Category Archives: politics

One warm day in November

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Just like spring will one day come again, I am filled with hope today.  But I am going to leave it to you to decide if lilacs blooming in November is a good thing or not.

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On education

That lovely library, and looking down the street to Copley Square

Our Boston hotel room overlooked the finish line for the Boston Marathon, and faced the north side of the Boston Public Library.  On the north side of the old McKim, Mead and White section of the Library was the following, carved into the limestone of the frieze:

THE COMMONWEALTH REQUIRES THE EDUCATION OF THE PEOPLE AS THE SAFEGUARD OF ORDER AND LIBERTY

I thought about this statement a lot as we watched the Republican convention coverage in the evenings.  If I have a bias toward anything, I would say I am avowedly pro-education.  Whether in the hands of the state or in private hands, it is my belief that access to a solid, well-rounded education for all citizens will cure most of what ails us as a country.  A lifelong love and quest for knowledge, likewise, is what we as parents and as people should expect for our children and ourselves.

So it was with some dismay that I watched the governor of Alaska’s speech on Wednesday:  her finger-wagging prettiness will go far in a country where style trumps substance.  She, of the six colleges in five years, she, mother of the teen daughter whom she’s goading into early motherhood and shotgun matrimony.  Do you think she had education as a topmost concern in her own life, in her daughter’s life?  Good God the woman doesn’t even believe in sexual education.

Perhaps this is petty of me.  John McCain’s choice of running mate should be seen as what it is: a purely craven choice, a hard-right pander to an ever-shrinking base of religious white folks.  And my bias plainly shows, as not everyone has the educational opportunities I have had, or is as knee-jerk a card-carrying liberal as I am.  But in this country, and it is one of the things that makes it so great, education is available to anyone who wants it.  Education, more than class or gender or race, is any American’s ticket to a better life for themselves and their families.  We have the best post-secondary education system in the world, even if we don’t value educating our elementary and high school-aged children as much as we should.  And we (still) have LIBRARIES, even if Sarah Palin actually tried to get her own town’s librarian to ban books.

I worry for this country, I do.

Addendum: I love this woman.

How this gardener spends her extra cash

The kid loves her dirt, and told me I can’t use any of the 10 yards.

“I’m planting my flower garden here,” said she.

Of all the idiotic ideas the Bush administration has foisted on our poor selves, this economic stimulus package is near the top of the stupid scale. We are borrowing money from other countries, thus adding to our deficit, to, somehow, make this recession (“rough patch”) hurt a little less on us “little folks.” We are, of course, supposed to drive to the mall and spend it. Oh, and we’re to spend some of it on gas, too, but not our defaulting mortgages.

I spent part of ours on dirt and wood for the greenhouse garden beds instead. The rest is going into the bank. It may not be stimulating the economy, but it’s stimulating me.

On voting mischief

(Hey: wait. Isn’t this supposed to be a gardening blog?)

Spoilers. Michigan has a tradition of voting spoilers in presidential primaries. It’s a bit of mischief wrought for the good of one’s party: you cross the lines and vote for someone on the other ticket. Michigan’s tradition usually involves Republicans crossing over to vote for Democratic candidates, but that didn’t happen this year. There were no viable Democratic candidates except for Hillary. The estimates yesterday were that one in six Democratic voters voted Republican this year, and that two of six voted Uncommitted.

The only downside of spoiling, as I see it, is we will soon get a lot of Republican mailings in our postbox. The parties, you see, get the addresses of those who requested their ballots. (That my ballot didn’t erupt into flames in my hands is frankly surprising.) That’s okay, though: let them waste their money sending me their information. The worms need more bedding!

It’s Primary day in Michigan! You know what that means, don’t you?

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It means that tomorrow I will have lots of signs to recycle! (Yes, tomorrow. I’m not so low I would nab them today.)

Unlike in 2006, none have shown up on our property. Yet.

Indian summer


Gaillardia, still hanging on

We seem to be having the weather in November that we should have had in October. It should be 65* today and it’ll remain warm through the weekend. An all-around pleasant thought, and coupled with the election results of yesterday, I am pleased, and hopeful, for the first time in a very long while.

How many of you garden for the pure therapy of it? I swear to you, I have often “retreated” to the yard with tools in hand because it consistently gives me a feeling of accomplishment. As in, “Crap, the economy is a mess and the deficit has quadrupled in the last 4 years and we are enmired in our own Vietnamese war in Iraq and we have draft-dodging idiots running our country, but wow, doesn’t that row of chard look terrific?”

Is there anything more hopeful…


…than blooms in November? Especially after three snows and maybe 8, 9 frosts?

Please VOTE today.