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May 7, 2005
Open PostBy Greyhawk
The weekend edition - as always, it will travel upwards until it gets too full.
Posted by Greyhawk / May 7, 2005 11:23 PM | Permalink
The school says their policy is that students can have cell phones but they can't use them during hours. The idea is to keep them from using them to text message each other and making calls pretty much at random throughout the day. While that's admir... Read More
this from the ABCNews.com. We could be getting really close to Bin Laden. Maybe we can do some cross referencing between Zarqawi's computer and al-Libbi's computer which may help us zero in on where the ultimate scumbag is. Keep your Read More
Professor Volokh has a good lengthy post -- (Not so good at the very end. We don't agree with his personal views on homosexuality, except for the bit about not bullying gays. But it's easy enough to teach kids "don't bully anyone" rather than "don't bu... Read More
So Oliver North is capable of getting the names correct on "The Picture" (Photo taken by Michael Yon of Maj. Mark Bieger carrying the Iraqi child). I wonder if other media types and organizations will give credit where credit is due? He also talks ab... Read More
This morning I atteneded the 102nd Commencement Ceremony for Old Dominion University. despite the "doom and gloom" weather reports of earlier in the week, the sky got it all out of it's sytem last night and moved north east. The day was cool and clea... Read More
"The only way the Dems are going to block those judges," said our exclusive source, a top Republican advisor, "is keeping as many Republicans out of the Senate chambers, and unable to vote, as possible." Read More
Of course, the website Forsake The Troops has been in the news allot since the beginning of the year, mostly for his disgusting site, but also for holding a soldier's digital camera for ransom. The man seems to enjoy being despicable. But how seriou... Read More
I go to many soldiers blogs. I love reading them all. But two have really touched my heart of late. The third soldier I learned about at a blog I visit often. Read More
The European War of 1914-1916 began with the attempted assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary. Though severely wounded in the course of the attack quickly applied healing magic and deft surgery sufficed to save his life. Still, the ... Read More
Well, apparently "ask and you shall receive" means God is listening to me. On Thursday night my wife and I went out to a dinner party with some friends and on the drive home I was talking about my hopes for the Iraqi people. My wife asked me if I would... Read More
There has been a lot of people saying that Iraq is another Vietnam. But it strikes me that there is a giant difference between the two. North Vietnam had the backing of two other superpowers, Russia and China. And they Read More
Bill Roggio asks for our help at The Fourth Rail: We have an opportunity to assist a squad of soldiers serving in Iraq. Cheryl, a dear friend who provided valuable assistance with the Easongate.com website, has a nephew currently serving in Baghdad. S... Read More
This is a reprint from an article I posted a few weeks ago. But since today is the actual official 25th anniversary of the eradication of smallpox, I thought it was worth posting again. A few years ago, around this... Read More
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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