Monday, 19 July 2010

The Intelligence of the Washington Post


Today, the Washington Post came out with their glorified "intelligence" piece. A full four pages which covered the vast nature of contractors and intelligence. They are hoping for a Pulitzer Prize out of the deal...I'm thinking.

I spent around thirty minutes reading through it this morning.....and came to the observation that it was mostly worthless and only somewhat truthful.

First, they wanted everyone to know the vast intelligence apparatus right now working for the government. Somewhere in their vast graphics....there this mention of DISA....my organization. DISA stands for Defense Information Systems Agency. Basically....we don't do intelligence. Yet, the Post wanted to include them anyway. I sat there laughing....a bunch of computer geeks labeled as intelligence guys? There were three or four other examples like this.....so my confidence in their article was shaken.

Then we came to this whole big piece on construction of intelligence buildings. Well....DISA got tossed into this deal as well. It was interesting....because not only are we not intelligence folks....but we were ordered to relocate by congress as part of the base realignment plan. There were no options. So my headquarters out of DC.....was told to pack up and build up a facility at Fort Meade....around sixty miles away near Baltimore. Naturally, the Post didn't mentioned any of that.

I looked over the other construction comments....and I noted another five or six base realignment plans in progress....all ordered by congress with no options. Note, the Post guys didn't mention that.

Nor did the Post mention that a number of these construction projects were attempts to consolidate intelligence folks from several sites at one central facility....which made sense, but the Post wasn't bright enough to figure that out.

Then we came to the use of contractors....which they really wanted to show that it was a problem but you kept wondering when they were going to explain why. It was generally a fairly limited answer there.

Then finally, we came to this piece of comparing all the intelligence groups and the various things that each already do internally.....and duplicate things that other folks do. This was a humorous piece.

You see.....if you belong to DEA intelligence.....you have a certain amount of interest in human intelligence around drugs and the drug market. If you work for CENTCOM, you have a certain amount of interest in human intelligence around the Middle East. If you work for SOUTHCOM, you have an interest in human intelligence around Central and South America.

Well...the Post folks wanted you to think that consolidating pieces of human intelligence or the various other pieces here....made great sense. The problem with this idea is that you end up with this massive headquarters complex producing "vanilla" human intelligence thats supposed to make CENTCOM, SOUTHCOM and DEA happy.....but it won't. Each needs certain things analyzed in a certain way and delivered in a certain way. So this Wal-Mart approach to things....like the Post would like to suggest....won't work.

Yeah.....the Post is really happy about this effort and put probably 1,000 man-hours into this massive piece and the anticipated articles to come over the next month or two.

I wondered who exactly was feeding them their "facts" and what the anticipated changes were that the feeder wanted to accomplish. The Post has some agenda....whether they know or not. Obviously, this waste of man-hours was worth it for someone.

The Post has issues. Every month, I question why I ever subscribed with them.....and wish that six-month subscription would come to an end.

John Edwards

It's been decided now that a movie will be made about John Edwards and his vast political career....and his affair.

When I read this over the weekend....I sat there and kept thinking....who would watch something like this?

If you had a choice of the John Edwards movie or Hee Haw from 1974....you'd pick Hee Haw.

If you had a choice of watching Columbo in Spanish or watching the John Edwards movie....you'd pick Columbo.

If you had a choice of watching a three-hour documentary over Peruvian witch-doctors curing folks of hemorrhoids or watching the John Edwards movie....you'd pick the documentary.

The question will be....where is it played? The theater circuit is just about zero on this. I can't see CBS or NBC or ABC paying for something like this. TBS won't touch it. The Showtime or HBO guys might be stupid to touch it. Then you only have the USA Network folks or the Lifetime channel.

I'd be guessing less than 250,000 folks watch it on premier night. And half of them will likely turn the channel by the half-way point to all-star wrestling.

There's just no interest in John Edwards. The funny thing here.....is that John was fired up and possibly in contention at one point to be the VP. Yes, instead of Joe Biden.....we could have had John Edwards. Then things kinda fell apart as his vast love life came into the big circle.

I remember the big fight at Wiki.....folks trying to get comments from the news into Wiki and the editors fighting them off and saying that you can't print such matters unless the BIG media says it's true. Then CNN caved in and the whole story was fact from that point on. Wiki eventually put the whole story out.....and the rest is history now.

So, sometime next summer....there will be the John Edwards story. I do have pity on you folks who have nothing better to do than watch it. My advice? Every time that the John character looks into the camera and says something stupid.....toss a shot of Jacky D's down. Maybe by the half-way point...you'll be drunk enough to remember little about the movie.

The Bama Tuition Game

There's an interesting note over on Alabama news today...about college tuition. Folks have kinda woke up and realized that the cost is soaring...to go to college.

Bama's A&M tuition went up from $2,332 for two semesters to $6,976.....over a ten-year period. The folks over at UAH.....jumped from $2,942 to $7,492.

Where does the cost come from? Well.....you have retirement from the professors and staff that has gone up each and every year. Then toss in the building maintenance and utilities cost.

Stopping the rise? It's practically impossible. You could influence the problem by maxing out on classes each semester.....which means taking six course instead five. There's a deal where you can max out and get the sixth class typically for free....but most students wouldn't dare cram another class into their schedule.

My advice? Start the first year over at your local community college and get the basics done for half the price that the big Bama colleges would charge. Make the kid live at home and eat supper there. Entice them....into saving a couple of thousand for the first year. It's true....they will miss out on booze, parties and real football. But they will have a chance to save some money and actually get the better grades for the first year.

Where will we be in five years? A higher tuition of course. At some point, it'll be $10k for a kid to pay just for tuition only at Auburn.....not even counting room & board or expenses. Then Jimmy Joe will cost you $24k for everything from a car, gas, beer, pizza, tuition, board, and date money. And you will wonder how an honest guy from Bama can hand Jimmy Joe $100k for four years of college. That would have paid for a house, or five new Ford F-150s or a bar-b-q shack out in Cullman.

Something ain't right about this....except the kid will get discount football tickets for you. And maybe that's what really matters.....if we are talking about Auburn or University of Alabama.