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July 17, 2005
Open PostBy Greyhawk
London protest edition:
Link posts on topics of your choice here.
Posted by Greyhawk / July 17, 2005 8:54 PM | Permalink
The airwaves and Blogosphere have been spinning with speculation regarding the motives behind 7/7. I thought we knew what was behind 7/7 -- TERRORISTS! Let's all say it again -- TERRORISTS. I apologize for the caps, but some are still afraid to use t... Read More
The millions of people who visit The Drudge Report daily may notice something a little different this summer.... Read More
Listen up, all you snot-nosed boys out there. This is what I'm teaching my girls to do when they feel threatened. No little girl deserves to feel threatened in America, I don't care what language she speaks. Read More
The NYT's public editor says upholding the paper's "journalistic integrity" requires "a lot of care." But it doesn't seem to require responding to e-mails from a blogger noting false claims in a NYT op-ed. Read More
In his weekly radio address yesterday [transcript] President Bush made several interesting statements regarding his coming nomination of a replacement for retiring Supreme Court justice O’Conner. Most reports focus on the hints he dropped regard... Read More
A Pennsylvania school district sued by the ACLU for a controversial change to its biology curriculum sought judgment in its favor in federal court. Read More
"The 'war' must be fought on British soil" and it is all the fault of Tony Blair. So rants London's "The Independent" today, 17 July 2005: Read More
Today's winner or winners are the person or persons unknown responsible for spray painting stones that are part of a memorial. This memorial in Dade County Florida was for the victims of the Valujet air crash that happened in 1996. Read More
The AP misstates an important piece of information in their latest Rove/Plame/Wilson/Miller/Cooper/Bush/Iraq/Saddam story today. In an inconsequential story about an email sent by Karl Rove to Steven Hadley, the AP notes: Just days before the e-mail,... Read More
Below you'll find an ecclectic mix of blogs from across the pond. A post at Samizdata, The BBC Outd Read More
Seems fair to me. However, the "redevelopment is necessary because of what we determine to be blight and we can't get your land unless we ED it because the fair market price we offered you was neither fair nor market in price so we have to steal your... Read More
For those who care. Or who notice. Or who care to notice. The Nose On Your Face has had a somewhat irregular posting schedule over the past month. We would like to let you know that we will be resuming Read More
BRUSSELS, Belgium - A U.N. panel created to recommend how the Internet should be run in the future has failed to reach consensus but did agree that no single country should dominate. [...] Oh, they did, did they? So, Kofi 'Want some candy, little ... Read More
I don't believe in Santa Claus, but I'm not going to sue somebody for singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December. I don't agree with Darwin, but I didn't go out and hire a lawyer when my high school teacher taught his theory of evolution. Life, liberty o... Read More
The revelation that the bombers in London were living right down the street, when the jihadis came calling is a tough one. Read More
The Anchoress notes Betsy Newmark of Betsy's Page and Barbara O'Brien of Mahablog were featured in a Washington Post article on the increasing absence of civility in political discourse. All I can add is that it is all those stupid... Read More
Good story in a small local paper. None of the larger papers bother to pick it up and it remains unread by most of the public. But this is the real face of America, not the unwashed whiners who take... Read More
A good article in the Times on Line in the UK titled "Weekend of Slaughter Propels Iraq into An All Out Civil War " is right on the mark. As GEN Powell warned this administration, "You break it, you fix it"; now Rumsfeld and Bush are finding they are ... Read More
17 July 2005: "I've been screening your bags for the past six months, and you don't even know it." Nice. Those are the words of Bassam Khalaf, 21, pictured above, who worked as a baggage screener at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in ... Read More
Terrorists have destroyed your place of work. You thank God that you yourself were not harmed, but many individuals with special health needs went missing from your workplace and are now presumed dead, abducted by ruthless militants with little respec... Read More
You may have heard educational concerns such as "No student left behind" or "Why Johnny can't read." I have a similar concern for the Left and express that as "Why the Left can't learn". I am trying to understand why many, if not most, people on the le... Read More
I read this article from the WP yesterday and thought how far are these reporters going to take this to find something negative or condescending to write the military. I'm sure this reporter thought he was writing one of those "look at how low our mi... 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...)
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