Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2012 September 10

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September 10[edit]

Title of WW2 novel[edit]

I'm trying to find a WW2 novel that I've read a long time ago. I don't remember the title or the author's name, but here's the description: The story takes place in occupied Denmark in 1943 or 1944; the main character is a Danish schoolgirl named Anne-Marie Johannsen, who has to help get her Jewish friend Ellen Rosen out of the country; and some of the plot events include the following: The Germans perform a nighttime search of the Johannsens' home, during which time Anne-Marie is forced to rip off Ellen's necklace with the Star of David in order to hide her Jewish ancestry; at this or another time (I don't remember for certain), Ellen identifies herself as Lise Johannsen, Anne-Marie's older sister who was hit by a car (as it later turned out, Lise was purposely run over by the Germans during a Resistance meeting); and toward the end, Anne-Marie is stopped by a German patrol with attack dogs on the way to the fishermen's wharf, and uses a special handkerchief to neutralize the dogs' sense of smell. Does anyone know which book I'm looking for? Thanks in advance! (talk) 03:32, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Number the Stars. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 03:34, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! (talk) 05:27, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

US post-WWI "trench-war litterature" ?[edit]

Hello learned humanitarians ! Can you tell me which were in the USA the equivalents of, say, Remarque's Im Westen nichts Neues and Barbusse's Le Feu ? Thanks a lot beforehand for your answers. T.y. Arapaima (talk) 09:35, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Ernest Hemingways A Farewell to Arms comes to mind. --Saddhiyama (talk) 10:10, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
The Sun Also Rises if I remember correctly had elements of the devastation and aftereffects of WWI. Marketdiamond (talk) 10:12, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Given the USA joined World War I pretty late, and its soldiers saw most of their action after the entrenched front had been largely broken, there wasn't such a vast and traumatizing experience of trench warfare among American soldiers. Hemingway joined the conflict as a volunteer ambulance driver, and thus was exposed to some combat action on the Italian front, but his experience was very different from Barbusse or Remarque's, enlisted men who spent considerable time on the front lines. --Xuxl (talk) 12:21, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Thanks a lot to all ! In the meantime, I found Journey's End by RC Sheriff , but it's British , & appeared much later. T.y. Arapaima (talk) 07:10, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Could a former two-term President run for election if a repealing of terms limits was also on the ballot?[edit]

Sorry for the lengthy title, my question is this. Say Bill Clinton decided to go for a third term, and managed to get a national referendum to repeal term limits on the ballot to be voted on the same day as the presidential election. Could he run for office before the referendum was voted on, on the understanding that if he won he would only take office if the referendum was passed as well, or could he not run again until the next election when the new rules were in force? If he could run hoping for a 'Yes' vote on the referendum, what would happen if he won the election but lost the referendum? Would the second place candidate win? Many thanks, (talk) 14:49, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

There's no such thing as a national referendum in the U.S. (see Article Five of the United States Constitution for information on how its amended). But if such a think exists in the future (there has been some push made for allowing nationwide referendums) I'd assume Clinton wouldn't be allowed on since it's likely the change wouldn't go into effect until the next election. Hot Stop (Edits) 14:54, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
What if Obama passed an executive order? (talk) 00:36, 11 September 2012 (UTC) "Could he run for office before the referendum was voted on, on the understanding that if he won he would only take office if the referendum was passed as well, or could he not run again until the next election when the new rules were in force? If he could run hoping for a 'Yes' vote on the referendum, what would happen if he won the election but lost the referendum? Would the second place candidate win?" . . . if a law like this was ever enacted (overturning term limits for presidents and retroactive to former presidents) then Congress would fill those 2,500 pages with every possible extrapolation. When you ask all those questions it becomes partly pie in the sky, imagine all the national debate and discussion on health care for 6-12 months, for 12 months we would all know more about the impact of non-term limits then we would ever want to, and Congress would write any answer to those questions it wanted to, so the short answer is if any law like that was passed all of the above and none of the above to whatever extent Congress wants to enact those stipulations, the oldest saying in Washington is watching sausage being made is actually easier to follow then watching a bill become law, well that and a camel is just a throughbred racehorse cobbled together by a Congressional committee lol. Marketdiamond (talk) 15:33, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Except that it's a Constitutional Amendment that would need to be written (because the two term limits are in the 22nd Amendment) which isn't quite the same thing as writing a law. Congress can propose an Amendment, and then the legislatures of the states can ratify it or not. It's not the same thing as them writing thousand page laws, and most amendments are quite short. A more likely scenario is Congress passing something like the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution, and then maybe adding a clause that says "this is retroactive to past presidents" or maybe "Congress may come up with the rules as to how this applies to past Presidents" or something like that. But not thousands of pages of stipulations. --Mr.98 (talk) 16:00, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Also keep in mind that the 22nd Amendment controls who can be elected. It doesn't say anything about who can be on the ballot. There have certainly been presidential candidates on the ballot in one or more states who were ineligible to be elected, and where this fact was perfectly well known to everyone in advance (for example Róger Calero). --Trovatore (talk) 00:51, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
The simplest way to undo the limit would be to enact an Amendment saying "The 22d article of amendment is repealed." That alone would suffice to relieve Obama, Bush, Clinton, Reagan, Nixon and Eisenhower of the disqualification. If Congress wanted to preserve the bar for past Presidents, it would have to replace A22 with something more complex and absurd: "The 22d article of amendment is repealed; but no person who, between the effective date thereof and that of this article, was twice elected to the Presidency or served six years as President ...." Or: "Section 1: The 22d article of amendment is repealed. Section 2: Congress may by law disqualify any person who has served more than N years as President from re-eligibility to that office." (Yeah, that'll fly!)
(Me, I'd replace the lifetime limit with a ban on consecutive terms.) —Tamfang (talk) 07:55, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
By the way, there's a reasonable answer to "would the second-place candidate win"? Let's assume that there were no "faithless electors", that all the electors of the ineligible candidate voted for him/her. Then, under the twelfth amendment their votes would be conveyed to the President of the Senate (that is, the Vice President), who would count them in the presence of a joint session of Congress. The votes for the ineligible candidate would not count, and therefore no candidate would have a majority of electoral votes.
That would leave it up to the House of Representatives, who would have to select among the top three finishers, except they couldn't pick the ineligible guy. So if only one other candidate got any electoral votes, then yes, the second-place candidate would win. --Trovatore (talk) 01:05, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

History of capital gains tax long-term holdings discount[edit]

Re [1] I noticed that when the long-term holdings discount on U.S. capital gains tax was abolished in 1984, a holding period of only six months was necessary to qualify. For some reason I thought it had been five years, maybe before that. Where can I find a table or graph of the rate of the capital gains tax, the long term holding discount percentage, and the qualifying holding period side-by-side? Is this something tax accountants would have handy, maybe? —Cupco 15:07, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Found this [2] Page 6 and on has some really pretty charts on rates and years, didn't search for holding period but it may have that too. Marketdiamond (talk) 15:38, 10 September 2012 (UTC) has it - in the 1930s it was a "complicated" sliding time scale up to 10 years, then in the 1940s it was simplified to a period of just one year, where it stayed until 1984 (six months) and the long term holding discount was abolished in 1986. —Cupco 01:04, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Rationale behind women-only chess touraments?[edit]

What is the rationale behind women-only chess tournaments such as Women's_World_Chess_Championship? Gender has no impact on one's chess skills as far as I can tell. Would these gender-specific tournaments be considered sex discrimination? This question also applies to any other gender-specific tournament where athletic abilities is not a factor. A8875 (talk) 17:03, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

We had this question a few months ago, see Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Entertainment/2012 May 17 for answers. To answer if it would be sex discrimination, well, yes by the basic definition of "discrimination", which merely means to make choices based on characterisics. Restrooms discriminate based on gender. The question I think you want to ask is if this represents unjustified sex discrimination. That I have no feeling on, but tautologically a single-gender based anything is exhibiting sex discrimination; and that doesn't automatically mean it is bad. My wife's gynecologist has a practice that discriminates overwhelmingly in favor of women clientelle. That's a fine sort of discrimination. --Jayron32 17:08, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I believe that most of the chess grand masters are male. This implies one or more of the following:
1) Males are better at chess. (Note that this doesn't mean they are more intelligent, in general, as males and females think differently.)
2) Females are less interested in competing in chess.
3) Females are discriminated against in some manner.
Having a separate competition can reduce or eliminate many of these potential issues. StuRat (talk) 19:11, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm willing to bet it's mostly that too few parents give their daughters chess sets to play with at a young age. Someguy1221 (talk) 01:56, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
That would fall under #3. StuRat (talk) 02:11, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

A8875 -- It's by no means clear to me that "Gender has no impact on one's chess skills". Intelligence testing has more or less established that men and women have the same average intelligence, but males have a greater range (standard deviation) of intelligences -- i.e. compared to women, there are both more male geniuses and more male morons. Also, chess uses skills (i.e. abstract geometric/spatial reasoning) which men tend to do better at (while women tend to do better at language skills etc. -- obviously with many individual exceptions to such generalizations)... AnonMoos (talk) 22:18, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

The average woman tends to believe, at times anyway, that she married into the moron end of that bell curve. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:18, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Sometimes it seems as if there are more on that end. :-) StuRat (talk) 20:52, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

"Hey girl... you look as though you have no Boutroses - and it happens that I have one to spare..."[edit]

With regards to Mr. Boutros Boutros Ghali. Before I had a cursory read of his article, my total knowledge of him could be surmised so: "Is/was a guy (poss. South American?) who was the secretary general of the UN several years ago. Has a name that sounds comical in my culture".

I was wondering - what is the story behind his name. Why did his parents name him 'Boutros Boutros'? Not trying to troll or be racial here - I just remember how hearing his name on TV always made people smile and laugh, the various jokes/one-liners about him such as the subject of this post (supposedly his favourite chat-up line). -- (talk) 19:08, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

I believe he was named after his grandfather Boutros Ghali, who was an earlier Prime Minister of Egypt. The name repetition is a bit "funny" sounding to western ears, but even Westerners have similarly repetitive names, i.e. William Carlos Williams, Phillip Phillips, Richard Rich, Dave Davies, etc. etc. --Jayron32 19:14, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
And his name apparently translates as "Peter Peter Expensive"... --TammyMoet (talk) 19:40, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
His last name is actually Boutros-Ghali. His full name is not much different, when you think about it, from Congressman Pete Peterson or from Secretary of Commerce Peter G. Peterson, who are both contemporaries. --Xuxl (talk) 20:38, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
They are supposed to have funny sounding names. Bus stop (talk) 20:57, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Funny to whom? Presumably, it's a fairly unremarkable name among Egyptian Coptics, especially if Tammy's translation is correct. All of the other Secretaries General have names that don't seem funny given their origins. --Jayron32 21:08, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, TammyMoet seems to be correct. Bus stop (talk) 21:25, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
It was an oft repeated gag on the 1990s British comedy The Fast Show. One of the regular items was a spoof of a TV channel from an indeterminate Mediterranean country, where the presenters would gabble away in a pretend language that sounded vaguely Spanish / Italian / Greek; the only recognisable words were Chris Waddle and Boutros Boutros Ghali.[3] It was funnier than it sounds - there may be some clips on YouTube if you're intrigued. Alansplodge (talk) 22:19, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Now, some people's names are funny no matter what the context. Dick Trickle's race finishes were anounced on SportsCenter every week regardless of how well he did ("The race was won by Dale Earnhardt; Dick Trickle came in 25th place"), and it wasn't because he was all that great of a racecar driver. --Jayron32 23:25, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Although that is a double entendre rather than just sounding funny. Alansplodge (talk) 11:35, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Prince of Nassau Siegen[edit]

Charles Henry of Nassau-Siegen and Karl Heinrich von Nassau-Siegen - is this supposed to be the same person?? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:26, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

The identical birth dates and similar names certainly imply so. If this is the case, the two articles should be merged. StuRat (talk) 19:31, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Since Charles Henry and Karl Heinrich are cognates, I'd say so. The newer article should be WP:HISTMERGEed into the older one, and the information from the two (which does not completely overlapped) should be combined into a single article. I've never done a History Merge, but many admins have, you could ask for help doing so at WP:AN. --Jayron32 19:35, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Since no one did it yet, I put up a merger proposal on both pages. The knowledgeable are invited to proceed with the actual merger. Ratzd'mishukribo (talk) 02:09, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Should Canadians fear Iranian response to the severance of relations?[edit]

I'm from Edmonton, Alberta and I'm 20, I know that I may know nothing of politics, but I fear the Iranian reaction. Could there be a military action? Cooppeerr (talk) 23:01, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

"The reference desk does not answer requests for opinions or predictions about future events. Do not start a debate; please seek an internet forum instead". AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:04, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Sorry then. Cooppeerr (talk) 23:07, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Their reaction just might be, "Who is this 'Canada', again?" 23:13, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
"You mean Satan has a hat?" :) Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 23:18, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
...perhaps a tuque ? Or maybe Canada is the little Devil on the Great Satan's shoulder, whispering evil ideas into it's ear. :-) StuRat (talk) 23:36, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

I never thought to stumble upon anti-Canadian sentiment on Wikipedia. Cooppeerr (talk) 23:20, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

That's not anti-Canadian sentiment. We have a bit of a jokey culture here on the Reference Desks, but it's often very easy to misinterpret online humour as something else. I know I've done it. The small type is usually a give-away. -- ♬ Jack of Oz[your turn] 23:42, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Americans make fun of Canada, and even Canadians make fun of Canada. Meanwhile, a favorite comment from Drew Carey on Whose Line Is It Anyway?: "The points in the game mean nothing. They're like spy planes over Canada." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:02, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Coop, don't worry. Iran certainly isn't sending their military against you, and if they do, a slew of countries will come to the defense of Canada (although Canada has a good enough military in such a confrontation anyway). The only real threat I see is the use of terrorists to perpetrate a suicide bombing or other type of attack in Canada, via Iranian Revolutionary Guards or Hezbollah. Still, I don't think it's worth living your life in fear. This can happen in any country, look what happened in Bulgaria two months ago, when a bus full of Israeli tourists was blown up by a suicide bomber. In Bulgaria. Thailand and Greece also thwarted a terrorist plot which had Iranian links. But should Bulgarians or Thais or Greeks have lived their lives in fear, and continue to do so? Of course not. Should Canadians live their lives in fear? Of course not. And I don't even know if such a thing would happen - I'm just speculating. We have intelligence agencies for a reason - and while they can't always win all the time, most of the time they will, and it's just silly to live life in fear.

Hope this helps. --Activism1234 23:58, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

To be perfectly fair, Canadians have a lot more to fear from other Canadians than any Iranian, on average. Case in point, the recent dust up in Montreal. --Jayron32 00:08, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Canada has to be pretty far down the enemies list for Iran. That list would include Israel, the US, most of Europe, many of the Gulf nations, Pakistan, etc. So, judge for yourself the chances of an attack. StuRat (talk) 00:29, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Agreed, but remember, the countries you mentioned would definitely have much more increased security and detailed intelligence than Canada, a country that doesn't expect anything from Iran. So if Iran wanted to send someone to attack Canada, it'd make perfect sense, and would be a lot easier for them to do than those other countries you mentioned (again - this is assuming Iran wants to do this). But yes, I agree - it's silly to live in fear. --Activism1234 00:35, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, and similarly, Canadians don't expect anything from the US. If the US wanted to attack Canada, it would make perfect sense, because Canada would not be as prepared as North Korea, Iran, China, or Russia. -- (talk) 03:01, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
The old "fooled him with my seven-shooter" trick. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 03:05, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
That's ridiculous, no reason US would attack Canada, and I was giving only a possible scenario involving a bombing in response to the OP's question. --Activism1234 03:37, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
It's not exactly unexpected. See Defence_Scheme_No._1A8875 (talk) 15:41, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
There are reasons, if you consider sixth-largest oil-producing country in the world to be a reason. Of course, the only time the US would have any motivation to do so would be in some kind of highly unpleasant apocalyptic scenario where oil supplies from literally everywhere are somehow shut off. Such an attack would effectively dissolve NATO instantly, however, so only a madman would be willing to start such a war. This is all completely off topic, of course. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 03:50, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Except the U.S. has little motivation to do so, since U.S.-based oil companies already have access to that oil, and are heavily involved in extracting and refining it. For various reasons, it is controversial, but the article Keystone Pipeline should make it clear that, once completed, that project should mean that the U.S. has no real reason to invade Canada to get the oil since it's all going to end up in the U.S. anyways. --Jayron32 04:45, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
George Bush: "Canada ? Isn't that one of our northern states ?"
Aide: "No, sir, we aren't scheduled to invade and annex Canada until next year, sir." - Chilly Beach. StuRat (talk) 04:52, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, but I can't easily see Iran resorting to a terrorist act over something like ditching diplomatic relations. It just wouldn't seem logical. If Iran reacts, I assume it would be in (for example) the economic sphere, such as reducing the access of Canadian companies to Iranian oil projects. (talk) 07:24, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
As opposed to all those logical terrorist attacks everyone's always talking about? Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 07:27, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
There are some. The al Qaeda inspired 2004 Madrid train bombings seemed to succeed in getting Spain to withdraw from Iraq, for example. StuRat (talk) 07:36, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Maybe they didn't much care. According to the Canadian government, "In 2007, both countries reduced their representation to the Chargé level."[4] I.e. they couldn't be bothered to appoint full ambassadors. Clarityfiend (talk) 09:28, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I doubt that "couldn't be bothered" played any part in their decisions. -- ♬ Jack of Oz[your turn] 21:23, 11 September 2012 (UTC)