-- A recent French documentary in the form of a TV show called “Game of Death” mimics the notorious 1950s human- torture experiments of Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram, who would coax test subjects to administer increasingly painful jolts of electricity to strangers to assess their obedience to an “authority figure,” even if contrary to their own moral codes. As in Milgram’s experiments, the Game of Death “victims” were actors, unharmed but paid to scream louder with each successive “shock.” According to a BBC News report, 82 percent of the game’s players were willing torturers, a higher percentage than Milgram found, but the TV show’s subjects had greater encouragement, cheered on by a raucous studio audience and a glamorous hostess.

-- According to an April lawsuit filed by an employee of the five-star Ritz-Carlton resort in Naples, Fla., the hotel complied with a February request by a wealthy British traveler that, during their stay, his family not be served by “people of colour” or anyone who spoke with a “foreign accent.” The hotel has apologized to the employee, but denied that it had complied with the traveler’s request. (Lawyers for the employee told the Associated Press that nine witnesses and a copy of a computer entry prove their claim.)

-- Good News/Bad News: Based on April federal indictments of organized crime members in New York and New Jersey, it appears that any “glass ceiling” to management in the exclusively male Gambino family has been cracked in that at least one woman, Suzanne Porcelli, 43, was indicted among the 14 family members and associates. However, the Gambino “farm system” is apparently weak, in that with the imprisonment of John Gotti and other experienced capos, the organization appears headed in historically unfamiliar directions, most notably in child prostitution. Until now, even the most vicious of Mafiosi historically, heroically, protected women and children from the families’ “business.”

 

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