Before now poetry has taken notice
Of wars, and what are wars but politics
Transformed from chronic to acute and bloody?
from "Build Soil"
Robert Frost

Thursday, September 24, 2009


The Department of Defense may soon be releasing a comprehensive policy for social media. This would most likely include blogging, as well as Facebook and other social networking sites.

ROBERTS: And what is the current Pentagon policy on social media?

Mr. FLOYD: It currently doesn't exist. Right now, there is no policy on working with or in social networking sites or media. It's currently under review. It's on course to be finished within about two weeks, or at the end of the month, it's supposed to be done, presented to the leadership and a decision made. And that decision is supposed to be pushed out to all the combatant commands and all the people in the Defense Department soon after.

The entire segment is interesting. I'd never even heard of this, but it doesn't surprise me one bit:

Mr. SHACHTMAN: …and to other things. But the funny thing about the military policy is that it's really contradictory. And that's why the review, like the one Price has been talking about, is so important. For example, not only was - were many bases blocking YouTube because it took up too much bandwidth, they're also blocking the Defense Department's own answer to YouTube, which is a low bandwidth, totally secure, safe, no-bad-stuff version called TroopTube. They were blocking both YouTube and this military alternative. So, it just goes to show that, you know, when the military's blocking its own video-sharing site, we need a cleaner policy.

I'm hopeful that the policy, once it is established, will allow Acute Politics to continue posting the next time I find myself in a combat zone. That likely won't be for some time yet, but I'm still a part of the military, and there are still two wars being fought.

In the meantime, I've been reading a lot. I recently received copy of Racing Toward Armageddon, by Michael Baigent. I found most of the book familiar (it's often a rehash of previous dire warnings about apocalyptic cults). I grew up in a religious home; I've always disliked religious fundamentalism, and this book re-enforced that. Still, there's not a lot new here.
I also flipped through The Audacity of Help: Obama's Economic Plan and the Remaking of America, by John Wasik. Despite the title, the author remains fairly apolitical, which I like. Wasik examines the campaign promises of the President, the proposed legislation, and the bills that Congress actually passed. He then explores who benefits and who loses in each piece of legislation. It's not for everyone, but the author seems to have actually read through the legislation. Maybe we should send him to Congress.

Staff Sergeant George Nickel is still sitting in jail. For those of you who asked about his dog, Spike is safe in the care of family friends. George will appear in court today for a second hearing- I won't be able to go, but I'll post an update afterwards.

The Idaho Veterans Network has been great throughout all of this. They have continued to raise money for a legal defense fund, and they will soon be putting on a charity auction for that fund. I know that there have been some guns donated for the auction by fellow veterans, and it sounds like there may be some other large ticket items as well. When I find out a firm date for the auction, I'll post it.

In the meantime, if you would like to send George a letter of support, shoot an email to me at acutepolitics at gmail dot com and I'll bundle them for forwarding on to him.

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