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Page 4 POST-GAZETTE, NOVEMBER 8, 2013 Festivals of Life and Death by Ally Di Censo Symynkywicz November is a month of aware of the mortality that Italy, years ago, where the contradictions, poised be- is necessary to complete the quiet night seemed to be 4) .... / tween the eternal themes of cycle of the year while also haunted by the World War II by Sal Gzarratam life and death. Everywhere I turn, chilly signs point to the mortality of both the earth and the year at large. Geese sing a melancholy dirge as they streak across the cloudy sky. Dry leaves crackle in the wind, the last sound of the trees as they prepare for a winter nap. My breath curls into white puffs against the cold air before fading out, as ephemeral as the world itself. However, in the midst of this finite sym- bolism, bursts of life also explode around me. Stores begin to display deep green holly wreaths, glowing candles and jolly Santa Claus statues, all in reminder of the midwinter holidays that honor the return of the sun after the solstice. Pumpkins and wheat stalks lining people's doorsteps instantly transport me to warm Thanksgiving dinners, sur- rounded by an abundance of food and the love of family. Tart cranberries melting in my mouth fill me with the pleasure of late-autumn pro- duce. November is a special month because it works with the dual symbolism of early winter, making us tantalizing us with the life and festivities to come. Two important holidays, which both occur on November 11% illustrate the complexities of this month. Most people know Novem- ber 1 1 th as Veterans' Day, the date set apart to honor the sacrifices that selfless men and women have made throughout history on be- half of our country. Originat- ing from the armistice that ended World War I, this holi- day has deeper roots, as the month of November has been set apart for commemo- rating the dead since Celtic times, when it was known as Samhain. To this day, the sight of an American flag waving to and fro in the chilly November wind humbles me and fills me with an immeasurable amount of gratitude. As a history major, I have stud- ied many wars, but no amount of textbook reading could ever prepare you for listening to the personal tales of courage and duty told by our nation's veterans. This holiday also reminds me of the time I spent in my father's town of Sulmona, soldiers who lived and died there -- British and Ameri- can troops who fought against the Nazis, ordinary Italian citizens who assisted the fight against fascism. In addition to honoring the dead, however, Veterans' Day also celebrates life. The free- doms we enjoy today, our liberty to partake in cele- brations with friends and family, derive from the sac- rifices made by the brave men and women, living or deceased, whom we remem- ber on Veterans' Day. Truly, this is something we should commemorate and be thank- ful for all year long. The ancient holiday of St. Martin's Day also occurs on November 11% and it too is ripe with symbolism of both life and death. This feast honors St. Martin of Tours, who according to leg- end once shared his cloak with a freezing beggar, thus linking him with the com- fort we seek in the winter season. St. Martin's Day would have been inextrica- bly linked with death in ancient Europe, as this was (Continued on Page 14) New Online Security Course Available to Small Business Owners computer attacks and deter- mine their readiness against security breaches. The course, available at http:// www.sba.gov / tools / sba- learning-center training/ cybersecurity-small-busi- nesses, teaches best cyber- security practices and pro- tection against cyber threats for the nation's small busi- ness community. The protection of sensi- tive data such as business invoices, payroll records, client and employee data and other proprietary infor- mation is essential to a company's success. A Small businesses can help keep their business information safe and protect their online information with a new free course from the U.S. Small Business "Administration. SBA has launched a new course, designed for small businesses, to provide an overview on how to secure business information, iden- tify security threats and guard against cyber-attacks. Cyberseeurity for Small Businesses is one of SBA's newest online courses to help business owners safe- guard their information from computer failure or other system breach could under- mine a company's reputa- tion, expose it to costly recovery expenses and dis- rupt the business' overall operation. Cyberseeurity for Small Businesses will help to iden- tify information security vulnerabilities that can put a small business at risk and the protective tools and techniques used to mea- sure, maintain and guard business information and systems. Small business owners will learn the types of information that should be secured, how to protect themselves from intentional attacks or unintentional damage, guard themselves from decreased produc- tivity caused by security breaches and evaluate the needed security tools and techniques. The course also gives useful and practical steps to take to protect a business' operations. Cybersecurity for Small Businesses is self-paced and also offers best practices for guarding against cyber threats, potential computer weaknesses and the cor- rective actions for risk management. Course participants com- pleting the online course can earn a certificate of completion from the SBA. The SBA Learning Center offers free courses covering topics such as Starting, Managing, or Financing a Business, and can be found at http:/ /www.sba.gov/sba- learning-center. President Has Little Credibility Even Democrats See This Now Prior to October 1 st, all the news were focusing on the government shutdown and Republicans were being blamed for everything espe- cially, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz who was leading the Defund Obamacare campaign. The Tea Party Republicans were being compared to anar- chists, racists, terrorists and worse. The liberals across the country and up on Capitol Hill were foaming at the mouth over the dire conse- quences of a government shutdown that allowed 87 percent of it to run as usual. Default was hardly on the horizon and the Democrats knew this and pretended otherwise to gain traction in the liberal news media that seemingly has a fatal attrac- tion to all things Obama. When the Republicans sur- rendered on the shutdown and started bashing Ted Cruz, it looked like a win-win situ- ation for the Democrats from, President Obama, Senate Minority Leader and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi. I was livid with establish- ment Republicans like U.S. Senators Lindsay Graham R-SC, John McCain R-AZ and U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-NY for treating the Tea Party Republicans like the enemy. However, the tide started turning against President Obama and all those Obama- crats who blindly follow their leader even into the depths of political hell. God forbid they are proven wrong when the rollout of the Obamacare website crashes before the ignition gets turned on and now we find out the rollout was rushed to meet the deadline rather than the deadline waiting for the proper time. Even many Senate Democrats who were blasting Cruz for wanting to delay Obamacare's start and individual mandate are now starting calling for it. Furthermore, now Ameri- cans are waking up all across America to the idea that the president's repeated guaran- tee that Americans who liked their current health insur- ance plans or doctors would be able to keep both under his health care reform. Now proven untrue by the facts as millions are being dropped from their health insurance plans or seeing insurance prices soar to the moon. To make matters worse, NBC and CBS have both started reporting that Presi- dent Obama and officials in the Nation's Capitol knew as long ago as July 2010 that up to 67 percent of Americans would reportedly see them- selves get dropped from plans and lose their current poli- cies. The president kept re- peating something he should have known was incorrect. Was he lying to the Ameri- can people to get the Afford- able Health Care Act passed or was he truly in the dark? Either way, that doesn't say much about our president's leadership skills since he is supposed to know something about something, isn't he? Isn't that his job? I don't remember hearing about or seeing a Roger Maris asterisk next to that "you can keep it" promise, No one knew there was fine print to be read. Did he? By the way, are you like me, getting tired hearing that the president doesn't know anything? He knew nothing about Benghazi. He knew nothing about Fast and Furious? He knew nothing about the NSA spying on world leaders. He knew noth- ing about spying by the NSA on you and me too. He knows nothing, nothing, nothing. We elected Barack Obama as President of the United States and not as a Sergeant "I Know Nuthin'" Schutz from Statag 13. I think all those liberals out there from Weymouth to Washington, DC owe U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz an apology. He was right more than wrong. He saw the train wreck com- ing down the tracks. How- ever, most liberals have just gone into denial still blaming the Tea Party and, of course, private insurance compa- nies for this whole new mess. Never admit to reality. Live in liberal bizarro world along with all those talking heads over at MSNBC. NEW LOCATION Since 1969 FOR ALL YOUR INSURANCE NEEDS AUTO HOMEOWNERS TENANTS COMMERCIAL Experience makes the difference 209 BROADWAY, REVERE, MA 02151 Tel. 781.284.1100 Fax 781.284.2200 Free Parking Adjacent to Building