Stories by Lew McCreary

Pay now or pay later

Getting a bit ahead of myself, I'd like to talk about an article that CSO won't be publishing until next month. As part of our continuing series of articles on challenges facing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, this story concerns the economic puzzle of how to fund the hardening of the critical infrastructure. Among the insights conveyed by sources in Senior Editor Sarah D. Scalet's May feature is this quite simple one: The economic models for building, maintaining and securing the current infrastructures did not contemplate terrorism. As a result, debate about what to do now and in the future often stubs its toe on the past.


FRAMINGHAM (11/11/2003) - We take full responsibility. No sooner do we run an interview with Major League Baseball CSO Kevin Hallinan, than an on-field-and-bullpen melee breaks out at Boston's historic Fenway Park during the American League Championship Series (ALCS). Once described by writer John Updike (in an excess of sentimentality) as a "lyric little bandbox," Fenway's greensward was more like a great big mosh pit on Saturday, Oct. 11, when Red Sox and Yankee players tangled in a series of testosterone-fueled sideshows. It fell to ballpark security, Hallinan's office, Boston police and the umpiring crew to sort out the mess.

Money pits

FRAMINGHAM (10/08/2003) - Assorted tales from the September news files got me thinking about the reflex to fling gobs of money at a problem.

Shark attack

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA, inventor of, among other things, the Internet) dropped some chum in the political waters recently, and a bunch of elected sharks (creatures known for their outsized appetites and undersized brains) quickly congregated and ate a hearty meal. The particular provocation, of course, was DARPA's plan to establish a futures market that would "trade" in a wide range of geopolitical atrocities--assassinations, acts of terrorism, coups and so forth. People would wager on the likelihood of various specified horrors occurring and, so, intelligent inferences could be drawn from the aggregate flows of opinion around the competing scenarios.