House of Blues – Bait and Switch

House of Blues – LiveNation



Dear Michael Rapino
President and CEO, Live Nation Entertainment

When I bought my ticket, You showed that I had seats. When I get to the venue, I see that its standing room only.
That is bait and switch. I want my money back. If you give me my money back, I will take this down. If you don’t, I will see how many other folks do not like this practice.

A Little Charlestown History

Between 1975 and 1992, the small Boston community of Charlestown experienced 49 murders, 33 of them unsolved. Police were frustrated by the unspoken “Code of Silence” that the citizens of Charlestown adopted. Whether fear of retaliation by the criminals, anti-police sentiment, or vigilante justice motivated the town’s citizens, no one would talk to police.

Charlestown was a main distribution center for PCP and cocaine, with several career criminals, known as the “Irish Mob,” in charge of the drug trade. Because drugs were a large part of Charlestown’s crime problem, DEA got involved, joining forces with the Massachusetts State Police, Boston Police Department, and Boston Housing Police Department. A task force was formed to tackle Charlestown’s crime.

DEA agents and local officers worked together to establish a comprehensive case against the criminals. By bringing federal drug laws to bear, the task force was able to develop solid cases. Information was developed that would lead to prosecution on charges of murder to further the drug trade. In addition, special agents of the Department of Housing and Urban Development were able to take action against tenants living illegally in Charlestown housing.

As a result, 40 defendants were indicted on charges that included racketeering, murder, attempted murder, murder for hire, engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, armed robberies, and carrying firearms during the commission of crime of violence. Several of the defendants were subsequently convicted of murder.

Once the violent criminals were taken from the community, the threat of retaliation was removed, and the code of silence was broken. A hot line set up by DEA yielded hundreds of calls from community residents that developed into valuable leads and significant arrests. The seriousness of the federal charges reassured the residents that they no longer had to live in fear.

Published: March 26, 1995

BOSTON, March 25— For decades in Boston’s Charlestown neighborhood, witnesses to crimes never breathed a word, either out of loyalty or out of fear.

But on Wednesday, two leaders of a drug ring and their enforcer were convicted in Federal District Court on charges of racketeering, cocaine trafficking, murder and attempted murder, with the help of testimony from about a dozen witnesses.

The two leaders, Michael Fitzgerald and John Houlihan, were charged with running a drug ring, using Joseph Nardone as their enforcer, out of Kerrigan’s Flower Shop in Charlestown, a one-mile-square neighborhood on Boston Harbor that is also the home of Old Ironsides, the frigate Constitution.

The three are to be sentenced on May 18. Prosecutors are recommending that they get life in prison without parole.

Before the convictions, the Irish, working-class neighborhood of 15,000 was well known for its residents’ habit of not talking to the police, its code of silence. The situation left many police officers frustrated.

“Most of the crime committed over there, we know who did it,” said Capt. Edward McNelley of the police homicide unit. “But our knowing doesn’t mean anything. We need a person to come forward and say, ‘I was there and I will testify.’ ”

The authorities managed to crack the code of silence with a three-year investigation in which the Government spent more than $1 million to protect witnesses, including a half-dozen residents who asked to be moved out of the neighborhood for fear of retribution.

About a dozen thieves and drug dealers were granted immunity from prosecution and received new identities under the Federal witness protection program.

“This has been a long time coming, and it has given families some belief in the system again, that the system can work and we don’t have to accept the way things were in the past,” said Sandy King, whose two sons were shot in front of witnesses who would not talk.

Five years ago, she helped found the Charlestown After Murder Program, an organization of women who meet every Sunday in a Catholic church to talk about unsolved homicides that have affected their lives. The police say that of the 50 homicides the group has tracked since 1975, arrests have been made in only about half.

Ms. King said the code of silence was started long ago by Irish immigrants who distrusted authority. A longshoreman, for example, might steal a case of tuna from the docks but give a little of the fish to his neighbors so that when the police inquired about the theft, no one knew anything.

Over time, the silence allowed criminals to thrive.

Charlestown became known by law-enforcement officials nationwide for its small-time hoodlums, thieves, drug dealers and murderers. Crime became so commonplace that arguments normally settled in a fistfight often ended in murder.

Today, the Bunker Hill Monument divides a small group of young professionals who live in renovated brownstones from a far greater number of “townies,” longtime residents who live in row houses and a sprawling housing project. Ninety-six percent of Charlestown is white.

During the trial, one witness told of driving the getaway car for Mr. Nardone and hearing the squat, bull-necked hit man laugh about killing an informer. The witness said he and Mr. Nardone had split a $5,000 fee.

But not everyone is sure that things have changed.

“I got nothing to say about nothing,” said a clerk in a coin-operated laundry who would give her name only as Patty.

The owner of the laundry, who refused to give his name, said he doubted that the code of silence had really been broken.

“You talk about things you’re not supposed to talk about, you get killed,” he said.

Posted Dec. 23, 1997 at 12:01 AM
Updated Jan 11, 2011 at 1:34 AM

CONCORD, N.H. — Before yesterday, ratting to police on your neighbors was a good way to get killed in the tough, blue-collar section of Boston known as Charlestown.

But the testimony of their neighbors helped convict five members of a Charlestown-based bank robbery gang yesterday, and the lead prosecutor said the town’s “silent majority” was all for it.

“I don’t think Charlestown is going to be the same. If the code of silence isn’t dead, it’s definitely moribund,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney David Vicinanzo.

“We have received a tremendous outpouring of support from the citizens,” he said. “The silent majority was rooting for us to get rid of these thugs who have been intimidating their town for some time.”

A U.S. District Court jury delivered guilty verdicts on 54 of 55 counts, including ones charging the five in the Aug. 25, 1994, robbery in Hudson in which two armored car guards were shot to death. One defendant, Patrick McGonagle, was found innocent of a carjacking count.

The jury deliberated for 32 hours over seven days. The trial began in September.

Convicted with McGonagle, 58, were Michael O’Halloran, 40, Anthony Shea, 34, Stephen Burke, 41, and Matthew McDonald, 35.

None was indicted for murder because witnesses could not clearly identify the masked robbers in the holdups, which began in 1990 and lasted into 1995.

When the five were charged last year, Charlestown was notorious for its code of silence. But the intensive investigation and a change of heart in the community broke the code, prosecutors said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Connolly said Charlestown residents and criminals alike decided to come forward following the Hudson deaths.

“Numerous career bank robbers threw in the towel and testified in this trial,” Connolly said at a news conference following the verdict. “So many broke the code, shattered the code. Many of them testified that they had grown tired of a life of stealing, of drugs, of broken relationships.”

In one sign that fear of retribution remained, Judge Steven McAuliffe sealed the list of jurors’ names.

Connolly called the verdict a victory for the armored car guards’ families and “a total victory for justice.”

“These men were highly professional, violent and ruthless criminals who took every step not to be identified. Today they were identified,” he said.

Vicinanzo described the men as part of a close group of career criminals, many of whom grew up together.

“There has been a culture in Charlestown that fostered that,” he said. “(But now) the people are changing. I don’t think they’re going to let it happen again.”

Most of the holdups were in Massachusetts, including two in Fall River. The Hudson robbery was one of two in New Hampshire; the others were in Connecticut and Rhode Island in 1991. The indictment also included a 1995 armored car holdup in West Palm Beach, Fla.

A sixth defendant, John Burke, pleaded guilty in October, partway through the trial, and testified against the others, including his brother Stephen. He is to be sentenced next month.

Prosecutors estimated that the gang committed more than 100 armed robberies and made off with millions of dollars during more than 30 years.

Lawyers for the men promised appeals.

“I really thought … there would be more, perhaps different results, rather than just blanket ‘guilties,”‘ said Peter Anderson, Stephen Burke’s lawyer. He said he planned to appeal on the admission of DNA and fingerprint evidence during the trial.

The men will be sentenced April 2. Prosecutors said they will ask for life sentences without parole, prescribed in federal sentencing guidelines, on two of the Hudson robbery counts.

The Robberies

Robberies in the indictment, approximate amount stolen, if known; and the defendants named in each robbery July 28, 1995 Fall River Five-Cent Savings Bank, Fall River, Mass.; Shea, Burke. May 11, 1995 Brinks armored car, West Palm Beach, Fla.; $122,000; Shea, Burke. Aug. 25, 1994 Northeast Armored Transport Inc. armored car, Hudson, N.H.; $500,000; Shea, McDonald, O’Halloran, Burke, McGonagle. March 1994 Wells Fargo armored car, Chestnut Hill, Mass.; Shea, O’Halloran, McDonald, Burke. Jan. 25, 1994 Wells Fargo armored car, Charlestown, Mass.; Shea, O’Halloran, McDonald, Burke. May 4, 1993 Manchester Security Services armored car, Seabrook, N.H.; $280,000; Shea, O’Halloran, Burke. Dec. 22, 1992 Transit Systems Inc. armored car, Lynn, Mass.; $500,000-$600,000; Shea, O’Halloran, Burke. Feb. 27, 1992 Bank of Boston, Newton, Mass.; Shea, McDonald. Late 1991 Banks and armored cars in Fall River, Mass; Shea, McDonald, Burke. Dec. 5, 1991 Pioneer Finance Cooperative Bank, Malden, Mass.; $95,000; Shea, McDonald. 1991 Banks and armored cars in Connecticut and Rhode Island; Shea, McDonald. March 15, 1990 Bank of New England, Charlestown, Mass.; Shea, McDonald.

The gang was headed by the McLaughlin brothers (Bernie, Georgie, and Edward “Punchy” McLaughlin) and their associates, brothers Stevie and Connie Hughes from Charlestown. Some of its notorious associates included Will Delaney, Spike O’Toole, Harry Hannon, William Bennett, Edward Bennett, John Shackelford, Frank Murray, Leo Lowry, Ron Dermody and Joe “Rockball” O’Rourke.

Townieism accepts that criminal activity exists in Charlestown’s past and present, most notably in the form of bank and pharmacy robberies by Townies as well as narcotic sales and use, and does not pass judgement on this behavior. Townies refer to serving a federal prison sentence as “going to college” and the area experiences a rate of drug-related hospitalizations and deaths 50% higher than the rest of Boston.[3],_Boston

Throughout the 1960s until the mid-1990s, Charlestown was infamous for its Irish Mob presence. Charlestown’s McLaughlin Brothers were involved in a gang war with neighboring Somerville’s Winter Hill Gang, during the Irish Mob Wars of the 1960s. I


The green square mile : story of the Charlestown Irish

Coping with a Heat Dome

“A heat dome occurs when high pressure in the upper atmosphere acts as a lid, preventing hot air from escaping. The air is forced to sink back to the surface, warming even further on the way.”

The National Weather Service recommends that people take precautions such as staying indoors in air-conditioned spaces, drinking enough water, wearing lightweight clothing, and eating “light, cool, easy-to-digest foods such as fruit or salads.”

What about ice cream? It’s not just for breakfast anymore.

Windows 10

A work in progress

Windows Anniversary Update

More integration with the Microsoft world.  I accepted the express settings and set my default location.  I will write here if I find anything egregious in the access. Given Google tracks so much, and if you have a smartphone, your tracked already, I am not overly concerned.  If you are concerned about your privacy, run Ubuntu or the Tails os If you think you can run windows and/or chrome and stop Mickeysoft or THEGOOGLE, and every website you visit from tracking you, you may be delusional.

They changed the left start menu by adding and breaking out a few more things.  NBD.

Windows Defender is no more visible.  I see it on my status bar

Windows Dark Theme: Settings app. Go to Start > Settings > Personalization > Colors. In the main part of the Settings screen, scroll down to the bottom and under “Choose your app mode” select the Dark radio button.

I am running the dark theme with a black background. Windows settings and Control Panel items are still confusing. For example, right click on the desktop and hit personalization and Control Panel personalization are different. CP has themes, which is different than the theme stuff mentioned above.

Right Click on the Windows Icon, bottom left corner, it shows you a context menu of the most frequently used systems stuff, like Control Panel, Event Viewer, Device Manager, File Explorer, Cmd prompt etc

Security Essentials is now Windows Defender

Disk Cleanup is now in Windows Administrative Tools

Auto Play and  DVD Playback is different

Insert CD
Open File Explorer
Right Click on your CD drive
Choose Auto Play
Chose Play DVD

Solitaire is different

Play Solitaire in Your Browser

or Search for “Chrome Web Store”
(in Chrome)
Search For Solitaire, Choose one to install in your Chrome Browser

A collection of a lot of versions of Solitaire

If you do not want to use a microsoft account to log in, Got to All Settings – Accounts and change how you log in. As of Jul 2016, I use a pin to logon inot my machine.  I still have my microsoft accunt associated with the machine.

Windows after version 8 have a different screen layout design to accommodate mobile and tablet devices.  Sometimes (especially in settings) you find you have to scroll down to find everything that’s part of a section.

File History replaced Windows Backup in Windows 8, and Windows 10 makes one of its better features—version histories for files you’ve altered—even more accessible.

Add a disk or leave a usb drive connected.



Control Panel -> Programs may have a different list of installed programs than Action Center -> Right Click -> All Settings -> System -> Apps and features.  Some things you get from the Store, (what you get to when you click on store from the apps list ) are called apps, not programs.  So if you looking for a program or app, sometimes you have to check both places

Run the troubleshooter for Windows apps


Of interest

Windows 10’s Game DVR tool is designed to capture your PC gaming glories, but you can actually use it to save videos from any open Windows app or desktop program.

Links for your browser.  The online file sharing offered by microsoft, Google and Dropbox is awesome.  I keep onedrive and google drive in status area.  I often have to share and change settings for these services.  The following links allow you to change your settings, and in dropbox’s case, add files by dragging and dropping onto the browser window.

Online Data

Google Photos


Ghosts and Gremlins

On Jul 26, I started getting “cannot log in to group policy master” error message.  I rebooted a couple of times, same thing.   Before this, I had deleted a few old usb devices from device manager and had run my powercfg.bat routine.  It was 85 ° in the house.  Okay, I boot up Jul 27, problem gone.   I had searched around saw people doing a registry fix to get around this. I did nothing to fix this, it fixed itself, of the gremlin moved on.

Your Computer is Haunted – xkcd

Cognitive Distortions

Dr. David Burns has a really nice list of cognitive distortions,see the link above.

You reject positive experiences by insisting they “don’t count” for some reason or other.

But in this day of propaganda and the propagenda, I think it’s important to understand if we disqualify the positive, but also “Are we qualifying the negative?

How do you filter out the bull crap?  How do you ignore all the negative labels used to try and influence your beliefs?  How do you separate the rhetoric from what counts?

I thought I was good at separating fact from  fiction, unfortunately, I find that living in the real world puts me in contact with a lot of people who have no idea how to be critical thinkers.

Critical thinking calls for the ability to:

  • Recognize problems, to find workable means for meeting those problems
  • Understand the importance of prioritization and order of precedence in problem solving
  • Gather and marshal pertinent (relevant) information
  • Recognize unstated assumptions and values
  • Comprehend and use language with accuracy, clarity, and discernment
  • Interpret data, to appraise evidence and evaluate arguments
  • Recognize the existence (or non-existence) of logical relationships between propositions
  • Draw warranted conclusions and generalizations
  • Put to test the conclusions and generalizations at which one arrives
  • Reconstruct one’s patterns of beliefs on the basis of wider experience
  • Render accurate judgments about specific things and qualities in everyday life

All of this is very helpful, but what I really want is a good bullshit detector. Something that can take a political statement and break it down to what is fact or fiction.

Tech Support


Why Tech Support Is (Purposely) Unbearable


Worse, just as you suspected, companies know the torture they are putting you through, with cable and mobile service providers the most egregious offenders.

You may consider yourself even-keeled, the kind of person who is unflappable when those around you are losing their cool. But all that goes out the window when you call tech support. Then you fume. Your face turns red. You shout things into the phone that would appall your mother

It’s called tech support rage.

And you are not alone. Getting caught in a tech support loop — waiting on hold, interacting with automated systems, talking to people reading from unhelpful scripts and then finding yourself on hold yet again — is a peculiar kind of aggravation that mental health experts say can provoke rage in even the most mild-mannered person.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Sonnet From the Tony Awards

My wife’s the reason anything gets done
She nudges me towards promise by degrees
She is a perfect symphony of one
Our son is her most beautiful reprise.
We chase the melodies that seem to find us
Until they’re finished songs and start to play
When senseless acts of tragedy remind us
That nothing here is promised, not one day.
This show is proof that history remembers
We lived through times when hate and fear seemed stronger;
We rise and fall and light from dying embers, remembrances that hope and love last longer
And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside.
I sing Vanessa’s symphony, Eliza tells her story
Now fill the world with music, love and pride.

Coding Tests

Solving a little procedural puzzle is like picking someone up at the airport, during rush hour.

Working on a computer project is like building or remodeling a house, it’s work, but you see the reward.

I am versatile.  I edit and proof read, tweak html emails, build, set up and troubleshoot hardware, build applications etc.  I call myself a full stack developer, from the front end to the database.  Every day real world coding is no problem for me.  Real world programming involves building functions, using APIs and libraries and implementing business logic.  Real world programming also does not write from scratch that which has already been written, tested and debugged. From what I can tell, most online tests are programming 101, develop an algorithm to solve some kind of statistics or pattern whacking problem that is not a real world (unless maybe you are in statistics) problem.

If you live in Boston, going to the airport at rush hour takes a LONG time and is aggravating.