Alessandra Mussolini autographs photos of fascist Grandpa Benito

Click to view the unpleasant and gory end of the Fascist Mussolini

Alessandra Mussolini, an MP and the grand daughter of Benito Mussolini, has been caught autographing photographs of the fascist leader during a parliamentary debate in Rome.

Lobby photographers took pictures of Miss Mussolini signing the black and white images on behalf of the friend of a fellow MP, Carolina Lussana, a member of the Right-wing, anti-immigrant Northern League party.

One of them portrayed the dictator giving the stiff-armed fascist salute dressed in a black uniform.

Miss Lussana said the request for the photographs to be signed had come from a friend who was “a nostalgic admirer” of the man who led Italy into disastrous colonial adventures, enacted anti-Semitic laws and declared war on Britain and France…

Miss Mussolini, 49, who is proud of her family background, said she could not see what all the fuss was about.

“What harm was there? He’s my grandfather,” said the MP, who is a member of Mr Berlusconi’s People of Freedom party. “I did it, I’ve done it in the past and I would do it again. I can’t understand why there is so much interest.”

Doesn’t she sound just like the Tea Party dodos who claim they’re being discriminated against, unjustly accused of racism and fascism – when they hold one of their Posse Comitatus Rallies, guns and all?

Poisonally, I’d like to have her autograph my favorite photo of her Fascist grandpa. The one taken in the lovely lakeside village of Dongo I visited long, long ago – just to see the spot where her infamous forebear was hung up to dry after his execution.

U.S. fails to block accord against cluster bombs

The dangerous task of removing cluster bombs dropped by Israel on Lebanon

A U.S.-led push to regulate, rather than ban, cluster munitions failed Friday after 50 countries objected, following humanitarian campaigners’ claims that anything less than a outright ban would be an unprecedented reversal of human rights law.

While the United States, China and Russia want rules about the manufacture and use of cluster bombs, activists say such regulations would legitimize the munitions, backtracking from the Oslo Convention, an international treaty that seeks a worldwide ban.

“Against all odds it looks like we’re going to have success this evening,” Steve Goose, head of the arms division at Human Rights Watch, told a press conference in Geneva. “How often do you see the U.S., Russia, China, India, Israel and Belarus push for something, and they don’t get it? That has happened largely because of one powerful alliance driving the Oslo partnership.”

Cluster bombs, dropped by air or fired by artillery, scatter hundreds of bomblets across a wide area and can kill and maim civilians long after conflicts end…

Those lining up against the U.S. plan included the International Committee of the Red Cross and the top U.N. officials for human rights, emergency relief and development.

The U.N. agency chiefs said cluster bombs were a particular threat to children, who were attracted by their unusual, toy-like shapes and colors. They said they were extremely concerned at plans to do anything less than ban them…

Activists said the opposition to the U.S. proposal was led by Norway, Mexico and Austria, while 12 signatories to the 2008 Oslo Convention, including Japan, France and Germany, said they were in favor of regulation of cluster bombs under the CCW.

China and Russia, which like the United States are major producers of cluster munitions, were strongly supportive of the U.S. measure.

No surprises in any aspect of the politics on display here. Whether the question is one of allowing torture – or carrying on with the manufacture, deployment and distribution of anti-personnel weapons generally used by the most reactionary regimes on Earth – the United States has supported continuing use.

Questions of use and abuse of weapons using phosphorus, napalm – questions regarding carpet bombing, land mines and cluster bombs – and most recently the revival of torture as acceptable, the United States has lagged the rest of civilization. Whichever domestic decisions have been made by American voters, foreign policy enforced by military means and guided by allegiance to Pentagon protocols and Congressional fiat has relied on death and destruction applied with equal weight to military and civilian targets.

We accepted all the premises from the Axis we fought against in World War 2. And invented new rationales, more lies for the Cold War and beyond.

Chile earthquake altered Earth’s axis, shortened day

Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

Saturday’s Chile earthquake was so powerful that it likely shifted an Earth axis and shortened the length of a day.

By speeding up Earth’s rotation, the magnitude 8.8 earthquake—the fifth strongest ever recorded, according to the USGS—should have shortened an Earth day by 1.26 millionths of a second, according to new computer-model calculations by geophysicist Richard Gross of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

For comparison, the same model estimated that the magnitude 9 Sumatra earthquake in December 2004 shortened the length of a day by 6.8 millionths of a second.

Gross also estimates that the Chile earthquake shifted Earth’s figure axis by about three inches (eight centimeters)…

Likewise, as a portion of Earth’s mass drew in ever so slightly and quickly during the Chile earthquake, the planet began spinning a bit quicker.

To use a more vulgate analogy, the Earth’s bunghole – puckered.

Thanks, Mr. Fusion