserves what she's going to get.


posted on: 21 March 2006

Terror Insurance

filed under: @ 16:02:43

On the New York Times: terror insurance

Is this the 21st century? Sometimes it feels rather like the 12th century..except for the insurance, which is a modern scam.


posted on: 18 March 2006

Cunning vs. intelligence

filed under: @ 09:55:23

On the Guardian: Berlusconi is the devil

"Berlusconi is a dangerous man to become entrapped with. He deals in the dark sides of Italian political life. His party, Forza Italia, worked tirelessly to ensure that it inherited the mafia vote from the corpse of the Christian Democrats. His financial tentacles have abused and disfigured Italian political life. He regards the law to be malleable, negotiable and corruptible."

To me as an Italian the problem is that Berlusconi was voted by the Italian people even if many knew what he was involved in and how he made his money. In Italy there is a tendency to call a thief "clever" if he's not caught, to confuse cunning and slyness with intelligence. Now we all have to pay the price for this.


posted on: 11 March 2006

Low Italy

filed under: @ 19:19:48

The sad Italian reality: Tipping Italy

I live abroad and have no chance to avoid the shame of being associated to what the Italian Government calls its policy. They always say that they represent Italians, I feel offended by what they do and by who is supposed to represent me. People that mistake personal beliefs for a Country point of view. People that ignored a huge amount of citizens in the streets of Rome condemning the war in Iraq, for example. People that consider a Country as a company, to be run by managers. Except I'm NOT an employee of my Country, I'm a citizen, I cannot be fired from being Italian, the people supposedly representing me, on the other end, CAN be fired from their posts, they are employees of all Italians. Unfortunately I don't think there is a chance for people like that to listen or be willing to change because to do that requires too much courage and the choices they make are the result of fear.


posted on: 11 March 2006

Old men rule in aging Italy

filed under: @ 09:45:39

On Reuters: old men rule in aging Italy

A very good article, there should be many more like this, in Italy is almost impossible to do and say anything anymore. The world is changing very fast and Italy is just sitting and watching stuck in a twilight zone.


posted on: 09 March 2006

New friends

filed under: @ 13:55:45

On the Guardian: Bush's new best friends


posted on: 28 February 2006

Tessa Jowell and Berlusconi

filed under: @ 19:05:23

On the Guardian: Jowell denies bribe

Apparently acting irresponsibly has consequences to pay, at least outside Italy..


posted on: 18 February 2006

T-shirts and cartoons

filed under: @ 10:36:52

Update - 2006/02/19: Italian Quits Over Cartoons and
Italy cartoon row minister quits

On the Guardian: Nine killed in Libya over cartoon

The Italian minister that said is going to wear the T-shirt with the cartoons shouldn't be a minister at all. To work for a Country requires historic knowledge that that guy doesn't have, requires a degree of professionality that that guy never even knew existed. I'm Italian which unfortunately means it's also my fault for having people like that representing me, altough I did not vote them. Not that I think the rage sparked in February 2006 by some cartoons published in September 2005 (a decision that shows a serious lack of understanding and responsability from the newspaper editor, anyway) has anything to do with the cartoons really, it's just an excuse to manipulate opinion and create unrest used by people with the usual personal power agenda. I don't see any difference between the Italian minister and the manipulators, they are all the same, just trying to get whatever is it that they want through deception and violence. The same old scheme, repeated over and over all along human history...will we ever learn and change? The difference in the World is between people that have too much and people that have nothing. That's the same in the West, East, Middle-East and wherever else. Religion is a personal choice that should not prevent people from coexist peacefully and together create a better division of wealth and resources to assure dignity to everybody.


posted on: 16 February 2006

UN on Guantanamo

filed under: @ 19:02:37

On the BBC: UN calls for Guantanamo closure
(link to full UN report in PDF)

Finally..although I doubt it's going to make a difference.

Update 2006/02/17: US attacks UN Guantanamo report and
Judge's anger at US torture


posted on: 07 February 2006

Brothers in arms

filed under: @ 18:25:32

On the Guardian: Brothers in arms.


posted on: 23 January 2006

When George Met Jack

filed under: @ 10:27:46

When George Met Jack

It's always the same everywhere, scratching each other back. Will we ever see someone that can stand on his own feet?


posted on: 19 January 2006

There Is No War On Terror

filed under: @ 15:11:27

On AlertNet:

There Is No War On Terror


posted on: 18 January 2006

Darfur rape

filed under: @ 20:30:23

On the Guardian:

The rape of Darfur


posted on: 20 December 2005

Greasy oil

filed under: @ 19:02:08

Wherever there is oil..:

West African oil deals


posted on: 07 December 2005

Anything goes

filed under: @ 10:25:58

Ignoring everybody's questions Rice signs US-Romania bases deal showing once more very little respect. The most common excuse for this behaviour is that "intelligence services must be able to do their job" but what I think is that the simple fact that there is a need for intelligence service spying and plotting means that something is wrong. I'm not talking only about the USA but about all Nations. Every Country, all over the world, needs huge amounts of money to keep the security around its President running and avoid assassination. Does this sound like a sensible thing? Why it must be like that? Just because for five thousand years has never changed it doesn't mean it could not change. It's up to us all and if it's not...then we are a much less intelligent species then we give ourselves credit for.


posted on: 06 December 2005

Rendition and torture

filed under: @ 10:12:12

Talking about it doesn't help. I don't believe that anybody in the Bush administration is able to understand that when the end justifies the means everybody loses. They keep thinking that somehow they are different from the rest of the people in the world and, not being able to learn, persevere on a road that brings to nothing. I don't see much difference between "them" and their "enemies". I don't like either.


posted on: 04 December 2005

Extraordinary rendition

filed under: @ 15:31:07

Previous posts on the same argument:


posted on: 02 December 2005


filed under: @ 09:55:35

When East Timor obtained its independence from Portugal in 1975, Australia had an agreement with Indonesia. Now, East Timor is independent, so: E Timor, Australia strike oil deal.

Also, the only route available for nuclear submarines is a deep-sea trench off the East Timorese coast.

Strategic position and oil, a deadly combination.


posted on: 07 October 2005

Holy men..

filed under: @ 09:17:42

After “only” 23 years.. Calvi murder trial opens in Rome.

Then more madness from people that are trying their best to drag all of us into a pit they are digging with their fears: Bush warns of “war on humanity”. Do not patch the effects, fix the causes.Except, really, what could you expect from someone that apparently said: God told me to end the tyranny in Iraq..

Update: White House denies Bush God claim

Second update: Bush God comments “not literal”


posted on: 04 October 2005

EU and Turkey

filed under: @ 09:33:06

I hope the talks will go in the right direction and Turkey will become part of Europe.

I think that a new Europe has the opportunity to act as the mediator between irresponsible Western policies and desperate Middle-East actions. The way of thinking of the political generation coming out of the "Cold War" is obsolete and it's time to replace it with some more balanced and farther reaching ideas. Maybe all together we can work to create a different way of relating with each other, cooperating instead of competing.

I personally really don't like to hear talks of clash of civilizations (if we were "civilized" we shouldn't clash anyway) and religions being used as an excuse to obtain power. All of that reminds me of the 12th century and makes me wonder if, in the year 2005, there really are people that still think so narrowly or if it's just the usual smoke screen used to cover the real intentions. Both scenarios add to my misgivings that human beings actually are an intelligent form of life. ANY religion should be personal and private and should not be imposed in any way on others. Talking about which religion is better doesn't make any sense and, most of the times, it brings to misunderstanding and conflict. How can something based on faith be discussed in a logical way? Everyone should be left free to choose. The State with all its rules can take care of social interactions and inside it every citizen has the right to believe in what he decides. Neither the law of state nor that of religion can assure that anyone would behave better because the choice is up to each one of us every single time. Guidelines are important but the ultimate choice rests on personal decision.


posted on: 25 September 2005

Anti-war protests

filed under: @ 10:08:33

Anti-war protests:


posted on: 22 September 2005

Hurricane aid

filed under: @ 13:57:49

An article on the Guardian:

Hurricane aid used “to test out rightwing social policies”


posted on: 13 August 2005

Starving on Mars ?

filed under: @ 09:54:45

Still thinking about the article on hunger in Africa which I posted about yesterday:

Even if there is a scientific return from all that money spending, I still think health care and education on Earth should be of a higher priority then checking out Mars and flying around space. Why don't we fix our planet before we go destroying others? And, last but not least, the contractor is basically the largest "defense contractor" (arms manufacturer) of the world:

An excerpt from the Wiki on Lockheed Martin:

" Lockheed Martin won the contract to build the Joint Strike Fighter in 2001 with its X-35 design. This is the most important fighter aircraft procurement project since the F-16, with an initial order of 3,000 worth $200bn before export orders "

That's it, 200 billion dollars, they only need to find another 100 and they'll be able to halve the number of starving children in Africa by 2015. Well, since we (human beings) are obviously NOT an intelligent form of life maybe on Mars we'll meet one..and probably proceed to blast it into thousands of pieces.


posted on: 12 August 2005

Occupation, hunger and war budget

filed under: @ 14:43:42

An interesting article: It is not only Iraq that is occupied

Then this:

From the above article:

" In order to reach the target of halving hunger by 2015, at least $303bn (£167bn) must be invested - a prospect the report describes as daunting "

So I went looking around and these are some of the facts I found:

" Yet the costs for Pentagon operations are likely to pile up in years ahead. By 2010, war expenses might total $600 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Much depends on when - and how many - US military personnel can be withdrawn from the Iraqi theater of operations "

" The best analysis of the US military costs of a war in Iraq is the one provided by Professor William Nordhaus. His estimates, based on work from the Congressional Budget Office and others, suggests that the cost of a short and successful war would be around US$50 billion. Professor Nordhaus estimates that if the war became a matter of protracted urban warfare, then the US military costs would climb to about US$140 billion. It is important to note that these costs are for the conflict itself and do not include any consideration of the, likely larger, costs of peacekeeping after the conflict "

Now, how come that it's apparently possible to find all that money to spend on a war but it becomes a daunting prospect if the money is to be spent on starving children?


posted on: 12 July 2005


filed under: @ 09:18:30

An affiliation of science-minded journalists getting their blog on. We're covering the ideas and deeds of the G8 summit (hence the name) from on-site and from around the world.


posted on: 07 July 2005

London blasts

filed under: @ 21:31:49

The news are still unclear but no matter who or why, the madness is the same and it goes on. What else is there to say? It's always us, the people, to pay the price and probably our responsability lies in having let events escalate this far because now it's going to be more and more difficult to bring balance back. A lot is wrong all around and the solution would call for a kind of clear minded vision that I don't see in any of the “world leaders”. Everybody seems to me too busy trying to impose his own ideas, no space for understanding and forward thinking.


posted on: 06 July 2005

The CIA - Italy saga continues

filed under: @ 14:25:35

There is not much that I can say, just read the articles:


posted on: 04 July 2005

US interests first

filed under: @ 18:34:33

On the Guardian:

which should send a clear message to all those that think the same way:

if everyone always puts his interests first how will anyone ever agree on anything ?


posted on: 04 July 2005


filed under: @ 14:09:27

This article is two weeks old but it explains what “rendition” is.

Connecting that with the previous articles I posted about CIA and Italy, if we assume that the Italian government knew about the “rendition” of Abu Omar we have also to assume that his fate was known to them and accepted. Which, in turn, means that the Italian government is ready to let torture be used on a person suspected of something. Well, I suppose that Italy has gone back to the 11th century and that soon Witch Hunts and Inquisition will be part of everyday life as it used to be.


posted on: 03 July 2005


filed under: @ 10:15:36


Every single day, 30,000 children die, needlessly, of extreme poverty.

On July 6th, we finally have the opportunity to stop that shameful statistic.

8 world leaders, gathered in Scotland for the G8 summit, will be presented with a workable plan to double aid, drop the debt and make the trade laws fair. If these 8 men agree, then we will become the generation that made poverty history.

But they'll only do it if enough people tell them to.

We don't want your money - we want you!

Visit these sites to find out more:


posted on: 01 July 2005

Round three

filed under: @ 09:47:21

Round four of the CIA - Italy match:


posted on: 30 June 2005

James Bond vs Austin Powers

filed under: @ 09:35:26

The CIA in Italy saga goes on:

The abduction of Nasr, who court documents say was flown to Egypt and tortured there, threatens to rattle U.S.-Italian relations three months after U.S. troops shot dead an Italian intelligence agent in Iraq without facing disciplinary action.

I don't care much for the relations between US and Italian governments, what leaves me wondering is the fact that it's considered normal and right to kidnap someone anywhere in the world for whatever reason and torture him/her in the name of...I'm not clear in the name of what.

The CIA has broad powers to abduct terrorism suspects overseas and transfer them to third countries under a classified directive signed by President Bush days after the Sept. 11 attacks, U.S. officials have said.

Terrorism suspects? Wasn't "Innocent until proven guilty" ? This is VERY dangerous stuff to let happen, these are idiots steering the boat and can only get it stranded. Is the “Might is Right” theory, spiced up by the “No moral comparison” belief..

On to nicer things, Database-driven tree structures with XML and XSLT is an article that I found interesting and has a few useful links.

From this article by Joe Clark came Roger Johanson and Douglas Bowman articles.


posted on: 26 June 2005


filed under: @ 11:53:56, it goes on.

Apparently is a matter of procedure, beat them first then ask or ask and then beat them?

This Parmalat stuff is another thing Italy is sadly famous for:

creative accounting..


posted on: 25 June 2005

Territorial squabbles..

filed under: @ 09:16:02

“They” are apparently chasing each other around:

“They” MUST be watching too many movies..and all of us simple citizens can only hope not to get caught in the professional secret web “they” weave all over. Maybe it's so secret that even “they” have difficulties to see it ?

Is all this idiocy ever gonna end ?


posted on: 18 June 2005

Development (?)

filed under: @ 08:43:21

Multimillion contracts to add a wing to the latest American resort:

..and the contractors are the usual suspects..


posted on: 27 May 2005

..and the rich get richer

filed under: @ 14:32:05

Another interesting article on the Guardian :

For a more comprehensive understanding the Guardian has a section dedicated to International aid and development


posted on: 26 May 2005

Oil, oil, oil

filed under: @ 09:38:56

From the Guardian:


posted on: 15 April 2005

Oil for food

filed under: @ 19:04:52

Oil (or some other resource) is the reason for most of what happens nowadays in the world, over and over:

Oil for Food (BBC) plenty of links from there

Everybody should be able to see it, right?



posted on: 01 April 2005

More and more

filed under: @ 09:26:43

Step by step they are getting everywhere:

Today is the 1st of April but those are not April's Fool jokes..or maybe they are and I cannot appreciate the humor.


posted on: 18 January 2005

Not enough?

filed under: @ 14:14:45

What's been done until now is not enough apparently.

I keep repeating the same thing:

Genius has a limit, stupidity is limitless.


CSS,Javascript and Php studies

Anti spam email
A solution to writing an anti spam email contact link
filed under: Javascript
Background image
A background image randomizer that I used in the second version of this site.
filed under: Javascript/CSS
Javascript menu
A menu that uses Javascript and session cookies.
filed under: Javascript/CSS
Experimenting with CSS and Javascript.A simple but, in my opinion, nice navigation “system”. The MiniSite is a one page site.
filed under: Javascript/CSS
Photo display
Protect copyrighted photos: a simple but effective solution.
filed under: Javascript/CSS
Photo gallery
A photo gallery made for a friend
filed under: Javascript
PHP menu
A PHP menu that can be updated without having to re-publish all the pages is on.
filed under: PHP
Pop-up menu
A very simple pop up menu powered by Javascript. It works also if Javascript is disabled.
filed under: Javascript/CSS
RSS feed
How to write and use an RSS feed
filed under: rss-xml
Tag replacer
The Tag replacer explained and a link to it.
filed under: PHP
Tags search
A search form build and powered using Javascript and the DOM
filed under: Javascript