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August 14, 2015

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Page12 POST-GAZETTE, AUGUST 14, 2015 rron I Ready for this? A second-grader at an Indiana public school was "banished" by his teacher after telling his classmates that he didn't believe in God. The seven-year-old was forced to sit by himself during lunch for three days and not speak to other students because, the teacher said, his views on religion had "offended them." His parents have filed a lawsuit. It has been said that a boy is the only thing God can use to make a man. Mother Superior Frances Fitzgerald says, "God doesn't expect us to solve all the world's problems -- he only expects us not to create them." Wow! A New York C.ity high school student has complained she was awarded a diploma despite failing grades so the school could bol- ster its graduation rate. Melissa Majia says she was given a passing grade in her gov- ernment class even though she hadn't done the work. Her teacher admitted being "un- der tremendous pressure" to meet academic goals, and said it was in "the school's best interest to pass her." Get off her back! Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while Secretary of State continues to cause trouble for the Democratic presidential candidate, as the FBI began investigating whether confiden- tial government information had been "com- promised." The Washington Post reported that the FBI's investigation comes after the in- telligence community's inspector general requested that the Justice Department ex- amine Clinton's private server. Clinton her- self has not been accused of any wrongdo- ing and is not the target of the investiga- tion, officials said. The FBI has contacted a Denver-based technology company that helped manage the server, which was in- stalled in Clinton's Chappaqua, New York home in 2008. A spokesman said Clinton had never sent or received emails *that were marked classified at the time," though some of that material has since been retroac- tively deemed classified. News from Basel, Switzerland. A retired and healthy British nurse ended her life at a Swiss assisted suicide clinic because she wanted to avoid becoming a *hobbling old lady," it was revealed. Girl Pharaoh, 75, had no apparent health problems, but said her decades-long career as a palliative care nurse for the elderly had shown her the stark realities of growing old. "I do not think old age is fun," Pharaoh told the Sunday Times before she died, adding that she had watched a friend suffer for years after a stroke and that she did not want to be a burden on her family. Assisted suicide is illegal in Britain, but a bill that would give terminally fll pa- tients the right to die will be debated next month in the House of Commons. AchtungI The German government is us- ing the military to cope with a record influx of asylum seekers -- prompting accusations that it is breaching Germany's strict post WWII constitution. Despite a ban on using the army for anything other than defense and national emergencies, soldiers have been deployed to erect temporary camps af- ter refugee reception centers became over- whelmed and some migrant hostels were attacked by right-wing groups. Defense Min- ister Ursula vonder Leyen said the armed forces were simply trying "to help wherever we can." More than 300,000 people have ap- plied for asylum in Germany so far this year, compared with just 26.000 for the U.K. in all of 2014. Huh? A Texan's attempt to shoot a tres- .- passing armadillo backfired when the bul- let ricocheted off the animal's hard shell and struck him in the jaw. The man spied the armadillo on his property in Marietta, Texas, and "took his .38 revolver and shot three times," said Cass County Sheriff Larry -Rowe. The shooter was airlifted to a local hospital, where his Jaw was wired shut. At one time, we were stationed *deep in the heart of Texas," Camp Swift, near Bastrop. It was always hot there! Yes, I was an 18-year-old GI at that time. We could hardly sleep in the steaming hot barracksI - Enough said. . I ltJ reel I . . Chow time. Nicholas Anderson went out for O O O dinner in- ~, ,~ tending to propose to his girlfriend and wound up foil- ing a robbery. Police say Anderson was about to pop the question to Deanna Deal when the suspect, Graham William Kiziah, entered Salsarita's Mexican restaurant in Hickory, N.C., and demanded money. As he was headed to the exit with his loot, Ander- son sprang into action and subdued the alleged thief with the help of an off-duty police officer. A few hours later, Anderson again worked up his courage to propose. "After all that happened," he said, *asking her to marry me wasn't near as bad." News from Russia! Moscow is the most con- gested city on the planet, said Helene Rich- ard. While it has fewer cars than Istanbul or Rio de Janeiro, the city was not designed for automobile transport and simply can't cope with it. During the Cold War, only the well-connected owned private cars but, once the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, the market opened up and everyone who could afford a car bought one. The only place for all these vehicles to go is the grand, Soviet- era boulevards, which were designed for massive military parades. The traffic isn't helped by the fact that Russians tend to be careless drivers, which explains why car crashes and fatalities are so common there than in the rest of Europe. Carlo Scostumato, says. "Driving an au- tomobile would be a much greater pleasure ff each motorist would use his head as much as he uses his horn." Musicologist Al Natale asks, *Is there any music as sweet as that of a car starting on a cold morning?" Useless information: More than 200 vari- eties of watermelon are grown in the United States. The amount of potato chips Ameri- cans eat each year weighs six times more than the T/tan/c. More popcorn is sold in Dal- las than anywhere else in the United States. And laws forbidding the sale of sodas on Sun- day prompted William Garwood to invent the ice-cream sundae in Evanston, Illinois, in 1875. Remember, dentists recommended that a toothbrush be kept six feet away from a toilet to avoid airborne particles resulting from the flush. Here we are in baseball season and what comes to mind is The Yankee Clipper. Joseph Paul DiMaggio, the son of Sicilian immi- grants in California, had a 56-game hitting streak in 1941 which still stands as the long- est in baseball history. Another great Ital- ian-American baseball player was Yogi Berra. Born Lawrence Peter Berra in Saint Louis, Missouri, he played for 14 pennant-winning and 10 World Series winning clubs -- a record no other player has matched. And let us not forget other great Italian-American baseball players such as Roy Campanella, Vic Raschi and the first Italian-American to manage a pro baseball team, Phll Cavarretta. And we have such other greats in the world of sports such as Joe Montana, Dan Marino, Andy RobusteUi, etc. Italians who have supported American in- dependence: Fflippo Mazzei, a Tuscan phy- sician, fought alongside Thomas Jefferson and also inspired the Jefferson phrase: *All men are created equal." And Francesco Vigo (1747-1836) is believed to be the first Italian to become an American citizen. Vigo served as a colonel, spy, and financier during the American Revolution. He died a pauper, but in 1876 the U.S, government gave his heirs about $50,000 to repay them for Vigo's financial support of the Revolutionary War. Billy Martin, born Alfred Manuel Pesano, became the first Italian-American manager to win a World Series when he led the New York Yankees to victory in 1977. And But- tercup Dickerson, born Lewis Pessano in Tyaskln, Maryland, in 1858, was the first Italian-American player in the major leagues. He died on July 23, 1920. AMERICA IS A BEAUTWUL/TALIAN NAMB COPYRIGHT. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED VINE-RIPENED TOMATO SALAD 3 vine-ripened tomatoes 1 large cucumber 1 large onion 1 tablespoon dried oregano 1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves chopped (optional) 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves chopped (optional) 3 tablespoons virgin olive oil Salt and black pepper to taste Wash tomatoes thoroughly. Cut each tomato lengthwise into quarters. Cut each quarter into one-inch portions. Place in serving bowl. Then remove outer skin from cucumber and slice thinly as for salad. Add to tomatoes. Remove skin from onion. Wash and cut in half, lengthwise. Slice halves into I/3" long slices. Add to tomatoes and cucumber slices. Cut in some fresh basil leaves and/or fresh mint leaves, sprinkle oregano and virgin olive oil over contents in the bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly before serving. The combination of vine-ripened tomatoes plus the above mentioned herbs mixed with virgin olive oil enhances the flavor of this salad, though regular olive oil, canola or vegetable oil can be used. NOTE: When I prepare this vine-ripened tomato salad today, I often think about growing up in Boston's North End. Fresh vine-ripened tomatoes were only available for sale during mid-summer. However, from springtime to fall, during those Depression days, we experienced the sight and fragrances of "container gardens" resting on our fire escapes and roof areas. My friends and I saw tomatoes grow from the small yellow blossoms that appeared on the tomato plants in containers. Some North Enders rented gardening lots in Revere or Wobum to grow their tomatoes, vegetables and herbs. I waited patiently for tomatoes and cucumbers to be harvested from my parent's garden lot in Silver Lake, Wilmington, MA. Mama served us the fresh tomato salad for lunch many times together with our fresh bread, some cheese and roasted black olives. We also enjoyed the salad with suppers of baked poultry or meats. Boxing Ringside (Continued from Page 16) being able to talk with him. I can't think of a single one of today's champions who will convey that feeling years down the road. As a matter of fact, I can't think of one that would do that nOW. Sullivan, Johnson, Demp- sey, Tunney, Louis, Walcott, Marciano, Frazier, All ..... Wilder? I don't think so. Joe Louis This and that (Continued impossible. The Commu- nists were establishing a stronghold in southern China and showed no sign of relenting even as Chiang resumed power. Communists had taken complete control by 1950 and Chiang, with what was left of the crumbling Nationalist Party, was e.xfled to the island of Taiwan. With little help possible from the West and humiliated by his defeat, Chiang established a dicta- torship in his new territory, ruling with an iron fist and snuffing out dissenters. The man who had started as the voice of progress and democ- racy became a symbol of what he once fought against. Though he persisted with futile attempts to take back mainland China, the final blow to his legacy came in 1971 when the United Na- tions officially recognized the Communist Party as the only from Page 6) valid party of China. His last few years in power, which ended with his death in 1975, were a sad affair indeed. Even in Taiwan where he unleashed his brutal rule, Chiang maintains a number of followers, though he re- mains a highly divisive fig- ure. However, few will argue that Mao Tse-tung was the step that China wanted, no matter how large his support base. Under him, China be- came something of a horror show, something it took the help of Henry Kissinger to overturn. Since then, China has climbed back to the sort of ideal Chiang wanted. But for a while, as Mao Tse-tung caused the death of thou- sands of Chinese citizens, Chiang Kal-shek could take some comfort, despite his failures, in being able to say "I told you so," a reoccurring theme with the figures I re- search for this series.