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October 26, 2012     Post-Gazette
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October 26, 2012

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Page2 POST-GAZETTE, OCTOBER 26, 2012 Stirp_e Nostra by Prof. Edmund Turiello A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. THE During the past two issues we examined the vigil and funeral procession that was generally observed in an- cient Greece. This week I thought it might be of inter- est to outline these same events as they were observed in ancient Rome. I feel it necessary to remind our readers once again, how- ever, the "funus" is the Latin word for rope, cable or cord. It is also the name that was given to the funeral rites in ancient Rome. Their Latin word "funus," and in turn, our English word "fu- neral," are both derived from the burial procession during those ancient times which employed twisted ropes that had been smeared with pitch and then used as torches to light the way. Torches were necessary because their fu- nerals took place at night. Among the Romans, the burial of the dead was a most solemn duty as it was with the Greeks. It was incum- bent upon anyone who found an unburied body to at least cast earth upon it three times. If funeral rites were not performed, the soul of the dead person was believed to ROMAN FUNERAL "PREP" wander homelessly upon the earth forever. When a person was on his deathbed a near relative caught the last breath in his own mouth and as soon as death came, the eyes and mouth of the corpse were closed by one of those present. Next came the "conclamatio" a cry or the. recall of the dead, by uttering his or her name three times in order to as- certain the fact of death. If money. Charon was the fer- ryman from mythology who conveyed the dead souls across the River Styx in a lower world called Hades (similar to our Purgatory). In Rome as in Greece, coins have been found in the mouths of many skeletons. All of the preparations nec- essary for the proper laying out of the body were per- formed by an embalmer. He usually made the orig0pal there was no a!; t..ast, pf_tl)0;&h mash,but the person was considered officially dead. A parallel cus- tom is still observed at the deathbed of a Pope, but with the addition of a good strong whack on the head. Immediately after death the body was washed with warm water, anointed ,with perfumes or spices and then clothed in a toga or robe of office, if appropriate. Pre- cious ornaments and rings were often added. The corpse was placed on a couch and then adorned with flowers. Among the Romans as among the Greeks it was customary to place a small coin in the mouth of the de- ceased for the purpose of paying Charon's passage the contract for conducting the entire funeral was made with an undertaker. After the body was properly pre- pared and adorned it was laid on a couch of state, gener- ally in the atrium of the domus, with the feet towards the door. Outside of the front door they placed cypress or pine branches in order to warn those persons who might feel polluted by enter- ing a house in which there was a corpse. Private funer- als were conducted by the family of the deceased (funus privatum), or possibly a pub- lic funeral was voted by the Senate (funus publicum). NEXT ISSUE: The Roman Procession Sheriff's Department C.R.E.W. Program Receives Bright Idea Award from Harvard's Ash Center The Community Re-entry for Women (C.R.E.W.) Pro- gram of the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department has been .recognize d with a Bright Idea Award by the Ash Center for Democratic Gov- ernance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. The C.R.E.W. Program is a multi-phased, gender- specific life skills and job placement and healthcare service program for female offenders re-entering their communities from the Suf- folk County House of Cor- rection. The program is de- signed to identify and ad- dress the unRiue challieS faced by female offenders, regardless of length of stay, with pre- and post-release case management to assist them with achieving their housing, health care and career goals. Bright Idea Awards are given to organizations and agencies from all levels of government -- including school districts, county, city, state and federal agencies as well as public-private partnerships -- and demon- strate a creative range of solutions to issues such as Urban and ruraldegradation, environmental problems and the academic achievement of students. Programs are teildand 9elected by The East Boston Republican Ward Committee Supports BALANCING THE FEDERAL BUDGET (eliminating a $17 trillion deficit; $5 trillion added during the Obama Administration) CREATING JOBS (23 million unemployed) SAVING MEDICARE FOR SENIORS ACHIEVING ENERGY INDEPENDENCE PRESERVING RELIGIOUS FREEDOM PROTECTING FREEDOM OF SPEECH VOTE REPUBLICAN Contact the East Boston Republican Ward Committee at EBRWC @ a team of policy experts from academic and public sectors. Selected programs must currently be in operation or in the process of launching and have sufficient opera- tional resources. In addi- tion, programs must be ad- ministered by one or more governmental entities; non- profit, private sector and union initiatives are eli- gible if operating in partner- ship with a governmental organization. Bright Ideas are showcased on the Ash Center's Government Inno- vators Network, an online platform for practitioners and policymakers to share innovative public policy solutions. Chosen as one of 111 awardees out of a field of over 600 candidates, the C.R.E.W. Program was selected under the heading of "Preventing Crime Before It Happens & Reintegrating Offenders." Other Bright Ideas awardees were chosen from the fol- lowing categories: Economic Development; Energizing our Nation's Students; Environ- mental Protection & Conserva- tion; Real-Time Data; and Transparency. Speaking about the Department's constant and tireless resolve to enhance and upgrade programming, including those programs already considered to be mod- els within the field of correc- tions like the C.R.E.W. Pro- gram, Director of Women's (Continued on Page 14) Res Publica by David Tumbull The Fraud of Free Trade Recently, a friend passed Today all major trading along an article, written by countries impose many dis- libertarian author Arthur tortions on international E. Foulkes, illustrating "The trade, with tariffs being just Magic of Free Trade," as pre- one of many, and frequently dicted by 19th century the most significant, barriers economist's David Ricardo's to free trade. However, many theory of comparative ad- free traders fail to take vantage. The illustration into account these trade dis- was simple and, on the face, torting policies and scream compelling. He gave a class- "protectionism" whenever room full of fifth graders the U.S. tries to craft a randomly selected gifts of remedy to offset some of approximately equal value our trading partners' trade and told them they were free distorting actions. Here are to trade gifts among them- some ways in which world selves. Nearly all the kids  trade, as practiced, differs made trades, so that what from the comparative advan- started as random gifts that tage theory's assumption of gave some pleasure to each roughly equal players oper- kid, ended with each child ating under the same rules. feeling he was better off, 1. Tax policy mad interna- having traded until he got tional trading rules. Taxes, the gift he really wanted, aside from the particular Well, so far so good, but rate, can distort trade in what happens when, as the many ways by favoring or author does, you try to trans- disfavoring certain indus- fer comparative advantage to tries. Even more important international trade? The in international trade is the ideology breaks down when method of taxation and how applied to the real world, the World Trade Organiza- Free trade comparative tion ("WTO") rules treat the advantage theory assumes a different types of taxes. WTO world like that fifth grade rules prohibit, as a trade classroom, where all actors distorting policy, tax rebates operate under the same or other payments to compa- rules and approach the trad- nies as incentives to export. ing system as roughly equal However, the WTO rules participants. That does not do make an exemption in describe the real world, and the case of "indirect" taxes, that is why free trade, which such as the value-added is based on a good premise tax ("VAT") that all of our -- the free market --, fails trading partners use as their to delivery mutual prosper- principle means of raising ity as promised. The premise revenue. In practical terms of free trade is that individu- what this means is that if als, acting in their own self- you make widgets in the U.S. interest, will create a more you pay all of your U.S. taxes prosperous economy, with and when you ship them to, more opportunities for all, say, Germany, you also pay once market-distorting gov- Germany's 16% VAT. If you ernment regulations are make the widgets in Ger- removed. In Ricardo's time many you pay 16% VAT, the tariff was one of the main which is rebated when you ways governments distorted export, and if you export to trade. Hence, liberal (as the the U.S. you pay no U.S. term was used at the time, taxes. The result is the U.S. now we call them conserva- producer shipping to Ger- tive or libertarian) theorists many pays full U.S. and Ger- attacked the tariff. The situ- ation today is quite different. (Continued on Page 14) Please accept sincere condolences, from the Spinelli's family and staff. 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