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Wednesday, September 18, 2002
NICE TEMPLATE, PUSSY

You may wonder why I have selected the kitty cat template for the blog. It is an homage to the uselessness of blogging in general and, specifically, to those lonely people who have nothing better to do than to blog about their cats. For examples of this phenominon, please see sites:

SUPAH -
Blog - Kitty Photo Page

STATIC EPHEMERA - Blog - Kitty Pix

KITTEN KISS - Blog

And the saddest of the sad - a post about wanting to have a kitty, but not being able to have one:

Not Content to Crawl

I need kitty pix

Lately I've been looking all over the internet just to find some kitty pictures. Looking at cat pictures makes me happy. Perhaps this is because I can't have a cat, and now I'm obsessed with them. I don't know. I just miss my cat sometimes.

So if you have cat pictures on your site, leave me a link in the comments and I will be sure to visit. Thanks!

posted by Jimmy 3:24 PM
IT DEPENDS ON WHAT YOUR DEFINITION OF 'MAY BE' MAY BE

From the
Washington Times:

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington said yesterday that his church's mission is more difficult after a year of sexual scandal, but he believes the worst has passed and that the crisis may be more over belief than morals.

Hmmmmmmm. Check out this quote from the good Cardinal in reference to the sexual abuse problem:

You are talking about fewer than 2 percent of our priests over the course of the last 50 years.

I wonder at what percentage it actually becomes a moral problem. Do you think people would think it was a problem if 2% of police officers were pedophiles? What about 2% of teachers dabbling in the pederastic arts? What if 2% of the mentors in Big Brother / Big Sister were also card-carrying members of NAMBLA?
posted by Jimmy 2:51 PM
$36,500/YEAR

Ok,
this City Paper article on one Blaise Aloysius Bartosavage is sort of sad. And Blaise is a sympathetic character. But this homeless gentleman does bring home more than the average Hill Rat. Tax Free.
posted by Jimmy 2:07 PM
NONE OF THE ABOVE

One of my favorite purient pleasures of living in DC is the personals section of the City Paper, specifically the None of the Above category. Please, please
check it out.

Some favs from the current issue:

MALE SERVICE FOR you. Male offering house cleaning, dining service to female/female couple, 28-45y.o. I will dress down for the occasion, and display myself as requested.

LIVE-IN HOUSBOY POSITION available for chores around the house. Must be attractive in-shape. Excellent for college student or military man.

HAVE ROLLS ROYCE convertible. Need passenger willing to wear leather and corsets during the day then latex and platform heels while dining, partying, and clubbing at night.

SEEKING SADISTIC, CRUEL, and creative dominant bi-female to assist in punishing and using my girlfriend for a weekend.

POET, CARPENTER, ROMANTIC WM, 40y.o., 6ft.2in., very attractive, fit, heavy. Desires an unusually compassionate, unassuming, articulate lady who could understand the power of nylon to make me treat her like royalty

WOMEN, COUPLES: MASTURBATION party! Discreet, safe, friendly mixed group meets about once a month.

PROFESSIONAL SWM, SUBMISSIVE, looking for butch lesbian for humiliation, strap-on activities or your choice. If partner wants to watch, that is fine. Live in DC and can entertain or travel.


And people say that DC can't party. Pishaw.



posted by Jimmy 2:00 PM
DC BLOWS QUOTE OF THE MONTH

Washington, that grand old benevolent National Asylum for the Hopeless.

- Mark Twain

posted by Jimmy 1:51 PM
JUST DON'T CALL IT GENTRIFICATION

This article is the closest that WaPo has ever come to extolling the virtues of gentrification. They didn't use the word, but they talked about all of the reasons that gentrification benefits neighborhoods in this piece about Columbia Heights. More stores. More renovation. More Jobs. Mark my words - the day they put in a GAP and the neighborhood's residents become wealthy from the increase in real estate values, the Post will publish a scathing article about the loss of character in the neighborhood.

But as one wise resident put it:

"When you say, 'It will affect the character of the neighborhood,' you have to bear in mind that character includes the burned-out buildings, the empty lots...I can't see how anyone could view the city moving on as bad."
posted by Jimmy 1:31 PM
Monday, September 16, 2002
MOOLA FOR MARRIAGE

Sweet. As if there weren't enough good reasons to move to West Virginny, the state is now offering $100 extra each month a welfare couple stays married according to
this WaTi piece. Now, a number of groups bring up the obvious criticisms: What if the hubby is a wife-beater? Why encourage 'Finding a Man' as a way out poverty? (courtesy of NOW, of course). Other states have similar programs, including AZ, which has state-subsidized classes on how to be a better mate.

But what about the obvious question about the role of government? For this, the Times interviewed one Bill Jenney, a fair-weather libertarian in AZ:

When asked if this was a good use of welfare funds, Mr. Jenney said: "I'm basically a libertarian and think the least government is the best government, but in this case, I can see how a lot of people can really benefit from this class." Furthermore, he said, the government funding "gets people in."

Great, so the least government is the best government, unless you happen to personally benefit from the social gerrymandering. Sweet.

Now that we've learned about the heart of the Jenney School of Libertarianism, I have another problem that needs to be addressed: flossing. Now most people know that they should floss daily (me included!), but most people don't (me included!). But, for $100 per month, I might be persuaded to see otherwise. Throw in some government-funded gum sensitivity sensitivity classes, and that would really get me in! Free money, free indoctrination, and all I have to do is give up a little freedom and live my life in the way the nanny state says is best for me. Rock on. Let's all go to a flossing workshop, hold hands and watch the free money roll on in!

Bruce
posted by Jimmy 2:48 PM
DC BLOWHARDS

Interesting. According to
Eve Tushnet, there is going to be a DC blogger party at Rendezvous Lounge. This is entirely appropriate. Like most blogs, Rendezvous is ill-fated and poorly planned. It's not well liked and attendence is spotty. Its incoherent layout and mismatched elements show a hasty beginning without forethought or direction. In short, it is a manifestation of all that is wrong with blogtown. It's an oasis of mediocrity in an otherwise esoteric neighborhood.

As a sub-par newbie, I should be there. If you've lost the sense that your mamma gave ya, and have nothing better to do (what with your xenophobia and all), I'll see you there at 7 on Thursday.

I can't believe that it has come to this,
Wilson
posted by Jimmy 1:24 PM
JUST DON'T CALL IT FAILURE

I love
this piece in WaPo from Vernon Loeb. Mr. Loeb acknowedges that the CIA and FBI "failed to communicate at critical junctures, allowed known al Qaeda operatives to slip into the country and botched the analytic process so badly that numerous warning signs about al Qaeda's interest in flight training and hijacking went unheeded," but is "still uncomfortable with all the pundits and analysts and Hill staffers crying 'intelligence failure' and blaming the terrorists' successful use of civilian airliners as guided missiles on the CIA and the FBI."

Well, he's right about not blaming the terrorism on the CIA and the FBI. That was the work of evil barbarians. But how can he "be uncomfortable" about the term "intelligence failure?" I mean, if our intelligence community knows something and fails to communicate it through the proper channels, resulting in an inability of the proper agencies to act on the information, and the bad guys get to us - it's a failure, pure and simple. What term would he prefer? Minor oversight? An oopsie? A slip-up?

I believe that his line of argument goes something like this:

1. OK, there was an intelligence failure, but we shouldn't cry "intelligence failure" about it because the CIA is a strategic, not tactical, organization.
2. And the compartmentalized structure of al Queda makes it hard for a strategic organziation to learn about it.
3. And it's hard for the CIA to communicate with its agents.
4. And information is sometimes disinformation from double agents (no way!)

Get this. Bad guys have always been good at hiding their information. If they weren't, we could just read about their plans in People magazine and save a lot of time. It's always been hard for the CIA to communicate with its people in the field and there has always been the potential danger of subterfuge. But, guess what? They had managed to keep us pretty safe for a long time. Then we were attacked. That's what we call a failure - failing to do the thing that you are supposed to do.

Bad Sports Analogy:
If you are a futbol goalie and one gets through, that's a failure. The offense may have lost the ball. The defense may have blown it as well. You may have a hard job and a twisted ankle and a cup that is riding up, but if that ball gets through, you failed. It doesn't mean that you won't win the game, but it was undoubtedly a failure.

Let's take a look at the apologist's arguments against us crying failure:

The CIA is a strategic operation.

OK. Then they should at least tell one of the many organizations that is in charge of tactics to do something about it when they have a credible lead. Maybe the DoD. They do have "Defense" in their name and I assume that this (at least partly) refers to defending the U.S.

The bad guys are compartmentalized so info is hard to get.

OK. But we had the info, we just didn't act on it. The problem was not in the compartmentalization of the al Queda cells as much as it was in the compartmentalization of the different U.S. agencies. The information made it here and then got mired in our internal intelligence bureaucracy.

It's a hard job

I'm willing to concede that it is hard to get info and know what info is credible. But that's sort of the raison d'etre of the CIA. I just can't see them taking credit for the years of success and then retreating when they fail behind the cover of difficulty. Yes, it's hard. If it were easy, we wouldn't need them. But the fact that it is a hard job does not free them being labeled a "failure" when they fail.

So in my humble rambling, I posit that the only way to change the way they work, to prevent this type of miscommunication in the future is to label it what it is: a big fat intelligence failure.

Steven
posted by Jimmy 12:14 PM



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