Understanding the Muslim Travel Ban kabuki theater

In order to continue advancing their illogical arguments modern liberals have to pretend not to know things. David Mamet   Donald Trump recently issued two different executive orders banning people from a few problematic Islamic countries from entering the US; in both cases, the orders have been blocked by rulings issued by district judges, despite the fact that travel restrictions on foreigners are a prerogative of the President of the United States, meant to protect the country’s interests.   Unnecessary explanation of the legal theater (please skip it)   To get to block the orders, they needed a pretty creative interpretation of a 1965 (Hart-Celler) Act, stating that you shouldn’t…

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What About The Netherlands? Wait. What about Islam?

women on a boat, contrasting attire: bikins, niqab

UPDATE ↓ Wilders can’t score Holland or Turkey?   Tomorrow, March 15, is election day in the Netherlands. Will Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch nationalist party PVV (Party For Freedom) win? I can’t pretend to know. I’m really not an expert. I may go out on a limb and predict that he will prevail, but only marginally, on the incumbent Mark Rutte. What you can put your money on is that Thursday’s newspapers across the western world will contain high howls from pundits lamenting the horrible risk for the stability of Europe and the survival of  democracy represented by the Ultra-Nationalist, xenophobic, Islamophobic far right movement led by Wilders.…

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More crowd counting lies, less common sense

CGIL rally. Rome, Circo Massimo, 2009

Women vs.Trump, NYT vs.Trump In my last article I discussed the crowd sizes for the Presidential Inauguration Ceremonies in Washington DC, offering my rough estimates: O 2009: 500;   O 2013: 350;   T 2017: 300 (in thousands)   while according to the mainstream media you’d have to believe the following baseless reconstruction: O 2009: 1800;   O 2013: 1000;   T 2017: 250 or some unspecified number in the low 100s (of thousands)   Most news outlets chose to contrast Trump’s crowd with the Women’s March against him, where a large number of people gathered to express their anger against the newly elected President, on the Sunday following the Inauguration. My…

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On Trump, crowd counting & lies. Look what I found!

How big was the crowd at Trump’s Inauguration? Bear with me. I wasted waaay too much time on this study. But the results are significant.   This is a teachable moment. What happens when literally everybody is lying, and the matter is quite difficult to verify to begin with? Ideally, you’d expect people to notice and demand better standards from politicians and journalists, but no. The two sides just choose the narrative they like, then run with it. Eventually the public moves on. But I’m not. I waited a few days to see if someone came up with a decent article on the subject, in vain. See, the topic itself isn’t…

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The Trump Train vs. the station moving backwards

Donald vs. Francis There are 2 main “current events” subjects I want to cover in this blog: the US Presidency and the Vatican. Turns out I’m hardly writing about the Pope, and (based on the number of articles) people may think I’m fixating on Trump. The thing is, not only Trump represents a positive development, while the Catholic Church is depressingly close to its nadir point. The two realities move very differently. While “progressive” bishops are hard at work to destroy their Church from the interior, reflexively reacting in a predictable and passive manner, always manipulated or outmaneuvered by smarter players and pushing for ideas that were fashionable 50 years ago, the Trump…

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The US Media Circus & Trump, as seen from abroad

People attending Trump's Presidential Inauguration

Since I kept a close eye on the US Presidential Election, especially for an Italian, but I didn’t report of the events unfolding from the actual election itself on November 9 to yesterday’s Presidential Inauguration, many fellow foreigners may now ask: what happened during this transition? The short answer is “not much”.     The Trump team was busy putting together a cabinet that seems quite solid and trying to keep the promise of bringing a new approach to politics. Case in point, Trump nominated Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and this move was widely criticized because Pruitt himself previously sued the EPA (alongside many other…

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Trump is the answer to Obama

Barack Obama looking out of the window at the White House; the shiny figure of Donald Trump emerging

Today is the last day in office for President Obama. It’s been more than 2 months since the election, and yet his supporters are still moping and complaining because Trump won.   In many ways, Donald Trump is the exact opposite of Barack Obama: a reaction if you will. In other aspects, though, he’s a natural successor: another pop icon, the type of personality that could win after Obama paved the way for this new approach to politics and popularity.   Here’s some quick points to raise about their similarities and differences.         New media and the young vote. Barack was able to prevail over a decrepit adversary like…

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Believing your lyin’ eyes in the Age Of The Image

similaritier between fiction (Reservoir Dogs scene) and reality (Istanbul terror attack)

PARENTAL ADVISORY: some photos contained in this post may be disturbing for children.   In my last post I highlighted how easy it is to fall in love with a narrative, especially if it paints someone we don’t like as the culprit and/or it gives us the impression of being smarter than others. But in today’s media landscape, when you are bombarded with messages, photos and videos selectively perfected to capture your attention, where fashion models are routinely photoshopped and people merrily tweet and send unverifiable videos from war zones, a new question arises. Can you even trust your own eyes? Truth is elusive. The world is full of deception. Random…

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Oddities in the Berlin terror attack & a temptation to read more into it

Contrasts   Nowadays even wars are fought through the power of images. ISIS edits a glossy magazine where appallingly cruel actions get a polished professional presentation worthy of the National Geographic. Terrorists are recruited through internet forums, where propaganda movies are the basic staple of an exciting diet of strong imagery for the bloodlusty aspiring jihadist: think of the executions, where the hostages have been worn down through endless dry runs, so that they pose no resistance and appear completely subjugated to their murderers. Attacking Christmas is a natural choice for its symbolic value. Attacking a Christmas Market is even more incisive, because the shock effect is channeled through the…

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Chef Cracco, a 1500€ dinner and the EuroSocialist decadence

Carlo Cracco is a famous Italian Top Chef, better known for his TV appearences as a judge in MasterChef Italy. A controversy erupted in the social media in occasion of a New Year’s Eve prestigious dinner in Venice: 60 fortunate revelers had the privilege to pay 1500 Euros to get to an exclusive party dinner with performers, gondolas, fireworks etc. Cracco’s name was used to promote the event, but apparently he didn’t even go there: he only instructed chefs to serve one of his signature dishes. Critics hiding behind a keyboard were fuming. Here’s the bottom line. Proceeds: 90 thousand Euros, of which 10 thousands were given to Cracco to sign…

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Behold: a hoax buster in total anti-Trump meltdown

How to ruin your reputation. Paolo Attivissimo is a tech journalist and a semi-celebrity; he’s by far the most prominent debunker in the Italian language web. His work to dispel myths and conspiracy theories is well known and appreciated (including by yours truly): among other things, he and his collaborators created websites dedicated to debunking  9/11 conspiracy theories, or the Moonlanding hoaxes (in Italian). Well, he just became unhinged. A few days ago, he published an embarrassing, painful-to-read article against Donald Trump. Here it is (in Italian): FAQ: perché ce l’ho con Trump presidente? Perché sono un debunker (FAQ: why am I mad at President Trump? Because I’m a debunker). Its’ just pathetic: he sounds…

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Hey, turns out I’m not a homophobe! Thanks Milo Yiannopoulos!

Here’s a guy who’s got a natural instinct for becoming news   Milo Yiannopoulos is a unique character, an emerging star, a young professional provocateur launched by Breitbart.com and your best opportunity to understand . A troll. Permanently banned from Twitter. He’s vocationally American, in terms of pop culture and main target audience; yet he’s British, born and raised. He’s Greek from his father side, Jewish from his mother’s (which is the definition of being a Jew, btw). He’s also a practicing Catholic, a fervent enemy of everything coming from the Left, and more visibly than anything else, an exuberant, histrionic gay man. Talk about diverse! He rails against feminists,…

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