Archive for italy

Overnight: Palio in Siena, Italy



From Wikipedia:

The Palio di Siena (known locally simply as Il Palio) is a horse race that is held twice each year, on July 2 and August 16, in Siena, Italy. Ten horses and riders, bareback and dressed in the appropriate colours, represent ten of the seventeen contrade, or city wards.

The Palio takes place in the town square.

The embedded video was taken by the RAI, Italy's national television network, in 1962.

There are much better, newer videos on YouTube but I like this one because it does not have the smoothness of a modern sporting event and goes into what the Palio means for the city. I see Fellini's films of that period in it.


Overnight: Italian Grocery Meets the World of Opera


I can't watch flash mobs often enough. Why do they always happen somewhere else? Enjoy.


The Truth About Columbus Day


Columbus Day

With the bevy of activity in anticipation of a breakthrough compromise in the senate, we sit and hopefully enjoy two things. The government shutdown may soon be over and today is the official celebration of Columbus Day.

But who was Columbus, really? We know he's credited with discovering America. That remains a bit in dispute, but let's go ahead and give it to him. We give Washington credit for chopping down a cherry tree and Lincoln credit for never having told a lie. So what's a little legend among legends? Did it happen? Who knows. Does it matter? Not really.

But comic Hari Kondabolu takes exception with that. He's got his own take on Columbus and humorously uses historical facts to bear out his stance. So watch this video and ask yourself when it's over, does Columbus really warrant his own holiday?

By the way, if you enjoyed this and other posts we've made in the past, we'd really appreciate you letting us know. We're having our autumnal fund raiser and we can use your support. Thanks.


Video Mid Day Distraction- Ippo: Rare Italian-born Baby Zonkey in Good Health



Lie of the Year: the Romney campaign's ad on Jeeps made in China


See? Do something often enough you get really good at it!

It was a lie told in the critical state of Ohio in the final days of a close campaign — that Jeep was moving its U.S. production to China. It originated with a conservative blogger, who twisted an accurate news story into a falsehood. Then it picked up steam when the Drudge Report ran with it. Even though Jeep’s parent company gave a quick and clear denial, Mitt Romney repeated it and his campaign turned it into a TV ad.

And they stood by the claim, even as the media and the public expressed collective outrage against something so obviously false.

People often say that politicians don’t pay a price for deception, but this time was different: A flood of negative press coverage rained down on the Romney campaign, and he failed to turn the tide in Ohio, the most important state in the presidential election.

PolitiFact has selected Romney’s claim that Barack Obama "sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China" at the cost of American jobs as the 2012 Lie of the Year.


Mitt Romney has no "grasp on even basic foreign policy stuff.” Nor does his son, it seems.


Remember when the GOP went ballistic after this "hot mic" Obama moment?

Here are a few reactions that blew in from the right:

Tammy Bruce: Obama’s comments to Russia’s Medvedev simply confirm what we already know about this bastard. And it’s not just on missile defense, but on every issue relevant to the quality of our lives.

John Boehner: "I and other members of the House have previously expressed concern about your administration's apparent willingness to make unilateral concessions to Russia that undermine our missile defense capabilities... Your comments reinforce those words... That has significant implications for the security of our homeland, sends a terrible signal to our allies around the world and calls into question the effectiveness of your `reset' policy with the Russian government."

John McCain: The president was "playing fast and loose with national security."

Now here's what Mitt Romney’s son Matt said while traveling to Moscow for business, to allay any "concerns the Russian government had about his father’s harsh stance on Russia":

But while in Moscow, Mr. Romney told a Russian known to be able to deliver messages to Mr. Putin that despite the campaign rhetoric, his father wants good relations if he becomes president, according to a person informed about the conversation.

Shorter version: Number one geopolitical foe? You? My dad said that? MY dad? Kidding!

I'm waiting for the GOP to accuse Matt of "playing fast and loose with national security." I'm not holding my breath.

Here's what Romneyette accomplished: He managed to signal to the Russian government that his dad is a flip-flopping liar who doesn't mean what he says about them to the American people, but trust him, he'll be President Congeniality once in office, and all those provocative things he said were just silly campaign talk. Don't believe anything he said then, only what he says now, or in a minute, or in an hour, or a day, or in January... or... um...

"Of COURSE" Willard's cooler and savvier than he looks on the Tee Vee Machine.

Here's why Matt felt the need to clean up Daddy Dearest's mess:

Romney harrumphed his indignation about how President Obama should be "willing to tell the American people before the election" just what his policies would be. Gee, that's not the least bit hypocritical.

Here's how Dmitry Medvedev responded:

And while we're on the subject, we all remember the Romney terrible, horrible, no good, very bad overseas gaffe-athon, right? Now add that to the Russian blurt, plus this dash of the latest Italian backlash to his ineptitude, via HuffPo:

Italians reacted ferociously after local news agencies reported that Romney used the country as a negative example for what America's economy could become if it continues on its current trajectory.

Speaking at a campaign rally in Roanoke, Virginia, Romney reportedly asked the audience:

If you're an entrepreneur and you're thinking of starting up a business, you need to ask yourself: Is America on the same road as Greece? Are we on the path to an economic crisis like that we're seeing in Europe, in Italy and Spain?


Osvaldo Napoli, deputy for the center-right party, accused the Republican candidate of lacking experience in governing. "Romney has no appropriate knowledge of the situation in Europe. Any comparison between the American situation and ours is a primary error from someone who never ruled before,”he reportedly said.

The L.A. Times is reporting that seven Europe nations don't look kindly on Mitt, but President Obama is still very popular:

A survey of seven European nations, including longtime U.S. allies Britain and France, has found that Obama would win more than 90% of the vote if the respondents could cast ballots in Tuesday’s race. The survey was conducted by YouGov, a respected British-based polling organization that has also tracked Obama’s and Romney’s numbers within the U.S. [...]

The poll, which covered Britain, France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland, found that Romney failed to garner more than 10% support in any of those countries. In Sweden and Denmark, the former Massachusetts governor fared even worse: Only 1 in 20 people named him as their choice.[...]

In fact, many in Europe are often puzzled as to why the race between Obama and Romney is so tight.

Romney “has yet to make much of an impression on Europeans,” [Joe Twyman, YouGov’s director of political and social research] said...  "Every modern president must also show that they can be an effective operator in the international arena... That includes being seen favorably by people in other countries."


And let's not forget Romney’s top advisers saying “He just doesn’t seem that interested…They have no idea what he’d do about foreign policy.” (Note: The blog headline quote is from that post.)

So much for a Commander in Chief Romney on foreign policy, national security, international confidence, and his ability to play well with others.


Video- The Daily Show: Romney's Shady Taxes And Italian Dealings