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The real war on Christmas

No, not the silly kerfluffle whipped up by Bill O’Reilly and Company. Its the slow decline of the incandescent Christmas light, gone from our State Capitol and the birthplace of the American Revolution. Congress has now gotten into the act.  Its new energy bill will make incandescents “extinct by the middle of the next decade”, per the Boston Globe. I know, I know, LEDs and florescents are much more efficient, but c’mon, aren’t real incandescent Christmas lights nicer?    😉

Back to work on zoning reform

Breaking news: The fight to repeal 40B via the 2008 ballot is already over. The Secretary of State’s Office reported this morning that it certified 33,849 signatures for the initiative, short of the required 66,593 to get it on the ballot. According to CHAPA’s 2006 count, 40B is responsible for the creation of approximately 43,000 housing units in 736 developments statewide since its inception in 1969. In an ideal world, there would be no need for 40B. Better for the housing to be built in accordance with local and regional plans and zoning – if only that zoning allowed for all kinds of housing to be built. But our communities erect paper walls of regulations to keep out apartment buildings, […]

Radiohead and Pioneer for infrastructure improvements

In Radiohead’s latest, In Rainbows (buy it here!), there is a cut called House of Cards about love gone awry… (Already, stop with the carping! I know it’s a been-there, done-that kind of theme. After all, what else does love do?) But Pioneer demonstrates its impact across the globe when Thom Yorke quotes in House of Cards that “infrastructure will collapse.” And to think that the band wrote the song before the Minneapolis tragedy. Prescient, though I have a sneaky feeling that the line was lifted directly from Pioneer’s A Legacy of Neglect, which was equally prescient. We are looking forward to the new release from Radiohead, perhaps a follow-up to Kid A that will support school choice and some […]

Borne back ceaselessly into the past

Fiscal management can mean big front-page items — raising taxes, cutting costs, addressing deficits, etc. But fiscal discipline is all about the small things — cutting off mission creep and keeping a focus on core responsibilities. And so we come to the our state university system, which is universally acknowledged to have huge infrastructure issues, much of which is due to underfunding, but some of it is also due to deferred maintenance. Unfortunately, the mission creep, which was cut off several years ago (by some other administration, if memory serves correctly) , is back with a vengeance. This morning’s Globe brings news of another plan by UMASS-Boston to build dorms on its campus, fundamentally reorienting its mission and inevitably coming […]

Shame on you

I’m disappointed in Joe Kennedy (and very irritated with the Globe’s coverage) for accepting free oil from the Venezuelan oil company, and Hugo Chavez indirectly. The Globe softpedals Chavez’s terrible human rights record (see Human Rights Watch, US State Department, Amnesty International, and International Crisis Group), saying: Chávez has become infamous for frequent speeches denouncing the United States and President Bush. This description makes him sound like a wacky uncle, not the despot that he is.