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April 14, 2006
Open PostBy Greyhawk
Posted by Greyhawk / April 14, 2006 9:04 PM | Permalink
I have here with me, Flowers Bloom, and my attack watchdog, Isis to discuss the various aspects of illegal immigration. So why don’t we start with you, Flowers. Flowers: I don’t understand the problem. These people are here, just trying to ... Read More
Mohamed El Baradei, announced frustration that no progress had been made in talks meant to dissuade the hard- line Iranian regime from continuing its nuclear enrichment program. This, despite one observer's report that El Baradei brought to the table "... Read More
Editorial- Although in recent days there have been many arguments to the contrary, I for one would like to applaud Comedy Central's brave editorial decision to allow an image of Jesus defecating on others to appear in Wednesday nights Read More
The recent ABC news story, "Generals clamor for Rumsfeld's ouster over Iraq war shows that the culture that HR McMaster wrote about in his book, Dereliction of Duty, remains alive and well in the military. That realization is unsettling and mea ...... Read More
Sidney Blumenthal opines in Salon that Bush is completely caught up in his own lies and deceit. Read More
Well, it is finally blowing up in Rummy's face as the Generals are now coming out to tell the American public just how inept he is and how silly the Iraq war is. Believe it or not, ROFASIX actually has Read More
Bill Hobbs, a blogging aquaintance that I owe much to, has been involved in a dust-up in Nashville that has ended with his resignation from Belmont University where he held a PR spot. As I understand the facts, he published somewhat obscurely a rude ... Read More
Michelle Malkin reports about an unhinged faculty member at Northern Kentucky University. Seems professor Sally Jacobsen is pro-choice about abortion, just not pro-choice about free speech. She had said that she had invited her class to express their ... Read More
With the way it is playing out now, I'm guessing that Rumsfeld will be gone in 1 - 3 weeks. The combination of Bush's political weakness, the continuing disaster in Iraq, and the number of retired generals coming out against Read More
If you're drowning 50 yards from shore, the Democrat will throw you 100 yards of rope... and let go of his end. The Republican will throw out 30 yards of rope and tell you to do the rest yourself. I think today's Republicans would do it differently..... Read More
Seven and a half minutes of gun camera video action . . . Watch and see why it is set to the tune of "Highway to Hell." Read More
A tale of two sales guys. One made the big, small. The other made the small, big. Cross Your Business Blogger recently was privileged to view an advance screening of the movie trailer about Wilberforce and his lifelong fight against... Read More
Then they came for those who had spoken out against, those who had taken the words. Then they came for the Christians. Then they came for the Jews. Until the only voice left was the soothing of the caliphate. Read More
This what months and years of soft-spoken, weak-kneed U.N. diplomacy will buy you when you are dealing with a power-mad country like Iran: Crazy talk from Iran. The situation has been deteriorating almost on an hourly basis this week -- from Iran's boa... 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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