Studying the effectiveness of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Facebook page

March 29, 2011

For a recent school assignment, I created a public policy research proposal that would study the effectiveness of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Facebook page in providing information on how veterans can access benefits and services.

Not a week later, this blog entry comes from the VA’s official blog about exactly what my paper was about. See my paper proposal below.

The topic brings up very relative thinking on the subject of wholesale transferring our communications systems to social media. Will people be able to find and access the information if its posted to an organization’s Facebook wall? Are there limitations to how far the federal government should go in using social media, as security is a top priority? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them.

Facebook Effectiveness: Getting Veterans What They Need


Nearly 24 million veterans are eligible for benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans can receive funding for education, health care, mortgages and burial services, to name a few. However, not every veteran takes advantage of his or her eligible benefits.  For example, a third-party report by the Department of Veterans Affairs Home Loan Program found that less than 10 percent of eligible veterans were taking advantage of their home loan benefits (Economic Systems Inc., ORC Macro, The Hay Group, 2004).

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President Bush’s pluralistic ignorance toward Iraq

December 23, 2008

After Saddam Hussein was ousted from power and sent into hiding in “spider holes,” the American media and public believed that the Iraqi citizens would shower the United States military with “rice and roses.” But there was no real enjoyment for U.S. troops to be in Iraq: instead of cries of liberation, there were shouts of occupation, and it seems that along with the roses were also homemade bombs and improved explosive devices. The American government’s ethnocentric view to Iraq and the Middle East in general created a pluralistic ignorance phenomenon for many Americans, which has kept public opinion relatively high in America, while the Iraqi people hate us for being there.

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The Souls of Military Folks

October 23, 2008

You are about to read a paper I submitted for a Poltiical Science class I took last year at the University of Washington. The class was American Political Thought: 1865-Present, and was a survey of the political/economical/social thinking of America’s foremost leaders. In this paper, I wrote about W.E.B. Du Bois “The Souls of Black Folk”, and Du Bois’ emphasis of double consciousness for African Americans, which is a term he used to discuss how African Americans see themselves in a white world. I ran with this idea and wrote about how today’s military has developed its own double consciousness. If we continue on the present track of having our troops deploy to combat two, three, four, five, even six times, we are creating a small minority of Americans who will not be like you or I. All I can say to the stupidity of the Iraq war is – What if it was your child? Your son or daughter? With less than 2 million Americans (the writer included) having served in Iraq, and more than 350 million people in this country, shouldn’t more of a burden be placed on others? Hasn’t our military done enough? Why don’t we save some money (like $10 billion a month), bring them home, let them have more than a year to spend with their families before redeploying them back, and start the rebuilding and restructuring our military needs so that when the next big war happens (it hasn’t yet,) they will be able to fight effectively and adequately. “We go to war with the Army we have” – Donald Rumsfeld. To that, I say “No, we go to war with the very best or we don’t go at all.”

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Veterans hope presidential candidates are listening

October 17, 2008

Last night’s debate was “more of the same” from our presidential candidates:

We didn’t hear about Jim and Jane the veterans because they have either been recalled out of the IRR after already deploying several times, recuperating in a post or VA hospital near you, or just trying to fit back into normal civilian society. Veterans are only mentioned by politicians to get votes – its the race to the bottom to see who is the vets’ best friend. I wish Obama had mentioned McCain earning a rank of “D” for support of veterans issues, especially when he claims he is the best friend a veteran can have. McCai will be another third term for Bush – another president that says he supports the troops, but fails to act on it. If there were 17 million veterans instead of 1.7 million, this election would have a much different feel to it. Would the veterans voting debacle almost have happened in Ohio if this was the case? I don’t think so… We all owe IAVA a debt of gratitude for protecting our brotherts and sisters in arms’ right to vote as they perform the true act of citizenry: serving our nation in the military.  Read the rest of this entry »

Brett Favre is a Jet – so let’s make some money!

August 7, 2008

Now that Brett Favre has been traded to the New York Jets, I am going to pre-order Madden NFL ’09 and NEVER OPEN IT. Here’s why: typically, the best player of the previous year gets to be graced on the cover of the upcoming year’s Madden NFL game. Such notable players as Michael Vick, Vince Young and Shaun Alexander have all taken center-stage for the popular franchise. However, there is a curse attached to the game – any player who is placed on the cover ends up either getting hurt during the season or performs well below their usual standard.

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Iran and U.S. use same tactics to drum up support for war

July 10, 2008

Instead of just showing the three rockets, which would have been scary enough, Iran’s state news agency desides to digitally insert a fourth one, as the New York Times “The Lede” reports today. Read the rest of this entry »

Bittersweet weekend: I graduate, Tim Russert dies

June 16, 2008

Throughout the past year, I had one long-term and one short-term goal to fulfill. My long-term goal was get my degree completed. My short-term goal was to watch Tim Russert on “Meet the Press.”

This weekend, I completed the long-term goal: I graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree. I majored in Communications-Journalism and Political Science, and minored in History. Read the rest of this entry »