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March 25, 2011     Post-Gazette
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Page 2 POST-GAZETTE, MARCH 25, 2011 & by Prof. Edmund Turiello A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. CALIGULA THE NUTCAKE Caligula considered him- self to be a god and continu- ally demanded that su_itable honors be paid to him. He also openly deplored his time in life because it had not been marked by any great public disasters. Every now and then he wished for the destruction of his armies, an earthquake, a configuration or even a fam- ine. One of his favorite sports was to close the gra- naries and condemn the people to hunger for long periods of time. When the occasion pre- sented itself he would smash statues of famous men from earlier historical periods. He even forbade the erec- tion of the statue of any living man anywhere in the empire without his personal knowledge and consent. One day he stood beside a statue of Jupiter and asked an actor which of the two seemed to be the greater. When the actor hesitated. Caligula had him whipped. Prior to theatrical plays he would scatter gift tickets in public to induce the rabble to take seats, which were reserved for the high- est order of guests, the so-called equestrian order. At gladiatorial contests he would suddenly order that the sun shades be opened when the sun was the hot- test, and then give addi- tional orders that no one be allowed to leave, He is also known to have forced com- mon citizens with conspicu- ous infirmities to fight each other as gladiators in the arena just for kicks. At one time the consuls of Rome forgot to make procla- mation of his birthday and he immediately removed them from office. They were lucky to get off with their lives. Later he had his own public prosecutor stripped and flogged because he feared a conspiracy against him. The prosecutor's cloth- ing was placed on the wet ground to provide a good foot- ing for the flogger. Lawyers were warned to give no ad- vice to their clients that were contrary to his wishes otherwise he threatened to abolish the practice of law. and whenever he observed handsome men with fine heads of hair, he ordered that the back half of their heads be shaved clean. Caligula outdid everyone in reckless extravagance, such as bathing in hot or cold performed oils, drinking expensive pearls that had been dissolved in vinegar, or consuming bread and meat that had been colored with gold. He built villas and country houses with no regard whatsoever for the expense involved. His horse named Incitatus (Speedy) was his favorite. Some sources say that he made his horse a priest and also declared it to be a con- sul (high magistrate). The horse was kept in an ivory stable and fed from a golden manger. When invited to dine with the emperor, the horse was served gold col- ored oats from a gold dish. This is our earliest record of horse manure being worth its weight in gold. His extravagance was equal to his cruelty. His favorite amusement was to stand on a balcony and throw gold pieces into the street. He squandered twenty eight million dollars in a single year, and if you think that's easy, just try it sometime. NEXT ISSUE: Caligula the Goner Kennedy Bri Hope to Oliveri Family Joe Kennedy came to Princeton Street recently at the home of Joe and Kathy Oliveri to speak out against cuts being proposed by Our Fearless Leader in the federal fuel assistance pro- gram. There are over 3,000 East Boston families who rely on fuel assistance to get through the winter. I per- sonally don't believe folks should have to choose be- tween putting food on the table or fuel in their fur- naces. That was why back during the Nixon Adminis- tration that Community Service Block Grants fund fuel assistance programs through ABCD's East Boston APAC and Kennedy's Citi- zens Energy. Cuts being proposed will hurt poor and working folks who need such assistance. by Sal Giarratani Why is it the first place government thinks of cut- ting is programs that actu- ally help people survive in these harsh economic times? Meanwhile. we have spent nearly a half-trillion dollars fighting wars without end in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Why is it America's role to save the world? Why are we in the nation-building busi- ness? Besides the cost in dollars, we have seen over 1,400 Americans die fight- ing for a bunch of apparent ingrates. Besides that we have over 10,000 wounded in this fight, The cost in blood and money makes no sense. We still get little respect from our so-called allies like Pakistan who keep &'%S#@*& about our INCOME TAX PREPARATION Financial Services Professional Tax Consultant Personal & Business Year Round Service M.P. & Co. TAX & FINANCIAL SERVICES GRACE PREVITE MAGOON, EA 617-569-0175 146 Maverick Street, East Boston, MA 02128 ESTABLISHED IN 1938 e-mail: gmagoon@aol.com actions. These are a bunch of whiners who seemingly don't mind taking our foreign aid. Do they? How many furnaces could get topped off with a half- trillion dollars? ABCD and APAC both do a great job in offering meaningful action and not just words. Best of luck to Joe and Kathy Oliveri and all the other family households out there attempting to barely get by these days. Meanwhile, Our Fearless Leader made a bundle over at that Museum of Fine Arts fundraiser and milked the media for a photo-op at a Boston high school to boot. PRAYER TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN: (never known to fail) O most beautiful flower of Mount Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of Heaven. Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in my necessity. O Star of the Sea, help me and show me here You are my mother. O Holy Mary, Mother of God. Queen of Heaven and Earth, I humbly beseech You from the bottom of my heart to secure me m my necessity (make request). There are none who can withstand your power. O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee (3 times). Holy Mary, I place this cause in your hands (3 times). Say this prayer 3 consecutive days and then publish, and it will be granted Io you. T.M.S. Publica by David Trumbull The Giant Sucking Sound (of Jobs Leaving Due to Trade Policy) According to a recent Associated Industries of Massachu- setts ("AIM") blog posting by Kristen Rupert: "A pending free-trade agreement between the United States and Korea would increase U.S. exports by 810-$11 billion annually to a nation that has become Massachu- setts' ninth largest trading partner, two trade experts told the AIM International Business Council recently." The article goes on to state that: "The bottom line: a $10 billion-S12 billion jump in gross domestic product and creation of at least 70,000 jobs." What the author fails to note is that this is not a truly reciprocal 'zero-for-zero' tariff reduction deal. While the U.S., under the agreement, will open our market to duty-free access for goods from South Korea, the Koreans will be per- mitted to keep the 10% value added tax (VAT) that they impose on imports. Furthermore, they are free to increase the VAT in the future. Experience over the past 50 years has shown that it is not unusual for our trading partners, after reducing their tariffs in exchange for the U.S. reduc- ing ours, to then increase the VAT to offset the tariff reductions, so that the end result is we lower our barriers and let in more of their products while their barriers stays at the same level and we never realize the promised increase in exports. That's why we have a crippling, and growing, trade deficit. The encouraging news is that conservative, libertarian. and Tea Party activists are waking up to the damage that two decades of failed trade policy has inflicted on this nation and they are putting pressure on our elected officials to do something about it. Last week the New Hampshire General Court voted 172 to 124 a measure "urging Congress to withdraw the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)." Granite State Republicans voted more than two to one in favor of the anti-NAFTA statement. Of the 172 yeas. 167 were from Republicans, with merely five Democrats voting in favor of ending a job destroying trade agreement that has done so much to erode the middle class and harm blue collar and unionized workers in our country. The vote is, of course. symbolic. The New Hampshire legislature cannot change U.S. trade policyi~And even if a majority of state legislatUtes sent similar instrtictions to Congress, and'if Congress then voted to take the U.S. out of NAFTA. it still wouldn't happen, for President Obama, fully committed to pursuing job-killing trade agreements. would veto it. Still, the vote shows that the public is aware that we have a trade policy that harms ordinary Ameri- cans and that. at least at the state level, politicians, espe- cially Republicans, understand it as well. No. we probably shouldn't repeal NAFTA anytime soon. But perhaps we can stop the even worse agreements that President Obama is pushing with Korea and Communist Vietnam. To stop those all we need is a majority in one house of Congress. Let's see if our Republicans in Washington can prove themselves friends of working men and women the way the Republicans in Concord have. David TrumbuU is the chairman of the Boston Ward Three Republican Committee. 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