Busy week for conferences in Boston

Next week is shaping up to be interesting for those of us in the Boston area who care about the direction of the Internet. First, there’s the O’Reilly Ignite session (an evening of networking, speakers, five-minute elevator pitches, and more). Then the next day, the Berkman Center hosts the 2007 Internet and Society Conference, on the topic of how universities stay relevant in the face of the erosion of traditional, hierarchical ways of structuring and mediating knowledge. Berkman fellow David Weinberger, whose Everything is Miscellaneous I just completed reading in the airport Legal Seafoods, should have some interesting things to say about the topic. Nice to see, too, that some other familiar faces, including Doc Searls, Dan Gillmor, and Jessamyn West, will be in attendance.

Gee, if I didn’t have to ship a product at the end of June, I’d be taking some serious vacation time next week.

Getting to a six-figure sinecure in one easy step

Good to know that one can go from a legislative aide position to a federal immigration judgeship on the strength of one’s ability to riot in corridors pretending to be a grassroots protester. Yes, I’m talking about the poster child for the problems at DOJ, Garry Malphrus, whose fast track to success started when he participated in the infamous Brooks Brothers Riot during the Florida recount in 2000. Now it looks like Malphrus was just one of the recipients of the administration’s impressive, and institutionalized, cronyism: according to Monica Goodling, for several years now, “Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) had provided guidance some years earlier indicating that Immigration Judge appointments were not subject to the civil service rules applicable to other career positions.”

In other words, the administration is using one of the most politically hot positions in the justice department as a way to repay political favors. And I do mean repay: an annual salary of $113,904 is nothing to sneeze at.

Is it any wonder that the cries for impeachment of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales are crescendoing?

The quietest flying day of the year?

It is Friday evening on Memorial Day Weekend. I have the honor of flying to Richmond tonight so that I can attend my sister’s graduation tomorrow as ambassador from the Boston Jarretts. I am excited and happy for her, but at the same time I’m puzzled. Why? Because I’m sitting in an empty airport, that’s why.

The road was virtually empty as Lisa drove me into Logan tonight; the airport is almost empty. Granted, I have a flight that leaves at 8:45 PM on Friday night, which might as well be midnight by airline standards, but still. Might the best time to travel on Memorial Day weekend be … Friday night?