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April 24, 2015     Post-Gazette
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Page 2 POST-GAZETTE, APRIL 24, 2015 Stirp__e byP00o00.00dm0000Torie.o Nostra Aweeklycolumnhighlight'-"ingsom-----7 of the more interesting aspects of our , ancestry ... our lineage.., our roots. PHIDIAS AND HIS ATHENIAN SCULPTURES Ask any Italian-American who the world's greatest sculptor was, and Michel- angelo will probably get the vote. The Greeks have their favorite, too. His name is Phidias, and he was born in Attica about 500 B.C. This particular time in Greek his- tory is known as the "Age of Pericles" or "The Golden Age of Greece." Pericles was the statesman who gave out the commissions but it was Phidias who sculptured those splendid statues. In addition to his position as the superintendent of public works for Athens, Phidias directed the construction of the imposing entrance (Pro- pylaea) to the Athenian Acropolis, numerous other works of art, and at least two of the most celebrated stat- ues of Athena that the world has ever known. The first of these master- pieces, the colossal statue of Athena Parthenos (the virgin goddess), was about thirty feet high, and it was sheathed in ivory and gold. All of the sculptured orna- ments of the Parthenon were carved under the su- pervision of Phidias but the statue was the work of his own hand. This art form was called "Cryselephan- fine," which means that the statue was formed on plates of ivory, laid upon a core of wood or stone for the flesh parts, while the drapery and ornaments were of solid gold. Athena was shown standing, and clothed in a tunic that reached to the ankles. She held a spear in her left hand and a six foot high image of Victory in her right. She wore a metal breast "plate while her shield was resting on the ground at her feet. All of the gold portions were as- sembled so that they could easily be removed for safe- keeping during times of war. It's easy to understand the reason for this feature when we realize that at today's market price all of the gold was worth about twenty-two million dollars. The second masterpiece, the bronze statue of Athena Promachos (Athena the War- rior) was also attributed to Phidias. It stood on the Acropolis near the Parthenon and was erected by using the proceeds from the spoils taken at the battle of Mara- thon. The proportions of this statue were so colossal that the reflection from the tip of the lance and her helmet were visible to sailors as far away as the southern extremity of Attica. The effort being put forth by Melina, the Greek Min- ister of Cultures and Sci- ence to secure the return of the Elgin marbles has received considerable pub- licity. Our current discus- sion concerning Phidias, the Acropolis, and the Par- thenon, prompts me to ex- plain that the Elgin marbles are a collection of ancient sculptures that were brought from Greece to England by the Thomas Bruce, Earl of Elgin, in 1812 while he was the British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. It all started with the con- struction of the Parthenon during the Gold Age of Greece (about 450 B.C.). All of the building's sculptured work is believed to have been done under the direct supervision of Phidias. Like most ancient buildings, the Parthenon had its share of abuse down through the ages. It was used as a Ro- man temple, a Greek Ortho- dox Church, and even a Mo- hammedan Mosque. Greece (Continued on Page 5) I . ! m tLco..00c,00 Let's protect Boston's waterways FOR INFORMATION ) bwsc.org O617-989-7000 BOSTON WATER AND SEWER (BWSC) IS COMING TO YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD Meet with BWSC staff to: Payyour water bill with a check or money order-- no cash, please. Talk about any problems you may have with your bill or you r service. Find out how much water is being used on your property. Plan to make payments on bills that are past due. Receive help applying for a senior or disabled person's discount. Learn more about BWSC customer programs. i!iiiii!ii/ i iii00ili!iii!iiiiiiii00!iiii00iii!i:: i li!i00!i!!!!i!!ii!i!00ii00ii!i0000ii!iii00ilL 00i00iii,i00i00iiiiiii00i00i0000i00i ................. Avenue Res Publica by David 'I'htmbull Not So Fast! This week Congress started work on a Trade Promotion Act (rPA"). Formerly called "fast track," TPA is an Act of Congress that authorizes the President to negotiate and sign a free trade agreement ("FTA") with another country or countries, with the provision that the FTA will be brought to congress for approval by both houses on an up-or-down vote with no amendments. TPA is important because no nation would negotiate with the U.S. if Congress, after the agreement is reached, could amend the agreement. TPA also puts a bill on a "fast track" in that it imposes a rela- tively compressed time schedule for consideration and vote on the bill. My progressive friends say that fast track is a way to ram unpopular trade deals through Congress that kill U.S. jobs, grant special favors to nations with poor environmental and labor standards, and reward multinational corporations who, through a system of legalized bribery, have inordinate power in Washington. My TEA Party friends say that fast track is an unwise (possibly unconstitutional) handing over to the Executive of Congresses power to determine trade policy with a tendency to promote dangerous foreign entangle- ments. Both are, of course. What Is Fast "Ihrack or TPA? Under TPA procedures, a free trade agreement, "FTA," is approved as a Congressional-Executive Agreement, rather than a treaty. This is due to the separation of powers under the U.S. Constitution -- . "[The President] shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur." -- Article 2, Sec. 2 "Congress shall have power to lay and collect duties ..." -- U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Sec. 8 * "All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives ..." - Article 1, Sec. 7 Therefore, an FTA is not, in the U.S., a treaty. Treaties are negotiated by the President and approved by two-thirds of the Senate with no voteln the House. An FTA adjusts duties, which affects revenue and is therefore [Art. 1, Sec. 7) a "money bill," which must originate in the House. Under TPA procedures the negotiation is entirely in the hands of the Executive, however, Congress may include negotiations objectives in the TPA bill. But the President must negotiate an agreement that can get a majority vote in each of the houses of Congress, where his party may not have a majority. TPA is important as a signal to our negotiating partners that Congress has confidence in the President to negoti- ate an agreement that can be passed by Congress. TPA is also important as the bill provides a vehicle for Congress to instruct the President, via the negotiation objectives set forth in the TPA bill, as to what he needs to do to get those majorities in the House and Senate. However, it is not the case, as some have said, that you must have TPA to do an FTA. If you have the votes to pass the FTA you have the votes in the House to bring the FTA up for a vote under a "closed rule," meaning no amend- ments are allowed. It is commonly stated that Senate does not have the closed rule," however, that is clearly mis- (Continued on Page 10) PINELLIS UNCTION FACILITY" Specializing in the art of celebration Wedding, Anniversary, Quinceaera, Reunion, Birthday, Social and Corporate Events. Convenient location and valet parking makes Spinelli's East Boston the perfect location. We are dedicated to the highest level of service and professionalism to ensure the success of your special occasion. 280 Bennington Street, East Boston, MA Please Call 617-567-4499 spinellis.com