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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Last I checked you could still walk up to the U.S. Capitol and touch it. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong. My wife and I just requested tickets to the inauguration, though, so maybe we'll try to test that hypothesis in January. Incidentally, I should think that allowing rank and file citizens to attend the inauguration implies maybe we are not so paranoid as you think. Remember back in June when average Americans from all over attended Reagan's funeral. People could walk right on in and pass by the cof

    --
    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • by schwern (1528) on 2004.11.10 15:28 (#35922) Homepage Journal

      I was thinking more of the White House with its high fence and street closed in front and how the temporary security measures have become permanent. How press conferences are orchistrated affairs in a special room. How Bush has broken the tradition of walking to the inauguration and is likely to do it again. The president is supposed to be first among equals but we're starting to revere him as something like royalty. And the gap is growing in the name of security measures. This is a problem for democracy. I'd rather see the president assassinated than set up as superhuman.

      At the Canadian Parliament I felt like I could sit down and have a picnic on the lawn. At night. And nobody would raise an eyebrow. There's a colony of stray cats [occdsb.on.ca] on the hill. The grounds of the Supreme Court building just down the road are equally open. Press conferences are held outside on the sidewalk. Across from parliament hill are a bunch of pubs where the MPs go. [mcgilltribune.com] And they're not ritzy, Ottawa.pm used to meet at Darcy McGee's. Hey, they let me in. ;)

      Its a series of intangibles that remind you that MPs are just people doing a job and they go out afterwards at the local pub to have a couple beers. There's not so much that false veneer of respect. That's the feel I get and from talking with Canadians they seem to agree. The PM is just another MP; equally ordinary, corrupt and replacable. I think that's an important distinction. I could just be totally biased. If you've ever watched C-SPAN and caught a session of the UK parliament and compare it with our congressional sessions you might get some idea of what I mean.

      It just makes me think why the US is so different, what have we done to make ourselves us this way and why are we so accepting of it.

      Can you get that close to the Prime Minister's residence in Canada?

      I didn't go to the PM's residence so I don't know what that's like. But that isn't really a part of the working government as the White House is, its just where the PM lives. So I could understand if you couldn't just walk onto the grounds.

      Last I checked you could still walk up to the U.S. Capitol and touch it. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong. My wife and I just requested tickets to the inauguration, though, so maybe we'll try to test that hypothesis in January.

      I don't know what access to the US Capitol building is like. Looks like its under construction at the moment. I'll be interested to hear how close you can get and how comfortable you feel doing it. I'll also be interested to hear what attending the inauguration entails.

      Remember back in June when average Americans from all over attended Reagan's funeral. People could walk right on in and pass by the coffin.
      Well, any would-be assassin is a little late by then. :)
      • I think you are looking at a result that is not solely from recent trends, but the end result of over 200 years of development. Going back to the time of Andrew Jackson, you actually had a mob celebrating his inauguration at the White House, such that President Jackson had to leave and stay at a hotel, while the aides lured the crowd outside with booze. :) Security has obviously tightened since then, and while the September 11 attacks certainly hastened it, the trends were well underway. (As I observed e

        --
        J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
      • Curiously, when George Bush visited Ottawa recently, security within the parliament building became so tight that some of the MPs were prevented from getting into theor seats in parliament to vote on ongoing legislation.

        There was quite an uproar. It was actually illegal for the security forces to prevent MPs from reaching their post, but the main issue was that the high security was obviously set up in a hurry and the relevant process was poorly communicated to all the affected parties.