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Italian Police Seize Blog Over 'Kill Berlusconi' Satire 214

Posted by timothy
from the quite-a-wikipedia-entry-has-silvio dept.
Giorgio Maone writes "Italian Police just seized the Savona e Ponente Blog because the 60-year-old journalist Valeria Rossi posted a satirical article titled 'I want to kill Berlusconi,' writing that 'you can't feel guilty of wishing him death, because he's not human: he's an alien, with incredible psychic powers.' Otherwise, how could such a clown, with multiple pending trials for corruption, tax offenses, abuse of power and even child prostitution, convince the majority of the other politicians and a consistent slice of Italian people to keep him as their prime minister for almost 20 years now? Here's a mirror of the incriminating text (Italian)." And here's a translation to English.
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Italian Police Seize Blog Over 'Kill Berlusconi' Satire

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 13, 2011 @07:16PM (#35195098)
    Did you know it is illegal to say: "I wish President Obama was killed by mortar fire on the White House. It could be set up across the park and use the flag on said White House to provide a rough wind measurement."
    • by durrr (1316311) on Sunday February 13, 2011 @07:30PM (#35195196)
      Your comment will lead to some militrary contractor getting the opportunity to sell gigantic fans for $500 million each to the white house. within two weeks you'll notice that the flags around the white house will always point in a offset from the actual wind direction.
      • by gilleain (1310105)

        Your comment will lead to some militrary contractor getting the opportunity to sell gigantic fans for $500 million each to the white house. within two weeks you'll notice that the flags around the white house will always point in a offset from the actual wind direction.

        Hmmm. Perhaps a mechanical flag would be better, with thin metal supports in the cloth controlled by a mechanism running down to pole. That way, a central controller could track the wind and wave a little 'off'. Or perhaps some 3D hologram system (giant octagonal bodies and highway ramps for arms!)...

      • More likely one of these, M61 "Counter-Rocket" gatling gun-on-a-truck shoots down mortars like skeet [dvice.com]; why use fans when there are systems that spit out 4500-7000 round a minute pretty much without human intervention! Cool video on the link too.

        • The simplest answer is because projectiles fall back down to earth. That means there will be impact with some poor schmuck's home over in Georgetown.

          The other answer is that the White House is already pretty much a bunker with the president's offices well protected, and there are a classified number of guns, radar and so on on already up there.

    • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Sunday February 13, 2011 @11:00PM (#35196282) Homepage Journal

      "Did you know it is illegal to say: "I wish President Obama was killed by mortar fire on the White House. It could be set up across the park and use the flag on said White House to provide a rough wind measurement.""

      BZZT! Wrong! I've had several talks with the SS, in person, regarding a phone call I had with someone stating similar things.

      It is not illegal until you say "I plan to" or "I am going to."

      Saying "I wish" is an opinion and is protected speech.

      The whole thing revolves around INTENT. Wishing is not the same as saying you'll do it.

      This has been a PSA from someone that has dealt with the Secret Service on multiple occasions - in fact some of my own ./ postings have made the SS come to my house.

      • While a normal citizen doesn't have a security force dedicated to their safety, the laws regarding threatening to kill them are the same. In particular it is illegal to threaten to kill someone or to tell someone else to kill them.

        So if I threaten to kill you, that is illegal. I can go to jail just for that. I don't have to take any actual action, just to make a threat against your life.

        However it has to be an actual threat, or a command to someone else, not just a joke or a statement of opinion. If you bea

      • I've had several talks with the SS, in person...

        The SS is still around, and operating on behalf of the US gov?

        hmm. guess that explains a lot of things going on lately.

        Wait..Secret Service. Jawohl indeed.

      • by chrb (1083577)

        It is not illegal until you say "I plan to" or "I am going to."

        Not true. Speech is not protected if a court finds that it incites violence [cnet.com]:

        The more than 12 defendants in the case were ordered to pay $100 million in damages to abortion clinics and doctors. They had argued that they have a free speech right to publish details about the doctors, but after a three-week trial, an eight-person jury found that such sites were a "true threat" to physicians who perform abortions, according to the Planned Parenthood Columbia/Willamette (PPCW) in Portland.

        Note that the Christian web site in question never said that they planned to or were going to carry out acts of violence - it merely collated information about what they termed "baby butchers" and called for them to be "brought to justice".

      • by Fizzl (209397)

        Schutzstaffel?

      • by cain (14472)

        ...in fact some of my own ./ postings have made the SS come to my house.

        I don't believe this. How did they get your address from your user ID or email address? Pics or it didn't happen.

  • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Sunday February 13, 2011 @07:16PM (#35195104)
    Not everybody has the same sense of humor ... especially politicians and those who's job it is to protect them.
    • by ls671 (1122017) *

      The guy has been lucky so far, wait until the mob gets at him ;-)

      • by Dahamma (304068)

        Not likely, as it's already pretty well established he has connections to the mob (as in the mafia...)

        • by ls671 (1122017) *

          By the guy, I meant the blog owner. I thought it was obvious... ;-)

          • by Dahamma (304068)

            Doh, I assumed Valeria Rossi was a woman, so I didn't make the connection to "the guy". Damn Italians and their men's names ending with a... :)

    • by Moraelin (679338) on Sunday February 13, 2011 @07:38PM (#35195236) Journal

      Kinda what I was thinking. Especially a text which doesn't have any smiley or anything, and, as far as my piss-poor Italian allows, can read just as well as a schizophrenic's hate tirade. I mean, much as I would like to believe that a text going on about how someone isn't human and can hypnotize the masses is obviously a parody, you could say the same about the contrail conspiracy theory and yet some dolts out there believe it in all earnest.

      The thing is, some people _do_ go nuts now and then and start believing all sorts of highly illogical stuff right before they go and shoot someone. A text whose basic and repeated gist seems to be "I never was for killing another human, but I want to kill the head of the government, and it's ok to kill him because he's a mind-controling alien" would probably get one investigated in the USA or most other countries.

      I kind of have sympathy for him, and see how being run by a douchebag using his media monopoly to keep himself in power would drive someone to despair. But FFS there are better ways to go about it without sounding like a delusional rant about wanting to kill him. Or at least, you know, a couple of winking smileys or something.

      • by orzetto (545509)

        as far as my piss-poor Italian allows, can read just as well as a schizophrenic's hate tirade.

        I understand your argument, but as a mother-language Italian speaker I can confirm that the text is clearly meant tongue-in-cheek. Not an especially hilarious piece, maybe in bad taste, but it would be obvious even to a moron in a hurry (provided he can read Italian) that it is not serious.

        I am pretty sure that, had such a piece been written about some opponent of Berlusconi (e.g. Di Pietro, Vendola or Fini), no su

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Not everybody has the same sense of humor ... especially politicians and those who's job it is to protect them.

      Yes it's weird. This journalist is a woman. Women are completely immune to prosecution for sexual harassment, rape, domestic abuse, and indecent exposure even when it is absolutely certain they have done those things, and fellas, women physically hit/abuse their spouses more than men do -- think about that. I thought they would throw "threatening language" in there as a bonus immunity but I guess I was wrong. Maybe Italy isn't all about the double standards like USA.

  • I keep reading about this clown, the demonstrations against him etc, but it all seems to boil down to one thing - the lack of a credible alternative. As long as there isn't one, he's going to be in power. This simple fact seems to have escaped the Italian voting public for years now. Is it really hard to find someone in Italy who's not a crook and who wants to be president?

    • Re:Alternative? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Aldenissin (976329) on Sunday February 13, 2011 @07:28PM (#35195184)

      Would YOU want to run against him? If you were to, remember, if something happened to you he'd automatically win...

    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by skids (119237)

      It all boils down to "laws and morality are for little people." If there's a lack of a credible alternative, it's probably because the credible alternatives, being a little guys, get discredited through illegal (but not to the PTB) acts the inute they come on the radar.

      • "it's probably because the credible alternatives, being a little guys, get discredited through illegal (but not to the PTB) acts the inute they come on the radar."

        Wow, that was about as hard to read as the translation to english linked to in the summary :) No offense meant, j/k.

    • Re:Alternative? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Caraig (186934) * on Sunday February 13, 2011 @11:55PM (#35196468)

      Burlusconi has been Prime Minister of Italy for a long time now, in part by owning most of the media -- he started with a radio station and a newspaper in the south, and pretty much came to control everything. When he wanted the job of PM, guess who every newspaper endorsed for the job? He's basically the William Randolph Hearst of Italy, except Hearst never managed to hold an office.

      Burlusconi is in it only for the power and will stomp on anyone to get his way. In a way, though, this is extremely instructive: This is what happens when you allow one person or a handful of people unrestricted control of the media.

    • Isn't Italy a parliamentary government? That means it's like the whole government doesn't have a representative who is a better choice for PM than a corupt, seventy year old pedophile. Some Italians actually look up to him because he's still a lecherous bastard at his age.

    • by Odinlake (1057938)

      Giv'em Nixon.

      oh wait, he's dead.

    • Here's [guardian.co.uk] a nice summary of Berlusconi's history.
  • Could it be some cherished, carefully guarded tradition? I remember few quite similar, in spirit, Roman Emperors... or (ducks) Popes ;p
  • well.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EasyTarget (43516) on Sunday February 13, 2011 @07:38PM (#35195232) Journal

    What keeps him in power so long? You mean apart from owning the press, subverting due process and being beloved by the police?

    The funny thing is that put that way; he sounds just like most of our beloved leaders.

    • by quintesse (654840)

      My personal theory always has been that because of Italy's macho culture most Italian men would love to be in his shoes. So they might admit that he's an awful politician but secretely they wish they had a pair of balls like his. ;)

    • What keeps him in power so long?

      Sollozzo: Bene, Don Corleone. I need a man who has powerful friends. I need a million dollars in cash. I need, Don Corleone, all of those politicians that you carry around in your pocket, like so many nickels and dimes .

    • by worf_mo (193770)

      He is not beloved by the police. Just have a look at the ANSA [wikipedia.org] messages on the sap website [sap-nazionale.org] (Sindacato Autonomo di Polizia, a union for the members of the Polizia di Stato). These are the official statements - it would be interesting to read the "off the record"-messages.

      The current government has cut funds so that the police doesn't have enough money to fuel their cars. Stories about officers buying gas for the patrol cars with their own, personal money are no exaggeration. I know a couple of officers who ha

  • Lesson #1: Never, ever, get into anything related to bashing politicians. It's a free way to disaster.
    I'd go as far as to say "Never voice your political opinions", except maybe with your family and close friends.

    • by maxume (22995)

      As if a life lived under an authoritarian yoke is not a disaster.

    • Re:OK boys (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Johann Lau (1040920) on Sunday February 13, 2011 @08:39PM (#35195554) Homepage Journal

      When I was asked to make this address I wondered what I had to say to you boys who are graduating. And I think I have one thing to say. If you wish to be useful, never take a course that will silence you. Refuse to learn anything that implies collusion, whether it be a clerkship or a curacy, a legal fee or a post in a university. Retain the power of speech no matter what other power you may lose. If you can take this course, and in so far as you take it, you will bless this country. In so far as you depart from this course, you become dampers, mutes, and hooded executioners.

      As a practical matter, a mere failure to speak out upon occassions where no statement is asked or expect from you, and when the utterance of an uncalled for suspicion is odious, will often hold you to a concurrence in palpable iniquity. Try to raise a voice that will be heard from here to Albany and watch what comes forward to shut off the sound. It is not a German sergeant, nor a Russian officer of the precinct. It is a note from a friend of your father's, offering you a place at his office. This is your warning from the secret police. Why, if you any of young gentleman have a mind to make himself heard a mile off, you must make a bonfire of your reputations, and a close enemy of most men who would wish you well.

      I have seen ten years of young men who rush out into the world with their messages, and when they find how deaf the world is, they think they must save their strength and wait. They believe that after a while they will be able to get up on some little eminence from which they can make themselves heard. "In a few years," reasons one of them, "I shall have gained a standing, and then I shall use my powers for good." Next year comes and with it a strange discovery. The man has lost his horizon of thought, his ambition has evaporated; he has nothing to say. I give you this one rule of conduct. Do what you will, but speak out always. Be shunned, be hated, be ridiculed, be scared, be in doubt, but don't be gagged. The time of trial is always. Now is the appointed time.

      -- John J. Chapman, Commencement Address to the Graduating Class of Hobart College, 1900

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Lesson #1: Never, ever, get into anything related to bashing politicians. It's a free way to disaster. I'd go as far as to say "Never voice your political opinions", except maybe with your family and close friends.

      FF some 10-15 years and not even there: your 5-6 yo grandchildren may "snitch" you by simply speaking to persons outside your trust circle. Don't you dare to break your trust circle either - like divorcing or something - not if you don't plan to snitch your "soon to be your ex-spouse and political detainee" before divorce. Can tell the above for sure, as a person who lived in Eastern Europe for the first 20-something years of life.
      Would you like such a life? 'Cause if not, better forget about your advices

    • Politicians are our servant, officially speaking. Bashing a servant should be without consequences.
      Stripping people of such right makes revolt a just moral choice. Of course revolt might be the expected response, rage becoming fuel for other immoral machinations.
      I dunno your country but here:
      Fascism 1.0 (1914-1945) is when that freedom is taken away.
      Fascism 2.0 (1945-2001) is when politicians are uniformly puppets, so bashing them is encouraged as a diversion.
      Fascism 3.0 (2001-present) is when bashing is a

    • Re:OK boys (Score:4, Insightful)

      by vegiVamp (518171) on Monday February 14, 2011 @04:56AM (#35197414) Homepage

      Political opinions are what runs a democracy - it is the people in the street, talking about what goes on in the state and what should be done about it. Silencing that free and open debate, as is apparently the custom in the United States, is the death of democracy and the advent of belittling leaders who 'know what is best for the people'.

      Welcome to your willing subservitude to the new tyrants.

  • by The Second Horseman (121958) on Sunday February 13, 2011 @08:01PM (#35195370)

    To an outside observer, it seems that Berlusconi has stayed in politics for one primary reason - to make sure that he can keep changing laws every time there's an attempt to prosecute him for some misdeed. With that tactic, he's rendered the judiciary largely irrelevant. He owns a vast media empire, and hasn't been forced to keep his media holdings at arm's length while in office, so he's used that to prop up his political empire. The Italian Parliament doesn't seem to be able to deal with the issue. The disconnect between those in power and a good chunk of the population is very high, according to some recent news reports.

    Given his personal behavior, you have to wonder just how corrupt his government actually is, and who may have been in a position to blackmail him for favors over the last twenty years. If he'd managed to avoid sexual misconduct that seemed deplorable to his core supporters, he wouldn't be in trouble now.

    If Italy was in another part of the world, there would probably be a lot of questions about how democratic it actually is.

    • Consider Clinton, a paragon, of lying.

      How naieve and stupid can you Yanks get?
      • Lying about an affair? I don't care. Paying an underage girl for sex? That's different. That's the allegation in Italy. There are even media reports that the Mafia has compromising pictures of Berlusconi. Also, Clinton didn't run around trying to act like a paragon of virtue with a lot of support from religious conservatives.

    • by xenobyte (446878)

      Given his personal behavior, you have to wonder just how corrupt his government actually is, and who may have been in a position to blackmail him for favors over the last twenty years. If he'd managed to avoid sexual misconduct that seemed deplorable to his core supporters, he wouldn't be in trouble now.

      Exactly. And it's quite understandable that Berlusconi couldn't keep his hands off the extremely gorgeous 'Ruby' (Karima El Mahroug), so one can actually start wondering if he was set up here in an effort to finally get him - a bit like how Bill Clinton was set up; both leaders were known for their runaway interest in the opposite sex so it wasn't too hard to get them to fall in with both feet...

    • by quintesse (654840)

      If Italy was in another part of the world, there would probably be a lot of questions about how democratic it actually is

      In what other part of the world would that be if not so close to the place where democracy was invented? ;)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 13, 2011 @08:27PM (#35195480)

    Comparing Belusconi to Mussolini? What an absolute hidious insult to Mussolini.

  • "Say no more"

    I am willing to bet that the second post in the comments section of that blog were what really worried some people. That phrase can have very different meanings, given the context of the blog post.

  • Berlusconi has better taste in women than Bill Clinton.....or Obama.

  • it spread to egypt

    what country in the middle east should feel the sweep of historic revolution next? algeria? jordan? yemen?

    no, that other backwards country

    italy

    seriously, what the FUCK is wrong with you italian people? why do you tolerate this joke?

    • by gmhowell (26755)

      Because it's all a damned joke. The only options are to laugh or to cry. The former is easier.

  • by Culture20 (968837) on Sunday February 13, 2011 @10:41PM (#35196192)

    how could such a clown, with multiple pending trials for corruption, tax offenses, abuse of power and even child prostitution, convince the majority of the other politicians and a consistent slice of Italian people to keep him as their prime minister for almost 20 years now?

    By using the brute squad to terrorize the slightest dissent.

  • If I had said it, I would have meant it. It sounds less like a joke and more like good policy to kill such a horrible person.

  • Quoting from the text:

    "Oggi, però, mi accordo di desiderare, dal profondo del cuore, la morte di Silvio Berlusconi .
    Non solo: ***mi sento proprio disposta ad andarlo a far fuori personalmente.***"

    The asterisked part translates to "I am ready to go kill him myself".
    Now granted, the rest of the blog post is obviously satyrical and even thinking this person actually wants to go kill the dude (whom I intensely dislike, by the way) is insane, but the fact is, she did violate the law by stating this. It's st

  • I don't know much about the conditions in Italy, I hardly speak any Italian, but in some other countries people get elected, not because they are the best for the job, or even slightly good, but just because they are somewhat better than the alternatives.

  • by Hasai (131313) on Monday February 14, 2011 @03:49AM (#35197166)
    "Otherwise, how could such a clown, with multiple pending trials for corruption, tax offenses, abuse of power and even child prostitution, convince the majority of the other politicians and a consistent slice of Italian people to keep him as their prime minister for almost 20 years now?"

    Highlighted the answer for you.
  • "you can't feel guilty of wishing him death, because he's not human: he's an alien"

    Satire or not, that's a pretty sad worldview right there.

    I'm just saying.

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