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June 05, 2006

Acting vice bloviating.

Over at Greyhawk's famously Instalanched post on the media and Haditha, I ran into this from one of the participants, "WW", and it piqued my interest,

As for Murtha, I have yet to see anyone at any of the so-called Milblogs successfully impeach a single thing he has said. Murtha has done absolutely nothing but tell the truth. For that he is fiercely hated by those who, in the words of the whackjob colonel in that movie you all love, "can't handle the truth."

I responded:

Having said all I have to say and therefore falling silent in this - I pipe up to ask...

Apropos of nothing else in the discussion and not trying to move the thread...

WW - why "so-called milblogs" vice "milblogs"?

We return this thread to it's original, rambling gait.

WW responded:

John, I say "so-called Milblogs" because I think the Milblogosphere mainly consists of far-right-wing cranks who use military issues as a means to push their far-right-wing agenda.

The best evidence I can offer is the nearly complete silence from the so-called Milblogs about the horrendous problems in health services for returning veterans. Wouldn't you think that, if these were really "Milblogs," the many problems would get more attention? Nary a peep about it at Mudville, Blackfive or any of the rest. It's all right-wing politics, all the time.

To which I responded (in a long delayed post that popped up late, after the dicsussion moved on:

WW, Dave - speaking only for me (I'm in the tier of milbloggers just below your cited sites)...

I've seen discussions on the paucity and inadequacy of PTSD care.

We've followed the travails of wounded soldiers in the system.

Then, rather than write about it, beat our breasts, and wrap ourselves in smug self-satisfaction for having 'spoken truth to power'... we act. Enough so that it was noticed by the BBC. Chuck Ziegenfuss is a "so-called" milblogger, btw.

We can't fix it all, so we picked something we could fix.

Project Valour-IT

Blackfive, Greyhawk, Smash, Lex, and many others (see Project Valour-IT blogroll at my site) have raised, via our blogs, hundreds of thousands (yes, hundreds of thousands) of dollars for that and other projects which directly benefit the soldiers.

There is a milblog cottage industry on the subject. Soldiers Angels.

We just don't brag about it that much.

And then, just today, I went whacking at Congress (admittedly from the Right, though I'm a RINO, not a card carrying Republican) for their cynical use of the VA laptop theft to propose 1.25 billion, yes, billion, dollars to make the VA provide a service the credit agencies already provide for free. I'll take that 1.25 billion. And put it in the health accounts - like I said - here.

Just sayin'. We might not be talking about it on the blogs because we're *acting* on it.

I'm a retired soldier and a 70% disabled one at that, gents. You betcha we pay attention.

What have you guys done besides bitch in the comments of right-wing bloggers?

Update: I see that WW did respond to my last, directly, I missed it in the mass - I owe it to him to put it up here, rather than add it at the bottom:

John, you're right. And let me answer you. I supported the Iraq War for slightly more than a year. And even since then, believe it or not I continue to donate to charities that help the returning vets and I send care packages through Any Soldier -- along with resolutely non-political greetings, on the theory that the last thing someone over there needs to get is a package full of stuff along with a letter that says, "Oh by the way, I'm against your mission."

Good on ya. Now to pick up the thread again.

And looking around, I see that a lot of us *act* vice just whine about it.

I read the left, I see crie de coeurs about how I should think, and how stupid, mean and venal I am. I see them standing around holding signs, the more extreme of them trashing businesses as they "speak truth to power"

I see them earnestly lay out fevered plans, and organizing organizing organizing.

I see lots and lots and lots of telling me how I'm supposed to think, to live, and how I should just shut up and give the government my money, and call me mean-spirited when I object.

But I don't see a lot of productive "acting". I mostly see lots of organizing and moralizing (even where they implicitly reject that a moral stance is possible, since all things are relative) and finger wagging.

I'm sure there is acting going on. I just don't see it around here that much, and I'm just laying out why you might not see lots of blogging on particular subjects... because people are out *acting* instead.

Heh. Interestingly enough, in addition to blogging, I *act*. I literally put my money where my mouth is.

I've sent money for natural disaster relief here and abroad and encouraged others to do the same. I've helped raise money for military-focused charities. As in hundreds of thousands of dollars via blog-groups.

I am a Rotarian - via that venue I've helped almost completely eradicate polio - and done so in conjunction with... the UN. My club has provided funds for water projects in Panama. Our District has funded many water projects in Panama. This year, in addition to water projects, we're moving into equipping medical clinics. Medical professionals in my fairly right-wing club (we reflect our community) routinely donate of their time in the third world providing medical services - on their own dime, many via their (shudder) churches.

I do Meals on Wheels. I've participated in literacy programs. My club has spent thousands of dollars sending thousands of dollars of school supplies to Army units in Iraq to help re-start Iraqi schools. We give out thousands of dollars in scholarships every year. We participate in Group Study Exchanges by which Rotary International sponsors groups of non-Rotarians who travel to foreign climes to study and we host the foreign groups headed this way.

I sit on the local advisory board of a brand-name charity, helping them deliver services efficiently - and through them and the network of local charities I have a real sense of the level of need in my community.

I sit on the regional parent board of that charity - legally responsible for a 15 million dollar a year charitable effort in northeast Kansas. A charity that spends 91 cents of every dollar on services, not salary or perks.

The firm I work for (full of guys and gals like me in our local office) just raised tens of thousands of dollars for the American Heart Association, by being the people who put together the local Heart Walk, from soup to nuts, with yours truly out whacking signs in the dirt, marking the course.

In other words, I'm fairly well connected in the "acting" portion of our community.

And you know who I *don't* see? Aside from the kids in the local schools getting their community service credits? I don't see a whole bunch of lefties. That's not to say that I don't see liberals - though outside of Johnson County and Lawrence, liberals in Kanas are a pretty muted group - I don't see the kinds of people that I read on lefty blog sites.

I do see the kinds of people I read on right-wing blog sites.

I see people who *act*.

Not just bloviate.

Most of whom are so busy acting, they don't have time to blog. Me, I'm a blog-junkie, I pretty much gave up television in order to feed the monster.

Just sayin'

Like all these fine right-wing, mostly milbloggers who choose to *act* vice just beat their digital chests and fire up a bong.

Speaking of which - why don't you act - right now, and give to Project Valour-IT?

The Following Castle Argghhh! Fighting Fusileers for Freedom! Support Project Valour-IT!