Friday, December 08, 2006

CBS radio announced the other day that 10% of the world's population controls 90% or more of the world's wealth. Also--and this is really frightening--if you make more than $2,300 per year, you're in the top 50 of wage earners in the world, which means that half the world's wage earners make LESS than that paltry sum.

Mitt Romney has much less than a month to be our governor but is relentlessly ramming the ultra-conservative agenda down our throats. He readily admits that much of what he's doing can easily be reversed--and certainly will be--by incoming governor Deval Patrick. Here are a few examples:

1. He continues his obsessive campaign to get gay marriage outlawed because "it's the children who suffer." Huh? Can ANYONE explain this oneto me?

2. Huge budget cuts in health and public service funding including, in particular, funds earmarked to help prevent gay teen suicide. He may see this as killing two birds with one stone: in other words, if they commit suicide as kids, they won't grow up and want to get married. So damned clever, that Mitt.

3. A deal he brokered with the Feds to empower an elite corps of Massachusetts State Police to arrest illegal immigrants. Currently, only the Feds can do this. There have been howls of protest that people who look Hispanic or foreign in any way will be stopped and have their identification and proof of citizenship demanded of them again and again. Advocacy groups fear that immigrants will be reluctant to call the police if they're attacked, involved in a car crash (even if there are injuries), come home and find they're victims of a break and entry, all for fear of arrest and deportation.

Now, would it really surprise you to know it's been revealed that for eight years, Mitt's lawn mowing and other landscaping work has been done by undocumented illegal immigrants? To save a buck, this multi-millionaire has no compunctions about paying subsistence--or worse--wages to the people he employs.
We're told he even says a cheery "Buenos dias" to them as he passes by them on his way to the State House where he's now made arrangements to have them all arrested, thrown into jail and then deported. As with closeted homophobes, Mitt eagerly and hypocritically does in secret what he loudly condemns in public.

We're famous down here in the Roslindale area. ABC-TV National News on Wednesday ran a segment on extreme Christmas lighting. One of the houses they profiled is on the border of Jamaica Plain, just north of Roslindale on the Arborway that connects Jamaica Pond with the Arnold Arboretum. The house is an enormous stone, brick and pseudo-Tudor ten bedroom "castle" built in the 1920s and is already completely over the top just on its own merits. Enter Dominic Luberto, an MIT graduate who bought the house a couple of years ago and has been covering it with Christmas lights ever since.

Mrs. Luberto looked like she's just barely tolerating all this during the TV interview. Her husband spent $10,000 on lights just this year. When he has the display burning from 4 in the afternoon to 1:30 the following morning, the electric bill is just under $2000 for the month. Mr. Luberto's ambition is to keep adding more and more lights each year, the goal being 250,000 bulbs, and to start having them lit up progressively earlier each year. This year he started just after Halloween and he'll go to the end of January. He plans to start moving that start date earlier in the autumn (Labor Day should be within his grasp by 2010), and later in the winter (I predict Valentine's day in two years, tops).

I found a couple of photos on the web but I have to tell you that not one of them captures the brightness and sheer impact of lighting this man has installed. The Arborway is arranged as a grande allee, with four lanes of traffic moving in each direction, beautifully treed medians between each group of two lanes. The lanes anywhere near the Luberto house are impassible now for all the cars that are parking and pulling out continuously so that drivers and passengers can get out and look at the display close-up.

Mr. Luberto says he does it "for the kids." He believes that the tradition of Christmas lights is dying and he's out to revive it single-handedly. "They love it" he insists. Not all his neighbors do, however. They complain of not being able to sleep for all the super-bright light pouring in their windows; they complain of not being able to get into or out of their driveways due to the crush of traffic up and down their street all night, they complain that the display is just plain vulgar.

Dominic Luberto is not to be disheartened. His goal is to have a house that can really be seen -- from space.

Mary Cheney (seen here with partner Heather Poe, right) is pregnant. The White House (meaning Bozo) has leaked that it’s officially embarrassed because she’s lesbian and because of her father being so close to the President. Dick and Lynne Cheney, on the other hand, released a statement to the effect that they’re absolutely thrilled and can’t wait to meet the future grandchild. My guess is that Mitt Romney won’t be attending the baby shower.

Fritz had Butch over the other day--no kidding, his real nickname is Butch--and we got the estimate for finishing the road up to the house site. Butch measured it out as 490 feet long from where it springs off Fritz's driveway to the house site. He estimates that it will require 220 tons of gravel. 220 tons! I never dreamed I’d be ordering 220 tons of ANYTHING in my life. I told Fritz it gives me a feeling of giddy power to know that soon I'll be on the phone to the near-by stone, gravel and crushed rock business as I oh, so casually ask them to please send over 220 tons of gravel as soon as possible.

I'm ending with a picture for a good blogger bud of mine. He shut down his own blog earlier this year but emailed me to say that he might start another in which he reviews newly released movies. I'd like that. I think his opinion would be reliable, and reading his reviews might get me out to see more movies than I do. He kiddingly took me to task for mentioning a picture of Adriano Marquez while actually showing modems on the blog. Scoobs, this one's for you, with pleasure:


Thanks Will :-)
i am going to mover your bookmark from 'blogs' to "news" with CNN and CBC!
Last evening on our way to Governor-elect Patrick's Creative Economic Sector Work Group feedback meeting at Mass College of Art, we passed the Luberto house you've featured today. You are so right about photos being inadequate to convey the effect, and must encourage everyone to take a drive past the house. We were absolutely stunned, and wondered who owns the house, so it's a nice synchronicity to learn the answer so directly. Someone once told me that Duval Patrick used to own this house, although I've no idea how credible that report might be.

The meeting of the Patrick/Murray Work Group was spirited, and it was good to put names and faces to so many of the arts organizations I've heard about for years.

One of the very interesting things I heard last night was from the director of an architecture group, who said that despite widespread publicity decrying the transportation industry's contribution to environmental pollution, that pollution amounts to only 26% of energy consumed (and proportional pollution), while buildings account for around 60% of consumption and pollution. This was a big surprise for me. It seems like this is an area of environmental concern that needs much broader focus -- just think of all the jobs for architects!
I know a guy named Butch, too. He likes to open beer bottles with his teeth.

That house reminds me of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, a movie I watch every year.

Aunt Bethany: Is your house on fire, Clark?
Clark W. Griswold: No, Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights.
wow! christmas lights and eye candy all in one post! thanks!

ps no one will be able to see my 33 ft of white lights from space! poor me ;o
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