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Russian Gas Stops Flowing To Italy After ‘Problem’ In Austria

Russian Gas Stops Flowing To Italy After ‘Problem’ In Austria

Russian energy giant Gazprom PJSC suspended natural gas deliveries to Eni SpA, Italy’s largest oil company, on Saturday, reported Bloomberg.

“Gazprom informed that it is not able to confirm the gas volumes requested for today, stating that it’s not possible to supply gas through Austria. Therefore, today’s Russian gas supplies to Eni through the Tarvisio entry point will be at zero. Eni will provide updates in case supplies will be restored,” Eni wrote in a statement on its website. 

An Eni spokesperson told Bloomberg that Austria is still receiving NatGas from Gazprom:

“We are working to check with Gazprom whether it is possible to reactivate the flows to Italy.” 

Gazprom said NatGas flows from Austria to Italy were suspended because the Austrian operator refused to confirm “transport nominations” after recent regulatory changes in the landlocked country in the southern part of Central Europe.

It’s important to note most of the Russian NatGas delivered to Italy flows through Ukraine via the Trans Austria Gas Pipeline to Tarvisio in northern Italy on the border with Austria. Before Russia invaded Ukraine, Italy imported 95% of its NatGas, of which 45% came from Russia.

Those figures are drastically different today as Italy rejiggers its energy supply chain away from Russia and finds alternative supplies of NatGas from North Africa. Before this weekend, Russian NatGas accounted for only 10% of Italy’s imports. The new suppliers will help Italy boost storage levels ahead of winter.

“Outgoing Prime Minister Mario Draghi has been scouring the globe to secure gas supplies to protect Italy from potential supply interruptions from Russia, which has been putting pressure on the European Union over several rounds of sanctions in response to the invasion. Italy has been one of the most successful countries to source alternative supplies,” Bloomberg noted.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

What’s Really Happening in Ukraine? The Rules of Disinformation During Wartime

What’s Really Happening in Ukraine? The Rules of Disinformation During Wartime

The front page from the Italian newspaper “La Stampa” on Oct 12, 1941. A good example of wartime propaganda.  

War is a complicated story with plenty of things happening at the same time. Not for nothing there is the term “fog of war,” and it may well be that even generals and leaders don’t know exactly what’s going on on the battlefield. Then, imagine how the media are reporting the situation to us: it is not just a fog that separates the news from the truth: it is a brick wall. Yet, the media remain a major source of information. Can we use them to learn at least something about what’s going on, discarding the lies and the exaggerations?

To start, we can look at how wartime news was reported in historical cases. As an exercise in applied history, I examined how Italians were (dis-)informed by their government during World War 2. I used the archive of “La Stampa” one of the major Italian newspapers of the time, still existing today. The other national newspapers weren’t reporting anything really different. Another advantage is that the archive of La Stampa is free to peruse.

The archive contains a huge amount of material (all in Italian, sorry). I don’t claim that I examined everything, but I did go through the decisive moments of the war, in 1941/43. It is a fascinating experience to imagine people reading the news of the time and trying to understand what was really going on. Could they figure it out? Probably not, at least for most of them. But let’s go into the details.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Destroyed by its own Propaganda: How Italy Lost World War II

Destroyed by its own Propaganda: How Italy Lost World War II

Someday, someone will write a history of the covert psyops of the 20th and 21st centuries. It will surely be a difficult story to unravel, because they are, indeed “covert operations.” Yet, it is not impossible to detect certain patterns that repeat all over history’s flow. So, it is an exercise that can help us wade through the tsunami of propaganda we are immersed in, right now. So, rather than delving into the current situation, let me tell you a story of a historical case that we can use as an example. It is a fascinating story, little known outside Italy, but it does tell us how easy it is for a country to self destroy by the wrong use of propaganda, especially with some help from foreign enemy powers. 

Let me tell you the story of how Italy wanted to become a world empire and how it utterly failed at the task, with just a little help from Britain, the Perfidious Albion. We start with the unification of Italy, in 1861, when the Kingdom of Piedmont defeated and annexed the Kingdom of Naples. If that happened, it was because Britain wanted it to happen.

It was a strategic issue. At that time, Britain controlled the Mediterranean Sea by controlling the two connections with the outside oceans, Gibraltar and the Suez Canal, while maintaining a military base on the island of Malta. By the 1830s, Britain had started having problems with France, which was showing ambitions of expanding into the Mediterranean Region. The British had already been shocked by Napoleon’s dash into Egypt, which had threatened their whole domination system. They absolutely wanted to avoid that it could happen again.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Huge Dock Worker Protests In Italy, Fears Of Disruption, As Covid ‘Green Pass’ Takes Effect

Huge Dock Worker Protests In Italy, Fears Of Disruption, As Covid ‘Green Pass’ Takes Effect

Following Israel across the Mediterranean being the first country in the world to implement an internal Covid passport allowing only vaccinated citizens to engage in all public activity, Italy on Friday implemented its own ‘Green Pass’ in the strictest and first such move for Europe.

The fully mandatory for every Italian citizen health pass “allows” entry into work spaces or activities like going to restaurants and bars, based on one of the following three conditions that must be met:

  • proof of at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine
  • or proof of recent recovery from an infection
  • or a negative test within the past 48 hours
Via AFP

It’s already being recognized in multiple media reports as among “the world’s strictest anti-COVID measures” for workers. First approved by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s cabinet a month ago, it has now become mandatory on Oct.15.

Protests have been quick to pop up across various parts of the country, particularly as workers who don’t comply can be fined 1,500 euros ($1,760); and alternately workers can be forced to take unpaid leave for refusing the jab. CNN notes that it triggered “protests at key ports and fears of disruption” on Friday, detailing further:

The largest demonstrations were at the major northeastern port of Trieste, where labor groups had threatened to block operations and around 6,000 protesters, some chanting and carrying flares, gathered outside the gates.

Around 40% of Trieste’s port workers are not vaccinated, said Stefano Puzzer, a local trade union official, a far higher proportion than in the general Italian population.

Workers at the large port of Trieste have effectively blocked access to the key transport hub…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Electricity bills in Italy rise by almost 30 percent from Friday

Electricity bills in Italy rise by almost 30 percent from Friday

Electricity bills in Italy rise by almost 30 percent from Friday

Energy prices are set to rise in Italy this week despite government interventions. Photo: Sebastien Bozon/AFP
Households and businesses in Italy will be paying more for electricity and gas from Friday with another steep price rise at the start of the third quarter, despite government measures to limit the increase.

Household electricity bills will rise by 29.8% for the typical family and gas bills will go up by 14.4%, Italy’s energy regulatory authority Arera confirmed in a press release on Tuesday evening.

The new national tariffs come in from Friday, at the start of the fourth quarter of 2021 (October-December).

The increase comes amid surging energy costs across Europe, and beyond.

The price rise passed on to Italian consumers could’ve reached 45 percent, Arera said, if the government had not stepped in to cap the new rise in rates.

The Italian government last week announced measures costing three billion euros aimed at limiting a steeper rise in energy prices for consumers.

As well as keeping the cost to most families below 30 percent and 15 percent, the government measures will keep additional costs at zero for those least well-off, including households with an income under 8,265 euros, families with at least 4 dependent children with an income of less than 20,000 euros, those who receive a state pension or unemployment benefit, and people who are seriously ill, Sky TG24 reports.

The measures also cut the ‘general charge’ from gas bills for all throughout the last quarter of 2021, and on electricity for families and some small businesses.

Last quarter, the retail cost of electricity rose by 9.9% and gas by 15.3% from July 1st.

The government also stepped in that time to cap costs, with 1.2 billion euros in state aid.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Permaculture design for Stephan Schrotter at Cairo Montenotte, Italy

Permaculture design for Stephan Schrotter at Cairo Montenotte, Italy

This article is in three parts.  The entire series will take us through a Permaculture Design Project at a property in Italy.  Firstly we will look at how the project was observed, then the analysis that was undertaken before starting the design.

Holistic Goal

What is it?

holistic goal is a three-part goal describing the quality of life desired, the forms of production to get there, and the future resource base that the forms of production depend on. A strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a goal. A task is one step in the plan of action to accomplish a goal.

A Holistic Goal (now referred to as a “Holistic Context” by the Savory Institute) is necessary for anyone who wants to be a Holistic Manager. It can help you with your personal life, your business, and your family life. Having a Holistic Goal has eliminated a lot of decision-making stress in my life.

Holistic Management involves using a simple decision-making framework that ensures all significant management decisions are simultaneously economically, socially and environmentally sound both short and long term.  No longer are decisions made toward objectives or goals alone, but always toward a new concept called the holistic goal for any management situation. The holistic goal provides the context for all objectives, goals or actions toward any vision or mission. This helps greatly in avoiding unintended consequences to our actions that are so universal that economists long ago used the term “Law of unintended consequences.”

-Allan Savory

What you have to manage?

A Permaculture project:  Rebuild the house with two or three rooms to rent, food production for the family and guests, trees…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

War and Censorship — Difficult Times in Italy

War and Censorship — Difficult Times in Italy

A post by Miguel Martinez, originally published in Italian on his blog on  Italy was the first European country to be struck by the COVID-19 pandemic and the first to implement a national lockdown. At that time, Italians would display the flag on their balconies and sing aloud in a show of national unity. That time is past and gone. 

The media gives the alarm: news of danger and a call to arms, together. When the message is inseparable from mobilization, it becomes propaganda. Since “propaganda” today has a bad name, let us immediately specify: propaganda can say absolutely true things and defend right causes, but it remains always propaganda.

The state of mobilization puts an end to disputes: in war, everyone must be in solidarity around a human figure, the leader, able to embody all passions.

Young people run to enlist volunteers. Fear, excitement, optimism. It’s Gonna Be Okay!

We grit our teeth, citizens cleanse themselves gel and unmask the traitors, actually mask them – but we will win soon!

People who, until the night before were ready to file a complaint because they were not served the cocktail they had requested, or because the plane left five minutes late, meekly lock themselves in their homes, place the tricolor flag out of the window, and prepares to see the enemy fall to the ground.

Above: “I stay home — checkmate to the coronavirus”
The first deaths are celebrated: both as innocent victims of the wickedness of the enemy, and as brave fighters.
“A nurse dies of coronavirus refuses to see her husband for the last time and saves his life”
But there are also the first victories, a united people, let’s open the windows, it’s spring!

Our leader is leading us to triumph and we will dance in Sardinia all summer!

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Managing the Pandemic: A Costly Mistake we are Making

Managing the Pandemic: A Costly Mistake we are Making

This comment by Olga Milanese is related to the situation in Italy, where it is common to talk about the pandemic in terms of the “Maximum Precaution Principle.” This term is not much used elsewhere, but similar concepts are expressed in different forms in other countries, for example stating that no level other than zero is acceptable in regards to the pandemic (see, e.g. this exchange). Unfortunately, the consequence is that other problems are neglected. Here, Olga Milanese writes some interesting considerations from her viewpoint of a lawyer about the “principle of precaution.” These considerations apply not only to the pandemic, but to many facets of the situation as it is nowadays. Facing multiple existential threats, from climate change to resource depletion, the human tendency, now as in past history, is to select one as “the” threat, and convey all the efforts on it, without realizing that some of the perceived “solutions” may do more harm than good.


The PRINCIPLE OF MAXIMUM PRECAUTION is not what it seems! 
 
First of all, there is no principle of “maximum” precaution, but of precaution … and that’s it! The difference is fundamental. This principle contemplates the need to adopt protection and prevention measures even when it is not absolutely certain that a particular phenomenon is harmful, but there is a SCIENTIFICALLY RELIABLE doubt that it could be. 
 
This means that the legislator and the public administrations, in the exercise of their discretionary powers, must act cautiously when there is a potential risk. In these cases, we speak of “technical discretion”, since the choices are made as a result of an evaluation based on the knowledge and the means provided by the various sciences…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Anti-Lockdown Protests All Across EuropeIncreasingly draconian lockdown measures, economic destitution, and sweeping police powers are evaporating public trust and eroding public patience.

Anti-Lockdown Protests All Across EuropeIncreasingly draconian lockdown measures, economic destitution, and sweeping police powers are evaporating public trust and eroding public patience.

As the alleged “second wave” of the Coronavirus “pandemic” is reported to be sweeping across Europe in recent weeks, many governments have enthusiastically embraced their totalitarian side and granted themselves sweeping new “emergency powers” alongside new lockdown measures.

The public has been markedly less co-operative this time around. Rebelling against the seemingly arbitrary limitations which are not supported by either science or common sense. Protests have taken place all across the continent.

GERMANY

Thousands of people gathered in Berlin over the last few days, protesting the Merkel government passing a new lockdown law. Police turned water cannons on the crowds, and nearly 200 people were arrested.

The mainstream reported “hundreds” of protesters, but as pictures plainly show it was more like tens of thousands:

 

SPAIN

After the Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez declared a sixth-month state of emergency in late October, there were days of protests across the country.

Barcelona, already a hot-bed of anti-government feeling due to the brutal repression of the Catalan Independence referendum, saw violent confrontations between riot police and protestors

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Police Join Protestors in Naples, Italy

This is what we need to desperately save our future. The police have to wake up and see that they are destroying, not just their own future, but that of their families for generations to come. I have always pointed out — tyranny ends when the police defend the people against the corruption of government. That is how you win bloodless revolutions.

NAPLES Riots after Government Says it Will Impose 40 day Lockdown

Protest breakout in Naples after the government claimed that 2,000 have COVID-19 so they may lock down the region for 40 days and have imposed a curfew.  These lockdowns have not stopped the virus but instead, prolong it. We see civil unrest rising around the world and this may lead to even overthrowing governments in many places.

Politics in the Age of the Coronavirus. What can we learn from the Italian Elections? 

Politics in the Age of the Coronavirus. What can we learn from the Italian Elections?

Sep 20, 2020. The president of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, votes at the Italian regional elections. In these elections, the first in the age of the COVID, the victory went to the Left largely by means of over a better strategy in managing people’s perceptions of the epidemic. Here, I report some personal considerations on how this result may tell us something about the coming US presidential election.

The regional elections of this weekend in Italy were held after a debate still dominated by the COVID epidemics. Although the virus itself was not mentioned so much in the speeches and in the political programs, the rest of the debate was shallow and lacking ideas on both sides. The Left was unable to propose anything better than “restarting growth,” and the Right little more than vague talks of “Italexit.”

So, the COVID epidemic hovered like a ghost over everything that was said and done. The Left coalition, the parties supporting the current government, had placed their bets on appearing tough on the epidemic. The government-controlled media tried to reinforce this perception by doing their best to terrorize citizens with daily catastrophistic reports. This strategy had a risk: if the elderly were to stay at home for fear of being infected at the polling station, then a disaster was looming for those parties that relied on their vote: in particular the Democratic Party (the former communists).

The Right, instead, never found a coherent strategy on the epidemic. Sometimes, it tried to convince its electorate that the epidemic was brought to Italy by black immigrants from Africa, but that worked only on people already convinced that all evils in Italy arrive from Africa.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The lure of imperial dreams: What are our leaders going to do to us?

The lure of imperial dreams: What are our leaders going to do to us?

Donald Trump is often represented wearing some kind of imperial garb. Actually, his presidency may have been less imperial than that of his predecessors. Yet, his style as president is very much “imperial” and his winning slogan in the 2016 elections, “MAGA,” (make America great again) has a deep imperial ring to it. Earlier on, Benito Mussolini, the leader of the Italian government between the two world wars, was destroyed (and with him Italy and not just Italy) by his Imperial ambitions.

When things get tough, people seem to think that they need tough leaders and this is a clear trend in the world, nowadays. It is a deadly mechanism that tends to bring dangerous psychotic personalities to the top government positions. I already noted in a previous post how imperial ambitions coupled with incompetence (both common conditions in high-level leaders) can destroy entire countries.

Here, let me examine an interesting feature of how Benito Mussolini (1883 -1945) ruled Italy. Despite his warlike rhetoric, during the first phase of his government he pursued a moderate foreign policy, avoiding wars. Then, the second phase of his rule was characterized by a series of disastrous wars that led to the destruction of Italy (and not just of Italy) and to the downfall of Mussolini himself. Whether this story can tell us something about a possible second term for Donald Trump as president, is left to the readers to decide.

Benito Mussolini and the Italian Empire: How Leaders’ Absurd Decisions Lead to Collapse.

Benito Mussolini ruled Italy for 21 years after the “March on Rome” of 1922. Many things happened during those years but, on the whole, you could think of the Fascist rule as having two phases: one before and the other after the turning point that was the invasion of Ethiopia, in 1935.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Infodemic of Fake News in the Era of CoV-19

The Infodemic of Fake News in the Era of CoV-19

In Italy Facebook and Twitter are not the primary social media apps of Italians generally speaking. More than ever WhatsApp and Instagram are the mobile apps of choice for social media messaging and these apps have been the cause of many fake news stories where local gossip is translated into a media story only later to be discovered as fake. There are even fake animal stories in abundance on social media on Instagram and Twitter and filters on Instagram that made claims to diagnose—and even cure—COVID-19.

Remember the ibuprofen scare that was said to originate from a friend of a doctor at the Medical University of Vienna in March? The claim, originally made as a voice recording in German and quickly translated to many other languages in message form, was that COVID-19 was either caused by or aggravated by patients taking ibuprofen. I saw about thirty tweets to this effect in March that many people aimlessly executed without reading any verifiable studies on this claim. Well, it turns out this was a hoax and wildly successful since even today people are still retweeting the fake news for which there is zero scientific basis.

While fake news is not endemic to Italy, it is having an increasing impact in other European nations as WhatsApp has become the primary vehicle for transmitting fraudulent news stories. Now for every rumour on social media, major and independent news is tasked with correcting the fake news reports to include telling readers how to deal with what is now called an “infodemic.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why Italians are not singing anymore: the problem of a weak state

Why Italians are not singing anymore: the problem of a weak state

Shows of brutality are used by politicians to look “tough on crime,” but they are a mark of weakness, not of strength. Something similar has happened in Italy where a weak government imposed harsh confinement measures on citizens. They didn’t arrive to force everyone to wear iron chains, but the idea was similar: politicians trying to look “tough on the virus. Image: convicted inmates from Brevard County Jail.

In some places in the US, jail inmates are forced to wear black-and-white striped costumes and chains around the ankles. In some cases, even iron balls are attached to the chains. Without denying that there exists a crime problem, you may reasonably argue that this is not the best way to reduce it. But these spectacular measures are chosen by politicians competing against each other by showing that they are “tough on crime.”

Something similar seems to have happened in Italy, with local politicians competing against each other to impose on citizens harsher and harsher measures against the coronavirus epidemic. Also in this case, without denying the gravity of the epidemic, you may reasonably argue that most of these measures were not the best way to fight it.

The Italian lockdown was probably the harshest seen anywhere in Europe. It involved a series of unclear and often contradictory orders from the government, sometimes looking like they were meant to harass citizens rather than stopping the epidemics. Just as a few examples, you could be fined if your spouse rode in the family car in the front seat rather than in the back seat.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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