Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2009 July 28

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July 28[edit]

The Brothers Karamazov[edit]

If Ivan Fydorovich states that "everything is permitted", why then does he 1) have a conversation with Alyosha on the subject of (unjust in the examples he uses) suffering perpetuated by people? (By his above statement, committing such acts would be permissible.), and 2) suffer from the idea that he was indirectly responsible for his father's murder? Or perhaps this is intended to be part of his faith struggle? Vltava 68 00:47, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Is this a homework assignment? DOR (HK) (talk) 09:43, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Democratic Factory and Business[edit]

During the Industrial Revolution, because living and working conditions were harsh and workers were exploited by capitalists, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels proposed a system called communism in which all the factories, businesses, industries, and means of production were owned by the state and the government. But why did they propose that they be owned by the state or the government? I mean, apart from that idea, here is another one.

The workers and employees own the factory and business collectively and democratically elect and vote for people to manage and administer them. The workers are employed by the business which they own collectively and they receive wages and a share of the business's profits. The factory and business is not owned and its workers are not employed by the state or the government, but it is not owned and they are not employed by a single person or a small group of few people either. In the past, countries were ruled by a single person, such as a king or a queen. Then, nowadays, countries are ruled by the people and citizens and they democratically elect and vote for a president or a prime minister to govern them. So it changes from an absolute monarchy and kingdom to a democratic republic. So if you can have a country ruled and its leaders democratically elected by it people, why can't you have a factory and business owned and its leaders democratically elected by its workers?

I have several questions to ask you:

1. Are there any such factories and businesses in the world?

2. Why hasn't this spread to become very common? Why haven't most businesses been like this?

3. Should factories and businesses be this way? If not, then why not?

4. Why did Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels propose that the state or the government own the factory or business? Why didn't they propose that the workers own it collectively and democratically elect its leaders?

5. Has anybody ever asked Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, or any communists or Marxists why should the factory be owned by the state or the government? Why not let the workers own it collectively and democratically elect its leaders? If so, then how did they respond?

Bowei Huang (talk) 02:23, 28 July 2009 (UTC)


To answer some of these:
  • 1. See Nationalization and Government-owned corporation. It isn't even socialist or communist contries that do this. The United States Postal Service is a state-owned corporation. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are ostensibly private, but were created by the U.S. government, and were recently placed into conservatorship of the government, which is about as close to national ownership as you can get without calling it that. The Citgo gasoline (petrol) company is owned by the Venuzeulan government (via Petróleos de Venezuela S.A.), and does brisk business in the U.S.
  • 2. They tried in many places. It failed miserably. See Soviet Union and Collectivization in the Soviet Union especially. Generally, some industries work well under state ownership or as heavily regulated, pseudo-private companies, like health care in many countries, or public utilities or even the BBC in the UK. However, for just about any business that produces a tangible, physical product (as opposed to a service), even life necessities like food and clothing and shelter, state ownership does a poor job of providing for the needs of the people.
  • 3. Not really the purview of the ref desk. We can only say that where it has been tried, it failed miserably.
  • 4. Actually, Marx and Engle only looked at the "communist state" as a temporary situation. Ultimately, the state would "wither away" (their words) and the ownership of production would be turned over to the workers. The only purpose of the communist government was to wrest the means of control away from the aristocracy and the bourgeoisie and to manage it while the proletariate got their shit together. Once the class structure had been obliterated, and all people were truly equal, then the government would become unneccessary and the means of production would be transferred to the workers themselves.
  • 5 See #4. They did believe that ultimately, when ready, the workers would take actual control of the means of production. However, until economic class divisions could be eliminated, the state was necessary to manage the situation "for the good of the proletariate" until such a time as the social and economic environment was ready for true worker control of production. --Jayron32 03:43, 28 July 2009 (UTC)


Actually, I don't think the original poster was asking about state socialism at all, but rather about such things as Worker's cooperatives, Workplace democracy, Industrial democracy, Employee ownership, and/or Economic democracy, etc.... AnonMoos (talk) 06:00, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
(ec) Jayron, your answer to #1 did not actually answer Bowei Huang's question — your examples are all just state-owned corporations, whereas Bowei Huang is asking about a sort of corporation where all workers own part of the corporation (in a totally egalitarian system I suppose it would be (1 / (# of workers)) of the corporation) and are paid in some "just" proportion out of the profits. The question is very interesting and I'd like to see some examples of for-profit corporations with this model, as well. The idea reminds me of a credit union, which (in the US at least) is owned by its members. I believe that a person's ownership of a credit union is proportional to his deposits rather than just being a headcount, so the guy with US$100,000 in his savings account has 100,000 times the votes of the guy with US$1 in his account. What about a classic kibbutz? Or some communes in Western countries in the 1960s and 70s? I know there are some small- to medium-sized companies in the US where every employee owns some stock in the corporation, though this is only part of what you're asking about. By the way, you asked for specific examples, but I'd note that the answer "how many of these exist" is unknowable, because, at least in the US, private companies like LLCs don't have to disclose their internal rules, and they're flexible to arrange their ownership however they want. Tempshill (talk) 06:10, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

1. There are many Co-operatives in the Uk and beyond, there are also Mutual companys - it's worth a look at those (though Tempshill provided more links to look at.

2. Shareholders in PLCs (assuming they hold shares with voting rights) get the opportunity to vote in and out their executives, and they also get to vote on a few other key strategic pieces put forward by the board in their desire to be 're-elected'. All workers can be share-owners and often firms will give stock to employees (theoretically as a tax-saving benefit, but also to try to 'link' them to the company more - i.e. to improve output), so they may be able to vote on the re-election.

3. I think if that's the way the business wants to operate, yes. But businesses and factories are very different to governments. Your working in the business is optional - infact it's down to it being mutually-beneficial (you work there if it provides enough value, they employ you if they can get enough value from you - well the workforce in general). The 'owners' choose how they would like the business ran, but there's no reason why a business must be owned by its workers. You could suggest it drives staff to improve efficiency, or to work harder etc. but you could just as easily argue that it creates businesses that don't want to make short-term decisions which are negative (e.g. laying off staff) in the attempt to make the business better in the long-term (similarly you may find staff want the status quo rather than to develop into something new which could transform the business.

4. In essence if the state own the company then the workers have a large say (because they elect the state). I don't know their theories deep enough but I would be surprised if Marx wasn't in favour of co-operatives and other worker-owned-business arrangement.s ny156uk (talk) 10:20, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Just to add on, what Jayron refers to, the temporary stage, is the dictatorship of the proletariat. Remember that Marx's work is not even that prescriptive as you make it out: he claims he understands how history will progress, and dictatorship of the proletariat is one of the stages and finally it will end with true Communism. So far none of that has played out and quite a few people have tried to help history along by having revolutions and the like, none of which ever looked like they were transitioning out of the dictatorship stage anytime soon... --98.217.14.211 (talk) 14:15, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

1. Marx was enthusiastic about worker cooperatives of producers, and they are the best example of the arrangement which Bowei Huang describes. Our article on them describes various examples, some of which have proven highly successful; others have not. Other forms of cooperative, such as consumer cooperatives, do not usually enable the workers to democratically decide the organisation of labour.
2. Worker cooperatives can experience various difficulties. Firstly, as with any democratic organisation, there may be disputes over the best strategy, and this can lead to splits, resignations, or ineffective compromises. In particular, difficulties can arise in an economic downturn, where workers are unlikely to agree to lay some of their number off. Secondly, they are not set up to generate profit, so they can struggle to raise capital. Thirdly, in many jurisdictions, they must incorporate under legislation designed for other company structures, which may leave them vulnerable to takeover by capitalists.
3. It is, of course, a matter of opinion as to whether more business should be organised this way. Most Marxists (and anarchists, and many social democrats) would say that they should; other people might point to some of the problems I mention above, or other economic arguments that such organisations are less efficient than capitalist enterprises can be.
4. In addition to the answers previously given, Marx and Engels envisaged the co-ordination of production by the state, and that would be difficult if workers owned businesses and could veto state decisions. They also envisaged a state which was democratically controlled from below, meaning that this was a different prospect from state-owned enterprise in a capitalist state. Warofdreams talk 18:40, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Marx and Engels may have had all the right sentiments and wishes, but there surely can be no escape from the fact that Lenin's and Trotzki's (and all other so-called communist or "marxist" ruler's) policies were directed against all and any worker's council socialism with any real economic and political power. You must think this needs not be so, but why?--Radh (talk) 10:09, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

some information is missing on GEO TV page[edit]

Dear

I am graduate fellow of National University of Ireland, Galway working independently on the area of Corporate Social responisbility in pakistan. Last year i was writing a case study on GEO TV and mentioning some sources from wikipedia but now it is not available . Like in the 'Controvesries' section there were some material available that David Hseinki who provide the cooperation in the establishement of GEO TV.

I need that reference , would you please email me that material. My email is <redacted>

I'll acknowledge your cooperation.

Kind regards

Asim Jaffry —Preceding unsigned comment added by 58.65.163.18 (talk) 06:46, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Don't put your email here (see the top of the page) - it is very very public, and you will get spammed. Email removed. --ColinFine (talk) 07:14, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
(EC) I have removed your email address. Any replies will be given here on the desks, not by email, and the address might just attract spam. This reference desks is not for wikipedia questions, for those you should use the Wikipedia Help Desk. You can find previous page content in the page history of the article. There are tools there to search the history. Gwinva (talk) 07:18, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
(Further EC) To answer your question, if you pick the 'history' tab at the top of the GEO TV, you can go back to earlier versions of it, and you should be able to find a version which has the references you need. For future reference, you should not reference Wikipedia - or any other tertiary source - in an academic paper, but if you must do so, you should follow the instructions by picking 'Cite this page' on the page you want to cite. But it would have been better to cite the references directly. --ColinFine (talk) 07:24, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

anupama chopra[edit]

which school Anupama Chopra went to? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 59.94.103.185 (talk) 11:21, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

According to the first Google response, she received an MA in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University; and has a BA in English literature from Bombay University. DOR (HK) (talk) 09:47, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

What the hell does Natural Born Citizen even mean? (U.S.)[edit]

Reading the Wikipedia article did nothing to clear up the meaning for me.

I've lived in China for the past 2 years and will be here for the foreseeable future. My wife is Chinese and we plan to have a child in a year or two. I'm well aware of the consular procedure for gaining American citizenship for my future child, but I can find no definitive information as to whether that constitutes "natural born" or not.

For the record, I think children born to American parent(s) overseas being ineligible to be president - if that's the case - is bullshit.

Please provide sources to back your certainty, as I can't find anything concrete.

61.189.63.167 (talk) 11:22, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

You're right, it may well be bullshit. Does natural-born citizen mean someone who was born an American citizen (as your child would be, since you're (presumably) an American citizen), or someone who's actually born on American soil? At a glance, there doesn't seem to be an entirely clear answer to this. That's because a lot of said bullshit was invented by people from another, more primitive era. That's kind of problematic, because back then very few people crossed the great oceans, and even fewer did so more than once in their lives. The U.S. Constitution wasn't really written with the modern mobility in mind. My point is, you're probably not going to get a definitive answer to this; it would probably require some kind of a strong legal precedent, and I don't think one exists yet. If you're concerned about this and really want to ensure that your child has a shot at the presidency, I suggest you and your wife make sure the child is born on American soil. That's probably the only way to be sure. -- Captain Disdain (talk) 11:53, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
In general, "natural born" means "citizen from birth" which is to be distinct from a naturalized citizen, who was born as a citizen of another country, and later became a citizen of the U.S. Since the constitution does not actually elaborate on what qualifies a person to be a citizen from birth, we have to look at a combination of legislation and common law/case law to find the answer. As far as I have ever seen, to minimum qualification a citizen from birth, a person has to either A) Be born in the U.S. to a parent who are permament residents of the U.S. (i.e. vacationing parents who happen to give birth while visiting, and then return to their home country, probably don't transfer citizenship to their children) or B) Born abroad, but to a parent who is a U.S. citizen. There are lots of examples of people who meet one or the other of these categories, but not both. For example, John McCain's parents were both U.S. citizens, but he was not born in the U.S., while Andrew Jackson was born on U.S. soil to two recent immigrants, neither of whom were U.S. citizens. Both are considered to be "natural born". There are cases where someone can be born on U.S. soil but where they don't automatically receive U.S. citizenship; for example let's say a very pregnant Canadian woman from Windsor, Ontario came to Detroit to go shopping, went into labor, and gave birth in an American hospital; but never actually lived in the U.S. She returns to Windsor after her and her child are discharged from the hospital, and aside from an occasional visit, they two never actually "live" in the U.S. as permanent residents. That child likely is not a U.S. citizen, because of the ephemeral nature of his stay in the U.S. On the other hand, lets say that the same pregnant Canadian woman illegally moves to the U.S. and becomes an illegal alien. If she gives birth, and remains in the U.S. permamently until the child grows up; i.e. thet child is raised his whole life in the U.S., even though his mother is not a legal immigrant. THAT child is likely a citizen, since he was born on U.S. soil and remained a permament resident for his whole life. None of this is actual legal advice, if you have personal concerns about your own citizenship, contact an imigration lawyer. --Jayron32 13:28, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that the ephemeral examples there are incorrect - (IANAL) - common perception at least seems to be that anyone born within US territory, whether they are born to tourists, illegal immigrants, or fifteenth-generationers in that village, are all citizens. See Birthright citizenship in the United States of America, which claims "Under the American system, any person born within the United States (including the overseas territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands) and subject to its jurisdiction is automatically granted U.S. citizenship". The article also specifically notes that if a Canadian mother has complications and is transferred to a US hospital, that child is automatically a US citizen. Children of diplomats, however, are not, as they are vaguely outside the law (diplomatic immunity), and subject to that of other countries --Saalstin (talk) 13:51, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I'd like to see a better source than is listed in our article. The ONLY citation for the "Canadians giving birth in the US section" which discusses dual citizenship is a throw-away sentance in a TV news website report, which is quoting the parents of the newborn, who claim that they look forward to their child enjoying dual citizenship. The opinion of two random Canadian citizens interviewed by a US television station is probably not sound jurisprudence. I'm not saying that you are wrong here, but that section is not a good one to base any opinion on the matter. --Jayron32 16:19, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
It's true - it is even a tourist industry now: [1] Rmhermen (talk) 16:31, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
If you want a real-live example of a woman who was born in the USA because her father just happened to be working there at the time but was not a permanent resident, and she has therefore been a U.S. citizen since birth, see Nicole Kidman. -- JackofOz (talk) 20:20, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Have you considered the discrimination Chinese face in the USA? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 59.189.65.65 (talk) 14:12, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

What would that have to do with anything? --98.217.14.211 (talk) 15:17, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Nothing. Nyttend (talk) 15:53, 28 July 2009 (UTC)


"natural born" reminds me of how in Macbeth, Macduff was able to kill Macbeth, who was unable to be harmed by anyone of woman born, because Macduff was "from his mother's womb untimely ripp'd" — born via a Caesarean section. Are you ready for IPv6? (talk) 16:38, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

the doctrine of acquiescence when acquiescence is days/a month instead of years?[edit]

I've been researching the common law doctrine of acquiescence as I've been trying to improve its Wikipedia article. The article has had reference issues and until I spotted it, it was even missing from the List of legal doctrines.

I've been researching this subject a bit and usually acquiescence takes years. Has anyone ever heard of a case where acquiescence is considered to have happened in days or a month instead of years?

The most I've found as in http://supreme.justia.com/us/96/611/case.html where the court gives the opinion, "If the sale made by the bank was originally impeachable by him, the right to question its validity was lost by his acquiescence. He was in a condition, immediately after the sale, to enforce such rights as the law gave him, as he was fully apprised of their nature, and of all the material facts of the case." However, in the case the person did of course wait several years rather than say 3 months. Anyone know more about this acquiescence? Are you ready for IPv6? (talk) 13:19, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

stats racism[edit]

is there any site where I can find some stats about racism such as how many Muslims were victims of Islamophobia, How many black people became victims of racism and et cetera? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.14.119.49 (talk) 13:43, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

I wouldn't trust any statistics on a subjective thing such as racism, but I suspect that UNESCO attempts to keep some sort of statistics on the matter. -- kainaw 13:54, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
It's not the kind of thing that is straightforward enough to keep stats of. Even numbers of "hate crimes" is something of an arbitrary definition. Complicated social phenomena like this have to be divined through other statistics, e.g. comparative wages for the same job, comparative sentences for the same crimes, etc. --98.217.14.211 (talk) 14:04, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
An anecdote I saw on TV last night will, I think, help explain why these statistics are difficult to compile... (note: I may not have the quotes exactly correct.) Mel Brooks was being interviewed and he was told, "You haven't been persecuted for being a Jew." He responded with, "I certainly have." The interviewer asked how he was persecuted. Mel explained that when he was in the Army, another soldier called him a "Jew boy." So, how do you quantify that persecution with the Jewish people who were being confined and killed? As I stated, racism is subjective. It isn't about the action. It is about how the action makes the person feel. So, you are asking for statistics about how people feel and, somehow, attempting to normalize those feelings into something useful. -- kainaw 14:16, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
He was called "Jew boy" by a fellow soldier and that in itself is considered to be persecution? There are reasons it seems why the rest of the world thinks USAmericans to be completely and utterly mad.--Radh (talk) 14:57, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
...Right. One person's comment (or, rather, one person's reportage of one person's comment) shows USAmericans to be completely and utterly mad. Note: this is one way actual pernicious bigotry is propagated and perpetuated: when people take the action of one person and project it to some class of people that person is a member of. --jpgordon::==( o ) 15:20, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Here, by the way, is the actual quote; he was asked about his experience with antisemitism, not with persecution:

Some of that pent-up animosity comes from his experience in the Army. "I was in the Army. 'Jewboy! Out of my way, out of my face, Jewboy,'" he recalls soldiers saying to him. Brooks, who served in World War II de-activating land mines, spent a short time in the stockade for getting even with one heckler. "I took his helmet off. I said, 'I don't want to hurt your helmet 'cause it's G.I. issue.' And I smashed him in the head with my mess kit," he says.[2]

--jpgordon::==( o ) 15:23, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
He wasn't bothered about denting the mess kit? —Tamfang (talk) 03:27, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
I think Mel Brooks would be fine with the categorization as "completely and utterly mad," in any case. --98.217.14.211 (talk) 16:56, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
I was only using an anecdote. Mel Brooks has every right to feel persecuted, just as a black man can feel persecuted if a white man refers to him simply as "boy". Racism is about perception, not distinct action. An action that is acceptable in one place, such as one black man calling another black man "nigger" is considered racism when an identical action is used in another place, such as a white man calling a black man "nigger". The racism is created by the perception of the man being spoken to and how he feels about the person speaking. -- kainaw 18:42, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
But Mel Brooks didn't say anything about "feeling persecuted", so it's not really a relevant anecdote. --jpgordon::==( o ) 20:21, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

According to a 2006 CNN poll, "About half of black respondents said they had been a victim of discrimination because of their race. A little more than a quarter of whites said they had been victims of racial discrimination." ([3]) -- Mwalcoff (talk) 19:24, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Re: Gibson. My astonishment may be in part a question a semantics. I just don't understand how someone without any power at all over someone else (a fellow soldier of the same rank) can persecute someone. In German at least persecution (Verfolgung) is not the same as mobbing.
Re: polls. How many people in the US think they have been a) abducted by aliens, b) been taken over by the Lord and his angels?--Radh (talk) 20:35, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Read the actual quote above, he doesn't use the word "persecute". --Tango (talk) 21:32, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
See User:Kainaw's 2nd statement, the one I answered.--Radh (talk) 09:56, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
No one in the program said "persecuted". The Mike Wallace interview was included in the PBS series Make 'Em Laugh. Wallace said, "You've never suffered for being Jewish." Here's the YouTube video. (Relevant quote is at the 4:00 mark.) —D. Monack talk 02:45, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
Again, this solidifies my point that racism is subjective. What does it mean to be "persecuted"? What does it mean to "suffer"? For some, they are the same. For others, it is important to scream and yell that persecution is not suffering. How then do you compare one person who suffers as a Jew and one person who is persecuted as a Jew when compiling statistics on racism? -- kainaw 03:11, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
It can only be seen as subjective in a Democracy, a progressive state based on the rule of law and somehow even on human rights most of the time. Racism in South Africa, in the South before M L King, in Germany in the 1930s was not basically a subjective thing. Also, I would never have said, xyz did not suffer, because he was "only" mobbed in the army.--Radh (talk) 10:20, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Duke of Leuchtenberg[edit]

Why did the title of Duke of Leuchtenberg passed from Nicolas Maximilianovitch de Leuchtenberg to his brother Eugen Maximilianovich de Leuchtenberg when Nicolas already had a son to succeed him? And also are the House of Beauharnais still claimants to Napoleon's Kingdom of Italy?--Queen Elizabeth II's Little Spy (talk) 15:30, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Because both Nicholas's sons were illegitimate; the purported marriage of their parents seems never to have actually happened, though others say it happened but was unrecognized; in any case, his sons were - like other male line descendants - newly created Dukes von Leuchtenberg in 1890. - Nunh-huh 08:27, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
I did a little research and I think instead of being illegitimate, Nicholas's sons were morganatic, their mother was a Russian commoner. So it passed to his brothers and then his nephews Alexander and Sergei (their mother are royals, one being a Duchess of Oldenburg and the other a Princess of Montenegro). But, then how is Nicholas de Leuchtenberg, the great-grandson of Duke Nicholas and his unequal union, able to succeed to the pretendership of the title? --Queen Elizabeth II's Little Spy (talk) 09:27, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
I think the clue is in the word "pretendership" - if you're not really entitled to something does it matter if you've been disinherited? --TammyMoet (talk) 12:00, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Also, again, are the Beauharnais dynasts claimant to the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy?--Queen Elizabeth II's Little Spy (talk) 09:27, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Theories why people adore pop stars or royalty?[edit]

The adored person is much more successful than the fans will ever be - yet there seems to be no resentment or jealousy. Are there any psychological or sociological theories to explain why people get a satisfaction from being fans? Is it for example because belonging to their group gives them prestige? Or because they have an imaginary relationship with the star? 92.26.19.20 (talk) 16:10, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

See our article Fan (person). Tempshill (talk) 16:56, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, by adoring a person your powers of judgement and appreciation are exercised. The exercise of power is generally a positive experience for most people. Vranak (talk) 17:54, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
It's a substitute for religion. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 11:36, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Tie in voting of the House of Representatives[edit]

I know that if the Senate has a tie vote, the Vice President (the President of the Senate) has the ability to cast the tie-breaking vote. What happens if the House of Representatives has a tie? How often does this happen? Jared (t)  18:00, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

According to our article United States House of Representatives, a tied vote results in the motion being defeated. Algebraist 18:25, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
When the other 434 members come to a tie, the speaker of the House, who usually doesn't vote on the floor, casts the deciding vote. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 19:21, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't think so. From our article: The presiding officer may vote, like any other member. If a vote is tied, the presiding officer does not have a casting vote (unless he has not yet cast his vote). Instead, motions are decided in the negative when ties arise. --jpgordon::==( o ) 19:37, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Mwalcoff seems to be sort-of correct. The speaker has the right to vote at any time, but according to Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, "by custom ... he or she does so only in exceptional circumstances. Ordinarily, the Speaker votes only when his or her vote would be decisive, and on matters of great importance (such as constitutional amendments)". Algebraist 19:40, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but that does not amount to a casting vote. The speaker may participate in any vote, but normally does not do so unless they know the result will be very close and their vote is needed to ensure the measure is either passed or defeated. If they have chosen not to participate, they do not then get a casting vote if the result is a tie. They either vote along with all the other members of the house, or not at all. -- JackofOz (talk) 20:11, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

As indicated above, the Speaker of the House has the same voting rights as any other Member. By tradition, the Speaker does not vote where his or her vote would not change the result. Some Speakers have varied this pattern in recent years, voting along with the other Members to signify their strong support for a measure (recall that in the United States, unlike the U.K. and other countries, the speakership is a partisan position), but this still remains the exception rather than the rule.

Where the Speaker has not already voted, but the result of a vote is very close, specifically including a tie (where one more affirmative vote would pass the measure) or a vote where there is one more yea than nay (where one more negative vote would defeat the measure), the Speaker will vote at the end after it has become clear that his or her vote is needed. Since this will occur after the time for ordinary voting using the electronic voting device has elapsed, if the Speaker is actually presiding over the House at the time, he or she will declare, "The Clerk will call the name of the Speaker." The reading clerk then calls the name of the Speaker, who announces his or her yea or nay (or aye or no) vote. If the Speaker is not presiding, he or she can appear in the well, whereupon the reading clerk calls his or her name and the Speaker votes.

As others have noted above, if the ultimate result of a vote is a tie, whether or not including the Speaker's vote, the proposal is lost. Newyorkbrad (talk) 20:23, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Here's an example of how it works that I saw in person in Washington. A floor vote is called, bells ring and a timer of 15 minutes begins counting down on the wall. In this case, the "nays" led the "ayes" when the 15 minutes expired. However, the vote only ends when the speaker says it ends, and in this case, he (dating myself here) wanted the measure to pass, so he didn't immediately stop the vote. Instead, he began to cajole other members of his party to change their vote. For about 15 minutes, while the members of the minority were yelling "Regular order!" and the clock stood at 00:00, the number of "ayes" slowly increased and "nays" slowly decreased. When the number of "ayes" equaled the number of "nays," the speaker walked over to his desk, pushed his "aye" button and immediately declared the measure had passed. My account contradicts Newyorkbrad a little bit in that I think the speaker pressed a button rather than announced his vote verbally, but it was a while ago and my memory might not be 100% accurate on the details. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 21:07, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
You were dating the Speaker of the House! Have the scandal sheets gotten wind of this tidbit? Edison (talk) 22:25, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
What a travesty of democratic procedure. Algebraist 21:09, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
My student union president tried something similar once - he lost a vote by show of hands in a general meeting so demanded a secret ballot and while they were preparing it went and get a bunch of friends to come into the meeting from the bar and vote with him. He still lost. The union council then overruled the decision because it was inquorate (which meant the council had to ratify it) and then the steering committee overruled that on some technicality. The US is the epitome of a modern democracy by comparison! --Tango (talk) 21:28, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
It's possible that a Speaker voted with his voting card rather than asked for his name to be called; it depends whether they were already in the segment of the vote when Members need to present themself at the rostrum to vote orally, rather than use the electronic device. Newyorkbrad (talk) 22:34, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Why are Obama questions so popular?[edit]

The last few days I've seen loads of questions about Obama's legitimacy as President, and it even made its way onto today's Urbandictionary word of the day. Can someone fill me in as to what event caused all this? Vimescarrot (talk) 18:41, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

A moron tv entertainer on CNN with more airtime than honesty. --jpgordon::==( o ) 18:45, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Please be specific. Who are you referring to, and what has that person said that would rekindle this question that was already done to death during the election campaign? --Saddhiyama (talk) 18:50, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Lou Dobbs has been promoting it. --jpgordon::==( o ) 19:11, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
It's been in the news a bit lately. The White House once again issued a statement about it. There have been other stories about it. Slow news week, I guess. --98.217.14.211 (talk) 19:15, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Reuters chalks it up to silly season: [4] - 128.104.112.87 (talk) 21:54, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Some claim that President Chester A. Arthur was born in Canada, so his presidency was invalid. Let's settle that issue before worrying about Obama. After all the establishment of civil service and standard time, which he signed into law, might not have been valid. The parallels are eerie:Per [5], Arthur's mother was said to be visiting her parents in Dunham, Quebec when Chester was born, and Obama's mother was Anne Dunham, claimed by the Birthers to have been visiting her inlaws in Kenya at the time of Obama's birth. Both Arthur and Obama received the oath of office twice. The country of their birth was brought up in the presidential campaigns of each. Neither produced a full original birth certificate to silence their critics. Arthur said his papers had been conveniently destroyed in a fire [6].Edison (talk) 22:11, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Diadem (personal wear)[edit]

Was this ever referred to as a Tiara in ancient Roman times, say BC? Would it be worn by a Roman king as a "tiara", the embroidered white silk ribbon? Was it white like the color of milk? Is there a Latin word for this and about when did such usage start?--Doug Coldwell talk 22:29, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

According to Fox-Davies' Complete Guide to Heraldry (1909):
The Roman royal diadem was originally a white ribbon, a wreath of laurel was the reward of distinguished citizens, while a circlet of golden leaves was given to successful generals. Caesar consistently refused the royal white diadem which Antony offered him, preferring to remain perpetual dictator. One of his partisans ventured to crown Caesar's bust with a coronet of laurel tied with royal white ribbon, but the tribunes quickly removed it and heavily punished the perpetrator of the offence. During the Roman Empire the prejudice against the white bandeau remained strong. The emperors dared not wear it. Caligula wished to do so, but was dissuaded on being told that such a proceeding might cost his life. Eliogabalus used to wear a diadem studded with precious stones, but it is not supposed to have indicated rank, but only to have been a rich lady's parure, this emperor being fond of dressing himself up as a woman. etc. [7] -- AnonMoos (talk) 17:47, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, great answer.--Doug Coldwell talk 19:41, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Authors who started young[edit]

Do we have a list anywhere of famous authors who were first published (and I want to emphasize the word "published") as teenagers, or even younger? Failing that, can anyone think of a few notable examples? The more, the merrier--I'm trying to come up with a few examples to illustrate a point, and I'm drawing a blank. Thanks (for this, and for all you do)! User:Jwrosenzweig editing as 67.160.97.186 (talk) 22:36, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Great books written by teens has a list of 15 or so. Then there's Catherine Banner. And a (probably repetitive) amazon list. --Tagishsimon (talk) 22:52, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
I recommend The Young Visiters.--Wetman (talk) 22:56, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Bonjour Tristesse (1954) by Françoise Sagan
Chocolates for Breakfast (1956) by Pamela Moore
Pepsi-Cola Addict (1982) by June Gibbons ........Pepso2 (talk) 23:20, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
I appreciate all of these suggestions, although it would be great if the authors were even more notable (even if the particular book they published young turns out to be kinda crummy). 67.160.97.186 (talk) 23:47, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
If you don't find Mary Shelley, Anne Frank or Françoise Sagan sufficiently notable then.... --Tagishsimon (talk) 23:55, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Anne Frank's diary wasn't published in her lifetime, so you've overlooked the OP's emphasis on the word "published". Malcolm XIV (talk) 23:59, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
No, merely interpreted in a different way than you. Until otherwise advised, I think the two cases of 1. Book published when author was a teenager and 2. Book by teenager published hold. YMMV. --Tagishsimon (talk) 00:04, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Catherine Webb was published at fourteen, and has continued as a notable author. Christopher Paolini is the latest teen author wonderboy. Steewi (talk) 00:39, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
A lot of science fiction writers were precocious twerps, e.g. Isaac Asimov, Frederik Pohl, Cyril Kornbluth, James Blish, probably most or all of the rest of the Futurians. Clarityfiend (talk) 10:13, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Tennessee Williams was 16 when his story "The Vengeance of Nitocris" was published in Weird Tales. Pepso2 (talk) 14:04, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
John Kennedy Tooles The Neon Bible was published written when he was 16. --Saddhiyama (talk) 18:27, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Charles Dickens published under a pseudonym while he was a young apprentice at a printer's shop. Wrad (talk) 18:36, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Edgar Allan Poe's first volume of poems was published anonymously when he was 18 or 19. It did not, however, establish his literary career in any great degree. --98.217.14.211 (talk) 00:10, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Copyright and Hansards[edit]

Has copyright law ever prevented a parliamentary Hansard from reprinting an MP's statements (e.g. when the MP was reading a book aloud as part of a filibuster)? NeonMerlin 22:49, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

In the UK, this would be exempt from copyright as Parliamentary privilege extends to Hansard under the Parliamentary Papers Act 1840. Nanonic (talk) 23:00, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
It's not directly germane to the question, but the shenanigans that led to the passing of that act are worth reading up. Stockdate vs Hansard only has a summary, but IIRC at one point in the proceedings the Sheriff of Middlesex was imprisoned in the Westminster Clock Tower. Both of him.--ColinFine (talk)
The above apparently refers to Hansard, generally unknown except on a very special island kingdom and related governments. Edison (talk) 01:24, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Unknown if you discount the Parliament of Canada and the Canadian provincial legislatures, the Parliament of Australia and the Australian state parliaments, the national Parliament of South Africa and South Africa's provincial legislatures, the East African Legislative Assembly, the Parliament of New Zealand, the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, the Parliament of Malaysia, the Parliament of Singapore, the Legislative Council of Brunei, the Parliament of Sri Lanka, the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago, the National Assembly of Kenya, the National Assembly of Tanzania, the Parliament of Ghana, the Parliament of Uganda, the Parliament of Mauritius and the Parliament of Jamaica --Tagishsimon (talk) 01:26, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
In relation to this, when John Wilkes was campaigning for free speech and the right to publish these debates, did he ever set up a Booth? Edison (talk) 01:28, 29 July 2009 (UTC)