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January 1, 2010     Post-Gazette
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..j:. ,,~ , ....,~.m.,J...~.,J. a . , a. ~.am,.,. ,,d~..,,,z.~ ..,.J,~,m,m,dJS, l~l~, ....... ,,,,al,L ~~ll .~,,t LJ i|~ d~L[.m!,~:m,.-f~,~ll. I it .;L,~,~JIH..J...,.*L,~ .Lltd mJ'~L'AL'.~ikBUMimJi @ 4) Page 14 POSTGAZETTE JANUARY 1 2010 i The time has come the walrus said (FROM NEWSPAPERS AND OTHER PUBLICATIONS) Compiled by Or~io Z. Buttafuoco SECRECY FOR THE SWISS BANKS: Impregnable! Repeated requests from the American Government, mainly the IRS, to disclose the secret identities of about 52,000 American taxpayers, have been denied by the Union of Swiss Banks. The US authorities are now threatening legal action to force the Swiss authorities to allow their banks to 'open the books'. However, the Swiss authorities are going to con- test, quite firmly, the US actions by claiming that their laws, as they now stand, cannot be violated. It has been estimated that the money hidden in Swiss secret accounts by US citizens, is about $14.8 billion. The Americans feel that legally forcing the Swiss to disclose the identities of the tax evaders is the only way to find out about the accounts, But the Swiss strongly maintain that their deci- sion to continue their banking secrecy is based on their long-standing policies on the issue. The IRS is going to have hard time, as we read and hear, is based on com- ments by experts who do not anticipate an outcome in favor of the IRS. Let's now look at the Swiss laws on the matter. The secrecy was adopted in 1934. It guarantees, to all clients of Swiss banks, a full confidentiality of information regarding private individuals, and organizations or any entities. Forty-seven of the Laws on Banking, which started in 1934. Whoever violates a bank's secrecy will spend up to 6 months in jail and fined up to 50,000 Swiss Francs. Only on exceptional cases, and by clear established legal prin- ciples, the secrecy can be temporarily removed, as in cases of money laundering and recycling or in terrorism cases. However, tax evasion is not considered an exception (score one on IRS). The Swiss laws make a significant distinction between fraudulent evasion and fiscal evasion. The Swiss authorities could grant a suspension, albeit temporary, of banking secrecy. Fiscal evasion is not regarded a crime in Switzerland, therefore it does not justify a reprieve from the banking secrecy. THEM ITALIAN MULTI-NATIONAL ENEL: Still growing. The electric power supplier, ENEL, continues to grow, and expand. It has recently taken over the Spanish corporation ENDESA (92% of it), and together will produce nearly 100 Giga-watt of electric power, the second largest in Europe. The 'electrlcal marriage', of Enel and Endesa, has created an international giant corporation. Enel Continues to expand all over the world. As we reported a fev, r months a~o (' [| ' ' i n thePost-Gazette), tie Italian electrical giant has moved (l fast, and deep, into all electricity producing areas in South America, in the Middle East, in Asia and also in Africa. THE VATICAN HONORS GALILEO The New Year (2009) has been called the 'Year of Astronomy'. After 445 years, the Vatican has honored the memory of Galileo, Galilei who had been rehabilitated, from excommunication, by the late Pope John Paul II. All kinds of scientists, particularly astronomers from all over the world, attended a Mass officiated by Monsignor Gianfranco Ravasi. Russian and Chinese scientists als0 were present at the ceremony, The Cardinal Secretary of State, Bertone, brought the Pope's special Blessing. The Chinese scientists announces that a celebrated Chinese artist will make a bronze statue of Galileo and donate it to the Basilica of Santa Maria degll Angeli. Editorial (Continued from budget busters sure to pass in the Democrat controlled Congress. Obama is certainly pleas- ing Russia and China with his proposal for Cap and Tax that would amount to 81,800 per household. An- other burden on taxpayers will result when he lets the Bush tax cuts expire in 2010, resulting in an average tax increase of $2,000 per fam- ily. So much for Obama's (BS) for not taxing the middle class. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association reports the Democratic health care reform will raise the cost of health insurance. Their study found that premiums would raise under Democrat Page 3) "reform" an average of 54 percent, a cost increase of $3,341 for families and $1,576 for individuals. Considering Coakley will accede to every demand of 0bama, no matter the cost to taxpayers, should be enough inducement for the electorate to solidify behind Scott Brown for United States Senate. If elected he would become the 41st vote in the Senate and help restore a semblance of fiscal responsibility. I reflect on the old adage, "Live and let live" it has been a truism for ages as has been "A word to the wise is sufficient", let us hope it applies in the upcom- ing election. TO TALK OF MANY THINGS of shoes and ships and sealing wax of cabbages and kings by Sal THE AUDACITY OF DEBT The above headline was the title of a Wall Street Journal editorial on December 16. The editorial opined," At least someone in America isn't feeling a credit squeeze: Uncle Sam. This week Congress will vote to raise the national debt ceiling by nearly $2 tril- lion, to a total of $14 trillion. In this economy, everyone de-leverages except government. It's a sign of how deep the fiscal pathologies run in this Congress that $2 trillion will buy the federal government only one year be- fore it has to seek another debt hike -- con- veniently timed to come after the midterm elections ... Democrats ridiculed Mr. Bush as the most fiscally "Irresponsible President In history" but then they saw him and raised. They took an 8800 billion deficit and made it $1.4 trillion in 2009 ... In ten months they have approved more than $1 trillion in spending ... but have done little to assist private job creation." $2 trillion years ago, US Senator Barack Obama attacked Washington DC for shift- ing "the burden of bad choices onto the backs of our children and grandchildren ... America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. That was in 2006 when Bush was in charge. Now, we still have an even bigger debt problem and a greater failure of leadership. The next generation of Americans, those who are preschoolers today and those yet to be born will become virtual tax slaves who will be forced to pay the piper for our cur- rent fiscal irresponsibility. WHAT HAPPENED TO THEIR QUALITY CONTROL? I had to laugh while recently going through a copy of the NY Times about a week before Christmas. I couldn't believe my eyes. There on the page was an advertisement clearing showing Santa Claus in the pic- ture. Surely, someone must have messed up. How did the liberal NY Times overlook that politically incorrect advertisement? Heads will roll. It appears right now that One time, his jolly old face wouldn't have been all over the newspaper. However~ that was yesterday. Never you mind putting Christ back into Christmas, Santa Claus has no place in the liberal inn either. THERE'S A LATINO KENNEDY RUNNING FOR US SENATE? According to newspaper accounts, not only is Joseph L. Kennedy, the Libertarian US Senate candidate, not one of those Kennedys, he isn't even Irish. His name at birth was Fernandez or Rodriguez and he's a Lutheran to boot. Does he belong on the ballot as Coakley demands or not. She'd love to see him in every debate with Republican Scott Brown. She better be care- ful what she wishes to happen. Give this Kennedy more public exposure and anything might happen in the whacky Common- wealth of Massachusetts where together we can go from bad to worse. Governor Deval Patrick could be in big trouble big time if Giarratani the electorate wake up and demand actual leadership rather than sound bites. He gets invited to speak at a men's only club, then at the last minute says he can't go because he never knew women weren't invited. It was right on the invitation. He needs to read his own mail. Tim Cahill can become his worse nightmare in 2010. Meanwhile, this other Kennedy is hoping apparently for some Kennedy magic. We shall see, we shall see. NO LEFTOVERS AT DUNLIN DONUTS Once upon a time, at the end of the night, eateries used to put out their leftovers for the homeless or drop them off at the near- est shelter. That was before the donut police from the public health department stepped in to save the homeless from leftovers. Now, the only way places like Dunkin Donuts give away leftovers is to individually wrap up each one. Who's going to do that? Thanks to the political correct crowd, leftovers get thrown into a dumpster and only the rodents get it done their way. what are we protecting the homeless from, a stale croissant? Stale is still better than nothing. The world just gets crazier. WAIT UNTIL YOU HEAR THIS Some guy got totally depressed about the news his girlfriend was breaking up with him. He shows up in her doorway and says he's wearing a belt strapped with bombs and if she doesn't return to him, he'll blow ev- erybody up kingdom come. The cops arrive, the fire department shows up, the bomb squad is dispatched and a negotiator arrives to talk the guy into surrendering. It takes a while but he finally takes off the belt and places it on the ground. The SWAT team tackles him to the ground only to find out what was thought to be bombs was actually about a dozen au agc , I've never seen a sausage blow up but it's probably a horrible sight. You can't make this news up because it does happen as in this case. I caught the radio news in progress so I still don't know where this in- out of Newmarket over on Massachusetts Avenue, doesn't it? CHRISTMAS TIME AT METRO BOSTON DMH Thanks to the Friends of Metro Boston and many volunteers, over 350 Department of Mental Health clients enjoyed a great Christmas Holiday party over at the S.C. Fuller Mental Health Center in Boston's South End. I have worked for Metro Boston DMH since 1972 and this year's party was one of the best and most well attended. Clients o~d DMH $to.ff enjoyed a great meal, dancing to a great deejay's choice of music, the mellow sounds of Tunefoolery playing old Christmas favorites and a photo with Santa Claus himself. A great time was had by all at this annual Christmas event. Kudos again to all the Friends of Metro Boston and the volunteers who made the Christmas season come to life for those who often live in the shadows of life. Nanna & Babbononno (Continued from ing about those long-gone Switzerland, days when our grandparents were the elders of the fam- ily. As our conversation continued about the old days, Ralph and I both admit- ted that we were now the family elders. Hopefully, what we have attempted to con- tinue as a family tradition, has rubbed off with our off springs. Years ago, the entire faro- ily lived within blocks of each other in East Boston. Our generation moved to the suburbs and were within local towns outside the old neighborhood. Our kids live even farther apart, mine especially. My son, John, lives and works in Zurich, Page 13} and my son, Michael, lives in New York City. Who knows where the next generation will be found living. But, hopefully, they will follow our lead and get together on special holidays. I've spoken so much about Ralph Pepe and his family, I had my wife take a picture of the three generations of his family to include with this week's column. I don't know if my boys will ever marry (they are having too much fun as single men), but if they do, I wonder if I will ever experi- ence the pleasures I saw expressed on Ralph's face as he watched everyone cel- ebrate Christmas. We11, Christmas 2009 is over and we are preparing for New Years Eve. Loretta and I will be joining forces with Dean Saluti, Margie Cahn and a group of friends. I stopped playing on New Year's Eve after 50 years and spend the time with my wife and closest friends. Our kids will soon head back to where they now live and things will eventually fall back to set routines. In the meantime, take a look at the picture of the Pepe family. So, from all of us to all of you, a very Happy New Year, or should I say, "Felice Capo d'Anno." And once more, may GOD BLESS AMERICA.