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Access has been spotty - so this will be brief:

Based on an intramural squabble on Facebook (and some of my own email) have the milblogs jumped the shark and lost focus - getting too anti-Obama, and losing the thread of telling the stories not told?

27 Comments

First one must define the concept of "too Anti-Obama".
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Don't know about sharks, but I could talk to you about "Historical Poppish" stuff.
 
Sly - you answer the question with your question...  ; ^ )
 
As an avid milblog reader there was three kinds of blogs, private snuffy on his deployment and how everything is going, SSGT/LT/Capt how the deployment is going from a leadership perspective and finally blogs like the Argghhh!/Blackfive/Lex/Mudville retired guys lending support etc.

With Facebook and other social media the Privates have stopped creating blogs and moved elsewhere where it is less likely they will get a following beyond family and friends. These blogs also tend to be pretty repetitive over the years.

At the SSGT/LT/Capt. Level Over the years the truly outspoken and good writers eventually cross a line that any employer would not want crossed. LT G., Armor Gideon and a host of others. This has reduced the surviving few to the bland and boring posting news links and commenting or they post so infrequently that they do not get a strong following or seem to have a voice.

The Retired there is a strong current of patriotism and conservative politics in the group so they tending to like Bush even if they hated the fact that he started the war(s). I think a good part of that is Bush is a honest person who truly respected the the Military and all its personnel and it showed in many way. Obama seems really uncomfortable with the military and has no idea how to deal with the average Joe. Add in the policy issues with the current President and you get a whole lot of thoughtful disagreement to outright bashing.

Looking at it over a long time span it really is understandable where we are at. As with all forms of media and entertainment is there a product there that will bring people back and does the source have the drive to keep the blog going for an extended time as one's life changes.
 
Look. I smelled the snakeoil on Xerxes the minute he appeared on the national scene, and I said as much many times.  He has done nothing to convince me he has been washed in water, much less in the blood - no matter his protestations.  My Pop taught me how to recognize a con (he pointed at my brother) and even if he hadn't, I trust the instincts that have served me so well over the course of my (semi) adulthood.  This guy set off so many alarms, bells and whistles (and, no, not the shiny kind, Mr. DeBille) that it sounded like a sci-fi flick when the ship goes to battlestations.  I am reminded of this little parable from Marlon.
If (and that's a big if) and when he does something counter to his *Let them eat cake, I won!* attitude, I'll consider looking at him with something other than cider-proof glasses.   But I believe the planet will split in two long before that ever happens.
   
What Bloodspite said..........present company excluded.

For some though, I think it's difficult to maintain the illusion of being a pure Mil Blog when you also own a PAC.
 
For the record - the Yonster was *not* in my mind when I posted this.  It's a *different* intramural squabble on Facebook!
 
We swore an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign AND DOMESTIC.

The "story not being told" these days is not so much what is happening on the front lines with our brave troops. but with the increasing harmful actions of our Commander in Chief and an irresponsible Congress.

Given the near criminal irresponsibility of the mainstream media in sharing even minor flaws in Obama's actions, statements, thoughts, claims or his background (not the "birther" nonsense) the MILBLOGs should rightly add some focus on the President and his crooked, incompetent or criminal cronies.

Even our Secretary of State has said that our unsustainable spending is a national defense issue, which confirms the legitimacy of MILBLOGS getting out of the trenches and looking for the enemies amongst us.

No need to get over on the Michelle Malkin end of things (which she does quite nicely and with convincing evidence in most cases), but no need to shirk from covering the same issues.

Are we better off today than in November 2008?  Absolutely not!  Is our survival as a freedom loving representative republic with a stable free-market economy in jeopardy?   You betcha!

Our nation lost in Vietnam and turned the deaths of 55,000 of our finest into a meaningless waste because few on the home front dared speak out against the leftists.  Well, the same leftists are destroying our country again, and we must not let them get away with it again! 

Those still in uniform are severly restricted from saying much about the civilian "leadership" but retirees have considerably more freedom and we darn sure need to excercise our freedom of speech to defend our country!


 
To misquote Bill:  "What is this Facebook of which you speak?"

Dammit, we need to get back to Usenet. It was both more anonymous and more secure, and also harder to use, which latter quality kept some of the doo-dahs away.
 
I read A LOT of milblogs before joining the Army, because I was curious about what military life was like. It's a whole different culture, and there is so much that I didn't understand. There is STILL a lot I don't understand.
Then I met Bill, which goes to show you can't be too careful on the Internet, and I pestered him with a lot more Army-questions before I decided to sign my life away.

I think what I'm trying to say is, it would be a shame if all the blogs that are just about military life disappeared. They are a way to connect with a population that really doesn't understand the military, and isn't very involved in the war. John (NTA) has a point, though. Former military have the advantage of knowing both sides, and having the freedom to be completely obnoxious to the Powers That Be.
 
John NTA:

"We swore an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign AND DOMESTIC."

I wholeheartedly agree!

"Our nation lost in Vietnam"

Say whut?  We were winning when I left, (as I recall it, but memories do fade with the years) and I didn't get there until 1970

SAKER:

"I read A LOT of milblogs before joining the Army, because I was curious about what military life was like."

Good thinking.  I went in blind as a bat, knowing nothin other than what my Dad (WW  II) had to say about it:  "They say jump, you ask "How high?" on the way up!"!  Good advice that was!

"Then I met Bill,"

And took the advice of a RLO whose chose to stick with WO status?  Good thinking!

"I decided to sign my life away."

Good on ya!



 
 I agree with dave. Though the milblog has definitely evolved, I still believe that milblogs have a crucial role to play in carrying on a vibrant debate over national policies, especially those that affect the military (institutions AND their people) and overseas deployments. They particularly have  role to play in disseminating interesting and little-known information and counter-opinions that the MSM will not highlight because it doesn't pay or is too politically sensitive for them. They are equally crucial in disseminating information on personnel that are getting screwed by large, inhuman bureaucracies and identifying those who exploit the system for selfish and evil ends....
 
I didn't have time yet to clarify my answer. Your mileage may vary but speaking as a more or less outsider to the Community until its Hey Dey, the MilBlog Community really didn't get in to motion until we went to war back in '01. Now as the combat situation is presented as slowing down in Iraq, and as Afghanistan becomes the focus, the stories that needed to be refuted seem to be less and less. One because the media isn't out to massacre this President. Every decision he makes militarily or politically is not second guessed by the estate. So that leaves folks with a dog in the fight: MilBlogs. We've all seen it first hand and I doubt I'll receive any argument there. Two because Afghanistan until the last year had been going very well. The concern is, I think, not what will we do if given a choice between Afghanistan and the sitting President, but rather what will we do when there is no longer a choice, only the sitting President? Do MilBloggers automatically become political science bloggers? What will we report when the day comes that 80% of our fighting force is in garrison? I think the answer has been shown here to a irrevocably yes regarding the political science question. I think our belief system, the very system that trained us, educated us and provided for us, now that we many of us are out or are no longer at war, forces us to look at the political standard and say "Is this worth fighting for? Is this why I enlisted/went to war/did my best, etc?" Is it a good thing? I am not certain. Historically when former and active military begin questioning their government Bad Things (tm) tend to happen, but granted I am a layman historian so I'm sure experts out there will prove me wrong. Given that ideology however it would explain why this administration has been playing cat and mouse with internal terrorism definitions and accusations for the last year.
 
As an outsider, I started reading milblogs because I wanted to know your perspective.  I was always kind of a peacenik, and didn't really have any familiarity with military folk.  Thanks to milblogs, I found that servicemen and women are much smarter and more well-read than I ever gave you credit for, and are generally smarter, more well-read, more diverse, and more open-minded than the liberals who deride them.

I've learned so much!  I hope some of you remain more mil-oriented and less politics (though they are so intertwined)-oriented.
 
"Then I met Bill,"
And took the advice of a RLO whose chose to stick with WO status? Good thinking!


My advice had a bit more practicality than some she'd received...
 
General John Lejeune (the Leatherneck's Leatherneck) had something to say on this issue.

As military personnel, past and present, it is stupid folly to pretend politics don't matter. That politics are beneath our concern.

That's a rough paraphrase, of course, but it is true.

This whole lazy arsed cop out fhat we as a group/class/whatever shouldn't be most very mindful of whta's going on around us politically is just plain tiried old idiocy.

It's weak sauce.
 
Those who suffer most because of politicians SHOULD care about politics!
 
Those who are sworn to protect and defend both our nation and its bedrock document had damned well better be paying attention to politics.

To do otherwise is to be asleep on duty.

This is doubly true for those of us no longer in uniform. This pretense that politics aint our business is nothing more than a betrayal of our brothers and sisters still in uniform. We screw the pooch as formers then it eventually becomes that duty of the currents to fix what we let laps. We all know we don't want that.

Like I said. Weaksauce heaped super scoops of stupid.
 
This sounds like a good idea except, certain civilians are required to keep their political involvement, limited to only voting. Politics should be kept out of Department of Defense, Justice Department, The Entire Intelligence Community, Department of Homeland Security and the good old, Infernal Revenue Service. If I remember correctly, this is not an Executive Order, but one of Law. Every time politics  gets involved, within that above list, the by-product is like that of a poisonous tree. Every thing after the original involvement of politics, even after an attack on the Nation, leaves the Nation Phuster Clucked. The Nation remains that way, until we go back and correct every thing.

There seems to be a singular view of *Veterans*, but this should be no different then a singular view of the *Military*. Allow each group some space to find their own place, to serve this Great Nation.
 
Officers used to refrain from voting, not because of any laws, but as a point of honor. They did not want to create any conflict of interest in their loyalty.  I recall reading that the first time Dwight Eisenhower ever voted was for himself as President.
 
When a political organization openly admits to lying, stealing, encouraging lawbreaking, and committing outright fraud in the electoral process and takes umbrage when you have the gall to bring that to its attention, and when that political organization has both made deliberate efforts to prevent absentee ballots from reaching deployed troops and actively worked to manipulate those troops' absentee ballots, then honor demands that political organization must be engaged.
 
@BillT, Watergate? 
 
Watergate was nuthin'. The Dems did the same thing to the Goldwater campaign HQ in 1964 and when they got caught, they laughed it off. So did the press.

When Repubs play political hardball, the press screams that it's an existential threat to the nation -- but when the Dems do it, it's "ho-hum" time...
 
@BillT, You're RIGHT! By the way, when does this "political hardball" or "existential threat", in reality becomes *treason*? You don't need to go that far back in time.  

BillT, you're not a bad guy, but I hate this subject! This is the only reason, I don't lash out at the Obama/Biden and Bushes/Cheney with Bush '41's VPOTUS and Clinton/ his VPOTUS, because they're all involved in 'Skull and Bones'. Our political party system is *Phuster-Clucked* on both sides, this is the reason I don't like what I've seen.
 
"Skull and Bones"? Nah, I'm not *that* much of a conspiracy theorist, Grump!
 
"...Nah, I'm not *that* much of a conspiracy theorist, Grump!" BillT, tell me how much of a "conspiracy  theorist' are you?