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Page 2 POST-GAZETTE, FEBRUARY 1", 2013 Stirpe Nostra of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots, CAPSULE GEOLOGY For the novice, a very small and elementary dose of ge- ology, blended with some technology, might help to pro- vide a better understand- ing for parts of ancient theology. The solid surface of the earth as we see it is either rock or soil. Rock is the term used to denote the large geologic formations. Rock is broken into stone of various shapes and sizes. Rock is divided very generally into three classes according to the method by which it is formed. These classes are: (1) Igneous rock, which is formed by solidification o:f molten rock; in other words by volcanic action. Granite curbstones are a good ex- ample of igneous rock. It is the strongest and most du- rable of all rock; (2) sedimen- tary rock, which is formed from disintegrated products of other rocks. Flagstone is an example of sedimentary rock; (3) metamorphic rock, which is rock whose physi- cal or chemical character is altered by pressure, tem- perature and time. Marble is a good example of metamor- phic rock. Marble plays such an important role in religious architecture that it might be well to note that the most desirable qualities in sculptural marble are pure white crystals, straight uni- form grain, freedom from natural stains, voids and microscopic cracks. A good grade of marble is avail- able in the U.S.A. Marble from Carrara, Italy is better and pentelic marble from Mt. Pentelicus in Greece ranks with the world's best. Soft is formed from the dis- integration of rock. Soil that remains where it was formed is called residual soil and it builds up at the phenomenal rate of about one quarter inch in one thousand years. Soil that has been trans- ported by water and depos- ited at another site is called alluvial soil. The deltas of all rivers contain troublesome deposits of alluvial soil. An important soil type which is formed by wind-blown mate- rial is called loess. Soils are also classified as (1) coarse grained like gravel and sand and (2) fine grained like silt and clay. The grain size of sand is about 1/1000 inch but in clay it is less than 1/12,500 inch. Much of the plains of Mesopotamia are made up of silt and clay carried down by the Tigris and Euphrates from the mountains the north. During ancient times these two rivers emptied into the Persian Gulf independently. Alluvial deposits have now forced the two rivers to join as one before reaching the Gulf and they have built up more than one hundred miles of silty soil in a huge delta. Ancient cities that used to be close to the shore line are now far inland. It follows then, to under- stand your Bible lands, you must understand the influ- ence of geology upon that area. There was little or no building stone, just silt and clay, more silt and more clay. Where there is a lack of other building materials and an abundance of clay, we can look for and find brick. In this area there was small brick, large brick, sun-dried brick, kiln-baked brick and glazed brick in many colors. NEXT WEEK: Clay Is A Brick, Or Is It? Res Publica by David TrumbuU The Wisdom of the Founders One hundred years ago the Congress of the United States approved and, state-by-state, the voters ratified the Seven- teenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, providing for direct election of senators. Before that the legislature of each State selected the two senators to rep- resent that State in Washington. It was a radical change, one that drastically altered, for the worse, the relationship of the States and the National government. James Madison wrote in Federalist 39 "The House of Representatives will derive its powers from the people of America ... So far the government is national, not federal. The Senate, on the other hand, will derive its powers from the States, as political and coequal societies ... So far the government is federal, not national." The Seventeenth Amendment undid that balance of National and Federal. The result has been one hundred years of expansion of the power of 546 men and women in Washington (435 Representatives, 100 Senators, the Presi- dent and Vice President and Nine Supreme Court Justices) to dictate nearly every aspect of your life. Direct election of senators was promoted as a scheme to give the people more say in their government. The result has been exactly the opposite. Rather than senators appointed by our local legislators who live among us and know our needs and desires, we have a Senate dominated by billionaires and celebrities far removed from the lives of ordinary Americans. And why not? With so much at stake in a senate election, outside special interests, not ordi- nary citizens, provide the massive funding necessary to run a statewide campaign. George Will, writing in 2009, said: "Severing senators from state legislatures, which could monitor and even in- struct them, made them more susceptible to influence by nationally organized interest groups based in Washington. Many of those groups, who preferred one-stop shopping in Washington to currying favors in all the state capitals, campaigned for the 17  AmendmenL" The astute observer of American democracy, Alexis de Toequeville, considered indirect election senators to be (Continued on Page 15) GENERAL CONSULATE OF ITALY - BOSTON 2013 GENERAL ELECTIONS ELEZIONI POLITICHE 2013 Pursuant to Presidential decree n. 226 of December 22, 2012, elections Con Decreto del Presidente della Repubblica n. 226 del 22 dicembre will be held on February 24 and February 25, 2013 to elect 2012 sono state indette per il 24 e 25 febbraio2013 le votazioni per representatives to the Chamber of Deputies and to the Senate of the I'elezione della Camera dei Deputati e del Senato della Repubblica. In Republic. In Italy, voting at the polling stations will take place on Sunday, Italia le votazioni si svolgono presso i seggi nei giorni di domenica 24 February 24 th (from 8"00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.) and on Monday, February febbraio (dalle ore 8,00 alle ore 22,00) e di lunedi 25 febbraio (dalle 25 t" (from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.), ore 7,00 alle ore 15,00). Outside of Italy, Italian citizens residing abroad who are registered voters in the Overseas District may vote by correspondence. They can do so by casting their vote for the candidates listed on the ballot for the "Circoscrizione Estero" (Overseas District). All voters residing abroad will receive a packet by mail before February 6  from the Consulate General of Italy in Boston containing: an instruction sheet on the voting procedures, the electoral certificate, a ballot (two for voters over the age of 25, therefore eligible to vote also for the Senate), one blank white envelope for the ballots, a stamped envelope bearing the address of the Consulate General of Italy in Boston, and the list of candidates for the Electoral zone of residence. AIl'estero, i cittadini italiani ivi stabilmente residenti, iscritti nelle liste elettorali della Circoscrizione Estero, possono partecipare alle elezioni votando per corrispondenza. Essi votano per le liste di candidati presentate nella rispettiva ripartizione della Circoscrizione Estero. A ciascun elettore residente all'estero, il Consolato Generale d'Italia a Boston invia per posta, entro il 6 febbraio, un plico contenente: un foglio informativo che spiega come votare, il certificato elettorale, la scheda elettorale (dueper chi, avendo compiuto 25 anni, pub votare anche per il Senato), una b.usta completamente bianca in cui inserire le schede votate, una busta gi affrancata recante I'indirizzo del Consolato Generale d'Italia a Boston, le liste dei candidati della propria ripartizione. The stamped envelope containing the ballots, completed as indicated by the instruction sheet, must be sent by mail as soon as possible in order to reach the Consulate General of Italy in Boston by - and no later than - 4:00 pm on February 21 . The vote is personal and secret. Voting more than once or voting on another's behalf is prohibited. Violators of the law will be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Voters who have nOt received a complete packet by February 10  should contact the Consulate General of Italy in Boston to verify their electoral status and, if necessary, request a duplicate. For further information, please visit Consulate's website www.consboston.esteri.it, or contact anagrafe.boston@esteri.it, or call 617.722.9220. Uelettore, utilizzando la busta gi& affrancata e seguendo attentamente le istruzioni contenute nel foglio informativo, dovr spedire SENZA RITARDO le schede elettorali votate, in modo che arrivino al Consolato Generale d'Italia a Boston entro - e non oltre - le ore16,00 del 21 febbraio. II voto  personale e seareto. E' faro divieto di votare pi volte e inoltrare schede per conto di altr@ pers@ne. Chiunque violi le disposizioni in materia elettorale, sara punito a norma di leaae. L'elettore che alia data del 10 febbraio non avesse ancora ricevuto il plico elettoraJe, potr rivolgersi al Consolato Generale d'Italia a Boston per verificare la propria posizione elettorale e chiedere eventualmente un duplicato. Per ulteriori informazioni si prega di visitare il sito web del Consolato www.consboston.esteri.it o scrivere ad anaarafe.b0st0n@esteri.it, o chiamare il 617-722-9220. INFORMATION IS ALSO AVAILABLE ONLINE AT www.esteri.it INFORMAZIONI DETrAGLIATE SONO INOLTRE DISPONIBILI SUL SITO www.esteri.it