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July 20, 2012

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Page 2 POST-GAZETTE, JULY 20, 2012 Stir00 Nostra by Prof. Edmund TurieUo A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. In this day and age we often jest about certain aph- rodisiacs or sexual stimu- lants. For some unknown reason, discussions of this nature always seem to cen- ter around the poor little raw oyster. The ancients didn't mess around with mere child's play, they used the oyster to settle the stomach, re- store lost appetite and as a gentle laxative. When boiled with honey it was used to cure "tenesmus" (the inabil- ity to urinate). Vapors from steamed oysters were inhaled to help slow down running colds. Reduced to ash and mixed with honey, they were used to relieve irritation of the tonsils; when the ash was mixed APHRODISIACS, ETC. with water it was used to cure sores on the head, or to smooth the skin of women, and when mixed with vinegar, it cured the itch. These dear ancients finally got around to eating the oyster raw, but they con- sumed it chopped, to cure chilblains on the feet. For their aphrodisiacs, the old timers used the salted flesh of river snails, or the dried and powdered testicles of a horse and these were taken in wine. Whether by design or by coincidence, the donkey or ass did not escape attention during these times because its right testicle was usually worn as a bracelet. Probably their most exotic prescrip- tion was to plunge the geni- tal organ of an ass into hot oil seven times and then rub it over certain relevant parts. The ultimate or "piece de resistance" was to reduce that organ to ash and consume it in wine (this also gave you a good attack of agita). Needless to say, none of this made the poor donkey very happy. Timid persons and those with weak stomachs resorted to a special saJve made from mouse's dung. I guess it just boils down to whatever turns you on. The Greek philosopher Democritus disapproved of all these shenanigans, and claimed that they were mere acts whereby one human being sprang from another. The more virile of the ancients did claim, however, that it enabled sluggish athletes to regain their vitality, cure pains in the loins, dullness of vision, unsoundness of mind, mel- ancholia, snake bites, scor- pion stings and helped to clear husky voices. Ahem ... ahem ... ahem ... NEXT ISSUE: More Pearls from the Past Sal LaMattina & Family Candidate for Register of Probate Suffolk County Congtrat:t00ations and 00est "Wishes Congressman MIKE CAPUANO 00Iappy00lnni00ersarg Italia Unita, Inc. "Promoting Italian culture and the preservation of Italian heritage." 35 Bennington Street East Boston, MA 02128 Tel: (617) 561-3201 Fax: (617) 569-2898 Email: ItaliaUnita @ "Mantenendo tradi=ione tra le genera00ione." What Part of "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercse thereof." Don't You Understand, Mr. President? Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R., Wisconsin) has introduced legislation, H.R.6097, the Religious Freedom Tax Repeal Act, to stop the Obama Administration from taxing religious institutions and employers for choosing to follow core tenets of their faith rather than bow to the HHS mandate that violates their conscience rights. As you know, on January 20, 2012, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services {"HHS") reaffirmed a rule forcing health care plans to cover sterilization, abortion- inducing drugs and contraception. Many religiously- affiliated schools, hospitals and social service agencies cannot comply with this mandate. Obama's response is to tax them out of existence. ObamaCare gives the federal government the tools to tax religiously-affiliated schools, hospitals, universities and soup kitchens right out of existence," said Representative Sensenbrenner, who pointed out that the fine for following your conscience is $I00 per employee per day.. As Sensenbrenner explained, "A religious institution that, say, has a church and an elementary school beside it that employs fifty employees total, which include the adminis- trative and maintenance personnel, ends up being taxed $36,500 per employee per year." For that church and school with 50 employees the tax on the right to follow church teaching would be nearly $2 million per year, every year. Boston has Catholic schools that would be forced to close if the Obama Administration war on religious freedom is allowed to go forward. Sensenbrenner, who is an Anglican, pointed out that in his state of Wisconsin there are many Lutheran schools as well as Catholic schools that will be forced to close if Obama has his way. Sensenbrenner is joined by 56 cosponsors of the Religious Freedom Tax Repeal Act. All the sponsors are Republicans. Not a single Democrat in Congress has been willing to oppose the President and stand up in support of our First Amendment freedom to practice religion. The HHS mandate is just the latest Obama Administra- tion attack on religion. Back in January the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a Lutheran school (Hosanna- Tabor) had a First Amendment religious freedom to choose its own ministers and that the Obama Administration's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's attempt to meddle in the church's employment practices was unconstitutional. The HHS mandate must, and will, be overturned! "Best Wishes for 117 More Years" Emanuel "Gus"' S ,rra AARON MICHLEWITZ