Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New to the blogosphere: Carl Prine

Well, he's not exactly "new to the blogosphere": he's been haunting the comments section at SWJ, Abu Muqawama, and here (though not for a while, and often under a pseudonym -- or what he likes to call an "avatar"). Carl's now running the blog Line of Departure at Military.com, taking over for Jamie McIntyre.
My day job makes me an investigative reporter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. There, I cover war, terrorism, football and all sorts of other things. Most people who watch TV remember me from CBS 60 Minutes or the PBS series on chemical terrorism, but mostly my gig involves finding really smart people, asking them to say interesting things, and then figuring out how this democracy will talk about it all. 
So that’s what we’re going to do here, too. We’re going to talk about battle and reporting and find smart people to interview and then we’re going to converse about like adults because these are serious topics and we’re a nation at war. 
I’m going to be intentionally provocative at times. I’ll tell crass jokes. I warn you that I’ll be combative and pointlessly obstinate but often enough vaguely sane. 
I'm sure it'll be a sight to see, so add him to your blogroll.


  1. Gots to be an improvement over Jamie McIntyre.

  2. I always thought SNLII was an officer in Iraq? I guess not.

  3. Btw, since I've been having SNLII withdrawals, do any of you have any articles you would strongly recommend reading by SNLII/Carl Prine? Like really good articles that stick out in your memory?

    Thanks for any help offered.

  4. For one quake survivor, self-help in the face of seeming helplessness

    Hideaki Akaiwa, in Miyagi prefecture, has decided not to wait for rescue workers. With a scuba suit on, he waded through flooded streets to rescue his wife, and later his mother. He continues to look for more survivors.

    By Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times

    March 17, 2011

    Reporting from Ishinomaki, Japan —— 

    Most of the dozens oftsunami-battered towns along Japan's northeastern coast remain mired in mud, but the situation in Ishinomaki is a bit different. Nearly a week after the massive earthquake and tsunami hit the city of 162,000, large portions remain underwater, an instant lake clearly visible on NASA satellite photographs.

    Amid the aqueous landscape looms Hideaki Akaiwa, 43, in full battle gear.

    In a nation of careful dressers, Akaiwa sports Rambo-style army pants, a blue sweatshirt, muddy sneakers, legs wrapped in plastic secured with orange duct tape, and three different backpacks, including an L.L. Bean fanny pack with a tiny plastic anime character affixed, a doctor that saves people.

    Photos: Earthquake and nuclear crisis in Japan

    Whereas many Japanese have adopted the nation's unofficial mantra: Shou ga nai, or, more politely, Shikata ga nai, loosely translated as, "What can you do?," "It's beyond our control" or "It's out of my hands," Akaiwa stands out as a virtual live-action hero.

    Akaiwa said he was at work a few miles away when the tsunami hit, and he rushed back to find his neighborhood inundated with up to 10 feet of water. Not willing to wait until the government or any international organization did, or did not, arrive to rescue his wife of two decades — whom he had met while they were surfing in a local bay — Akaiwa got hold of some scuba gear. He then hit the water, wended his way through the debris and underwater hazards and managed to reach his house, from which he dragged his wife to safety.

    "The water felt very cold, dark and scary," he recalled. "I had to swim about 200 yards to her, which was quite difficult with all the floating wreckage."

    With his mother still unaccounted for several days later, Akaiwa stewed with frustration as he watched the water recede by only a foot or two. He repeatedly searched for her at City Hall and nearby evacuation centers.

    Finally, on Tuesday, he waded through neck-deep water, searching the neighborhood where she'd last been seen. He found her, he said, on the second floor of a flooded house where she'd been waiting for help for four days.

    "She was very much panicked because she was trapped with all this water around," Akaiwa said. "I didn't know where she was. It was such a relief to find her."