Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2007 February 1

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February 1[edit]


How would i go about getting an English Koran, more specifically, a free one. I know the Arabic ones are better, but i don't have time to learn Arabic.

Thanks Omnipotence407 00:51, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Several online translations link from the article on Qur'an. See Qur'an#External_links. They're free, and they're in Engish. ---Sluzzelin 01:21, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm almost certain if you go to the your nearest mosque or Muslim bookshop, they should have some, and I imagine they'll all be free. I remember one of my friend's having a Koran with both Arabic and English in it. Hope this helps. - Akamad 01:23, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
That would surprise me; I thought the Koran was not, officially, allowed to be translated out of Arabic? I'd be surprised then if Muslim bookshops carried them. Barnes and Noble certainly does, though. -- 01:46, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
As the Qur'an article says translations are fine, they are just regarded as merely interpretations not canon. A companion of Muhammed wrote the first translation. meltBanana 02:21, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
As with the Bible, some editions of the Qur'an are subsidized or given out free (including the not perfect but very useful Yusuf Ali version—unfortunately recently with revisions that are not improvements; I suspect the Amana edition gets funding from Saudi Arabia). The biggest give-away seems to be CAIR's Explore the Quran Campaign, but shipping is not covered. (Wow, I just realized that this is the very nice Muhammad Asad edition, with a full liberal, somewhat eccentric commentary, which some Muslims have recommended highly to me, though I've never seen it—it's not in my college library, and I balked at the regular purchase price. In short, well worth the $7.65!) (A little Googling also turned up this request form, which might get you a totally free Yusuf Ali Arabic-English version.) Wareh 02:53, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Let me clarify for melt banana: an English "Koran" is not, for Muslims "THE Koran". It's only "AN ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF the Koran", because "THE Koran" has to be Arabic, or it's only a translation. Some bits of it are, according to some clerics, simply impossible to translate. Why? Because the exact words, rhythm, diatrics, and virtually everything there is about it are relevant to its meaning, so the English can't be 110% accurate. Unlike the Bible: which for Christians, just says exactly what it means. Which is translated into thousands of languages, and thus considered "THE Bible.martianlostinspace 15:08, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Types of lawyers[edit]

What type of lawyer should you be if you want to work for the government suchas a united states attorney. --Croc 00:58, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Criminal law. You need experience as a prosecutor. Corvus cornix 02:28, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Most of the work of United States Attorneys and their staff has nothing to do with criminal prosecution of individuals, although that's their best-known and most 'telegenic' duty. --Charlene 09:05, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
United States Attorneys are generally appointed after years of experience in various fields of law. There are only 93 United States Attorneys (and 94 offices - I don't know how that works but I got those numbers right from the DOJ) at the present time. Of course, each of these individuals has 20 or more lawyers, paralegals, and administrators working under her or him, and this may be the career you're thinking of. United States Attorneys handle federal criminal prosecution, debt collection, civil litigation (if someone sues the US government for, say, a slip and fall accident that takes place in a government office), the vetting of contracts between the US government and private entities, most government real estate matters, bankruptcy fraud, bank fraud, health care and quack medicine fraud, coordination of multi-jurisdictional investigations, child exploitation, immigration law enforcement, violent crime on Indian reservations, and the like. Very few of these positions are likely to be held by a criminal prosecutor; a lawyer with a specialization in medical matters would likely handle health care and quack medicine fraud, while a real estate lawyer would handle real estate and a commercial lawyer would likely handle vetting contracts.
This means that even the smaller jurisdictions may employ lawyers drawn from half a dozen fields, not just criminal law. --Charlene 09:05, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

A U.S. Attorney represents the United States in civil and criminal matters in a geographical region. They are litigators. Once can be an assistant U.S. Attorney in most jurisdictions upon law school graduation. These are the lawyers who actually go to court. It is a prestigious position. One needs to attend a good law school, edit law review and have excellent recommendations. The work is classified so one also needs an FBI clearance. The official U.S. Attorney is responsible for the office. The U.S. Attorney is a prominent lawyer in the area with political ties. I worked in the Manhattan office and there was a compartmentalization between civil and criminal which does not occur most places. When I was there, lawyers did not specialize further. Perhaps Charlene graduated after I did. The lawyers are good all-purpose litigators. It is a brilliant career move. A young lawyer is given an active docket of 6-10 cases after a short course at DOJ in D.C. Comparable experience at a large private firm would take at least fifteen years. The office works with lawyers from the specialized agencies, such as FTC,SEC,HUD, who would know their specific specialty.75Janice 00:29, 2 February 2007 (UTC)75Janice 1 February 2007

The practice in Manhattan is *very* different from that in most jurisdictions. There are no Indian reservations, for instance, in Manhattan (as far as I remember), and many other federal agencies have offices there and may have their own attorneys. In places like Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, South Dakota, Mississippi, southern Georgia, West Virginia, etc., etc., etc. United States Attorneys have much more on their plates. My brother-in-law works as an assistant United States Attorney in one of those states. --Charlene 00:51, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Manhattan is not that atypical. Believe it or not, Manhattan is part of New York City, which is a city in New York State, which is one of the United States, which is a nation on planet Earth. What was never clear to me, and perhaps you could ask your brother-in-law, is the relationship between the U.S. Attorney's Office and lawyers from agencies with the U.S. government. My friends from law school work and worked in jurisdictions such as Montana, Kansas City, New Jersey so I don't think my answer is absurd.

If the question is about what a government lawyer does, the answer is one can do any type of law. You represent the government instead of a private client. The hours are typically less -depending on the culture where you work. The pay is usually less. On the other hand, you may get paid more per hour worked. The benefit of striving toward a common good rather than helping a monstrously wealth corporate is a benefit. From my own experience, it is hard to know what lawyers besides litigators do b/c they are rarely shown on TV or films. If you are interested, a local bar association may be able to pair you with lawyers in various fields so that you could visit and talk with them for a few minutes. 15:33, 2 February 2007 (UTC)75Janice 2 February 2007.

What is the relationship between Neo-Nazis and the Japanese Nazi Party?[edit]

The wiki article on the National Socialist Japanese Workers and Welfare Party doesnt really explain how its relationship with the white neo-nazi parties is. On the one hand the Japanese are hardly aryan but on the other hand the founder of the Nazi movement Adolf never lost any sleep over his alliance with Japan. --Robinhood29 02:43, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

I'd guess it's fine, although the movement doesn't seem to have any strong international connections, just a loosely connected network... 惑乱 分からん 02:58, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Why would Hitler lose sleep over an alliance with Japan? Japan was not a threat to Germany in any way. Japan was not a threat to any of Hitler's ambitions in Europe. Japan was a willing enemy against the United States. The United States was (very) slowly becoming an offensive ally with Germany's enemies. So, it was a case of the U.S. becoming an enemy of Germany through the rule "The Ally of my Enemy is my Enemy" and Japan becoming an ally of Germany through the rule "The Enemy of my Enemy is my Ally". Now, if Japan decided to do something silly like try to conquer Poland for itself, then Hitler would have lost some sleep over the arrangement.
I just thought I should note that there is no reason to assume Hitler believed anything he said. He was a Machiavellian-styled dictator. Thus, he got his people in large groups before talking to them (because the intelligence of a crowd is equal to the dumbest person in the crowd) and then said whatever he had to say to make them happy. --Kainaw (talk) 04:22, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Nazism has taken shape around the oddest of paradoxes, Robin: a movement that was essentially inward looking and violently nationalist has transcended both race and nation. Where there is bitterness and discontent, there is National Socialism. Putting the common hatred of all things Jewish to one side, the issue of race, and even the concept of Aryanism, has become largely irrelevant. Of all the European nations none suffered more greatly at the hands of the Nazis than Russia; and yet there is now a vigorous and violent Hitlerite movement in that country. There is no reason why the Japanese Nazis should have any connection with other Nazi movements, though I feel sure that they would co-operate and ally with one another, if they felt this to be necessary. Clio the Muse 06:24, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

With respect, I beg to differ. National Socialism is not a simple, natural, human response to bitterness and discontent. For example, Black Americans in the pre-civil rights era, despite the grotesque inhumanity they had suffered as slaves, and continued to suffer under segregation and other racist policies, conditions that no German can ever dare claim to have suffered, did not turn to National Socialism. Instead, to their credit, they turned to civil disobedience and non-violent protest. Similarly, the Jews, despite two millenia of the most inhumane of treatment, never turned to National Socialism either. Finally, the assertion that the Russian people suffered more greatly at the hands of the Nazis is a remarkable one. It's true, some 20 million Russians perished in WWII, yet much of this was due to the military strategy of their "leader", Josef Stalin, who felt no compunction in using his own people as, basically, cannon fodder. Even so, the Russian Nation never had to deal with existential issues such as the prospect of complete annihilation and extinction. This nightmare was one only the Jewish Nation was faced with. Loomis 22:09, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
Loomis, you say black americans suffered 'conditions that no German can ever dare claim to have suffered'. They did not (in my opinion). The German Jews in the concentration camps were every bit as German as the officers running the camps. I would say that these Germans have every right to claim to have suffered at least as much as the blacks in their struggle for civil rights. Nothing against blacks, just a point. Just because they were Jewish, doesn't mean they weren't German. -JoeTalk!Work 04:52, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
Fine, I'll rephrase it: "Black Americans in the pre-civil rights era, despite the grotesque inhumanity they had suffered as slaves, and continued to suffer under segregation and other racist policies, conditions that no [bitter and discontented, non-Jewish German who turned to National Socialism] can ever dare claim to have suffered, did not turn to National Socialism". Obviously German-Jews did not turn to Nazism. But I'm sure that you understood that from the start, which only makes me wonder why you bothered making what is in my opinion such an utterly meaningless point. It's as meaningless as saying: "During South Africa's Apartheid era, even at the height of its popularity, a good number of South Africans believed the policy to be racist and unnacceptable". Well duhhhh! The majority of South Africans are Black! So they'd obviously be against Apartheid. The statement clearly implies that a good number of white South Africans were against it. I see no need in clarifying the obvious, other than to get attention. Loomis 23:49, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Jesus and sin[edit]

According to Christian legend, Jesus was without sin including original sin, correct? Dismas|(talk) 06:30, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Maybe and sort of, according to legend to be sure. I'd start by checking out Virgin Birth, Original Sin, and the oft confused Immaculate Conception. As I recall, St. Augustine believed that original sin was imparted by orgasm -- whether or not you consider Aurelius' views as legend remains to be seen. --Cody.Pope 07:17, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

It depends on ones understanding of sin. Some Christian Theologians posit sin as being opposition to god. Jesus, as the role of sacrificial lamb, was a perfect offering, taking upon himself man's collective and individual sin. For a short time, God 'viewed' Jesus as sinful. Jesus cried out "Lord, why have you forsaken me?" then he died, not by smothering, as was typical of crucified, but by heartbreak, as seen from the separation of blood and water.

The question of 'Original Sin' is one of custom, not theology. What is perfection? Phillip K Dick, in VALIS posits many questions regarding the possibility of existance (re absurdity) of God. The questions, while being valid, are irrelivant to Christian theology, but not tradition. DDB 08:21, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

The WP article on Original Sin says it's sin you're born with. And if Jesus was born (I think He was), and He was also God, well God was perfect, and therefore without sin. So I suppose He was without sin in that sense. The Bible makes that quite blunt: Jesus was the only perfect man.martianlostinspace 15:03, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
And just in case it isn't clear, DDB is describing a particular theological interpretation of Jesus' crucifixion. An interesting one, but not one that all Christians necessarily hold. Not that DDB hasn't said this, but I thought it might not be clear. :-) Skittle 23:06, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
(Snicker) ha ha (Snicker) teeheehee... Oh, sorry. I find the concept of discussing religion funny. Especially on the internet. With a bunch of... geeks... (hee hee hee)

Anyway, sorry about that. Yes, I'm pretty sure that the concept of Immaculate Conception was to make sure that Mary was holy enough (born without this so-called "Original" sin) to give birth to Jesus. So if Mary was born without it, that must mean that Jesus was born without it, right? Since having the "original" sin is hereditary. So Jesus was born without it, as would any of Jesus's children. No, wait... that would only be if Jesus's wife (or, you know, children's mother, was without the "original" sin. So... never mind on that last regard. Abyss42 23:23, 2 February 2007 (UTC) P.S. I'm going to Hell for this, aren't I?

Yes. Satan 04:13, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Thank you, Skittle. You are correct. I would never want to close off debate .. only add to it :D DDB 11:09, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Abyss, technically, I think purgatory .. for a long time ;) DDB 11:10, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks.Abyss42 21:56, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

First Contact[edit]

We were discussing this in my class a couple of days ago and it still is in my head. during the time of the colonisation of India(meaning Indonesia,india+more(actually everything past cape good hope until the street of magelhaer I believe)) by western-imperialist Europeans, there would have to be moments of first contact with the local population. now I was wondering how exactly did they handle such situations? I mean they lacked knowledge of the language; didn't know anything like it either; didn't know any of the traditions and customs. (mind you: they were dealing with some highly developed civilisations:unlike in Africa at that time)Graendal 08:23, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Well, it wasn't a "first contact" situation in the way that Christopher Columbus's and John Cabot's meetings were. There had been sporadic contact between the West and the East for millennia. Also, most early contacts were over land, not over the ocean, so the very early Europeans weren't just showing up out of nowhere - they had already travelled through adjoining territories where there would likely be speakers of the language used in the next country. By the time great numbers of Europeans arrived by sea there were already Europeans there, and some natives spoke the European languages. --Charlene 08:35, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
You may want to look into Enrique of Malacca, Ferdinand Magellan's personal slave and interpreter. The earlier "imperialist outsiders" in Indonesia, of course, were those who introduced Islam to the Hindu and animist inigenous populations. --Wetman 09:52, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
The first Europeans traveling to Indian Ocean ports either included some who spoke Arabic or engaged Arab and other traders who knew the trade languages (such as Arabic) already spoken in the region. The next generation of European traders in the region would have included some who could speak local languages (learned on earlier voyages), and they would have met local interpreters who had learned Portuguese. The first European to sail to India was of course Vasco da Gama. Before landing in India, his expedition called at ports on the east coast of Africa engaged in trade with India, including Malindi. In Malindi, da Gama engaged Ahmad Bin Majid, an Arab trader, to travel with him to India. Our article on da Gama indicates that he communicated with people on the east coast of Africa and that the Portuguese were aware that the Arabs were already trading with India (as they had probably been doing for at least a thousand years). It would not be surprising that some European seamen spoke some Arabic, because there had been centuries of trade between southern European countries and the Arabic-speaking ports of North Africa. Such contact would also have given Europeans an awareness of Arab customs. Spain and Portugal may have had an advantage in this area, because the Arabic-speaking Nasrids were not driven from the Iberian peninsula until 1492, just a decade before da Gama's voyage. Marco polo 15:31, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
The First contact (anthropology) page could use some expansion. I recall reading somewhere that European explorers went through first contact experiences frequently enough for a while that there developed a bit of knowledge on how to go about it, although it was always a dangerous procedure. A lot can be conveyed through gestures, gifts, and willing submission to local customs of formality. Pfly 06:41, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Converts to Islam[edit]

Why is it that converts to Islam change their names? Just tradition or is it some sort of spiritual shedding of their old self? Dismas|(talk) 10:18, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

I think the latter. 惑乱 分からん 12:55, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
It's not tradition, per se. Or at least not an old tradition. Black American Muslims in the Elijah Muhammad tradition bound up Islam in a form of nationalism - a willful and comprehensive change of identity motivated at least in part by political considerations. So for them, adopting Islam also often involved "abandoning their slave names". Although many western converts to Islam are not black and/or not bound up in any special form of nationalism, many are still touched by well-known American Black Muslim experiences like that of Malcom X. And, converting to Islam in the west is at least a somewhat anti-social thing to do. Changing your name is a very visible token of your break with who you were and your rejection of at least a part of the society around you.
You may have a point with the "slave name" argument as I seem to recall Malcolm X saying something about slave names. Although, the question came to mind because of the interview that I heard with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar the other day on NPR. He had converted and changed his name, though as far as I know, none of his ancestors were slaves. Not disputing what you said, just adding that I don't think it applies in all cases... but then what does outside of Science? Dismas|(talk) 14:42, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Muhammad Asad is a non-African-American example from an earlier period (1926). Wareh 16:04, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
No, one shouldn't take generalization too far, although for Muhammed Asad there was definitely a willful and at least partially politically motivated element to his conversion, even if not inspired by American examples. And, converting from Judaism to something else was a pretty seriously anti-social thing to do - at least if you plan on socializing with Jews. And, on the other hand, there are people who convert to Islam who do not change their names at all, even where there was a very serious and comprehensive conversion, like Richard Colvin Reid. --Diderot 00:41, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
In countries where Islam is more commonplace, I doubt such name changes at conversion to Islam happen very often. In contrast, adopting "Christian names" is a regularly recurring part of the Christian missionary narrative in countries where converting to Christianity is at least a somewhat anti-social act. It was actively encouraged and given a quasi-theological basis by Catholics until the 1980s.
--Diderot 13:39, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
In countries where Islam is more commonplace, I doubt such name changes at conversion to Islam happen very often. If you look at the Ethiopian and Kenyan athletes who switched to Bahrain and Qatar (see List of nationality transfers in athletics), all but one of them adopted an Arabic name. So it may also be an Arab tradition more than a muslim tradition. AecisBrievenbus 13:56, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Bahrain and Qatar are small countries in the habit of buying athletes. I expect those athletes felt some level of pressure to remake themselves in their adopted nations' images. Notice that Yamilé Aldama and Todd Matthews-Jouda switched to Sudan - a far poorer but quite Arab and Islamic state - but did not change their names. --Diderot 14:12, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
While some do it to escape slave names I think others do it to pick a name with supposed meaning which displays their devotion to Gawd On a slight tangent I always like the line in Pulp Fiction where a boxer called Butch tells a taxi driver that names have no meaning in america. meltBanana 16:32, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Not about the question, but I found this page particularly hilarious: [1], especially this line "In fact, a muslim woman is allowed to demand a 'salary' from her husband for performing such duties. Where do you find this level of respect for women in the non-muslim world?" --Taraborn 23:10, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

HINDUISM: Jai Mata Di/Jai Mata Ki--translation of Di and Ki?[edit]

(question moved to language desk) OI! I didn't get a satisfactory answer on the language desk, that's why I asked here IN THE FIRST PLACE. What's the problem?!?--Snowgrouse 12:30, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Here's the original question: I asked this question in the Language section already, and didn't get answers. So I'm asking the Hindus here: What does the "di" or "ki" at the end of Jai Mata mean? I understand Jai Mata means Victory to Mother(Goddess), but what's the purpose of the syllable at the end? I understand Jai Mata Di is Hindi, and I suspect the Ki is Bengali.

The question remains: What does the Ki or Ji signify in "Jai Mata Di"/"Jai Mata Ki"?

"Italic text'ki" or "di" is equal to "of" if you directly translate this into english. In totality it stands "Victory of Mother". Since direct translation of the hindi words would seem odd .. so just told you the meaning of the slogan.. its actually a form of invocation where the devotees put in their belief in the goddes through this.... "di" is as far as my knowledge goes punjabi version of "ki" i.e. "of" in English. I hope you are satisfied. Thanks. Shrijata Calcutta'

Democracy Index and relatively low USA rating[edit]

This economist article:[2], linked in Wikipedia in Democracy Index, shows the democracy ratings around the world, and the USA doesn´t do so well compared to other countries. Could someone please briefly explain/summarize the general reasons why the USA democracy is inferior to those of other countries, such as Australia, Canada, Germany, Scandinavian countries and Ireland. Thank you. --AlexSuricata 11:18, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

The article gives full details of its scoring system and breaks down the scores for those countries. The USA's democracy is flawed, as was notoriously shown by the shenanigans of the United States presidential election, 2000. A simple example where the USA would have been marked down in the scoring is "There is a dominant two party system in which other political forces never have any effective cance of taking part in national government". The USA's worst category (it scored 7.22/10) was for "Political Participation". Read through the questions on page 10 of the report. It's unsurprising that other countries scored much better, but 17th place out of 167 ain't bad; the USA beat the UK (23rd) - we scored 5.00 for "Political Participation" and I think that might have been generous! --Dweller 11:32, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
As Dweller says, the article does give a lot of information about its scoring method, which is based on 60 questions in 5 categories. The scores in each of the 5 categories have been normalised to give a maximum possible score of 10 in each category, but you can "unnormalise" them again to get the raw scores e.g. for US, raw scores are:
  • Electoral process : 10.5 out of 12 (median is 11.5 out of 12)
  • Functioning of government : 11 out of 14 (median is 11.75 out of 14)
  • Political participation : 6.5 out of 9 (median is 6.75 out of 9)
  • Political culture : 7 out of 8 (median is 7 out of 8)
  • Civil liberties : 14.5 out of 17 (median is 16.5 out of 17)
For comparison, I have given the median (middle) score for each category across the "Full democracies" group of countries. The questions in each category are listed at the end of the article, so you can try to work out for yourself just where the US might have lost marks in each category.
Incidentally, the US "Political participation" score is only just below the median score for this category across the "Full democracies" group of countries. The categories where the US has been scored lowest compared to other "Full democracy" countries are "Electoral process" and "Civil liberties". The US scores are the lowest out of all the "Full democracy" countries in both of these categories. Gandalf61 12:10, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Dweller: Yes, I read the article, including Page 10, and did not find the concrete information I was looking for with reference to the USA. I am not - as you falsely assume - American, nor have I ever been there, and for that reason was also unsure. To my knowledge, this site is a (very useful + informative) place where one could find information/explanations to things that one does not understand or know, by asking politely, and without necessarily receiving sarcasm or aggression in the reply (would be nice). As for "getting some hubris", I do not understand that expression either, sorry. Nonetheless, thank you for explaining that the 2 party system and the 2000 election are contributing factors. Perhaps there are others too (I don´t know, that is why I asked). --AlexSuricata 12:19, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

I apologise if my reply was deemed uncivil in any way and have deleted the appropriate parts of my post. I have no insider knowledge other than what I read there. Reading the questions and seeing the detailed scores for the USA as Gandalf and I have done, some of the areas where the country underperformed can be intuitively understood. Incidentally, I did not cite the 2000 Election as something that would have lost the country points in this report, but rather as evidence of a flawed democratic system. --Dweller 12:43, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
There are two things that come to mind. As a rule, people in the United States don't vote. Rarely does voter turn-out exceed 30%. There are many excuses for it, but that's not important. It is just that people don't vote, so the Democratic process is hindered. Also, the United States is not a Democracy. It is a Republic. Republics have democratic processes, which often gets them confused for Democracies. --Kainaw (talk) 12:45, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Voter turnout isn't that low. The table on Voter turnout shows an average 54% and that includes elections in non-Presidential election years (electing Congresmen only). Rmhermen 18:31, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm not aware of voter turnouts in other countries, but isn't 54% quite a low turnout? AecisBrievenbus 01:07, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but as "Republics" go (People's Republic of China and SPQR spring to mind!) the USA is a pretty dang Democratic one, hence its very high rating as 17th out of 167 countries. --Dweller 12:52, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
"The American bureaucracy ... was set up for very slow speeds of the printed word and railways. At electric speeds, nothing in the USA makes sense." - Marshall McLuhan, 1970 Vranak

The Economist methodology is very suspect. Take a look at Question 14: "Is the legislature the supreme political body, with a clear supremacy over other branches of government?" The U.S. loses a point on this. But is the American system of three equal branches of government a bad thing? Not necessarily. Americans could make a case that they should get points for being able to vote for dozens of offices from president to county coroner, and for initiative and referendum in some states. The Economist doesn't give any credit for those. -- Mwalcoff 01:25, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

The same for Switzerland. The country has compulsory referenda on just about anything, with massive participation and a multi-party system, yet scores no higher than 10th. AecisBrievenbus 01:40, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Di means the act of giving respect : like to address by using a surname wud be like " Dear Mr. XXX" in written correspondence. I hope that settles ur query! Garb wire 07:06, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Iraq war and Catch 22[edit]

What are the similarities and differences between the Iraq war and the story of Catch 22? Mr.K. 14:31, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

If you're in the miltary to begin with, you can't get out of either situation without being court-marshalled. Vranak
You could, of course, plead insanity; but then there is a catch.... Clio the Muse 20:55, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
I got out (unwillingly) during the first Iraq War without a court-marshal or pleading insanity. I was in a motorcycle accident. After three months of rehab, I was fine, but my medical-discharge paperwork was already filed. However, this brings up another topic: How much sympathy should I have for a person who enslists in a group that exists for combat and then complains when they are sent off to combat? --Kainaw (talk) 01:56, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Catch 22 is a fictional setting. Iraq has elements of very creative imaginations, but anchored in reality. Media voice decry the conservative presidential position at every instance of tragedy. But they are supposed to do that. It gets confusing for those who don't know that they sway in a political direction.

Catch 22 was apolitical. In Joseph Heller's day, it was just as unimaginable, then, that mainstream media would criticise a left leaning administration as it is today.

Europe, post world war 2 was allowed to develop in the West, substantialy without Eastern influence, as communist Europe was busy with internal disputes. Iraq, as Vietnam, has significant neighbors that are capable of extending internal strife. What remains to be seen is if the world will let them, and if the political opposition can capitalise on the success of terrorists. DDB 08:19, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Lawrence Olivier[edit]

Is it true that Lawrence Olivier once forgot his lines whilst performing Shakespeare and recited the names of the tube stations from his house to the theatre so convincingly that noone noticed?Ameliapitt 16:14, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Denis Quilley reminisces in this Guardian feature. He remembers an evening involving a very intoxicated overworked Olivier performing Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night:
On this one tired night, he couldn't remember Booth's name, couldn't remember which play they acted in, and after ad-libbing for a minute or two, he got up saying: "I'm sorry lad, you'll have to excuse me, I'm not feeling too well," and staggered off the stage.
Olivier pulled himself together offstage within seconds, all he needed was the first line to throw him back on track. He rushed back on stage and continued the dialogue - "Nobody suspected a thing."
Quilley didn't specify what exactly Olivier said in his ad-libbing, and I couldn't find anything on the tube stations. ---Sluzzelin 18:30, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Addendum: I carelessly stated that Olivier was drunk that night. In fact he was just very exhausted from running the National theatre during the day and having suffered major health problems shortly before. Since you mentioned Shakespeare: Though this was an O'Neill play, in the mentioned scene Olivier's character, the retired actor James Tyrone Sr. , "drunkenly bemoaned the fact that he could have been a great Shakespearean actor."---Sluzzelin 20:02, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

In his autobiography, Olivier discusses a serious bout with severe stage fright late in his career. He kept performing stage roles until he conquered it. Perhaps the above incident refers to one night in the process.75Janice 00:56, 2 February 2007 (UTC)75Janice 1 February 2007

Love letters, French, l8c. spec. between Empress Eugenie and Napoleon III[edit]

Hello: I am giving a talk on the above subject and would like to know a source to find thes letters, if they exist.

Many thanks,


Your request is a little unclear to me, Judigee. Are you looking for a general anthology of French love letters of the eighteenth century, or specifically letters between Eugenie and Napoleon III, which, of course, belong to the nineteenth century? Anyway, on Napoleon and Eugenie I know of no English translations of their letters, but you will find some representative samples of their exchanges in Desmond Seward's Eugenie: the Empress and her Empire. A new paperback edition was printed last year by Sutton Publishing. The treatment, to be frank, is not very profound-a little too gossipy for my taste-but the subject has been reasonably well researched. Clio the Muse 20:02, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

What role did the United States play in the 1965 military coup against Sukarno?[edit]

What role did the United States play in the coup against Sukarno? Are there any documents to support the claims that the CIA was involved in planning the coup? How much aid was given to the military? What role did the United States play in the 1965 military coup against Sukarno? To what extent had Red China and the Soviets been connected with Sukarno prior to the coup? To what degree could the coup be considered part of America's policy of containment?--Dinotro 17:35, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Do you mean Sukarno, not Sukrano? Rmhermen 18:24, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Have a look at the evidence presented here [3] and here [4]. I cannot, of course, personally vouch for the political objectivity and reliability of either of these sources; but they do at least lay down paper trails you should be able to follow. Clio the Muse 20:15, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

After the Vietnam War, in 1975, there was a security fear based on the Southern states decision to capitulate without first destroying its armament. It was felt that the Vietnamese would get money by selling these weapons to other communist regimes. One such possible recipient was Timor, which is very close to Australia. It is known the Australian PM, Gough Whitlam, failed to reject the Indonesian (Right wing, under Soeharto) invasion. It is rumored Whitlam gave tacit approval to the murder of Australian journalists at Balibo.

I think the politics of that entanglement should give you an idea of US foreign policy concerns regarding Sukarno, as it impacted on the ANZUS treaty. DDB 09:27, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Former Presidents' eligibility to run for Vice President[edit]

Originally posted at Talk:President of the United States -- Vary | Talk 18:36, 1 February 2007 (UTC) There have been some former President's who also were Vice President, like Nixon or George HW Bush. so if a Vice President can become a President, can a President became VP? example, Bush his term is almost over and Dick Cheney wants to be the new president, can he use George W. Bush as his Vice President or not? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 17:50, February 1, 2007.

I don't think so. The 12th Amendment reads in part that "no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States." Since he can't run for president again, he can't be Vice President, either, as that would put him back in line for the presidency. There are different readings of the relationship between that and the 22nd Amendment (see 22nd_amendment#The_relationship_between_the_22nd_and_12th_amendments, so if the question ever arose I think it would likely be an issue for the Supreme Court to decide, but I'm inclined to think it wouldn't be permitted. -- Vary | Talk 18:36, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
There does not appear to be any legal prohibition against a former 1 term President from running as a vice president. So Jimmy Carter or George H. W. Bush could now run as a Vice President candidate, as before his death could have Gerald Ford, whose name was bandied about as a Vice President candidate to run with Ronald Reagan in the 1980 election. The negotiations reportedly fell through because Ford wanted to have more influence than the typical Vice President. Edison 21:56, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Legally this may be true, but psychologically, it would be very unlikely. After being the most powerful man in the world, an ex-president is hardly likely to be satisfied being second banana. One was reelected to the Senate or House (can't recall who), but I don't think any of the rest tried for elected office. Clarityfiend 23:16, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Darn! That means we can't flip the "Billary" ticket this round and have a run by "HillBilly". --Kainaw (talk) 23:17, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
See President of the United States#Life after the Presidency, which mentions JQ Adams and Andrew Johnson returning to Congress, and Cleveland returning to the Presidency after a break; but omits Teddy Roosevelt's failed bid for re-election as President. JackofOz 23:40, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
See Former United States presidents who ran again for the complete list.--Pharos 07:49, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Place names in Prague[edit]

Things in Prague used to have very German(?)-sounding names but at some point they were changed to Czech(?)-sounding names (e.g. Laurenziberg is now Petřín). Is there an article has info about this change like when it happened, why, and who made the change? I looked around a bit but couldn't find anything. Recury 18:38, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

I cannot say with any certainty when these changes were made, or by whose decision, though I think it reasonable to assume that they were made by the Czech government-or the Prague municipal authorities-in the wake of the country's independence from the Austrian Empire in 1918. It is possible, though, that such alterations were made before independence, with the liberalisation of the empire and the growth of Czech national consciousness in the nineteenth century. It's quite likely that German and Czech names existed side by side for some time before 1918. Clio the Muse 20:28, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
I found no official dates either, but to give you some context, have a look at the articles on Czech National Revival, Germanisation, and Germans in Czechoslovakia (1918-1938). According to this article in German, the 19th century saw many Czech speaking people moving from the the hinterland to the city; by 1855 Prague's German speaking population was no longer in the majority. ---Sluzzelin 21:11, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Good info, guys. Somehow I got the impression that it happened all at once in an organized, official sort of way, but that doesn't appear to be the case. Thanks for the help. Recury 21:26, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
It depends on what you mean by "the name". Austria (as opposed to Hungary) used German as its official language, but came to require fluency in Czech of its officials in Bohemia. So Laurenziberg would be found in official documents, and is more likely in English, before 1918. After 1918, the Czechoslovak Government strongly encouraged the use of Czech; but it was a while before English writing abandoned the familiar German names (and we, WP, still use Pilsen, and the French Prague.) Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:35, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

In the late 19th century, as Czech speakers came to dominate Prague municipal politics, German names were phased out. I think they took German names off the street signs in the 1890s. With Czech independence from Austria, there was a great degree of anti-German sentiment. The Nazis restored German as the first language of Prague, but their defeat, and the expulsion of most Czech German-speakers, meant the end of German Bohemia. In Prague Castle, you can see an old, 19th-century bilingual street sign in which the German part has been rubbed out. This presumably dates to 1945. I've got some info about Czech street names around here somewhere; I'll try to find it. -- Mwalcoff 01:02, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

"In 1892 the Prague city council, dominated by Czech nationalists, voted to replace the city's bilingual street signs with exclusively Czech ones" -- The Politics of Ethnic Survival: Germans in Prague, 1861-1914. by Gary B. Cohen, Slavic Review, Vol. 42, No. 1 (Spring, 1983), pp. 141-142 -- Mwalcoff 01:09, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Pepper article?[edit]

In the UK, you can buy these things called 'peppers' and they come in green, red, yellow or orange and they're not spicy and they're often bigger than an apple and bulbous, as opposed to long and thin. I type in 'pepper' in Wikipedia, and I predictably get a disambiguation page but this doesn't appear to feature an article on the kind of pepper I'm looking for. --Seans Potato Business 19:17, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

You're looking for the bell pepper article. - AMP'd 19:23, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
In the UK they are also referred to as capsicum, as well as peppers (never bell peppers). They are sweet rather than peppery, and can be used in a wide variety of recipies. Clio the Muse 20:35, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Well I'll be... thanks AMP'd. --Seans Potato Business 20:40, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
To add to the confusion: Where I live, whe call them peperoni. And, had I not been forewarned, I would have been one of those tourists "in for a surprise" when ordering pizza in the United States, as explained in Wikipedia's article on Pepperoni. ---Sluzzelin 20:43, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

And it's not just in the UK! You can buy these where ever they can be grown. I buy them all the time here in the southeren United States! schyler 23:53, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

I think his point was that they're called "peppers" there, not and never "bell peppers", so when he went to look them up under Pepper he was surprised they weren't in the list. I knew a guy from St. Louis who called them "mangoes", which was even more confusing. We just call them "[colour] peppers", as opposed to "chile peppers", which are the hot ones. Oh great, now I'm hungry. --Charlene 13:41, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
Which have nothing to do with the country Chile. I think the peppers are usually spelled "chilli" peppers. (Nothing to do with Red Hot Chilli Peppers.) JackofOz 00:20, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
The spelling is a contentious issue, Jack - see Talk:Chili pepper. Natgoo 00:34, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Repeated cycles of pejoration: multiple sequence of periodic euphemism and dysphemism treadmills[edit]

Some words develop negative connotations with time (pejoration), and some previously unsavory words become progressively more acceptable (like the expression "that sucks", which previously was very negative, or the expressions "God-awful" and "chrissakes"). I read some years ago of an example of multiple cycles of pejoration and restitution for the pair of words "ass" and "arse", at least in British English. Apparently over several centuries, alternately "ass" or "arse" would be viewed as more rude, and the other the polite form. For example, at the start, it might be appropriate to use the word ass in polite company, and impolite to use the word arse in polite company. Fifty or 100 years later, the opposite was true; arse was the proper word, and ass was the nasty term. Fifty or 100 years after that, the connotations of the two words had flip-flopped again. Apparently this cycle continued on for a long time. I have from time to time tried to find out more about this. Does anyone have any information?--Filll 19:27, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Isn't the difference between "arse" and "ass" dialectal? 惑乱 分からん 23:17, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Is the substitution of "donkey" for "ass" a class-shibboleth or a localism? Midas had asses'-ears, but at Wikipedia this is bowdlerized to "donkey's-ears", apparently out of a misplaced fastidiousness. In the US one hears of Jesus entering Jerusalem "riding on a donkey", with its unconscious echoes of how Yankee Doodle went to town. Is the substitution insisted on in the same milieu that makes no verbal distinction between "ant" and "aunt"?--Wetman 01:16, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
I think donkey/ass are old synonyms, ass (for arse) and ass (for donkey) have no etymological connection as far as I know, ass(arse) is related to Greek orros (or something), ass(donkey) is related to Latin asinus. 惑乱 分からん 11:00, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

See rhoticity. Actually, a friend of mine wrote a paper on such a cyclical behavior of postvocalic /r/ in New England. (I can't find it on the internet, but if you like I could give her your e-mail.) — Sebastian 02:07, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Rhoticity has nothing to do with it, as there is no /r/ in either 'ass' nor 'arse', it is merely a different initial vowel. Additionally, there are some British dialects where 'ass' is traditionally acceptable, such as Midlands English, which generally shortens most vowels, however, the reputation of 'ass' as an Americanism has diminished this somewhat. 02:36, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure what anybody but Wakuran is talking about. What cycle? "Ass" is American, and "arse" is British. There is nothing more to it. No doubt they are etymologically related. Possibly, American speakers interpreted a non-rhotic pronunciation of "arse" as something like the British pronunciation of "past" and substituted the American 'æ' vowel that replaces British 'ɑ' in that position. Also, Jesus would ride a donkey rather than an ass in American English because the word "donkey" is the normal word for that animal, no doubt to avoid ambiguity. Marco polo 02:21, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
Could it be possible that the use of the word "ass" to mean buttocks originated as a euphamism for the taboo "arse?" Like "darn" or "dagnabbit" or something? -- Mwalcoff 03:00, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
I think it's dialectal, just as old "hoss" for "horse", "cuss" for "curse" etc. 惑乱 分からん 11:00, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes my impression is that at one time, ass for buttocks was a euphemism for arse. then eventually ass acquired crude connotations, and arse gradually became neutral. So then ass was the taboo word, while arse became the euphemism. This apparently cycled a few times in the UK. I do not know the relationship with American usage however. This is what I read some years back. I wish I could dig up the reference again. I was fascinated by it so I remembered it.--Filll 06:18, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

A fascinating discussion! But Marco is right:arse is British and ass is American. It has only ever been used in England in reference to the behind as an American loan word, as far as I can tell. The second usage of ass for donkey is still to be found in Standard English, though now slightly antiquated. There is a short story by the Irish writer Padraic O Conaire which translates into English as My Little Black Ass. Yes, that's right! If anyone doubts the veracity of this you will find it in The Oxford Book of Irish Short Stories, edited by William Trevor, first published in 1989. I dare say it appears in the American edition, for obvious reasons, as My Little Black Donkey, but I would be interested to know for sure. And please, folks, do not attempt to do a google search for the original title. You may end up with more than you wish! Clio the Muse 11:59, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Or how about Big Black Ass, then? (How pubertal...) 惑乱 分からん 16:03, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

District court for the District of Columbia — but not the D.D.C.[edit]

Does the District of Columbia have a district( of Columbia) court the way other U.S. states have a state court? That is, not a federal court (federal district court), but a "local" court. The article United States District Court for the District of Columbia says:

Cases dealing with the laws of the District of Columbia are heard by this court only under the same circumstances that would cause a case under State law to come before a Federal court.

That would seem to imply that there must be some other court to handle other cases, no?—msh210 19:42, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Nevermind: I've found an answer to my question. Not on WP, but, rather, at I will now commence looking for WP articles on the DC courts, and write stubs if they don't exist.—msh210 21:14, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

District of Columbia Court of Appeals --Spoon! 12:18, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Where is the island of Kikipujuu?[edit]

I can't seem to find anything about this subject on the web. I believe it's one of the islands in the Ralik Chain in the Marshall Islands.

Barik Wadju 19:53, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Are you sure about the spelling, Barik? I've scoured my maps and can't locate this island. Perhaps that's not surprising, considering the whole Marshall group has over a thousand! Clio the Muse 20:48, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Marshallese spelling seems to be a bit flexible.—eric 21:28, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
There's a dBASE format gazetteer for the Marshalls here[5], some 5,000 entries including islet and atoll names. Nothing that looks like Kikipujuu tho.—eric 22:53, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Israeli reaction[edit]

How do the Israeli government and general Jewish populace view the current Fatah/Hamas fighting? Clarityfiend 23:08, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

For official government reactions this is quite informative [6]. Clio the Muse 00:12, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
As for the general Jewish populace, well, I don't see how it's possible to gauge the reaction of an entire people, but I'd venture to guess that such infighting is generally viewed as both tragic and frustrating. Loomis 10:15, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Re the second part of the question, regardless of whether you mean the general Jewish populace of Israel, or that of the world, you'll find the usual diversity of opinion. Many will think as Loomis described. More politically astute people will worry about how the Israelis will be able to undertake any kind of meaningful negotiations when they can't possibly work out who's really in charge today let alone tomorrow. There will also be a minority who will rejoice in what they perceive as their enemy's discomfort. Mindful of the ref desk take on people's personal opionions, I'll keep my opinion of them to myself. --Dweller 10:30, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps I've misread you, Dweller, but you seem to imply that only the "less politically astute" view the situation as "tragic and frustrating". I'm quite sure that even the most "politically astute" would lament the situation as tragic and frustrating. Tragic because of the inevitable continuation of the violence and misery that the Palestinian people will inevitably suffer, and frustrating for the very reasons you described concerning how this will only stall any possibilities of a final peaceful resolution. Loomis 18:31, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
I wasn't clear, rather than you misreading me. The two frames of mind are far from incompatible. --Dweller 10:27, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
Thinking about it though, I can't help but be honest. No, the general Jewish populace does not delight in the suffering of others; yes, some Jews may, but they're a disgrace to their people. Yet, in all honesty, in electing Hamas, an organization that promotes terrorism and denies the existence of Israel, the Palestinian people have finally laid to rest the fiction that they're ready to be true partners in peace. Hopefully some day they will be ready. But at the very least, the election of Hamas has finally laid to rest the fiction that Israel, in being forced to hold on to the occupied territories, is either acting out of paranoia, or as an agressive "imperialistic" force, subjugating an innocent people in an "apartheit" like manner. Rather, it's finally become clear, even to the Europeans, exactly what Israel is struggling to contend with. Loomis 23:10, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Loomis, I wouldn't characterise the vote as supporting terrorists, although Hamas won the vote, I would point out that both the leading parties are terrorist in practise. I understand the Palestinians did not actually vote Hamas for their terrorist credentials, so much as for their cleanskin politics, it being known that Fatah has corruption issues. I understand that all moderates have been eliminated over the years by any of many activist groups. However, I understand a hope of the praxis of democracy is to encourage moderation over time. When the rule of law returns to Palestine, Israel will find a negotiation partner. This affects Israel, which naturally has moderates of its own who desire the stability of peace.

Within Israel, there are conservatives and radicals, neither having one person or party that represent a conservative or radical view. The conservative Israeli parties seem to have had more success with negotiations over the years, with Egypt, Lebanon and Fatah, but that is only an impression of mine, as the more leftwing parties seem to have had power during the worse conflicts in recent years. It is presumptuous of me to suggest that it is a convenience for the left to maintain conflict, while stridently calling an end to it. DDB 06:10, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

"This affects Israel, which naturally has moderates of its own who desire the stability of peace". DDB, perhaps it wasn't what you meant, but the way that comment came across it actually sounded like Israel itself is equally overwhelmed by radicals, just as the Palestinians are; that "moderate" Israelis, the ones who desire "the stability of peace" are a struggling minority just as they are amongst the Palestinians. Yes, there have been a few radical, shameful, "take their land and kill'em all!" parties in the Knessett, such as Meir Kahane's Kach party, but in 1988, Kach was declared a racist party by the Israeli government and banned from the Knessett, and, in 1994, following the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre, the movement was outlawed completely. This is how racist radical Israelis are dealth with. All the major parties, be they Labour, Likud or the newly formed Kadima, in addition to, of course, the several minor Arab parties representing Israel's 20% Arab population, as well as several left wing socialist or communist parties, one and all desire the stability of peace. Loomis 23:14, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

You are correct, Loomis, that wasn't what I meant, but I wrote it because I am trying to compare two things that aren't similar. Israel is an advanced liberal democracy and her politics have those foibles peculiar to such. The politics of Israel as portrayed by liberal media, with the cooperation of Israeli political parties, draw the equivalence. I would point out that Fatah, too, claims to want peace, but no leader of Fatah has ever agreed to peace terms. Israeli's probably, naturally, view the issue from the prism of their politics. In fact, it has little to do with them. Likud has been very effective, and Israel has done poorly when Likud has been in opposition, but the populist view is not that, and is reflected in media. DDB 07:18, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Israel bans racist political parties? part of me wishes that was the case in this country (UK) but anyway, surely that doesn't marry very well to the statement "Israel is an advanced liberal democracy"? 18:22, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Black races[edit]

Hi Can black people be races?Nasa135 23:52, 1 February 2007 (UTC)nasa

Race is such a loaded and not very precise concept. However, have a look at the page on Black people, which addresses the issue in general terms. Clio the Muse 00:03, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
It is difficult to tell what the question is asking:
  • Is there a "black race"?
  • Are there multiple races that are all generally called "black"?
  • Can black people be racist?
Without knowing the question, an answer cannot be properly given. --Kainaw (talk) 00:06, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

As part of an answer I think it's fair to say that there are multiple black african races - if you would consider in general italians to be a different race from scottish.. 10:49, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

I heard there was much larger genetical diversity between blacks worldwide than whites, if it helps. 惑乱 分からん 11:04, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

If you're asking whether black people can be racist, you might want to step back and instead look at your assumptions. Are you assuming that all black people are Americans, or that the American form of racism is somehow typical worldwide? Are you assuming that black people are historically the most put-upon group in every country in which they live? Are you assuming that the only cultural tensions around are between blacks and whites?

Then talk to a native American (or even better, a native Canadian) about whether black people can be racist. I think you might be surprised. --Charlene 13:33, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

You could probably find persons of every "non-black" race with bad experiences, if you just look around, see also black supremacy. 惑乱 分からん 16:08, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
Simply put, anyone can be racist, just as anyone can be a victim of racism, no matter what race they are. --Candy-Panda 08:03, 6 February 2007 (UTC)