Raid uncovers 10 Commandments of the Mafia

The BBC reports that when Italian police searched a Mafia boss' hideout, they found a list of ten rules for proper mafioso etiquette.
1. No-one can present himself directly to another of our friends. There must be a third person to do it.

2. Never look at the wives of friends.

3. Never be seen with cops.

4. Don’t go to pubs and clubs.

5. Always being available for Cosa Nostra is a duty - even if your wife’s about to give birth.

6. Appointments must absolutely be respected.

7. Wives must be treated with respect.

8. When asked for any information, the answer must be the truth.

9. Money cannot be appropriated if it belongs to others or to other families.

10. People who can’t be part of Cosa Nostra: anyone who has a close relative in the police, anyone with a two-timing relative in the family, anyone who behaves badly and doesn’t hold to moral values.

Compare it to Gene Autry's Cowboy Code (from 1930), which I think is just about the best set of rules for living a good life that I ever seen:
1. The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man or take an unfair advantage.

2. A Cowboy must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him.

3. A Cowboy must always tell the truth.

4. A Cowboy must be gentle with children, the elderly and small animals.

5. A Cowboy must not adovcate or possess racially or religiously interolerant views and ideas.

6. A Cowboy must help people in distress.

7. A Cowboy must be a good worker.

8. A Cowboy must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action and personal habits.

9. A Cowboy must respect women, parents and his nations's views.

10. A Cowboy is a patriot.

Link (Via The Day The Tried to Kill Me)

30

  1. …Hey, they left out one:

    People who read Boing Boing cannot be part of Cosa Nostra. The sole exception is someone who can provide the curren Don with Xeni’s phone number and private e-mail address.

  2. Gene Autry’s Cowboy Code is a joke. The guy was an actor and his “Cowboy Code” is pure Saturday matinée.

  3. 12. Cowboys should never be seen with a cop. Unless they’re also seen with a construction worker, a Native American Indian chief, a military man, and a leatherman.

  4. I, too, get a nasty taste in my mouth when I read the Patriot line of the Code, 10. And what about 9, respecting the ‘nation’s views’ – that seems a hard one to define and if I interpret it with current events in mind I would say I cannot agree with that line of the Code either.

    Anyhow, I might not know a whole lot about sports (thank god) but I DO know that a Cowboy IS NOT a Patriot. :-) Then again, organized sports occur for me like Bread and Circuses to distract, to control the masses and to subliminally and surpaliminally program a conservative psyche so…

  5. 5th and 7th contradict themself: how can you respect a women if you left her when she’s about to give birth ?

    Ah, the mistery of sexism …

  6. 2. Never look at the small animals of friends.

    7. Small animals must be treated with respect.

    9. Small animals cannot be appropriated if they belong to others or to other families.

  7. Regarding “patriot” and “respect his nation’s views”:

    Those lines turn sour to some of you because you’re brainwashed by the media.

    Being a patriot doesn’t necessarily mean you support the government. Being a patriot means you want what’s best for the country. Being a patriot can mean holding a protest in D.C. against something you feel harms the country. Ironically, perhaps, when the courts struck down certain measures of the Patriot Act, that was actually a patriotic deed by the judges, not to mention part of their mandate to uphold the constitution.

    Examples of unpatriotic deeds would include interrupting assemblies because you feel your voice should be heard above all others, or declaring that you’re going to move to Canada simply because you can’t stand it here anymore. A patriot would stay and fight for the good of the country, where “the good of the country” is not necessarily what George Bush thinks it is.

    Respecting your nation’s views means just that: respecting them. Not necessarily following them yourself. For example, and as a tie in to rule 5, it would still be true to say that the nation’s view includes “in God we trust” or perhaps more correctly, “freedom of religion”. You don’t have to trust in God yourself but you do have to respect other people’s desire to do so. Staging a protest during church services because you think Christianity is silly would be an example of being disrespectful of your nation’s views.

    AT&T involving itself in illegal wiretapping is actually a good example of something that’s unpatriotic and disrespectful of the nation’s views, even though they were doing it at the request of the government.

    Being a Cowboy, I would suggest, is about recognizing a greater good than yourself or your community. It’s about recognizing that we have an entire nation of people and trying to think of what’s best for us today and 20 years from now.

    Things like Iraq can kind of go either way: you can be a Patriot for opposing it because you believe that getting out of Iraq is best for America in the long run, because the longer we stay, the more damage we do to our international relations. Or you can be a Patriot for supporting the war in Iraq because you believe that the threat of the terrorist mindset is too great to America if it’s allowed to set up shop and take over an oil rich country.

    The important thing is that you’re looking to the future and are supporting what you think is best for your country. That’s being a patriot.

  8. A Scout is:

    Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly,
    Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful,
    Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.

  9. @Nonesuch:
    What is a “country” but a territory with a government?

    I’m honestly curious to understand what Gene Autry meant when he said a cowboy should be a patriot, because it seems to me that the group of “people in America” don’t really have much in common with one another but the fact that we make up a political entity. How is it possible to [checks dictionary]… love, support, and defend one’s country, without loving, supporting, and defending one’s government, when that federal government comprises just about all the identity that people from the East and West coasts share?

    Or maybe there’s some aspect of contemporary American identity that I’m missing.

  10. “…anyone who behaves badly and doesn’t hold to moral values.”

    Ha! Hypocrisy always makes for such bitter humor. I guess murder and running prostitution rings counts as moral behavior.

  11. LogicalDash (14),
    I’d suggest that a country is made up of people, not made up of a government. The government can be changed and it will still be the same country. In fact, you could move the people to a new location and it would still be the same country. Our government has changed hands and operating philosophies numerous times since its beginning, but it’s always been “America”, and there’s quite a lot about America to be proud of.

  12. Brainwashed by the media?
    Very unlikely, since I do not own a TV set, I never listen to radio and I am not even American neither live in the US. It is pretty near sighted to assume that everybody writing here is American, in fact, we are living in a global age. And that is what I do not like about being a patriot. You say “recognizing a greater good than yourself or your community. It’s about recognizing that we have an entire nation of people and trying to think of what’s best for us today and 20 years from now.”. And I ask: Why should I stop at the level of “nation”, why should not I think what is best for Mankind as a whole?

    I have been anti patriot/anti nationalist since the last 16 years or so, that makes around two thirds of my life. We have big troubles right now, troubles that are not easy to solve and that need to be addressed from a broad point of view and with joint efforts. Often nations are selfish and attending only their interestings, neglecting other nations.

    I pledge no allegiance to no country. Not even the one where I was born. If that makes me a bad cowboy, so be it. I neither like guns.

  13. Blogs are media too. You seem to read those.

    To quote Pratchett:
    “A mere murderer, well, you had a whole range of options. You had criminals and you had policemen, and there was a sort of see-saw there which balanced out in some strange way. But if you took a man who’d sit down and decided to start a war, what in the name of seven hells could you balance him with? You’d need a policeman the size of a country.”

    There are some problems that only a country can solve. We’ve had a whole 60 years without a major war and that gap has only existed because of the threat that a country (specifically America but also alliances like NATO) can present. You don’t have to have a country if you don’t want, but the bad guys, the guys who want to take your land, take your stuff, shoot you in the head and dump you in a mass grave are the kinds of guys who will work on having a country for themselves. You’d best have your own country together when they come knocking. America’s internal resolve to fight terrorism and break up large groups of very bad people is waning and I don’t think anyone is going to take over this job.

    Donating to Doctors Without Borders and protesting the World Trade Organization and so forth works well for an individual with no loyalties to any country, but there are problems you can’t solve like that.

  14. Indeed – promoting the welfare of one country at the expense of another is hardly acting for the greater good. And as recent developments are making painfully clear, we are all one species on one small planet, all together – these imaginary boundaries of ours aren’t respected by nature. We’re only kidding ourselves.

    As for respecting your nation’s views: to hell with that notion as well. What if your nation’s views were abhorrent, such as (ohh, let’s say) practicing slavery or racial segregation? Should you say “well, I don’t personally agree with it, but I respect it because I am a patriot and a good citizen”?

  15. promoting the welfare of one country at the expense of another is hardly acting for the greater good.

    Before ever earnestly saying or writing “the greater good”, first chant it to yourself in the styling of Hot Fuzz, and then decide whether to really use this phrase. Thank you.

  16. Promoting the welfare of, say, Japan at the expense of say, North Korea sounds EXACTLY like something you would do for the greater good.

  17. As I said, my attitude to patriotism has been with me since long time ago, so your comment about brainwashing besides being rude, turns to be wrong.

    Your claim about problems that only something called country can solve is very shallow and unproved. There a lot of things we have not done in politics. And being non patriotism does not means that one thinks that countries shall not exist. That is a straw man logical fallacy. For some being non patriots is just acknowledging that there are times where “the interest of the nation” should be overcome by the interest of Mankind. The fact that you are a patriot does not means you are against the government of your state or that you do not think that some problems should be solved at state level instead of a federal level.

    It is not very clever to think that people from a border region should feel more identified with some strangers thousands of kilometers away than with their neighbors of the town across the border.

    Why do I want a country and a culture that I do not share and feel comfortable with? Why should not I be free to choose my country and culture? And talking about bad guys is plain nonsense. The fact that I am not a patriot does not change the fact I am strongly opposed to those who try to take the values of Enlightenment from us, including christian fundamentalists.

    And please, keep you army at home, at least most of the time. WWII was great, Bosnia was wonderful,but Vietnam, Iraq and protecting Pol Pot in Thailand because he was the resistance against the Vietnamese puppet government was outrageous.

    And of course, there are problems that you can`t solve when the interest of your nation becomes the priority. A lot of problems, Squashy has written some serious arguments about those.

  18. If I help a person in the street needing help and I help that person I am behaving according to Christian morality, but I am not a Christian. Same thing about North Korea. And it would be tough to support the relation of the US for Saudi Arabia using the same old rhetoric about freedom and democracy instead of cynicism if you are not a patriot.

  19. There are some problems that only a country can solve. We’ve had a whole 60 years without a major war and that gap has only existed because of the threat that a country (specifically America but also alliances like NATO) can present. You don’t have to have a country if you don’t want, but the bad guys, the guys who want to take your land, take your stuff, shoot you in the head and dump you in a mass grave are the kinds of guys who will work on having a country for themselves. You’d best have your own country together when they come knocking. America’s internal resolve to fight terrorism and break up large groups of very bad people is waning and I don’t think anyone is going to take over this job.

    But supporting the existence of governments for cold pragmatic reasons has little to do with “patriotism”, which is supposed to involve some sort of emotional feeling of loyalty. Similarly, for pragmatic reasons I may think it’s a good thing to have large corporations which achieve economies of scale, but that doesn’t mean I have warm fuzzy feelings about them, nor do I have such feelings about other organizations and things which serve useful purposes, like the federal reserve or the internal combustion engine.

  20. #20 – I used the phrase “greater good” because it was the same phrase used by the poster I was responding to (obviously). However, if I am having trouble getting my point across because “greater good” is a phrase that is too idealogically loaded, or because it reminds you of a scene in a movie, then please substitute some other words that mean the same thing.

    #21 – Way to twist an argument into a ridiculous balloon animal shape. Honestly. We were talking about patriotism, remember?

  21. As a staunch liberal, proponent of free speech, and supporter of all things to do with Human Rights, i hate this connotation of patriotism being exclusively associated with Flag waving right-wing Yes Men.

    Would i fight and maybe even die for this country if i saw a cause that demanded it, or to correct some great injustice to humanity? You bet.

    Does that mean i believe in the current administration, or trust the government? Hell no. That’s crazy talk. Why on earth would i want to do something like that? The government should fear the people, not the other way around. Unfortunately, this nation has largely disenfranchised itself, but i’m not left without hope.

    As for:
    9. A Cowboy must respect women, parents and his nations’s views.
    I can respect someone without agreeing with them. i have always respected my wife and parents, but that doesn’t mean i take their word as gospel and blindly do as i’m told. Same goes for my country.

    i dunno. i grew up in Kentucky and my personal code of conduct isn’t too far away from the cowboy code. Then again, i believe in the principles of equality and freedom this country was founded upon, not the twisted visions appropriated by modern moneyhungry politicians, same as i believe Christianity was once a wonderful religion, but i doubt Jesus would trade in his hobo and prostitute friends for the people who claim to talk to him so much today and yet do so much evil toward their fellow man in his name.

  22. Yep, basically what I was trying to say, Tony.

    I ultimately decided that point #11 of the Cowboy Code would be “don’t argue on the internet with people who are determined to hate their country. Nothing you say will change their mind and most people realize they’re nuts anyway so there’s really no need to argue.”

    :-p

  23. Jesus’ amendments to the Cowboy Code

    1. You must never shoot (or hit). By refusing to fight, you fight. Practice revolutionary subordination – do what needs to be done (without violence, of course) and take the punishment that may come.
    2. Same as Cowboy Code
    3. Same as Cowboy Code
    4. The Christian must be crafty as a serpent, yet gentle as a dove.
    5. The Christian’s ideas are intrinsically radical and revolutionary in that they all too often offend the powers that be and those who find the truth hard to swallow.
    6. Same as Cowboy Code; although this should be a given.
    7. A Christian by the very nature of Christianity will always be working.
    8. A Christian is gonna have to get dirty. Your work will bring you to the dirtiest parts of earth. If you wanna cleanse the dirty, you’re gonna have to get dirty. This is a holy, revolutionary dirty however, not like the dirty the Cowboy Code advises against.
    9. A Christian must always check his views against those he runs into. If they contradict each other, do not try to compromise. Let them contradict.
    10. A Christian belongs to the Kingdom of God – a kingdom that transcends earthly borders. In this sense, he is indeed a patriot.

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