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What is a blog? Can I blog on HNN?

Blog is short for"web log." It is a kind of common-place journal or diary kept on the web. Several features distinguish blogs from other forms on the web: they are frequently updated; they include lots of links to other sites; and most maintain a personal tone. Many celebrate blogs for opening the web up to voices the mainstream media often neglect. Like talk radio, most of the popular blogs are run by conservatives. HNN is the only site that features multiple blogs by historians.

To accomodate the growing fascination with blogs, we have now established a blog that any reader of HNN can join. We call this blog, an experiment that will test the limits of democracy in the blogosphere, Your Take.

Why does HNN feature blogs? Aren't they just vehicles for people who want to sound off?

The challenge of writing a blog is particularly great given the pressure to keep it up to date. But doing a blog is not fundamentally different from writing articles that appear in other places on HNN. In both cases the pressure to publish something in a timely manner necessitates foregoing the slow and steady approach common in peer-reviewed journals. By the peer review standard, none of the articles we publish pass muster as none of them are peer-reviewed in advance; the peer reviewing comes after they have already reached the public. But if that standard is the only standard, then historians must retreat from the journalistic fields and leave the harvesting of interesting views and opinions to others.

This does not sound like a reasonable approach to us. In the fast-paced world in which we now live, public attention is focused on issues for ever briefer periods of time. If scholars want their analyses to be taken into consideration--and why shouldn't they?--they have to jump into the debate early and with forcefulness.

HNN is committed to the scholarly discussion of issues in a timely manner. A person can achieve a scholarly analysis even if they write fast. Their very familiarity with the issues at hand gives them an advantage over others in arriving at a considered opinion in a quick period of time.

It may be argued that blogs fall into a separate category because they need to be updated constantly. But what is a blog? It is nothing more than an old fashioned common-place journal in a new setting. It gives the reader the chance to look over the shoulder of a historian who's reacting daily to events.

Blogs are so new a device on the Internet that no standards have yet evolved to govern their use. Anything goes on a blog. One of the functions that HNN can perform is to help establish standards for blogs. The only way we can do this is by trial and error. Slowly over time as readers provide more and more feedback--readers like you!--we will get a better sense of what should appear in a blog written by a historian and what should not.

Unique though a blog may be, the speediness required by a blog is not unique. When a reporter rings up Arthur Schlesinger Jr. for a comment on an issue in the news Schlesinger has even less time than a blogger to get his thoughts in order before committing to a certain analysis or viewpoint. Yet no one argues that the public is not benefited by Schlesinger's participation. He brings to bear in an instant a lifetime's worth of reading and reflection from which everybody can benefit, whether they agree with him or not.

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Henok Mamo Tenaye - 4/14/2005

Richard of Wallingford is known for his mathematical and mechanical achievements and best known for the astronomical clock he constructed while serving as abbot. He was born in 1292 at Wallingford, Berkshire and served as abbot of St. Albans in England from1327-1336. He was a son of a blacksmith who died when Richard was ten years old, and then was adopted by William of Kirkeby, the former abbot of St Albans in Wallingford. Richard was sent to Oxford where he gained his BA after six years of study and joined the Benedictine order at St. Albans in 1314 when he was 23. Richard then spent three years as deacon (December 18, 1316) and then priest (May 28, 1317) at St Albans, and had been ordained in 1317 to study theology when he returned to Oxford, probably at Glouscester College, a Benedictine establishment. He spent about fifteen years studying and teaching in the faculties of art and theology at Oxford. Most of his treatise work was written during his second residency at Oxford (1308-15 and 1318-27) he accomplished remarkable scientific writing. He commented by The Abbey Chronicles that Richard himself felt failure not to concentrate on theological studies. Instead, he was concentrated on mathematics and astronomy. In addition, he wrote on horoscopes, astrology and several ecclesiastical texts.
His works are:
• "Tractus Holologii Astronomici" describing the astronomical clock.
• "Tractus Albionis" which explains the Albion. The Albion was an equatorium, used for calculating planetary positions according to Ptolemy.
• "Tractus Rectanguli" which explains an observational instrument that can also be used for coordinate transformation.
• Canons to the star tables of John Maudith.
• "Quadripartitum" and "Tractus de Sectore" which is about spherical trigonometry.
• Four short works on celestial coordinates.
• "Exafrenon Pronosticacionum Temporis" and "Canon Supra Kalendarium" which are about horoscopes and astrology.
• Ten ecclesiastical and spiritual works.

In late 1327 at the age of 35, Richard earned a degree as Bachelor of Theology, and returned to St Albans where he found the Abbot, Hugh of Eversdon, very ill. He was called to Avignon and selected to take Hugh’s position. According to his fellow monks, he predicted by astrological means the Abbot's death on 7 September and his own election as the twenty-eighth abbot of St Albans on 29 October. He was not only abbot at St. Albans but also a politically powerful man in England and sometimes referred as Richard Wallingford, the latter being of his hometown.

When Richard went back to St. Albans he found himself oppressed by three great burdens: the Abbey was deeply in debt, the townsmen of St. Albans were in revolt, objecting to the abbot’s feudal privileges. Around 1328 while in Avignon, Richard was afflicted with leprosy (probably his sickness was not leprosy but maybe syphilis, scrofula, or tuberculosis) and suffered impairment of speech from the disease in the early 1330s. He died 23 May 1336 at St. Albans, Hertfordshire after four years of steadily declining health. Before he died, he had cleared most of the debts and put down the revolt in the town. He had also kept control of a complex domestic situation, several of his monks having contested to his position, and one having gone further to initiate a papal investigation. He showed not only moral firmness but also intellectual and practical genius. Regardless of his illness, Richard was not able to earn the respect and friendship as abbot from the monks. While he suffered from the illness, he didn’t stop doing his most important work: his astronomical clock. After his death, the clock stayed in the south transept at St. Albans until around 1546, when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries the clock disappeared.

In monasteries, they had been using timekeeping devices for tracking their accuracy dividing the day into various cycles of prayer. They used water clocks, which were vulnerable to changes in temperature and to impurities of the water which distorted the flow of liquid. Robertus Anglicus (II. 1270s) was writing about a way of using weights to drive a wheel on a steady velocity making a single revolution a day which was the first such mechanical clock, in England at least, and appeared at Dunstable Priory in 1283. It seems that clock had been known for more than forty years when he began his work, but Richard Wallingford’s clock is the first entirely mechanical clock whose inventor is known was an improvement on its predecessor in many respects.

Record Number: 10526.tif
Shelfmark: Cotton Nero D. VII
Page Folio Number:

Title of Image: Abbot Richard Wallingford
Description: [Miniature only] Richard of Wallingford, Abbot of St Albans. He is pointing to a clock, referring to his gift to the abbey, and his face is disfigured by leprosy
Title of Work: Golden Book of St Albans
Author: Walsingham, Thomas; Wylum, William de, scribe
Illustrator: Strayler, Alan
Production: England [St Albans]; 1380
Language/Script: Latin / -

The clock Richard built at St. Alban not only showed time, but also the season, as well as the course of the sun, moon, and planets. It had a 120-geared teeth wheel at the bottom that rotated once in 24 hours and drove all the other wheels, including another wheel with 115-geared teeth that rotated once in 23h 56m 4.12s and produced a revolution just 0.03 seconds longer than the day. There was also a third wheel with 331-geared teeth which, rather than being circular, was shaped in such a fashion that it replicated the sun’s equatorial velocity.

In Richard of Wallingford's period, there were traditional large clocks installed in religious buildings. The Canons of Dunstable had built their own clock; Norwich cathedral was trying to build a clock with an astronomical dial, unlikely clock was very accurate. Richard must have been aware of all these developments but he knew that he could design a far more accurate mechanism to show lunar phases. But the available evidence showed that Richard did not live to see if his clock worked.

I would like to say, Richard of Wallingford outstanding work on astronomical clock and other mathematical and mechanical achievements added remarkable value for our modern world technology. If his clock had ever been completed according to his determination, would have added extra step in modern technology.


1. The Study of Time II, edited by J. T. Fraser and N. Lawrence
2. Medical and Scientific Writing in Late Medieval English. Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

clarence willard swinney - 3/11/2005

He spent 54 million on ads portraying Kerry as a Flip Flopper on five distorted statements. Yet, he gets by with my list of 62 and a superb list of 172 at
“I say what I mean and mean what I say”
“ Promises made-Promises kept”
“When I make up my mind it stays made up”
“I do not take cues from anyone”
“You can’t say one thing and do another”
“Trust me I’m a straight shooter”
“I’m the commander, I don’t need to explain, I do not need to explain why I say
1.Osama Bin Laden is my number one priority. (at least this week)
2. We need an Office of Strategic Influence (Next decade maybe)
3. I will follow the UN Resolution as long as it takes-10-27-02
10-31-02—The UN needs to act now
2-13-03—The UN needs to show courage (like I did during Vietnam.)
4. I am a strong believer in Fair Trade—(except steel and softwood lumber) (votes first)

Ed Crane—Co-Founder and President of The Cato Institute-“Everything this
administration does is political”

5, We do not need for the Homeland Security Department to be a Cabinet position.
I made up my mind on it. Boston Globe—6-9-02 “Bush Flip Flop”
6. I will get Osama Bin Laden “Dead or Alive”—(go get em cowboy)—5-13-02-(“I don’t know where he is, I have no idea and I really don’t care.) (It’s not that important. It’s not out first priority”) (“I say what I mean”). (“When I make up my mind it stays made up”).
7. I will use the bully pulpit with OPEC. (Sic em bulldog my gas now 1.65 per gallon)
Supply went down and Prices went up and (“This is just the Free Market at Work”)
8. I will never apologize to the Chinese for “stealing our plane”. Please guys! Be nice.
Return our plane. “I regret it”
9. I mean what I say—“We can expect an attack”. Each month warning. When BOY?
10. Wash. Post-2-8-03—Bush seeking a promise from IRAN (Evil) for humanitarian help
in event a slaughter is done in Afghan. (Sounds like Reagan?)
11. NYT-1-23-03—Bush (Man of steel will) “rescinding” old policy and implementing a new policy that allows managed care organizations to limit and restrict coverage of emergency services for poor people on Medicaid. This was after criticizing HMO.s for refusal to allow treatment. If this is a Devout Christian I am Jesus Christ.
12. We will not negotiate with North Korea. Wash Post 1-16-03—Bush is now willing to consider agricultural and energy aid. (Hold on! This is EVIL of axis)
13.Individual investors who borrow money to buy dividend paying stocks should be penalized.(Gosh! What did I say—I did not mean it) NYT 2-5-03
14. I mean what I say until yelling starts. Military pay increase of 2% then 4%.
Stars & Stripes-12-30-02—Bush asked Defense Dept. to lower the announced pay raise for the military from 3.7% to 2%. Finally got 4 in 2004 budget.

“I am tired of all the Lying and Deception”—Amen! Hallelulah! Then stop it Boy.

15.I mean what I say—I am the education president. Please. First budget increased by 1,5% which had averaged 7% increase per year over five years. (Sounds like Clinton was the Educated educator to me.)
16.Wash Post-12-2-02—In June 2002 Bush promised 500 Million to fight mother-child transmission of Aids . In Aug he vetoed the first transfer of the 500 million. In 111 days since his promise 222,000 babies have been infected with Aids. (I wonder if Jesus Christ is tossing in his bed)

17.“Secretary O’Neill is doing a good job. The economy is improving. I have faith in him”. (your faith lasts two weeks boy)

18.The Homeland Security Bio-Terrorism Bill is too expensive. I will veto it. An Ok is not a veto boy.
(I mean what I say” but maybe I will not this time.)

19. I do not approve of an Independent Investigation of 9-11. (“I mean what I say” but—yelling is too loud).

20.I am against international money laundering controls. (9-11—“I changed my steel mind”) They may catch daddy.

21.We will have major social security changes. Wash Post. 11-11-01—Andrew Card on Meet the Press on 11-10-02 “I am not sure we will reform it” This was a Centerpiece of his campaign..

22.-12-30-02—We will not tolerate a North Korean nuclear arsenal. (Act nice guys if you want our $$$)

23.We do not hit civilian targets(in Afghan). There is no evidence. (Red Cross building not civilian—Veterans Hospital is military—Warlord Party heading to Kabul to celebrate was armed with .22 rifles—Wedding Party was violent and firing in the air at our planes 20,000 feet above them)

24.Wash Posr-11-15-02—“If you are not happy with the administration’s policy toward Iraq at any given moment just wait a week or two. A new policy, more your liking, is bound to appear”.

A. Go it alone week
B. Let us wait for UN week
C. “regime change” is goal
D. remove wmd is goal
E. Secretary of State is nor speaking for the president
F. Attorney General is not speaking for the administration.
G. I am sick and tired of this waffling and waiting.

25.Steel Tariff—I really did not mean that much. I angered some people. Reduce it.
(When I make up my mind it stays made up)
26.Carbon Dioxide is a power plant pollutant I will control.. (Oh! It will be too costly to my energy contributors so forget it suckers—cough cough)
27.Reuters-6-26-02—‘I have confidence in the Palestinians when they understand we are saying they must make the right decisions”—“I can assure you we will not be putting money into a society which is not transparent and which is corrupt”.
(Was he referring to his administration? Sounds like it—transparent—corrupt)

28.I am against human cloning in any form. (well, not quite “any”)
29.“I knew nothing about dangers of 9-11”. Eight months later. “I knew a damn bunch (but I was too busy on Vacation and looking for more to blame on that President who stomped my dad. Darn it is tough being dumb, inarticulate and following such a brain and great success)
30.“I am in excellent physical condition.” (Darn, staying up till midnight in Paris zapped all my energy—Boy—try conditioning your mind))
31.I am on top of everything. (Why did you say twice on TV—“I am not in control the Pentagon is running the War (Afghan)—You have a White House base—same as Al Qaeda. Only more secretive)
32.I will veto bill increasing benefits for disabled military retirees (Yep!He was war hero.. 6-20-02 in Wash Post. I do not change my mind. Until 2004 Budget).
33.-6-14-02—released 23,653 of ”cherry picked” Reagan papers after refusing to do it. “When I make up my mind it stays made up” Is this BOY real ?”
34.I mean what I say—‘I will provide 100 million to help preserve the Rain Forest”
35.Budgeted funds for his dad’s Crusader cannon then demanded that Congress kill the big sucker.
36. Airline Security is very important to me. Then, why did you fight so hard to keep guns out of cockpits?
37.Barred part-time Mexican and Canadian students from U.S. schools after 9-11. Then, after howls reversed his decision. “When I make up my mind”
38.Simon (candidate for Gov. of California). “He is a breath of fresh air.”
Bush sho hated that California Smog for he avoided Simon while in his presence.
39.“I will not engage in bailing out countries.” 30 billion to Brazil just a tip?
40.NY Times-Richard Stevenson-2-14-03—“Bush eases Ban on AIDS money to pro-abortion groups abroad.. What will he tell Falwell?
41.-March 6—“We will call for a UN Security Council vote.” Geo. Bush
March 13—“There may be no vote” Colin Powell
NY TIMES-“Bush promises to adopt peace plan”. The Guardian-“Bush reversed his previous insistence that the Middle East Peace effort must wait till after Iraq SLAUGHTERAMA
42.NY TIMES--Edmund L. Andrwews-2-26-03—Less than a month after President Bush proposed a radical overhaul and expansion of individual retirement and savings account the White House has abandoned their idea. (“When I make up my mind it stays made up”) (“Promises made promises kept”) (“I say what I mean and mean what I say”)

43. NY Times-Patrick e. Tyler-5-17-03—“In reversal, plan for Iraqi self rule by June 1 put off indefinitely. “When I make up my mind(scorched?) it stays made up”? Sho!
44.BIG WAFFLE—Washington Post-8-19-03-Dana Milbank & Bradley Graham—
“Bush revises view on combat in Iraq”.---May I on USS Desertion he said-- “Combat Operations are over”.. Now—“Actually, Major military operations continue because we still have combat operations going on”. Is this boy of scorched brain or what?
45. TEACH FOR AMERICA PROGRAM ZAPPED BY BUSH. I am pissed off. Big time. In 2000 campaign Bush promised President Wendy Koop to expand it. His aides asked President Wendy Koop to quadruple it. . On July 11,2003 she got a letter “We regret to inform you your application was not selected for funding”. Gone. Zapped totally. Bush is one of sorriest not just worst in history. Read TIME—8-17-03. Joe Klein article headed “WHO KILLED TEACH FOR AMERICA”? Sorry, but I am so furious I have difficulty writing. I do not like to curse but xxxxxxx.
45.OBL not priority or is he?
A 9-13-01—“The most important thing is for us to find Osama Bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him”.
B. 9-17-01—I want justice. Wanted :Dead or alive.”
C 12-28-01—“Listen awhileago I said to the american people our objective is more than Bin Laden—Press pool in chapel on ranch
D. 3-13-02 “I am truly not that concerned about him.”The New American 4-8-02
E. 3-13-02—“I don’t know where Bin Laden is. I have no idea and I really don’t care. It’s not that important. It’s not our priority.” Wow!
46. Bush told bob Woodward in his book “Bush War” that “he didn’t feel that sense of urgency” about Al Qaeda prior to 9-11”. No claims had great sense of urgency.

47.Nov 2003 Bush made highly touted speech about spreading democracy in the entire Middle East. NYT reported he backed away after it was denounced by Egypt Mubarak and Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
48. 2-2-04 Budget Director Bolton-“we will not need additional funds for 04.”
5-5-04 Bush “I am requesting that Congress establish a 25 Billion contingency reserve ”
49. 3-9-04 Press Secretary McClellan-“Condoleeza Rice will not testify before 9-11 commission it is matter of principle.” President Bush on 3-30-94 “Dr. Rice will testify.”
50. 3-19-02 Ari Fleischer-“Creating a Cabinet Office will not solve the problem.”
6-6-02 President Bush “Tonight I ask the Congress to join me in creating a single permanent department securing the homeland of America.”
51. NYT 1-29-04 “Bush resists outside investigation on WMD intelligence failure.”
2-6-04 Bush “Today, by executive order, I am creating an independent commission, to look at American intelligence capabilities.”
52. Wash Post-1-19-04-“Bush opposes extension of time for 9-11 commission.”
CNN-2-4-04---“Bush supports time extension for 9-11 commission.”
53.NYTimes 2-26-04-Bush limits testimony to one hour.”
Spokesman McClellan-3-10-04 “Bush sets no time limit for testimony.”

54.Larry King Live 2-15-00 Bush says Gay Marriage is a state issue.
2-24-04-Bush “Today I call upon the Congress to promptly pass, an amendment to our constitution defining andprot4cting marriage as a union of a man and woman as husband and wife.”
55. 3-6-03 Bush vows to have a UN vote no matter what 3-18-03-Wash Post-“Bush withdraws request for UN vote.”
56. Columbia Journalism Review—Bush vetoed Patients Bill Of Rights as Governor but boasted how he got it passed. Now, flip flop to double straddle. He touted the Texas law as super duper.
When a challenge to the Texas Law went before Supreme Court Bush joined with two HMO’s in opposing the law. Could it be because the HMO’s are Pioneers in his campaign. Doesn’t this man have any honor or integrity?

57.Remove troops from Korea. A proposal by Cheney. Bush on 3-13-02 “There is no question we have obligations around the world, which we will keep. There is a major obligation for the 37,000 troops in South Korea. It is an obligation that is an important obligation. I know it is important and we will keep that obligation.
US Newswire-8-19-04.

58. Speech in Michigan 8-16-04—“We have got to use our resources wisely, like water
It starts with keeping the Great Lakes water in the Great Lakes Basin.. My position is clear : we are never going to allow diversion of Great Lakes water.”
Per Associated Press in July 2001 Bush said “I want to talk to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien about piping Great Lakes water to the west and southwest. A lot of people don’t need the water, but when you head South and West, we do need it.”
AP 7-19-01—White House release 7-17-01 “remarks by the President in Roundtable interview with Foreign Press.

59. Cheney in Elko, Nevada 8-14-04 “Kerry recommended sensitivity for terrorists. No war was ever won by sensitivity”. Interview with Hugh Hewitt—8-12-04—“From the standpoint of the shrine (Najah), obviously it is a sensitive area, and we are very much aware of it’s sensitivity.” The Daily Howler-8-17-04
60. NYTimes-8-31-04---
April 13,2004—“Can you ever win the war on terror? Of course you can.”
July 19,2004----“I have a clear vision and a strategy to win the war on terror.”
August 30,2004—“I don’t think you can win the war on terror”
“I say what I Mean and Mean what I say”
“When I make up my mind it stays made up.”
61. March 5,2000—on CBS Face the Nation—Independent group attacking his opponent John McCain---Bush said: ‘That is what freedom of speech is all about. People have the right to do what they want to do, under the-under the First Amendment in America.

August 23,2004 Bush said: “the practice of independent groups to run smear ads is bad for the system. They should be banned.”
From Media Matters 8-27-04 TRUST ME—I SAY WHAT I MEAN AND MEAN WHAT I SAY sho nuff

62.BIGGIE WAFFLE—8-28-04 Interview Bush said “I don’t think we can win it (war on error) but I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world-let’s put it that way.” Bush said innumerable times “we will win the war on terror”. Many times. www.permalink 8-31-04
Does this person understand anything he says?

Clarence Swinney-political historian-burlington nc

Super List—172 Waffles—

Franz Holtzhaeuser - 2/1/2005

Look in any book on the Holocaust and read the footnotes. It's all Communist propaganda. Reitlinger even takes the Kharkhov show trial seriously.

The British invented concentration camps and began the mass bombing of civilians, the Poles built the first concentration camps in Europe, and those "gas chambers" everybody keeps talking about never even existed. Hitler made dozens of disarmament proposals which were ignored, and 20 peace proposals during the first year of the war, which were ignored. He even ignored the British-French declarations of war for 6 months.

The 'holocaust' really should be known as the 'holohoax'.

Steven J. Speece - 1/23/2005

As regards the “Holocaust” I think that the best approach is truth, an approach that has in the main not been tried by certain writers or historians. If humans are ever to come to grips with their problem of “mans inhumanity to man” there is no doubt that we must all tell the truth in all matters of history. If we continue to allow and ever encourage the continued dissemination of political or nationalist propaganda we will continue to instill in the public mind the idea that it is good to commit more crimes against our Fellow man.

Reputable authors have now published a sufficient amount of information challenging the older false version of the “Holocaust” and other alleged crimes of Nazi Germany, so that it is now possible to see that Germany’s actions during this war were no more inhumane than the actions of other nations when at war.

For example,
The Germans were not the first to use concentration camps.
Large numbers of deaths in such camps were reported during other war such as the American Civil War.
We know that one million German POW’s died of starvation after the end of the war due to the callus
treatment at American hands and we know of the enslavement of German POW’s after the war.
The French summarily murdered thousands of German POW’s at the wars end without trial or just

In the writings of the exterminationist the number of deaths at Auschwitz is now claimed to be one million, a reduction of the earlier number by three million. But if one is asked how many Jews died at Auschwitz the canned response is still six million, why? Shouldn’t we see a reduction of the six million number? Furthermore, the “Death Books” discovered after the fall of the Soviet Empire places the total number of all dead, from all causes, at seventy four thousand. This number may not be complete but it is a great further reduction in the number of murdered Jews.

Of course the exterminationist cannot reduce this number because it would lessen the “guilt” of the nazi’s! My warning is this, if we continue maintaining these alleged crimes of the nazi’s by political propaganda more people are taught to hate the Germans for no valid reason!

The maintenance of political hate propaganda of one people or nation against another is the nursery of wars. It should also be understood that such political hate propaganda is the tool of the over reaching, the megalomaniac and the would be tyrant.

The political use of lies must be stopped! It is the duty of the historian to correct such lies and expose the creators of such lies in order to prevent what we call mans inhumanity to man. The continued dissemination of the “Holocaust” story in its current form does not teach us to be tolerant of others, it only teaches us to hate and allows the megalomaniacs of the world to cause more death and suffering.