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June 23, 2003
DEATH TOLL MOUNTS FROM TAX CUTSBy Greyhawk
For some time now I've been on the Democratic Party's e-mail list, so I'm aware of whatever issues the left wants to depict as the world-ending-crisis-of-the-moment. The volume of their e-mail has recently risen dramatically, as has the shrillness of their tone. This seems to follow fairly closely on the heels of the Democrats' failure to stop the tax cut, and much of the focus seems to be on the vast evil that said tax cut has perpetrated on the world. They've not yet provided exact numbers on how many women, children, gays, elderly, and other downtrodden minorities have perished as a result of lower taxes, but I expect those figures to arrive in my inbox soon, as the 'alerts' they've sent thus far are of no real concern for the sane and thus aren't "getting the message out™" effectively enough.
The latest barrage arrived over the past weekend, and sadly, the clueless are once again trying vainly to depict themselves as champions of the downtrodden, in this case the U.S. military, who now must suffer because of the evil Republican Overlords' efforts to protect the rich.
GOP Votes to Keep Cuts to Military Housing
Hopefully the double-speak is noted: there is no "cut" to spending on military housing construction; the amount will simply be less then last year. This will not likely cause undue hardship to military families. (Who, by the way, have the option to take a housing allowance and live off-base if they find the quarters inadequate or undesirable. This is one of the many ways a military installation boosts local economies.)
And of course, since the tax cut has been approved, "reducing" it is a ridiculous concept. A tax increase is what this would be, pure and simple. Applaud the responsible forces of moderation that opposed this action.
Please also note the disconnect between the headline and the text; (which the Dems must assume will never be read anyway) housing is only a part of the military construction.
The military, of course, has no union. There are, however, several groups that (among other efforts) lobby Congress on issues of concern to military members. A look at their web pages reveals what those issues are - educational and veterans benefits being at the top of the lists of priorities. The Democrats, if they have any real concern for the well being of the troops, would do well to educate themselves on those issues, rather then dictate what they think the priorities should be.
Of course, that's not what's going on here. This is just another early volley in a multi-pronged attack from the left. Expect that in the future the far left will attempt to foist a "tax hike on the rich" at every opportunity to fund any welfare/human services-related issue beyond levels that current fiscal responsibility will allow. This will come in the form of riders to or provisions within any bill moving through Congress they can possibly get their fingerprints on. As these reckless schemes are defeated by moderates and conservatives in Congress the same type of rhetoric will follow. And those who are denied access to the re-distributed earnings of "the rich" will be depicted as victims of the heartless Republican evil.
Reports on the numbers of dead will soon follow.
Military members are as willing as anyone to tighten their belts when circumstances dictate, demonstrably more so then most. In this case, however, they won't have to. In attempting to portray themselves as protectors of the weak, the extremists in Congress have once again fallen short.
Perhaps the numbers of people willing to be taken in by this irrational rhetoric will dwindle appropriately. One can only hope.
Posted by Greyhawk / June 23, 2003 7:09 AM | Permalink
November 26, 2010
I think anyone who's ever pondered the "comment" option - once only available on blogs and bulletin boards, now ubiquitous on almost any web site - will appreciate this:
The so-called faculty of writing is not so much a faculty of writing as it is a faculty of thinking. When a man says, "I have an idea but I can't express it"; that man hasn't an idea but merely a vague feeling. If a man has a feeling of that kind, and will sit down for a half an hour and persistently try to put into writing what he feels, the probabilities are at least 90 percent that he will either be able to record it, or else realize that he has no idea at all. In either case, he will do himself a benefit.
That's wisdom from the past, captured for posterity at the US Naval Institute, shared via the web on the institute's 137th anniversary.
From their about page:
"The Naval Institute has three core activities," among them, History and Preservation:
The Naval Institute also has recently introduced Americans at War, a living history of Americans at war in their own words and from their own experiences. These 90-second vignettes convey powerful stories of inspiration, pride, and patriotism.
Take a look at the collection, and you'll see it's not limited to accounts from those who served on ships at sea, members of the other branches are well-represented.
I'm fortunate to have met USNI's Mary Ripley, she's responsible for the institute's oral history program (and she's the daughter of the late John Ripley, whose story is told here). She also deserves much credit for their blog. ("We're not the Navy nor any government agency. Blog and comment freely.") We met at a milblog conference - Mary knew (and I would come to realize) that milbloggers are the 21st-century version of exactly what the US Naval Institute is all about. Once that light bulb came on in my head, I mentioned a vague idea for a project to her - milblogs as the 21st century oral history that they are.
"Put that in writing," she said (of course - see first paragraph above!) - and here's part of the result.
Shortly after the first tent was pitched by the American military in Iraq a wire was connected to a computer therein, and the internet was available to a generation of Americans at war - many of whom had grown up online. From that point on, at any given moment, somewhere in Iraq a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine was at a keyboard sharing the events of his or her day with the folks back home. While most would simply fire off an email, others took advantage of the (then) relatively new online blogging platforms to post their thoughts and experiences for the entire world to see. The milblog was born - and from that moment to this stories detailing everything from the most mundane aspects of camp life to intense combat action (often described within hours of the event) have been available on the web...
And et cetera - but since you're reading this on a milblog, you probably knew that. And you know that milblogs aren't just blogs written by troops at war, that many friends, family members, and supporters likewise documented their story of America at war online in near-real time, as those stories developed.
The diversity in membership of that group is broad, the one thing we all have in common is the impulse to make sense of the seemingly senseless, and communicate the tale - for each of us that impulse was strong enough to overcome whatever barriers prevent the vast majority of people from doing the same. Everyone at some point has some vague idea they believe should be shared - we were the people who, from some combination of internal and external urging, found and spent those many half hours persistently trying to write it down.
But where will all that be in another 137 years? Or five or ten, for that matter. That's something I've asked myself since at least 2004 - when I wrote this:
Membership in the ghost battalion has grown in the years since, and an ever growing majority of those abandoned-but-still-standing sites are vanishing. Have you checked out Lt Smash's site lately? How about Sgt Hook's? If you're a long-time milblog reader you know the first widely-read milblog from Operation Iraq Freedom and the first widely-read milblog from Afghanistan are both gone from the web. If you're a relative newcomer to this world you may never even have heard of them - or the dozens upon dozens of others who carried forth the standard they set down.
If you have a vague notion that something should be done about that, (a notion I've heard expressed more than once...) then you and I and the good folks at the US Naval Institute are in agreement. Preserving the history documented by the milbloggers is just one of the goals of the milblog project, the once-vague idea that we're now making real.
And it's a big idea, if I say so myself - too big to explain in one simple blog post, so stand by for more. Likewise, it's too big a task to be accomplished by just one person. So if you're a milblogger (and exactly what is a milblogger? is a topic for much further discussion on its own) I'm asking for your help. All I'll really need is just a little bit (maybe just one or two of those half hours...) of your time, and your willingness to tell the tale.
We've already made history, it's time to save it.
(More to follow...)
The Mudville Gazette is the on-line voice of an American warrior and his wife who stands by him. They prefer to see peaceful change render force of arms unnecessary. Until that day they stand fast with those who struggle for freedom, strike for reason, and pray for a better tomorrow.
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