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Monday, February 09, 2009

This is Outrageous

Are we Historians Against the War or Historians For the Democratic Party?


Blogger David T. Beito said...

Agreed. Are folks in the SC paying attention to this? What is their take on Brown's cartoons. This is the first thing that visitors to the site see.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:02 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Since I am connected to the blog, I feel the need to address this issue. And since I am on the SC, and Thad and David want the SC's attention, I feel even more compelled to listen.

Being perfectly honest, however, I just don't see it as being so urgent. I agree that we need a more current attention-getter on page one. I think we should put a new text above the 2003 statement on the webpage. That is what the SC is discussing right now, making HAW more formally and purposefully that which it has been de facto for several years already - a forum and a voice for a broader critique of militarism and empire from a history-informed perspective. We are close to a new statement and launching new projects around the Afghanistan War etc., the themes that interest us all.

I just don't see the content of the weekly cartoon mattering all that much. I will contact Josh Brown, the artist. That seems like the best solution: Ask the artist to aim his wit at HAW's core mission. I would not like to impose all that much on his editorial freedom, however. Perhaps he sees the economic crisis - to use this week's example - as part of the core problem for world peace.

3:21 AM  
Blogger JVB said...

Thaddeus dominates this blog, has nearly taken it over, but this is not enough for him: he complains about things not being the way he thinks they ought to be on the website.

While I agree with Thaddeus about the content of cartoons (they should include content about Afghanistan and should be as critical of Obama's warlike positions as Bush's), the name-calling is inappropriate and the behavior is trolling.

7:06 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

I hear you Jennifer.

I also have an issue with the pace here. But I had said going in, when we re-invigorated the blog last year, that I would like variety and that I would not try to control the content. It is difficult for me to backtrack now and say, "Hmm, guys, could we have fewer drive-by blurbs just like 1000 other progressive blogs and have more considered, history-related content?"

A fellow member of the SC has suggested putting together a blog committee at the SC to deliberate on a more concrete policy for how we use the blog.

9:05 AM  
Blogger Thaddeus Russell said...


There is and has been an open invitation for authors of the blog. If you would like to comment on the current wars rather than complain about my behavior, the urgency I feel about a popular imperialist president replacing an unpopular one, and my requests to the organization to address its stated purpose, be my guest.

In my complaints about the cartoons I did not name the artist or any individual in the HAW, yet you call me, by name, inappropriate and trolling and accuse me of name-calling!

I would much rather talk about Obama's foreign policy and what we can do about it. Can we?

9:50 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

I agree that we could use the blog for a vigorous discussion of Obama's foreign policy. That would be perfect. I liked the Vietnam/Kerry posting.

The blog is a good place for members to field opinions and test ideas and post content, without it becoming an official HAW policy or position.

10:04 AM  
Blogger JVB said...


Lists or blogs w/o ground rules are vulnerable to trolling, domination, and hostile takeover.

Having rules does not mean suppressing opinions; it means preventing list domination or takeover by one voice.

It means not allowing personal attacks (which includes name-calling not only against an individual but against the blog host organization).

It means people who are there just to raise mutiny against the organization hosting their conversation are asked to go "sit" somewhere else.

Thaddeus has raised a legitimate issue and I think there should be a process for raising such issues, but taking over the list with multiple posts, calling HAW names, trying to set alarms off and get others up in arms, are not appropriate.

If a member wants to raise an issue with the website, policy, or whatever, s/he should be able to click on a button to submit it to the SC.

And otherwise, ground rules for the blog should be established and enforced.

10:45 AM  
Blogger David T. Beito said...

I don't really think that Thad is calling names. There has been nothing personal here that I can see. In any case, I'd urge JVB to consider joining the blog. The more diversity on that site the better IMHO

11:54 AM  
Blogger Thaddeus Russell said...

I am dying to know which ground rules you would like to establish for the blog. No multiple posts? No criticisms of HAW? No "trying to set alarms off and get others up in arms"? Please clarify.

12:21 PM  
Blogger Thaddeus Russell said...

By the way, I plead guilty to the charge of "trying to set alarms off and get others up in arms." If my sentence is "to go 'sit' somewhere else," so be it.

3:02 PM  
Blogger JVB said...

Richard, you're not alone. But I'm not sure HAW is as much of an activist organization as you (or I) would like it to be. Earlier you volunteered for one of the things I suggested -- I've forgotten which one...?

6:16 PM  

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