(Venice, Italy) That amazing photo you see is of the volcano in Iceland, called Eyjafjallajökull, and was taken from DK Matai's site. Eyjafjallajökull started to erupt, fittingly, around the time of the Vernal Equinox, March 20/21, and began causing real havoc on April 14th, closing airports all over Europe, and stranding people all over the world. The general consensus here in Venice is: WE HOPE IT ERUPTS FOR A FEW MORE MONTHS AND KEEPS EVERYONE STUCK WHERE THEY ARE. It is like the Universe's version of "Un, due, tre, Stella!" (1, 2, 3, Star!) or, to American ears, "One, two, three, Red Light!" where the person who is "it" turns around and hollers, "Stella!" or "Red Light!" (or "Soleil!" -- Sun! -- if you are in France), and everyone running must freeze like statues in their places.
Personally, I love volcanoes. They remind me of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince, which I strongly suggest that we take down off our shelves and read again right now. The copy I own has a cover that looks like the one you see over on the right.
"I believe that for his escape he took advantage of the migration of a flock of wild birds. On the morning of his departure he put his planet in perfect order. He carefully cleaned out his active volcanoes. He possessed two active volcanoes; and they were very convenient for heating his breakfast in the morning. He also had one volcano that was extinct. But, as he said, 'One never knows!' So he cleaned out the extinct volcano, too. If they are well cleaned out, volcanoes burn slowly and steadily, without any eruptions. Volcanic eruptions are like fires in a chimney.
On our Earth we are obviously much too small to clean out our volcanoes. That is why they bring no end of trouble upon us."
Of course, the airlines are upset and want to be bailed out. Quite frankly, I am exhausted with bailing out banks, airlines, insurance companies, etc., and think we should just let them all fend for themselves. Hey! How about the airlines asking the insurance companies... no, wait. It's an Act of God, plus it's a pre-existing condition. So, sorry, you are not covered.
I am sure it is only a coincidence that the English-language version of the explanation of why the banks in Iceland failed was released on April 14th, the same day that the volcano shut down Europe. From Calculated Risk:
"The English version of the Black Report on the Iceland bank failures was released today. It has it all - regulatory capture, oblivious politicians, shadow banking, loans to shareholders to buy shares and more. (ht Steinn)"
Click here to read more: http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2010/04/iceland-bank-black-report.html
I think we should listen to the advice of the President of Iceland, Olaf Ragnar Grimsson, who sounds like a very wise man. He said, "I think it is a very important lesson to all of us that the forces of nature are still at work. They are so formidable that they can bring to a standstill the most advanced economies in the world." President Grimsson suggests that we "relax a little and take time to reflect on the relationship between man and nature."
Click here to watch the BBC interview with President Grimsson:
Click here for the BBC's up-to-the-minute volcano coverage, "Volcano Cloud As it Happens":
At least the British have maintained their sense of humor, and are sending three Royal Navy warships to rescue their citizens, including the Royal Ark herself, HMS Ark Royal.
For my own volcano watch, today I bought a rainbow pinwheel from the Chinese shop and stuck it in my flowers on the balcony so I can see which way the wind blows. Last evening, April 18, 2010, between the hours of 6:30PM and 8:30PM, someone in my building destroyed my mailbox from the inside. I am positive the mailbox was fine at about 6:30PM because there was flyer inside that asked "VUOI MIGLIORARE IL TUO STILE DI VITA?" and I read it on the way to my appointment. The mailbox was broken when I arrived home at 8:30PM; I have a witness that entered at the same time as me. Besides the family who lives here that I have known for years, there was only one other occupied apartment at that time -- the same apartment where the strange woman from Naples, Olimpia Ubaldo, and her sidekick, Wendy, claimed they lived. There are some unusual fellows in there now.
Time to clean out our own Venetian volcano before it erupts.
Ciao from Venice,
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog
UPDATE: May 24, 2011 - It has been more than a year since I wrote this blog. Since that time, on June 11, 2010, a group of people broke into my home, injected me with drugs and forced me into the psychiatric section of the hospital here in Venice. Two days later, a false story was published in the local paper(s) that I had broken into my apartment and tried to commit suicide by throwing myself off the balcony, desperate because I could not accept the eviction -- which, of course, is entirely illegal to start with. If Roberto Benetta, owner of Alisei Comunicazione Srl, a public relations firm based in Milano and Turino, is an honest man, he will state that I paid the June, 2008 rent for my apartment at San Polo 622, Venezia, in cash directly to his father, Gianni Benetta, on June 10, 2008, since Roberto saw the transaction with his own eyes.
The entire story is a created and manufactured lie by the US State Department and/or the CIA. (Remember, folks, there were no weapons of mass destruction.:) Prior to the forced involuntary commitment on June 11, 2010, the Italian police informed me that they had been told to force me into the hospital by Megan Jones, the US Consulate Agent here in Venice, on June 24, 2009, and they did not want to do it. (The very first attempt was made on August 7, 2008, which I have detailed before.)
How they explain the fact that I wrote this particular blog on April 19, 2010 while inside my apartment, together with three Carabinieri, I have no idea -- I had been back inside since the end of November, 2009. I suppose they think they can bully, intimidate and pay off everyone, and make my blog disappear, as they have already made my "www.catbauer.com" site disappear (if you use the Way Back machine, you can still find it.)
Then, Sara Jane Boyers, a former attorney who I had demanded stay out of my life, and her husband, Steven R. Boyers, a practicing attorney, claimed to be friends of my family (whom they have never met in their lives) and inquired to my Venetian attorney about setting up a guardianship for me, or having me institutionalized. I later discovered that, on more than one occasion, William R. Gill and Megan H. Jones of the US State Department also had contacted my family, without my knowledge or consent, and deliberately gave them false information about me in order to create a false story that I was "paranoid, schizophrenic, bi-polar, suicidal, mentally ill and/or a danger to myself and others." I have since done a mountain of research and learned this is typical CIA/FBI behavior. It is political abuse of psychiatry. From Wikipedia:
In 2006, Canadian psychiatrist Colin A. Ross's book was published, titled The C.I.A. Doctors: Human Rights Violations by American Psychiatrists. The book presents evidence based on 15,000 pages of documents received from the CIA via the Freedom of Information Act that there have been systematic, pervasive violations of human rights by American psychiatrists during the recent 65 years.
Luckily, Venetian and Italian doctors are not such barbarians.
Today, all my possessions -- including my US passport -- are locked inside my apartment at San Polo 622 and the door has been changed. Yet the gas and electricity are in my name, and have been since Jan/Feb. 2010. I have repeatedly filed reports with the Italian Polizia and Carabinieri. The story is, of course, much longer. There is no longer any doubt that the United States of America has tortured one of their own citizens, me, Catherine Ann "Cat" Bauer, an innocent civilian guilty of no crime -- except, perhaps, the crime of being a keen observer, a skilled writer, and an outspoken critic of barbaric behavior.
UPDATE: September 26, 2012. This evening I was physically assaulted and verbally abused by Roberto Benetta, together with a woman I do not know. The woman was out of her mind, saying that she wanted me dead, she wanted me back in the United States, that I was crazy, that I was going to be forced into the hospital, etc. She and Benetta punched me and tried to REALLY push me down the stairs, which, when you have someone screaming that they wanted you dead, can be a bit frightening. I grabbed hold of the railing and screamed, "Aiuto!" "Aiuto" "Aiuto!" The woman threw my phone, camera, sunglasses, reading glasses down the stairs. She ripped my hair, etc. I will ADMIT that in self defense I grabbed hold of her hair, too, like a cat fight. But if you have a screaming maniac that says she wants you dead and punches you, together with a "man," Roberto Benetta -- who happens to be the owner of a public relations firm called Alisei Comunicazione, or "Ali6", I think I have a bit of a right to fight back. The woman says she is going first to the hospital and then to police to say that I attacked her, punched her in the nose, and broke some type of jewelry, and since there were three of them against one of me, there would be no way I could win this time. (I REALLY have no idea who this woman is; she is certainly not the wife and mother of the children of Roberto Benetta, with whom I have had dinner.) I do not know who the third man was, but he did not seem of the same character. He did not assault me, nor verbally abuse me, nor prevent me from entering my apartment -- but nor did he try to prevent them from assaulting me!
Needless to say, I am very tired, so I will provide more details in the future. BUT THE BEST NEWS IS THAT I ACTUALLY STEPPED FOOT INTO MY APARTMENT TONIGHT before being beaten and pushed and shoved by Roberto Benetta to leave. And I actually SAW my desk! My golden mirror over the sofa! My cushions from Istanbul! My bookshelf! Some of my books! And many other personal items INSIDE MY APARTMENT AT SAN POLO 622! There ARE THERE. And I was INSIDE. I was really, really inside my apartment tonight!
September 26, 2012