Talk:Ann Dunham/Archive 3

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Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4

Scott's book wil probably be cited more than once

In this edit, the page# is hardcoded. By not hardcoding the page#, the same reference can be used more than once, as [1]p.888 and [1]p.999. Comments? --Javaweb (talk) 19:47, 12 May 2011 (UTC)Javaweb

Yeah, I considered that possibility; the problem is, the previous method didn't show the page number anywhere except in edit mode, which is an unlikely place to look. There's a way to do what you describe (I think with specifically designed templates), but (a) the code there didn't work right, and (b) it's a bit distracting, and not used elsewhere in this article. Another (IMO preferable) solution would be the separate list of reference books and short form cites of the form "Scott, 2011, p. 108"; it's just that right now neither the book nor the article seemed major enough to take the steps to set it up that way, so I went with the easy fix pending future developments. Fat&Happy (talk) 20:14, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing out the problem. I put a fixed example in my sandbox. I like to be able to find out all about the cited book without finding out where the"Scott" book information is. The hyperlink takes me to what I need. --Javaweb (talk) 20:35, 12 May 2011 (UTC)Javaweb

is using

I fail to see how verbatim use of the source ""Sen. Barack Obama is using an image of his deceased mother" McCormick, John (2007-09-21). "Obama's mother in new ad". Chicago Tribune: p. 3. Retrieved 2008-01-17." in the article ammounts to "negative connotation". If it does, find another source to balance it. In the meantime, Viriditas, please cease threatening me for using the verbatim citation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Medeis (talkcontribs) 07:11, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia editors do not use sources "verbatim" without quotes and attribution. That's called plagiarism. The negative connotation about a BLP that you keep adding is the claim that Obama has "used" the death of his mother to win political points. This is a common talking point in right wing anti-Obama discourse. On Wikipedia, we write articles based on the best sources we can find, and we paraphrase whenever necessary. The phrasing of "Obama talked about Dunham's death in a 30-second campaign" is fully supported and without bias, whereas quoting McCormick's portrayal is not. It's best if you do further research on this subject and find additional sources. On Wikipedia, we portray BLP's as best we can. There's no need to perpetuate negative connotations about Obama and his mother simply because McCormick chose to word his article in a sensationalized manner. There's also no need to quote McCormick when we can easily paraphrase the fact that Obama talked about his mother's death and avoid any negative connotations that fall afoul of bias. Viriditas (talk) 07:45, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Medeis, the quotation leaves out the context of the event and makes it sound like he is exploiting the dead rather than his attempt to personalize the issue of health insurance.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Javaweb (talkcontribs) 20:37, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Medeis, here is at least one additional source on the same subject that does not use the problematic wording of McCormick:
Helman, Scott (2007-09-20). "Obama continues big Iowa push". The Boston Globe. Another day, another new Iowa TV ad from Barack Obama. Today's installment, called "Mother," is a personal reflection on how his mom, Stanley Ann Dunham, struggled with cancer but was more worried about how she'd pay her health care bills. Dunham died in 1995. With Hillary Clinton getting lots of attention this week for her second try at universal health care, Obama is trying to draw Iowa voters' attention to his own health care plan.  Viriditas (talk) 08:12, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Medeis, I should also point out that your change fundamentally altered the meaning of the paragraph and duplicated content instead of focusing on the primary topic. This particular section is about Obama talking about his mother's struggle with cancer in two places: 1) in an advertisement and 2) in a speech. It is not about him solely using an image as your change implies, and that information already appears in a description of the ad in the appropriate place ("The ad featured a photograph of Dunham holding a young Obama in her arms as Obama talks about her last days worrying about expensive medical bills"). Viriditas (talk) 11:39, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

I agree with and support Viriditas' edits on this - this material is backed up by valid sourcing. Tvoz/talk 15:20, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Health Insurance story

The article under #Illness and death gives the story from Obama's campaign of how his mother's insurance company denied her coverage for her "preexisting condition". According to [1], this was not a health insurance company at all, but was a disability insurance company (for those who don't know what that is, think Aflac commercials - your health insurance pays your medical bills, your disability insurance pays your living expenses) and she did, according to the article, take out disability insurance after she got cancer. So I'm throwing this out there for suggestions on how to deal with this - this is an article about Ann Dunham and shouldn't be turned into a coatrack for refuting an alleged campaign lie, but nor should we tell what appears to possibly be a fictional story without presenting both sides. --B (talk) 14:54, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

User:B Talking about "lies" and "fictional" is not productive, as many people would see disability insurance as an instance of health insurance. Having said that, I point you to Janny Scott's exhaustive book on Ann Dunham, A Singular Woman, recently published to good reviews. (She's a former NYT reporter who clearly spent years on the book.) I suggest you consult that source. Good luck. Bellagio99 (talk) 15:08, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
P.S. My sense is that candidate Obama was talking about the dysfunctionality of the entire U.S. health care system, of which such distinctions may be an illustration. For example, in Canada, "pre-existing conditions" inherently don't enter into the discussion. Cheers. Bellagio99 (talk) 15:14, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Umm ... wow ... where to begin. (1) I said "appears to possibly be a fictional story" and "alleged campaign lie". I'm not sure how I can put it more neutrally. (2) The book this article is quoting is, in fact, Janny Scott's book - the very one you are pointing me to. You obviously did not read the article. (3) The point here is that, if this article is correct, it was NOT her health insurance at all that denied her claim based on a preexisting condition, but her disability insurance. While health insurance preexisting claims are a legitimate area of concern (nobody wants to have a class of people who can never get health insurance), getting disability insurance when you are already disabled is utterly ridiculous - it would be like getting fire insurance after your house burns down. Not insuring preexisting conditions with your disability insurance has nothing whatsoever to do with the US health care system any more than car insurance or mortgage insurance does. --B (talk) 15:22, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Hey B - haven't seen you in a while. Hope all's good. Just looking in on this exchange, and not to get too far afield from why we're here, I'd have to disagree with this assertion. Car insurance and mortgage insurance are not at all health-insurance related, while disability insurance is directly so, and sold by the same section of the insurance industry, subject to the same type of restrictions, quite separate from car and mortgage. The pre-existing conditions matter is the same issue for straight-up health insurance and disability insurance and certainly is analogous, so calling the story "fictional" is not quite right. As for the specifics regarding this biography, I'll have to look at this again a little closer, from sources that are not right-wing blogs - as I'm sure you would too - but I certainly agree with you that we should neither be a coatrack for people alleging "campaign lies" (which, I'm sorry, is also not neutral even with the "alleged" in there) nor a place to assert the truthfulness of the story. My first thought is that since it is a well-known story about her it should be in here, perhaps with some clarification from the Scott book. I'll take a look and see if any neutral addition can be made. Cheers! Tvoz/talk 16:17, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
I realize that disability is more similar to medical than it is to auto, but preexisting condition exclusions are not at all controversial for disability insurance and, as far as I know, nobody was ever talking about banning preexisting condition exclusions from disability insurance during the recent health care debate. My suggested change would be to simply remove the bit about this story completely - this is a biography, not an article about the campaign. His embellished story doesn't have anything to do with a biography. --B (talk) 05:49, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I think it could stand some rewording to focus more on the story of her financial difficulties as a result of her illness and inability to receive insurance benefits, rather than focusing on its role in the campaign. But the story is clearly biographical and Janny Scott's editor apparently agreed that it belonged in her book-length biography. I'll get the relevant citation and reword in the next few days. But I do not agree with your take on pre-existing conditions vis-a-vis disability insurance - it has always been and continues to be a contentious matter, as evidenced by her specific claim. Tvoz/talk 16:54, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, I'm going to have to go back to work. didn't need to read the article; I read the mega-sized book. Which is more subtle than your summary of the article's summary. Your own user page argues for temperate language. I agree. And I don't want this to get into an argument about US health care policy, except to note that the dbate in the book was about "pre-existing conditions" or not, and in at least in my country, that would neve be an issue. Good bye and good luck. Bellagio99 (talk) 15:33, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
You obviously have an agenda Bellagio. I took out that part because the anecdotal story concerning her disability insurance as it was simply a vechicle for Obama to promote his Health Care views. It doesn't add anything to the description of her life. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:53, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

Agnostic or spiritual

For many years (as Wikipedia time goes), Ann Dunham's religion has been described as "spiritual". There was a consensus. It was changed yesterday to "agnostic" which has less accurate and has a negative connotation. The "spiritual" description comes from both Obama's Dreams from My Father and from the definitive biography of Dunham published recently. Is there an evidence for the change to "agnostic"? Bellagio99 (talk) 17:04, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

I agree with the spirit if not letter of Bellagio's comment and would clarify it as follows, also in response to Pass a Method's edit summary here. As Bellagio says, this has come up repeatedly since this article was created, and the consensus on this — as seen by reviewing the overall edit history and what wording or lack of wording is most prevalent and long-standing in the article over time — is to omit the "religion" field in the infobox and allow the text of the article to explain what we know about her religious views. "Agnostic" is not a religion, so even on its face it is incorrect to display her "religion" as "agnostic" in the infobox. "Spiritual" is also not a religion, and we don't use that in the infobox either. She has been described in various ways in sources, including atheist, agnostic, secular, secular humanist, skeptic, Christian, etc. We can't and should not boil it down to a one or two-word infobox entry which will by definition be questioned by conflicting sources, so we let the text do the explaining. Note that leaving fields off of infoboxes is common across the encyclopedia, and is particularly appropriate when there are conflicting points of view about a "fact". Tvoz/talk 18:25, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
I only made a revert because Bellagio said it was extensively discussed on the talk page. But when i checked the talk page i did not notice extensive discussion. Pass a Method talk 19:18, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
Although I have read the books, I don't remember how her religious/spiritual beliefs were described so no opinion there. However, ***IF*** some is agnostic then they have no religion. Religion: none (agnostic) with agnostic explaining why none. The religion field should be used where there is a strong consensus she had no religion and it was part of her public face. --Javaweb (talk)Javaweb

Indonesia story

The New York Times article by Janny Scott, published April 20, 2011, and accessed today, subject "Obama’s Young Mother Abroad" has something interesting to add about her son's stay in Indonesia. His mother DID NOT protect young Barry from the extreme racism directed at him, but instead taught the little boy to treat it as a joke, or to ignore it altogether. --Pawyilee (talk) 12:08, 27 May 2012 (UTC)