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May 23, 2004

Open thread 7. Busy weekend. Comment on the sidebar links, or simply correct one another in order to be polite. [08:40 AM]
Welcome to Electrolite's comments section.
Hard-Hitting Moderator: Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Comments on Open thread 7.:

Elric ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2004, 10:49 AM:

I just found this link in todays Boston Globe:

This relates to a big story in Boston over the last few days, where security issues linked to the Democratic National Convention have resulted in plans to close major parts of the highway and road grid serving Boston, and most of the public transit system in the city, for much of the convention. There are also supposed to be street closings in the convention area, and elimination of on-street parking for half a mile or more around the site of the convention.

Reports as to where these plans come from are a little unclear to me. Some seem to come from the office of the mayor. Some are blamed on security consultants associated with the DNC. Some even were associated with the Secret Service.

What I don't understand at all is why this event is being set up to shut down most of the city of Boston for a week, while the RNC event in New York is projected to have little or no impact on that city.

Any ideas?

abby ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2004, 11:33 AM:

Well, I've heard people (mostly joking) blame the current administration. The theory is that Bushco want people to blame Kerry for the inconvenience of having the city shut down, so they encouraged the Secret Service to go for maximum security. Seems a bit farfetched to me, I don't think even Bushco think they have a chance of getting Massachusetts.

Grant D. ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2004, 02:11 PM:

For those involved in the thread about digital cameras in the military, here's a follow-up:

Digital cameras, camcorders and cellphones with cameras have been prohibited in military compounds in Iraq... a total ban throughout the US military is in the works.

Good to know they're on top of the real "problem" exposed by Abu Gharib. Sheesh.

Avram ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2004, 04:27 PM:

“Little or no impact”? They’re going to be closing off several blocks around Madison Square Garden, requiring people to show ID to get in, which’ll most likely fuck up my commute, since the 33rd St PATH station is near MSG.

Steven desJardins ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2004, 06:17 PM:

Avram, perhaps Elric should have said "is projected to be reported on the national news as having little or no impact". Unlike, say, having a haircut on an unused runway, which can disrupt right-wing radio shows for weeks.

Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2004, 07:55 PM:

The generation X cicadas have yet to make their appearance here in Pleasantville, NY. We had plenty of cicadas last year, but I haven't seen a one yet. Maybe they're not coming. 17 years ago, I lived in Brooklyn and I remember the gen X cicadas there.

How are things cicada-wise closer in?

Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2004, 09:06 PM:

Avram: they're shutting down miles of freeways up here, and the train/subway station under the FleetCenter. Commuter train passengers will be taking shuttle buses in from northern suburbs.

Abby: New Hampshire is a swing state. The closures will royally screw up commuters from the north. Hmmmm......

Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2004, 10:26 PM:

The basic problem is that NYC is a reasonable grid, so it's not so hard to shut off streets that can be used to get within a certain radius of MSG.

Boston, on the other hand, has a major interstate passing within 50 feet of the Fleet^H^H^H^H^HBank of AmericaCenter, a major commuter rail hub in the same building, a T line from which you could throw a rock and hit the building, and two or three major arterials (Storrow Drive, for one) also passing nearby. If you want a perimeter, you really do basically have to shut down the city.

I'm hoping that this is the watershed event that proves that you really can telecommute.

I'll be on the Cape for the duration.

Now, what was political shenanigans was Republican Governor Mitt Romney casually suggesting to the Globe that the Dems should move the convention to the as-yet incomplete Boston Convention Center, in isolated South Boston.

Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: May 23, 2004, 10:55 PM:

Movie to look for:

"I am not Scared."

A subtitled Italian film, currently in indie theaters.

Ray Radlein ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2004, 03:54 AM:

By the way, for those of you who are Babylon 5 fans (or soap opera fans), JMS is reporting that Richard Biggs (Dr. Franklin) is dead. I first stumbled across this on the German-language web site of Stern, which probably says something meaningful about the internet, unless it doesn't.

Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2004, 07:27 AM:

Kathryn -

The cicadas of DC Metro are going strong. Very strong. Contact me via e-mail if you want an MP3. At their height, my husband tells me that they are supposed to crank out as many decibels as a lawnmower in full cry. They're not quite to the lawn mower stage yet, but they are certainly putting out an increasingly audible oscillating noise somewhat reminiscent of a "flying saucer" sound-effect in a cheesy 50's movie.

Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2004, 11:10 AM:

New York is also a MUCH bigger city than Boston.

I've sent the Troy In 15 Minutes link to a bunch of people, all of whom have loved it. I must say, now that I know about the nude scenes...but no. I'll wait for the DVD.

David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2004, 03:06 AM:

Um, Patrick? Giving three different blog posts the exact same title makes it a lot harder to use "Last 300 Comments" to follow the conversation in the comment threads.

Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2004, 07:01 PM:

Thanks for the Chalabi Yard Sale piece. It made me giggle right out loud at a time when I could really use it. You know, I can't help feeling a certain admiration and mild fondness for the fellow, in a totally corrupt and morally bankrupt way of course. I mean, there were the neocons practically screaming, "Take adavantage of us please!" And, oh, he did. He did.


Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2004, 04:36 AM:

Awhile ago we were discussing flavored vodkas. Check out the homemade Scotch bonnet pepper vodka at Mama's bar (the newly opened bar next to Mama's restaurant at the SW corner of 3rd St & Ave B. Very flavorful. Great jukebox, too.

Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2004, 11:58 AM:

Apropos your sidebar link to one obituary, I found this on the weekend, after spending some time assembling material about a continuing nasty little spat happening within & among the local churches, and annotating a distressingly wrong-headed & cant-filled speech by our deputy political leader.
It does help ones' balance to find not only that there are people doing worthwhile things, but others who appreciate that.

Doctor who could fix a broken heart

Louis Bernstein, one of the giants of Australian cardiology, has died at 73 in his beloved Royal Prince Alfred Hospital [where I was treated, & have worked] ... Although his wit and warmth are what those close to him will remember best, his enduring legacy will be to those Australians with healed hearts, who will enjoy longer and happier lives...

James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2004, 05:49 PM:

The sidebar link "Of lives like this is civilization made.: It's an obituary for Archibald Cox.

In the article:

More than a million telegrams demanding impeachment poured into congressional offices.

One of those was mine. Another telegram I sent that same night was to Nixon, urging him to resign.

That was when I started wearing an Impeach Nixon button under the lapel of my peacoat. I recently found that button again among my stuff. Who knew how the world would turn between then and now?

Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2004, 08:44 PM:

My favorite button from that period said FIRE THE COX SACKER.

As to why Boston's being so security conscious: Not to be judgemental about it, but perhaps they're still embarrassed over that little contretemps at their airport. I don't see why they shouldn't be.

Bob Oldendorf ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2004, 10:58 PM:

I just assumed that Boston is being insanely security-conscious on the orders of the Department of Homeland Security and/or the Secret Service.

Presumably this adminstration is just using 'security' as an excuse to annoy and aggravate a predominantly Democratic city.

James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2004, 11:19 PM:

Given that al Qaeda is going to try a major terrorist event in this country just before the election in order to give Bush a boost, I sure hope Kerry has his response all prepared.

Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2004, 12:54 AM:

James, are you certain it's Al Quaida? It may just be Bushian subterfuge to undermine even having an election. That's the wildest (for me) paranoia that keeps threading through MY mind right now. They (Bush officials) make up a national security threat and say, "well there, there, we need to postpone elections to make you safe, so we can stay stable, etc. whatever..." and make it indefinite. It's not beyond him. I'm not sure of the public reaction, though. I suspect it would be a sheepish 'oh, okay, that sounds reasonable, let's go along...." (with a great minority going HELL NO! But not enough able or willing to start to push him out of office... legally. I'm not sure. But I'm in a curmudgeonly mood right now, still tired from our local convention last weekend (still) and life in general.

My two cents. WMMV.

Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2004, 10:37 PM:

Less tired now. that would be YMMV...

Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2004, 11:38 AM:

Oh, thank heavens! "Western mileage may vary? No...We-all's mileage? No...Wombat mileage! That's IT! But why would she say that...no, that's not it either..."

Kate "Nudge" Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2004, 08:20 PM:

Hi--we sent you and Teresa e-mail Monday night. If you haven't received it, let me know? Thanks.

(Also posted on T.'s open thread)

Ray Radlein ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2004, 04:37 AM:

I was thinking about Michael Moore's new movie tonight, and I got wondering — has Ray Bradbury ever apologized to William Shakespeare for titling one of his books Something Wicked This Way Comes? Just curious.

James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2004, 01:10 PM:

A continuation, of sorts, from Shaking My Confidence Daily.

SAN JOSE, California (AP) -- Bev Harris didn't set out to become a muckraking voting technology expert.

A literary publicist accustomed to working with manuscripts and authors in suburban Seattle, she preferred doting on her new grandchild to debating politics. She still doesn't vote regularly.


Her conclusion: there will be so many problems with the more than 100,000 paperless voting terminals to be used in the November presidential election that the fiasco will dwarf Florida's hanging chad debacle of 2000.

"We have a train wreck that's definitely going to happen," Harris said. "We have conflict of interest, we've taken the checks and balances away, and we know the votes are already being miscounted fairly frequently. This is going to be huge."


More at http://www.blackboxvoting.com/ and http://www.blackboxvoting.org/

Get Bev's book at Amazon. Buy one. Buy a dozen. Send them to people. Put them in your local library.

See also Invisible ballots.

Seattle Times In America, casting a vote is a private matter. The counting of the vote, however, has always been (and should remain) a public matter.

Salon.com Computerized vote-counting machines are sweeping the country. But they can be hacked -- and right now there's no way to be sure they haven't been.

Seattle Weekly The feds want to know who’s been visiting the Web site of voting watchdog Bev Harris, and they’re likely to get what they want.

www.scoop.co.nz The contents of these files amounted to a virtual handbook for vote-tampering: They contained diagrams of remote communications setups, passwords, encryption keys, source code, user manuals, testing protocols, and simulators, as well as files loaded with votes and voting machine software.

Write to your local newspapers. Write to your representatives. "First they came for the communists, but I said nothing because I wasn't a communist."

Silence is unacceptable.

Jimsheng ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2004, 03:26 AM:

Presumably this adminstration is just using 'security' as an excuse to annoy and aggravate a predominantly Democratic city. --Jimsheng

Tioaei ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2004, 04:19 AM:

I suspect it would be a sheepish 'oh, okay, that sounds reasonable, let's go along...." (with a great minority going HELL NO! But not enough able or willing to start to push him out of office... legally. I'm not sure. __传奇私服