Friday, September 28, 2007

Call to from and all over Europe FREE

Why not sign up for the VOIP phone system we use and talk as long as you want from the US to Europe, Canada, New Zealand and Australia at no extra charge. You can even take the system with you when you move to Europe, hook it up to your internet connection and have a US number that friends can call as if you were still in the US.

We have been using this system here in Italy for two years. We also have the system in our US office. Clients and others call our office number and when no one is in the office calls are forwarded to our other US number which rings in Italy using VOIP. And finally we use it to call all over Italy and Europe free. We just dial a number as if we were calling from the US. The system works with a regular phone wireless or wired just plug it into the little box as if it were a normal phone jack. My daughter living in Switzerland also has the same system we can talk for hours anytime we like.

So, yes we get $25 for every person who is willing to list our email as the one who refered them. But I wouldn't mention it for a measly $25 if I didn't think it was a good idea. Send me an email and I will give you all the info. You don't pay me anything.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Bringing the Troops Home

They ask me here in Italy what I think about Bush saying he is reducing the number of troops in Iraq. Well what I say is that it's all a bunch of smoke and mirrors, or to be more blunt lies. Those troops were already scheduled to come home. And the military can't really replace them because they are just stretched too thin. So Bush uses something that was already a given as if he just made are great decision and the media buys right into it. What a bunch of BS. I don't get it.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Just a Warning

As you see from a couple posts below, I'm starting to get away from the usual Italy is great stuff and voice a few opinions I have on other subjects. Don't get me wrong I'm not unhappy. I love living in Italy and I love the US, I'm proud of my family history which goes back to the very beginning of the US - we're even talking Mayflower people. I just think I need to start being move of a voice in the forest talking about some of the things that are going wrong in both places. Not that it will make much difference.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

General Petraeus

Here's what Admiral William Fallon had to say about him:

"Fallon told Petraeus that he considered him to be "an ass-kissing little chickens**t" and added, "I hate people like that," the sources say. That remark reportedly came after Petraeus began the meeting by making remarks that Fallon interpreted as trying to ingratiate himself with a superior."

Quoted from an article in

And people wonder if Petraeus is giving an accurate report on the success of the surge - not.

Who is Fallon - Petraeus' superior, chief of the Central Command (CENTCOM).

Fall & Politics

Seems like Fall has arrived. The kids are back in school, the air temperature has become cooler. I have this sense that I have to start preparing for Winter, even if the first snows are still two months or so away. My garden is going downhill fast, it wasn't a great success this year, partly because it was somewhat neglected and partly because the weather here just wasn't that hot and we had a lot of rain.

While in the hospital I finished reading "The Sack of Rome" by Alexander Stille. This is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the sorry state of Italian politics. From this reading you will learn how vastly corrupt Italian politics has been and is. You will learn that money has controlled everything and Italy's richest man also one of the World's richest has used money to gain tremendous control over people and politics. You will learn how through graft and corruption Berlusconi gained control of the vast majority of information reaching Italians. You will see how his career from the start has been intermixed with the Mafia and that the main reasons he entered politics was to keep himself out of jail and to seize power for his own financial benefit after he lost his friends when the Christian Democratic party fell out power. Finally you will understand why the only times there has been any sense of actual governing in Italy during recent times has been when the center left was in power One can only hope that books like this might open peoples eyes and perhaps create some changes.

In the last chapter Stille points out how similar things have happened in the US and how the news media which is controlled by a very few people has influenced the thinking and the voting of Americans.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Italian Hospitals

Well I've been out for a while having a bit of surgery. Before you start worrying about me, it all went very well and I think the out come will prove to be positive. It was one week ago yesterday and I'm almost back to normal.

I went to the hospital in Padova because they have a top rated center and use the DaVinci robot aided laproscopy. Really the state of the art. I'd say that the Italians take a bit of an older view of surgery otherwise. They want you in the day before and want you to stay 5 days after. The doctors are great, the nurses too and the whole staff seemed to be doing a fine job. The food was iffy but hey who expects really good food in a hospital. It was actually ok sometimes even good just a little bland. If I had to complain it would be about the of level maintenance, but then I was told that they are starting a big remodel of the area I was in next month, even putting bathrooms in the rooms. For me it was down the hall. And then there is of course the 4 to a room concept. I'd advise anyone to pack along some ear plugs and an eye shield, makes a big difference.

Having 3 other beds in a room does give one a good chance to view a certain aspect of Italian life and values. I'm not making comparisons just observations. What I observed was a lot of care and affection, a willingness to help others and a true sense of sympathy for their pain. I guess I came away with a bit of a renewed faith in the goodness of the human spirit.