Category Archives: The District

I Opted Out

Inevitably, the law of averages caught up with me today. As I waited in the Transportation Security Administration line at National Airport, I had a sneaking suspicion they were pushing everyone through the millimeter wave scanners. Sure enough, after I had stripped down to be sure I wouldn’t trip the mag, I was directed (as it seems, were the majority of passengers) to the wave machine.

Faced with the choice of the pat down or the scan, I took the option to “Opt Out” and have the pat down instead. I stated my intention in a friendly manner as the TSA agent directed me to enter the wave machine; he asked me to stand to the side and called out for a male screening. Continue reading

Black Watch

Shock and awe, ringing ears, and profuse swearing – key elements that made the National Theatre of Scotland’s production of Black Watch simply captivating.

I know what you’re thinking, nothing is that good, these statements are like the drivel on film posters “A Must See!!!” or “Two Thumbs Up.” In this instance, the production (it’s more than a play, and I certainly wouldn’t detract from it by calling it a musical) in parts rivals the impact one would get at a screening of an action film. It’s the real deal, and as one of the reviews said, “Beg, steal or borrow to get yourself a ticket,” The News of the World.

Black WatchFrom the moment of seating in the Sidney Harman Hall at the Shakespeare Theatre, one is in the midst of the action, loud bagpipes play and roboscans fill the stage; which I would characterise as abbreviated in the round, audience seating behind what would be the traditional proscenium, and also in the expected area in front of the stage. With the troops wagon on stage right and scaffolding on either side, one had a real sense of depth on an otherwise bare stage. Suspension of disbelief was not an issue here. Continue reading

A Great Post from Greater Greater Washington

Following the Securitisn’t series from a while back, David Alpert at GGW has a great post following the capture of alleged terrorists plotting to engage the Metro system in DC. A great line, sure to infuriate Bill O’Reilly:

Instead, they typically just end up being suspicious of people who look Muslim.

Snippet and more:

Overreactions already beginning to nonexistent bomb plot

Following news that the FBI orchestrated its own, fake Metro bombing plot to catch a potential terrorist, Metro transit police are already pondering instituting useless “security theater” methods like random bag searches.

NYC subway bag inspection. Photo by Runs With Scissors on Flickr.

Bag searches look good but don’t do anything. Anyone can simply turn around and enter a different station. If someone wanted to bomb a station, they just wouldn’t do it when the bag searches are taking place. As I discussed on yesterday’s Kojo Nnamdi show, we’ve spent far too much money building security barriers around buildings or running big “show of force” exercises.

Read on…

September Primary Elections

Wow, what a night, and what a morning. Talking heads will have no end of items to chat about today. Are the tea baggers doing long-term damage to the Republicans? With empty suits like O’Connell winning in Delaware, one has to wonder. Likewise, are NYers really ready for Paladino?

Closer to home, the Maryland gubernatorial rematch between Ehrlich and O’Malley might be one of the better, and hopefully more civil general election battles.

Closer to home, Mayor Fenty losing his election will be national news, not to mention a case-study for years to come about how one can: have one hell of a mandate, win every precinct in the city, and have residents believe you a doing a good job – yet because do forget to do the basics, and some good old retail, you lose everything. People can handle an aggressive go-getter who rolls over the Council, but not if you don’t tell the base why. His evasive nature ended up being his undoing.

From WaPo: How Adrian Fenty lost his reelection bid for D.C. mayor.

From WaPo: Bicyclist killed in collision with military truck was reporter, painter

Not a whole lot to say about this, other than once again the ‘security’ needs seem to trump everything else. Whether it’s the bollards around the Capitol, or a consistently laissez-faire attitude to the District’s residents; something needs to change.

Bicyclist killed in collision with military truck was reporter, painter

Costance Holden

Costance Holden (Family Photo)
Co-workers and family mourned Tuesday a bicyclist struck and killed by a military truck Monday evening in a collision connected with the Nuclear Security Summit.