User talk:The Four Deuces

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Trying to thread the needle[edit]

At U.S. request for mediation, trying to thread the needle in the poll returns between B1-2 “national jurisdiction", and C1-2 “federal republic consisting of”,

D.2. The United States is a federal republic consisting of 50 states, as well as a federal district and other territories in its national jurisdiction.

This can be parsed in various ways which accommodates the major divisions among editors as I see them, with an eye to include ALL initial participants.

  • a) The federal republic consists of 50 states, as well as a federal district and other territories. or,
  • b) 50 states, a federal district and other territories are in its national jurisdiction. -- or —
  • c) a federal district and other territories are in a non-state status. — or —
  • d) a federal district and other territories in its national jurisdiction but outside the federal republic.

I do not believe d) is a correct inference from the ambiguous statement, so I would like a clarifying footnote citation from the State Department “Common Core Document” to the U.N. Committee on Human Rights, noting Item 22: "The United States of America is a federal republic of 50 states, together with a number of commonwealths, territories and possessions." and, item 27: “...outside the 50 states and yet within the political framework of the United States. These include persons living in the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands." [1].

Any thoughts in response to this redraft, --- or any main principles up front, in response to Sunray's invitation below for a priori Principles-for-objection before trying to reach an accommodation or redraft among the poll responses? TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 11:38, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

Your source is the "Initial Report of the United States of America to the UN Committee Against Torture" 1999. The 2014 report says nothing about the relationship between the U.S. and its territories.[2] This is typical tendentious editing. You form a conclusion then search for sources, rather than identify the best sources and determine what they say. If you want to know the U.S. position on its territories, then you should look at reports to the U.N. about the U.S. territories. It still describes itself as an "administering power", and still respects the right to self-determination.
I found your recent comments on the U.S. talk page offensive. You accuse other editors of supporting racial segregation. Certainly the early insular cases were racist, and so is imperialism under which the U.S. acquired these possessions. But unlike the separate but equal case, the insular cases have never been overturned. The law has however evolved. The U.S. must respect fundamental human rights in all its de jure and de facto territories, which includes all the territories and Guantanamo Bay and also the right of self-determination.
I do not see what great wrong you are addressing. I understand Cuba's view that the U.S. has incorporated its territories. They claim that it has deprived their citizens of self-determination. Sparrow argues that because the territories have been incorporated, the constitution extends in full. But you turn these arguments on their head by saying that Cuba and Sparrow have their facts right, but it's a good thing.
TFD (talk) 15:14, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
TFD, Take no offense, I do not accuse any Wikipedia editors as racist; you are not a racist in my view. I note some would picture the 1901 United States as though it were the same as a century later, without accounting for law evolved in the United States providing for human rights and self-determination, both “internal” and “external”, see scholar Antonio Cassese (p. 148. [3]).
My source is the U.S. Department of State "Common Core Document of the United States of America: submitted with the Fourth Periodic Report of the United States of America to the United Nations Committee on Human Rights concerning the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights."
It has a section titled, “B. Constitutional, political and legal structure of the State. 1. Description of the constitutional structure and the political and legal framework. Type of government.” items 22-39. It includes the “unincorporated” territories as it does DC in addition to the states. The source is linked [4], I encourage you to read it. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 17:41, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
The report also refers to "the U.S. and U.S. territories", "throughout the United States and in U.S. territories", etc. No one would say for example, throughout the U.S. and DC or throughout Canada and its northern territories. But why are you using a report on human rights in the U.S. as a source for constitutional law? Why would you not choose a source about constitutional law? Incidentally for human rights purposes, all territories of the United States, including Guantanamo Bay, are treated as part of the U.S.
Plessy v. Ferguson 1896 was overturned by Brown v. Board of Education 1954 and subsequent other Supreme decisions. The insular cases were not overturned but later decisions have extended basic human rights to the territories, including Guanatamo Bay. But there are Supreme Court decisions even older than Plessy, such as Marbury v. Madison 1803 that are still good law.
Not sure about the reason for your link to Cassese' 1979 article.
TFD (talk)
The Supreme Court is but one co-equal branch of national government which admits it is powerless to incorporate, that is the role of Congress. Constitutionally, the discriminatory tax and tariff system continues because the Commerce Clause does not apply to judicially “unincorporated” territories. But the Congress has by successive legislation over time politically incorporated territories by citizenship/nationals, elective self-governance and delegate Member of Congress --- not merely domestic postal service as you misrepresent this in reductio ad absurdum.
This is how is has been done in the modern era, "Although Congress has never enacted any affirmative language such as “Puerto Rico is hereby an incorporated territory,” its sequence of legislative actions from 1900 to present has in fact incorporated the territory.” [5]. That holding is unchallenged for seven years. That process is a “paradigm” for the other territories, which is why scholars report the U.S. “consisting of” territories and territories as “a part of” the U.S. in the modern era. You have provided no counter-sources for political status, only the narrow grounds of the economic Commerce Clause in a narrow "domestic sense".
Why do you persist in anachronistically picturing the United States of early 1900s as the United States of early 2000s, ignoring the sequence of legislative actions applicable to the territories throughout the 20th century? Law evolved in the United States providing for islander human rights and self-determination, both “internal” for elective self-governance and “external” to become a part of the United States, see scholar Antonio Cassese (p. 148. [6]). TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 10:28, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Indeed, the opinion of a district court judge you link to says Congress has incorporated Puerto Rico since the original Insular Cases were written, He further concludes that the U.S. constitutional applies in full, which of course it would if Puerto Rico was part of the U.S. He writes, "the territory has evolved from an unincorporated to an incorporated one. Congress today, thus, must afford Puerto Rico and the 4,000,000 United States citizens residing therein all constitutional guarantees."

The reality is that the executive and legislature do not treat Puerto Rico as incorporated in that they do not consider the constitution to apply in full (unlike the judge or Sparrow). Neither do most legal experts. But the judge and Sparrow not only acknowledge the position of the U.S. government and congress, they assail it. So the U.S. for example is in violation of the constitution in not recognizing all persons born in American Samoa and subject to the U.S. as citizens.

Weight requires that we present various views in accordance with their acceptance in reliable sources. We cannot say the U.S. government is wrong, the district judge is right and present his opinion as fact. The only thing we can do is determine whether the judge's opinion is of such significance that it should be mentioned in this article. While it might be mentioned in articles about the territories, it seems of too little significance to mention here. Note too that whether you or I accept the arguments of the judge are irrelevant to what should be in the article. If I believe them, then policy still requires me to support omission.

Your comment "admits it is powerless to incorporate, that is the role of Congress" is a red herring. Under Marbury v. Madison, the Supreme Court has the power to interpret the constitution and it has determined that only Congress can incorporate territories and that when the Insular Cases were written it had not, and the district judge agrees with that. Where he disagrees is that he believes Congress has incorporated Puerto Rico. Incidentally, I think you mean the Uniformity Clause, not the Commerce Clause. The Uniformity Clause says, "all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States." Because the government does not consider Puerto Rico to be in the United States, taxes do not have to be uniform. But if Puerto Rico is part of the U.S. then it follows tax rates must be uniform.

TFD (talk) 17:28, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, Uniformity Clause duly noted. But the progress of U.S. history is not an account of Supreme Court holdings alone. Weight requires that we present various views in accordance with reliable sources which means we will attend to other than one branch of government to discover U.S.G. practice in the modern era. In reality the executive and legislature treat Puerto Rico “as a state” by law, regulation and executive order.
“Internal” self determination for a group within a nation-State in the modern era requires citizenship/nationals, elective self governance and representation in the national councils within the State traditions. Judicial U.S. policy withholding 1) citizenship/nationality, 2) elective self governance and 3) representation in the national councils is ended variously in Puerto Rico by 1952, U.S. Virgin Islands by 1973, Guam by 1973, District of Columbia by 1975, American Samoa by 1981 and the Northern Mariana Islands by 2009 (Wikipedia sources).
District of Columbia 1801 citizenship, 1975 elected mayor, 1971 delegate Member of Congress
American Samoa -- 1904 nationals, 1978 elected governor, 1981 delegate Member of Congress
Guam ---------------- 1950 citizenship, 1972 elected governor, 1973 delegate Member of Congress
Northern Marianas 1986 citizenship, 1978 elected governor, 2009 delegate Member of Congress
Puerto Rico 1952 mutual citizenship, 1948 elected governor, 1901 delegate Member of Congress
U.S. Virgin Islands 1927 citizenship, 1970 elected governor, 1973 delegate Member of Congress
Tax rates do not bear on participation in the federal republic. The United States is a federal republic which represents its people in Congress in a scheme of representation by place. 1. If U.S. people are represented in Congress, then their places are a part of the United States. 2. DC and the five major territories have delegate Members of Congress representing U.S. people. 3. Therefore, DC and the five major territories are a part of the U.S. federal republic. - a conclusion supported by six scholars, opposed in a non sequitur by "thousands" of sources cited noting the judicial "unincorporation" of territories for an internal "domestic sense" of taxation -- independent of their participation in Congress. What was once judicially withheld is now superseded by unchallenged legislation, appeals to Marbury overturning legislation do not apply. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 18:29, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
The Uniformity Clause, also called the Spending Clause, says, "all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States." The district judge clearly states, "in order for the Spending Clause protections to apply to Puerto Rico, Congress must have subsequently incorporated the territory. Otherwise, the Clause would not apply because it is not the source of any fundamental rights."
So either you think (like Sparrow and the district judge) that Puerto Rico is part of the U.S. and the Uniformity Clause applies or you think it is not part of the U.S. and therefore the clause does not apply. Your statement "Tax rates do not bear on participation in the federal republic" is a red herring/strawman argument. Indeed there is nothing in the definition of a federal republic that it must apply uniform tax rates. However the U.S. constitution requires that particular federal republic to apply uniformity.
Your timeline of increased internal self-government of territories is likewise a red herring. Greater self-government is part of the de-colonization process. Canada for example had self-government extended over a number of acts of parliament, but that does not mean Canada was being incorporated into the UK.
TFD (talk) 19:45, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
I very rarely think in dichotomies, I try to find three to five alternatives as a matter of rigorous historical thinking. Note that taxing territories has been justified in your view not only under the Commerce Clause but also the Uniformity Clause, and the result has been a discriminatory tax regime under U.S. jurisdiction.
You remind me of a friend who was in Mensa with a photographic memory, his hobby was to challenge me with Alice in Wonderland logic. Again you advance more unsourced non sequiturs. It seems that you mistake U.S. history by trying to reduce it to the narrow field of constitutional law alone, then argue that territories are not states, another non sequitur; non-state territories have always been a part of the U.S. as DC and the five major territories are today.
The Constitution has never applied uniformly to territories in all respects all at once, it has been extended by increments beyond fundamental rights in varying degrees to both continental and island territories by Congress over time. Note that DC which you admit is a part of the U.S., did not participate in the federal republic until the 1970s.
You seem to be never-endingly surprised that territories do not have all the privileges of states until statehood. Greater self government is a part of the process politically incorporating the territories which are no longer populated with "aliens". Canada was never given a Member of Parliament of any description towards political incorporation into Great Britain, you have advanced another non sequitur, my friend. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 11:45, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
It is not my objective to justify U.S. treatment of its territories. Nor is it my objective to argue about their status based on how the constitution is applied. But the fact remains that reliable sources, including Sparrow and the district court, argue that the executive and legislature treat them as if they were unincorporated. And yes the constitution has always applied in full to incorporated territories as it does today in DC and Palmyra.
The issue is not whether territories have the same rights and privileges as states, they do not. It is whether their residents have the same rights and privileges. People in DC and Palmyra have the same rights and privileges as people in the 50 states, people in the other territories do not. It is not a matter of whether I think they should have the same rights and privileges, but whether the U.S. government considers that they do. Similarly if I were to say that Saudi Arabia does not provide rights to its citizens, it is not because I do not think that they should, just that they do not.
Canada in fact was given a member of parliament., The first high commissioner to the UK was appointed to the House of Lords and that was probably the example the U.S. used for appointing territorial delegates to Congress. When Donald Smith was appointed high commissioner, he was given the title of Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal in 1896 and the title of Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal, of Mount Royal in the Province of Quebec and Dominion of Canada and of Glencoe in the County of Argyll in 1900. Puerto Rico was allowed a resident commissioner in 1901.
TFD (talk) 13:07, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for the point of Canadian representation in Parliament, it may be a better example for your case than modern British Virgin Islands, but interestingly your frame of reference is again from the turn of the 20th century, not modern history. Is there a source which indicates the high commissioner from Canada to the Parliament was making Canada a part of the United Kingdom at the turn of the 20th century? It seems the Canadians believe the position to be a “diplomatic" post even from that early date, and the British government believes a High Commissioner (Commonwealth) to be the representative of one government to another, not the participation of its nationals and citizens within the national councils of the United Kingdom.
Six scholar publications in law journals, university press monographs, and the Congressional Quarterly all attest to the five major territories are a part of the United States in the modern, post WWII era. G. Alan Tarr (2005) The U.S. "now encompasses” DC and island territories. (p.382 [7]). Ellis Katz (2006), "The American federation is composed of … a federal district … five major territories, ... and ... tribes. (p.296 [8]). Jon M. Van Dyke (1992), the five major territories are “a part of the United States” (p.1 [9]). Bartholomew Sparrow (2005), “At present, the US includes” five major territories and DC. (p. 231-232, [10]). Donald P. Haider-Markel (2008), territories "are officially a part of U.S. territory,” (p.649 [11]). Earl H. Fry (2009), the “U.S. federal system” includes the five major territories (p.297 [12]).
All U.S. tradition is not derivative of U.K. history. The first territorial delegate Member of Congress predated Puerto Rico’s by a century, it predated Donald Smith’s election — no wait, he was appointed following Canadian Independence Day on July 1, 1867, --- then his participation in the British national legislature was NOT an act of elective self-governance within Britain’s political framework, but relations of sovereign governments in international Commonwealth, similar to the renewable agreements of Freely Associated States by the sovereign nations of Palau, Marshall Islands and Micronesia with the U.S. You caught me in another non sequitur for a moment.
It seems to me that to include the population of DC is to include those of the five major territories. Like the five major territories, DC citizens do not have all of the same rights as citizens of states. a) They have a delegate Member of Congress with floor and committee privileges, but not voting at final passage. b) Unlike the states, DC legislation like territory legislation is subject to Congressional review. c) Except for Puerto Rico with an Article III federal court, they have Congressional Article I federal district courts (American Samoa’s federal cases are referred to DC’s district court). Almost always territories began with presidentially appointed military governors, and legislatures which could be dissolved by the president. How can you justify the statement that before the judicial invention of "unincorporated", territories automatically had all constitutional privileges of states? If that were so, how do you explain Alaska and Hawaii being on the U.N. list of non-self governing territories in mid-20th century? TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 15:36, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────DC is part of the United States because it was part of tje State of Maryland that was ceded to the U.S. government. An agreement between the two cannot remove a territory from the U.S. because neither one has that power - that anyway is the opinion of the Supreme Court. Unlike Puerto Rico, there are no rights protected by the U.S., constitution that do not apply equally to people in DC. If I am wrong, then should be able to name one.

Indeed the Canadian High Commissioner represents the Canadian government, just as the Puerto Rican Resident Commissioner represents the Puerto Rican government. But unlike the U.S. ambassador, the Canadian High Commissioner does not represent Canada's head of state and is not presented to the U.K.'s head of state. Canada and the U.K. of course have the same person as head of state. The parallel is clear - two separate states where one was a dependency of the other.

It is anomalous that the U.S. put Alaska and Hawaii on the decolonization list. By doing so it agreed that both territories had the right to independence, which is contrary to the U.S. constitution. But those two cases are now moot, since they became states and were removed from the list.

Incidentally, British colonies often began with military governors too. That did not make them part of the U.K. TFD (talk) 16:23, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Are possessions with military governors of temporary populations but without citizenship, and without delegate Members of Congress a part of the federal republic in the U.S. historical tradition in your view? If such are not a part of the U.K., can places in that status be part of the U.S.? But that is a non sequitur relative to modern U.S. territories with elective self government, permanent populations of U.S. citizens/nationals with delegate Members of Congress.
There is no constitutional agreement between the people of DC and the U.S. to secede, there is no agreement between any of the U.S. territories and the U.S. to secede; 80-90% choose political union with the U.S., only 3-5% for independence. I just named three instances where the Constitution applies to states but not to DC. Due process has been extended to the modern territory, it prevents any arbitrary alteration in territorial status.
We can rehearse the argument again, DC and the territories are not separate States internationally with seats at the UN. Nor do they achieve constitutional status as states in the federal union. DC and U.S. territories are under U.S. Congressional authority by the Territories Clause. Modern territories have more rights and privileges than either Alaska or Hawaii before statehood.
I do not understand that the U.S. puts its territories on the U.N. decolonization list, then or now; I do believe that France has presumed to unilaterally remove its territories, but the General Assembly recently re-added French Polynesia to New Caledonia on the decolonization list [13]. As I remember, the reason for the General Assembly putting Alaska and Hawaii on the non-self governing list was because indigenous peoples did not have equal right to citizenship or the ballot before 1959. They are not issues in the modern era in DC and U.S. territories since the Voting Rights Act resulted in an African American DC mayor in the 1970s, see the timeline for other implementation of elective self-governance.
Self-determination includes the right to a) independence, b) Free State Association as a sovereign nation with another, and c) political union with a larger nation state. All modern U.S. territories have had some form of referendum to legitimize the supremacy of the U.S. Constitution and Congress over their citizenship/national status with elective self governance and delegate Member of Congress so as to form political union with the U.S. by internal self-determination. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 18:43, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
I do not see that anything you wrote has bearing on the issue. Certainly the U.S. allows greater rights to its inhabited territories that it originally did. But none of that makes them more a part of the U.S. And certainly they are not represented in the U.N., because dependencies typically cannot become members. They do however have a limited international personality, such as membership in some U.N. agencies, as do other dependencies.
However, if they are part of the U.S., then why does the Taxation Clause of the constitution not apply? Why does the government allow them limited international personality? Why is there no birthright citizenship in American Samoa? Why does Congress think it is within their power to allow them to become independent, as the Philippines did?
TFD (talk) 01:56, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── When islanders had no experience in the practice of republican forms of self governance, nor any previous participation in a democratic-republic, nor any history in the U.S. Congress, the Supreme Court called islanders “alien" a century ago. Self governing with U.S. forms of elective three-branch government under the U.S. flag, and actively participating on the House floor and in Congressional committees makes them more a part of the U.S. The Congress has progressively expanded their participation in the U.S. political framework over the 20th century.

Both the states and territories of the U.S. have a limited international personality including trade offices in other nations, that does not withdraw them from U.S. sovereignty. Nation-state sub-unit participation in international organizations is a feature of the modern era.

The Taxation Clause does not apply because of a narrow economic judicial term of art, “unincorporated” --- it has no bearing on U.S. citizenship, elective self governance or a delegate Member of Congress --- other than initially withholding these temporarily in "a domestic sense" until Congress should act.

American Samoans have not expressed their desire for U.S. birthright citizenship in a plebiscite, many believe it would jeopardize the tribal communal property over 90% of its territory. In the modern era, constitutional status is arrived at mutually. We shall see if the modern Court focuses on the "popular sovereignty" or the 14th Amendment aspect of American Samoan national/citizenship status, or finds a way that lies between the litigants.

The Congress cannot unilaterally make a territory independent because the Due Process clause applies to the territories. The Philippines petitioned for independence. Of course, at independence from the U.S., there is a loss of U.S. citizenship and that gives some islanders pause during plebiscites, netting a 3-5%. vote for independence. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 09:39, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

"Unincorporated" means not part of the U.S. The district court and Sparrow both say that Puerto Rico is incorporated hence, in the judgment, the Taxation Clause applies. If American Samoa was part of the U.S., the Citizenship Clause would apply, which Sparrow argues it does. And if Puerto Rico were part of the U.S., no act of Congress could alienate it from the U.S., because only a constitutional amendment can remove a territory from the U.S. Even if you believe Puerto Rico is part of the U.S., you must admit that the government does not treat it that way. TFD (talk) 14:41, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Organic Acts make territories organically a part of the United States. Territorial Constitutions making Congressional acts and the U.S. Constitution the supreme law of the land make them constitutionally a part of the U.S. Certainly as of the 2011 Common Core Document (item 22, 27 [14]), the U.S. reports to the U.N. that its “constitutional structure and the political and legal framework" is “a federal republic of 50 states, together with a number of commonwealths, territories and possessions… states and other constituent units…" including DC and the judicially “unincorporated"-for-tariff territories of American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. There are six scholars linked above who interpret the federal United States as including territories.

In the early 20th century, pre-WWII era, judicial “Unincorporated” was a term of art which withheld citizenship/nationality, elective self governance and delegate Member of Congress. These elements together held the territories apart from the U.S. federal republic’s political structure temporarily. But in the modern era, these elements of “internal” self determination are all mutually agreed to by Congress and islander plebiscite. These progressive acts of Congress leave in tact discriminatory taxes for "good law” in federal cases in a “domestic sense” as protective tariffs for the U.S. sugar cartel.

Puerto Rico is now a self-governing territory which is to be administratively treated by the U.S. government “as a state” since 1992 (p. 391 [15]). That was also the outcome of the district court ruling treating Puerto Rico as a state for the purposes of the case before it. It did not overturn the narrow application of discriminatory tariffs in a “domestic sense” held in the Insular Cases. In general, I object to existing tariff measure prohibiting Puerto Rican sugar competing on an equal playing field with Louisiana sugar.

You are straining to expand a judicially imposed constitutional distinction from a century ago, since substantially superseded, which today is only useful in a “domestic sense” for a limited economic application related to the taxation clause. The U.S. federal republic as it is acknowledged in the world community includes a constitutional structure of 50 states, a federal district, five territories and possessions, as sourced by the U.S. State Department and six scholars, why misrepresent the sourced Sparrow at p.231-232? What of the others? How is it that there is no counter-source addressing the territories of the modern era in their political character? TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 05:47, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

The Insular Cases are gutted by sequential Congressional action in the post WWII modern era — citizenship, self government, delegate Member of Congress. The remnant of “unincorporated” is internal tariffs “in a domestic sense”. Due process applies to PR and it cannot be alienated by Congress without mutual consent; of course Freely Associated State status brings loss of citizenship in the U.S. constitutional framework. In the modern era, PR is treated as a territory which has not applied for statehood; another plebiscite is funded. I would have Organic Acts make a Representative in each territory, limited to some number just as DC is constitutionally in the Electoral College, regardless of its future population.
See also, my friend I think you will generally like: the Harvard Law School symposium on Reconsideration of the Insular Cases. KEYNOTE speaker: Hon. Juan Torruella, U.S. C.A., 1st Circuit. [[16]] -- Panel I: History: Perspectives and Lessons [[17]], — Panel II: Contemporary issues regarding the territories [[18]] -- Panel III: the future status of Puerto Rico. [[19]]. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 12:30, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
"Organic acts" mean that an act of Congress has set up a local administration, not that the territory has become incorporated. American Samoa incidentally does not have an organic act, since their local government was set up by themselves. Free association incidentally does not necessarily mean loss of citizenship, that is determined by the two states in association. Citizens of the associated states of New Zealand for example are citizens of New Zealand. However, as with other territories outside the U.S., citizenship does not extend by virtue of the 14th amendment, only through legislation. Hence Congress has not extended citizenship to American Samoa.
Thanks for the links. I listened to the first speaker on the Harvard panel. He clearly says that the Insular Cases were wrong and calls on the executive and Congress to resolve the problem. Certainly there are people who think the status quo is wrong, the insular cases were racist, Congress has in fact incorporated the territories and many other views. But all them agree that the U.S. government acts as if the cases are still good law.
Due process of course applies to Puerto Rico, just as it does to Guantanamo Bay and all territories under the control ot the U.S. Not coincidentally, the English equivalent extends to all territories subject to the U.K.
TFD (talk) 13:36, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

French Overseas Territories[edit]

Hello, regarding the reverts you've did. They are considered integraly as part of France, according to what's said Here. Seqqis (talk) 05:18, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

Seqqis, your link says that French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Réunion are integral parts of France, not St. Barthelemy, St. Martin, French Polynesia, or St. Pierre and Miquelon. Also, the "Sovereign State" field you added for the infoboxes is not used for Canadian provinces, U.S. states, etc., so it is questionable why it should be used in these other cases. TFD (talk) 12:42, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
My Mistake, didn't mean to say thay were intergral parts. But it did state that "Overseas collectivities and territories form part of the French Republic, but do not form part of the European Union or its fiscal area". And even though I haven't added the "Sovereign State" feild to non-territorial entities, there's no description to where the feild should actually be used. Seqqis (talk) 16:34, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

Help with Rep. Tom Graves?[edit]

Hi, Four Deuces, I saw you were included on the list of participants at WikiProject: Conservatism and wanted to reach out to see if you'd be able to look at an article I'm working on. I've made some suggestions on Rep. Tom Graves's talk page, and would be grateful for some help in reviewing these and, if they look reasonable, implementing them.

I'm looking to discuss my changes there rather than making the edits myself as I have a conflict of interest: as disclosed on the Talk page for the article, I'm currently working as a paid consultant to Rep. Graves. Would you be able to take a look at my proposed edits and let me know what you think? Cheers, WWB Too (Talk · COI) 16:11, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Please help me understand...[edit]

First of all, thank you for finding the page #'s in that single Journal article dated 1979 authored by Victor Herbert. Is the mention in that one article about Griffin's publishing all that's needed for citing contentious material about Griffin? Guilt by association? So is Bill Gates responsible for everything Microsoft does even though it's an independent company? What I'm seeing in that 35 year old article is OR about laetrile with passing mention about a film and book published by a corporation Griffin founded. What happened to Verifiable not false? What was the Griffin filmstrip about? What was the book about that was published by Griffin's company that his wife co-authored with a doctor who actually treated patients? Are we not supposed to verify the reference for accuracy (Verifiable not false) or do we blindly accept a single 35 year old journal article as the gospel?

Question - do you know what the following represents? [20] The information I found states: FDA's Dockets Management serves as the official repository for the administrative proceedings and rule-making documents for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an operating division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). There is mention in the linked source about Victor Herbert and it isn't flattering.

What about the following: - "What was Dr Victor Herbert? He was a highly paid expert witness who used pseudo science (lies and oversimplification) to trash anyone or anything outside the bastions of conventional medicine. According to Dr James P Carter's fantastic book, Racketeering in Medicine, "His expert witness testimony is either inaccurate, twisted or so overly simplistic as to not represent valid medical fact."

Dr Linus Pauling, two time Nobel Prize Laureate, said of him, "I have known [Dr Victor Herbert] for about 21 years now. I don't think he is a scientist. It seems to me that he has little understanding of science and little ability in that field. . . . If you can believe what he says, there is no doubt that his beliefs are not based upon facts; that there is some sort of bias; some sort of other activating influence. He is not a scientist in the sense of a person who is able to carry out reliable experiments." [From court transcripts in the trial of Dr Warren Levin.]

The "activating influence" was money. Dr Herbert was a paid gun for the pharmaceutical and medical interests. As Dr Carter puts it in Racketeering in Medicine, "medicine today is a turf war." Dr Herbert, also an attorney, used the courts system to destroy many physicians who practiced outside the realm of conventional medicine. The state can continue to prosecute for it has deep, deep pockets. Most physicians go broke in the process. [21]

There's also the following book that doesn't lend much credibility to Herbert. Do we just dismiss this information and condemn the BLP based on passing mention? [22] pages 52 & 53.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to look at this. AtsmeConsult 00:33, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Here is a link to any obituary of Victor Herbert. He and his writing were certainly respected and represent mainstream thinking, while his opponent's views did not. However, his rhetoric, as the obituary mentions, was probably beyond how most writers would phrase things. The link you asked me about was a email by Betty Martini, an anti-aspartame activist. Pauling was certainly respected, but his views on alternative medicine were not, because alternative medicine is not accepted. And whatever your views on alternative medicine, policy requires us to give it the same weight as it is given in medical textbooks. So if the medical profession is lying to us, Wikipedia articles will as well.
Your last source is from a vegetarian magazine, covering the trial at which Pauling testified. It is not rs and I won't read through the transcripts to see what was really said. But the defendant has since been in trouble with regulators.[23]
But my disagreement is not over how laetrile should be characterized but what should be said in the Griffith article. We are not supposed to include information in articles that one would not expect to find in a neutral source, such as an encyclopedia article, which of course this article is supposed to be.
TFD (talk) 01:54, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Just a few more question if I may? Your input has been refreshing and for that I thank you. Ok, since I don't read medical textbooks, how will I know what's considered "mainstream" VS what constitutes alternative? Would the difference be whether or not the patient needs pills to sustain life? Is the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (formerly National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine) not considered mainstream? [24] I'm trying to get a better understanding of all the pontificating about mainstream medicine, quackery and fringe, and why Griffin's article must remain a coatrack and can never be a GA because he is a crank, etc. I also don't understand why WP would dare assume such a position considering the potential for libel. If the Mayo Clinic has accepted alternative and integrative medicine [25], and the NIH has as well, [26], and the ACS now has holistic care [27], how do we know what's mainstream? And why shouldn't the Griffin BLP include mention of what Griffin actually wrote in his book instead of using only what critics have said to discredit him? I've seen the same thing happen at other BLPs where groups of editors that strongly disliked a person would cause disruption, try to get their opposition blocked, and employ tag team tactics to make sure the BLP or article stayed a coatrack or attack page. Is this a behavior that has just cropped up in the past couple of years or has it always been around? AtsmeConsult 04:12, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────To determine what is accepted and what is not accepted in the medical literature you would need to get a recent medical textbook from a reputable academic publisher. There are also review studies published in academic journals that summarize the literature. Most of us find that too difficult and take the word of articles in reputable news sources or magazines, although they are less reliable.

If you read articles by Griffith and people like him, you will see that they agree their views are outside the mainstream academic view, and they accuse the mainstream of suppressing the truth. Whether or not they are right is irrelevant, because the policy of weight does not say we should report what is true but "all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint in the published, reliable sources." And the virtually unaminous significant viewpoint in reliable sources say laetrile is ineffective in treating cancer.

Neutral articles can be written about even very controversial people, but the tone is important - to neither endorse their views or be overly hostile.

TFD (talk) 05:42, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Commonwealth realm[edit]

Just wanted to 'thank you', for not accusing me of disruption or bringing up my past :) GoodDay (talk) 01:38, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

It was a reasonable question and one I might have asked had I not been aware of the previous discussion and looked into the topic. TFD (talk) 03:00, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
BTW, thanks for responding 'here' & not merely deleting my post. It's refreshing to see that some folks have manners :) GoodDay (talk) 17:49, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

GM food RfC[edit]

Note about this RfC where you !voted. I tweaked the statement to make it more clear that it is about eating GM food and health. I'm notifying each person who !voted, in case that matters to you. Sorry for the trouble. Jytdog (talk) 21:09, 1 June 2015 (UTC)