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August 16, 2005
Open PostBy Greyhawk
Posted by Greyhawk / August 16, 2005 8:16 PM | Permalink
The 16 August 2005 Washington Times has an editorial that digs deeper into two prominent Democrats with aspirations for 2008: New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-New Arkansas). In “Border-control Democrats and Presid... Read More
Two Fox News stories caught my eye this morning because of a common word in both, Constitution. Most who pay attention to news out of Iraq will know that those working on the new Iraqi constitution have given themselves a seven day extension to comple... Read More
The Clinton Presidential Foundation (CPF) has announced that former President Bill Clinton will soon be releasing a CD containing a compilation of his all-time favorite songs. So many people focus on the supposedly negative aspects of President Clinton... Read More
Today's dose of NIF - News, Interesting & Funny ... and it is time for another Kerry-180 Tuesday! Read More
Apparently, Bubba's Presidential Foundation and Trailer Park is releasing a CD of Clinton's favorite music. I saw the article earlier this morning, and the thought ran through my head about what songs should have been included, but Jim beat me to it. Read More
A heart-warming story of courage that gave America a reason to love Canada again has turned sour, as problems mount for two teenage girls who have gone from heroes to pariahs in the course of just one weekend... Read More
Today's Christian Science Monitor reports that President Bush has made history by being the first President to go five years without vetoing a single piece of legislation Read More
A judge in Ohio feels "threatened" by bloggers reporting on him -- so he threw them in jail incommunicado. Read More
Yahoo News reports “Roberts scoffed at equal-pay theory“: As an assistant White House counsel in 1984, John Roberts scoffed at the notion that men and women should earn equal pay in jobs of comparable importance, and he belittled three fe... Read More
Another chance for us to put our money where our mouths are. If you care about the troops, PROVE IT. Read More
Mr. Esmay talks about those who would prefer to label Islam itself the impediment to peace and democracy. Part of this desire is rooted in a need to finally fight back and let loose, instead of being hobbled by our enemy's shadowy nature, a spread... Read More
And so you have deeply antiwar parents, children of the Vietnam era, frustrated and puzzled by their children's desire to join the military...These parents, in turn, had rebelled against the previous generation, their parents, whose formative war exper... Read More
Okay troops. Need your help. FReeper Kristinn, whom I had the pleasure of meeting one night outside of Walter Reed, contacted me tonight. In an effort to ride the Cindy Sheehan bandwagon for all it's worth, some left-wing groups are organizing candelig... Read More
This is pretty funny upon first consideration, but it also leaves me puzzled as to exactly how it could happen. We all know that Apple invented the iPod, right? Any question about that? I don't recall anyone accusing Apple, Steve Read More
The Italians recently arrested 141 people in a security sweep and are preparing to expel more than 700 others with possible ties to terrorism. The moves are part of a recent anti-terror trend by our allies, who apparently took notice of the London bo... Read More
Despite the guidance we have offered to the N&O, confusion stills reigns at the paper regarding what to call people who drive cars loaded with explosives into women and children. To his credit, Ted Vaden tries to address the issue in Sunday's pape... Read More
Last Saturday, the President once again snubbed the pompous hype whore, yet again, demonstrating an utter lack of sesitivity, and sensibility. In Sheehan's own words, Read More
We as a nation are fighting a battle against an enemy who's faith has been exploited by homicidal maniacs. They prey on those who cannot decide for themselves which is right and which is wrong. Read More
This is a picture of my dad's dad's dad's dad: -click for larger version- He fought in the Civil War. I have no idea when this picture was taken, but I saw it for the first time on Saturday.... Read More
Think beyond the NCAA to all the professional team names that might eventually have to change. The Oakland Raiders, for example: we can't go around stereotyping people as a bunch of lawless marauders. Even the team's logo has crossed sabers and a pla... Read More
Michael Yon posts today on his blog about Mosul, Iraq. In it he references an IED strike. Many readers have asked for combat video. I have made a few videos of fighting, but mostly photos. Nevertheless, to see a real IED strike on our troops whil... Read More
While on active duty in the Coast Guard, we were all taught a few slogans: Semper Paratus, You Have to Go Out -- You Don't Have to Come Back, and That Ain''t in the Budget. I understood the first two. Hell, I was "all about"... Read More
I've been thinking on a subject in the past day or two. that subject being murder. Follows an ongoing tale of two murders. * * * * * * * * * * In 1996, Nashville artist Janet March disappeared. Her body has, to my knowledge, never been found. Her hus... Read More
He didn’t take an enemy gun and blast through an ambush. Not in this case, anyway. He didn’t throw himself on a grenade. But he made Operation Enduring Freedom happen. In 2001 COL Smith was a retired Army guy. Someone asked him to hel... Read More
For the first time in 25 years, postal service has resumed in Kandahar. Post offices have reopened in different parts of the city. (Pak Tribune) Read More
Michelle Malkin blogged an excerpt of last night's (8/15/05) Chris Matthews interview of Cindy Sheehan on Hardball. That particular excerpt shows just how far into radical left-wing territory Sheehan has wandered. If you go to the beginning of the in... Read More
I have spoken before on how I wholeheartedly believe that the farce called 'Winter Soldier" influenced an entire generation of Americans. It set in stone what they believed the Army was, what war was, what soldiers did, and how they were trained. Go ba... Read More
Well - isn't this interesting. The whistleblower with no agenda against the Bush Administration is joining the left wing anti-war activists in Crawford, TX. Gee, couldn't be cause she's running for Congress now could it? Colleen Rowley is running aga... Read More
It smells like we are mixing ice cream and dog crap again. I am heartened to see my tax dollars put to such good use by the United Nations in their new role as the propaganda arm of the Palestinian... Read More
I will never understand how some people will rant and rave against the war, and list all the reasons it was wrong, and complain that George Bush lied, and display all manner of righteous condemnation. When I hear this, I 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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