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December 9, 2005
Open PostBy Greyhawk
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And don't forget to vote today.
Posted by Greyhawk / December 9, 2005 12:21 AM | Permalink
9. The ACLU: Protecting Gay Pedophiles (as long as they do not happen to be Catholic Priests) Since 1920. 8. The ACLU: Because Terrorists Need Understanding Too. 7. The ACLU: For Those Times When You Are Just Too Busy Read More
I support the troops, said Y reflexively, but....they enlisted knowing what they were getting into in Iraq so if something happens to them, well... So you are saying that if a soldier is injured or killed fighting in Iraq, it is their own fault., I rep... Read More
he Letter to the left was sent to a wounded soldier currently being treated at Walter Reed Medical Center. PFC Josh Sparling was injured when an IED took much of his leg while on patrol in Iraq. He will be undergoing the painful process of reconstruc... Read More
MEMRI-TV offers a recently posted video clip from Al-Arabiya TV. This Dubai-based satellite TV is consistently rated among the top pan-Arab stations by Middle East audiences. It was set up as an all-news channel to compete directly with Qatar-based a... Read More
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Reduced to a yawn here in the United States, grieving mother Cindy Sheehan has taken her show on the road and is now occupying the United Kingdom. On her way across the pond, the poor gal had to sit in (gasp) economy class.Cindy, who has three survivin... Read More
As outraged critics shout cries of 'sedition', Howard Dean angrily denied that a DNC-sponsored catered affair attended by top al-Qaeda and Sunni insurgents fell under U.S. treason statutes. The banquet, held in a large pavillion outside Bagh... Read More
Garage Logic is a local radio show here in the Minneapolis/St Paul area and they have a clip from a show last year that you can listen to online. The clip is called Lew's Lights, and features a caller you have to hear to believe. Read More
I had the priviledge of seeing The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe this evening. Describing it in few words would be thrilling, exciting, and fairly true to the book. Many others have written about their viewings or expectations of Read More
While we're sleeping all day long, make a link to this post, then trackback this URL and - sooner or later - a link to your post will be added at the end of this one. If you can't make a trackback, use Simpletrack di Adam Kalsey or Wizbang Standalone... Read More
Meet John Mize. He's a law clerk in Beckley, W.Va. A recent law school graduate, Mize looked to the heavens for divine help in passing the bar exam and maybe helping him avoid a traffic ticket. The Lord responded and sent him a sign. To Noah, He se... 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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