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July 13, 2005
Open PostBy Greyhawk
Posted by Greyhawk / July 13, 2005 9:38 PM | Permalink
Unlike many other government decisions, things that are prohibited by the Constitution cannot be changed by the will of the people, any more than the voters of Los Angeles could vote to close all the synagogues or all the mosques Read More
An embarrasing setback occurred yesterday for NASA technicians readying the shuttle Discovery for launch when a temporary window covering fell off, damaging some of the heat-resistant tiles on the tail. Although quickly repaired, the mishap caps a lo... Read More
Today the award goes to the Palm Beach Post newspaper and its editorial board. For both their ill-informed and hysteria producing editorial on a veto by Gov. Jeb Bush. It all began two days ago when Meghan Meyer wrote a article about State legislato... Read More
Blogathon 2005 is getting here rapidly. The date is August 6, 2005 starting at 9:00 EST and lasting for 24 hours. I am still soliciting suggestions for the charity I should choose to support during this event. You can add your suggestions in the comme... Read More
When Eliot Cohen speaks - a lot of smart people listen, and those who aren't, should. Some believe that many of his ideas provide the foundation for the US war on radical Islam and underpin the current administration's world view. They are probably r... Read More
Proclaiming the Homeland Security Department "open to change," Secretary Michael Chertoff on Wednesd Read More
Iraqi Lt. General Abdul Qader Jassim told the “Voices of Soldiers” Truth Tour delegation that these Iraqi-trained terrorists were designed to undermine Iraq’s enemies, most specifically Israel and Iran. Jassim also said that many of... Read More
Wait...maybe it is. Via Boing Boing, we learn that A pair of suspected drug dealers were arrested after being caught with a rocket loaded with about $150,000 of methamphetamine in the trunk of their car. The suspects had rigged together Read More
Well I gave the Huffington Post a shot. I go there regularly to read the stories and leave lots of comments, so I guess I have as much experience with the place as anyone. After 2 months I gotta say that most of the bloggers there are no-names that h... Read More
This is the most unintentionally funny news story I have read in quite some time (underlining mine): SEOUL (AFP) - A local government campaign to attract more bathers to a South Korean beach resort by offering incentives to swimmers... Read More
Spot on piece on NRO today regarding the much too silent and non-judgmental moderate Muslims. Read More
A married couple was on holiday in Jamaica. They were touring around the marketplace looking at the goods and such when they passed this small sandal shop. From inside they heard the shopkeeper with a Jamaican accent say, "You, foreigners!.... Read More
Excuse me? In a Math Class, the teaching of Math is "Priority No. 2"?!?If this isn't a prime example of the liberal bias and forced instruction of our children, I don't know what is. Read More
The following complaint was recently documented at Luke Air Force Base. The responses are from a senior officers. A letter to the Editor; Question of the day for Luke Air Force Base: Whom do we thank for the morning air show?... Read More
Any goodwill that has come my way, and there has been an overwhelming support from Republicans who are highly indignant about this as well as some Democrats, but any goodwill accrues to my wife. Not to me. And my wife has made it very clear that—she... Read More
Ok, so I have lots of little banners on the side of my blog. 'Help This House' (helpthishouse.com) is one of them. Go visit the site. It can't be any worse than "saving Toby". And at least you'll have something tangible for your efforts...or so to spea... Read More
I didn't know that the CNN show that I taped awhile back did finally make it on air. Today I stumbled across a transcript over at SpeakSpeak.org that Amanda Toering has posted under "Stupidity Affects Us All." The "stupidity"... Read More
I confess. I have been studiously avoiding the whole Valerie Plame drama, frankly, due to a shameful lack of interest on my part. But, this, courtesy of the Unalienable Right, is just too rich to pass up. (Via Mudville.) Valerie... Read More
The Endangered Species List. Once thought of as the exclusive bastion of the anti-growth American left. No longer. The concept of listing extant species as endangered and private property as "critical Habitat" has spread to all corners of the w... Read More
The actual number of virgins allotted to the faithful, seventy-two, is found nowhere in the Koran. For this promise Muslims must read the Hadith, traditional sayings traced to Muhammad. Hadith number 2,562, known as the Sunan al-Tirmidhi reads, "The ... Read More
William Page, one of the Viet Nam vets on the Veterans Support Our Troops team I mentioned here and in some earlier post saw this, realized how well it fits in with the message we want to get out, and Read More
My younger brother is a Marine tagging along with the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) for his second deployment to the middle eastern region, and is currently on the wandering course back to the states (standby for SWARMEX). This coupled with the recent rem... Read More
Here is an email that was forwarded to me by another caring military supporter. Permission was granted by this soldier, whose name is SGT. Steve Cline, for posting so that "anyone that might help" will see his wish. He had signed up in March for him a... Read More
The Real question should be... How can some employee of the CIA send her completely unqualified hubby on a fact finding mission concerning National Security in the run-up to a real live war? That seems to be the crime here... Read More
The ship was to become a museum, like the Midway in San Diego, visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year. As such it could have included the real facts about the Iowa accident. It could even have served to provide facts about the history o... Read More
The "what did they say?" file just keeps getting bigger. BBC recently reported that the French are boosting security for the Bastille Day celebration. I don't seem to recall French troops coming under hostile fire recently. Oh, that'... Read More
The Boss is gone, the swamp is full and alligators are plentiful. Her daughter completed Vet School a few weeks back and is now at her intro to wearing a uniform as a veternarian. It has been rewarding to be able to pass on the gouge... Read More
To say we went to war in Iraq for oil is as stupid as saying we went to war with Germany for laderhosen or Japan for sushi. Cheap suspenders and raw fish are not good reasons to wage war, Mr Pape. Reducing human suffering in the world and protecting Am... Read More
NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day (July 14, 2005) is the first site I visit each day. Today's picture is simply stunning in its simplicity and beauty. This image is copyright Peter Wienerrothier. The NASA site has details of how... Read More
I guess Hollywood will never learn. Here's another stab at turning an Islamic Terrorist into a sympathic character. Just read this story and you will wonder if there is anyone left in that morass called Hollywood who understands the GWOT. Read More
Attention Dirty Harry, this will make your day. The SW 460SVR.460 caliberX-treme Velocity Revolver Capable of launching a 200-grain bullet at a speed of more than 2,300 feet per second and thus represents the highest velocity production revolver curren... Read More
I am wondering just why it is that we are still discussing this ludicrous idea of selling a United States-owned oil company to a state-owned Chinese interest. For those who refuse to see this as primarily a national security issue and not an economic... Read More
Please let the San Francisco Board of Supervisors know what you think of them regarding the insult to the Iowa and the military. The only ones that wanted the Iowa were: Sean Elsbernd, Fiona Ma and Michela Alioto-Pier. So you Read More
The reports of abuse at the Prison at Guantanamo Bay continue. First of all, lets be straight on one issue -- the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay is a prison. Not that the rest of Cuba isn't, but that is another story. What happens at prisons? P... 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.
Furthermore, I will occasionally use satire or parody herein. The bottom line: it's my house.
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Original content copyright © 2003 - 2011 by Greyhawk. Fair, not-for-profit use of said material by others is encouraged, as long as acknowledgement and credit is given, to include the url of the original source post. Other arrangements can be made as needed.
Contact: greyhawk at mudvillegazette dot com