Talk:Claude AnShin Thomas

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self publishing[edit]

Many of the references here are self published: 2, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 18, 31, 32, 35, 37, 38, 39, 41, 46. References 17, 40, 42 are from Thomas's Zaltho Foundation. Glassman (8, 11, 21, 30) is not available on-line. Other references (4, 25, 45) are largely quotes from Thomas. Hence, the self-publishing & third party tags are appropriate. The major contributor to the article has expressed concern about drive by tagging, which this is not.--S. Rich (talk) 22:44, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

On your talk page, I asked you to provide specific examples. You have not done that here. Instead, you have pointed to reference numbers, which doesn't say anything about how the sources are used, or why you think they are a problem. Quotes from the subject of a biography are not a problem in and of themselves, so your point is not clear. Offline sources are acceptable, so your point there is not clear either. Much of the content is supported by secondary sources, and the rest consists of autobiographical material written by the subject and interviews. I don't see a problem with any of it, and unless you can point to an actual problem that can be fixed, I will remove the tags. There is nothing wrong with the sources or the content. Viriditas (talk) 23:18, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
WP:SELFPUB is violated in two respects. 1. the material is unduly self-serving in that it seeks to promote Thomas' views; 2. the article is primarily based on the SELFPUB (21+ refs) source. (Ref 16 is SELFPUB too.) Is there a WP:OWN or WP:SOAP issue hee? Before reverting, I suggest we let the issue simmer. I have no great stake in this one way or the other, but I'm interested in what other editors might say.--S. Rich (talk) 23:38, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
I don't see any such violations, nor have you demonstrated them with actual examples. This a biography of Thomas, and I'm not clear what you mean by "views". Buddhists like Thomas are not interested in "views" or opinions, so I think you are misunderstanding what you read. Part of Buddhist practice is to eliminate all views and opinions. Perhaps you can take a moment to focus on exactly what you mean by "views". I'm guessing you mean Buddhist views, in which case the opinions of a Buddhist monk would be appropriate in a biographical article about a Buddhist monk. Please provide actual examples that illustrate your claim that a content guideline or a policy has been violated. Viriditas (talk) 23:51, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Be more Buddahaic and let go of these views and opinions. (If Thomas is not interested in views or opinions, what does he express?) I've removed the banners, but the Vietnam war experiences need verification. Has BLP retained his DD214? If so, that would show receipt of the Purple Heart, Air Medals, and DFC.--S. Rich (talk) 00:16, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Working backwards, do we have a good reason to doubt Thomas, and do we have sources that do? As a skeptic, I believe we should doubt everything, but Wikipedia has clear guidelines as to how to handle these claims. I've noticed at least one discrepancy in the number of medals reported by sources, and I believe the current version contains the lowest number. Secondary sources have covered this, so there's not much more we can do. I'm open to ideas, but unless there's a problem, we are in the business of solving them, not creating ones. But, if you feel the need to question the medals, then take it up with the milhist project, as I've fulfilled my role as an editor. We aren't expected to verify anything beyond the sources, however we should all get in the habit of thinking critically, and if we have reason to think there is a problem, we should pursue it in the correct venue. Viriditas (talk) 01:18, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

It is always refreshing to meet an editor who takes a good, critical look at their product. Someone could get a FOIA copy of his military records, but that leads to OR. For my part, I've tagged the dubious/unverified claims and I will let other editors and readers consider the import of the tags. Best regards, and thank you.--S. Rich (talk) 01:25, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Well, I'm glad we are getting down to brass tacks, but I generally work towards a resolution, and we aren't there yet. Since you've tagged a lot of material, I'll deal with your tagging below in the next section. Viriditas (talk) 02:30, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Tagged items[edit]

  • As a soldier, Thomas killed several hundred Vietnamese people.[9][non-primary source needed][10][non-primary source needed]
    • This is sourced to Thomas' autobiography (Thomas 2004, p.xi) as well as a tertiary source that published his essay (Kotler 1996). This claim also appears throughout the secondary literature and in multiple recorded interviews. I'm curious why you think the nature of the claim requires a tag at all. Please address what you see as the problem. Viriditas (talk) 02:29, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
      • Although it isn't needed, I've added Queen (2002) as a secondary source and I've removed the tag. Viriditas (talk) 09:16, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
  • The helicopter crews he worked on contributed to betting pools on soldiers who could rack up the most kills.[6][non-primary source needed][11]
    • Sourced to a recorded interview with Thomas (Rothschild 2005) and retold in Glassman's book (Glassman 1998). If the claim troubles you, I suppose it could be reworded to make it clear that this is Thomas' recollection of the events, rather than stating it as a fact. I'm guessing that's why you tagged it, but this doesn't require a source tag, but rather rephrasing. Viriditas (talk) 02:29, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
      • Added quote and timestamp Viriditas (talk) 01:15, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Thomas survived being shot down five times. On the fifth time, in the summer of 1967, he was shot down in the Mekong Delta.[citation needed]
    • It's not clear why a "citation needed" tag was added, as every word in this article is sourced.
      • "He fought as a door gunner in a helicopter and was shot down five times."[1]
  • The pilot and commander were killed and the gunner and Thomas were both wounded.[10][non-primary source needed]
    • I don't see a need for a "non-primary source" as this fact is not in question and is repeated by Thomas in several places and in the secondary source literature. Viriditas (talk) 02:29, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
      • "In 1967, Claude was shot down for the fifth time. He lay pinned in a capsized helicopter, his shoulder shattered. Two of his crew were dead, a third man critically wounded. He remembers: "I could smell the fuel leaking, and I could hear the gunfire hitting the helicopter. I was convinced that I would die, and I believed that I should die. I didn't want to survive because I hated myself and what I'd done." (Trachtenberg, Tikkun, May-June 1998 v13 n3 p73(3))
  • Thomas received 25 Air Medals, the equivalent of 625 combat hours, and the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart military decoration.[citation needed]
    • The secondary sources all say he received Air Medals, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Purpler Heart. The number of air medals listed in the article may be lower than the number he actually received because there seems to be several different version of this, one that says it was equivalent of 625 combat hours, and another which says it was 675. The number of Air Medals Thomas received is the only discrepancy I've found in the sources, but I believe it is attributable to human error, such as typos. This could be cleared up in several different ways, but the secondary sources support the idea that he received these things. Viriditas (talk) 02:45, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
      • Added Orlando Sentinel and Tricyle, as only two of many supporting these claims. Viriditas (talk) 06:06, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
        • Also added Utne and Pasadena Weekly. The claim appears everywhere. Viriditas (talk) 21:44, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Thomas came home to a country that still supported the war, but wouldn't hire veterans, and he had difficulty finding a job.[6][non-primary source needed]
    • This doesn't require a "non-primary source" but rather rephrasing to make it clear that it is his opinion. Viriditas (talk) 02:29, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Thomas stopped carrying a gun in 1984, concluding that it was no longer helping to keep him safe.[16][non-primary source needed]
    • This doesn't require a non-primary source. The fact that Thomas stopped carrying a gun because he didn't believe it kept him safe isn't in question. Viriditas (talk) 02:29, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Thomas was rotated back to the U.S. and spent nine months in physical therapy recovering from a shoulder injury at the Ireland Army Community Hospital in Fort Knox, Kentucky. He was released from the hospital and honorably discharged from the Army on August 23, 1968, at the age of 20.[12][non-primary source needed]
    • No, this does not require a non-primary source, and there are secondary sources that support it. Viriditas (talk) 04:02, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Thomas later received a master's degree from Lesley College in Management[17][non-primary source needed]
    • I recall at least one secondary source that supports this statement, but again, I don't see why it requires one. Viriditas (talk) 02:29, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
Your comments are fair enough and I am happy for the most part. You'll see I've edited some, changed a couple of tags, and added comments. Still, whether or not a claimed fact is in question is not the issue. (For example, whether he carried a gun or stopped.) The source of the info is the issue. (And recalling that a secondary source is available does not suffice.) You are the major contributor to this very nice article, so I apologize if I hold your feet to the fire a little too closely at times. It is clumsiness on my part only. Thank you. --S. Rich (talk) 15:04, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
Well, we appear to be in a state of disagreement. From where I sit, the sources are fine, and are used correctly. The only issue I can see is the wording of certain passages. I will take another look later and attempt to revisit the material with fresh eyes, but I still don't see a problem. I know, from looking at your contribution history, you have a concern for Vietnam-related issues, so I think you need to talk a bit more about your concerns so that I can address them. Viriditas (talk) 23:56, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
Edit away as you wish. I am confident you will work hard to make this article worthy of Wikipedia. Indeed, GA status is certainly a consideration. I do not have a need to talk more about my concerns. I DO NOT HAVE A NEED TO TALK MORE ABOUT MY CONCERNS. I-DO-NOT-HAVE-A-NEED-TO-TALK-MORE-ABOUT-MY-CONCERNS. (Hint: Laugh) Vietnam veterans are one of my interests, as are many others. And Wikipedia is turning into an interesting hobby. In any case, I thank you for your suggestion and efforts. (And Thomas is coming off of my watchlist.) Best regards.--S. Rich (talk) 02:22, 19 August 2010 (UTC)


Need to add 1990s tour before C-class. Viriditas (talk) 22:59, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

'==Recent tours to add==

Text removed during copy-edit[edit]

I removed the following text from a reference in the 'Coming home' section, where it's largely irrelevant and I don't think it belongs in the article - interested readers can go directly to the reference to find it:

Several different versions of the full Associated Press report were carried by various regional papers in 1982, with at least one, The Hour (1982-02-25) in Norwalk, CT, carrying a larger quote by Thomas addressing the topic of PTSD, a diagnosis which had only been formally recognized in 1980: "The problem with the women is they are very reluctant to come forward if they are having any problems," Thomas said, adding that when women veterans approach the VA for help they're usually made to feel unwanted. "They don't know what's happening to them and they don't know who to turn to. In Jeanne's case, she was at Da Nang. She was rocketed and she was mortared. She has seen people killed and she has experienced the trauma that can lead to post-traumatic stress. Many women saw the same things."

I'll leave the reference in the article. Cheers, Baffle gab1978 (talk) 03:22, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

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