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October 23, 2008
Dan Quayle will have “POTATOE” etched on his gravestone. But how many times have late-night comedians and cable shows replayed the video of senior statesman and six-term Sen. Biden’s own spelling mishap last week while attacking McCain’s economic plan?And then there was that moment in the VP debate when he couldn't explain the job of Vice President as defined by the U.S. Constitution. But hey, that's wacky ol' Uncle Joe right?
And besides, that story isn't important. And for every media outlet that tells you what the Constitution says, you'll find ten to tell you what it means. And wacky ol' Uncle Joe knows what it means - he's got experience, and that's what matters in a Vice President.
This is wacky ol' Uncle Joe too, speaking to campaign supporters at a Seattle fundraiser:
"Mark my words," the Democratic vice presidential nominee warned at the second of his two Seattle fundraisers Sunday. "It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy."A bit hyperbolic, but probably right. But here's where he unleashes wacky ol' Uncle Joe (or maybe not):
"I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate," Biden said to Emerald City supporters, mentioning the Middle East and Russia as possibilities. "And he's gonna need help. And the kind of help he's gonna need is, he's gonna need you - not financially to help him - we're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."Those comments weren't made for TV (Biden has been avoiding reporters for two months) so it's unfair that they got out - and John McCain used them in an vicious attack. And to teach that mean ol' nasty John McCain a lesson MSNBC pulled a quick, slick, switcheroo
Mark my words, within the next -- first six months of this administration, if we win, they're going to -- we're going to face a major international challenge, 'cause they're going to want to test him, just like they did John Kennedy, they're going to want to test him, and they're going to find out this guy's got steel in his spine.So there. (Also here) And now that that's been unsaid, let's get our attention back to the Palin Threat. Byron York, in NRO:
Watching press coverage of the Republican candidate for vice president, it's sometimes hard to decide whether Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, backward, or — or, well, all of the above.CNN "reporter" Drew Griffin to Governor Palin:
GRIFFIN: Governor, you've been mocked in the press, the press has been pretty hard on you, the Democrats have been pretty hard on you, but also some conservatives have been pretty hard on you as well. The National Review had a story saying that, you know, I can't tell if Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt or all of the above.But that doesn't mater either, because she can't even afford her own damn clothes. And if that fact doesn't prove that Palin isn't "just regular folks", then gosh, I don't know what will.
But anyhow - wait a farkin' minute. Since I'm a military guy I really want to know exactly wtf this is all about: ""I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate," Biden said to Emerald City supporters, mentioning the Middle East and Russia as possibilities." Because to me that sounds like something requiring a military solution. I'd also note that a diplomatic solution would be better, but I'm also fairly certain that Obama/Biden supporters would agree. But whatever solution Biden has in mind, he anticipates his supporters aren't going to like it - not his detractors: "we're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."
It's not like Obama and Biden have to request support from their supporters - they get it automatically and without reservation. (If Biden says Roosevelt was president in 1929 and appeared on television to explain how article one of the constitution gives everyone a j-o-b-s jobs then no big deal because - hey, Sarah Palin can't afford her own clothes!)
But what bothers wacky ol' Uncle Joe isn't a scenario where Barack Obama is challenged or America is threatened, it's a scenario he can envision wherein Obama supporters would withdraw that support - a scenario that campaign '08 gives every indication is not very freaking likely.
So are we going to find out any (purely hypothetical, of course) specific scenarios Joe Biden feels would alienate his supporters before the elections or after? (Or never? McCain could win...)
I apologize - I'm kidding - I don't want to make fun of wacky ol' Uncle Joe. It's down right mean. Hey, did you know that Sarah Palin can't afford her own clothes!?!
Posted by Greyhawk / October 23, 2008 1:32 PM | Permalink
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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