Talk:Barack Obama/Archive 12

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Include details of Barack Obama's childhood experience with Islam?

It appears that some Wikipedia editors are removing or downplaying any mention of Obama early childhood Islamic origins and history. This is causing a general misrepresentation of Obama's childhood history by omission of important facts.I have tagged the article appropriately. So far no one has challenged any of the points below. Please so not remove the tag until dispute is resolved.

  • Barack was born to a Muslim father and Christian mother..[1]
  • Barack's family on his father's side is predominantly Muslim, father( Baracka Obama snr) , grandfather (Hussein Onyango Obama) were Muslims, brother Abongo (Roy) Obama is Muslim.[2][3]
  • Barack Obama 's name is a shortening of Baracka which means the blessed one in Arabic.[4]
  • Barack Obana's middle name is Hussein ,an Arabic Muslim name which means "beautiful" or "handsome". It is commonly given to Muslim males after the name of the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad , Ali, the fouth Islamic Caliph in Islamic history.
  • Father Baracka Obama died in 1982, Barack described his father Baracka as a non practicing Muslim [5] though he got a Muslim burial at Barack's family's request.[6]
  • Stepfather Lolo Soetoro was a Muslim from Indonesia.[7]
  • Barack enrolled in Catholic school in Indonesia as a Muslim student.[8]
  • When Obama attended 4th grade in 1971 in a Muslim school [9], Muslim children spent two hours a week studying Islam and Christian children spent those two hours learning about the Christian religion. Barack studied Islam.[10]
  • Barack attended at least some friday Mosque prayers with his step father Lolo Soetoro .[11]

--CltFn (talk) 17:50, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

  • Stop using tags as weapons. Bellwether BC 18:10, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. You're using the tag to try and force unneeded information into an article. Obama does not even practice this religion anymore. If he was still a practicing Muslim then this argument against would be moot, however he does not. HoosierState 18:20, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
I am not using the tag as a weapon , I am trying to say that we have a content dispute and this needs to be resolved per Wikipedia policy. Are you saying that there is no content dispute going on here? Why don't you challenge any of the points, which one can you refute? What you are doing is preventing the insertion of this material that you know is true, and why you do this I have no idea. --CltFn (talk) 22:04, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Actually, he never was a practicing Muslim which means that these editing attempts are not merely tendentious, they're in violation of wp:BLP. The whole "Obama used to Muslim" thing has been thoroughly debunked and discussed at length. --Loonymonkey (talk) 19:08, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Well call it what you want , in Islam when a child is born of a Muslim father, he is Muslim. Obama was enrolled in school as Muslim. He went to the Mosque with his step father. So the idea that he never practised Islam is dubious. But I make no judgements here about that , all that is being said are the facts which are listed. Furthermore , the only thing that has been "debunked" are the extreme crazy statements like his step father was a RADICAL Muslim or that Obama attended a radical Madrassa or that today he is a "closet" Muslim. I do not subscribe to such statemenents and that has nothing to do with what the points listed above.--CltFn (talk) 22:12, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
You aren't a muslim by auto-dint of your father's birth. You have to perform several ritual acts before you can be considered a muslim. Read the Islam article including articles of faith and five pillars. People think they can just say whatever they want about Islam and we're all supposed to be prejudiced dopes like them and believe it.Flickharrison (talk) 21:47, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
Even if the rituals weren't required, your argument is still wrong. Somebody could create a religion that claims all of humanity as members, or perhpas it's ritual for acceptance is the act of breathing. Just because the religion says so doesn't mean that we're all followers of that faith.Balderdash707 (talk) 06:36, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree. It's been an ad nauseum discussion, and I find the continual tagging of these articles, and attempt to shoehorn in discredited information bordering on (if not already there) disruptive behavior. Bellwether BC 19:15, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
The article mentions that his father was a non-practicing Muslim. It also notes that Obama himself is a Christian, and how he came to that decision. I'm not sure why his family's religious practices or the meaning of his name are important facts. Paisan30 (talk) 19:18, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
In Islam , the meaning of a name are very important. If Obama's father did not consider him Muslim why did he give him a highly symbolic Islamic middle name, which you can read all about by looking at Hussein in wikipedia. Why the name Baracka , meaning blessed in Arabic. I guess this would not resonate if one is not acquainted with Middle eastern culture. But that is what wikipedia is for, to bring knowledge to where it is lacking. Though not everyone agrees with that concept.--CltFn (talk) 22:25, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
I doubt a non-practicing Muslim father really cares how important names are to other Muslims. Further, how many people still care about the original meanings of names. David means beloved yet who actually names their son that for this reason. You might say that its because of the language difference that the name doesn't mean the same thing anymore but everywhere that Barack has lived, Arabic has not been the main language. Basically a name is a name. I doubt Isaac is picked because people want their child to laugh. Gdo01 (talk) 22:32, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
This is laughable. His parents gave him his father's own name, as in Jr You've heard of that construction? His father didn't name him independently of his mother in some kind of secret Muslim symbolic rite. Why did Bill Richardson's parents name him William Blaine Richardson, III - is there some kind of hidden WASP message there, trying to deny his Latino heritage by emphasizing his Mayflower side? Seriously, give it up already. Tvoz |talk 22:33, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Well then let it be included in the article then , since according to you there is nothing to it.--CltFn (talk) 22:42, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
  • They're not, which has been the point of those of us who have removed the POINT-y tags. Thanks for weighing in, though, as CltFn (wonder what that name stands for?;) ) has been attempting to push through additions, and in lieu of being able to do that, has been adding tags to the article about "neutrality." The mor editors who oppose such POINT-y additions, the better off the article (currently at featured status) will be. Bellwether BC 19:39, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
This is not about Obama's current beliefs , its about his religious background and upbringing as a child. The suppresion of information related to Obama's religious background raises serious questions about veracity of this article. If this is were not an issue , then why all the fuss and editorial blockade when simply attempting to include this material in the article, Obama himself is the source for this in his books.--CltFn (talk) 21:57, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
No offense but you're the one that keeps trying to force this into the article. The orginal user that brought this issue to the talk page has already said they have already given up on this issue. I believe this problem is settled, numerous have spoken against including it. This has already been proven false anyway. HoosierState 21:59, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
No offense but i ALSO agree with cltfn this should be added to the article. this artcile is biased badly. --[User:mike71] —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.88.211.157 (talk) 07:33, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
Proven false? , which one has been proven false?? I would be interested to know which one of the points listed above is proven false. By the wasy , as I have said several times before this comes from Obama's own books and writings and interviews. Those points are facts, not rumors.--CltFn (talk) 22:17, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Even still this info does not belong in the infobox. Only need to list his practicing religion, not past ones. HoosierState 22:20, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
I have never suggested that the info goes in the infobox , you are confusing me with another editor.--CltFn (talk) 22:31, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

[outdent] HoosierState is right about this being settled here. Repeatedly adding the list of particulars is disruptive. You've made your point, we all understand it, but we don't agree with your view. Please let it go already CLtFn. And by the way - your attempt to "subtly" suggest that you're a "Clinton Fan" with your username isn't going to fly either: I do not think you represent her views, would guess that she'd rather not have your kind of support, and wonder if it's not an attempt to smear two for one. Not that dirty tricks are something that anyone would consider using Wikipedia for. Enough already. Tvoz |talk 22:24, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Nothing has been settled, the only thing that has happened is a content blockade by a small group of editors.. The letters CltFn have nothing to do with Clinton , and evidently you are not familiar with my edit history. For your info , my main focus is anti-censorship and anti-polical correctness regardless of ideology, or politics.What drew my attention is the censorship of this topic. --CltFn (talk) 22:30, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Considering you're the only one who supports these changes it's all but settled. HoosierState 22:38, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Things are not settled just because you say so. Why do you object to this material being presented in the article? If you want things to be settled then let it be presented in the article and we can move on from there. Are you afraid that there might be stigma attached to this that would not look favorably in the article? Is that it?--CltFn (talk) 22:45, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Not I think this is absolutely pointless. And I did not say stop this, the large group of people objecting to this did. You are by far in the minority, thus this issue should be over. Putting this info in the article serves no purpose. By the way I see you've been blocked over 20 times for edit warring and look what we have here. Just stop this already. HoosierState 22:49, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Last time I checked we are having a civil discussion on the talk page. You say that its pointless, yet it appears to be more that than to you , since you are going out of your way to stop its inclusion.--CltFn (talk) 23:40, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Things are settled, CltFn. The article is a featured article. The material you want to shoehorn in is spurious. You're apparently hoping that the information has a "stigma attached to it." Otherwise, why would you be pushing so hard to force in discredited information? Bellwether BC 23:15, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
You keep saying things are settled, this is a discussion. I don't see that the matter is settled. You have not made a single convincing argument to prove your point, you have not disproven any of the contentions, you have only participated in a content blockade with 2 other editors. --CltFn (talk) 23:41, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
It would be different it you had other people supporting you're argument but you don't. The majority don't want it included. HoosierState 23:47, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
He does have other people supporting him, I support him, it should be included, this article is biased by not including information that is relevant but could hurt him. It doesnt matter if it could hurt him if its true. This isnt a campaign page. [mike71] 4 Feb 2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.88.211.157 (talk) 07:38, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
It does matter if it hurts him. How can you say it doesn't matter? Is Wikipedia's job to print every "true" fact about a living person's family history? Well, I can tell you I will sue the hell out of Wikipedia if certain very true facts about my father are printed here. And I'd win. Simultaneous (talk) 15:00, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

I would like to suggest that the first section of the early life and career be as follows:

  • Obama was born on August 4, 1961 at The Queen's Medical Center[9][10] in Honolulu, Hawaii to a Muslim father Baracka Hussein Obama, Sr. (born in Nyanza Province, Kenya, of Luo ethnicity) and Christian mother Ann Dunham (born in Wichita, Kansas).[11--CltFn (talk) 23:40, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Any objections?--CltFn (talk) 23:40, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

This article is about Barack not about his parents. HoosierState 23:50, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Look at the bios of most other political figure or celebrity and the family religious heritage is nearly always mentioned why not in this bio? --CltFn (talk) 23:59, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Maybe because neither really cared much for organized religion leaving Barack to find his own spirituality. Gdo01 (talk) 00:01, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Guys - This is a presidential election. Is there an intellectual among us that would pretend that a candidate's views on religion are not important. Obama talks about his views (and his mother's) in great detail in his biography. He references the Koran and the Bible (among others) as being on the shelf in his home. He is an intellectual himself with a thorough understanding of Islam and Christianity. If it's a big part of his biography, why is it not a part of this one? I only go back to this issue as it seems that his supporters refuse to look at this issue through a neutral perspective. Look at the comments above. People on this board are actually suggesting that a presidential candidate's family and religious influences (including past practices) are not relevant. Be serious. In this country, where censorship is an extremely bad word, the voters get to hear all and decide what's relevant. As one writer said above, I did not 'give up' on this issue....I just decided that the issue of Neutrality was more important. Frankly, unless I don't understand the rules of Wiki (and I'll admit I am new), it really seems obvious that Neutrality is in fact missing in this article. There is just too much missing (the Islam background being one example) for anyone to believe this article to be anything other than a campaign piece. If a POV issue was not raised in the 10 hours....what is a POV issue? Can someone explain?76.108.82.49 (talk) 01:20, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Whether or not there is a presidential campaign in progress is immaterial to Wikipedia and this article and has no bearing on what content should and should not be included. Wikipedia is not a voter's guide and has no obligation to educate voters on a candidate's views. The only obligation Wikipedia has, in the case of biographical articles, is to present a person's history in a manner that is compliant with Wikipedia's policies. There is also a substantial difference between a person's view on religion and claiming that they were raised or influenced by a particular religion when there is no evidence that they were. At best what can be said about Obama's religious upbringing is that his biological father and step-father were raised as Muslims and that his mother was raised by non-religious people, but by the time Barack was born they had either rejected the religion they were raised in (biological father), didn't see a point in religion (step-father), or had not adopted any religion(mother). As far as Islam is concerned, it is a pretty big jump to claim that Obama has a Muslim background, one could claim that he was exposed to Islam thanks to his time in Indonesia and an interest in his biological father, but, yet again, there is no evidence that Barack ever accepted the tenets of Islam or that it has had any influence upon him. --Bobblehead (rants) 03:02, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
So the suggestion is that we add all eight paragraphs of information so that the article drives home the point that Obama has Muslim relatives? I vote no. The article clearly states that his father was Muslim. Adding more than that seems pointless. Paisan30 (talk) 03:30, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

So you are ok that we alter the first sentence of the the early life and career section to as follows?:

Obama was born on August 4, 1961 at The Queen's Medical Center[9][10] in Honolulu, Hawaii to a Muslim father Baracka Hussein Obama, Sr. (born in Nyanza Province, Kenya, of Luo ethnicity) and Christian mother Ann Dunham (born in Wichita, Kansas). --CltFn (talk) 03:39, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

While it is true Barack Sr. was raised a Muslim, according to Obama's biography, he was an atheist by the time he met his mother. Atheism and Islam are not compatible, so it is difficult to claim he was Muslim. Additionally, it is difficult to claim that Ann Dunham was Christian at the time of Barack's birth. Yet again, according to Obama's biography she was raised by non-religious parents and had not joined an organized religion during his childhood. --Bobblehead (rants) 03:54, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
No, I am not ok that we alter the first sentence in that way - it is misleading, as per Bobblehead's point immediately above. Tvoz |talk 04:01, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
The article already says that his father was a non-practicing Muslim. Paisan30 (talk) 04:05, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
The contradictions that are being thrown around are absurd. If the father was an atheist the why does the article say that he was a non-practicing muslim and why did he give his son an Islamic middle name after the prophet Muhammad's grandson? And why did per Obama, the family give him a Muslim burial ceremony? In any case the statement that his father was Muslim is not contested by anyone in the media nor by Obama, strangely enough the only people who are contesting it are a few editors here in wikipedia. By the way where is the source that says that he was an atheist? There is afterall a difference between a "non practicing" muslim and an atheist, that is actually a huge jump to go from a believer to a non-believer.--CltFn (talk) 04:35, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Probably a misstatement by Paisan30. The article says Senior was raised a Muslim, but was a confirmed atheist by the time he met Ann Dunham. I'm going to go on a limb here and say that Hussein is Obama's middle name because his parents named him after his father, nothing more, nothing less. My middle name is the name of a Catholic saint, that doesn't mean that I was named after the saint and it doesn't mean my parents were Catholic. As far as Senior's burial... Senior was dead at the time, it's not like he was involved in the planning of his funeral. Senior's family was Muslim, so it's not surprising that they would have the funeral reflect their religion. You're using some very tortured logic here. --Bobblehead (rants) 05:16, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
OK while we are on the topic , would you explain why Obama said that he was enrolled in school as a Muslim because it was his birth father's religion?--CltFn (talk) 12:43, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
It was based on his step-father's religion, not on his biological father's religion, who was a non-practicing Muslim. I notice that you are focusing on him being registered as a Muslim for 2 years while attending one of the best secular public schools in Indonesia, why are you ignoring the fact that he also attended 2 years of Catholic school and was registered as Catholic while there... Just because his school's required that he register as a religion, it does not mean that he actually was that religion. --Bobblehead (rants) 17:34, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
errata: BO was registered in the Catholic school as a Muslim, solely because his stepfather (head of family) was Muslim. Both BO (per his comment in one of his memoirs about peeking during Christian prayer -- mandatory for children of all faiths attending the Catholic school -- and not seeing any angels) and his mother (per Obama's memoir, a declared secularist with only an anthropologist's interest in religion; per Obama's sister, an "agnostic"(mother, not sister); per her best friend in college, an "outspoken atheist") seem to have been sceptics at the time. Though BO has fibbed about this, saying he was always a Christian because he was raised by his mother, a "Christian from Kansas" ("coffee shop" interview during SC primary -- MSNBC, I think). RS available for all this. I'm not watching this page, so drop me a line if you want cites. Andyvphil (talk) 01:05, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
Sorry-- the article says that his father was RAISED Muslim, but did not practice the faith. To me, that says that he's a non-practicing Muslim... but I guess the article doesn't say it in those words. My parents are devout Catholics and gave me the middle name "Paul". I assume they had Paul the Apostle in mind when they named me, but I am 100% atheistic in my religious beliefs. In fact, I don't even consider the possibility that Paul the Apostle was actually inspired by a supernatural Being. Point being, I don't think that the names one is given by one's parents should be dissected in a biography piece. Paisan30 (talk) 05:32, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
(ec) Actually, CltFn, the "few editors" in fact represent a pretty widely held consensus. In any event, what you're looking for is Undue Weight. People have pointed out that some of the "facts" you cite are not exactly right (as discussed at length above). But we don't even have to reach that issue - the basic, verifiable information under discussion here is already in the article. The question is whether it is something that should be emphasized in the (in my view misleading) way that you suggest. The answer is no. The consensus view of most editors is that doing so would introduce WP:POV into the article - that the only reason to do as you suggest is to make some political point. We could argue about the validity of the point you'd like to make, but we don't have to - Wikipedia isn't the place to make a point. --TheOtherBob 05:40, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Editors can always find reasons why content that is unpalatable to their POV should not be included in Wikipedia, it does not change the basic facts about Obama's childhood. He was born of a Muslim father, given a Muslim name , he was enrolled as a Muslim in school in Indonesia, studied the Koran while Christian kids studied the bible and prayed at the Mosque with his step father, as a Muslim boy. Those facts cannot be changed by omitting them from the article.--CltFn (talk) 12:12, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
  • And you can attempt to force in your POV about how things should look in this article all you want. It's not happening. Too many good-faith editors (both Republican and Democrat) will not let it stand. This article did not get to FA status by people letting their POVs dictate the content, as you accuse. It received that status because of good-faith editors from accross the political spectrum worked together to make certain it was both well-written, and complied with BLP. You can continue your bad-faith accusations against the multiple editors who have opposed your POV changes, but it will not change the consensus. The sooner you deal with that fact, the better off we'll all be. -- Bellwether BC 13:18, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
I am not trying to force a POV. I am simply trying to present all the facts , not just the ones that may appeal you or other like minded editors. The article would be much better served if we had a unfettered presentation of sourced information. At some point you will have to come to terms with this. You simply cannot block the presentation of information just because you have the support of a small group fellow travellers. --CltFn (talk) 04:22, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Nobody is saying that those are not true statements. Many people are exposed to different religions as children. However, that is irrelevant, as Obama is a Christian and was never a Muslim. oncePaisan30 (talk) 13:43, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Well here again , its a matter of point of view, in Islam for instance if Obama's father was Muslim , then he is Muslim. If Obama prayed at a Mosque, then he is Muslim, and if he ever recited the Muslim declaration of faith in Allah at the Mosque, and I suspect he would have, then he is Muslim. I suspect that in Muslim schools or Catholic school if Obama was enrolled as a Muslim student then the staff might just have considered Obama to be a Muslim. None of this means that today he is a Muslim , it just means that during his childhood period he was raised a Muslim, born of a Muslim father. Technically in Islam Obama would be considered a Murtad Fitri, a Muslim born apostate who has abandoned Islam in favor of another faith. That is the Islamic POV. Now its quite probable that in today's highly charged American political campaigns , that an association with Islam is not perceived as the greatest asset for a candidate , thus there may be an effort to distance Obama's basic life story line from anything to do with Islam. But whatever the conclusions people make , the points I listed at the top of this section are simple facts. It would make an interesting article to include all this stuff in it , but it appears that some are not quite ready to digest such inconvenient facts.--CltFn (talk) 04:54, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure who you're referring to, but I am certainly not a supporter of Obama's presidential candidacy. I simply don't think that his family's religious activity during his childhood - or lack thereof - is relevant to his bio. I doubt you've gone to such lengths to document Hillary Clinton's record of attendance at Methodist services as a child, or give more than a cursory mention to John McCain's decision to attend Baptist services rather than Episcopalian (as an adult). Paisan30 (talk) 05:20, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Actually, according to the Wikipedia article Shahadah, reciting it without internal acceptance would not make Obama a Muslim. Wouldn't be surprised if it was some sort of crime under Sharia, but it wouldn't be apostasy. And there's some business about having to be 15 years old... Anyway, this is a subject for a spinout article on Obama's religion, its representation and misrepresentation, and its affect on his candidacy, etc., rather than much treatment here. But the kernel for that article got deleted as a POVFORK, twice, I think. Andyvphil (talk) 01:26, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I'll make this simple: what you "suspect" doesn't matter in the context of this article. Your POV doesn't matter in the context of this article. This article has reached featured status. Had it included your suggestions, it would not be so. -- Bellwether BC 05:04, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Well.. I'm saying most of those are not true statements, but I'm not saying CltFn is lying, because I'm quite sure he believes what he's saying, he's just misinformed. Barack Obama Sr. was not Muslim, he was atheist. Whether or not the name has "Muslim" origins means about as much as mine having French origins (That would be it means nothing). Obama was named after his biological father and that's as far as it goes. Obama never attended a Muslim school. He attended a public school for two years where most of the children attending the school were Muslim. You can't call that a Muslim school unless you start calling public schools in the US Christian schools. There isn't any evidence that Obama went to the mosque with his step-father. The only evidence that he even entered a mosque is a childhood friend saying Obama went to Friday prayers at a mosque near his home a couple of times because the other kids in the neighborhood went and Obama wanted to play with them. The friend does not mention Obama going with his step-father. The only mention of Obama going into the mosque with his step-father was to attend community events. Attending a bingo night (or the equivalent) in a church does not make one Christian, so why would going into a Mosque to attend a community event make one Muslim. --Bobblehead (rants) 16:29, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Later, the source of the "Obama went to the Mosque" statement (Zulfin Adi) said in a Chicago Tribune article that 1. He only knew Obama for a few months and 2. He "wasn't certain" whether he ever saw Obama go to the Mosque. johnpseudo 16:45, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
The Barker piece is pretty bad jounalism. He says Adi "has been cited in news reports as saying Obama regularly attended Friday prayers with Soetoro" (a apparent falsehood - I can't find any instance of Adi being quoted saying that) then "told the Tribune he was not certain about that when pressed about his recollections".(emphasis added, both times) This is regularly cited as Adi impeaching his testimony that he had prayed with Obama and seen him go to the mosque with his father,[1] but it is nothing of the sort: It's Adi saying he can't support an assertion ("regularly") he's never made. And his sister didn't say Lolo only went for the bingo. The quote is "My father never went to prayer services except for big communal events. I am absolutely certain that he did not go to services every Friday."[2] Andyvphil (talk) 02:01, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
Well Barack's sister said that he did go to the mosque but only for rare communal events.If you parse that correctly it means that he did go to the Mosque does it not? Or does that really mean that he was really going there to be baptised perhaps--CltFn (talk) 03:47, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
  • You've really shown your true colors with this post. Perhaps if one has to "parse that correctly" to ascertain some hidden meaning, it doesn't belong in an encyclopedic article. Please stop now. -- Bellwether B C 04:02, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Are you suggesting that this article should ask whether he was going in to get baptised? No evidence has been produced to support such a claim, so speculating on it is pointless and not appropriate for Wikipedia. Paisan30 (talk) 03:59, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
No I was suggesting that Barack's sister seems to have made the point in a circuituous way that he did go the Mosque and I was wondering was sort of rebuttal would be offered to this.--CltFn (talk) 05:06, 17 January 2008 (UTC).
CltFn, what's your point? He's entered a mosque before. Whooptie-freaking-do. I've been in the places of worship of many religions, it doesn't mean I converted to those religions upon entry. --Bobblehead (rants) 17:19, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
  • (ec)I'm sorry to say this CltFn, but that statement is a little absurd. It doesn't matter if you're Republican, Democrat, or Moonie - you cannot use Wikipedia to push any point of view. You're resorting now to the argument that NPOV doesn't exist, or that the concept of "rules" is just unworkable. Sorry, no go. We have rules, and NPOV is one of them (perhaps the most important of them). You should respect that, and stop trying to push your point of view through Wikipedia. --TheOtherBob 16:34, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Agree with everything said above. There isn't much more I can add to the argument against this. HoosierState 18:16, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
CltFn makes many excellent points. The present article is clearly a highly POV article carefully guarded as an election promo-piece for Obama. The present article is an embarrassment to otherwise high standards of balance on Wikipedia. This is a case where there are many zealous supporters of Obama, who outnumber those who simply want to air all the sourced data. What is wrong with saying that Obama chose the Islam study in his youth, if that has a reliable source? It seems like a fact that many readers would be interested in, and not a negative fact at all. Decoratrix (talk) 00:50, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Attention: Regarding the above section

The user who made the above section has an extremely long history of violations of Wikipedia policy (See Block Log). We as Wikipedians do not have to tolerate people using our site to spread out political smears (See WP:SOAP and WP:BATTLE). Having taken into account the long-term abuse by this user which dates back to 2005 I as an administrator have indefinitely blocked his editing privileges. I ask all users who regularly contribute to this article to leave me a note if such activity continues on this or related articles so that the proper action can be taken. Thank you and good day.--Jersey Devil (talk) 20:50, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

   Thus truth was silenced because no one wanted to here her.(208.61.109.241 (talk) 04:29, 30 January 2008 (UTC))
Poisoning the well fallacy-- the above section merits inclusion into the article. What are you trying to protect about Obama? State the facts of his upbringing, just the facts...of which you want to keep hidden. So much for "NPOV" —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.18.108.5 (talk) 05:41, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
I disagree. Paisan30 (talk) 05:56, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
I disagree as well. The "facts" as you call them are only your spin on the actual facts. The facts of Obama's life are out there. Nothing is hidden. It's just not spun in a way that some would like it to be. -- Bellwether BC 06:11, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Actually, the fallacy you're looking for is ad hominem - "poisoning the well" is a special case of argument ad hominem that occurs prior to the remainder of the conversation, such as "before I let Joe get up to speak, I'd like to remind you that he's a convicted felon and shouldn't be trusted." In any event, this is neither - it's a notification to those editing here that they no longer have to deal with a repeated tendentious editor and POV-warrior. No one cares what his (or your) point of view may be...this just isn't the place to express it. (And, yes, we know that you just want to add *cough* "facts"...carefully laid out to express your point of view... Come on, man, we've been through this - you can read the whole thing above.) --TheOtherBob 06:28, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Wrong again Bob, it was a poisoning the well fallacy. And wrong again Bob, I want facts, not point of view. And wrong again Bob...(ad infinitum)—Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.18.108.5 (talkcontribs)
The actual facts do deserve to be mentioned though:
He went to a public school in Indonesia rumored but proven not to be a madrassa. Then he said that politicians owe America better.
Without the first part it would be:
Then he said that politicians owe America better.
Anynobody 06:46, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
  • No, per undue weight. Wikipedia is not a rumor depository. Just because someone claimed something doesn't mean it belongs in an article. Especially with the weasely wording "rumored but not proven." -- Bellwether BC 06:51, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
There aren't any facts to include, just a smear all around. --Bobblehead (rants) 07:03, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
  • You know there's a Wikipedia article on the poisoning the well fallacy, right?...that it's possible to look it up? When you do, you'll note a temporal aspect - that it has to occur prior to the opinion expressed. Here the alleged *cough* "ad hominem" occurred after. So, well, sorry, but you're just flat wrong. (Oh, I know that's all totally irrelevant, and I may be violating WP:DBAD by noting your error, but we can at least be accurate.) To the rest - no, you want POV. You can call it "facts" and ignore Undue Weight, like your...counterpart...CltFn did ad infinitum above - it's still your POV that you want to add, and that's not permitted here. Sorry. --TheOtherBob 22:01, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Bellwether, respectfully undue weight would be mentioning the Insight article without including the CNN/NY Times articles proving it wrong. So obviously that particular rule is not in jeopardy of being violated. You also said: weasely wording "rumored but not proven." This is incorrect, I said The rumors proved false and cited NY Times and CNN sources saying so.
Bobblehead There are facts to report:
  • It is a fact that Insight wrote an article the day after he announced looking into starting a campaign talking about a "madrassa" he supposedly attended as a kid. (It turned out there info was based on rumor rather than fact)
  • It is a fact that the allegations made in the article were proven wrong, NY Times, CNN
TheOtherBob I'm actually not like many editors who are unwilling to discuss their errors. In this case though I fail to see an error on my part, using reliable sources, (which are verifiable by the links I've included) only the facts are discussed. Anynobody 22:28, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
(PS this wasn't part of my post) Anynobody 22:36, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing that out - from the way the comments flowed I took you to be the same person as the anon above. (I thought you had just not signed in before). It actually makes a pretty big difference, because the edits you're proposing are narrower in scope and less POV than those the earlier anon (and CltFn) seemed to propose. I originally took your edits to be part of their POV exercise, but they seem to be something much different. My apologies. So to the edit you propose? Well, I'm not sure we need to dignify the whole madrassa thing by including it here, because I'm not sure if it was a notable enough event - but I'd be open to the type of brief mention you propose if other editors were. I wonder, though, if we need to put it into some sort of context - any thoughts on that? --TheOtherBob 22:54, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
In the Early life and career section I think the school should be identified as an Indonesia public school and that Indonesia should be identified as a majority Muslim nation.Nathanael101 (talk) 08:40, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Should every story about a person educated in American public schools mention that the United States is a majority Christian nation? Paisan30 (talk) 08:55, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Clearly not. That the comparison isn't very apt should be obvious. If Obama was named Joe Smith and had went to school in Kansas and was running for president in Indonesia and this was an Indonesian website and if most Indonesians couldn't locate the United States on a map, then yes, I would mention that the United States is a majority Christian nation. The main point is that Barack Obama has had more personal exposure to Islam than the average American or than the other candidates. This can be read positively or negatively. It shouldn't be the editors place to assume a negative reading and so omit the information. I don't think my suggestion is the best solution but the two oblique references to his "atheist" father and non-religious step-father seem to skirt the issue. The very fact that it is such a sensitive topic should be acknowledged in some way in the article without giving it that dread undue weight.Nathanael101 (talk) 06:40, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
  • (Note that Nathanael101's only edits have been in a sandbox and entering into dispute at this talkpage.) Now, following your hypothetical, then, how in the world would noting that the U.S. is a "majority Christian nation" be relevant at all to "Joe Smith's" Indonesian Wikipedia article? Answer: it wouldn't. Neither does the fact that Indonesia is a "majority Muslim nation" have any place in this article either. It's designed only to inflame anti-Islam passions. Nothing more, nothing less. -- Bellwether BC 06:54, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
TheOtherBob don't worry about the misunderstanding, were I in your shoes it's likely I'd of made the same mistake. (I don't make a habit of double checking people's posts.)
Back to the madrassa bullshit, that's what it is IMHO but it's become extremely notable by virtue of the media response. Feeding Frenzy For a Big Story, Even if It's False discusses the especially notable aspect of the whole thing, the fact that big news like Fox messed up and went ahead to report incorrect information. (Kinda like Rathergate and CBS in 2004). As long as the message is complete the only people who look bad are the ones who reported a rumor, certainly not Obama. (Also the Clinton angle is worth mentioning, given the dismissal of those two aides for essentially perpetuating the original story.) Anynobody 03:44, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I could get on board with that approach. I think there's another article currently being considered for deletion that covers some of this material, though - how much we include here might depend on the outcome of that, of course. --TheOtherBob 04:50, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Nota bene. --HailFire (talk) 05:42, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I totally agree with TheOtherBob what is discussed will depend on the outcome of Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Barack Obama media controversy. My last version was based on the continued existence of said article.
HailFire, if I understand your argument it's based on two premises. The first being that stuff from before Feb 2007 should be excluded, the second that we should hold off because there will be more to report in the future. My counterpoint to the first is that we really should use the subject as a boundary rather than a set timeframe. The media perceived that Insight's article was timed for and meant to affect Obama's decision to run, meaning that it does fit under the subject of his candidacy. The second premise is actually a sort of false dilemma, you may not be aware of it but we're actually not bound by such concerns for several reasons. Primarily because it's understood that information could change at anytime and if it does there is room to accommodate the new as well as old. I expect that you're right, and there will be more to discuss before the campaign ends, however there is no limit to the amount of notable information that can be included. (It turns into more of an organization problem than one of size, by organizing extremely detailed info into spin off articles. Anynobody 00:55, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

RE: Barack Obama's name. In general Muslims do not name a child the exact name of the parent. It is considered a form of ancestral worship forbidden by the Qu’ran. You rarely if ever find a “senior,” “junior,” designation in Muslim nomenclature.

Most often children will be given their own first name. Some Muslim communities go so far as to dictate that no other living relative may carry that same first name. Thus allowing for a kind of individual ownership of the name within the family. The middle name most often will be first name of the child’s father, even if the child is a girl. This identifies them as the child of so and so, through male lineage. The last name of course is the family surname (which according to Muslim tradition girls may keep when they marry).

So if the person is named Fatimah Abdullah Shaikh, you will know that her father is Abdullah. Likewise, Muhammad Mustafa Khan, indicates that his fathers is named Mustafa.

The fact that Barack Hussein Obama carries the exact same name, in the same order as his father strongly suggests that the father was not a practicing Muslim at the time of the junior Obama’s birth. It further suggests that his father was very westernized and just adopted the very western nomenclature of naming his son after him. Nothing religious in how Barack was given his name at all. Bcc cindy (talk) 05:22, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

CltFn, you seriously need to get over your erroneous anti-Muslim bias. The "fact" that Obama's father was a "practicing Muslim" at the time of Barack's birth has been thoroughly discredited . . . he was non-practicing and atheistic. If you knew anything about Islam, this is considered apostasy and in extremist circles such as Wahhabism is punishable by death. Now, putting this aside for a second, I'd like you to admit that your attempts to insert the canard of Barack and Islam is nothing more than an attempt to appeal to the post-9/11 anti-Islamic climate in America in order to tarnish the character of a man who stands a decent chance of being elected President. You're transparent.Scientz (talk) 18:36, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

For the record I'm viewing this from the UK, and this section on the one above seem bizarre to say the least. Being impartial (well relatively so) I read the comment "Wikpedia does not care if he is running for the office of the president" (or a statement to that effect) - this is simply wrong in my view. I for one I came to wikipedia on this matter to have a look at his background *because he is running for president". Excluding information on his upbringing is stupidity surely? CltFn does appear to have a questionable editing history, but if they are facts, then I can't see a reason not to have them on the page. What is anti-muslim and what is anti-muslim is for the reader to decide not you editors. Your job (as I see it) is to insure the article is accurate and relevant, and looking at the comments CltFn made (which I can of course see why you have concerns) they do fit here (if and only if they have valid references of course). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 62.30.156.106 (talk) 16:46, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

As an intellectual property lawyer, I must caution that there is a genuine and reasonable legal concern arising from this discussion. Specifically, it has now been fairly thoroughly documented on debunking websites such as Snopes.com that Obama has only ever practiced Christianity, and was never a Muslim, and there was never any basis for any person to assert that Obama was a Muslim. Because the misinformation appears to have been published by persons trying to damage Obama, this gives rise to a cause of action for defamation of character (possibly even a fraud claim brought by third parties deceived into believing the misinformation). Although Obama is a public figure, and higher standards apply, the lack of foundation for these claims might be found to raise them to the level of actual malice required for a lawsuit to be founded on defamation of a public figure. In short, it would be a very, very bad idea to include these claims in any context except to note that they have been documented as untrue. Cheers! bd2412 T 02:15, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
I will add to the above that I have researched this issue thoroughly, and have in fact worked on several defamation cases in the past, including defamation cases brought against public figures. Cheers again! bd2412 T 02:19, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
How about defamation cases brought by public figures? Won any of those? ... Andy Martin threatened to sue me and Wikipedia when I asked him if his original press release about Obama was available online, but he would have lost. ... Given the political demographic here, and the visibility of this page, the idea that anything actionable directed against Obama will survive more than a few minutes is absurd. Now, BLP pretends to higher goals but it's main purpose is to prevent legal exposure for Wikipedia. The idea that we need to go beyond policy in order to protect Wikipedia from suit by such an unlikely source as Obama would not be well founded. The real problem, IMHO, is the number of editors (and more importantly, journalists) who, faced with Katie Couric's question "Is America ready to elect a president who grew up praying in a mosque?" and convinced that the answer ought to be yes, but knowing that the answer may be no, decide to be less than forthcoming about the truth. Which is, among other things, is that Obama probably did learn Muslim ritual and recite surahs at school, and went through the motions of Muslim prayer at both school and mosque, albeit "not seriously" or with much internal belief. Does that mean he was a "practicing Muslim"? No. But it's an answer to the question "was Obama a practicing Muslim?" that doesn't attempt to conceal, mislead or obstructively minimize. Andyvphil (talk) 04:11, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Some of the arguments concerning Obama's "Muslim past" are ridiculous, for example "why did his father give him a Muslim name if he was an atheist?" here is an easy answer: his father gave obama his name, meaning he is Sr, and his son is Jr. Also im am sure you will find many atheists naming their kids John, Michael, Paul, or even Chris which is derived from Christian, these are all names you will probably find in the bible, does that mean their kids are going to be raised as Christians even thought their parent's are Atheists? no, I find that linking Obama to Islam just because of his name to be stupid, and yet there are still anti-Islam bigots who will still try to do this with unreliable evidence and rumors, even though it has been discredited many times.Wraith12 (talk) 23:32, 17 February 2008 (UTC)Wraith12

Image:ObamaSouthCarolina.jpg

I've restored this image to the location in the Barack Obama#Political advocacy section where it appeared previously. If you want to replace the image, its caption, and references with an alternative contribution that better illustrates adjoining section content, please consider stating your reasoning here and seeking consensus before making the change. Thanks. --HailFire (talk) 11:08, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Image:Obama Portrait 2006 trimmed.jpg would be much better, I think. There is no difference in the substance of the two images--they're both of him making speeches. However, the USC one is professional-quality and is currently gaining support to be a featured picture. (It's definitely among the best portraits that exist on Wikipedia.) Image:ObamaSouthCarolina.jpg, on the other hand, is washed out, tilted, out of focus, and grainy. I'm not sure what advantage you see to using such a poor-quality photo. Calliopejen1 (talk) 17:25, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
Feature article criteria #3 states: "It has images and other media where they are appropriate to the subject". The image you want to use as a replacement dates from October 28, 2006. It was taken months before Obama became a presidential candidate, at a California appearance that he made in support of Democratic Party candidates prior to the 2006 midterm election. As a closeup, it provides no context, it could have been taken anywhere, and it does not illustrate political advocacy apart perhaps from party solidarity, which is not a topic covered in the adjoining section. I do understand your desire to find a home for it so that the feature picture nomination does not fail, but please, do not try to force this image here where it is NOT a good fit. --HailFire (talk) 17:58, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
Since the image was taken during a speech of Obama supporting California Proposition 87, perhaps a home could be found on the image light article Political positions of Barack Obama in the Energy policy section? --Bobblehead (rants) 18:11, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm pleased that it's been incorporated into Political positions of Barack Obama, but my insertion of the image here is not just for its FP candidacy. One would think that the best (by far) photo of Barack Obama on wiki could find a place in this article. Calliopejen1 (talk) 01:36, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Returned to Hawaii

I think this is a little unclear. Did his mother and siblings sister (his mom's article only mentions her) also return at the same time? Was he sent back by his mother? I don't think he decided to return on his own since he was only about 10 years old. Redddogg (talk) 15:22, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

wiki links

It seems like there are far too many wiki links in the article. I mean, is it really necessary to provide links to words like "pronounced", "memoir" and "multimillionaire"? 66.32.217.17 (talk) 20:44, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

No citation of Iowa victory and his speech there

That was a speech broadcast world wide. Many newspapers around the world translated it and put it in 2nd or 3rd page. That speech reborned JFK spirit inside of many people on internet. I vote to mean it as an "historial speech", of course in his political career, and may discuss in political history. --213.97.224.11 (talk) 10:11, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Anyway, i wanted to put on discussion one fact, Obama was unknowed for the world until that Iowa speech. And may be, time will say us that we will need a single wiki-page for describe that speech.--213.97.224.11 (talk) 10:11, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

You raised this same question on February 1 and the response is the same as then, but I'll spell it out a little more this time. Unfortunately, the FA standards on space suggest that main articles be kept to a reasonable length - we therefore have little room for such details here, so there is a sub-article specifically about the presidential campaign, which is where the Iowa victory speech is discussed. Obama gives rousing speeches frequently - and the speech that actually brought him out of obscurity was the 2004 speech at the Democratic convention, which we include here. I daresay many editors of this article would like to include a lot more detail on the presidential campaign here, but we have to keep the size down. If you have reliable citations for how the Iowa speech was more notable than others, and how it was somehow transformational, please put them here on Talk. It's not that anyone disagrees that the speech was notable, it's that we have to pick and choose in the main article which facts go in main text and which go in footnote and which go in sub articles and which don't go in anywhere. I personally don't particularly agree with that restriction as this is not a paper encyclopedia, but the argument that has been made to me is that people's attention spans and their browsers have difficulty with extremely long pieces. That's not unique to this article, and we try to follow that guideline.Tvoz |talk 22:19, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

I agree, this is a enciclopedia article, not a biography book. People want to know things with a eye-rush. Thats what wiki means, right? Yes. This article has to show the key things that people should know. Specific issues to specific articles. If people want to know more of an specific issue they will click to go to the subarticle. You are right, this article is going too long and it has to "branch-and-bound" spliting in many others subarticles. Anyway, theres a way to qualify and give importance and the significance of the facts, as brief as possible, but without loosing this qualification. Also, to put many things together hides the important facts. Theres a lot of work.
So, Why i keep discussing that Iowa is a key issue that should be remarked as brief as posible with the importance that it had?
1- You said, "actually brought him out of obscurity was the 2004 speech at the Democratic convention". Thats true for an american scope. Iowa was for a wide-world scope.
2- Within the historical context, Iowa caucasus predicts the democratic results. In people's minds iowa is an oracle.
3- It was a popularity inflexion point inside and outside america. Respect H. Clinton.
I will post some references and facts for all these points. Ill need time and help.--MisticVisions (talk) 18:49, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

School essay and born a citizen

I see that someone has removed my sentence (cited) about his famous third grade school essay. I agree that this is kind of a minor item, but still I think it added interest to the article and I don't see how it could have done any harm.

On an unrelated item... Do you think it would be a good idea if the article mentioned that he was born a US citizen? Of course we Americans all know that he was, but people in other countries will also be reading the article and in other places it's possible that a child born to a non-citizen father would not be born a citizen. Borock (talk) 19:58, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Borock, please see my comment below, prepared while you were entering yours. --HailFire (talk) 20:20, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks HailFire. I hadn't considered it from that point of view. Borock (talk) 21:32, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
I've tweaked it to natural-born citizen, which refers to Section 1 of Article II of the Constitution. kencf0618 (talk) 01:48, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

I reverted the change by Kencf. The first line already plainly states that he was born in Hawaii; further elaboration in this context will only confuse readers. --HailFire (talk) 16:54, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

I tend to agree with Kencf and Borock about highlighting the fact that he was a citizen at birth, that's a fact that probably wouldn't be inferred by a large portion of the non-US readership. Cogswobbletalk 19:08, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
I propose that "natural-born citizen" addresses two issues quite handily. First, the distinction between jus soli and jus sanguinis would be pertinent to some in a non-American audience. Furthermore, being a "natural-born citizen" is, not to put too fine a point on it, one of the constitutional requirement for holding the office of the presidency. John McCain, and for that matter Barry Goldwater, should get the same treatment –there's more to the United States of America than the fifty states.kencf0618 (talk) 23:34, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

[out] I agree with Hailfire on this - he is clearly identified as having been born in the US (and to an American mother, which wouldn't even be necessary for citizenship). Seems to me that saying that he is raises questions in people's minds that might not have been there before - certainly we don't say the equivalent thing for others if they are born in the US. John McCain was not born in the US, he was born in Panama, so it is relevant to state that he is an American citizen, and even so we do it in a footnote. Obama was born in the US so why would we say it there? Tvoz |talk 19:24, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

I think both McCain's and Obama's articles should say that they were born US citizens. I was being generous in saying that all Americans understand the concept of being a natural born citizen. I also understand that in Monte Carlo a child born to a Monte Carlon mother and a non-Monte Carlon father would not be a Monte Carlon. (I'm just guessing at the spelling of that, maybe it should be "a subject of the Prince of Monte Carlo. :-) ) As far as I know the same kind of laws might apply in other countries. Again, an educated, intelligent American would understand all this already and would also be able to figure out that if either of these guys had a problem the Republicans or Democrats would not even be considering nominating them for president. But Wikipedia is read by other people besides educated, intelligent Americans. Anyway that's my opinion. I don't plan on adding it to the article again if people don't agree. Thanks. Borock (talk) 22:32, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Tvoz and Hailfire. Some uninformed readers may be confused, or may perceive this as a jab at McCain whose citizenship is discussed at footnote 1 of the John McCain article. Obama's birth made him a lot of things (e.g. an earthling, a citizen of Hawaii, et cetera). No need to list them here in this article.Ferrylodge (talk) 23:53, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

It seems to me that uninformed readers are the ones most in need of an encyclopedia article. :-) Borock (talk) 01:15, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
Just so. I've put "natural-born citizen" back in, as it's germane for the reasons listed above.kencf0618 (talk) 23:59, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Education

Can you please update your page to include the dates Barack Obama Graduated Columbia University and Havard Law School. Only seems fair since the dates were included in Hillary Clinton Bio.

Education: Graduated from Columbia University in 1983 and Harvard Law School in 1991. Became first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review in 1990

http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/01/28/at_harvard_law_a_unifying_voice/?page=1

Thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mgdme (talkcontribs) 19:58, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

note Obama, Sr , "father" only received an AM degree from Harvard (1965) and left and so the constant

reference to working on a PhD is typical Obama Jr endless hyping that is simply a lie. And see next , no one knows who Obama Jr is as never did Harvard.

source: Harvard University see following:

Subject: FW: obama Date: 2/21/2008 11:49:50 A.M. Eastern Standard Time From: pdyer@fas.harvard.edu Reply To: To: "x" CC: BCC: Sent on:

Sent from the Internet (Details)

Dear" X": We do have a record that indicates a person by the name of Barack Hussein Obama graduated from Harvard University with an AM degree in Economics in 1965. We cannot confirm, however, this is the father of Barack Obama.

Sincerely

Pat Dyer Supervisor of Information Services FAS Registrar's Office Harvard University 20 Garden Street Cambridge, MA 02138 617-496-3713/fax 617-495-0815

Senate Career

It seems somewhat incongruous that Mr. Obama's short and comparitively speaking, relatively uneventful, senate career of three years has recieved 6 full paragraphs while his apparent Republican rival's (John Mcain) controversial and eventful senate career of some 22 years only has 3 paragraphs devoted to it. I note also that while there is no mention of the oft cited but hardly conclusive Muslim connection there is no problem devoting three paragraphs to Mcain's role in the Keating 5 scandal. I do realize that being the issue of a Muslim father and having studied the Koran as the chosen faith to fulfil a religious studies requirement is not a crime or an ethics violation whereas the Keating 5 behavior was at least an ethics violation.

Without having read the guidelines for entries for presidential candidates I would think that any controversies should at least be mentioned in passing if for nothing more than to document its importance in the American voting publics political purview. Surely the subject of Mr. Obama's exposure to Islam or percieved exposure should at least ne mentioned.

Uwharries (talk) 20:58, 20 February 2008 (UTC)uwharries

Each article stands alone. So, whatever is done at John McCain has nothing to do with what is done here. No one is checking to ensure there is balance in this regard any more than someone is making sure that the Bart Simpson article is as good as the one on Stewie Griffin. As far as Mr. Obama's exposure to Islam goes, I don't see how that is relevant. He isn't a professing Muslim. →Wordbuilder (talk) 21:16, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
Uwharries, perhaps you should talk to the editors on John McCain's article about the crappy Senate section on his article. The guy's been a senator for 20 years, having only 3 paragraphs dedicated to that 20 years is just horrid. To be honest, the editors on that article could take a few pointers from the editors on this article and Hillary Clinton's article. Heck... Hillary has a whole article dedicated to her 7 year US Senate career. --Bobblehead (rants) 21:23, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
Although, after further review of the John McCain article, the lacking may be due to a rather poor article structure... They have a US Senator section, but then have separate sections for various bits of his senate career, but did not make those sections sub-sections of the US Senate section.--Bobblehead (rants) 21:27, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
There are by my rough count 24 paragraphs on McCain's senate years in that article. I'll see what I can do about changing the section titles to make clear that the initial "U.S. Senate" section isn't the only one. (Although if anyone actually reads the article, they'll obviously see the other material.) There isn't one big Senate section because the House representative and 2000 presidential campaign sections need to be in there as well. The 2000 campaign section needs to be interleaved with the senate sections, not come after, because his experiences in 2000 underlay a lot of his senate stances in the early 2000s. Wasted Time R (talk) 22:04, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
As for taking a pointer from the Hillary article, trust me I do ;-) It's easier to split Hillary's Senate actions out into a separate subarticle because, for the most part, her time in the Senate hasn't been that significant. That's not the case with McCain. He's been in the middle of some of the hottest Senate action of all over the last twenty years — McCain-Feingold, the Kerry POW/MIA committee, Keating Five, line-item veto, anti-tobacco crusade, voting against the Bush tax cuts, Gang of 14, comprehensive immigration reform, etc. It's really got to be in the main article, which is one reason why the main article is long. Wasted Time R (talk) 22:09, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
As a final point, trying to make the Obama and McCain articles "similar" or "equal" as the campaign goes on is likely to be a fruitless exercise. They've had very different life stories and careers. And realize that McCain was on the front page of the New York Times and Washington Post when Obama was six years old and moving to Indonesia. Wasted Time R (talk) 22:13, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Meaning of Name

I would be interested to know what "Obama" means in Kenyan. I think that Barack means blessing in Kenyan. --Timtak (talk) 11:17, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Barack Hussein Obama..."Jr."?

In an archive Mr. Bobblehead argues:

"As far as including Jr. is concerned. Barack seems to be following the model of if the Senior dies, then you drop the Jr. from your name (or if you named a son the same, you become Senior and your son becomes Junior). There aren't any official references of his name with Jr. at the end.

Still, Wikipedia is not a vanity press. In light of the fact that, were Barack elected (at this point, as likely as not), he would round out the percentage of presidents' whose names are the complete namesakes of their fathers', to exactly 10% (11-out-of-44):

  1. Barack (Hussein) Obama (Jr.?)
  2. Bill (William Jefferson) [Blythe III; subsequently adopted as] Clinton
  3. Jimmy (James Earl) Carter (Jr.)
  4. [Leslie Lynch King, Jr.; subsequently adopted as] Gerald (Rudolph) Ford (Jr.)
  5. (John) Calvin Coolidge (Jr.)
  6. Theodore Roosevelt (Jr.)
  7. William McKinley (Jr.)
  8. James Buchanan (Jr.)
  9. John Tyler (Jr.)
  10. Andrew Jackson (Pres. Andrew Jackson was the exact namesake of his own father, "Andrew Jackson," who died a few days after Jackson's birth; yet it is Pres. Jackson's own adopted son who is known to history as "Andrew Jackson, Jr.")
  11. James Madison (Jr.)

--to do our encyclopedic duty, through indicating that our subject's name is entirely his father's namesake, while also acknowleging Barack's preference in usage, we simply put the encyclopedic emendation (Jr.) in a parenthetical notation after Barack Hussein Obama in the lede sentence. Any disagree? Justmeherenow (talk) 07:02, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Oops! Make that 12:
12. John Adams (Jr.)

Justmeherenow (talk) 08:04, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Bobblehead's arguement that, despite Barack's being the namesake of his father, encyclopedically we should avoid the designation "Jr." to align with Barack's own practice seems stylistically reasonable. However it is simply original research.
Britannica:

Barack Obama
American politician
in full
Barack Hussein Obama, Jr.

New York Times:

Full name: Barack Hussein Obama Jr.

--Justmeherenow (talk) 23:34, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

I don't understand how 11 out of 44 makes 10%--Timtak (talk) 11:21, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Date of Defense Authorization Act

"Later in 2007, Obama sponsored with Kit Bond (R-MO) an amendment to the 2008 Defense Authorization Act adding safeguards for personality disorder military discharges, and calling for a review by the Government Accountability Office following reports that the procedure had been used inappropriately to reduce government costs."

How could Obama and Bond amend a 2008 bill in 2007? What is the correct date of the bill? Fishal (talk) 21:29, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

This is possibly misleading. Both the House and the Senate can propose amendments to a bill before its final passage. The amendments will naturally have an earlier date from that of the final bill.
The grammar of the sentence is a little weird. It should first read "Obama and Kit Bond co-sponsored an amendment." Bond has been moved from a subject to a prepositional phrase although by context he is still a sentence actor. The prepositional phrase also divides the verb from the direct object. I'm not sure what the rest of the sentence is trying to say. In "safeguards for personality disorder military discharges," what are the safeguards? Is it protecting soldiers or the government? The later part of the sentence should go into active voice: "calling for the Government Accountability office to review reports." The final clause mentions a procedure, which I assume refers to the medical discharges (procedure is singular although discharges is plural which leads to ambiguity). "In late 2007, Obama and Kit Bond (R-MO) co-sponsored an amendment to the 2008 Defense Authorization Act. The amendment proposed a revision to military procedures for psychiatric, medical discharges and called for the Government Accountability Office to review reports that the (subject from original passive sentence) had used current/original procedures to inappropriately reduce government costs." The later part of the sentence should either be explained or cut back. It leaves more questions open without explanation. The sentence could very easily read "Late in 2007, Obama and Kit Bond (R-MO) co-sponsored an amendment to the 2008 Defense Authorization Act, which called for a revision and review of military procedures for psychiatric, medical discharges." From there, it could go into detail or to the next piece of legislation. I am not familiar with the bill and so cannot comment on its significance. Legis Nuntius (talk) 05:47, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Voting record

Looking at the voting record sections for Clinton and Obama is revealing, but not in the way Obama supporters might hope; I think the two need to be more similar in the sort of stuff they cover and in their overall format. For instance, where is the war stuff Obama voted on? Where are other things for Clinton? These seem like they need to be covered and be fairly similar across similar articles (as both are senators). Titanium Dragon (talk) 03:40, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

For Clinton, see Senate career of Hillary Rodham Clinton and Political positions of Hillary Rodham Clinton, not just her main article. Wasted Time R (talk) 12:41, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Obamamania

Shouldn't there be a section about obamamania ? Look here [3] Contralya (talk) 13:15, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

No military service

Somebody needs to mention that Barack Obama did not serve in the military. There are references in other presidential candidate articles with respect to their absence of military service (e.g. Rudy Giuliani). I just wanted to bring this to attention. 128.83.206.177 (talk) 23:56, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Being that people are more likely to have not been in the military than to have been in, it would make more sense to mention only if he had been in the military. It makes more sense to list the presence of an arbitrary credential than to list the lack of it. --StuffOfInterest (talk) 00:02, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Also, a lack of military service is only mentioned when the subject avoided conscription through special circumstances. Giuliani got out of military service through a deferment. Obama did not encounter this type of situation. Nishkid64 (talk) 00:04, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Yah; Obama was born in '61, which means there was no draft when he came of age in 1979; though he did have to register, he had no need to seek deferments. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 03:55, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
Hell, even I had to be registered. Lost the card when my wallet was tolen in '04, though. Fishal (talk) 17:18, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

He is a black man?

Can someone explain to me why that's the first sentence of his bio? Doesn't seem very encyplodia-ish. "He is a black man." Ok... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.1.194.154 (talk) 03:02, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

It was vandalism that has already been reverted Jons63 (talk) 03:05, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

As of this time, I still see this in the article, despite the fact that the history shows it having been deleted.03:34, 22 February 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 208.76.182.96 (talk)

I don't see it. Perhaps your browser is caching the page. →Wordbuilder (talk) 03:41, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Barackula

FYI. -- Y not? 22:05, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Unclear sentence

However, Ryan withdrew from the race in June 2004, following public disclosure of child custody divorce records containing sexual allegations by Ryan's ex-wife, actress Jeri Ryan.

What's a "sexual allegation"? Is it an allegation made during sex? "allegations of sexual improprieties" would read better. --82.139.115.120 (talk) 18:51, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

High School Days

Here is an article, hidden away in the footnotes, that gives a much more positive view of Obama as a high school student. Do you think some stuff from it could be added to the article? Redddogg (talk) 15:35, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Your link to the article doesn't work. 66.32.217.17 (talk) 20:52, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Here you go: http://starbulletin.com/2007/02/08/news/story02.html I guess I chopped off a letter pasting it. Redddogg (talk) 23:57, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
I might try to add something from it, when I get around to it. I have long felt that this article should have more about Obama's life story and a little less about his political opinions, which I think most people find less interesting than the other. Steve Dufour (talk) 11:56, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
I added one sentence that I hope sums up the interviews of fellow students in the article, and is short enough for the article. I have never read Obama's books but if what is quoted from them is accurate it seems that the story they tell of his life is more negative than what others have to say.Steve Dufour (talk) 22:24, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Accusations of Plagiarism

Obama gave a speach recently. The speech was a rebuttle to Mrs. Clinton's assertion that Obama is nothing but words, no action, just words. Obama's speach quoted several famous speaches. However, a very similar speech was given by Massachusetts Govonor Deval Patrick. Patrick and Obama are friends. This incident was in the all the papers (Boston Herald, Boston Globe) here in Boston. I'm not sure if it received as much attention Nationaly. I was just kind of thinking it may deserve a mention in the Wikipedia article, along with Mr. Obama's explanation. Bluesmanjay (talk) 17:29, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

I guess the best way to judge this is to look at national papers like the WSJ. Either way, I don't thinks it considered plagiarism given the friendship between Obama and Patrick. Charles Stewart (talk) 17:31, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Did Mr. Obama actually write the speech? Isn't that kind of thing usually done by speech writers based on the ideas that the politician wants to convey? →Wordbuilder (talk) 17:36, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Actually that was kind of the controversy. Obama takes great pride in his speeches, and is usualy given credit for how great a public speaker he is (speaking off the top of his head type of thing). So if Obama has a writer, that takes away from the impresivness of his speaches. Conversly, if he writes the speaches, he was plagiarising. Bluesmanjay (talk) 17:43, 21 February 2008 (UTC)


Here is an article from ABC News which describes Mr. Obama's position and Mr. Patrick's position. [4] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bluesmanjay (talkcontribs)

Based on that, sounds like a non-issue to me. →Wordbuilder (talk) 17:57, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Okay. Just thought I would bring it up for discussion. Good Morning America had Deval Patrick on to comment on the issue, so I thought it may be of interest. Bluesmanjay (talk) 18:18, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia isn't a news service. See WP:NOT. Charles Stewart (talk) 18:27, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
I understand that Wikipedia is not a news service. I did think that it was a place where items of interest are added to their respective articles. I did not add to the article, and brought up the item for discussion on the talking page to see if other thought it deserved a place in the article. After disucssion I feel, along with others, that this is not an item that is of enough importance to be included. Bluesmanjay (talk) 19:05, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
The plagiarism accusation is probably not notable for the main article as it doesn't appear to have had that much of an impact, but it may have a place on Barack Obama presidential campaign, 2008. Perhaps the discussion could be taken up on that articles talk page? --Bobblehead (rants) 18:19, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
interesting McCain's article got a "lobbyist" controversey inclusion...and now we see the first signs of Obama's immunity to controversey...even if it is widely reported in the news. Bias? Of course. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.18.108.5 (talk) 21:32, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
I will see what I can do about McCain's article. A small blip on the campaign should not show up in the main article on a person's life. Steve Dufour (talk) 22:45, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
I removed the item from McCain's bio. It is very important to WP's reputation that we are fair. On the other hand, what WP has to say will have very little effect on the outcome. (Barack is going to win regardless of what we write here. :-) ) Steve Dufour (talk) 23:13, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Who is Abongo Obama? Why don't we know about his family?

I believe it is legitimate to learn about this man's family. How come nothing exists in this article about Obama's family? We have his scottish ancestry, but considering his father is from Kenya, we obviously have other ancestry there too. Tell me about Abongo Obama. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.18.108.5 (talk) 19:35, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

It's not clear who you are referring to. Neither his father nor his stepfather are named "Abongo." If there is a distant relative by that name that you feel is notable enough to include in the article, please discuss the details. --Loonymonkey (talk) 20:40, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
It matters more about who Barack's subjective family is, rather than your hardline genetic pool. If, say, Barack has half brothers and sisters whom he subjectively embraces as his family, I believe its relevant to know who they are. Who is Abongo Obama? Does Barack visit Abongo? Speak to him? Does he embrace him as his family? Does Barack visit Abongo? In answer to your piece, does Barack consider Abongo (or anyone else) his family (rather than some distant gene pool). If, say, Barack has an ongoing, family relationship with Abongo, its obvious that he is more than some "distant relative". These are valid questions, and will become far more valid if Barack gets the nomination. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.18.108.5 (talk) 21:25, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
You must be talking about his half brother Abongo (Roy) Obama?[5] If you are find sources and discuss what you want to include here. Jons63 (talk) 21:42, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

I think a person's half brother or sister would normally be mentioned in a biographical article. I think it this has been said before that if people are racist against African people they will not vote for Obama in the first place. Mentioning his relatives in Africa is not going to lose him any votes, and might even gain some. Not that a WP editor would ever be considering that, of course. ;-) Steve Dufour (talk) 22:21, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Flag Lapel Pin Issue

(Hopefully we won't get sidetracked by placement/format over substance this time, but in any case here is a new thread)

My inquiry is to whether there ought to be any mention of Senator Obama's refusal to wear lapel flag pins because he sees them as portraying a sort of token patriotism? I know it may seem like a minor issue with the myriad of policy questions, but to be fair it has caused a buzz. Also, it's fair to note that (whether by his design or not), Obama's style, charisma, and personality has become an major media-frenzied issue in the campaign, I dare say more than any Presidential candidate in recent elections. Certainly one could make a case that this would fit within that frame of discussion.

"magna cum laude" in infobox?

The infobox on Michelle Obama mentions that she got her undergraduate degree cum laude. If mentioning the distinction is the usual practice I figure we should include magna cum laude in the box next to Barack Obama's law degree. (If not, someone should remove the distinction from Michelle Obama's infobox.)

The article also doesn't note that Obama is your new bicycle, but I can live with that omission. ;)

Education?

Who paid for Obama's Columbia and Harvard education? Honestnow Honestnow (talk) 01:01, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

I have read he attended with loans and scholarships but I have no source other than the one for loans (paid off thanks to book sales only 3 years ago) below. He transferred to Columbia through a program it had with Occidental. Again no source other than Obama's biography but a call to the registrar at both schools would verify.Bmccarren (talk) 11:02, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Apparently Obama grew up with a rich white mother, whose grandparents were very rich. [6] 24.174.48.155 (talk) 02:03, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
At least some portion of the cost of his education was financed via student loans. A vitrioloc blogspop post is hardly an objective source to cite here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.57.249.43 (talk) 03:05, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
This is completely bogus that his mother or grandparents were rich. The blogspot you cite is, first of all a blogspot, and is written by a self-declared adversarial Punahou alumni. Did you read it? His grandfather, after being a furniture salesman in Hawaii took another job after Obama returned from Indonesia so that they could afford to pay a portion of the Punahou tuition. His grandmother also had to go back to work late in life. Again, only his biography as a source. But, if he's the nominee, I'm sure some journalists will dig around since Obama has been saying he wasn't raised in a wealthy household. Pretty sure if he was a rich kid, we would have heard about in some credible source.Bmccarren (talk) 11:02, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

expendable sentence

I still don't think this sentence adds much to the article:

Of his early childhood, Obama writes: "That my father looked nothing like the people around me—that he was black as pitch, my mother white as milk—barely registered in my mind."

I happen have some friends in inter-racial marriages. This is totally normal and expected for all children to see things this way. There is nothing remarkable or interesting in Obama's statement. Steve Dufour (talk) 22:32, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

I agree.Borock (talk) 00:51, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
I removed it. Does anyone want to bring up the question: "Is Obama a reliable source about himself?" Borock (talk) 01:06, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Borders Books just e-mailed me a coupon. Maybe I will go there and get a copy of Obama's book. Steve Dufour (talk) 04:32, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

[out] No - this sentence is a defining expression of who he is - it's going back in. PLease don't remove things that have long been in the article without real discussion. Tvoz |talk 01:26, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

I don't think the sentence does any harm, but I don't see how it is a "defining expression." Steve Dufour (talk) 02:15, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Steve, forgive me, but how many times do we have to talk about the same thing? We've been over this black and white thing numerous times, with you directly invovled in the discussions. This sentence is how Obama defines himself - you want to add that his father is black and mother white in one place and take it out in another place without any good reason for it. We're also trying to have a well-written article here, and this phrase, that has withstood many months if not years of editing, expresses it clearly and evocatively. Tvoz |talk 02:35, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Sorry. I got carried away. As you said it makes very little difference if the info is given one place or the other. Steve Dufour (talk) 04:32, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Project African diaspora?

I thought that the African diaspora refered to African people who were taken from Africa to other places by the slave trade, and their descendants. That doesn't seem to apply to Obama or his dad. Steve Dufour (talk) 22:43, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

In its most technical sense a diaspora is just the migration of a people away from their homeland, so in the case of the African diaspora it would cover both those that were forcibly moved via the slave trade and those that immigrated to non-African countries. That being said, criteria for a project adding their tag to an article is up to the project. As an example, Larry Craig is included in Wikipedia:WikiProject LGBT studies despite Craig's denial that he is gay. --Bobblehead (rants) 22:55, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Fair enough. I don't feel like going over to their project to argue with them about it. :-) Steve Dufour (talk) 23:10, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Besides, Barack is very important in the history of African descended people in the United States, regardless of how he came to be one. Borock (talk) 19:56, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

The religion of his father

Barack Obama, Sr., who IMO deserves an article of his own, was a "raised a Muslim, but a confirmed atheist by the time his parents met," according to the article in present form. A recent column by Nicholas D. Kristof in the New York Times and International Herald Tribune, which you can read here: http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/02/24/opinion/edkristof.php , says that Obama Sr. converted to Catholicism after attending a Roman Catholic school. Has anyone read from anywhere else that Senator Obama's dad became a Catholic? I think that's important information which deserves a mention in this article. --Tocino 22:27, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

That's the first I've heard of any conversion to Catholicism.. You'd probably need to find additional sources for that claim. --Bobblehead (rants) 05:56, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Not a contradiction. Father born during Obama's grandfather's Muslim period, Catholic when going to Catholic school, polygamous afterwards, died an atheist, buried as a Muslim. Religiously flexible, these Obamas. Born to an atheist father and atheist or agnostic mother Obama was "always a Christian" by the time he reached South Carolina (and his mother had posthumously turned into a "Christian from Kansas"). Like father, like son. Andyvphil (talk) 11:24, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, Saint Paul himself said we should be all things to all men. :-) Steve Dufour (talk) 14:44, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Critique of pronounciation guide

The pronunciation guidance apparently in Arabic is not supported by the cited source, inogolo.com. It's clearly meant to be inflammatory and to support claims that Obama is a closet Muslim, discredited by many of sources cited in this article. Why include pronunication guidance at all, particularly when it isn't there for other presidential candidates or politicians, even those with names of African descent (e.g.; Kweisi Mfume article). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.68.34.246 (talk) 05:49, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

The pronounciation guide is International Phonetic Alphabet not Arabic. Hope that helps. --Bobblehead (rants) 06:00, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Barack on the Issues

I think it would be good to layout his stances on the issues (based on his quotes and voting records). Does anybody have an objection to this section? It would be modeled similarly to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_buchanan another political figure. --Kibbled bits (talk) 06:54, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Also what about putting his political career under one bullet point. The layout for the article seems somewhat flat. Again I reference the Buchanan article above in that I think the hierarchy makes sense. Would anyone mind organizing this? --Kibbled bits (talk) 07:06, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Looks good so far...τßōиЄ2001 (ǂ ) 07:47, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, I was surprised some of this information was not there. To be honest with you this is my first major edit (on a public figure) and I am doing my best to keep a neutral POV. --Kibbled bits (talk) 08:07, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
It looks like someone already removed the section Kibbled bits added, but there is an entire article already dedicated to the Political positions of Barack Obama. If you have any positions that you'd like to add to that article, you're more than welcome to do so. --Bobblehead (rants) 17:18, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Homosexual Issues

The "Homosexual Issues" section reads; "He states that in his opinion marriage is between a man and women". The correct quote is "a man and a woman". The phrasing "a man and women" doesn't make sense and even has incorrect connotations. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.92.2.173 (talk) 09:27, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

I didn't see the sentence. I guess it has already been removed. (Maybe he was making a play for the Mormon vote. ;-) ) Steve Dufour (talk) 15:17, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Obama in popular culture

Having looked at From West Wing to the real thing: Scriptwriters modelled TV's ethnic minority candidate on young Barack Obama, perhaps it's time for an Barack Obama in popular culture/Cultural depictions of Barack Obama article? Barack Obama presidential campaign, 2008#Effect of the Internet could be used to spin-off and expand it. Alientraveller (talk) 15:54, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

High School opinions

This sentence was removed:

Other students at his high school have said that he was mature, friendly, intelligent, and cheerful. [12]

This is sourced by interviews done by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, a respected newspaper in Hawaii. To me, anyway, it seemed like the kind of information that would usually be found in a person's biography. I don't see why it was removed. Steve Dufour (talk) 15:56, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Since there have been no objections expressed I will try putting it back. Steve Dufour (talk) 14:39, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
I have no problem with the compromise, since the link to the article is still in the same place. I guess my sentence was kind of dorky. :-) Steve Dufour (talk) 13:40, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Political views

Shouldn't there be a section on his political ideas? Velho (talk) 03:26, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

It's included in the Political advocacies section and there is a whole article dedicated to it at Political positions of Barack Obama. --Bobblehead (rants) 03:36, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
I'd like to make the contrary case. Readers will be much more interested in him as a person, not his political views. Steve Dufour (talk) 13:42, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

American spoken word artists

I removed the category Category:American spoken word artists from this article. Categories are to be applied only where they define the person in question (see WP:CAT) and not to be applied for trivial aspects of someone's life (see WP:OCAT). In particular, this category should only apply to people who are defined as spoken word artists; not to people who have trivially engaged in spoken word at some point in their career, or to people who are simply "artists" as in highly skilled in oratory. --Lquilter (talk) 15:27, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Or, I guess, to people who have won Grammy Awards for spoken word? Guess not? --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 17:42, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Making a spoken word album is a very different thing than being a spoken word artist. Surely you would agree? If I happen to give a speech and it is released in album form, then voilá, I have a spoken word album eligible for the Grammys. That doesn't make me a spoken word artist. Is the argument for adding this category simply because the Grammys classed one of his recordings as a "spoken word album"? Wikipedia is not the Grammys, of course, but more importantly, "spoken word artists" are people who do a particular type of art -- simply because the term is also used as a production category for a wide variety of non-musical recordings doesn't make someone a spoken word artist. --Lquilter (talk) 14:40, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
I don't know, I think that's a bit of an overly-narrow interpretation. You seem to be saying that only the most notable (or "defining") aspect of a subject can be categorized and everything else is trivial. That doesn't make any sense. Are you saying that he should be removed from the category Harvard Law School alumni because that is not what defines him? In this case, he won a Grammy Award as a Spoken Word Artist, so it's hardly a trivial connection to the subject. --Loonymonkey (talk) 19:10, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
  • To me it seems fair enough to give him the category. However, I don't see what effect doing that has. Few people reading the article are going to read the list of categories. And people checking out the category page for American spoken word artists are probably not going to jump to this article to read about Barack Obama the famous spoken word artist. Steve Dufour (talk) 22:37, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes, I am saying that only the most notable (or "defining") aspect of a subject can be categorized. I'm saying that per CAT. The rationale is explained at CAT, WP:CATFAQ, and overcategorization, and illustrated many, many times at categories for deletion. As for Harvard alumni, the alumni & university affiliations categories are on the borderline -- there's a lot of feeling to get rid of them, but there is no consensus to do so because many people argue that they are in fact "defining". As for spoken word artists -- when you think of spoken word artists, nobody thinks of Obama; when you think of Obama, "spoken word artists" are not one of the things that come to mind. --Lquilter (talk) 14:39, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Loonymonkey, again, the Grammy award didn't define Barack Obama as a spoken word artist; it defined him as making a "spoken word album". Feel free to class his recording in "spoken word albums"; that doesn't mean that he is a "spoken word artist". A million different entities might describe Barack Obama's writings or speeches in a million different ways, but those do not "define" Obama. Looking at the article, o you really think it's accurate to define Barack Obama as a spoken word artist? --Lquilter (talk) 14:56, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Good points. I agree with you now that you have explained more. I'm sure that just about every successful politician, and some unsuccessful ones too, could be considered "spoken word artists." Are we going to put the category on them all? (Senators Clinton and McCain should certainly be added to the category now for fairness if Senator Obama is.) And what about people doing research on professional spoken word artists? I think having a bunch of politicians on the list might get in their way. Steve Dufour (talk) 15:27, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
I removed the category. I noticed that there are some other questionable categories as well. For instance he is called an "American democracy advocate." I hope that all Americans consider themselves democracy advocates. I don't see how Senator Obama is defined by this. There are also a bunch tracing his descent to various countries in Europe. These could be added to the articles on most black or white Americans, but they don't define us. Steve Dufour (talk) 15:36, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Steve -- People often mistakenly think of categories as tags. Unfortunately, they don't work that way; they're really a series of automated indexes. I agree that the descent categories are a bit much, but there's not an easy answer to that one, unfortunately. If you have good ideas about ethnic or national origin categories, do please follow WP:CFD and the other categorization talk pages -- we can always use helpful thinking on those discussions. --Lquilter (talk) 15:44, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. If I get inspired I might take on the "national origin" categories. People born in the USA are mostly no longer defined by the nationality of their ancestors. (BTW African Americans have a sense of group identity which doesn't depend on what nation in Africa their ancestors came from.) Steve Dufour (talk) 16:13, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Debate with Keyes

I question the importance of this section:

A long-time resident of Maryland, Keyes established legal residency in Illinois with the nomination.[13] Through three televised debates, Obama and Keyes expressed opposing views on stem cell research, abortion, gun control, school vouchers, and tax cuts.[14]

Is the first sentence about Keyes being from out of state (you might say a carpetbagger) intended to put down Obama by showing that his Senate race victory was against a weak opponent? Or can WP just not help itself when given the chance to take a slap against a conservative figure? Is it remarkable that they had a debate? Are the subjects of the debate remarkable? Is it remarkable that they expressed opposing views on these issues? (Especially considering that Obama is on the far left of mainstream politics in the USA and Keyes is on the far right?) Thanks. Steve Dufour (talk) 13:49, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Hi Steve. The debates were a highlight of the campaign's last months and they offered sharp contrasts between the candidates positions, especially on social issues that Keyes made the centerpiece of his campaign. Keyes had less campaign funds than Obama, so these debates were also the main feed to media coverage of the contest. The "long-time resident of Maryland" statement was highlighted in the press at the time and seen as a factor in Obama's strong win. It is summarized here, but discussed in more detail in the sub article. We could look for more sources to document these two lines, but the content has been in the article for over a year now and still seems useful to me, despite the increasingly scarce article space. What do you think? OK to keep? --HailFire (talk) 07:22, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
You have convinced me to change my mind on this. It does give some extra information, in a neutral way, on Obama's Senate race -- perhaps the most important event in his political career so far. And it certainly does no harm to anyone. Please don't add more footnotes to the article for its sake, the sourcing was never my objection. Steve Dufour (talk) 15:20, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

just for future thought re: judgement

does not anyone here think it is interesting that he has accepted an endorsement from a senator who was directly connected to the trajedy at chappaquedick (possible sic)?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.231.32.148 (talk) 04:56, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

I guess you will have to vote for Huckabee then since Senators Clinton and McCain are also friends of his. Steve Dufour (talk) 16:31, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Editing

Someone's added 'sickening and stomach turning' in front of 'presidential bid'.

This should be removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 204.187.34.100 (talk) 17:45, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

It was fixed 3 minutes before your post. If you are still seeing it, clear the cache on your browser. --Bobblehead (rants) 17:49, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Shouldn't Obama's father have a wp page (his mother does)?

I do see scattered info on the web but nothing coherent or official.Geo8rge (talk) 19:46, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Go ahead. Be WP:BOLD and write it. Or, better, a family article. Valid spinout. Andyvphil (talk) 13:47, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
That might be why he doesn't already have a page, actually. Any figure would have to qualify for a separate article by WP:NOTABILITY standards, and that requires significant coverage in reliable secondary sources, and it may well be that no one's found a reliable secondary source that gives his father significant coverage yet. John Carter (talk) 19:59, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Is his mother notable, though? Her only nexus of notability is as the parent of a major Presidential candidate (which would also be the case for Obama's father). All Hallow's Wraith (talk) 23:33, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
A search yields a fair number of 'reliable' articles on his father and the Kenyan side of his family. It could also be argued that an article on the Indonesian side of his family should also be made. It also seems un-PC to recognize ones 'white' relatives but not the African and Asian ones. It is also clear that as things progress, assuming he is nominated, there will be more and more material out there.Geo8rge (talk) 01:57, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Another possibility, if individually they are not 'notable', is to consolidate all his family into one separate article.Geo8rge (talk) 02:11, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
I really think we should only go ahead with the family members articles if he's elected. Then, he'll have passed a certain threshold as a world-historical figure, and he can even have the honor of an encyclopedia article on his cat or dog.--Pharos (talk) 17:58, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Full name of Barak Obama for title

It might not be that important, but to make the topic name more accurate, why not change the title to Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. rather than plain Barak Obama? Redirecting is always availible for keyword search so it shouldn't bother the accessibility to the topic. --221.188.80.108 (talk) 07:47, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

See WP:COMMONNAME. Thanks, R. Baley (talk) 08:18, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

It is important. His name that was given to him coincidentally is the same as Saddam. I think it would be an enormous understatement to say that Saddam Hussein a hated figure. As far as I know no other politician is listed here with a middle name except for Hillary Rodham Clinton, and that's because Rodham is her maiden name and Clinton is her name by marriage. I think that there would be a tremendous neutrality problem. Wikipedia would be seen as helping the chances of John McCain, assuming Obama and McCain face each other in the general election. JonErber (talk) 16:13, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

reply to 201, Are you making this same request at all biographies that do not have their middle name in the title? If not, why not? If so, what is the response from the editors working on those biographies? Jons63 (talk) 16:22, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

It is important... and the article is correctly located where it is now. Good questions, there, from Jons63. →Wordbuilder (talk) 16:25, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
A Wikipedia first-timer with a Japanese IP address who is still MediaWiki-savvy enough to know about redirects and comment signatures is almost certainly asking about this for political reasons. Of course I could be wrong and this could be a startling coincidence. -- Scjessey (talk) 16:28, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

George Will

In the "Cultural and political image" section, George Will is mentioned. Does anyone seriously think that Senator Obama is running for president because George Will told him too? Redddogg (talk) 14:25, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

The way this is stated now is kind of confusing. If Will is a notable supporter the article should say so. If someone else criticized Obama because Will likes him that seems kind of trivial to me. Steve Dufour (talk) 15:46, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Here are the 2 sentences:

Obama has been criticized by progressive commentator David Sirota for demonstrating too much "Senate clubbiness", and was encouraged to run for the U.S. presidency by conservative columnist George Will.[163] But in a December 2006 Wall Street Journal editorial, former Ronald Reagan speech writer Peggy Noonan advised Will and other "establishment" commentators to avoid becoming too quickly excited about Obama's still early political career.[164]

I don't think most readers will understand what is being talked about. Steve Dufour (talk) 06:11, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for catching that. This restored text may help. --HailFire (talk) 06:56, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Is the first sentence trying to imply that because Sirota criticized him and Will encouraged him Obama is not really a Democrat? That's what it sounds like to me. I also don't see how the second sentence is related except that Will is mentioned in both. Steve Dufour (talk) 16:17, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

"Black church"

I was making a comment on the issue of Obama's church, which was swept away by the deletion of the whole section. I mentioned that I, a white person, have attended many services in mostly black churches and have never encountered any hostility or "racialism" there. I also mentioned that Obama's neighborhood, the South Side of Chicago is 90 - 95% black so any church there is probably going to have mostly black membership. Steve Dufour (talk) 15:58, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

  • I've restored that section. Someone deleted it with a comment about "trolls". But if there's no mention of it anywhere on the discussion page, then it's hard to justify calling someone a troll for bringing it up. Better to leave a section in, and respond to it accordingly. Cogswobbletalk 16:30, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
    Please don't restore that off-topic section again. Talk pages are solely for discussion with a view to improving an article, not for trolling or even for responses to trolling (which only enable the troll). Removal is justified by the relevant guidelines (even if it weren't amply covered by Ignore all rules) --Anticipation of a New Lover's Arrival, The 13:55, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Pronunciation

The phonetic guide gives the same pronunciation for the second vowel in barack and the second vowel in obama, however not only is this inconsistent with his own pronunciation, it's also inconsistent with the website cited as a reference. That site in turn is problematic because it says the second syllable of barack is pronounced 'rock' which is clearly incorrect. As far as I can make out Barack rhymes with Jack and Obama rhymes (almost) with banana. However, vowels vary so dramatically with regional accents that some people may pronounce the two 'a's the same anyway. I think the phonetic guide may need to be adjusted.217.44.180.84 (talk) 21:00, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

I've generally heard it pronounced the way inogolo has it pronounced. I've heard a couple of people people pronounce it bah-rack o-ba-ma (like Alabama), but they've been in the minority.--Bobblehead (rants) 21:21, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

SCHIP Support mis-leading

The article has the following abbreviated explanation of Obama's support for SCHIP:

"Obama also sponsored a Senate amendment to the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to provide one year of job protection for family members caring for soldiers with combat-related injuries.[79]"

Then goes on to say SCHIP was later vetoed by President Bush. My concern is that SCHIP is a tremendously complicated entitlement program, and the revised version was presented as expanding coverage to a maasive number of people, not just veterans but also people of substantial income, and many viewed it as a multi-billion$ entitlement increase in big government. The article should either do a better job of explaining the SCHIP expansion, explain why Bush vetoed it, or else delete any mention of the veto. ```` —Preceding unsigned comment added by 192.91.171.42 (talk) 23:24, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

The article is not about SCHIP. Therefore, the sentence only deals with the single amendment to the bill that Obama personally sponsored. Fishal (talk) 14:39, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Gun Control?

I think obama's position on guncontrol should be put in here. DeftalC3AU (talk) 23:13, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Wrong article, if anywhere it should go in Political positions of Barack Obama Jons63 (talk) 23:16, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Tony Rezko

The article should have some mention of Obama's connection to Chicago Democratic fundraiser Tony Rezko, who is currently under Federal trial in Chicago. According to the Chicago Tribune (http://weblogs.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/blog/2008/03/obama_confronted_on_rezko_in_t.html) there could be something to be known about Obama's conncection to a house/land purchase in south Chicago. Rezka has been a key Obama contributor since 1995. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.8.238.38 (talk) 00:09, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for your attempt at smearing Obama and adding some more NPOV stuff to Wikipedia! Please come back later! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dfunk1967 (talkcontribs) 05:42, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

You can't even seem to smear senator obama correctly. The man's name is Tony Rezko, with an O. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 192.136.22.4 (talk) 07:51, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

If that is so how come Hillary Clinton's Page lacks any information on her fraud charges which is very much conected to Peter Paul. I know he was discredited but that was by the Judge Hillary Clinton had appointed. If that information is added to her page then we will have to follow through with your claim and add to this page but seeing as how the prevelance of those charges have not been added/recognised I see no reason to give your claim any weight to this page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.35.250.173 (talk) 18:22, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Smear? Give me a break - This man has a very good chance to be our next president and this article is from a reputable paper in his home town. Critical analysis should be available, and there is a connection here in the house purchase. This article barely contains a critical word about this candidate, it might as well have been written by a member of his staff.

Obiously this is a newsworthy and well sourced story being snubbed. Fair? NPOV? I dispute that.

Maybe it was, judging from this reaction. As far as the Clinton Paul connection, that should be on the Clinton page.

User:Scjessey, you claim that Rezko is not relevant to Obama's biography. I did not insert Rezko, nor did your edit delete. All I did was change the word "controversial" to explain why he is controversial. The mere fact that he is included in this article (and that you leave him in the article) shows that Rezko is relevant, not to mention the significant press coverage this issue has received lately. Charges of political corruption are highly relevant to political figures, so this information needs to remain. --Flyboy121 (talk) 04:09, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

An addition of a navigation box to subarticles, directly below infoboxes

The title of the article for the 2008 Obama Campaign is quite a mouthful and people interested in it likely come first to the main article. In the interest of facilitating users navigation between the main article and the campaign and positions subarticles I've improved WP by adding a nav box directly under the infobox. --Justmeherenow (talk) 04:55, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

The title "Life of Barack Obama" in this nav box is totally misleading, as the subarticles it points to only cover a small portion of his life. This nav box is being copied from the new John McCain set of articles, where literally his whole life has been split into subarticles, and the box is much more appropriate. Wasted Time R (talk) 04:58, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Biographical series, along with strictly chronological components, may contain articles treating the subject's work and legacy in the culture; and the fact that the McCain series very recently did not link to the article treating his political positions, due to this article's not fitting strictly under a "Life of" rubric, is just silly. In any case, while WP is a work in progress and so won't give all deserving subjects comparable coverage, I've got a sneaking feeling that Senator Obama may well be in a position to soon merit as extensive of encyclopedic coverage as does his more experienced---or elder or however to term it---colleague Senator McCain. --Justmeherenow (talk) 07:39, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Current components of the Obama biographical series are
  • Dreams from My Father - autobiographical writing
  • 2008 presidential campaign · Political positions - dealing with works and legacy
Any we ought delete? --Justmeherenow (talk) 10:09, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Obama referred to Canada's Prime Minister as the "President" of Canada

1: Where should this go? It happened last August[7] and is particularly important,maybe, because he was a politician in a border state and should have known better, perhaps. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 15:54, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Yes he should have known better, but a single instance of someone making a mistake is not significant enough for placing in the article. IMO it does not belong anywhere in Wikipedia. Jons63 (talk) 15:58, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Mistakes like this are extremely commonplace and hardly worthy of mention. Can you imagine how long the article on George W. Bush would be if we routinely included mistakes like this? -- Scjessey (talk) 16:09, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

First you don't know if it was a simple mistake or a reflection of his ignorance of the government of Canada. Second, it's not the fact that he made a mistake it's the fact that this particular mistake has taken on political significance and has been widely reported and discussed. It's not simply what is said but how what is said is significant, politically or otherwise. Not mentioning these types of incidents that people are talking about does not give a complete encyclopedic picture. It's not for the editors to decide what mistakes are worth talking about and which ones are not. These stories take on a life of their own and the article should simply reflect the national conversation and potrayal of Obama. Voters deserve to be made aware of these types of incidents and its not the intention to simply smear him. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 136.167.114.140 (talk) 17:58, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

In regard to your argument, refer to Wikipedia:Recentism. →Wordbuilder (talk) 18:19, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
  • This thread is emblamatic of the problems created by Evans' editing of this article and this talkpage. There's no "there" there, as they say, and there never is with Evans' complaints and suggestions. Bellwether BC 18:26, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Seems completely non-notable. It would need a lot more attention before it could be considered for inclusion. (And how is Illinois a "border state?" Did Wisconsin get annexed by Canada?) --Loonymonkey (talk) 00:42, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Loonymonkey is correct. Illinois is not a border state. It borders Lake Michigan, which I assumed bordered Canada, but which is located entirely within the USA. I was wrong about that. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 01:17, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Obama songs

I ran into this article: Trend spotter: Amateur songwriters for Obama in the Christian Science Monitor. I couldn't find a good place to add it to the article however. The "public image" section seems to be mostly about politics. Redddogg (talk) 15:20, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm not normally a person who limits what can be said in an article, but in this case, it should not be in the article. The only way I can think of is a section (or seperate article) titled "Obama in Popular Culture". C. Pineda (クリス) (talk) 03:28, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

NPOV dispute? : The words 'controversy', 'controversial', 'criticism' appear nowhere in the article, and nowhere in any reference links...

...The word 'controversy' appears precisely once in all the many reference links at the bottom of the page, (among which i have yet to find one link to a story even slightly critical of Obama), and that appearance is in a link to a Time story in no way critical of Obama, or of anything about his career. There seems to be an emerging pattern here: NPOV minimum use of one or two citations/links with 'negative-bias' terms, seemingly inserted only to give the appearance of neutrality by using the NPOV 'letter of the law' to evade NPOV purposes and intents. This assertion violates 'Assume Good Faith', but the pattern seems clear.

The word 'critics' also appears only once in the article, and only in the context of an assertion that even his 'critics' agree he has qualities which his supporters claim are positive character attributes. See the pattern?

The word 'progressive' appears only twice, and each time is used also only in a context which makes clear that Obama is considered not progressive 'enough' by others. Thus the insertion of the word seems intended only to blur Obama's appearance of 'progressiveness' in the mind of the reader, rather than to identify or clarify that Obama is frequently and publicly referred to as among the most 'progressive' of the candidates currently running for U.S. President.

How is this possible in an article which purports to detail, or to link to details of, the life of a politician who is also recognized widely as among the most 'progressive' of his peers in both the Illinois State Senate, and in the U.S. Senate?


The word 'liberal' appears nowhwere in the article, nor could I find it in the references, citations, or the links I followed which are included with the article. This apparent break in the asserted pattern actually shows the asserted pattern more clearly, through the exclusion of the word 'liberal' in this article, since the term 'liberal' is being gradually excised from public discourse. Since it is at least arguable the term is no longer 'widely used' or 'considered relevant' by many, the writer(s) appear to have concluded there was no need to include the term to further the appearance of upholding NPOV standards in this case. Thus, the complete and entire exclusion of the term strengthens the case that hidden bias is masquerading as NPOV in this article.

Every other biographical Wikipedia page on current political figures which I have thus far encountered has a section in the article titled something like 'Criticism', or 'Controversy', etc. There is nothing remotely like that on the Obama page.

The only reference to Obama and his links with Tony Rezko are in the context of a link to a story in which Obama is lauded for 'regretting' his real estate deal with Rezko. There is also no mention at all of Rezko's contributions to Obama campaigns, despite months of intense coverage in numerous sources.

How can an article be said to qualify as NPOV when there are no, or virtually no, references or links to criticism(s) in the body of an article, nor in the reference and citation links at the end of an article?

All one has to do is run a web search on Obama with any one of the term(s) 'Rezko', 'liberal', 'progressive', controversy', 'criticism', etc, to get a plethora of pieces in major sources to which to link. Yet there are on the Obama page no references or citations, let alone links to, any of those widely accepted sources. Why not, unless there is an attempt to circumvent NPOV standards by giving an appearance of adherence as demonstrated above?

It is my impression that lacking one, let alone all, of the commonly used NPOV conventions and standards referred to above, especially in an article on a public figure about which there is substantial public interest if not controversy and/or criticism, disqualifies the article under NPOV standards.

In my reading of the Obama discussion page, i find not one reference to the above facts. Even if my questioning of Good Faith Assumed in this case is incorrect, isn't the lack of 'criticisms' and 'controversies' links, citations, references, let alone article Sections, something which should raise at least some interest among editors?

In my opinion, this article should be immediately flagged as being under NPOV dispute. I am depending on the integrity and honesty of the editorial wikipedia community for this tag, since i have no idea how to do anything tech related, let alone Wikipedia-oriented. (believe me: you don't want me trying to tag and change things on article pages. It took me over two hours to find the discussion page, and to figger out how to do this raising of some questions! You can ask my kids about the chances for utter ruination when i try any sort of tech stuff. They won't let me even touch their computers!)

Please forgive if my lack of wikipedia/html skills results in confusion or hassles among more experienced users, or among editors. No offense offered to anyone, no offense inferred from anyone. Cheers, All! Whraglyn (talk) 02:52, 6 March 2008 (UTC)whraglyn —Preceding unsigned comment added by Whraglyn (talkcontribs) (sort of)

I think you'll find the kind of Obama-bashing Republican language you are looking for in the Barack Obama presidential campaign, 2008 article. -- Scjessey (talk) 03:07, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Thx for the link, my friend; but I am not seeking 'Obama-bashing', let alone 'Republican' 'language' in any article on Wikipedia. I am seeking a resolution of what appears to my newbie brain to be bias in selective editing of the article. If your response were to the point, your ad hominem assumptions leading to your aspersion(s) regarding my intent would not reveal so clearly your seemingly obvious bias in this matter. You may wish to recuse yourself from further participation in this discussion before your apparent inability to control your seeming bias in such talk pages results in admin actions which you may find less desirable than actually discussing in an impersonal manner all points made in talk pages. --Whraglyn (talk) 04:56, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

coming over from the obama pres. campaign page to tell you- yes we are not locked over there so we do get a bit jiggy sometimes. what we do not do is keep a running tally of how many times we write certain words, and import meaning from that list. If you can't criticize someone without using the word "criticize" then maybe you should not be editing an encyclopedia. Just because it is how search engines work, it does not mean it is how the human brain works . 72.0.180.2 (talk) 06:26, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Your lecture, and the tone, are as useless in this dicussion as they are unrelated to the issue at hand. --Whraglyn (talk) 07:32, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

The term "liberal" is rather ambiguous and unhelpful for an encyclopedia; moreover, I don't really understand why you are pressing for it. Is "liberal" supposed to be derogatory? The issue with the word liberal is that it is simply a rough characterization; there are no objective criteria to define what liberalism is, particularly in the modern sense (classical liberalism, for example, was actually for small government and would be most similar to libertarianism in modern American political culture). The word could be added, although I don't know where (and I don't know why it is biased not to include it). Regardless, the word "controversy" is not mentioned in this article because there are few controversies surrounding Barack Obama. Feel free to create an article on that if you wish, but the only controversy that exists is that he has been accused of being a Muslim and that he has a shady relationship with Tony Rezko. While an article could be created on Obama's controversies, they don't really fit here since it would be undue weight. Hillary has been pushing the Rezko business for weeks now, and it still hasn't taken off. It's simply not noteworthy to the average American (or even to the Republicans and Fox News!), so how could that be labeled as "controversial" if, frankly, no one cares? Obama has very few controversies surrounding him, other than the occasional internet rumor. -Rosywounds (talk) 06:40, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

The question is not whether enough has been made of these points by Hillary or any other person. The question is why is there such a clear and sharp break between the lack of 'criticism' on the Obama page and the almost universal acceptance of such on other pages. --Whraglyn (talk) 07:32, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Thx for your input, 2.0.180.2 and Rosywounds. The fact that the terms I listed in my original post include the terms 'liberal' and 'progressive' has no bearing at all on the question of whether there are, or are not, included in the article sufficient facts regarding the personal beliefs and the personal character of the subject of the article.

The inclusion of a count of such terms in my original post was only to show that such terms are used far less frequently, and with far more, shall we say 'agility of usage', than on ANY other bio page i have seen thus far of other major public figures, even those with public records far less qualified to have such terms used in the Wikipedia pages covering their 'personal' lives.

The term count was done at all only to show there appears to be reasonable grounds to ask whether the Obama page is being selectively edited, and whether that selection in editing is pro-Obama, and if so, 'why'?

You seem to each be missing the simple fact that almost all, ( i say 'almost all' only because i have not read every single major public figure bio page posted on Wikipedia, but the usage of 'criticism' or 'controversy' sections is overwhelmingly frequent and widespread among the radnom sample of over 100 bio pages i have scanned), bio pages of other public have entire sections of 'controversy' and/or 'criticism' in the body of the article. The usage of such sections in the body of 'personal' pages covering other major public figures seems to be almost a standard or conventional usage across a wide range of persons and subjects on Wikipedia.

'Why is this norm acceptable for so many pages, but not for that of the 'personal' page on Obama?' is a legitimate question.

The question thus becomes not one of 'Why do some contributors ask about the lack of such sections/terms on the Obama 'personal' page?', but that of "Why do some contributors strive so strongly and persistently to deny the disparity between the use of such terms on the 'personal' page of Obama and those of others on Wikipedia?'

A related question which arises naturally from a casual and disinterested reading of this discussion page is 'Why do so many of those who oppose the insertion of 'controversy' or 'criticism' sections, references, citations, or links in the 'personal' page of Obama use a tone which is condescending, patronizing, and subtly impugning of the intent of contributors who ask these questions?'

Each of the above questions regarding the editing of the Obama page are asked because they are raised by the apparent seeming bias in the editing of the Obama page under discussion.

Rosywounds, as for your assertion there is no 'need' to include 'controversy' and/or 'criticism' references on the Obama 'personal' page simply because there is 'little controversy' regarding Obama: Guess you have not heard of how media coverage of Obama is so sycophantic that the notoriously liberal/progressive writers and players on Saturday Night Live parodied same in a now-world famous skit the last couple of weeks, eh? Please search on the terms 'Obama' and 'controversy' or 'criticism'. I would truly be interested in your response to the results of such a search. Cheers All! --Whraglyn (talk) 07:32, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

My friend, we know the answer...we all know it. Obama is coddled and protected here. His followers (aka Obamists) protect their Messiah, leaving out untold amounts of valid sources. Note on McCains article you find the word "conservative" dozens of times. This Obama page is nothing more than a delicately constructed promotional piece. Here are some opinions cited in this article: a May 2004 New Yorker magazine article described as his "everyman" image. in a March 2007 Washington Post opinion column, Eugene Robinson characterized him as "the personification of both-and," a messenger who rejects "either-or" political choices, and could "move the nation beyond the culture wars" of the 1960s. An October 2005 article in the British journal New Statesman listed Obama as one of "10 people who could change the world All of them op-ed, but all of them sourced...all of them in the article. So why wont the Obamists include the sourced and valid (and often cited) fact that the National Journal calls him the most liberal of all Senators. I find that a fascinating distinction. Well, Loony has himself said that the reason the National Journal citation isn't included is because it is "opinion"...yet there is plenty of positive, heavenly, Messianic opinion in the article right now....I find it sickening that the hawks over this article view Obama as so frail that they somehow have the "High Calling" of protecting him. THis article is a sham, it is not neutral. Don't even try to label it as such. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.18.108.5 (talk) 00:47, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Bravo! Thx for the data included in your post, 24.18.108.5! Where is the outrage at the inclusion of such 'opinions' positive and supportive of Obama on the 'personal' page? Each of the above cited quotes from the article has far less to do with the 'personal' life of Obama and far more to do with his public life and aspirations to power. Why has not one of those who were so quick and thorough in their resistance to even asking the question under discussion ever commented on this point? IF such obviously 'public' comments are allowed on Obama's 'personal' page when it is clear they are far more relevant to a page devoted to the 'public' life of Obama, the conclusion that there is some degree of selective editing in some form on this page becomes more inescapable every day. I ask each of those who above have resisted the raising of this question to apply their points to this latest factuality. Come on, folks! Show us your unbiased uncompromising editorial zeal for only truth in this case! Failing that, i shall begin to, according to Wikipedia standards, BOLDLY insert the facts, citations, references, and links after 9:00 PM CST on Friday, March 7, 2008. Cheers All! --Whraglyn (talk) 03:16, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

I agree. The Obama article does seem more biased then the Clinton article. Clinton's article discusses *two* instances she was critized for wearing a skirt. However the Obama article doesn't mention the *one* time he incorrectly refers to the "president of Canada". In addition "Gender" is a whole heading over on the Clinton page, but Obama's ethnicity is only mentioned in passing. Whats the big difference? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.138.149.189 (talk) 19:09, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

you guys are hilarious. WP has a longstanding effort to eliminate criticism sections in articles- and instead of going and eliminating the HRC criticism section if it bothers you so much, you come here and whinge that we should add one, even though that is in direct opposition of WP policy. uh huh. and you guys all are registered so you could just DO IT YOURSELF. I am an IP and I can't edit these unlocked pages. so be bold instead of spamming the talk page with stuff that frankly, we've all see before. 72.0.180.2 (talk) 20:56, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

This article is under attack by sneaky vandalism

Please check all information someone has been slowly removing information from the article in between edits. I pick up one. User: 02:08, 1 March 2008 User:Gigi2934 removed information about Obama's past drug use. I would recommend someone look into this. Other thing might have been removed. 204.52.215.128 (talk) 08:45, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Well, well, well...
An actual specific incident of an obvious attempt to keep any and all facts which in any way even MIGHT give any reader pause.
Please tell me why the fact of Obama's self-admitted 'experimentation' with illegal drugs is not germane to his 'personal' page?
Failing that, i shall insert such factual, sourced, info after 9:00 PM CST on Friday, March 07, 2008.
The obvious tone of intimidation regarding the insertion of any criticism or controversy of a major public figure is becming clearer moment by moment.
Cheers All!
--Whraglyn (talk) 03:03, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
This is true. The drug use is relevant, as is the fact that he's a liberal. I really do think that the rating should be mentioned, since it is a Source that puts a Label on Obama's voting record. It should be mentioned that the rating comes from a partisan source, of course. Fishal (talk) 13:13, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't he say he smoked pot, ONCE? again correct me if I'm wrong, but it's not like he abused it. George Bush abused alcohol and drugs, and there's only one sentence of the matter on his page. if Obama only did it once, then who cares? Let's include any possible one time homosexual experiences in college for people too. Let's list the other women Bill Clinton got head from.....excuse my language, but I'm not backspacing, I don't believe in the backsspace button. C. Pineda (クリス) (talk) 03:45, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

The reason Hillary's middle is in upper case because it was her original name. She was Hillary Rodham and now she is Hillary Clinton. If you took the time to look at other examples of men and womens names on wikipedia you would know that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 209.107.231.63 (talk) 00:25, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Nonsense About 'Universal' Health Care

1. Someone has to do something about this arrogant mindset that there's such a thing as 'universal' health care in the US. It's like saying 'world series' when international teams are not invited. Wikipedia is not a resource for people in the US and calling a national health service 'universal' is just repugnant.

2. Stop hyping Obama's health plan as universal/national. It's not. He doesn't have a plan like that at all and to promote this in the first or second graf smacks of partisanship. Obama's plan is a way to increase affordability according to current guidelines. In other words without changing the basic infrastructure. THIS IS NOT A HEALTH CARE PLAN. Were you to know anything about national health care plans elsewhere on this beautiful planet you'd understand this; as you've obviously not gone through the trouble of doing the research as you should - then take the word of others who know a lot better. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.5.136.204 (talk) 08:49, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

1."Universal" has more meanings than just one (across the universe). Universal in universal health care refers to "everyone" having access. It's not arrogant or "Ameri-centric" or whatever. "Michigan has universal health care" means every one in Michigan is covered. "Spain has universal health care" means everyone in Spain. It doesn't have anything to do with arrogants, it's word usage. Context is everything. "Comprehensive insurance" refers to coverage, not to being able to comprehend it! Check out a dictionary, most words have more than one definition.

2,YOu might not approve of the "World Series" being named as such, or consider it arrogant, but that IS what it's called. It's not up to Wikipedia to change the language or to redefine words. As I said, words have more than one meaning- world for example can mean the earth but it can also refer to "the world of" (ie. in the world of coin collection, in the fashion world etc.) World Series of Baseball refers to the world of Major League Baseball in North America, currently including 1 team from Canada.

3. I do agree that Obama's plan is not Universal and is misrepresented as such. That should probably be fixed. But wikipedia is NOT the place to redifine the meaning or usage of the word universal in universal health care. In this usage it means, 1. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of all or the whole. NOT the whole of the universe, the whole of the population or citizenship of the specific area being discussed (in this case the US). Any body fo government or anything else can use the term "univeral" to pertain only to themselves without arrogance.


u·ni·ver·sal /ˌyunəˈvɜrsəl/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[yoo-nuh-vur-suhl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –adjective 1. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of all or the whole: universal experience. 2. applicable everywhere or in all cases; general: a universal cure. 3. affecting, concerning, or involving all: universal military service. 4. used or understood by all: a universal language. 5. present everywhere: the universal calm of southern seas. 6. versed in or embracing many or all skills, branches of learning, etc.: Leonardo da Vinci was a universal genius. 7. of or pertaining to the universe, all nature, or all existing things: universal cause. 8. characterizing all or most members of a class; generic. 208.53.102.132 (talk) 20:49, 6 March 2008 (UTC)amyanda2000



It would be theoretically universal in the USA, by your logic universal would include aliens, animals etc... There are subsets of "universality" if you understand what I mean.Starmurderer (talk) 21:51, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Madrassa citations

RE the current reference 15, which starts with the article called "Obama Madrassa Myth Debunked". The article itself correctly refers to the madrassa as an "Islamic madrassa", unfortunately it's title doesn't. Isn't displaying this title perpetuating the wrong usage of the word? It is the only use of "madrassa" in the article. Since the NYTimes apologised for misusing it in the wake on the Insight story, I doubt many in the media have misused it since. The problem is that so many of the old reports used the incorrect meaning. Is there one which hasn't? It would be better to cite that one.

Also The Jakarta Post link in the ref15 list goes to a mostly blank page for me - it might be broken.--Matt Lewis (talk) 15:55, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

I've added an archive link for the Jakarta Post link, thanks for noticing that. As for the Chicago Tribune's title, considering the common usage in English is for madrassa to mean "Islamic Madrassa", rather than the correct translation of "a place of learning", I don't think there is really a problem with retaining the Chicago Tribune link. --Bobblehead (rants) 16:45, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
"Common use in Enlgish"? I object there 100%. Am I not an "English speaker" coming from the UK? What about muslims speaking English (there are 1 billion muslims in this world)? And why the NYTimes apology? The American media (inc even the Obama camp) certainly did misuse the word for as period, but can you give me an example of how it is miusused since the Times apology for misusing it? It is not for the Americans to re-write the English dictionary to suite merely them. I am (and have been across a number of articles) FULLY serious about the use of this word. I am basically asking for help to find a better citation. If we don't get one, I'll cover the word in the main text (which is not ideal for the main Obama article, I would agree). --Matt Lewis (talk) 15:53, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

m:The Wrong Version

I have protected the page due to edit warring. The protection will naturally expire in one week. Should the issues be resolved, any administrator can unprotect it earlier than that. Please work your issues out on the talk page, here, keeping the WP:BLP policy front and center in mind. Thank you. -- Avi (talk) 17:31, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

I am not in any way questioning your action. It seems that featured articles often go downhill quickly. I think it's very sad that an article that was once featured and was also praised by a writer with the Washington Post should come to this. Wakedream (talk) 05:41, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Talk to Andyvphil. Bellwether BC 14:43, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Talk to Bellweather. He's the one who decided to request edit protection in order to keep NPOV material out of the article. Andyvphil (talk) 15:28, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
  • You do realize that lying about other editors is unbecoming. Perhaps you should check RFPP before making false assertions about how this page became protected. Bellwether BC 15:43, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
My apologies, bullet-pointy one. Got my B's confused. There'a a difference between an honest mistake and lying. You're only responsible for edit warring to keep NPOV material out of the article, not for the RfPP. Andyvphil (talk) 02:24, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Get used to the bullet points. They're a pretty typical way of formatting, and I use them a lot. Additionally, try not to get so angry. It raises the blood pressure, which is never healthy. Bellwether BC 05:16, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
No, you're the only one I've encountered whose self-importance requires that his every utterance be distinguished from all others by starting with a little blue turd. Andyvphil (talk) 13:53, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
  • You'd better watch what you type, Andyvphil. You're crossing the line into personal attacks on a regular basis, which is blockable. And if you've never seen bulleted discussion before, you've not been around long. Which isn't my problem. Bellwether BC 18:17, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
§ - Kin beat that! --Justmeherenow (talk) 19:11, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Well, that's pretty cool! Wish it were actually bullet-formatted, though. I'd begin using it straightaway! Bellwether BC 19:15, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

NAFTA Double Speak Controversy

Somebody needs to add about Barack Obama campaign's controversy over the double speak on NAFTA, which Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Canadian and America media outlets have confirmed.

Within the last month, a top staff member for Obama's campaign telephoned Michael Wilson, Canada's ambassador to the United States, and warned him that Obama would speak out against NAFTA, according to Canadian sources. The staff member reassured Wilson that the criticisms would only be campaign rhetoric, and should not be taken at face value.

— Canadian News

Source of Obama's NAFTA Controversy

24.174.46.149 (talk) 00:58, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Doesn't belong here. If anything, it belongs at Barack Obama presidential campaign, 2008, and that is iffy. Yahel Guhan 03:28, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
and its already there, discussing the HRC nafta thing as well. 72.0.180.2 (talk) 04:02, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Why is the NAFTA controversy on Barack Obama's campaign article so heavily sugarcoated? It is obvious that Obama is responsible for the double-talk and the deceit that he was trying to place onto the American people purely for political advantages.

24.174.46.149 (talk) 18:00, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

What is obvious is that you don't like Obama. The only thing that isn't clear is whether you're a Republican or a Hillary supporter. JonErber (talk) 18:09, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Aside from the issue of whether it belongs here, the latest is that Hillary's team may have been the one to reassure the Canadians.And the Obama campaign has denied the previous Canadian version of events which now has been made inoperative. I will now go to where it's "already there". JonErber (talk) 17:35, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Leading Candidate

I'm going to remove this distinction again unless the editor chooses to add it to Hillary Clinton's page as well. To add it to one and not another, even to say "a leading candidate" instead of "the leading candidate" does add bias to the article. Scottmkeen (talk) 01:33, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

I agree. He leads the delegate count, so on the books, he is what is defined as "the leading candidate." 70.137.160.103 (talk) 07:10, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

But the wording is not 'the leading candidate' - it's 'a leading candidate'. And to be 'a leading candidate' you don't have to have a majority or plurality of anything. There are some that would argue that with Ohio and the big swing states Hillary is actually 'the' leading candidate but I see no reason to intersperse that distinction - unless of course one wants to be as undemocratic as the Obamabots are. But that's not generally a good idea, is it? [unsigned]

Obama is leading in votes cast, in states won and in delegates. He's also leading in money raised and number of donors. As far as I can see he's the leading candidate by any and every measure. Is there some measure by which he's not? Remember, this is a national race, so to say, 'Hillary's leading in Arkansas and Ohio' is not relevant. (note: I did not write the unsigned paragraph above, although there is no signature following it.)86.145.1.63 (talk) 00:58, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Barack's religion

The article states that Barack Obama is a muslim. He is not, he is of the United Church of Christ. I suspect this is a change to the page with malignant motives. -Preceding unsignedcomment added by 68.92.239.57 (talk) 02:29, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

  • Just run of the mill vandalism; it occurred at 2:17 and for some reason wasn't noticed for twelve minutes. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ —Preceding comment was added at 03:36, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Oh this is so childish. Personally I doubt he has any religion at all. But the facts are these.

1. He got ten hours per week tutelage for over four years in islam. 2. His mother was a muslim. 3. His father was a muslim. 4. His stepfather was a muslim. 5. Who knows what his grandparents were but someone can look that up. 6. Saudi Arabia regards him as a muslim. 7. His Somali origins indicate he's not only a muslim but an ARAB.

It's clear however that this is a promotional article written by and for more Obamabots so it's really futile to discuss the matter. One can only hope you learn the proper meaning of two words eventually.

1. Democracy. 2. Encyclopaedia. [unsigned, by 90.5.136.204]

1. I went to school. 2. My mother was a teacher. 3. My father was a teacher. 4. My aunt was a teacher. 5. Several other people that I had something to do with when I was growing up were teachers. 6. That doesn't make me a teacher. 7. Saudi Arabia doesn't really care one way or another. Klippa (talk) 12:25, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
The unsigned editor above (at 90.5.136.204) claimed as facts at least 4 significant mistakes: Obama's mother was not Muslim but Christian, Obama's father was not from Somalia but from Kenya, having Somali origins would indicate that one was Somali (one-third of 1% of the population of Somalia are Arab), Obama would've spent "a couple of hours per week studying Islam of some sort" [8]. Klippa (talk) 12:25, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
At least the writer was candid enough to preface his rant by noting that it would be childish. Klippa (talk) 12:25, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Not agreeing with 90.5.136.204 about anything except the promotional nature of the current article, but one point of your response was in error. Obama's deceased mother didn't become a "Christian from Kansas" until Obama was campaigning in the Bible belt (South Carolina)[9]. Obama had previously described his mother's religion rather differently. "I was not raised in a religious household... My mother's own experiences... only reinforced this inherited skepticism. Her memories of the Christians who populated her youth were not fond ones... And yet for all her professed secularism, my mother was in many ways the most spiritually awakened person that I've ever known."[10] And his half-sister said, when asked if their mother was an atheist, "I wouldn't have called her an atheist," she said. "She was an agnostic. She basically gave us all the good books - the Bible, the Hindu Upanishads and the Buddhist scripture, the Tao Te Ching – and wanted us to recognise that everyone has something beautiful to contribute."[11] And, from another source, "She touted herself as an atheist, and it was something she'd read about and could argue," said Maxine Box, who was [Obama's mother's] best friend."[12] (Didn't write this just for you -- cut-and-paste from where I'd written it before). Andyvphil (talk) 05:38, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
Makes sense. Sounds like the way I'd describe myself: Christian by heritage and upbringing, agnostic and atheist by choice. Obviously the earlier writer was just trying to stir up trouble. He's not going to do that here though with such obviously wrong statements. Klippa (talk) 09:55, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Cheney [and Barack's cousin Harry Truman, etc.]

Shouldn't the fact that Dick Cheney is his cousin be mentioned? Contralya (talk) 05:53, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

They aren't first cousins, are they? 4th cousins or beyond are, for practical purposes, unrelated. Obama was unaware of this relationship until they did genetic testing on him. -Rosywounds (talk) 06:19, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Genetic testing? Sure you don't mean genealogical research?86.145.1.63 (talk) 01:06, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
Breaking news from the Satirical Political Report:

An archaeological dig in Cairo, conducted at the behest of Jesus Tomb producer James Cameron, turned up ancient manuscripts confirming that Obama's Egyptian ancestors enslaved the family of Elijah Lieberman, Joe Lieberman's "great-to-the-300th-degree" grandfather.

--Justmeherenow (talk) 01:16, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
That is very funny. Fishal (talk) 13:11, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
What's even funnier is that Obama and George W. Bush are 10th cousins. Could indicate either that genetics mean nothing or everything. Mr.grantevans2 (talk) 16:44, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
<winking>Yes, genetics mean everything! lol. Obviously the minute fraction of genetic material that Barack and Vice President Dick Cheney have in common is the "would-make-a-very-powerful-Vice-President" gene.</winking> That is, modifying only for correction from the NYT, Obama inherited ~1210 of the genome of his ancestor Maureen Duvall, a French colonist of Maryland in about 1655; and ditto---except to the ninth power---for Cheney. While Harry Truman, Barack's fourth cousin four times removed, shares with Barack the "underestimated-at-first" gene; Barack's cous Wallis Spencer, the Dutchess of Windsor, the "fairy-tale-come-true" gene; and Barack's cous Robert Duvall and possible cous Mark Twain, the "wittily-compelling-oratory-and-stage-presence" gene; etc. --Justmeherenow (talk) 19:14, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
So many jokes can be made for this (please don't yell at Obama supporters, I'm one of you *waves an Obama flag*) Anyways, to answer the yet-to-be-answered question, NO the fact that they're extremely distant cousins cannot be included, because that's like saying I'm distantly related to Beethoven, it's true, but who cares, the link is older than he is. C. Pineda (クリス) (talk) 03:38, 8 March 2008 (UTC)