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  1. #1
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
    St Clair Shores MI.
    Dogs, Mothers-in-Law, Politicians’ Butts
    In Italy, Laws and Courts Weigh In on All Those and More

    By Bob Jamieson

    R O M E, March 27 — If you're planning on coming to Italy, don't even think of kicking a dog, even if it's yours. And especially if you're angry at your mother-in-law. It's now the law.

    Well, this is Italy, where the country's highest court of appeals is clearly taking on a more activist role to improve the quality of life for Italians. And their dogs.

    In its most recent ruling this week, it made kicking your dog a crime. In the case of a Sicilian man, the high court ruled he was guilty and upheld a fine of 5,000 Euros ($6,150), even though the dog was unhurt.

    According to the Italian news agency ANSA, the court said, "It was enough for the creature to suffer psychological trauma," though the judges didn't say to whom the dog expressed his "psychological trauma."

    Lay Off Mother-In-Law

    Then there's the mother-in-law. The court ruled in December that hostility to a mother-in-law, even without "an overt threat, should be punishable by law."

    The landmark case? A son-in-law who blamed the collapse of his marriage on his wife's mother parked his car outside his mother-in-law's house and shouted out her name.

    The court said, "Even an attitude or behavior not accompanied by any verbal expression can amount to a threat."

    While the court is known for idiosyncratic rulings — such as once declaring that adultery could take place before marriage — some have drawn cheers in Italy, a country often strangled by a bureaucracy with seemingly endless tentacles.

    It was the case of a lawyer from Perugia fined in 1993 for parking in the city center, even though he had a permit to be there. The lawyer waged a long fight to cancel the parking ticket, rejected by the bureaucracy each step of the way. Finally, he took his case to the appeals court, which ruled the lawyer should be compensated by Perugia officials for the stress of his bureaucratic nightmare.

    Fattened Butts Off Limits

    But many rulings still draw amused reaction. For example, the court's decision last month that politicians can't make fun of an opponent's butt size.

    The case involved a city councilman from the southern city of Calabria who was fined for accusing a rival of "fattening her buttocks" by "grabbing and misusing public funds."

    The court ruled politicians should have a sufficiently broad "cultural dimension" to avoid such low blows as referring to an opponent's "bodily dimension."

    In Italy, there's justice even for campaigning politicians, whether they deserve it or not.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    January 18th, 2005
    Liberal laws?

    Passed by a conservative government.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador
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    January 17th, 2005
    Civil rights, gay rights, voting laws, El Nino, tornados, anything these right-wing fanatics don't like or can't do anything about gets labled as a "Liberal" cause.

    Why? Because it's easier than thinking.


  4. #4
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
    I decide when the pigs fly!
    Rhea's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
    New York, USA
    Mike, you need a fact checker.

    Italy has a conservative government. As a society Italians are very fond of dogs.

    Why is it so important to you to keep score, anyway?

  5. #5
    I like traffic lights
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    January 18th, 2005
    Southern hemisphere - away from Fukushima
    >Why? Because it's easier than thinking.

    Yeah. Why think when you can have Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly tell you what you should be feeling.

    The Bush apologists have been strangely quiet about his joking about not finding WMD in Iraq...

  6. #6
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    January 17th, 2005
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Rhea:
    As a society Italians are very fond of dogs.QUOTE]

    Yeah, I'd say they are. I lived there for 4 years...they like to eat dogs too.

    I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.Will Rogers (1879 - 1935)

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