Anti-Establishment: sometimes it means NO to reform. The Italian Referendum case

Matteo Renzi perplexed

2ND UPDATE – DEC 05 – RENZI RESIGNS. FINAL RESULT: NO 59.11%, YES 40.89%   To be honest, since the result was already in the bank, after the initial projections I serenely went to bed. Here we are, the morning after a result that is slightly better than I predicted (57-58% in my FB wild guess). Kudos to Renzi for resigning immediately: this is not typical of Italian politicians, who tended to find excuses to stay in charge even after a defeat. He kept his promise instead.   Our future remains very uncertain, Italian politics is a mess, to put it mildly. We’ve got a PD (Democratic Party) that is still…

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Thanking Fidel Castro for his biggest achievement

Oh, the ingratitude of the masses! People often fail to properly recognize your achievements. Face it: Fidel Castro, the Cuban dictator that recently passed away, has done something extraordinary for us. He survived, living 90 full years. Ok, you may object that dying of old age is not exactly a big deal or something that you do (well, he didn’t die in one of the numerous assassination attempts… this requires a certain degree of paranoia, commendable preparedness and effective opposition squelching).   History should give him credit.   In fact, had he been executed by a firing squad in 1975, as a , you’d probably read about him only in…

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Nora the Cat and a lesson about God

Nora the Cat in Catcerto, by Mindaugas Piečaitis

Yesterday I presented the adorable Nora, a pianist cat. Today’s video is even better: Mindaugas Piečaitis, a Lithuanian composer, managed to put together a piece inspired by and containing various fragments of music that Nora spontaneously executed. A live orchestra was used to accompany the video montage of Nora’s own solo improvisations. What makes this “Catcerto” unique is the fact that Piečaitis came up with a compelling, catchy music composition, while at the same time retaining the flavor of the original inspiration… something that came from a cat! Nora tends to play on keys that are close together, due to her physical limitations (being a small animal!) which translates into melancholic tunes; at…

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Nora the Cat Genius, playing the piano

Nora the cat

Plus some thoughts about the artists’ brains… You need to see this, if you don’t know about Nora already. Nora is a genius cat, capable of playing the piano, sorta. She got adopted by a music family. She had the opportunity to observe and eventually imitate the students that were getting piano lessons at her home.   A piano isn’t designed for a cat, her paws are too big to begin with. But it’s remarkable how she’s trying, producing somewhat convincing sequences of notes. Of course she can get easily distracted, but you must admit her performances are quite extraordinary.  Other cats may walk on keys, even step on a key producing a sound…

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The day when FiveThirtyEight and the pollsters bombed

Trump won, 538 experts lost.

This is a story of people looking down on you. More than that, this is a story of fake scientific data and deception. This is about those who tried to control the result of the election. And lost anyway. I’ve been dreaming of writing this very article for months. All those experts, day after day condescendingly belittling people like me, who wouldn’t be convinced to accept the reality of their data…   Now it’s time for a little revenge. A sweet opportunity to unload all the frustration of the last months. They won’t mind: they still have all the clout and visibility in the world, plus they have all the…

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Don’t do as I did

Dice thrown over a stairwell

Bragging about betting on Trump: setting a bad example   As you may already know, in 2015 I bet on Donald Trump. I feel uneasy about my telling the entire world that I did. Of course that’s how I can boast that I understood the Trump phenomenon long before the vast majority of observers. But I’m also sending a disturbing signal in favor of gambling: placing bets on an event, then imagining yourself enjoying an unexpected, resounding victory. The thing is, you hear a lot about the rare success stories, not so much about the countless losses. The House in the end is the only winner. But many people get…

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Let me gloat. Trump won. I won!

As you may or may not know, in July 2015 I bet on Trump’s victory. Today, thanks to Donald Trump’s triumph, I won more than enough money to cover all the expenses incurred during the a recent tour trip to the USA that me and my wife took in September. I dubbed it “Our Donald Trump Trip” for obvious reasons.   Now I feel the need to celebrate the victory.   (All photos are © 2016 Alessandro Grasso.)   Thanks Donald!   It’s been a hell of a ride. Even if I’m living in Italy I followed the election very closely; not just because this was set to be the…

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Clinton email scandals? Much ado about everything

Democratic Party Election Strategy in 8 years increments

And so we got to Election Day. Americans have been served useful distractions by a complacent media machine. Anyone who wanted to, had the opportunity to catch wind of the multiple Clinton scandals, granted; but the details are often too intricate for the average person’s attention span. Confusion→ uncertainty→ irrelevance. And if you lean Democrat, journalists give you plenty of excuses to banish the uncomfortable thought.   The idea was to sell a stripped down message: Hillary is a woman (!) and is supposed to be about all the usual Democratic Party policies. That’s it. And they pushed the narrative that her opponent was allegedly vulgar, racist, sexist and dangerous,…

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#LoveTrumpsHate made right

Love Trumps Hate: Trump Loves, Clinton Hates, Trump Trumps

Love trumps hate. Ok, let’s say it’s stipulated. #LoveTrumpsHate is a silly, simplistic slogan used by the Clinton Campaign. Please enjoy their hilarious play on words based on the name of Donald Trump. But if you examine it carefully, it works perfectly only if you read it the other way around. Let’s make a deal: I bet if you follow through my reasoning, you’ll agree I’ve surprised you, and you never saw things this way. You can comment below re: your changing your mind or not. Trump loves   Trumps loves himself immensely. I believe the entire world agrees on this bit. But the process doesn’t stop there. Then his…

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On Prayers Of The Faithful And Distractions

Painting of the martyrdom of the 7 Maccabees

At Mass   Scene: today we went to Mass in a church that we know but isn’t our parish. All went well, no complaints (oh, how grumpy we pew-critters tend to be at times!): a good priest, a beautiful church full of art. Before the beginning of the service, while we are already seated, there comes a guy in charge of organizing stuff. The following exchange ensues: -Anyone wants to read the Readings? The Prayers Of The Faithful? Moment of indecision. I’m pondering the idea of blurting out the appropriate answer for an occasion like this, one I’ve prepared some time ago. -I may read a Reading, but… -Then it’s…

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Here’s why I bet on Trump. In 2015.

Donald Trump, the President Americans deserve

As I said yesterday, Donald Trump will win the Presidency. This article is still about letting you come to terms with such reality. I put money where my mouth was. Ok, I’m not a US citizen so I cannot vote for Donald Trump. Next best thing, I bet money on his victory! It was in July 2015: 16 months ago. I caught wind of the fact that Trump, a man I barely knew something about, had launched his campaign for the Presidency. Up to that point I considered him a minor nuisance, one of those vapid tv celebrities slash narcissistic yet funny looking guy slash megalomaniac entrepreneur. I saw him…

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Trump won next Tuesday’s election

people endorsing Clinton and Trump. Notice Chuck Norris

Come to terms with it. Ok, this is a public service post; it won’t get to many people but I hope it will help some friends to soften the blow. Better get used to it gradually. Initially you’ll probably mumble, with a condescending air, that there are too many idiots (myself included) insisting on a Trump victory. Then you’ll begin to realize, feeling a cold sweat, that maybe they are not really idiots… And then afterwards… Uh oh…! Ooops, it happened…     Chuck Norris: when he gets to the polling station, suddenly all the within a 500 miles range spontaneously self-combust. Seriously, this is not about the joke meme…

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