Mafia jokes

What is the difference between the government and the Mafia?
One of them is organized.

Shared by NumeroOcho

How many Mafia hitmen does it take to change a light bulb?
Three. One to screw it in, one to watch, and one to shoot the witness!

Shared by JustMe

How many mafia guys does it take to change a light bulb?
…you gotta problem with the light bulb!?

Shared by a contributor


ow many men do you need for a mafia funeral?
Just one. To slam the car trunk shut.

Shared by Argo


How do you know if a Pole is at a cockfight?
He’s the one with a duck.
How do you know if an Italian is there?
He bets on the duck.
How do you know if the Mafia is there?
The duck wins.

Shared by NumeroOcho


Why do wise guy and wise man mean totally different things?



Culture retention

When Sivasithamparapillai arrived in Australia, he decided that Pillai would be a suitable surname for a country which needed 2 names – first name and surname. Since his people had no trouble mouthing his single name, he was not prepared for what happened next. When asked how he was to be addressed (a courtesy now quite common), he was in a quandary. He would not nominate Siva, as that is the name of a Hindu Deity. The rest of his name, he realised, could cause some difficulty. He suggested that he be addressed as Pillai.

Soon, to his consternation, his name appeared on some financial (and other) documents as Pillai Pillai. While he had not lost his heritage, he now has more than one identity. For comparison, I seem to have 3 identities at my former university. One has my father’s name before my former single name (a historical practice). Another has my name followed by my father’s name because I was identified as ‘son of’ (a former legal practice). My passport name reflected the Western tradition by having my name split.

My extended family have also broken with tradition. While I chose to use the second half of my name as a surname, the single names of my peer group have now become surnames, but without being shortened. Seemingly, Western tongues are now quite capable of pronouncing long ‘Indian’ names (but not always correctly). In contrast, about 20 years ago, that great Indian epic, Mahabharatha, was offered by Australia’s national media as Mahabrata. I interpreted that to refer to the Great Loaf (which could have referred to the then Aussie approach to work as well).

But, one has to pity those Chinese with 3-part traditional names. Where the clan name once preceded the other 2 names, now the latter names have become a hyphenated first name, with the clan name following as surname. But not always. Confusing to the Westerner, some retain the clan name in its traditional place; the hyphenated name takes the place of the surname. Some of my friends solved any possible confusion by adopting a Christian name and retaining their clan name.

This highlights an unavoidable development which arises when one merges with other people through migration; some changes to one’s cultural practices will occur (thereby confusing long-gone ancestors?).

The refugee racket – Part 1

In the forthcoming election in Australia, a major issue of contention is how to stop the invasion of the country by an increasing flood of undocumented, objectively unidentifiable economic immigrants. The future of Australian society is being threatened by these boat arrivals, because of unfocused official policies and (reportedly) challengeable assessment procedures, which can be expected to result in seriously adverse inter-community and budgetary consequences.

The issues arising from this manner of asylum seeking are quite simple: morality, legality, equity (or fairness) and good governance. This part deals with the first 2 issues.

As necessary background, it must be noted that, at Australian airports, a person found, after an in-depth scrutiny, of having been dishonest in obtaining an entry visa, is sent back to the point of departure. It would be obvious that an entrant with an acceptable visa who, after landing in Australia by air claims asylum, had not told the truth to the visa-issuing official. Should not such a person be treated the same way? That is, be sent home (or to the point of departure to Australia) immediately, and advised to follow due process?

This is the background against which a claim for refugee asylum by an unidentifiable boat arrival needs to be assessed. The primary issue is morality. The related issue is what is being camouflaged? Should not a person who has disposed of all his documents before taking a boat be thereby viewed with suspicion? Have we, as a nation, not learnt anything from our experiences with the boat people of a previous era?

My experience as Director of Policy on refugee and humanitarian entry suggests that we attract criminals and other unsavoury individuals when we pay unwarranted attention to the UN Convention on Refugees, or allow party politics to influence humanitarian entry. There is enough evidence of this.

As for the legality involved, Australia is an independent nation, with a right to protect its borders. The UN has no jurisdiction over this right. The UN Convention on Refugees is not legally binding; it is not a treaty, and can be applied in a manner consistent with the national interest. Thus, Muslim refugees from Kosovo were given only temporary protection, and were then required to return to their homes, when stability had been achieved. It was a sound policy.

Asylum seeker policy – core issues

The main issues for Australia should be obvious: protecting the integrity of the nation’s border; and balancing the national interest against competing demands. The latter reflects: opportunism; a deficiency in morality; self-seeking; and a dearth of awareness of the financial costs and adverse societal consequences of a simplistic open-door approach.

The beneficiaries of this latter approach are: the legal profession; and the thousands of self-selected immigrants who will probably remain on the public teat for a long time because they are economically unviable (that is, unable to get jobs). Members of the glee club may not remain cheerful about their success to date when they are required to pay more taxes to offset the billions wasted through this seek and succour process.

Is it possible to protect the national interest against those surfing on the wash of the UN convention on Refugees? Since the convention is not legally binding, Australia could either opt out of it formally (other countries inundated by asylum seekers may soon do this); or apply it in a pragmatic manner, having regard to the societal, financial, equity, or other consequences.

Refugee entry has necessarily to be selective. Hitherto, refugees had entered Australia after UNHCR had decreed that they are refugees under the UN Convention; that is, they came through the front door, after also being assessed by Australia as capable of fitting harmoniously into the nation. Australia has had a commitment to take is as many as possible for a long while, yet allowing space for some humanitarian entrants. The latter also entered by selection, not by self-imposition.

A 3-year temporary residence visa, which denied family reunion rights and permitted repatriation of the visa holder, would have deterred many opportunists. The foolish cancellation of this policy has produced disastrous consequences.

Australia has an undeniable right to place in detention anyone breaching its borders. Unlawful (that is, visa-less) arrivals will need to learn that uttering vehemently ‘Open sesame’ (refer the Ali Baba story) is not enough to qualify for welfare, Medicare and public housing. The treatment of boat arrivals in detention has been most generous; reportedly, they have been given mobile phones, in addition to board and lodging, and all manner of necessary services.

And it does take time to process the claims of claimants who hide their identity and, possibly, any mental health problems. Indeed, how did those officials and jurists who granted residence rights to 4 out of every 5 applicants decide that the applicant did not pose any risks to the nation in terms of security or criminality?

There needs to be more honesty and transparency.