Sunday, December 20, 2009

Weekly Roundup

Okay, the way I'm going, it's more of a monthly round up. Whatever.
First, the weather every where else blows so much (no pun intended), it prompted me to put the "local weather" tab onto the blog. Okay, so we get the snot knocked out of us every hurricane season; there is an upside. Not only did I go for a lovely run yesterday, I actually had to wear a long sleeve T-shirt when I did. Brrr, bitches.
Speaking of running, regular readers know that I'm firmly in the "running is da debbil" camp. However, I just finished McDougall's Born to Run, and I'm now willing to posit that maybe it's just that "running in running shoes is da debbil." The book answers the question "what's the difference between a long distance runner and a pronghorn"--pretty effectively, I might add. So, I'm trying to re-train my feet and investigate our roots as persistence hunters,. Interesting, and I can report no orthopedic injuries thus far. We'll see. A single injury and I'm going right back to "running" just twice a year, in two mile iterations. And yes, I'm running only in my monkey shoes.
Picked up from Starbuck on the trials and tribulations of Master Sergeant Grisham. I'm not going to comment on Grisham's plight, Starbuck and Blackfive have got it covered, with all appropriate links. But, two thoughts about the overall atmospherics of milblogging and the milbloggers' response of a blackout.
1. Blackfive astutely observes that
milblogs are facing an increasingly hostile environment from within the military. While senior leadership has embraced blogging and social media, many field grade officers and senior NCOs do not embrace the concept. From general apathy in not wanting to deal with the issue to outright hostility to it, many commands are not only failing to support such activities, but are aggressively acting against active duty milbloggers, milspouses, and others. The number of such incidents appears to be growing, with milbloggers receiving reprimands, verbal and written, not only for their activities but those of spouses and supporters.

Uh, so is anyone surprised that the ranks of Army middle management has a significant demographic comprised of anal-retentive, control-freak, self-righteous pricks? That's the environment that we all work in, and whether we're blogging, or leading our troops, or following our leaders. One can see this demographic at work whether one is blogging, designing a CONOP for the liberation of Iraq, or briefing the dental readiness of one's unit. Deal with it. One can either participate, trying hard to be one of the "good guys," or one can withdraw. Either way, it's the Army's bat, ball, and rules, and to paraphrase Heinlein "of course the game is rigged, but if you don't play, you can't win."

2. If the objectionable goal of the anal-retentive, control-freak, self-righteous pricks is to get milbloggers to STFU and color, why are milblogs protesting by S'ing TFU? Seems to me this is an opportunity to point out ostensible disconnects between senior leadership and middle management (and yeah, as a field grade officer, I detest the term "middle management" WRT field grade officers, I do it just to kick myself in the balls and stay humble). Are any milbloggers out there digging deeper than the facts presented in the Military Times (I'd trust the poop I got from a military professional blogging on his own time than a journalist, nine times out of ten)? Has anyone queried Grisham's chain of command to find out why they're hanging him out to dry? In fact, has anyone queried them requesting a for-attribution quote in a...milblog? Heh, that would torque them up a bit.

All military professionals know that their freedom of speech is constrained, usually for all kinds of good reasons, like good order and discipline and OPSEC. That doesn't mean we have no means by which to throw a bullshit flag. It's just that in my (admittedly limited) experience, going silent is seldom the way to address a problem or injustice.

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