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September 14, 2012

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T Page2 POST-GAZETTE, SEPTEMBER 14, 2012 Stir00 by Prof. Edmund Turiello Nostra Aweeklycolumnhighlightingsome of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. "Condicio duo et dimidia, proposte due e' mezzo," or Proposition two and a half ... if you think it started in California or Boston ... you'd better think again. Laws that were intended to limit and control expenditures of indi- vidual citizens in ancient Rome were called "Sump- tuariae Leges." Concerns about economy probably all started in Greece, as is evidenced in the writ- ings of Lycurgus, who tells of the Spartans being forbidden to have their houses con- structed by implements other than the axe and the saw. Food and clothing were re- stricted to the most simple varieties. The use of gold or silver was not permitted in coins, however, iron was quite common. The death penalty was inflicted upon anyone who drank undiluted wine, except when other- wise directed by a physician. Early Athenian laws forbade expensive feminine apparel and ornaments; even the dowry of a bride was not ex- empt. Expensive funerals TWO AND A HALF were prohibited and the number of guests that could be present at any public en- tertainment was controlled by law. Sumptuary laws in Rome followed those of the Greeks. The first Roman law that re- stricted entertainment ex- penses was enacted about 181 B.C. It limited the num- ber of guests that could be in- vited to public functions. Civic leaders were required to swear before consuls that they would not spend more than the law allowed for banquets and the use of that happy red stuff was re- stricted to "vinum indigena" or local wine. Controls were set on the amount of money that could be spent on na- tional or local festivals, in- cluding the nature of the food to be consumed. Laws even fixed a limit on the amount of meat and fish that could be eaten at home, while at the same time en- couraged the consumption of home grown vegetables. The dictator Sulla re- stricted the amount of money that could be spent on grave- stones, tombs and funerals. He violated his own rule when his wife died. While Julius Caesar was away from Rome, the enforcement of many sumptuary laws were ignored, but upon his return he caused guards to be placed in the market places to seize forbidden luxuries. The guards even removed restricted food from tables in private homes.The Emperor Augustus banned the use of litters, purple gar- ments (dye was too expen- sive) and pearls. Tiberius prohibited the use of gold plating except for religious utensils. He also prohibited the wearing of silks for men. Nero reduced the amount of food that could be consumed by others, but not for him- self. Marcus Aurelius econo- mized on the gladiatorial shows, while the Emperor Tacitus forbade the wearing of gold embroidered gar- ments. Oh well ... they weren't very comfortable anyway. NEXT ISSUE: Picking Up the Tab A Change I Won't Accept This whole story on Michelle Kosilek, the wife- strangling transsexual scum- bag who has spent years in- side a cell fighting for his taxpayer funded sex change operation is now happy as a killer clam since U.S. Dis- trict Court Judge Mark Wolf ruled that denying him/her the surgery to correct a gen- der identity disorder would violate his Eighth Amend- ment protection against cruel and unusual punishment. He was diagnosed with the disorder and sued the state in 2006 to provide him/her the surgery. Kosilek for- merly known as Robert, was sentenced to life in prison for the brutal 1990 cold- blooded murder of his wife Cheryl in Mansfield. He ended up dumping her body near the Emerald Square Mall in North Attleboro. He has been serving his life sentence at MCI Norfolk at a medium security male prison. The judge scolded prison officials in his ruling for violating Kosilek's consti- tutional rights. We fully understand the term "gender identity disor- der' and know that it is a rec- ognized diagnose, but the is- sue is the fact that if a killer is constitutionally entitled to receive a tax-funded opera- tion, what about all those other clients receiving state- funded services who need the same kind of corrective surgery but have been law abiding? However, kill someone and the surgery is on us? If Kosilek's Eighth Amendment rights were violated, what about all these law abiding folks receiving services from the state whose rights under the 14  Amendment appear I Electronics Recycling o have been trampled on FREE ' " b YKosilek?the judge's ruling on U.S. Senator Scott Brown C)pel00 t a the Pt has called the ruling "an out- .... rageous waste of taxpayer Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012 dollars." State Senate Major- Open to the Public ity Leader Bruce Tarr said (rain or shine) 9am - 3 pm (no appointment necessary) Bayside Expo Center 200 Mt Vernon St Dorchester, MA 02125 we will unload your car! Items Accepted: computers, monitors, televisions, LCD panels, printers, other computer related equipment, stereos, cell and other phones, power supplies, electronic games, VCRs, circuit boards, microwaves, and other household electronics. Hard drive and other memory devices are physically destroyed! Items Not Accepted: air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and white goods (washers, dryers, stoves, refrigerators, etc. ) BEREA VEMENT B UFFET 14. 95 .... @ Thomas M. Menino, Mayor the ruling "is well beyond the scope of reason and an un- justifiable expansion of the 8 TM Amendment. The deci- sion will lead to an outra- geous result in the current case and set a bad precedent for future cases." The State Department of Corrections is reviewing this decision and exploring ap- pellate options, as it should. The surgery will lead to future safety risks. Does he/ she get transferred to Fram- ingham, the women's prison or does he stay at MCI Nor- folk, a male facility? Will he be isolated for the rest of his life in prison? Isn't that cruel and unusual punish- ment too? This federal ruling is very (Continued on Page 14) Res Publica by David TrumbuU The Power of Five Percent It looks like Salvatore LaMattina, Boston City Councilor for District One, which covers Charlestown, East Boston, the North End, Downtown and part of Bea- con Hill, will not be the next Suffolk County Register of Probate. Unofficial results show him in second place, with 49 percent of the vote in the Democratic Primary. It was close, but Patricla Campateili leads by over 600 votes, out of about 30 thou- .nd votes cast for that of- 'e and the official results Ire unlikely to change that significantly. Turnout was low, with 7.5 percent of the 413,927 registered voters actually voting in this race. Ms. Campatelli, a resident of East Boston, will face no Republican opposition in November. If past experi- ence is a guide, it is safe to assume that Ms. Campatelli will hold that position until she chooses to depart. As we know, Suffolk County voters practically never turn out an incumbent Democrat. Well, that's the voters' prerogative and Ms, CampateIIi won, so I say, congratulations to her. My analysis that follows is not meant in any way to take away from her victory, how- ever, I think citizens in Suf- folk County should consider this latest, In a Continuing trend, of a very small num- ber of citizens deciding who will hold public office. Voter turnout is a funny thing. One often hears people say that a single vote doesn't matter. Yet voter behavior suggests that many voters don't understand just how their votes count. Just to be clear, every vote matters. Even if you take a ballot and return it blank, that is recorded as a vote -- it is a message to the candidates that you bothered to go to the polling place and vote even though there was no one on the ballot that you approved of, either because you dis- approved, or perhaps simply didn't know enough about them to have an opinion. However, it is also true that your vote matters more when it is more likely to de- termine the outcome. Ironi- cally, the people who say "my vote doesn't matter" are the same ones who skip contests where their votes matter a great deal but participate in contest where their votes matter little, or not at all. Take the recent primary (please). Overall turnout for the September 6  primaries was 11 percent across Suf- folk County, which is made up of the cities of Boston, Chelsea, Revere and the town of Winthrop. But turn- out varied from race to race. Nine percent of the regis- tered voters cast a ballot for either incumbent U.S. Senator Scott, P. Brown, a Republican, or his Demo- cratic challenger, Elizabeth A. Warren. Perhaps they wanted to make an early show of support for a candi- date prior to the November final election. Perhaps the organizations of both cam- paigns used the primary as a "dry-run" of the get-out- the-vote program they plan for November. Who knows? But there is one thing we can say with certainty: none of those votes counted in the slightest in determining the result as, in both cases, there was only one name on the ballot. 36,786 persons voted in the primaries for U.S. Senator, 32,840 in the Democratic Primary alone. Now compare that to the Campatelli/LaMattina race for Register of Probate. 30,919 persons voted in that race, a race where every vote truly mattered, as the winner will be the next Register of Pro- (Continued on Page 12) r 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