What do you get when a deconstructionist joins the mafia ?

An offer you can't understand.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Gangsters in Russian High Places

Will democracy falter in Moscow or will popular revolution lead to the creation of the Russian equivalent of the newly emerging 2nd American Republic.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gangster Capitalism versus Obama

Obama will be defined by the way in which he deals with these realities:
1.) because corporations cannot sign affidavits in court because they "have no conscience to bind them." 2.) because gangsters have no conscience to bind them, 3.) because Reagan, using faux libertarian pretenses of corporate freedom & expansionist national purposes to ensure corporate hegemony in the Caribbean & in the MidEast in the '80's, created his version of neo-corporatism out of what the GOP salvaged & redesigned after the Nixon-Rebezo debacle: Reagonimics reached it's logical conclusion in Noriega-Ollie North: the Iran-Contra 'drugs for arms scandal' 4.) then power dribbled into the hands of Bush-1, GH being the son of a Nazi banker & grandson of an arms dealer, VP-turned-Pres GH was a former CIA boss, whose operatives included Saddam Hussein & Osama Bin Laden 5.) replaced by Clinton neo-liberal (left corporatism) 6.) replaced by Cheney-Bush-2 who developed a virulent strain of gangster capitalism, which was overwhelmingly overthrown 7.) Nov 4. 2008, when the vast majority of Americans voted against the Bush League via Obama-MCain; leaving the Pres.-Elect on the cusp of 8.)the reorganizing of the global economy by right & left corporatists & communists in an age of already organized global gangster capitalists. The solution for Canada should be found in our history: we need to stand for Cooperatve Commonwealth, an expansion of the British Commonwealth based on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms: into which an individual's rights to water must be enshrined. As for the right & left corporatist union of Harper-Obama it must be met in parliament & in the next election with an environmental opposition united on water rights. It must be the next election issue. Because if the gangster capitalists get hold of the water there will be no conscience to bind them.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Karzi's brother a major heroin dealer

I suppose some people might be surprised that the brother of former CIA agent and close ally of George W. Bush turned out to be a heroin dealer. But that's the way gangster capitalism works, it's top down and it's why Canada's Afghanistan policy is based on a lie. Which is not to say that Canada's humanitarian goals in that country are unworthy of our involvement. But until people understand just how insidious the agenda of the right wing is, they will never be able to connect the dots.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Montreal mob boss plead guilty

Nick Rizzuto, the man who started rising to prominence in the Canadian Sicilian mafia shortly after Guelph's Frank Silvestro died in 1978 has just pleaded guilty as charged in the United States.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Frank Veroni went on to better things

The son of Domenic Sciarrone (Veroni) and Maria Calarco, Frank Veroni transcended his family's tragic past and became a highly respected doctor and philanthropist in Ohio. According to a 1938 Detroit border crossing record, Dr. Frank Veroni was born in Toronto in 1910. They came to Toronto after his parents had left Ottawa, where a previous child, also named Frank had died at the age of 8 months. Both were named after Domenico's father Francesco. Greatness has dark and light aspects to it, and it appears Dr. Veroni sought the light and found it far from Guelph.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Volume 2: Appendix: The Ratking

"Something wicked this way comes."
The Leduc oil reserves in Alberta were discovered in 1947. Up until that point, Alberta had essentially been a bankrupt province, bailed out by the federal government, and run by the Social Credit government of Ernest Manning (father of Canadian Reform Party founder Preston Manning.) Social Credit was a Christian political ideology that took hold in the West during the 1930's. Social Credit had been conceived by an Englishman named Major CH Douglas, who had believed that the economic hardships endured by workers under capitalism were rooted in the inefficiencies of capitalism itself, since workers lacked the financial resources needed to buy the products they made.
Social Credit recognized that society plays a significant role in the development and maintenance of the capitalist system, and therefore, the government had a role to play in ensuring that workers were able to take advantage of capitalism as consumers. Social Credit also realized that, as in scientific discoveries, the wealth of nation was built on the work of everyone who came before any given entrepreneur, so that any discovery or invention was actually part of society's wealth.
After 1947 however, and the development of the Leduc oil fields, big oil companies rolled into Alberta, and while the Social Credit Party continued to govern until 1971, it's ideology became strictly neo-liberal corporatism (except to the degree that the party sold the province in exchange for oil-financed social credit designed to keep Alberta tax-free for its citizens.) Alberta had originally been established as a province run by large landowners, many of whom were the sons of British peers, they ran the province like a fiefdom. Alberta has been run that way ever since. It is governed by a one party state and considers itself the champion of democracy, when it is really a wholly-owned subsidiary of American and Canadian oilmen, who continue to pay the mortgage on the province by paying Alberta's tax bills. The old Alberta maxim "Let the eastern bastards freeze in the dark" is based on the fact that Alberta oil goes to America, it doesn't come to the rest of Canada. And the same people are starting to redirect rivers flowing through Canada into the States so that drinking water can be used to keep lawns green in states that are otherwise deserts.
There is one other curiousity in the big oil story, in the American movie, The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, a fantastical treatment of an actual West-Texas frontier hanging-judge made in the 1970's, the movie ends with Bean's return to the town he had founded decades before. The judge discovers that oilmen and their banking friends have over run the town, so he burns it to the ground. While the town is burning, the camera stops on a sign on one of the oil derricks. It reads Oil was discovered in West Texas on September 11 1923.
Made nearly three decades before Fox Television's shock and awe footage played out of New York City airwaves on September 11 2001, Life and Times... depiction of the roots of the relationship between Texas oilmen and bankers and the narrowness of their world view seems starkly prophetic.
Like almost everyone, I was willing to believe the official versions of what happened on 9/11, but the more I came across internet analysis of discrepancies in the TV coverage and the subsequent spinning of the event, the more the Bush family's Nazi roots made sense of the case against the official version.
Here is not the place to go in depth into 9/11 frauds. (Look them up.) The Internet arguments provide a frame by frame; claim by claim, detail by detail deconstruction of every aspect of the tragedy. (Tragedy in the classical sense of a consequence caused by hubris - pride.) Scientists have begun weighing into the debate. Historians are digging around. And just as in Noah's Flood, it didn't just rain for forty days and forty nights, water erupted from 'the foundations of the deep." There were explosions in the basements of the Trade Towers reported by people who are still living, blasts before the towers were even hit.
When it was all over, the ground-zero craters remained molten for weeks after the event, emitting the chemicals used to create thermite, the explosive used by building demolition crews, one of the only things on the planet that would have burned that long and that hot (a lot hotter than jet fuel.)
The building's security company removed all bomb sniffing dogs from the towers in days before the event, the electrics above the fifty story floors were closed for repairs in the days leading up to 9/11. One of the board members of the Kuwaiti-American financed security firm was a cousin of George W's, Marvin Bush. The architects claim that the building was designed to take the impact of several 747 collisions, and that they don't buy the pancake theory of collapsing floors bringing down the towers - all three that fell that day. Of course, only two of the towers are normally discussed because the third one was never hit by anything: Tower 7 fell by itself: it crimped in the middle like its central steel columns had been cut and then blown and the 40 story building came down like a case-perfect demolition job, not causing the slightest damage to the buildings across the street from it.
Hundreds of security cameras fixed on the buildings surrounding the Pentagon, and which would have shown exactly what happened there, were seized immediately after the explosion and have never been shown, even though, presumably they all would have shown aspects of the plane that Bush and Co. allege hit the brain of the military-industrial complex. The only pieces of plane found were small enough to be carried off the grounds by hand, unlike any other jet crash in the history of jet crashes. The whole event may have been nothing but smoke and mirrors. If you thought the 9/11 commission was anything but a place for spinning a story that the extreme right wanted you to believe then you really want to believe it.
It seems that the hardest thing for people to understand, isn't that such a conspiracy could exist, it's how it could act so extensively, with so many loose threads bound to end up showing, and how did the conspirators think they would get away with it. The 'why' has to do with the Bush family's Nazi past, and the covert mercenaries and secret contractors of Cheney's friends in the Carlysle Group and Blackwater Inc. It's ultimately about power as a narcotic, the addiction of power. And however much they deny it in public, the extreme right knows that there is an environmental catastrophe coming, because the science was never in doubt. Before it comes, they need a state of extended Marshal Law in order to seize control of various resources, especially oil, water and high land that will remain arable. Vast tracts are being bought up all over the world, they call them land banks, and you can bet that if the general populace needs something from them some day, there will be a usury fee attached, if the water or food is available at all. And if this all sounds like a movie, it's because movies work when they speak to things that are actual. History is full of precisely these kinds of coups. They've just never this big, never this elaborate, but then the people responsible have been orchestrating right-wing coups around the globe since before the second world war. It's their business.
The 'how do they think they could get away with it," has to do with television. A handful of highly questionable occurrences were made real by TV: images and commentaries played over and over again created a specific effect: earlier versions that showed different facts than those required to terrorize the public were left out and would have disappeared altogether if not for the internet. The goal was to pass the Patriot Act so that an endless war against terror could be triggered, an enemy so fluid and elusive that the war need never end. Even as the cries of 'freedom and democracy" rang out of Bush's mouth and across the airwaves, the reality is that Americans (and Canadians) are now less free than we were, not because of terrorists, but because of our right wing governments. And all this was brought to you by Television. Remember when the Iraqi war ended ? It was when the Americans killed Iraqi TV. TV has become the mind of a nation. As soon as Saddam stopped broadcasting, Bush-Cheney controlled all the information that came out of Iraq and the war was over except for the long, brutal aftermath. The Right don't care that hundreds of thousands of Iraqi's have been killed; those 3000 plus 9/11 deaths justify everything.
Between 9/11 2001 and now, however, a communications revolution took place: up until then the internet had been a "read only" environment, that's why the new internet is called version 2.0, because suddenly it became what it was always intended to become: a place where individuals could write to the rest of the world, as well as read what only those with money and expertise could once post there. You-tube didn't exist back then, the ability to produce news other than that produced by a handful of corporate agencies is creating conscious political evolution in the place of revolution.
Originally created by the American military as a way of preserving local sources of information in the event of a nuclear war, the World Wide Web became the most egalitarian platform in history. Official versions of events in the guise of corporate television produce a controlled set of images that now keep slipping out of the control of those who staged the events, because the internet is full of anarchists who don't shock and awe as easily as do middle class Anywhere North Americans. They have less to lose.
Canada would have been an American territory a long time ago if handfuls of individuals hadn't taken on larger American forces. A handful of Internet anarchists are taking on one of the best financed disinformation cabals ever: hundreds of thousands of people a day are going online to look at their evidence and are comparing it to that of Bush-Cheney. Like the movie Wag the Dog, we have Wag the Fox.
If there were really an army of terrorists out there, they could do more harm to a nation's or a neighbourhood's security by performing small, random acts of continuous terror than by one staged, television event in New York City. Just look at life in America to see how much terror Americans inflict on one another on the streets, in shopping malls, in playgrounds and in one another's homes, and on a daily - even an hourly - hell, minute by minute basis. The War on Terror has to be continuously spun by Bush and Cheney in order to stay in focus, because of all the unrealities involved in their TV productions since they first seized the government in that very Third World-like coup in 2000. (The short version of that coup was that George W. Bush was a) the grandson of a former Nazi collaborator and war profiteer b) was also the son of a former president (who was himself the former head of the secret police - the CIA) and c) had won a disputed election in a state run by d) his brother. The election was also won by e) rigging votes that were then declared legal by f) the chairperson of Bush’s state campaign, (who also happened to be the top state law official there.)
Organized crime isn't just sitting back and learning to emulate the respectable, they are participating. In order to defraud the middle class all you need to do is provide services that allow Anywhere North Americans to remain delusional: the fantasy of suburban living as defined by television is the greatest achievement in mind control the world has ever seen, and organized crime has played a major role by laundering the profits of narcotics misery into shopping malls and subdivisions and restaurants and music clubs and water bottling businesses etc.
Their associates around the world have ensured that there are now upwards of 27 million slaves on the planet, a good portion of them prostitutes, but the majority are resource extraction workers, all quartered in Third World countries, all living and dying to serve the insatiable appetite of the West for cheap goods and thrills. Those millions don't even include all the indentured Third World poor living in corporate work compounds whose lives are spent creating the goods used to sustain the delusions of the West. There is no Social Credit there; they can't afford to buy what they make.
Third World gangsters working for the West run the corporate compounds and the resource extraction slave trades, and the slaves aren’t worth a quarter of what a slave in the Old South was once worth: these are disposable people that get dumped on the streets when their use is depleted. A river of blood runs under our economy and few seem to care, as long as they can continue buying things cheap at Walmart. The poor of the Third World may not have social credit, but the poor of Anywhere North America have been co-opted by store-credit.
Social Credit understood that one of the flaws of capitalism were disenfranchised consumers, so the banks and then department stores created credit cards, with usury fees attached, to keep consumers in enough goods and services to make them almost happy for life: and like Watership Down's fattened farm rabbits, they surround themselves with material comfort and don't understand what the wild rabbits are worried about. And yet, they are worried, that's why they ply themselves with prescription drugs by the tonne, in order to stay sane. It's not so much a conspiracy as it is what the late detective novelist Michael Dibdin described as a "Ratking", a natural phenomenon that occurs among dense populations of rats living in close proximity whose tails become so entwined by the excrement, dirt and blood of their common lives that they become self contained organisms.
Organized crime groups in both the legitimate and black markets are ratkings. America is governed by one of the most powerful ratkings in history.
Here in Canada, we have a Conservative government financed by Alberta's oilogarchy and by Toronto and Montreal bankers. And we have a control freak, corporate apologist for Prime Minister, who has an agenda to privatize the commons and thus help turn everything on the planet into a commodity that can be bought and sold to credit-fed consumers at compounding interest rates. And still the environmental crisis is being down played, because if they actually admit they know that it's going to happen then there will be a conflict the ratking doesn't want: they survive on the unwary. That’s the kind of Social Darwinist dominant predator they are.
The fraud that was 9/11 was the easiest thing in the world to conceive of getting away with: even the working class in Anywhere North America are obsessed with their own security before the rights of those who bleed their lives dry in order to keep them in gadgets and comforts.
If the Internet 2.0 hadn't come along, the house of cards that is the real basis of the evidence for the 9/11 "terrorist attack" would have stood forever. That is why the Ratking is trying to control the Internet; why it’s trying to convince the public the web should be tamed.
In the 1970's movie version of the musical Godspell: Jesus and his disciples are dancing on the roof of one of the then uncompleted Trade Towers, and they are singing about the necessity of removing the plank from your own eye before condemning your brother for having a dust mote in his eye. Judas however, ends the song with "Yes it's all for the best, someone needs to be oppressed." The camera pulls back to reveal the Towers as the music plays out.
When the Towers went down that day in 2001, didn't we all feel the weight of an oppression, a heaviness that couldn't be met just by shopping, nor by hiding ourselves in our credit-induced material cocoons, an oppression that could only be met by listening again and again to the official version of events as the news clips were streamlined and finalized and the account was filled with lies told over and over again, until most Anywhere North Americans now feel certain that they live in a community under siege, and that someone halfway across the world (a 'former' CIA agent at that) with a dust mote in his eye was responsible. Anywhere North Americans have willingly sacrificed the freedoms that men and women died to preserve in the 1940's. (How many Canadian's died fighting a war machine financed by men like Prescott Bush and why does no one care ?)
With the plank in our own eyes, we watched the Trade Towers disintegrating at the speed of free fall and couldn't even see the explosions that simultaneously dropped the buildings in one of the most impressive displays of controlled pyrotechnics ever, shocked and awed, what we saw, was what they told us was there. And it was a lie, and most people still believe the lie, because if they don't believe it, they'd have to wake up and do something about the mote in their own eye, in the depths of their rabbit hole, a mote that can barely be seen because of the rose-coloured glasses we wear that were bought on credit. Maybe that's why Zombie movies are becoming so popular again: the living dead are everywhere. "It's all for the best, someone has to be oppressed."
The ratking is as much a consequence of society as it is of individuals, families or even clans. What we need is truth and reconciliation, what we need is a way out before it’s too late.

Some believe that the government should be run like a business, others disagree. I think there’s a Third Way. The critical issues for commonwealth are central banking, ‘legal tender’, and corporations without legal consciences. The banking, paper money and ‘government as business’ problems can be solved through citizen-credit unions. Ie. All levels of Canadian government would become municipally-based, neighbourhood economic centres run by civil servants/credit union employees. All levels of bureaucracy from the local, to the bioregional, to the provincial to the federal state, would serve in pyramid state responsible to elected Councilors & Legislators. The business of the civil credit union would be the governance of Canada through all Departments & Ministries. The business of the government would be to serve the members/citizens: services would be intergovernmental, membership fees/citizenship dues would replace taxes and bank fees. Watershed bio-regions would be created/modified to serve between local communities and the provinces. The streamlined electoral system would see provincial cabinets consisting of bio-regional-chairs working with a lower ‘municipal’ house consisting of heads of local councils; federal MP’s would be provincial cabinet MPP’s. Provincial leaders would serve in the national cabinet, and the PM would be elected directly.
A Free Enterprise Act would solve the corporate problem: only individuals or limited companies of individuals could do business: each company of individuals and each individual would remain liable for their own actions.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Gambling

Guelph's mobsters were mostly interested in gambling. Old time gangsters like American bosses Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano and like Hamilton's Johnny Papalia wanted to control gambling. When he 'died' in the late 1970's Guelph's Frank Silvestro was the province's dominant loan shark, and since loan sharking is a service industry to gambling, it's not hard to suspect that his local associates and relations were well placed to profit with him.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Joe Nasso and IMICO 1938

It now seems possible that the reason why Joe Nasso's body was never found after he disappeared in 1938 was that Joe went into the furnaces of the International Malleable Iron Company(IMICO). In recent conversation with me, a long-retired RCMP constable, Nelson Craig, who had been posted to Guelph after Joe's disappearance, remembers that he had been told shortly after arriving that a man whose name he no longer recalls (more than sixty years later) was said to have disappeared into the furnaces before he came. The initial police investigation had gone nowhere because, unlike in the Sam Labbati Sorbara case in 1937, Joe's body had never never found. Assuming that the story the RCMP told Craig was both true and that the man was Joe, then Joe Nasso or at least his body was burned in the furnaces. It doesn't explain why he was murdered. It may however explain why - when I pass the abandoned IMICO lands where they sit on the residential edge of the Ward - they seem desolate, toxic, hovering above the redevelopment back burner where at least one ghost awaits a day of reckoning with the Sangiorgiosi and the Morgeti and with the people of Guelph.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Counterfeit Sam Sorbara

In Italo-Canadian newspaper obituaries of Woodbridge developer Sam Sorbara, who died in 2002, reference is made to an unjust sentence that Sam served in 1935 over a stolen $10 bill. Sorbara is quoted as saying that it was because he was an Italian immigrant that he spent so long in jail on the strength of a store clerk's evidence. Taking the story at eulogic face value, and accounting for inflation, Sam Sorbara spent three years in jail for a a crime he barely committed.
According to newspaper death report versions, Sam was the son of Domenico, a miner from San Giorgio Morgeto who got a job working the nickel in Sudbury, Ontario in 1924. The eulogists say that in 1927, 16 year old Sam and his mother Pasqualina and other siblings immigrated to join Domenic. Domenic however, was an alcoholic and soon the family's 'gladness turned to despair'. Two years after their arrival, Domenic wass said to have died and the family survived through the kindness of relatives in Guelph.
The eulogic version of Sam Sorbara's life is something of a fairy-tale; certainly, the crime bears only a passing resemblance to what actually happened in 1935 and earlier.
Domenic Sorbara was born in San Giorgio Morgeto around 1886, and first came to Canada in May of 1912 at the age of 26, when he arrived at one of Albert Dini's boarding houses at 116 York Street, Toronto. (His son Sam had been born the previous year.) His wife, Pasqualina Nasso, was the daughter of Angelo Nasso and Angela Fazzari, also of San Giorgio.
Domenic Sorbara had one brother, (Michael, Toronto) and they had three sisters, all of whom either stayed in Italy or went back, Annunziata, Mrs. M.A Nasso, and Mrs. V. Mammoliti. Domenic and his siblings were cousins of the Michael Sorbara who who had been associated with mobsters in both Welland and Guelph since at least 1910.
In 1912, Domenic Sorbara, Greg's grandfather, traveled to Albert Dini's boarding house at 57 York Street Toronto, where he listed his cousins, Michaelangelo and Salvatore as his contacts.
Domenic Sorbara appears to have gone back to Italy, at least once, possibly twice, to see his family (Sam had one younger sibling born before Sam's mother Pasqualina Nasso arrived in Canada with 14 year old Salvatore and 3 1/2 year old Vincenzo in May of 1925.)

There are two major problems with Sam Sorbara's 2002 eulogy, i) while Domenico Sorbara and Pasqualina Nasso were naturalized in Guelph on September 24 1925 there is no record for a Domenic Sorbara in the index to the Records of Deaths for Ontario from 1924 to 1933, there is however, an obituary for an 81 year old Domenic Sorbara of Sandringham St. Toronto, who died on December 5 1965: he had a son named Sam, and he had three other children with the same names as Sam's siblings, Dr Jim (Vincenzo) Sorbara and Violet - Mrs. Michael Simmonetta, and Angela - Mrs Frank Paul.
The Domenic who died in 1965 also had "a loving wife" identified as the late Pasqualina Nasso. And while there may be no Ontario death record for a Domenic Sorbara between 1924 and 1933, there is one for Pasqualina Nasso of Guelph who caught pneumonia in the last days of 1932 and died on December 31st, so that her death was registered on January 2 1933. The family member who officially identified her body was her son, Sam Sorbara of 91 Morris.
Perhaps Domenic, the alcoholic father, like so many other alcoholics, died out of his family long before he died out of time so that by 2002, when Sam died, the old man was just another ghost in the family machine.
The official version of the legend of Sam Sorbara states that after the so-called "loss of his father," Sam, not yet twenty, dutifully helped his mother look after the family. But since it wasn't Sam's father who had died and left him in charge of the family, but his 42 year-old mother, it is probable that Sam spent the next few years dwelling on his father's character and on the role of his father in his family misfortunes. It was a bad time to be an angry young man, even in a town like Guelph, Ontario: between the Depression, the rise of fascism and the allure of the gangster culture that had established itself so strongly in his neighbourhood and among his relations and associates, it was not improbable for him to end up in trouble with the law.
Sam and his father clearly had a longer, more complicated relationship than the "legend" of Domenic's death by drunkenness would suggest. Sam continued to live at 91 Morris, whether Domenic remained there is unclear. Presumably, after his mother's death the year he had turned 21, Sam moved out, or threw his father out, and continued to look after his brother and sisters, with or without Domenic's help. Possibly, there were periods of sobriety, and maybe even periods when the family lived under one roof.
The more serious misrepresentation of Sam Sorbara's life according to his official legend published in the online News of Italy Press, after his death, was that back in 1935 Sam had been thrown into jail for 24 months - an "unjust confinement" - for embezzling $10 from a store clerk because of a misunderstanding based on his poor English. To me it is highly unlikely that a 14 year old boy didn't learn street English aplenty between 1925 and 1935. His "unjust confinement" however, was actually a stay in the federal penitentiary in Kingston, and his crime of ripping off a store clerk for $10 was in reality tied to a counterfeiting ring involving Hamilton friends.
But to finish with the official legend, when Sam got out, he had learned that 'a man does not judge himself by his misfortunes but by the ways in which he is fortunate.'
Sam was certainly fortunate in those who wrote his obituaries and eulogies.
It wasn't his first time in court either, he had had a previous conviction, although for what crime isn't clear.
There was a case on August 21 of 1933 when a Sam Sorbara Jr. was charged with receiving stolen goods and with breaking and entering but the charges against him were withdrawn, so there was no conviction and if that Sam Jr, really was Sam Jr then he was probably the son of Sam and Rosina Sciarrone. Rosina's husband had been naturalized on April 12 1922, when that Sam was listed a storekeeper in Guelph.
It is possible Greg's grandfather had also been arrested in August of 1933, because that month the Mercury had reported that Domenic Sorbara of 91 Morris Street had been convicted of keeping liquor for sale and had been sentenced to 2 months in jail.
On August 4, a Domenic Sorbara Jr. had been in court for breaking, entering and theft of Mr. Borin's store. It is possible that Mike Sorbara's brother Domenic was still living in Guelph and had a son named Domenic but it could have just been the Mercury doing what it did in the 1934 death coverage of the six year old son of Domenic Silvestro, who was at first identified as Domenic, but later correctly identified as Salvatore/Sam.
So perhaps the Borin theft was done by a "Domenic Jr." who was actually Pasqualina's son Sam. Perhaps not. Unfortunately, the case was adjourned while the crown looked into laying a fourth charge under the Excise Act. The court had also wanted clarification on Domenic J.'s naturalization status, since he had also been charged with possession of firearms, which only naturalized citizens had legally been able to do since the First World War. After the initial police court report, the case falls out of the Merc. There is no naturalization record for a Domenic Jr. or for a Sam or Salvatore Sorbara between 1925 and 1932 listed on the federal archives website.

The $10 story began on Saturday April 20 1935, when a 23 year old Sam Sorbara went to Toronto with Guelphites Domenic Belcastro, 27 and Cosmo Carere, 25, along with two friends of theirs from Hamilton, Domenic Pugliese 33 and Sam Romeo, 24.
The Romeos were cousins of Rocco Perri's. Pugliese, the eldest of the $10 group, along with Tony Papalia, father of Johnny Pops, had been a suspect in the murder of Bessie Starkman back in 1930, although no charges had been laid against either man. Pugliese had married Johnny's sister Antoinetta and his Pugliesi heirs are still one of the most important mob families in Hamilton.
Cosmo Carere was identified as "the former heavy weight champion". His cemetery record says that he was born in 1909. He was the son of Giacomo Carere and Catherine (nee Carere). Cosmo was also the nephew of George Carere, the man whom Chief Randall had accused in 1910 of terrorizing the Italian community in the Ward. Cosmo would soon gain and keep a similar reputation in Guelph until his death in 1991.
Carere had one other previous, adult conviction, involving the placing and leaving of a railway hand-car on a train track, which sounds more like an engineering student stunt, albeit a potentially dangerous one, but Cosmo was sentenced for the crime. Perhaps he and his associates were trying to rob a train. It could be that he learned to box in jail. The case was only mentioned in passing within the context of the 1935 counterfeiting story.
Domenic Belcastro we first met blowing up his and Gaspar Nocitra's stores. This is not the last time we'll meet him either, since he appeared to have been the police's chief suspect in the murder of Sam Labatti two years later.
The story carried in the newspapers that April in 1935 is that phony American ten dollar bills had been showing up in Toronto, Hamilton and Guelph for three weeks prior to the arrest.
The five caught that day were so obviously part of something larger that the case can't be seen to have been about “poor Italians” hated by Anglo authorities except by viewing it through off-coloured glasses. The storeowners were small business owners struggling through the Depression and through the shock waves of the political troubles in Europe no less than were Italians. In fact, they were Jewish merchants.
A lifelong Conservative, Sam Sorbara's sympathies were with a Canadian political party in which large portions of it supported fascism in the 1930's, a reality we'll come back to in the chapter on the 1940's.
The fact that Sam and his friends chose a Jewish section of the city to scam during a period of heightened anti-Semitism doesn't sound as good as the biographers' stories of poor, oppressed Italians so perhaps that's why it was left out.
However, since Sam Sorbara was the youngest of the gang that day, and was clearly troubled, arguably he just happened to find himself in bad company at a bad time of his life. The involvement of Pugliese and Romeo was probably the real reason he went to the penitentiary for two years: Pugliese was just too well connected for the scam to have been anything but mob activity, and once the police had someone that the courts could make an example of, they did.
In any event, it seems that Sorbara and Carere had gone into a store on College Street and then tried to pass off a phony $10 American bill to a hatter named Israel Rotman, who took one look at it and handed it back to Carere. The two left angry and went down the street to a bakery, where they managed to pass it off to a clerk named Annie Geary, who worked for a man named Sam Garfinkle.
Rotman watched the two come out of the store and then went to the bakery himself to see if they had passed the bill. They had. When Rotman told Geary she went outside and saw Sorbara and Carere get into a car and drive off. She got the plate number. They must have seen her behind them as they pulled out, and probably saw Rotman too, because a short while later, down on King, near Dufferin, they appear to have come to the conclusion that they were going to get nabbed, so they tossed a parcel out the window, which was noticed by a man on the street. Kenneth O'Neil picked it up and discovered that it contained money, which he took to a nearby cop.
When the car with the five men in it was finally stopped, Carere was found to have a small roll of tied-up bills in his pockets, as did Pugliese. Miss Geary identified Carere from the police line-up, and the five were charged with conspiracy to defraud the public, with uttering counterfeit $10 US Federal Reserve Bills and with the illegal possession of 85 such notes. The legendary $10 scam that sent the founder of an "old style dynasty" to an "unjust confinement" turns out to be a little more significant. It's ironic that Sam's son would eventually become the Minister of Finance for Ontario. Perhaps the real story wouldn't have sounded so good in 2002 when Greg was one of the most powerful figures in the provincial Liberal Party, but I suspect the lie was much older.
In the Star's May 29 1935 report of their sentencing, the judge said to Sam Romeo "There are strong suspicions you were a party to this conspiracy, but I am giving you the benefit of the doubt." He also recommended that any of the men who had been naturalized as Canadian citizens should lose their citizenships; clearly, that didn't happen. Carere had been born in Guelph, but Sorbara had been born in San Giorgio, as had Belcastro.
Their lawyer claimed that the bills had been made in New York in 1932 and that another man had "asked these fellows to circulate the leftover bills in Canada." Their lawyer also pleaded for leniency for Sorbara, whom he claimed didn't have long to live. Considering that Sam died in 2002 at the age of 91, it would appear the lawyer was stretching the truth. Or perhaps it was the Toronto Star that got it wrong, because the Globe had reported that the lawyer asked the judge to allow Carere to go to the jail hospital because Cosmo had consumption. Like Sorbara, Cosmo lived long and prospered much.
Carere, whose previous adult conviction had led to a sentence in which he had been ordered to stay at home for a year and to go to church every Sunday, received the same sentence as the other three, which was three years in the Kingston Pen.
Upon the announcement of the sentences, the lawyer said he was filing an appeal on behalf of Belcastro and Pugliese. On June 15, Sam and Cosmo left the Don Jail for Kingston. By June 27, Belcastro was allowed bail of $10,500 and was let out on his own recognizanc, but it would have cost him another $10,000 if he had failed to show for his September hearing. Who paid that bail isn't mentioned, but presumably, the man who had given them the counterfeit money had a vested interest in Belcastro's loyalty.

While that appeal was pending, trouble was again brewing for the Cipollas, who were still living in Welland. On July 2 1935, the Star reported "the Italian section of Main St. S. dozed peacefully in the warm sunshine. Suddenly thee shots rang out and three or four little children in the line of fire ran screaming to safety. None was hit."
Neither was Matteo Cipolla, the intended target, who ran after his assailant "when the latter turned and fled." The paper went on to say that "A mysterious feature is that Cipolla himself denies the shooting, though witnesses claim to have seen a Crowland youth fire three shots almost point blank."
Who the Crowland youth was doesn't seem to be known, maybe he was related to or was Sam Nicot, the man who had shot at Matteo four years before. Cipolla kept to the code however and continued to act like nothing had happened. Undoubtedly behind closed doors a lot was said, but if anything was done, it doesn't seem to have made the papers in a form anyone recognized.

In the meantime, on September 17 1935, Pugliese and Belcastro won their appeal at Osgoode Hall, although one of the judges dissented where Pugliese was concerned. In both cases, the panel noted that there were 'suspicious circumstances' but not enough evidence to prove guilt. Their lawyer made allusions to the treatment of naturalized citizens in Europe and urged the judges that 'there should be particular care that in the case of this naturalized citizen (Pugliese) there should be no injustice." Apparently none was done him and he was free to return to Railway Street and Papalia family circles for the waning years of Rocco Perri's world, where he and they helped Stefano Magaddino take over crime in Ontario. Belcastro went back to Guelph and his store, his reputation for a certain kind of reliability intact.
According to Sorbara's biographers, Sam only served 24 months of his three-year sentence. Presumably, Carere was also released in 1937. When they got out, both hit the ground running.
After the war, both men did very well for themselves in the construction business. Sam Sorbara would turn the rural village of Woodbridge into one of the ugliest sprawls of surbanity in Ontario.
He married Grace Chirchiglia, whose sister Mary became the wife of Angelo Ferraro, the son of Luigi Ferraro and Rose Carere (Angelo left Guelph for Toronto in 1952) which is where he married Sam Sorbara's sister-in-law. Rosario Sacco of Guelph was also married to a Chirchiglia.
Sam Sorbara wasn't the first mob associate to take notice of the village of Woodbridge. I don't know who was, but Matteo Cipolla would be arrested there later in the 1930's. Paul Volpe would set up shop there much later still. And so eventually did the Caruana-Cuntrera's and their multi-billion dollar Columbian cocaine business. The family took Meyer Lansky's money-laundering dictates to new heights, and helped secure Woodbridge's reputation as one of the most corrupt towns in the province from the 1980's on.
Paul Volpe was murdered in 1983, and the Caruana- Cuntrera's were thrown into disarray in 1998 (Alfonso Caruana - one of the so-called "Mafia's Rothschilds" and others in the clan were arrested in July of that year as part of an international police action known as Project Omerta - which forms the conclusion of Antonio Nicaso's and Lee Lamothe's Bloodlines.) But until his death in 2002, Woodbridge was Sam Sorbara's town.
Perhaps he was just an old style padrone dispensing benevolence and opportunity. His largesse was certainly legendary, and his name is associated with a great deal of charitable work: he seems to have donated a considerable amount of money to various causes. His 1935 arrest also appears to have been the last time he faced a judge somewhere other than over cocktails. or Tory or charity fundraisers.
As Greg said of his father after his death, and undoubtedly in a much different context, "Those who became his friends, stayed his friends." Sam Sorbara is one of the most legendary or the Morgeti-Sangiorgios , but the crime is nothing like the myth of a poor Italian "unjustly confined" by the Anglo state for stealing ten dollars. His full legacy may well have been part of the reason the RCMP delved so deeply into Greg's business affairs, and could well underlie the actual reasons Greg eventually stepped down for good as Minister of Finance, then again, Greg's Dad's old friends may have had nothing to do with that, the RCMP certainly aren't saying much.
Personally, I wouldn't trust a dollar from moneyed Italians (or Columbians) from Woodbridge any more than Israel Rotman trusted the ten-dollar bills carried into his store by Sam Sorbara and Cosmo Carere in 1935.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

To All Those Who Suggested it

Some suggested I lead a "Mafia Walk" during today's public strolls through Guelph's neighbourhoods. I chose not to do so because I do not consider a meander through the griefs of the Ward, pointing out places where people were killed, to be in keeping with the line I am trying to walk through these stories. Contrary to what The Mercury quoted me as saying, I do not think of myself as a true crime writer. It's why I call the books Legends, to me the dead aren't blood spectacles distanced by time, they are ghosts, trapped in death through the silence of their loved ones, spirits yearning to leave Alice Street and its environs in peace.
However, if you feel the need to go past the houses and down the streets where the people in my books were murdered, grant those living in the Ward the same respect for privacy you would hope to receive from them if the dead were yours to grieve and the neighbourhood was yours to live in with your own loved ones for a time.
Walk lightly.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Respect

I don't really want to sermonize on respect but...
Humans do not bond where they are strong" like all bonding, biochemical or otherwise, it occurs where there is weakness, co-valency it's called: it's how every molecule on the planet is formed, and how water molecules grow into oceans and carbon grows into trees and humans etc: it's the basis of society: it's why we have people cover our backs, without others we have no strength. It's why I regard myself as an Independent Communitarian, I may reserve the right to determine in what way I'll bond with others, but I can't escape bonding altogether. A society has my respect only to the degree that it respects weakness.
I also happen to be someone who was bullied when I was a child, and as a young teenager. The respect required by bullies is the basis of terrorism.
In the cases of the Sangiorgiosi murdered in Guelph before the Second World War, all their deaths may well have been nothing more than the failure to pay the proper respect to the secret society bosses, and while such societies, rooted as they are in complex socio-political histories, may deserve certain degrees of genuine respect, the respect they most require is based on fear, and so to me is not respect at all, except to the degree that we respect gravity near cliff edges, or respect distances around large predators: but that's more a common sense response to peril than it is respect.
What I respect is human suffering, and the degree to which others honour weakness in any given circumstance: it is weakness that makes us strong. And those who join others to make themselves strong in order to force others to respect them, aren't worthy of my respect, or anyone else's, however much they may individually deserve certain kinds of respect for the ways in which they have suffered and responded to the suffering of others.
In that regard, and until further evidence comes in as to the real reasons they were killed, men like Sam Labatti Sorbara and Joe Nasso are legends in my books because they resisted socialized terror.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Legends Readers Write

That's great. I'll be there. You son-of-a-bitch. "Maybe he deserved to die, you'd almost have to hope so."
Who the hell asked you for your opinion? I'm looking forward to this. You???
See you on Saturday.

Kenneth Keating
Grandson of Sam and Concetta Sorbara

April 9, 2008 9:44 PM
It is precisely this atmosphere of threat that allowed for the circumstances of Sam's death in the first place. The facts are that because silence was allowed to govern the Sangiorgiosi following his murder, his killers went free, and probably murdered Joe Nasso the following year. Maybe he didn't deserve to die. Maybe he did something awful,that's the nature of silence. The truth doesn't come out. Look to the Sangiorgiosi for answers.
Jerry

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Legends Reading

There will be a reading and a book signing at the Bookshelf this Saturday at 2-5pm.
Volume Two is now in the Guelph libraries, and for sale at Macondo Books as well as the Bookshelf.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Legends of the Morgeti: Vol. 2

is now available at the Bookshelf in Guelph.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Yet another Delay

Delay at the printers, the book won't be ready until next week.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Volume Two at the printers

At long last Volume Two has gone to the printers and should be available in early April. On April 5 I'll be doing a book signing at the Bookshelf in Guelph from 2pm -5pm.
Had the curious experience of having a young man utter threats against me with his mother in front of the Cornerstone Cafe in Guelph today. Funny how he reverted to rapper phraseology to threaten me, he even managed to rhyme once: "if my mother wasn't around/you'd be going down." Didn't like my shoes either. It reminded me of an episode of Iron Chef, when a chef from Italy was competing against the Japanese 'Iron Chef Italian', the Italian gushed so much about his mother, that one of the Japanese judges, a woman, scored him low just for being so enthusiastic about 'mama', a thing not done in Japan. I'm somewhat sentimental when it comes to mothers myself, so I found it charming in a threatening sort of way. Don't know who they were, presumably she was the daughter of someone in Volume One. They are convinced everything in my books are lies. I guess the journalists who wrote the stories I use may have been liars, inventing murders and stabbings and drug deals and busts of various kinds. If they were, I'm sorry.

Volume Two is a much more political book than Volume One since it deals with the between-the-war years, with events during the war and those after, until the spring of 1950. I also place the development of organized crime in those years against the backdrop of Establishment crime, in order to detail and describe the way in which gangster capitalism learned to emulate imperial capitalism.

Friday, February 22, 2008

'ndrangheta news

Italy tackling rise of 'ndrangheta crime syndicate

Updated Thu. Feb. 21 2008 5:17 PM ET

The Associated Press

ROME -- A parliamentary report on a notorious Italian crime syndicate says it spreads its tentacles like al-Qaida and offers evidence that the group has eclipsed the Sicilian Mafia in power and international reach.

The report is the first comprehensive study by parliament's anti-Mafia commission on the 'ndrangheta, which came into the spotlight last summer with the killing of six Italians outside a pizzeria in Germany.

"Today the 'ndrangheta ... is the most modern organization, the most powerful one as far as cocaine trafficking goes,'' according to the 239-page report released Wednesday.

It is "the one able to obtain and offer deadly weapons of war and destruction.''

According to the report, the 'ndrangheta has reached a "basically exclusive'' control over cocaine imports from Colombia, forcing all other criminal organizations, including Sicily's Cosa Nostra, to deal with it if they want the drug.

The report also says the 'ndrangheta has developed "like al-Qaida, with a similar tentacular structure,'' and without a centralized leadership.

Over the decades, the group, originally based in the southern Calabria region, has spread to central and northern Italy, in much of Europe as well as in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Morocco, Canada, the U.S. and Australia, the report said.

"In the same way as great fast-food-chains, it offers -- all over the world, in places very different from one another -- the identical, recognizable, reliable brand and the same criminal product,'' it said.

What sets the 'ndrangheta apart from other crime syndicates is its structure, which is strictly based on close family ties.

This makes the 'ndrangheta less vulnerable to the risk of turncoats, whose testimony has hurt the Mafia.

Feuds between powerful families have proven deadly.

The past summer's slayings of six Italians in Germany were seen as a family vendetta and the latest chapter of a feud between rival clans.

Last week, the boss of what investigators described as a ferocious 'ndrangheta family, Pasquale Condello, was arrested in the regional capital, Reggio Calabria.

He had been on the run for 20 years and was on the police list of Italy's most dangerous fugitives.