What are the lessons from the recent Boston Marathon bombing? That evil does exist. But, also that good vastly outnumbers evil. The moment the bombs exploded the world witnessed evil engulfed by good as people ran toward the source of the blasts. Not just police or emergency medical personnel, but ordinary people who just happened to be there. Following the orchestrated disorder of sick and twisted minds came a response of spontaneous order to cure as quickly as possible the destruction that was wrought. Everyone helped as they were able, the strong carried the injured, the knowledgeable provided first aid, and runners, who had just finished a 26 mile marathon, ran further to local hospitals to give blood. Individuals came together spontaneously and voluntarily to fix what had been destroyed. These self-less acts only serve to undermine the narrative of the statist who believes mankind is fundamentally incorrigible and only through compulsive state coercion can any true good come about in society.
Now some might argue “first responders” who are supported through taxation played an essential role. You’ll get no argument from me on that, they did indeed play a vital role. However to imply, as David Sirota of Salon did, that such first responder would not even exist in society absent taxation is to reveal oneself to posses an extraordinarily limited imagination (“they should remind a tax-hostile country of the value of public investment — in this case, in first responders who miraculously limited the casualties” http://goo.gl/pPpaj). To question how such and such could exist absent the state is to join the intellectual ranks of those in the 19th century who would question the abolition of slavery (a government supported institution in society by the way) with their queries of: “but who will pick the cotton?”
When we see a special plant in someone’s garden we are quick to ask “what is that”. And we may be told it’s a holly, or a coneflower, or a phlox. But if you go to the nursery with just that bit of information there is no assurance that you will get the special one you fell in love with. Each plant has a botanical name: genus, species, (possibly a variety) and a cultivar. A clearer example of the botanical name would be: Acer (genus) rubum (species) ‘October Glory’ (cultivar); which translates to Red Maple ‘October Glory’. There are more extensive aspects of the botanical name but this will do to get us started because we are really interested in the cultivar and how some plants got those unique names.
Most of you are probably familiar with the Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ that has the giant white snowball blooms. And I’ll bet you thought it was named after a person called Annabelle. Nope. This well-loved shrub is named after the town of Anna, Illinois.
It was first found in the woods by a woman named Harriet Kirkpatrick around 1910 who then brought it to her garden. Fifty years later a man named Joseph McDaniel discovered it and put it into commercial production and decided it should be named after the town.
Closer to home there is a plant that is so strong and durable that its fame has spread throughout the States and Great Britain. Dianthus gratianopolitanus ‘Bath’s Pink’ is a beautiful perennial that reliably comes back each year and puts out lovely pink flowers.
Jane Bath, who used to own Land Arts nursery in Monroe, found this plant and gave it to the owners of the nursery Goodness Grows. They propagated it and sold it under the name Bath’s Pink, in honor of the lady who had the insight to recognize a great plant when she saw it.
From what I’ve heard, most children go through a biting phase.
I don’t mean teething; I mean biting – maliciously sinking their teeth into another human being for no apparent reason other than to elicit a reaction.
What is a parent or guardian to do when their sweet children begin to manifest symptoms of transforming completely into the spawns of Satan himself, more closely resembling rabid Dobermans than that slightly less-than-solid mass of tissue they birthed just a few short years ago?
Robin Mullins, a 56-year-old daycare worker from Cincinnati, tried out an ancient method on an unsuspecting – although not quite undeserving – 5-year-old, who had recently begun using his teeth instead of his words to express himself.
Utilizing the experience Mullins had gained during the 51 years before the boy was even brought into this world, Mullins thought hard, leaned down, and bit the boy back.
Hammurabi would be proud.
The bite, which left a lasting impression on the boy’s arm, was meant to teach the boy a “lesson,” according to Mullins’ police report.
Taking a bite... into crime?
Although Mullins was formally charged, he was released without bail while the case is being researched.
The world lost a Titan last week. The passing of Lady Margaret Thatcher marked the end of the most successful Triumvirate that ever pursued Peace. Pope John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Iron Lady won the Cold War, toppled a dictatorial empire, and freed millions of people…all without firing a single shot. You would think the Pravda Press of the mainstream media would celebrate this huge, bloodless emancipation. Sadly, it does not.
The daughter of a grocer can easily be counted as the fourth most consequential female of Western Civilization. She stands behind a very short list of our blessed Mary the Mother of God, Queen Elizabeth I, and Joan of Arc as the most historically significant women in the past 2000 years. (Joan of Arc is still the only woman in history to ever command an entire nation’s military.) “If you want something said, ask a man,” she once said, “If you want something done, ask a woman.” You would think Feminists all around the world would celebrate this paragon of feminine power. Sadly, they do not.
Thatcher invented modern English Conservatism, much like Reagan created the Reagan Revolution. “You turn if you want to. The Lady’s not for turning,” she defiantly declared, epitomizing her unwavering determination to never compromise her convictions. Time and again she brilliantly exposed the ruin that Socialism brings, reining in the greedy Unions who had bled England dry. “The problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money,” she said, perfectly describing the lunacy of the Left’s ever-expansive war against the individual and his labor.
One of the most oft-cited justifications for the state is the “what of the children!” plea. It employs what I call “the fallacy of the isolated example” and it goes something like this: parents are humans, humans are imperfect, therefore at any given time there will exist some set of human parents making imperfect choices, sometimes those choices will negatively impact their children, ipso facto these negative impacts can only be prevented by compelling the enlistment of others via that entity which possesses the exclusive legal right to engage in unilateral violence within a defined geographical region: the state. No other possible remedy is considered. Further, the state must intervene on behalf of ALL children, as we certainly can’t predict who might be harmed. This argument is fallacious because there always exists isolated negative cases in any system. In order to justify any action simply find a singular example you believe your “solution” will remedy.
Given the prevalence of this child-based state apologia it should come as no surprise that Melissa Harris-Perry (of MSNBC fame) last week uttered these words in an MSNBC promo: “We have never invested as much in public education as we should have because we've always had kind of a private notion of children: Your kid is yours and totally your responsibility. We haven't had a very collective notion of these are our children. So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents, or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities. Once it's everybody's responsibility… then we start making better investments”
Our days seem to be busier than ever – filled with activities from morning until night. Often only after the dinner is done and the dishes put away do we find that we have any time to sit and enjoy our gardens, yards or patios. But by then it is too dark to see all the beautiful plants that are better seen during the day. Consider creating an Evening Garden, some call it a Moonlight Garden, by installing flowers and shrubs with silver and white foliage or flowers. Many of these plants also emit their best fragrance at night. Is there anything that speaks of warm southern nights better than honeysuckle with its soft smell that fills the air in May? I don’t recommend that you plant wild honeysuckle in your garden or you will be cutting it back for the rest of your life. But there are some wonderful plants that you can add that will practically light up the garden and send heavenly scents your way.
Consider a border of white calla lilies and nicotianas (tobacco plant), a trellis of moonflowers (Ipomoea alba) and edged with white petunias. Add Peruvian daffodils (Hymenocallis narcissiflora) – (available from americanmeadow.com) for an exotic look and a fabulously fragrant scent. You can wow your friends with this unusual flower and your ability to pronounce its botanical name. Other fragrant vines that would work on a trellis are Akebia quinata (chocolate vine) and, of course, our confederate jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides). Many of you know about Daphne odora and its incredible, long-lasting fragrance. Don’t be put off by the stories you have heard that it is hard to grow. Give it a slightly raise bed so that there is good drainage and it will reward you handsomely.