Perhaps most interesting, a rock containing what is believed to be an ancient map has emerged in the Mississippi River in southeast Missouri.
The rock contains etchings believed to be up to 1,200 years old. It was not in the river a millennium ago, but the changing course of the waterway now normally puts it under water — exposed only in periods of extreme drought. Experts are wary of giving a specific location out of fear that looters will take a chunk of the rock or scribble graffiti on it.
“It appears to be a map of prehistoric Indian villages,” said Steve Dasovich, an anthropology professor at Lindenwood University in St. Charles. “What’s really fascinating is that it shows village sites we don’t yet know about.”
The Spring elections for mostly local offices are coming up and election forms are due by January 2nd. Here’s what we know so far. For the West Bend School Board, Randy Marquardt and Dave Weigand are up. Marquardt has filed for reelection. Weigand is not running for reelection (he has a nice column in the local paper today). Tim Stepanski has taken out papers to run again.
For the West Bend City Council, we have this from Judy Steffes:
A second person has filed papers to run for alderman in West Bend’s District 6. Ryan Schneeberger filed declaration-of-candidacy papers on 12-12-2012. Schneeberger joins retired West Bend police Lt. Steve Hoogester in vying for the seat being left vacant by incumbent alderman Michael Schlotfeldt who will not run for another term. All candidates in the spring election must collect a minimum of 20 signatures; forms are due by Jan. 2.
City clerk Amy Reuteman said District 4 alderman Randy Koehler has already returned nomination papers and District 8 Alderman Roger Kist has turned in campaign finance, declaration of candidacy and nomination papers and District 2 alderman Steve Hutchins turned in his nomination papers this week. A spring election is set for April 2. If a primary is needed, it will be Feb. 19. In the city of West Bend even-numbered aldermanic districts are up for election.
I expect that we’ll have several last-minute entries into the races.
From the “there’s nothing new under the sun” category.
The electoral implications were significant because the Irish Catholics gravitated toward a welcoming Democratic Party that organized them into voting blocs rather than trying to reform them with temperance lectures. In the three weeks before the election of 1844, as many as five thousand immigrants in New York City alone were naturalized so they could vote. Whigs, with their reform policies and reliance on a strong Protestant base, found it all but impossible to attract these new arrivals, and complaints that many immigrants were hastily naturalized or were allowed to vote even when not citizens further cemented their bond with Democrats. Clay consequently approached the issue of immigration and naturalization gingerly. Neither he nor the Whig Party opposed immigration and naturalization, he insisted, especially that of Irish Catholics. He pointed to his long record of supporting Spanish American independence and voting for land grants to French and Polish immigrants. Yet he also insisted that the government should enforce naturalization. Otherwise voter fraud would make elections meaningless and destroy the people’s faith in democracy. There was a reason, after all, that felons who were citizens were not allowed to vote. Like felons, residents who were not citizens were more likely to sell their votes to the highest bidder, polluting the franchise and soiling the very concept of civic virtue. “I am in favor of American industry, American institutions, American order, American liberty,” Clay proclaimed, but he added, “I wish our Country, forever, to remain a sacred asylum for all unfortunate and oppressed men whether from religious or political causes.”
- Henry Clay by David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler
While I agree with LaPierre’s quote below, his suggested remedy is foolhardy.
WASHINGTON/NEWTOWN, Connecticut (Reuters) - The powerful U.S. gun rights lobby called on Friday for armed police in all U.S. schools within weeks as Americans remembered the victims of the Newtown, Connecticut, school massacre with a moment of silence.
National Rifle Association Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre said attempts to keep guns out of schools were ineffective and made schools more vulnerable than airports, banks and other public buildings patrolled by armed guards.
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” LaPierre said at a news briefing, calling on lawmakers to station armed police officers in all schools by the time children return from the Christmas break in January.
Our schools are still some of the safest places in the country. It’s not that I object to armed guards in schools, but I think it won’t make any difference. Many schools are quite expansive and to hope that a single armed guard can be in the right place at the right time to avert one of these incidents is a bit of wishful thinking. At the same time, it’s a massive new expense. Consider that there are roughly 100,000 public schools in the country. If we conservatively estimate that a fully-burdened guard (including salary, benefits, equipment, training, etc.) costs $75,000, then we’re talking about $7,500,000,000 in additional spending per year. And for what? The off chance that once a decade one of these guards might be in position to avert a tragedy?
There are better ways to go about protecting our kids in schools, although we must come to grips with the fact that nothing will ever make them 100% safe.