Archive for April, 2007

  The Milblog Study – Part II

Posted by Yankee Sailor on 27Apr07.

Sean Lawson’s second question about milblogging concerns how the practice has changed over time, both for me individually and in the wider world of milbloggers. For those of you that missed the previous post in this series, click on the “Blogging” category link above.

For my own part, what I’ve been able to do has ebbed and flowed with time. Most frequently this is because of who I am and what I’m doing in the Navy. If I were a second class petty officer on a ship out of Norfolk, the odds of someone fingering me would be small and I’d be more free to comment on some things. But, as a fairly senior officer serving in a unique position in the Navy worldwide, the veil of anonymity is thin and fragile.

And anonymity, for me at least, is not about being able to say things that are outside of the rules. It has to do with being able to do my job without worrying that my boss is reading my blog and agrees or disagrees with me. And it’s also about not having to worry about whether subordinates and peers do so, either. So long as I blog with anonymity, my blogging introduces no additional pressures on my work from above or below.

Finally, as fellow milbloggers have come and gone due to the institutional pressure of balancing freedom of expression with military law and regulations, I’ve tailored my content to ensure I’m on the right side of the rules. Some call it censorship, but I call it survival, because for me at least, while the validity of my opinions matter, I blog because I like it and because I think it serves a purpose, not because I have an axe to grind.

With respect to milblogging in general, the practice has, of course, been altered by the aforementioned institutional pressures. Most milbloggers are more cautious about the things they post now than was the case two or three years ago. Also, I think most of the “big names” in milblogging these days are mostly retired or reserve folks, because they have the freedom to be more ontroversial. In other words, they can really talk politics, and politics gets the real traffic in the Blogosphere.

You won’t find people like me, Lex , Chap or Phibian climbing way out on a political limb, because I suspect we all believe that what we can contribute on the deckplates while wearing the cloth of the country is far greater for the time being than what we can contribute with the finest piece of writing posted to the ether of the Internet.

Trackposted to Perri Nelson’s Website , Diary of the Mad Pigeon , , basil’s blog , Pirate’s Cove , Blue Star Chronicles , The Pink Flamingo , The Amboy Times , High Desert Wanderer , Conservative Cat , Right Voices , and Pursuing Holiness , thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe .

  Remembering the “Lost Veterans” of the Merchant Marine

Posted by Yankee Sailor on 27Apr07.

The Port Arthur News has a nice, if short, story about WWII veterans of the U.S. Merchant Marine that is worth a read. Their sacrifice, as told in the story , is usually overlooked but worthy of note:

However, as rough as [former U.S. Merchant Mariner Carroll] LaCour’s experience was on the open seas, he points out that his branch of service had the highest casualty rate in the war. In fact, according to statistics from the Apostleship of the Sea of the United States of America, one in 26 mariners were killed in action, 1,500 ships sunk, 9,300 mariners were killed and 12,000 wounded. In addition, 243 were killed in action prior to Pearl Harbor and were among the first Prisoners of War. They were also among the last to return with 54 ships damaged by mines after V-E and V-J Day.

In addition, there is an effort in both houses of Congress to grant veterans of the USMM that other branches of the service already enjoy.

It is with this backdrop that LaCour said he doesn’t want the focus to be on him, but on their sacrifices. He’s also asking citizens to contact their congressmen and senators to urge them to support House Bill HR23 and Senate Bill 1272.

The House version would provide World War II merchant mariners who were awarded the Mariners Medal be provided eligibility for veterans’ health care on the same basis as veterans who were awarded the Purple Heart.

Trackbacked to Mudville and Argghhh !

  Friday Open Post

Posted by Yankee Sailor on 27Apr07.

I’ve got another full weekend off, so I’ll only be moderating comments and open posts over the weekend.

  The Spam Problem

Posted by Yankee Sailor on 27Apr07.

When I pulled up the admin page for my blog this morning, I got this message:

Akismet has caught 2,098 spam for you since you first installed it.

Gah! That’s in one week.

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