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May 16, 2005
Not too much to add to the Newsweek "apology" over their bogus "Koran flushing" story. It's really an old story with different details - MSM jumps to biased conclusion about story that makes U.S. military look bad, rushes to press with sketchy evidenc... Read More
David Brooks writes about the different attitudes between poor Republicans and Democrats: The big difference between poor Republicans and poor Democrats is that the former believe that individuals can make it on their own with hard work and good charac... Read More
Well, I'm late jumping on the bandwagon, and by now about 50,000 people have commented on Newsweek's admission that the remark that US interrogators flushed a Koran down a toilet that it printed was false and based on uncorroborated sources. I'm taki... Read More
“I am for socialism,” wrote ACLU founder Roger Baldwin in 1936. “I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal.” Communism, a political ... Read More
This one didn’t “break out.” This one was set – journalistic arson. Newsweek made a choice to throw common sense and ethics out the window. Mark Whitaker’s non-apology, and Newsweek’s refusal to retract the stor... Read More
Newsweek Magazine apologized Sunday for a May 9th report that U.S. personnel had desecrated and then flushed a copy of the Koran down the toilet while interrogating Muslim prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. After the article was published, large riots erupted Read More
Every now and then I encounter something so vile I am almost consumed by rage. To think my nephew and all our other men and women died for this Read More
AMERICA'S FOUNDING FATHERS, ON THE IMPORTANCE OF PRIVATE PROPERTY, IN THEIR OWN WORDS- "One of the most essential branches of English liberty is the freedom of one's house. A man's house is his castle." -James Otis, On the Writs of... Read More
He was my second Commanding Officer. An aviator on a “deep-draft” vessel, the stepping stone to command of an aircraft carrier. Getting this far, you knew people in these positions would be wearing flag rank one day. Capt Cecil B. Hawk... Read More
...Brian Welch, 6, of P.S. 132 in Baltimore, Maryland, felt he had to take action. After nap time, he gathered his fellow kindergartners and convinced the bus driver to drive them to Washington... Read More
Seeing as how American engineering programs attract a lot of students from different countries, there were also times when white students were in the minority in my classes. And yet no one ever made any concessions for us. Indeed, see my article from... Read More
Quagmire? When have we heard that before? Oh, yeah! Vietnam. And we all know that Vietnam and Iraq are exactly the same. Of course Mr. Krugman does not intend to insult both of those nation's in one sentence, does Read More
What's wrong with this picture? If you look closely at the picture above, you will note that all the Marines pictured are bowing their heads. That's because they're praying. This incident took place at a recent ceremony honoring the birthday... Read More
Can there be any question why the banner atop this blog proclaims: "Uncredentialed and Unconcerned"? Who in their right mind wants credentials such as those touted by Newsweek? Taking a pass, thank you very much. This Word is being Heard... Read More
There is no better authority on the effect of Newsweek's erroneous reporting than the troops who will inevitably deal with the fallout. From Afghanistan to Iraq - around the blogosphere we go. Major K has a few words about the type of Read More
Newsweek has admitted to publishing an incorrect story regarding U.S. military personnel flushing a copy of the Qur'an down a toilet. Read More
We've been following the Pentagon's "boiled frog" strategy related to women in combat. . . the plan has been to simply go ahead and put women into combat, present it to the American people as a fait accompli, knowing that... Read More
Many are calling for Newsweek's head on a stick for its faulty reporting that led to the deaths of 15 and injured 100 in Afghanistan. Although the loss of life is always tragic. I would have to say that I agree to some extent with Jay T at Wizbang abou Read More
Richard T. De George of the University of Kansas has an article in today's Washington Post Opinion section on the topic of academic freedom. I'd suggest anyone who's interested in the topic read it in its entirety since what follows here isn't intend... Read More
From the University of North Carolina Press comes a book by Michael S. Sweeney titled Secrets of Victory. This book examines the World War II self-censorship program and analyzes the reasons for its success. Voluntary domestic censorship was one of the... Read More
I don't know if you've seen this BBC report but a number of the MoD's computer systems went down yesterday. The reason, a 53 meg video that was being sent all round the army. A spoof video of the song (Is This The Way To) Amarillo - performed ... Read More
Here's an editorial by Lou Sessinger (a columnist with The Intelligencer in Philadelphia). He talks about a visit to an elementary school by a CH-53 and what a thrill it must be for the kids to see this. Of course, there's always a BUT! Read More
I checked in on Redleg 07 and found he has published an article on why we are in Iraq. His comment, and I echo it: "I didn’t write it, but I wish I would have." Read More
UPDATE: Had my bubble busted. It was a hoax. I still think the ACLU is capable of pursuing such a legal course over an issue of prayer on a military base. First, The Anchoress put me straight with this Urban... 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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