The Ford Report: US Police Killings Violate International Law            

June 23 2015

Amnesty International finds all 50 states and Washington, DC, fail to comply with international law and standards on the use of lethal force by law enforcement officers.


il Monumento

“We need soldiers rather than philosophers.” -Il Popolo d’Italia, 1928

One of the reasons why I made this comic is because I see stuff like this every so often: 

And yes sometimes it’s done in a  genuinely funny but a lot of times I think it’s because people forget that nation-tans are characters on their own too, and not just robotic manifestations of their leaders or government policies–after all, most nation-tans have been through multiple differing governments in their lifetime, but every time there’s a coup it doesn’t mean their personality immediately changes. Regarding Italy in particular, I find him really fascinating because, well, he certainly does not fit the description of Mussolini’s cult of virility and heteronormativity, which encouraged aggression and implored males to be the  “military, uncouth, and virile” beings that they “naturally” were, as opposed to the “feminized” intellectual bourgeoisie that was looked down upon. “The fascist regime pursued a pedagogy of virility potentially aimed at every male of every age, proposing once again the ideal masculine model of the combatant devoted to action; in this way it aimed to fight the negative product of modernity: the reflexive, hypersensitive and frail man whose passive and uncertain character derived from an excess of rationality.” (Sandro Bellassai, “The Masculine Mystique”, 2005)  In light of this, while it’s been shown that Feliciano can be an efficient fighter if he wants to, he’d much rather be cooking, flirting, reading and making art and music. He’s much more interested in exploring other cultures rather than dominate them, and while his exact sexuality is unconfirmed, he is definitely not straight. (my head canon is he’s ace pan/quoiromantic!!)   Rather than being a contradiction, this is probably a good representation because, even with all the propaganda and militaristic programs Mussolini put into place, inevitably not everyone could live up to the standard, and some people of course just blatantly ignored it. (There’s also some question about the effectiveness of the regime’s early military training, due to the Italian army’s actual performance during the war, but that’s a whole other issue–and probably)

For all the times he’s the butt of all the jokes, both in canon (ESPECIALLY in the dub), and in fandom, who just want to make him out to be nothing but Germany’s whiny uke, (the very TITLE of the series is a pun on how “useless” he is)  Feliciano Vargas really is one of the wisest characters in the series. Despite, or maybe because of said “uselessness,“ Italy seems to have stumbled upon an important truth as well–the truth that the pursuit and lust for Power is ultimately detrimental, and it’s just so much worthwhile to try and learn about and appreciate the wonderful things about people, even if they’re different than you, and even if it means being considered foolish.  It’s the little victories  in life that are much more important to celebrate than the conquering of others. Whatever shady things his government might be up to at any point in history (colonization *cough cough*), Feliciano couldn’t be less concerned with chasing after power and glory–for all his ditziness and for all the times he’s made fun of in canon for being “weak,” remember that as a child he turned down Holy Rome’s offer to “become the greatest nation in the world” because he saw the effect it had on his grandpa. Italy knows that power, while it sure might feel good in the meantime, only leads to more stress and devastation, and it never lasts. It’s something that Grandpa Rome himself learned as well, as seen in the episode where he visits Germany and is asked why he disappeared. “I thought my wealth and power would last forever,” he says. The Rome that Feli remembers, the old man scarred by age and time, is so different than the Duce’s imagination of a sublime, godlike being of unstoppable force and glory. It’s not just about the physical resemblance, but the attitude and meaning behind the representation as well…

And I speculate that Mussolini probably viewed Feliciano more as “the grandson of Roman Empire” rather than as an individual in his own right.

Extra Notes:

-On the first page: in 1925 Mussolini gave permission to Cesare Mori to start an intense and violent crackdown on the Mafia, which while at the time was purported by the government to be successful, when in actuality… it was not.  It also caused several mafia members to move to the United States.

-idk my perspective and scenery game is pretty rusty but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t inspired by the vast architectural interiors of “The Conformist”…

-The Rome Statue is holding the Fasces, which was the symbol of authority in Ancient Rome and from which the Fascist party adopted as its symbol (and name) as well.

-The whole suspicion of intellectuals was kind of the most incredible thing for me, like I’ve always known that dictatorships are suspicious of intellectuals, but the sheer lengths they went to demonize it was just…kind of ridiculous. Mostly because they demonized intellectuals by associating it with being an “infertile intelligence,” and (*gasp*) associating it with femininity "but in the worst sense, for it is a femininity that will never be maternal.” Um yeah. The tenets are just rooted in misogyny…

-Mussolini’s head is really weirdly shaped. 

Further Reading: (for a quick overview)

-  Gigliola Gori (1999) Model of masculinity: Mussolini, the ‘new Italian’ of the Fascist era, The International Journal of the History of Sport, 16:4, 27-61, Sandro Bellassai (2005) The masculine mystique: antimodernism and virility in fascist Italy, Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 10:3, 314-335,

As usual I’m just a nerdy student, not an expert, so if any of you have any commentary to add please do so!



Mussolini’s war on pasta,

The Italian dictator didn’t like pasta.  How could an Italian not like pasta? Mussolini’s goal for the future was to make Italy completely independent from the rest of the world in terms of resources, whether that meant conquering new territories or doing without.  During the 1930’s Italy important an incredible amount of grain in order to feed Italy’s pasta obsession.  Thus, in the 1930’s Mussolini began a campaign to rid Italy of pasta.  Of course even though Mussolini was a powerful dictator, he couldn’t just ban pasta, such an act would lead to nationwide outrage. However, he did try to discourage pasta consumption by levying taxes on the food, and by personally encouraging people to stop eating eat.  As a substitute, Mussolini advocated the consumption of rice, which he thought was easy to grow and more economical. 

To spearhead his war on pasta, Mussolini turned to the Futurist Movement, an art and cultural movement whose aims were to modernize Italy. Often the Futurists and Italian fascists worked hand in hand to bring about political and cultural reform in Italy.  The Futurists began a massive propaganda campaign which demonized pasta, making claims that it lessened virility, causes pessimism, and decreases ambition.  The Futurist food movement could best be described by The Manifesto of Futurist Cooking, written personally by the Futurist Movement leader Filippo Marinetti.  In it he not only offered alternatives to traditional Italian cuisine, but outlined the principles of what Futurist cooking was all about.  Among its principles were the banning of pasta, the “use of perfumes and fragrances to enhance flavor”, the banning of the knife and fork, sculpted foods, especially meats, food that was to be looked at without being eaten, and the serving of food in small mouth sized portions.  The Furturists even went into the realm of the bizarre, cooking foods in autoclaves, and using ozonizers to give foods the smell of ozone.

The Italian people were outraged by the movement, especially since most Futurist dishes were weird and tasted like shit.  Whole towns and cities signed petitions, and people outright refused to give up pasta or give into to Futurist cuisine.  The outrage of the Italian people reached fever pitch when Filippo Marinetti himself was once sighted eating a bowl of pasta.  Mussolini’s war on pasta continued through the 1930’s up to World War II, but saw no significant success.

Troops referred to Ferguson protesters as ‘enemy forces’, emails show

Documents detailing military mission during unrest over the police killing of Michael Brown designated ‘enemy forces’ to include ‘general protesters’

Apr. 17 2015

As the Missouri national guard prepared to deploy to the streets of Ferguson last year during protests sparked by the shooting death of Michael Brown, the troops used highly militarised language such as “enemy forces” and “adversaries” to refer to citizen demonstrators.

Documents detailing the military mission divided the crowds that national guards would be likely to encounter into “friendly forces” and “enemy forces” – the latter apparently including “general protesters”.

A briefing for commanders included details of the troops’ intelligence capabilities so that they could “deny adversaries the ability to identify Missouri national guard vulnerabilities”, which the “adversaries” might exploit, “causing embarrassment or harm” to the military force, according to documents obtained in a Freedom of Information Act request by CNN.

And in an ominous-sounding operations security briefing, the national guard warned: “Adversaries are most likely to possess human intelligence (HUMINT), open source intelligence (OSINT), signals intelligence (SIGINT), technical intelligence (TECHINT), and counterintelligence capabilities.”

In less military-style language, the briefing then goes on to detail how protesters might obtain this intelligence – a list of sources no more technical than public records, social media and listening to conversations “being carried out in public” by civic officials or law enforcement, according to the report.

The Missouri governor, Jay Nixon, deployed the state national guard to Ferguson in August after local police forces caused international uproar by firing teargas on demonstrators while armed with gear that even US military veterans said was better suited for the streets of Afghanistan than an American suburb.

“It’s disturbing when you have what amounts to American soldiers viewing American citizens somehow as the enemy,” local alderman Antonio French told CNN.

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In many settler societies, historically the white population not only supported the police, in part they were the police. Unlike in Old Europe, where in general the masses of people were kept disarmed and landless, in settler colonies often the entire euro-male culture revolved around common and cheap access to land and rifles and the bodies of the oppressed. Posses or militias or “Committees of Correspondence” or lynch mobs of armed men enforced the local settler dictatorship over Indians, Latinos, Afrikans, Asians, North Afrikans, women, etc.  And white men of all classes joined in, to affirm their membership in the most important “class” of all. Settlerism filled the space that fascism normally occupies.

bebechka81 asked:

Your posts only tell half the story. I'm not one to troll, but your blog is completely fabricated and full of shit. When the majority of Palestinian people learn how to be civil, then, and only then will your argument about Israelis be a valid one.

Translation: We stole the majority of Palestinian land and destroyed hundreds of their villages by creating the state of Israel and we’re continuing to do so with illegal Jewish-only settlements in West Bank and regular deadly attacks on Gaza by air and sea and even though we have also implemented apartheid and unfair water distribution and a blockade aimed at starving the Palestinian population - to name a few - THIS GENOCIDE IS TAKING FAR TOO LONG WE WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE IT IF PALESTINIANS STOPPED MAKING A FUSS ABOUT BEING KILLED BY ISRAEL AND JUST LEARNED TO BE CiViL BY LETTING US WIPE THEM OUT QUICKER.  

hxc-prussia asked:

Repeat after me "race is a social contract"

Races are distinct sub-species. “The genetic distance between modern Sub-Saharan Africans and Europeans was estimated at ~24%; much greater than the modern human and the extinct archaic Neanderthal genetic distance of just ~8%.” The genetic distance (FST) between Sub-Saharan Africans and Europeans is 0.24 while the genetic difference between the common chimpanzee and Bonobo is 0.55. Races are more genetically distant than some animal species.