May 27, 2002
My blog, and my nom de blog

While looking through my referral logs, I saw a referral from a site with which I am unfamiliar: So, of course, I headed over to check it out. I discovered that the writer (who appears to be leftist, but literate and thoughtful) misses Sgt. Stryker (since the sarge has hung his uniform up and is wearing only his civvies). She has started a list of military blogs. Well, I'm not sure if I fit the bill. Sure, I'm military, but most of my views are independent of my job; I'd hold these views even if I were an accountant in Topeka. Sgt. Stryker was different—his posts were more explicitly about military views and the impact of politics upon the armed forces. I write about my job occasionally, but it is not the central focus of my blog, and that is not likely to change.

She also notes the fact that I write under a pseudonym (and presumably won't be getting any hits from Charles Murtaugh),and points out one other (non-military) pseudonymous blog, The Man Without Qualities. I've discussed my reasons for writing under a pseudonym, and don't use it as a cover to slag others (I'd be just as vitriolic at those with whom I disagree if I was using my real name). However, posts such as the one I wrote last night, in which I criticized President Bush's trade policy, can literally jeopardize my job. I'm not likely to get kicked out, but I could be reprimanded, which would stop any chance I have to advance further. A Marine major was punished for criticizing then-President Clinton after the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke in 1998; his views were published (under his own name) in the Navy Times, and the powers-that-be came down upon him. I'd rather not have the same happen to me, thankyouverymuch. The pseudonym allows me a little freedom, although I doubt it would protect me against serious misconduct.

posted on May 27, 2002 05:50 PM


That sounds like a sound policy. :) By the way, I realize that I haven't added your blog to my list. I've been a lazy, lazy blogger! At least I've added you to my IE favorites so I'll remember to add you to the list, when I get around to it...

posted by Andrea Harris on May 28, 2002 12:13 AM

I see you've updated. Thanks for the link!

When I get home I'll move you up to the "bloggers who know I exist" section. (grin)

posted by scutum on May 28, 2002 02:59 PM

I think we've all heard the arguments on both sides of the pseudonym issue. For my part, I figure that if you're using a nom de blog and you still answer your mail, you're not ducking responsibility for your posts, as some of the anti-pseudonym types claim.

I use my own name, but this is because (1) I've had 49 years to memorize it by now and (2) I'm really too old to give a [expletive of your choice].

posted by CGHill on May 29, 2002 04:08 PM

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