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October 31, 2014

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Page 2 POST-GAZETTE, OCTOBER 31,2014 by Prof. Edmund Turiello A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. LUNA AND AURORA Luna, the Roman goddess of the moon was considered to be a beautiful woman. She wore a golden crown that gave off a subdued light, had long wings, and was generally shown riding in a chariot drawn by two white horses or cows. When cows were used, their horns were drawn to symbolize the crescent of the moon. She was also regarded as a huntress and an archer, and was recognized on days of the new moon and the full moon. Being a mythological figure, there are at least three versions of her amorous regard for a handsome young man named Endymion. The first version tells of her union with him and the birth of ffffty daugh- ters. These offspring are said to have sym- bolized the fifty lunar months between the Olympic Games. Another story identifies Endymion as a shepherd or hunter on Mount Latmus in Carla, a district in Asia Minor. The gods bestowed upon him eternal youth and eter- nal life, but it was in the form of unbroken slumber. Luna came down from the heav- ens every night to visit and embrace him as he slept in his grotto. The third story tells us that Luna placed Endymion into his deep sleep so that she might caress him without his knowledge. There is a statue of Endymion in the British Museum. We are told that this legend is what inspired Keats to write one of the most beautiful poems in English literature, but it was attacked by critics who referred to it as "the Cockney school of poetry." Aurora, of course, is the Roman goddess of the morning. One of the world's greatest mas- terpieces in painting is a fresco on the ceil- ing of the great hall in the Casino Rospigliosi in Rome, which was painted by the artist Guido Reni. The panel is said to be one of the most beautiful works of this master. It shows Sol, the Sun god, seated in a chariot drawn by four fiery steeds, while seven females dance gracefully around him. Above the horses a winged cupid holding a flaming torch represents Lucifer, the moming star, The assembled figures are led by Aurora, who is shown rising into the "air while scattering flowers before the chariot of Sol. For those persons who are unfamiliar with the term "fresco", I might add that it is an art medium which uses watercolors that are applied to fresh plaster. The colors dr3r into the plaster, oxidize, and form a lasting picture. The difficulty in fresco work lies in the fact that the plaster must be/dry enough to absorb the additional watercolor without sagging, and also that only a limited amount of plaster can be applied and painted at one sitting. Dried plaster will not accept the water paint and retouching is taboo. Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper, and Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel Ceiling and Wall are among the world's most famous frescoes. Next Week: Prometheus, Epimetheus and Pandora CAFASSO FUNERAL HOME SUPPORTS Breast CanCer Awareness Month ... For three generations, the Cafasso family has served the needs of Everett and the Greater Boston community, striving to serve with respect, dignity, professionalism, and extreme compassion. Pictured: Joseph Cafasso, Frederick Cafasso and Frederick Cafasso, "Jr. Publica by David Trumbull Martha Coakley Has No Problem with Non-Citizens Voting Recently Martha Coakley said she believes that allowing non-citizens to vote in local town and city elections should be an option for municipalities to choose for themselves, showing, once.again, how out of touch she is with the citi- zens of Massachusetts. She has been roundly denounced. Some have even sug- gested that our Attorney General needs a refresher course in constitutional law because, they say, such a proposal is contrary to the U.S. Constitution. Here I must part with my fellow conservatives, forl no matter had bad the idea of aliens voting in our elections may be, it is, nevertheless, per- fectly constitutional. The U.S. Constitution, as it went into force in 1787, says absolutely nothing about qualifications for voters, leaving it entirely in the hands of the states.-At the time no state prohibited non-citizens from voting. There were other re- strictions. In Massachusetts, the electoral franchise was restricted to male inhabitants (not limited to citizens), 21 years of age and older, and owning a certain amount of property. Most states had similar requirements. Southern states further restricted the franchise to Whites only. Some states limited voting to citizens starting after tile War of 1812, which generated an enhanced sense of patriotism. More banned it in the 1840s and 1850s. Two notable things were happening around then -- {1) the 1848 revolutions in Europe caused many Americans to regard foreigners with suspicion and (2) the beginning of the flood of Irish Catholic immigrants who threatened the political supremacy of English, Scots, and Scot-Irish Protestants. But the big wave of states banning voting by non-citizens was in the early twentieth century. Then a new wave" of immigrants from Italy, the rest of Southern Europe, and Eastern Europe, again awaked nativist fears about "inferior races" namely Catholics and Jews. It was not until the elec- tion of 1928 that all states had limited voting to citizens only. The Constitution has seven times been amended to regu- late voting. (1) The 14th Amendment, ratified February 3, 1870, said that states could not deny the vote to African-Americans. In Massachusetts, American-Americans had the vote since the 1780s. (2) The 17~ Amendment, ratified April 8, 1913, provided for the direct election of U.S. Senators. The amendment stipulated that, "The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures," again, recognizing that qualification of voters is a state, not national, right. (3) The 19t" Amendment, ratified August 18, 1920, said that states could not deny the vote to women. In Massa- chusetts women had been able to vote since 1879, but on/y for school committee, not for any other offices. (4) The 22"a Amendment, ratified, February 27, 1951, limited the President to two terms. (5) The 23rd.Amendment, ratified March 29, 1961, gave the District of Columbia votes for President and Vice President. It did not specify whether D.C. voters had to be citizens. (6) The 24th Amendment, ratified January 23, 1964, said that states could no longer assess a "poll tax" for voting. (7) The 26th Amendment, ratified July 1, 1971, said that states could not limit voting based on age in the case of citizens who are !8 years of age or older. Interestingly, there is nothing in the Constitution hindering states from choos- ing a lower age. In Maine, 17-year-olds can vote in a pri- mary election, as long as they will be 18 by the time of the general election. Maine is not the only state to allow voting by 17-year-olds. Clearly, nothing in the Constitution prohibits voting by non-citizens. In New York City non-citizens voted in elec- tions for school board until 2002 (when the board was made an appointed rather than elected body). The reasoning behind this is that many non-citizens have children in the public schools and are taxed to support the schools. A few, very few, other municipalities allow non-citizens to vote in at least some local elections. Currently it is illegal for aliens to vote for President, Vice President, U.S. Senator, and U.S. Representative. That restriction is found not in the Constitution, but in a law [18 U.S.C. 611]. It was passed as a part of the Illegal Immi- gration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. Given that the Constitution gives to the states, not Con- gress, the power to regulate qualifications for voting (except that the states cannot disenfranchise specific classes of voters under the provisions of the 14th, 19th, 24th and 26th amendments) I question whether the federal prohibition on aliens voting in national elections is itself constitutional. Derek T. Muller, Associate Professor of Law, Pepperdine School of Law, also questions the constitutionality of 18 U.S.C. 611. WWW.BOSTONPOSTGAZETTE.COM