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September 19, 2005
Open PostBy Holly Aho
Here's today's Open Post - send your trackbacks!
Posted by Holly Aho / September 19, 2005 9:26 PM | Permalink
Before Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, I wrote about Hawaii imposing price controls on gasoline at the wholesale level and, later, about California and other states considering following suit. I wondered how long it would take for the economic chicken... Read More
let's pretend. Suppose your parents were not the benevolent dictators that we are, but were rather more socialist minded. Suppose that we decided some of you needed new dresses for a ball, and that it would also be a kindness for you to buy new dresses... Read More
Two key uncertainties are in the forefront of the process of filling the two vacancies on the Supreme Court bench; The vote on John Roberts, and the identity of the second nominee. Let me take them in that order. Everything I've heard or read indicat... Read More
Former President Bill Clinton is up in arms over the results of a recent survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics. Clinton says the new study, that demonstrates that just over 50% of today's teenagers have engaged in Read More
Christopher Hitchens logged a response to his well fought encounter with George Galloway on 9/14 in the Telegraph. He points out that Galloway had quite a bit of trouble addressing the questions which he was confronted with....I was given a Read More
We on the right so often lump all college students into the same liberal mold forgetting that not all young people are susceptible to the indoctrination practices at these so-called "institutions of higher learning". Some are actually Conservative th... Read More
In a wide ranging interview on Sunday, former President Bill Clinton soundly criticized the Bush Administration on multiple fronts. Although embraced by President Bush for a second set of relief efforts, Clinton nonetheless noted many failures of Bus... Read More
The Boston Globe's editorial board made a surprising good call - Confirm Judge Roberts - but then the NY Times owned liberal paper made a bad call that tells us a lot about the conceit of liberal media. But The Globe can correct its bad call. Let's h... Read More
As I posted yesterday, Hamas has breached the wall between Gaza and Egypt, allowing a massive surge of Palestinians to cross back and forth along the border area near the town of Rafah. This wall has an interesting history. Israel began buildin... Read More
Louisianan William Page emailed to make sure I didn't miss this article: What caused the flood? Take your pickRich Lowry [Read it all, but here's just a taste:] Here is the recipe for government, not as liberals imagine it, but Read More
Tim Russert had an august guest today on Meet the Press, that noted climatologist, Bill Clinton. Our loved and respected former president has been piggy-backing the UN’s sixtieth anniversary hoopla event to pitch his “Clinton Global Initi... Read More
From RedState.org:We have communists coming to Washington, DC next weekend to protest our President, our foreign policy, and just about everything we hold dear.They'll be joined by thousands of sincere liberals, clueless kids, cynical manipulators, leftis Read More
It's not that the institutional hypocracy of the Church of England surprises me...it doesn't. It's that they could be so blindly and horrendously stupid, that continues to leave me dumbfounded. According to the BBC...Church of England bishops have sugg... Read More
Retired 1st Sgt. Mark Matthews, 111, one of the last of the nation's legendary Buffalo Soldiers, died of pneumonia Sept. 6 at Fox Chase Nursing Home in Washington. Sgt. Matthews, who also was the oldest Buffalo Soldier, was heir to a proud military he... Read More
Much has been made of the “outsourcing” of many military functions, and nowhere is that so pervasive as the current situation with Dining Facilities (DFAC) in Iraq. For Army cooks do not cook in Iraq and many other forward areas, they “supervise” those... Read More
Remember this? "The guy who runs this building I'm in, emergency management, who's responsible for everything," said Broussard, "his mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said, &apos...Read More
Even though Truth Laid Bare and Instupundit are working to make this not happen, here's the response of the Administration to the question of what could be cut: Read More
Saying that ACLU Nebraska “was just out of options,” executive director Tim Butz said it won’t take the Plattsmouth Ten Commandments case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Unless the ACLU’s Plattsmouth client finds another legal t... Read More
Till then, I'll leave you with the version of the Pledge the courts say we can teach to our school children, having already established that teaching them to honor their parents, and not to steal, lie, or murder is also beyond the pale, and just one ... Read More
Ten reasons economic anarchists have not taken kindly to your Business Blogger: Elephane Eggs referred by Loaded Mouth 1) I spent $96.95 to fill my gas tank and didn't blame President George Bush. 2) I put the gas in an... Read More
Here is an image of the offensive ice cream cones if you are brave enough to look. Note that it must be turned sideways to be offensive. Now that the “offended” folks have brow beaten Burger King into submission, the “unoffended̶... Read More
Today it looks like our own allies are balancing against us. The recent refusal by NATO to expand the mission in Afghanistan is the latest sign. NATO insists that an expansion into anti-terrorism would put their peacekeeping forces at risk. It would... Read More
“I know New Orleaneans. Once, you know, the beniets (ph) start cooking up again and, you know, the gumbos in the pots and the red beans and rice are being served on Monday in New Orleans and not where they are, they’re going to be back.... 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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