City Desk

The Needle: Presumed Guilty Edition

Today's Needle Rating: 49

Let's All Overreact!: The best policy, when faced with some danger of a terrorist attacks, is to abandon any commitment to civil liberties or, really, rational thought. Or at least, that seems to be the theory Metro officials are now operating under. In response to the news that a guy who wanted (but hadn't actually gotten his hands on) some kind of explosive materials wound up working with FBI agents to plot an entirely imaginary attack on subway stations, Metro Transit Police want to implement random searches of bags within the system. Congratulations, terrorists! You win again. -4

Don't Drink and Trick or Treat: Halloween always seemed like more of a holiday for kids, but maybe that's just because we're not the biggest fans of sexy [inappropriate noun] costumes. Enough adults observe, though, that police are mounting an aggressive crackdown on drunk driving over the weekend. One fact that's far scarier than any flick Vincent Price ever appeared in: 58 percent of traffic fatalities during Halloween in 2008 were caused by drunk drivers. Boo! +2

Popcorn? Milk Duds? Cabernet?: Years ago, you used to be able to watch arthouse movies and hang out in the bar at Visions, the long-defunct theater in Dupont Circle (whose space on Florida Avenue NW still sits maddeningly untouched, taunting anyone who used to love the place). Well, happy days are here again—you'll be able to do just that at West End Cinema, a new movie theater/bar set to open tomorrow night. Even better for nostalgia purposes: The theater will occupy the former home of the long-closed Inner Circle on M Street NW. Next project for D.C. film buffs: Reclaim the likes of the Biograph and the Key from CVS. +3

Bike (Ironically) to Rally: An update on an earlier Needle item—the Washington Area Bicyclists Association now says you should ride your bike there. Comedy Central, not generally known for its protest-organizing abilities, had failed to work with WABA to set up a bike valet station, and the National Park Service hasn't seen fit to install much in the way of bike racks on the Mall. So it didn't seem like there would be any place to lock a bike if you did ride there. On first glance, it still doesn't seem like that fundamental problem has been solved, but hey! People have been riding their bikes to rallies and locking them to benches for years now. Surely even a bunch of faux protesters can manage that on a gorgeous fall day. +2

Yesterday's Needle rating: 46 Today's score: +3 Today's Needle rating: 49

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  • DCexpat

    My favorite part of metro security is the thugs and punks running all over the DC and PG parts of the system, especially the buses, litterally terrorizing everyone as the police supposedly look out for terrorists. If only more of those kids were muslims so they could be stereotyped and harassed by the police. If only...

  • Rick Mangus

    As far as random searches go, B.F.D.! Maybe this paper should report the news instead of making commentary!

  • Mike Madden

    Yeah, why SHOULDN'T the police be able to demand to search your bag for no reason, in a bit of security theater that wouldn't actually stop any terrorist attacks, in response to a threat that didn't actually ever exist?

    If you just want bland repetition of the news, Rick, you're more than welcome to read the Washington Post.

  • Rick Mangus

    Hey Mike, report the news you amateur hack! Go get a degree in journalism, then you can tell me what to do!

  • Mike Madden

    If I were you, the last thing I'd want is for people with degrees in journalism to tell you what to do. And for the record, I'm a professional hack, at least until City Paper's paychecks start bouncing.

  • Brandon Darby

    I just want to be the one person who says thanks for actually have the gall to point out that this "plot" was a manufactured scare tactic.

    I'll go one further and just call it: The FBI set up this asshole because they didn't have anything to charge him with previously and they desperately wanted a headline-making terrorism bust.

    Legalized entrapment in the name of maintaining a national security state.

  • Rick Mangus

    Hey, 'Brandon Darby' I know who shot President Kennedy and I know were Jimmy Hoffa and Amelia Earhart are! Christ, your paranoid and delusional, how pathetic you are!

  • Brandon Darby

    You misspelled you're as your.

  • Rick Mangus

    'Brandon Darby', B.F.D.!

  • Pingback: Greenwald: FBI Thwarts its Own Terrorist Plot | Defend the Prophet

  • Pingback: Terrorism, perpetrated by the FBI? « The Marin Progressive

  • poptart

    Oh wow.
    Seems like Rick supported the Patriot Act as well. What a spiteful and naive little mind. Hopefully if and when he matures he will look back at some of his ridiculous rantings and ravings and realize the shear idiocy he spewed.
    Or he could go the complete other direction and join the 'baggers. I guess it might suit him.

    Be careful Mike, the Metro will probably seize your bags for disagreeing with their policies.
    Remember, thoughtcrime is doubleplusungood