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October 19, 2005
Open PostBy Greyhawk
Posted by Greyhawk / October 19, 2005 9:32 PM | Permalink
The trial of deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is underway and as expected, the details of his cruel reign are far more disturbing than was previously thought. While some of the better known charges leveled against Hussein include crimes against Read More
Today's winner is the annonymous Massachusetts man who threw away a winning one million dollar lottery ticket. Read More
An MSM reporter said something the other night I swear I thought they weren't supposed to say. Did he really say it? And if he did, do I have to report him? Take a look and please tell me what you think. Read More
JimmyB the Conservative UAW Guy is NOT an oxymoron, nor is he any other type of moron... He's just a thoughtful person who sees the world from a unique perspective. Balance Of Power asked him to contribute an essay on Read More
MacDill AFB, FL -- Recent media reports out of Afghanistan have alleged that U.S. forces were involved in an incident involving the desecration of the bodies of deceased enemy combatants. Read More
Many enjoyed Roger's earlier missive from Iraq which I posted here, "A Fobbits Tale - Roger in Iraq," which provided a detailed and vivid image of what life on his FOB was like. This time he takes a more personal turn. Here he points out that despite... Read More
I have spent my early morning looking at reports of Wilma and have neglected the key news of the day, the trial of Saddam Hussein. As time is short before I have to get the kids up for school, let me just point you to some coverage. UPDATE NOTE: Two ... Read More
In these times when there are enough assaults on our cherished American freedoms — to pray, to celebrate centuries-old customs, even to exist without fear of being a terrorist target — it still amazes me that one cannot truly call one’s home a c... Read More
Looks like Jabba the Hut Ted Kennedy has conquered his fear of saving people who are drowning in a body of water.The Cape Cod Times reports the Massachusetts Democrat was walking his two Portuguese waterdogs on the shore at about Read More
Radioactive Liberty has secret listening devices planted at the White House. Here's a conversation that we caught: Begin Transcript: W: Hey, Dickie. I'm glad to see you. I wanted to ask you something. Vice-President: Yes, Mr. President. W... Read More
You know, George, it isn't really that complicated. All we're asking you to do is enforce this country's laws. I'll bet Harriet Miers even understands, since she's been studying so hard for her upcoming job interview: Read More
Man, oh man. Today has just been chock full o' good news! I have ruminated in the past, on the state of the Canadian justice system (or lack, thereof), and I know I am not alone in my feeling that Read More
The night before voting day on the 15th, my buddy and I had the first shift for guard duty. We had our night vision goggles, machine gun, M4 rifles, and XS Energy Drinks. Like everyone else, we were ready for anything, especially since we had gotten ... Read More
From the LAT: At a May 2004 NAACP ceremony commemorating the anniversary of the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education desegregation decision, [Entertainer Bill] Cosby said, “These people marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an educati... Read More
Terrorism 4th Bomb Attack On Trinidad In Recent Months — Booker Rising Muslim extremists exploded another bomb in St. James, Trinidad on Friday, October 14. The bomb was described as being of ‘low density’, but created a chaotic scene and... Read More
George Will took a dry, statistic filled look at the Delphi bankruptcy. Who cares about that? I wanna know why my Mustang is falling apart while some guy is being paid $31 an hour to sit around all day doing crossword puzzles. My column: Read More
We’ve got a double treat for you today folks! Nedd Kareiva, founder of our parent site Stoptheaclu.org will be on the radio! But first we’ll be having a live stream of Alan Sears, the president of the Alliance Defense Fund debating Bar... 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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