Monthly Archives: February 2010

Republic vs. Republicans

Our word “republic” comes from two Latin words, “res publica,” literally “public thing.” The idea is that the public, the people, come together over a “thing.” For thing, image a table: it facilitates coming together while also allowing each of us to remain individual. That’s the idea of a republic–an acknowledged common “thing” around which we come together and deliberate.

The decision last night of Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning to throw a wrench in the otherwise unanimous decision to extend unemployment benefits–made doubling stinging because he complained the vote was making him miss a basketball game–suggests the man has no sense of common, or public interest. He wouldn’t know a republic if it sat on his face.


Wasps’ Nest, Redux

Last summer I noticed a wasps’ nest in an old sugar maple tree on my street. In September it was still lively.
By November the weather had begun to soften it.  The internal architecture became more and more visible. Still it hung to the tree, despite rain and snow.

The great storm of February 2010 finally did it in. Not that the wind severed the nest from the maple. No, the weather took out the entire branch of the maple the nest was suspended from.

The nest must have been shaken from the branch when it fell. I found it several feet away: