Rome

Photo of the Day

Italian Premier Benito Mussolini leaving for Tripoli, 13th May 1926. His nose is bandaged after an assassination attempt on 26th April by Violet Gibson, who shot him with a revolver at close range. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Woman Who Shot Mussolini

Four people tried to assassinate Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. Only one person ever came close – her name was Violet Gibson and she was Irish. Violet spent the rest of her life in mental institutions, forgotten by society and by history.

At 10.58am on Wednesday, April 7, 1926, Benito Mussolini paused to salute an ecstatic crowd in the Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome. As a group of students broke into song, he cocked his head in their direction. At that moment, a slight, bespectacled, shabby woman, standing less than a foot away, took aim and shot him at point-blank range. The first bullet grazed Il Duce’s nose, releasing a spectacular torrent of blood; the second jammed in the pistol chamber.

Violet Gibson shot two people at point-blank range, herself and Benito Mussolini. Both survived. After the first (attempted-suicidal) shooting, Violet, alive because the bullet had bounced off a rib, lived quietly in a convent in Rome, doing jigsaws with her Irish maid, until the day she set off for the Capitol with a gun in her pocket. After the second shooting Mussolini, alive because he turned his head just as Violet fired, set out for a triumphal visit to Libya with a sticking plaster on his nose. Meanwhile Violet was half-lynched, then dragged, badly battered, into a room containing the colossal marble foot of Emperor Constantine, there to be revived with brandy before being dispatched to prison. It was the end of her life in the world.

When Violet Gibson shot Benito Mussolini, the bullet missed Mussolini’s bald head but removed part of his nose, everyone except her thought it was a crazy thing to do. The ensuing debate was to determine whether she was certifiably crazy or not. Death and illness were themes of her life and perhaps fertilised the psychological soil where a religious seed had been planted.

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How about he gleefully abandon the church’s policy of covering up boy buggering?

The Pope is said to be ‘gleefully’ abandoning tradition and doing things like washing Muslim prisoners feet. No mention yet on him moving to stop the Vatican policy of covering up child abusing priests and assisting them with evading the long arm of the law by shifting them and promoting the…but hey…at least he is washing muslim prisoner’s feet:

 Pope Francis continued his gleeful abandonment of tradition by washing the feet of a young Muslim woman prisoner in an unprecedented twist on the Holy Thursday tradition.

While popes have for centuries washed the feet of the faithful on the day before Good Friday, never before had a pontiff washed the feet of a woman. That one of the female inmates at the prison in Rome was also a Serbian Muslim was also a break with tradition.  Read more »

The sky has come just a little bit closer to falling in on us all

Two events overnight have brought calamity of the human race just a little bit closer.

Last night in parliament the Same-Sex marriage bill passed its second reading:

Same-sex marriage inched another step closer late last night when MPs backed it overwhelmingly at the second hurdle, with only a handful of previous supporters turning against it.

Labour MP Louisa Wall’s bill passed its second reading 77-44, a drop in support of three votes from the first reading.

What I find interesting is the large number of hypocrites in the Noes. Plenty plus of them there like to run one up any bit of skirt they can find, so their definition of marriage is obviously different from that of Bob McCroskrie. More than a few also have their own ‘gay’ marriage…come on guys stop being sooks and blouses and how about swapping over to the ayes next time.

The second calamitous event is the election of the anti-Pope early this morning.

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Cardinals have elected Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as the new pope to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, overcoming deep divisions to select the 266th pontiff in a remarkably fast conclave.

Bergoglio is the first ever pope to come from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium. He chose the name Pope Francis I.

Tens of thousands of people who braved cold rain to watch the smokestack atop the Sistine Chapel jumped in joy when white smoke poured out a few minutes past 7pm, many shouting “Habemus Papam!” – or “We have a pope!” – as the bells of St Peter’s Basilica and churches across Rome pealed.

Why mining is good

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Ok, now don’t get a shock.  Here’s a bit of culture for you.

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It was a joke

Come on, you didn’t really think I would go soft and take a government position did you? Or quit blogging? Surely you didn’t think that National would do something sensible in mt Albert like run Don Brash? There also isn’t a Dairy and Fast Food vendors association for so thre wouldn’t be any appointments there. Though I am not sure that the Worth sacking was a joke….might have to wait on that one.

Today is April Fool’s Day and boy some of you are just hysterical. THe emails and voicemails feature some very powerful and connected people who fell for it.

Plenty have pranks have been played;

  • DPF teased us all with the suggestion that Cullen was the going to be the new Governor of the Reserve Bank
  • The NZ Herald had a story about Microsoft buying Apple
  • Cameron Brewer, the nice guy from the Newmarket Business Association put out a press release calling for Auckland to go one step further and declare themselves a republic.

“We’re effecting advocating for a two-city model for the region – the Super City of Auckland and Newmarket.

The Newmarket Business Association had advised Local Government Minister and local MP Rodney Hide of its intentions. Mr Brewer has just returned from a study trip to Whangamomona – a remote Taranaki ghost town that has actively promoted its constitutional independence over the past 20 years.

  • But perhaps the best April Fool’s trick was the done by The Standard where they annouced that they were outsourcing their infrastructure offshore and paying good money to American Corporates for the hosting of their site. They even bagged local hosting companies. It surely must have been a joke because Lynne, the guy with the girls name, has pulled the post. Surely they wouldn’t abandon Kiwi workers and businesses over few paltry shekels.

Mayor's domain set to increase

Mayor Cameron BrewerThe self-appointed Mayor of Newmarket is set to get a massive increase in his constituency.

The Newmarket Business Association ran a poll of local businesses and property owners in the areas just outside of the current boundaries came back with a 91.4% acceptance to be included in Newmarket’s zone.

The self-appointed Mayor must be very pleased with this result and with the increase in new constituents that will result.

It is a testament to the value that locals have for the business association and Mayor Brewer’s management that they would vote by a landslide for this boundary extension and the resulting extension of the Mayor’s already impressive ego.

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Leighton Smith bans Newmarket

Rodney Hide and his designer jacketI was listening to Leighton Smith this morning and he gave the self appointed Mayor of Newmarket and veteran media wh….(can’t say that under threat of legal action), Cameron Brewer a right good slapping for his silly ban on Rodney Hides stunning yellow jacket.

Leighton Smith has said to Brewer live on radio that until he lifts his ban on Rodney’s jacket then he [Smith] will be placing a ban on Newmarket.

Brewer was for once in his life was dumbstruck!

In further news about Brewer’s silly ban there is an article in the East and Bays Courier about it. There is a shot (left) of Rodney looking fit and svelte in his jacket while Brewer is there in his poo-coloured, I think he calls it mushroom, jacket.

Brewer is out of control!

"Ghastly beyond belief"

Rodney Hide and his designer jacketShort of recent publicity in Auckland, self appointed Mayor and veteran media wh….(sorry can’t use that term for fear of litigation) has decided to pick on Rodney Hide’s new designer jacket. I spoke with Rodney this afternoon and he tells me that the jacket was specially tailored for him by RJB Design of High Street and he thinks that is why the self appointed Mayor of Newmarket has gone all high dudgeon on him, simply because the jacket wasn’t from Newmarket.

“We really like Rodney but this time he’s taken it too far. We are working hard to promote Newmarket as New Zealand’s Fashion Capital. Yet our local MP is walking around looking like an official from the 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games. It’s an intolerable sight, and we beg Rodney to desist,” said Cameron Brewer, head of the Newmarket Business Association today.”

Cameron Brewer Media WhoreHowever Mr Brewer, himself the wearer of garish clothing has been caught well and truly in a classic pot, kettle, black fashion (excuse the pun). Just last week there was a truly appalling photo of the self appointed Mayor and veteran media wh….(sorry can’t use that term for fear of litigation) in the Taupo Times of all places, sheesh can’t he pull PR in Auckland anymore? Brewer was wearing a bright pink shirt, he’d probably call it “Cambridge Red” and a garish Karitane Yellow coat with matching foul tie.

Brewer should take his own advice;

“For sure we see the occasional fashion faux pas around the place, but this is completely unacceptable from someone in a leadership role. To be getting around in a crass canary campaign coat is simply offensive to Newmarket, particularly during school holidays.

“What kind of message does this send out to our young people? It implies that when you’re in position of power you can wear whatever you want no matter how inappropriate or horrid a garment may be. It’s not right and so we’re taking a stand,”

On another note, quite apart from any fashion verdict, I don’t think there is any authorisation statement on that coat of Rodney’s, I wonder if Labour will lay a complaint under the Electoral Finance Act over it, here’s hoping.  I hope Rodney wears it into parliament next week, that’ll get the Speaker going.

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Media Whore at War with NZ Post

On Tuesday I rang the self proclaimed media whore and Mayor of Newmarket, Cameron Brewer.

He was moaning about the cost of mailing out his monthly Newmarket propaganda sheet. “It’s now a $1.50 to snail mail out an A4 envelope” he protested.

So I wasn’t surprised to hear on airwaves the very next morning his Worship ripping into that old favourite S.O.E NZ Post. He was getting stuck into a NZ Post’s Mother’s Day advertising campaign which states if you telephone on Mother’s Day it shows you’ve remembered, but if you post her something it proves you care. It was “emotional blackmail” according to Newmarket’s number one commercial hawker and self promoter extraordinaire.

Lets not forget the Brewer was trained in the bowels of parliament (Eeewww!) and knows what a reaction he would get from the government-owned postal department’s PR people.

Foolishly, they should have ignored Brewer’s little gripe. But no. They waited 26 hours and then put out a piss weak statement this morning defending their campaign. Brewer will be in seventh heaven. He’s set to get days of media coverage and will feel slightly better about paying $1.50 to send his A4 portraits of himself out with every presser.

A lesson of what can happen when you piss off people who make a career out of stirring.