Off Topic: Hosting Suggestions?

I've been with InMotion Hosting for a while, and have been unimpressed (to be polite).  In point of fact, I've not been impressed with their security, and (with a few exceptions cheerfully noted to them) with their service, customer or technical.  After finding myself blocked from posting to my site(s) again this morning because they failed to log something dealt with months ago, and said blocking potentially costing me some work as well as wasting time and money, well...

So, thought I would ask your opinions of hosting providers and domain registrars.  Sound off in the comments, or feel free to look over on the right and e-mail me (yes, it really is there). 


General Odierno Defends The Honor of His Command

Congressman Duncan Hunter is a former Marine officer and the son of a veteran of the 75th Rangers during the Vietnam era, so nobody thinks he's a bad guy.  But Congress can tell on even the best man, and recently he made the mistake of trying to set up General Odierno's staff to look either hapless or unconcerned about the fate of troops in the field.  It provoked one of the most intense responses I've ever seen from a military officer testifying before Congress.

See for yourself.  The issue at stake is the Distributed Common Ground System-Army (DCGS-A), which Rep. Hunter would like to derail in favor of a product produced by Palantir.  

A lot of people have made much of the fact that Palantir is a Silicone Valley startup, and Rep. Hunter is from California.  But Palantir is free to lobby Congressmen from their state, and Rep. Hunter is free to support a system he thinks is better for a constituent.  That's part of our system.

What is improper is for a Congressman to compel a general officer to sit silently while that Congressman suggests he or his command are insensitive to the needs of the men in the field.  To raise the suggestion is not itself bad, because Congress has a duty to oversee the military on just that point.  What Rep. Hunter intended was to make the accusation without permitting a response, as he admits:

HUNTER: If you don’t let me say anything, we can’t have a conversation.
ODIERNO: Well, you weren’t gonna let us say anything.
HUNTER: Well, you — you’re right, but I have that prerogative when I’m sittin’ up here.

Rep. Hunter questioned the honor of every man and woman in General Odierno's command, and expected him to sit silently for it.  The general refused to let the slander stand without objection.  Good for him.

An Internet Meme You Should Meet

Well, Blackfive is out of the office, but someone has to sleep on the office floor after early celebrations staff the duty post.  Since I got the detail, I thought I would introduce you to someone you should know. 

The image is one of several that have become iconic.  Many of them were shot by the talented Oleg Volk, and start with her as a very young girl. 

Well, she is now 15 (so down boys!) and I would point out that she not only knows modern and ancient weapons, but also a fair bit of hand-to-hand and will whip your rears in almost any music competition too.  Fair warning, she's also Mad Mike's daughter. 

If you want to know a bit more about what it's like to be an internet meme sensation, and more, go here and read what I think is her first interview.  I can tell you that it is a true pleasure to know her, and to have loaned her duct tape for an impromptu art project (and learned to ask why she wants something in the process).  Go read a nice interview with a smart and talented young lady.


A Favor To Ask

Bumping:  You can vote once a day on the cheerleader competition, and I hope you will do so.  Thanks to you, the dynamic crew of readers at TAH, and the strong efforts by WOTN, she has moved up the rankings.  Now, let's pour it on and put her in the lead.  Thank you all so much!  And thanks to LC, who won the comment of the day yesterday.  *G*

The daughter of a friend has the chance to become an Indianapolis Colts cheerleader.  Now, this is a nice young lady from my meeting her a few times, her mom is a very nice lady who happens to work in a place where they are doing research that might just help those injured on the battlefield, and, this won't cost a dime or even a registration.  All you have to do is go here and click vote for Kaiti C. You have scroll down, and click, that is it.  You can also vote once a day for as long as the contest runs. 

For those on Facebook, a countermeme and a nice bit of social commentary from Friend of Blackfive Mad Mike WIlliamson: If This Page Gets 1 Million Likes My Cat Gets A Pound Of Bacon.  Please, if you are on Facebook, click like for the kitty!  And the bacon!! 

Please share these as you can, and I really appreciate the votes for Kaiti C


also, follow me on Facebook at TheRealLaughingWolf

Where Is Sgt. Zuckerberg?

Okay, the article I recommend you read -- especially if you are a PAO -- is "Where is Lt. Zuckerberg" but I am going to go with my biases in regards rank (this or CPT).

The article looks at the currently abysmal military landscape in regards new media, social media, and how to harness same.  And, to call that landscape abysmal is being diplomatic.  While some in combat arms saw the potential and worked to harness it to accomplish the mission, many more did not, and the further away you got from the tip of the spear, and the less it is understood.  In fact, I would say that in my experience many in leadership away from the tip have at best an understanding of media and media economics based somewhere in the 1950s.  There will be more to come, including one article I wish I did not have to write, as some of this is explored.  Blackfive, and others here, provided input into what was to be the guiding article on social and new media policy, but what was recommended by us (and by military leadership at the tip) is not what was done.  The article does a good job of highlighting the conflicting guidance that stymies not just those on the outside, but those on the inside who are trying to understand and create an effective policy.

As for the title, I know the author is trying to imply a young visionary, who knows the subject, filled with drive.  That said, I think that what he is attempting to imply is better served with a private than a butterbar, in part because the lower enlisted ranks truly use social and new media, and have a far better intuitive understanding -- if not actual or academic understanding -- than most young officers I've met.  I also think that truly making change for the better is going to take some seasoning and knowledge of the system -- which means you need SGT or CPT in my opinion, for they would still have the knowledge and drive to go with an understanding of the system and how to push, as well as how to break the system a la Mitchell.  As a point on that, note the bio of the author.  Just my bias and thoughts...

Please go read, and if you are military leadership, you really do need to read this. 


As always, thanks to my sponsors:  MilitaryLuggage.com and B.N. Shape Clothing!  Also, thanks to the fine folks at Kickify for bringing the article to my attention.

It's Not Me, It's You

But in a good way.  Long story short, between hacking old and possibly new, plus a server migration, plus some other issues, my site The Laughing Wolf is dead.  Well, the software that drove it is dead, stiff as a board, deceased, and other such words. 

So, The Laughing Wolf is reborn with new software.  Sadly, some things happened to keep me from rescuing all the old posts (at least for now), so we are starting over.  

That's where it's all you, and about you.  Comments are once again enabled, but what I need to know is what you would like to see on the site.  Items, features, widgets, and more -- what do you want to see there as the real users of the site?  Where do you want it?  Let me know, and in my copious free time I will do my best to get done what I can so the site is user friendly.  I post, but you are the user, so let me know. 

And, yeah, I was hoping to be in Afghanistan by Christmas, but that did not work out.  As I noted earlier, the high-level PAO now involved says it will be early January before they get things worked out.  Not having heard from them, I presume that is still a go and operating accordingly.  That said, I've also put out th word that I do have ITOs, and if someone else wants an embed to please let me know.  I may have missed Christmas, but New Year's is still possible for a unit that can think and move quickly.  Want to know more, check out this post.  Meantime, let me know what you would like to see on the "new" site. 


The Economist's _Modern Warfare, Intelligence and Deterrence_ -- a Review

The Economist magazine is, famously, the magazine you are supposed to claim to read if you are ever granted a job interview by the CIA.  When they asked us here at BLACKFIVE to review their latest book -- it is chiefly a conglomeration of articles on military and intelligence technologies -- they were quick to mention that Xinhua has purchased the Chinese translation rights.  This is one of those pleasant games that intelligence and military professionals play:  we know that the Chinese leadership will have already read the articles, since they will have read them in the Economist's print run; so the purpose of the Chinese edition of this book will be to push these articles down to the lower-level functionaries and officers who do not read the magazine.  Thus, we should make sure to purchase lots of copies of this book as well, in order to make sure that our officers' corps understands what the Chinese are thinking....

I admire the clever maneuver by their marketing branch, which is worthy of a PSYOP/MISO officer.  So, what will the Chinese be learning if they read this book?  

Continue reading "The Economist's _Modern Warfare, Intelligence and Deterrence_ -- a Review" »