Thursday, May 31, 2007

More Liberal Bumper-stickers

Coming into work this morning I saw another stupid, liberal bumper-sticker:

"Support Our Troops By Telling the Truth"

What does that mean? Can we define "truth?" To what "truth" is the owner of that car referring? Is it the the liberal "truth" that Bush lied? The liberal "truth" that the war is lost? The liberal "truth" that war solves nothing?

The great irony of the liberal bumper-sticker-displayers crying for troop support by "telling the truth," "bringing them home," etc. is that they don't support the troops because they don't support the troops' mission. They want to bring them home to score points against the stupid and hated W, and really don't care at all about the troops. Listening to liberals speak of the troops they actually regard them as country-boy-hicks (lots of Red-Staters) with retarded social views (no gays in the military, you know) who aren't smart enough to do anything else but carry a "gun" in the American Imperial Army . . . (Jean-Francois's "joke"). It makes me crazy that the troops have been so politicized by the Left in the service of the Left's political aspirations.

Kusa Dogwood

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived." -- George Patton

"I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is worth more than all the means...." -- John Adams

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

First Lieutenant Andrew Bacevich, RIP

There's a great opinion piece in the 22 May New York Sun about a Boston-area man, First Lieutenant Andrew Bacevich. He died in combat in Balad, Iraq on 13 May, 2007.

He,like most of the men and women of our armed forces, answered a higher calling and served his coutry out of devotion and commitment. We are sadder for the loss of men like 1st Lt. Bacevich but richer for having his example to follow. Perhaps the Sun should re-run the article this Monday, Memorial Day.

One of the eulogists at the funeral commented on the values embodied by 1st Lieutenant Bacevich: "valor, strength, character, commitment." Indeed.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Run Fred, Run!

“But as Americans, our optimism comes not from an analysis of how things are, but from our belief that we can change what we see for the better. We have road maps—at least two of them in fact—the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution—to guide us. How can we look at the world without thinking about inalienable rights, and doing everything necessary to protect our country? How can we think of fiscal policy or even health-care policy without remembering the limitations appropriately placed upon government and the importance of individual freedom? This is a message that needs to be delivered.”

—Fred Thompson

Patriot Vol. 07 No. 21

Monday, May 21, 2007

Highway Prioritzation

Unfortunately I need to drive to work every day. I'd prefer it if I could take the train, but I can't. I live in a part of the Boston 'burbs that would require me to take a 40 minute car commute and turn it into a highly scheduled, 90 minute train commute. In my time in the car, commuting to work I've become quite familiar with the dismal condition of the Commonwealth's road ways. While the roads aren't as bad as the roads found in the Himalayas, they are certainly sub-par for a First World Country such as ours.

Potholed, uneven surfaces patched many times over, water collecting dips and severely sinking man hole and storm drain covers make for a tough ride, regardless of municipality and local tax base. The roads around here stink.

Imagine my surprise when I noticed the paving crews alongside Nonantum and Soldiers' Filed Roads (that I drive twice-daily) -- alongside being the operative preposition . . . They were digging up and resurfacing the recreational path that sits between the road and the Charles River. It's a nice section of road, one I've often thought I'd like to run, or bike. I commend the Commonwealth for improving the user experience of this trail along the river.

however, I ask, did anybody in the bureaucracy look at the road alongside which they replaced the path? Did they not think it important to fix this road so that the substrate is not exposed? Do they think rim bending potholes do not warrant repair? The prioritization process that lead to the upgrade of the recreational trail over the roadway that carries people to and from work every day is laughable, and a classic example of how the leaders of the commonwealth think, or don't. I was talking about roadways with a friend of mine and mentioning how a regions roads tell much about a place. The roads in and around Boston speak volumes.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Competitive Fire

I've been avoiding the political posts for a while, focusing on the hearth and home. Partly because, well, I'm very focused there right now, and partly because what is happening in Washington is so revolting that I can't really begin to fathom how to respond.

Yesterday's 67-29 vote in the Senate defeated the latest Democrat effort to lose the war by defunding the troops -- and thankfully so. The Republican party is hardly above fault in all things, but the Democrat party is as heinous, venal, short-sighted and despicable an amalgamation of people as has ever been assembled. Their one, overarching motivation is the humiliation of Bush and the retaking of the White House. They are chumming the water with barrels of the nastiest, basest gruel imaginable in order to fire up their grassroots. The only problem is that they are also attracting and emboldening other sharks with this practice.

The Democrats and the left want to lose the war in Iraq. Given how the war has been conducted to date there is no guarantee that we will win, but the surge needs to be given a chance and our troops need to be permitted to fight, and kill as many of the enemy as humanly possible. The Democrats, however, insist on playing silly and dangerous political games, giving aid and comfort to our enemies in the guise of defeatist sound bites that fire up the Savages to fight harder and longer against us.

At some point, the American people must stand up and say "No, we don't want to lose!" Don't they? How can a culture, such as ours, obsessed with winning, obsessed with rooting for teams, drivers, players etc., sit back and watch the (so-called) leaders of this country concede defeat and voluntarily pick up our ball and go home?

Why does a fan's team's pending defeat in the playoffs or wherever send us into paroxysms of anguish, but the prospect of losing a fight we can still win elicit nothing more than a blank stare. Where is our competitive fire? Where is our will to win? When will we stand up, start chanting U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! and cheer our team to victory. Of all the games we play we can't lose this one.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Ever-Bush, RIP

While I was out back, finishing up the next phase of the porch refurbishment, Mrs. Agricola was out front dismantling Ever-Bush - a blue green evergreen of indeterminate shape that occupied the front corner of the Quarter Acre.

We'd been talking about removing it almost since we moved in and finally got around to it this weekend. Ever-Bush was homely, large, shapeless and difficult to trim to attractiveness. It dominated the front of the property, hiding the house and the very nice lamp post that we have. It met its match on Saturday afternoon.

Mrs. Agricola cut off the branches, and started to cut the roots. She also took some nasty little evergreen ground cover from the base of Ever-Bush. I came out and helped her finish it off by ripping out the stump. It was gratifying and we now have a blank canvas on which to work -- not that we are great landscape designers by any stretch of the imagination, but together I'm sure we'll devise something pretty nice. There is an Azaelea ready to go in and we will do so this weekend.

To date, it's been a productive spring: the porch is improved, Ever-Bush is gone (long live the Ever-Bush), mulch has been delivered and will be spread this weekend, beds are cleaned out and flowers and vegetables have been planted for Child One. Last spring nothing got done as a result of the biblical rains that we received, so this year is a nice change.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

An Evening Out

The other night I took Child One and Two out for dinner. Mrs. Agricola attended a function in Harvard Sq. so I met her there after work and took the kiddies out for a burger. We ate at a little place that severs healthier fast food and had a hoot, toasting with lemonade, eating some baked-fries and burgers. We topped off the meal with milk shakes and a sit on a bench.

The night was mild, but cooling rapidly, as spring nights do, and we drove home with an open sunroof. The newly-leafed trees rustled above us as we drove, the Charles River glimmered in the dusk to our right, the Red Sox game played softly on the radio and my children slept in the back seat. A real feeling of peace and happiness descended over me.

Children, Spring, Home . . .

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

We vs. I

When this blog first began the posts appeared in the first person singular. In an effort to keep some distance between us and the reading public we moved to the first person plural. However, it's becoming a pain to write in the first person plural -- over on our running blog posts appear in the first person singular and they are easier, faster and more fun to write. From, now on we're going to write this blog in the first person singular.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Mrs. Agricola Earns Her Stripes

This weekend was super-productive on the Quarter Acre. We and Pater Agricola installed a chair rail on the porch -- a nice little carpentry project that will hopefully save the screens on the porch.

The project that deserves the biggest kudos though was the one performed by Mrs. Agricola on the beds in the front of the house. She went to town and hacked scrubby pine "bushes," weeded and raked the beds, dug up wild sprouted grass, and trimmed bushes. Her efforts have the beds ready for edging and mulching this coming weekend and have helped to improve the look of the Quarter Acre immensely.

In a related note we also mowed the lawn for the first time this season and that was terrific. We've tamed the lawn for the time being and it compliments Mrs. Agricola's efforts, nicely. The yard is looking very smart right now. Mrs. Agricola earned her landscaping stripes this weekend and seemed to have fun to boot.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Spring Weekend

Today has been a perfect spring day in the Boston area. We're planning on bailing a bit early today to take advantage of the nice weather. The weather report indicates that this weekend should lend itself to grilling and accomplishing some outdoor tasks -- planting flowers with Child One, starting a retaining wall and possibly mowing the lawn.

Is there anything more hopeful than a sunny, mild Friday in May?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Capitalist Workers of The World

Now that the socialists have had their little day of marching, chanting of outmoded slogans and banner waving we hope that they had fun. Unlike them, we observed May Day by working and being thankful for the opportunity. Socialism is a lovely idea until one realizes that it's not.

We are human. We have specific needs, wants and desires. We want to take care of those things for ourselves -- not have that gratification tied into some collectivist whole. The socialistic idea that it takes a village is bunkum. If we're enaged in a collectivist effort, let's face it we're going to let someone do more than we do and still reap the benefits -- we're human and we all try to find slack. Except, in the collectivist system that slack-seeking-nature gets multiplied a thousand fold until slack seeking becomes the modus operandi and nothing gets done -- crops aren't harvested (they're not even sown), children don't get raised etc. etc.

What the village needs is a bunch of hungry, aggressive people who are looking to support themselves and their families and realize there is no shame in that drive. That drive to look out for oneself and one's own has ancillary benefits to the larger community whether the socialistic utopians want to admit it. Our system is not always pretty, it's not always kind, but it's the best because it affords success within parameters defined by the individual. We invite the socialists to join our movement, the movement of Capitalist Workers -- striving for betterment of ourselves and the world through personal reponsibility and self-sufficiency.