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August 3, 2012     Post-Gazette
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August 3, 2012

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Page 2 POST-GAZETTE, AUGUST 3, 2012 Stir00 Nostra Aweeklycolumnhighlightingsome m,  of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage .... our roots. Just a "saltellare, saltellare, e saltare" (hop, skip and jump) behind the famous Roman Colosseum is the well-known "Via delle Termine di Caracalla" which skirts the famous sev- enteen hundred year old bathtub. During the Months of July and August, natives and tourists alike vie for a seat at the opera, magnifi- cently staged under the stars amidst the ruins of this once majestic struc- ture. It was named for Aurelius Antonius Bassianus Caracalla, the eldest son of Emperor Septimius Severus. Caracalla was born at Lugdunum (Lyons) France in 188 A.D. and was appointed to be his father's co-ruler at the age of thirteen. It is said that even at this tender age, his treacherous nature was revealed through his attempt to murder his father. Severus died in 211 A.D. and was succeeded by his two sons, Geta and Caracalla. They hated each other from early childhood and an attempt to divide the empire between them met with great opposition so Caracalla resolved to get rid of his brother by assassina- tion. After several unsuc- cessful attempts, Geta was eventually stabbed while seeking protection in his mother's arms. Caracalla bribed the Praetorian Guard to pro- SUMMER OPERA claim himself emperor and to declare Geta an enemy of the State. Any persons who had been connected or associated with Geta includ- ing their children were ex- ecuted. One historian esti- mated the number of execu- tions to be at least 20,000. Caracalla maintained his popularity with the soldiers by showering expensive gifts upon them and by pay raises which exceeded 280 million sesterces a year (about 14 million dollars). It is also said that his cruelty and con- tempt for the people was equal to that of Caligula and Nero. His greed for more money caused him to grant citizenship to all freemen of Rome and then to send them a tax bill. His greatest folly was in his admiration for Alexander the Great. From the time of his early childhood, Caracalla admired Alexander and imi- tated him wherever and whenever possible, He even organized a Macedonian- style infantry unit of 16,000 men who were all born in that ancient kingdom and commanded by officers who were given the same names as those who had served under Alexander. He treated the memory of Achilles with the same kind of veneration, even to the point of poison- ing his favorite freedman so that he could imitate Achil- les in his grief for Patrocles, $ @al I@IJ * nowm I00OUU H , 781 286 CAS Per Ounce. 24K . . ys We Buy Diamonds, GoM and Silver Jewelry We Bu r Gold and Silver Coins j . Je oX 345 Broadway, Revere Serving the Community for 33 Years Hours lO-5:30 pm every day. Saturdays until 3:30 pm Please accept.sincere condolences, from the Spinelli's family and staff. During this difficult time, we would like to offer our facility at a specially reduced price, for you, your family and friends. SERVED UPON ARRIVAL Coffee, Mini Danish Pastries and Tea Breads BUFFET LUNCHEON MENU Tossed Salad, Assorted Rolls with Butter Chicken, Ziti and Broccoli Alfredo Eggplant Parmigiana Italian Sausages, Onions and Potatoes Above price does not include a 15% Administration Fee and a 7% Mass State Tax. 280 BENNINGTON STREET, EAST BOSTON, MA Telephone: 617-567-4499 JOHN TOTTEN MASONRY 617- 561-9516 508-280-8691 J the great warrior. His conduct during wars with other nations revealed his cruel and treacherous nature. He called together the young men of one Ger- manic tribe as if to reward them and then had them surrounded and butchered by his troops. Friendly kings were invited to his camp, then put in chains and their estates confiscated. Caracalla offended a Pre- fect of the Praetorian Guard and was assassinated at Edessa, a city in ancient Mesopotamia, in 217 A.D. after a degrading reign of slightly more than six years. What seems to be most remarkable about this em- peror are the great monu- ments which he left behind and which characterize the nature of his lavish expen- ditures. The first of these great monuments is now in ruinous condition and, of course, we know it as "The Baths of Caracalla." The sec- ond monument is the trium- phal arch dedicated to his father Septimius Severus and which still stands ma- jestically at one end of the Forum Romanum. NEXT ISSUE: Roman Law "Cruising for a Cure" FOR DIABETES by Sal Giarratani On Saturday, August 4 sev- eral hundred folks are ex- pected to be aboard "The Freedom" from Rowes Wharf, for a benefit for the Ameri- can Diabetes Association. The event is called "Cruising for a Cure," a night of live music and dancing for a good cause. Music will be provided by the electrifying Eastie classic rock band "Beawolfe." Everyone in Eastie knows this group is super. Who doesn't love seeing Kenny D. playing those drums of his? Dominic Petrosino is hop- ing for an SRO crowd to help in the fight against diabe- tes. If you want to help find a cure for diabetes and enjoy great old time rock and roll, it's a twofer on this "Cruising for a Cure" ride around Boston Harbor under the stars. For more info or tickets visit beawolfemusic or beawolfe@ J Specializingin brick, concrete, block, stone and stucco, new construction and repair work. Senior and Veteran Discounts SERVING THE COMMUNITY FOR 30 YEARS Res Publica by David Trumbull Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? I don't agree with the A.C.L.U. on a lot of things, but in this case they happen to be right." -- New To the embarrassment of Bostonians, Mayor Menino made national news when he wrote to Dan Cathy, Presi- dent of the Chiek-fil-A res- taurant chain, warning, "I urge you to back out of your plans to locate in Boston." His comments in the Boston Herald were more menac- ing: "If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult." One Facebook friend, after reading Mr. Menino's threat, posted, "Did he also add, 'That's a nice restaurant you have up there at the Burlington Mall. It would be a shame if anything were to happen to it.'?" Chicago Mayor and former Chief of Staff to President Obama, Rahm Emanuel, made similar threats against Chick-fil-A in that city. Why this vendetta against a business, which according to accounts (I've never eaten there myself) serves up some mighty tasty chicken? Well, as you may know by now, Mr. Cathy, citing his deeply held religious convictions has stated that he does not support same sex mar- riage. To the best of my knowledge, there is no alle- gation that Chick-fil-A has engaged in discrimination against gays and lesbians. To the contrary, the com- pany has a policy against dis- crimination based on sexual orientation. So this is not in the slightest about dis- crimination on the part of Mr. Cathy or Chick-fil-A. What it is is blatant, offi- cially sanctioned intoler- ance of Mr. Cathy's religious beliefs. Shame on you Mayor Menino! Mr. Cathy's views are cer- tainly not out of the main- stream. Mr. Cathy is a mem- ber of the Southern Baptist Convention, the second larg- est religious body in the York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg United States (over 16 mil- lion members). Many mil- lions of Americans, for religious or other reasons, do not support same sex mar- riage. Why, up until a few weeks ago President Obama was against same sex marriage! Mr. Emanuel, who campaigned and worked for the President, expressed no outrage about Obama's oppo- sition to same sex marriage. Mayor Menino's Catholic Church (largest religious body in America) holds the same position on the sub- ject as Mr. Cathy's Southern Baptist Convention. Why single out Mr. Cathy? Sim- ply this, he doesn't keep his views to himself, he has stated them openly and has donated money to like- minded organizations. In sum, Mr. Cathy has engaged in political speech to say something liberal politi- cians don't like to hear, so they seek to shut him up by threatening to make it impossible for him to do business in their cities. "It's clearly unconstitu- tional," said University of California at Los Angeles law professor Eugene Volokh in response to Menino's threat to deny permits based on a person's opinions. And, as Mayor Bloomberg pointed out, even the American Civil Liberties Union, which sup- ports same sex marriage, warned Chicago politicians against infringing First Amendment rights. "What the government cannot do is to punish someone for their words," said Adam Schwartz, senior attorney for the A.C.L.U. of Illinois. I think it's about time I find out for myself whether Chick-fil-A tastes as good as they say. To do so I'll have to cross the road -- sev- eral roads -- and go up to Burlington. North End Athletic Association ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT to Benefit the North End Athletic Association MONDAY, AUGUST 6, 2012 7:30 am (shot gun start) ANDOVER COUNTRY CLUB Canterbury Street, Andover, MA More than 144 golfers participate in this sold-out tour- nament annually. It is important that you save the date and plan on joining us Monday, August 64 . GOLF, LUNCH AND RAFFLE PRIZES ... The money raised from this tournament allows the North End Athletic Association to purchase uniforms and equipment for sporting events and add to the existing program. The North End Athletic Association is a 56-year-old organization, which provides athletic, social, educational and civic activities within the community and the City of Boston. For more information, please contact Louie Cavagnaro at 617-523-7410