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December 1, 2005
Open PostBy Greyhawk
Posted by Greyhawk / December 1, 2005 12:06 AM | Permalink
Charles Krauthammer has an new piece at The Weekly Standard about the debate over the efficacy and morality of torture. He makes some excellent points: Ethics 101: A terrorist has planted a nuclear bomb in New York City. It will Read More
Christmas season is here. You can tell because people have been standing in line outside Wal-Mart, trampling old ladies on their way to the sales. Read More
Bush's overdue clear case for how to win and why it's necessary! The executive summary of the White House document! Read More
Parents’ Rights groups are up in arms over the content of the ultra-violent video game F.E.A.R., which was ranked in the top twelve games to avoid by the National Institute on Media and the Family.... Read More
Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein complained to the judge during the second session of his trial on Monday that he had to walk up four flights of stairs because of a broken elevator in the courthouse. We here at TNOYF Read More
On June 28 of this year, the New York Times published a claim that the US Army systematically lies to young West Pointers. In fact, the Times piece claimed the Army had been lying to West Point cadets and recent graduates since the Vietnam War. But ... Read More
From the AP, via Yahoo News: Even before Bush finished speaking, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid issued a statement claiming that Bush “recycled his tired rhetoric of ’stay the course’ and once again missed an opportunity to la... Read More
(Previous related post here.) I'm afraid to say too much about this because if I let myself think about it very long I'm going to erupt in a string of profanity that goes way beyond even the loose limits Read More
No one believes that the anti-war Left actually cares about the military or about the lives from amongst its ranks that have been lost or affected in the fight against our Islamofascist enemies. But because it makes good copy or TV to confuse the suppo... Read More
A friend sent me this in e-mail. Read for your self what ails the Bush Presidency. It is scary how right these folks tend to be in their analysis.... I especiallly like their ideas about what is happening with Europe....... Read More
Important notice from my friend Gene Simes. Please pass the word to your Veterans organizations that they too can participate in these meetings without having to travel to Washington. VETERANS WE MUST UNITE Tune in on December 6, 2005 to www.stard... Read More
Jonathan Treadaway was very, very lucky. I'm sure he didn't feel lucky on September 11, 1974 when first questioned by Phoenix police about the sodomy and suffocation of six-year-old Brett Jordan. Or on September 12 when he was arrested and charge... 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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