From the Ranch

From the Ranch

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Let's Talk About Motive Here...

I've spent some time in the learning curve on social media now.  I had just considered it a "for fun" thing, but in the light of a revolution organizing on twitter and facebook, the realities have hit me.  That brings up for me that perhaps we should all carefully consider the credibility and motivations of some individuals I have noted declaring themselves whistle blowers and loudly blogging to the whole world about corruption that,  according to them, they are the only ones noting.   Some of these folks have not officially declared themselves whistle blowers, they insinuate they are just keeping an eye on everything for the rest of us on topics everywhere from "which toilet paper really is best," to "who should be running the government and why."  Many of these watch dog individuals seem to be motivated by passionate hearts concerning what they write about, and bringing about honor and integrity in the organizations they criticize, and others, not so much so .

I have also noted that there are some who, tweet, blog, write, and pontificate on subjects they feel draw an audience, and their motivations seem to come from personal gain.  One of my in-laws pointed out a site to me that I visited and found full of criticism for private contractors and the military as they are involved in the War on Terror.  I am not naive enough to think that corruption isn't rampant, however, some of these bloggers seem to be more into making a dollar than making things better.  Many writers, some without any immediate ties to the military, or other entities or organizations they criticise, that I can discern, seem to take up criticism as a profession.  

When I begin to question their motives for certain is when they post methods in which you can electronically send them money in support of their work at monitoring whatever they have taken up as their cause.  One such blogger that I really find a questionable champion is Ms. Sparky.  Her site can be found at this link:

She describes herself as a "stay at home grandma, who is homeschooling her grand-son," and also describes herself as a "licensed journeyman electrician who spent time working in the green zone in Baghdad," as she documents while giving her work history.  Then she describes her blog in these words...

"As for my blog….I blog about whatever I choose. It could be something cute my grandson did one day, complaining about the deer eating my roses the next, crying over electrocuted soldiers and ranting about and the Pentagon the next. In the last year or so it has been more ranting about the DoD and their contractors than anything! My blog has no agenda other than sharing the things I am passionate about with my family, friends and dedicated readers.

My blog is not one of those rainbow and butterflies blogs. I say what I mean and I mean what I say and the comments on my posts are every bit as interesting as the post itself. Feel free to leave comments."

Her posted motto is,

"I strive to live my life in such a way that when my feet hit the floor in the morning corrupt defense contractors shudder and say 'OH SHIT...SHE'S AWAKE!'" ~ Ms Sparky

This statement seems to be in direct conflict with the previous statement where she says,  "My blog has no agenda other than sharing the things I am passionate about with my family, friends and dedicated readers."  That certainly sounds like the clear expression of an agenda to me.

Far be it from me to criticize anyone who claims to champion those who serve in the military, the American tax payer, and the average guy who is just trying to earn a living and must deal with corrupt big companies who exploit people, or corruption amid the leadership of our country or the military, however, something seems to be not quite right here.

For instance, there is a box where, as I mentioned earlier, you can choose a payment method to "support OUR fight."  Somewhere in there she began using the terms, we, our, etc...  That doesn't quite fit in with that description I find under, "Meet Ms. Sparky," and the stay at home grand-ma thing.

I have known some true "whistle blowers," and generally speaking, the things that define them as whistle blowers are that they stand to "lose" something by "blowing the whistle," and they aren't asking for donations.  They are acting with moral courage to reveal corruption, and doing so results in negative things in their lives, not donations or any other personal gain, to include fame.  Another sign for me that the motivation of an individual probably isn't completely altruistic, is when their writings ignore all positive reports, you won't find much of a positive note in her blog, could it be that deliberately ignoring positive things benefits her in some way?  Ms. Sparky is extremely critical of military personnel who take jobs in the defense industry, which appears to me to be closely associated with people who blog and ask for donations when they retire as a "journeyman electrician" to be a stay at home grand-ma and blog for a living about contractors and the military in the current war effort... maybe it's just me.

I'll be the first to admit, I've known, and do know some generals who aren't worth a plug nickle in a collection of a dozen, but when I type that, nothing nice happens to me.  When I blog about corruption in military leadership, or power mongering, my motive is the young men and women who are serving with honor, those contractors who are doing the same, and the consequences that self-centered service brings to these patriots and their families.  I don't get a pay check, or ask for "a donation for our work."  I suspect she isn't speaking of a donation for an organized 501-C entity, so there probably will be no tax break coming for any donation one might make. 

In fact, my husband, who has worked very hard for the last two years in the area that Ms. Sparky speaks with such authority about, and has actually done things about corruption and the misuse of people and resources, just has a harder time when I write such things.  Let's just say, these words are not going to enhance his career or ability to earn a living anywhere.  I adore my husband, no woman has ever loved any man more, and never would I bring anything negative to his life.  However, I know him, his work, his moral courage, and the personal stand he makes everyday.  He is a colonel, a honor graduate of West Point and The Army War College, an expert in his field, and he and thousands of his counter parts and peers work every day to make things right.  They make visits to FOBs, talk with contractors, the big companies, probe, question, and listen to those serving with the Coalition forces, how does Ms. Sparky think those investigational committees get their information?  It is always in part, provided by honorable leadership in the United States Military, who have nothing to gain, and definitely something to lose.  I know that my husband never backs down because he stands to lose... he just suffers the loss.  That is a far cry in my mind from what Ms. Sparky is doing.  It seems to me that Ms. Sparky is just using people and situations for personal gain.

Of course my husband's 30 years of service, and that of his true "band of brothers," has been spent specifically in part to protect Ms. Sparky's right to blog anything she wants, for any reward she chooses.  Her's is not the only blog I found that made me go ... "Hmmmm," but somehow, her's really struck me in a negative way, probably it was that donation thing....

Perhaps I shall take up a blog that reviews the blogs of the cottage industry bloggers who criticize the military. I think it would be interesting to explore their motives and intentions.  For the most part, the significant part, the military puts their money where their mouth is, not their mouth where their money is...

As for those corrupt generals and big companies, as I often point out, God finds special favor in Soldiers, my theory is their willingness to lay it all on the line is what compels the heart of God, just as He willing laid all on the line.  Again, as I often point out, no other example other than David is required, who never feared giants.  He was a "man after God's own heart," and by the way, apparently a "blogger."  There was a corrupt general in his life for almost the entire time he stood as a Warrior.  When the prophet first came to anoint Saul, he was so shy and humble, he hid in a basket.  By the end of his life, he was so consumed with power that he was erecting statues to himself everywhere, and had spent a great deal of his life trying to hunt down and kill David out of jealousy.  David was a man who was so devoted to Saul, he once stole into the camp where he was sleeping, cut a piece of his garment off to prove he had been there, had opportunity to kill him, and didn't.  When David heard he and his life long friend, and the son of Saul, Jonathan, had been killed in battle, David mourned deeply.  David never lost his loyalty to his general, good Soldiers don't, no matter how flawed their generals  are, it is out of respect to the office, and the strain of responsibilities they know generals bear.  Generals, both men and probably some women, because power mongering is gender neutral,  are powerful people, and sometimes they  and large corporations get by, or so it seems, with terrible things.  However, God always has the final say in judging all lives, contractors, generals, Soldiers, army wives, grand-mothers, and everyone else.  He promises complete justice, and no one stands more powerful than He.  He always delivers, and anyone who gets by in this life, will not in the next, for God sees the hearts of men and women, and by the way Ms. Sparky, He never sleeps.