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Exactly what is the Mafia?

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Introduction

Mafia Exactly what is the Mafia? The Mafia, more specifically the Italian-American Mafia, is a group of criminals organized into "families," and operating primarily in North America. Also known as La Cosa Nostra, at one time there were 26 families in the United States - roughly one for each major city. The Mafia "commission," composed of bosses of numerous families, mostly New York, was the overseeing authority for all of the other La Cosa Nostra families. The Mafia has its roots in Sicily, where the larger and more powerful Sicilian Mafia operates from. ...and with Prohibition came the birth and growth spurt of nationally organized crime. Newly-conceived Mafia families jockeying for power were waging battles that killed scores, frightened citizens, and gave birth to screaming headlines and grand funeral processions never before experienced in the New World. But it all began years ago and miles away. Sicily is an unforgiving land, with a harsh climate and soil that reluctantly yields up its bounty. ...read more.

Middle

DON -- You don't look happy to see me, Lenny. LEN -- (backing away slowly) Look, Boss, I can explain. DON -- (follows) What is there to explain Lenny? Everything is alright, isn't it? LEN -- (stops) Ah... Yeah. Ah... Everything is fine. Why? DON -- What's in the briefcase? LEN -- Briefcase? What briefcase? DON -- The briefcase in your hand. LEN -- Oh, this? This briefcase here? DON -- Yeah, that briefcase there. What's in it? LEN -- Ah... Oh, ah. Gee, you know, I have no idea. See this isn't my briefcase. I was just holding it for a friend. DON -- Lenny, (points to forehead) look at my forehead. Do I have the word STUPID tattooed here? LEN -- (sinks to knees, slides briefcase toward Don) Here's your money. Please don't kill me. I'm begging you, Boss. Please don't kill me. (kisses Don's hand) DON -- (pulls hand away) Alright. LEN -- Alright? DON -- Yeah. LEN -- Boss, can we clarify your terms a little? ...read more.

Conclusion

DON -- I did. But do not mistake forgiveness for stupidity. LEN -- Boss, I never said you was stupid. DON -- Forgiveness does not mean restoration. When I said I forgave you unconditionally, I vowed that I will never beat you up for this offense ever again. I won't even bring it up. LEN -- Yeah, but... DON -- It does mean not we go back to business as usual. LEN -- But, Boss, mopping floors?! DON -- I would be stupid if I put my trust in someone who has shown himself to be untrustworthy, would I not? LEN -- Cleaning toilets? Isn't that a little punitive? DON -- It's not punitive. It's the only job I have where I know you won't steal from me. LEN -- Oh, man! DON -- Nobody is holding a gun to your head, Lenny. But if you want to reestablish a working relationship with me, it will have to be on my terms. LEN -- (sigh) After word gets out that I stole from you, nobody else will hire me. (sigh) Alright, where are the mops? DON -- (exiting, arm around Len's shoulder) Right this way, Lenny boy. ...read more.

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