Dognapping in Columbia Heights

A frantic woman stopped me on the street yesterday to ask about her dog that had been playing in her back yard on 11th street. She let the cocker spaniel play in the fenced back yard and someone broke the lock and took the dog.

We had a dog that was stolen out of our backyard, too. It was about five years ago. We had only had him for a few days when he had been taken.

It was devastating.

You'd like to think that life in Columbia Heights isn't as rough as it used to be. Certainly it looks better: no teenage drug dealers standing on every corner, all night long; the trash men actually pick up the trash; fewer abandoned buildings; no empty lots filled with trash and broken glass. When construction on the GIant grocery store started, that entire block was one field of tall grass. Upon cutting that grass, the builders discovered a man living in a hut in the middle of what would become the parking garage for the Giant. Ahh, those were the days. People used to slide under the broken chain link fences with their dogs to have them run around and catch balls.

But outward appearances are misleading. We feel so much better now that we can go to a decent grocery store and furnish our homes within a few blocks of where we live. Restaurants are here now. They didn't use to be.

It's so easy to be fooled.

This is still an urban, changing, neighborhood. And the old crime is still here. Like stealing people's dogs out of their backyards and selling them to people on the street. Or worse.


Go Bermuda!

Four Chinese Uighurs now have a place to call home: Bermuda. One wonders what the deal was on that one, but never mind.

It is heartening to think that some of the falsely imprisoned Uighurs now have a nice place to stay, a country where they will not be persecuted, and a population that welcomes them.

And congrats to Bermuda for the guts to stand up to Chinese pressure and threats to take these former Guantanamo Bay prisoners to begin with. The cry and panic of American politicians, and people, are really put to shame by the decent actions of the Bermudian government.

What does it say that the small country of Bermuda is willing to take in these non-terrorists - and that's in the definition of the U.S. Government - and ours falls into hysterics at the idea of it? To me, it says Americans enjoy being terrified. If there is no one there, they will make them up.

Culturally, it started with the Cold War. We had to keep the pressure for that huge amount of spending going, and stoking the terror of the American public did the trick. Then that ended and the terror became crime. Crime, crime, crime. Americans were terrified about crime, although the level of crime had been going down. That didn't stop anybody. There was a fear-mongering machine in place and they needed to do something. Then 9-11 the tragedy. Easy to find a target there. And it has been going ever since.

After all, there's lots of contracting dollars to be made. And public willingness to spend it is essential.


David Carradine's Death - Don't Tell Me!

I am sorry to hear about David Carradine's untimely death. Really I am. But is it really necessary for us to know all the kinky details?

No it is not. Not even reading any of the articles, I have reached my kinky limit on the headlines alone. Now there's fishnet stockings. Auto-asphyxiation. Other weird stuff.

How about we leave the poor guy alone? People have a right to die in peace without every aspect of their private lives being slobberingly reviewed by the entire world.

Under U.S. law, there is no privacy after death. We should consider a law to change that. Some things are not news and don't really need to be known by anyone other than intimate partners.