Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2013 April 10

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April 10[edit]

Countries without a government[edit]

Recently I've heard in the news about Italy not having a government or that the government has changed. What does this mean? I'm American, if it helps explain it in terms relative to a system that I am familiar with. Dismas|(talk) 01:26, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

There is really no way to explain Italy in a way that an American is familiar with.
More seriously, in a parliamentary system, the executive part of the government is chosen by the Parliament. If the government steps down, for whatever reason, it typically takes a while before the various parties can work out a deal to form a new government. If no single party has an absolute majority, the process of choosing a government can involve a lot of intense negotiation and deal-making. Looie496 (talk) 01:33, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
When it's said that a country does not have a government, that's just at the lawmaking end for the most part, isn't it? It's not like all the various government agencies suddenly cease functioning, right? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 01:44, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
There's usually a caretaker government... AnonMoos (talk) 03:09, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
The election gave a majority in the lower house of parliament (Chamber of Deputies) to the centre-left led by Pier Luigi Bersani (hereafter refer to as A). The centre-left (A) lacks a majority in the Senate, which it would need to pass any legislation. The centre-left’s leader, Pier Luigi Bersani, has discounted a coalition with the conservative partnership of Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) movement and the Northern League (hereafter refer to as B). But the biggest obstacle is C, the Five Star Movement (M5S) led by Beppe Grillo.
So to sum it up: Three groups, A, B and C each lack the necessary parliamentary majority; A will not form a coalition with B; C will not support either. No coalition possible.
No majority = can't pass legislation = no functional government. [1][2][3] Royor (talk) 02:10, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
Italy also has a president, so there is still a head of state, just no legislative branch at the moment. Adam Bishop (talk) 02:20, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
I believe there is a legislative branch - the election happened without any problems, so there are members of parliament. What they are lacking is the executive branch (which is usually a subset of the legislative branch in parliamentary democracies). As mentioned above, there will be a caretaker executive doing the day-to-day stuff. (The President is a largely ceremonial role in Italy, I believe, their role in the day-to-day running of the country is very small.) --Tango (talk) 11:26, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Just to clarify further, what is meant by government in this context is the political end of government. We sometimes hear of a US city government that goes bankrupt, and we get the impression that all government services cease because no-one will get paid. This is nothing like that. As far as I know, all government functions continue, the police, judges, tax inspectors etc continue to do their jobs but no political decisions are made. Belgium famously had no functioning federal government for over a year, though in that country most functions are delivered by sub-national entities. Sussexonian (talk) 06:53, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

I think there may be a linguistic confusion between Europe and the US: in Europe, the government is about 30 people who are the part of executive branch, not the whole 100,000 people organisation that the US people call "the Government". So Saying Italy has no government is like saying that there are no misnisters appointed. --08:05, 10 April 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lgriot (talkcontribs)
I was about to say something similar. In European parliamentary systems, there's a distinction drawn between the civil service and the government; the civil service being all those people employed directly by the state to do the work of the state: police, teachers, firemen, road engineers, mid-level bureaucrats, toll takers, etc, etc. All the people who keep the state working. In the U.S., these people would be considered to be employed by the government: the U.S. language does not make a distinction in wording between those people and the people who hold purely political positions who have their jobs not on merit, but on belonging to the right party. When a European county doesn't have a "government", that just means that the legislature can't agree on a slate of ministers to form the leadership of the country. The civil service (generally) keeps right on working and doing what they have always done; it's just that no new laws can be passed and there's no overall leadership. This isn't exactly a great situation, but it's not like total anarchy reigns and no one does any work. It could get to that situation if a governmentless country were to remain so for so long that appropriation bills expire and there's no money to pay the civil service, but I don't know that it ever gets that bad. --Jayron32 11:58, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
The French Fourth Republic had twenty Prime Ministers in about eleven years... but I can't think of a situation in which a parliamentary state had no government for such an extended period that the state itself began to break down. ☯.ZenSwashbuckler.☠ 14:03, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
I think what the Europeans call a "government" is closest to what the US calls "an administration", including the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, etc. If, for some reason, those can't be appointed in the US, then the Deputy or Undersecretary or whoever's next in line takes over as the "acting" Secretary. The same is true in Europe, I imagine. StuRat (talk) 16:21, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
The narrow definition of "government" has to do with "rulers", and on a national scale the top-dog legislators and ministers would be the "rulers". I expect that's what they mean. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:01, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
One thing I've never understood is how Europeans would say it if they really meant what Americans hear when they say "the government has collapsed". Let's say in Syria, the rebels launch their final assault on Damascus, and all civil service workers flee or are killed, and the buildings are then torched, while Bashar al-Assad flees into exile. We Americans would say "their government has collapsed". How would Europeans describe that ? StuRat (talk) 16:25, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
"The civil service has collapsed" A rough analogy - if a country was a company, the government would be the board of directors, the civil service would be the employees and citizens are the shareholders (registered voters) and customers (all citizens). Parliament would be like the shareholder's AGM, with the members of parliament being the proxy-holders of the shareholder's votes. The comparison breaks down due to the peculiar American habit of electing even minor functoinaries, such as sheriffs - in much of the world the idea of electing someone to head the local police station is simply ridiculous, cops are expected to be strictly apolitical, in fact in many countries civil servants are forbidden to hold any publically elected position, except for minor stuff like parent's representative bodies of schools. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 19:53, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
I think what most Europeans would say if they want to talk about what Americans call "the government" is "the state". In Syria "the state" would collapse if all civil service people ran away.--Zoppp (talk) 21:17, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
I agree, I would say the state has collapsed. We call states that are no longer able to effectively govern the country (which basically means they don't have functioning institutions like the civil service and police, they lack the basic ability to tax and spend, etc.) "failed states". To say that the civil service has collapsed sounds odd to me - the civil service refers more to the people than the institutions, to my mind, and the people haven't "collapsed" they just aren't doing their jobs for whatever reason. --Tango (talk) 11:24, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Didn't Belgium fail to have a government for several years recently? RNealK (talk) 22:43, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
See Sussexonian @ 06:53, 10 April 2013 (UTC). -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 02:09, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
Belgium had a caretaker government. There wasn't any significant new policy for a long time, but everything kept plodding along as it had been doing before. --Tango (talk) 11:24, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Common law vs. civil law[edit]

Is common law or civil law more just? --128.42.156.120 (talk) 03:15, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

It depends on who you ask. According to Martin Luther King, Jr. in his Letter from Birmingham Jail, "A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God". Ryan Vesey 03:18, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
That doesn't really distinguish between common and civil law. Both are a man made code, just formulated differently. --Tango (talk) 11:27, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
I think that question is far too broad for a categorical answer. The basic difference between the two is their sources of law. In Civil law countries, there are comprehensive codes that cover pretty much every subject imaginable in great detail, and the judges are just supposed to apply the code to the cases at hand. One result of this is that the law in Civil law jurisdictions pretty much only changes when new laws are past.
In common law jurisdictions, the codes and statutes are generally fairly general and leave more discretion to the courts, and so in addition to statutory law, judges have to also adhere to the principles laid down in previous appellate court decisions in their jurisdiction.
I don't see either of these systems as being somehow more just than the other. That would have to do more with the actual laws of the jurisdiction in question more than whether it is a common law or civil law jurisdiction. Bakmoon (talk) 12:53, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Justice in the political sense is more an issue of equal treatment under the law; due process, no ex post facto, no arbitrary rulings. See [4]. The exact forms can vary; trial before a judge or a jury, age of majority at 18 or 21, maximum sentencing versus minimum sentencing. What matters is that the rules and punishments be clearly defined ahead of time and equally applied. Perfect metaphysical justice is impossible. Under any system the innocent will be convicted and the guilty freed. Even then the system is just if mistakes can be recognized and rectified when possible.
As to common versus statutory law, common law has the benefits of being organic and procedural. Common law is an ancient institution with the wisdom of centuries put into ever better ways to protect the innocent according to long established and well-tested precedent. Statutory law is ephemeral, capricious, subject to ideological change according to the momentary trend expressed in a parliamentary majority sufficient to legislate this moment's fad. μηδείς (talk) 18:25, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
Seems like you're asking an opinion question, or a poorly thought out homework question. The reference desk is not a forum (as much as it may try) and is ill suited at giving opinion answers. I suggest this question be closed. Shadowjams (talk) 03:26, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

what did Daladier have to do with Poincaré in 1928?[edit]

I can't understand the last sentence of this paragraph:

"A government minister in various posts during the coalition governments between 1924 and 1928, he was instrumental in the Radical Party's break with the socialist SFIO in 1926, the first Cartel des gauches – "Left-wing Coalition"), and with the conservative Raymond Poincaré in November 1928."

what did Daladier have to do with Poincaré in November 1928? was he in his coalition? because as far as I know, he wasn't in his government.

please answer in Édouard Daladier's talk page. thanks. Virant (talk) 04:56, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

The French Wikipedia article has more about him. See http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89douard_Daladier . Daladier held the following posts: Minister of Colonies (1924), Minister of War (1925) and Minister of Public Instruction (1926), all during the Premiership of fellow Radical Édouard Herriot or his successor, leftist PRS member Paul Painlevé. He basically served in the Leftist Governments that came during 1924-1926, which came between the Poincaré terms before and after that period. It doesn't appear that Daladier served specifically in the Poincaré government at any time, but many of his political allies (Radical, PRS, or SFIO, all left or centre-left parties) did, including noted Center-Left politicians such as Aristide Briand, as well as Painlevé and Herriot; this seems fairly common in French governments of the French Third Republic where a Premiership from one side of the political spectrum would have ministers from the so-called "opposition" coalition. In this case, Poincaré was a noted Centre-Right politician and founder of the DRA, a group that filled the Right-side power vacuum in French politics left by the demise of the Monarchists in the early 20th century. --Jayron32 05:37, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
Well, first of all thanks for your detailed answer. Yes, I looked it up in the french wikipedia (with my almost-bad french), but the wording in the sentence I asked about remains unclear. It seems that the person who wrote it claimed that Daladier was "instrumental" somehow in the circumstances that made Poincaré the premier, but I can't think of any crucial contribution aside from causing the Independent Radicals to break from his party and join Poincaré's coalition, and I didn't find anything to support it. Virant (talk) 14:18, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
No, to my reading, the sentence says that Daladier was instrumental insofar as when his party left the coalition of the left, they didn't have enough support to maintain control of the ministry, and thus lost the premiership back to Poincaré DRA coalition. It makes sense if you think of it this way: If the left had something like 51% support, and the right had 45% in 1926, and at that point Daladier's Radical party withdraws his support for the left coalition, it falls from power as it no longer has the necessary support to maintain power. In the resulting reshuffling of the coalition, Poincaré's DRA is thus able to marshal his forces and establish the right with enough support. Thus, Daladier (perhaps inadvertantly) plays kingmaker in a similar way that Nick Clegg did in the recent British parliamentary elections. Because the Radicals pulled out of the "Cartel des Gauche", that coalition no longer had enough support to keep power, and the rights were able to regain power. That is at least my reading of the situation, though someone with more background in early 20th century French politics should weigh in before you take my word for anything. I'll do some more reading and see what I can find. --Jayron32 16:41, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
Now that makes sense (and also means that the discussed sentence should be altered). Thanks a lot. Virant (talk) 18:10, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Words formed by arrangement of objects[edit]

A "living flag", 1898

CommonsCat on Twitter today noted the existence of Commons:Category:Words formed by arrangement of objects, which reminded me of a question I've been meaning to ask... Is there a specific term for this concept, or the more general case of objects arranged to represent a larger symbol (eg a picture composed of coloured objects)? "Mosaic" doesn't quite seem to cover it; it implies the objects are themselves quite trivial (basically coloured dots). Photographic mosaic only covers the special case where the subsidiary parts are photographic images.

I am thinking in particular of things like the image to the right - a flag made up of people wearing coloured clothing - or ones such as this, where people are spelling out a word.

Any ideas? Andrew Gray (talk) 08:43, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Card stunt (a term spoonerists should regard with deep suspicion) would cover public displays such as those that are now common at Olympic opening ceremonies. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 09:47, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
See also vajazzle... - Cucumber Mike (talk) 12:29, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
See [5]. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 12:43, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
The image File:The living Union Jack picture (HS85-10-10301).jpg doesn't display in my browser at all in any of its forms, but during the early 20th century commons:Category:Human formations were quite popular in the United States, and in 1917-1918 many U.S. Army units had such photographs taken before they deployed to Europe. "Human letters" are still popular with aircraft carrier crews today... AnonMoos (talk) 14:07, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
Human formations! That's perfect - well done. Thanks, Andrew Gray (talk) 16:29, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
Looking at the amateurish effort in the photo, it seems that we Britons are lagging far behind the Chinese and North Koreans. Oh, the shame of it... Alansplodge (talk) 16:49, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Working in North Korea[edit]

If I become a member of Korean Friendship Association and become heavily involved in its activities, will I be able to get North Korean citizenship? --Yoglti (talk) 11:40, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

To me it would make more sense to contact one of North Korea's diplomatic missions to ask about North Korean citizenship requirements, or simply read our article on citizenship in North Korea. I still have to wonder why anyone would wish to become a citizen of a place that's considered to have the lowest economic freedom, least freedom of the press and the lowest level of democracy in the world today... WegianWarrior (talk) 12:36, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
This guy Alejandro Cao de Benós de Les y Pérez, he is so lucky. From a petty IT worker in Brazil, he became a VIP in North Korea. --Yoglti (talk) 13:40, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
He doesn't look lucky to me. He looks like a ludicrous stooge for a brutal tyrant. AlexTiefling (talk) 13:43, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
In any country, even North Korea, there is a wide variety of living conditions. I expect that Kim Jong-un enjoys a higher standard of living than most Wikipedia editors. If millions of people slave away so that Perez (or Yoglti) can live the good life, it could be a very good life indeed (although morally reprehensible).--Wikimedes (talk) 17:07, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
There are fairly severe criticisms that exist of the normative values embodied in "economic freedom" indicies such as Heritage's. Correspondingly there are severe criticisms of the normative basis of bourgeois parliamentary democracy. Outside of the implicit criticism embodied in Juche thought I can't imagine a reason why such critics of your indicated measures should wish to live in North Korea, given that such critics own normative criteria (abolition of wage labour, workers' control for example) also turn up North Korea as undesirable when compared to a metric of the norm. So one answer would be that someone has been convinced of the correctness of Juche. Fifelfoo (talk) 01:32, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

La G.D.A.C.F. - Rome, 1962[edit]

In late May 1962, someone in Rome mailed a picture postcard addressed to Adolf Eichmann c/o the [Israeli] Supreme Court in Jerusalem. Written in blue ballpoint pen, the text: "Saluti dalla Citta' Eterna" (Greetings from the Eternal City), and signature: "La G.D.A.C.F. G.C." The latter two letters are positioned slightly lower than the first five, and I take them to stand for "Gesù Cristo". QUERY: What's the meaning of those first five letters? They're clearly initials, though handwritten and I may have misread one or two. -- Deborahjay (talk) 12:37, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Would Groupement Diocesain d'Action Catholique Feminin make sense in context? It seems to be the only common expansion of those initials. AlexTiefling (talk) 18:11, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
The sender(s) may well be Catholic(s), but my searches on this suggestion are drawing blanks. Would this have been a group sending a postcard from Rome in spring 1942? I'm inclined to think the sender is supportive of Eichmann rather than a detractor. -- Deborahjay (talk) 11:29, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Selling old library books[edit]

no legal advise on the RD. Ask a lawyer or somwhere else on the internet
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Can old library books be sold by the person who has possession ?

1) If checked out and never returned, should the library be contacted first and the fine paid ?

2) If the library no longer exists, then what ?

3) Is there something like a statute of limitations, allowing the person in possession to sell it after so many years ?

If the answers vary by jurisdiction, I'm in Michigan, USA. StuRat (talk) 16:08, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Absent any specific local laws to the contrary (and I've no idea about Michigan), ownership of the books fundamentally rests with the library; if the library was dissolved, the ownership of the books may in theory have passed to the local government, or whoever bought the assets of the library. My general advice would be to contact the library if they still exist; if they don't exist but there's another institution that's clearly related (ie, there is no public library in village X any more, but there is still a system of public libraries in the county), then write to them.
If the book was borrowed by you, then yes, you definitely owe them the fine and the book (but in practice, they'll almost certainly not charge you for it). If it was borrowed by someone else, they owe the fine, but they should not have disposed of the book - you should still give it back, or at least make a reasonable attempt to do so! Andrew Gray (talk) 16:27, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
It's a book I inherited, which was last checked out in 1972. They might have very well given it away. It was actually a small, private library, for nurses working at a particular hospital (I imagine they read the books on their breaks). But, it's a valuable book (a "first printing" of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood), so I'd like to sell it, if I have the legal right to do so). BTW, I assume "first printing" is the same as "first edition". Am I correct ? StuRat (talk) 16:45, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
In that case they're likely to have no practical record of it - you're faced with the unfortunate dilemma of the wrong thing which will never be noticed or the right thing which involves drawing attention to it :-). I do know of cases where a library still exists, has become aware of material which it owns but had lost for years being sold, and taken steps to get ownership of it again...
Of course, the book may well have been discarded or given away, or indeed sold by the library itself; small informal libraries tend to be fairly lax about actually marking things withdrawn. (If it was withdrawn, then there's no presumption of ownership and it's fair game). It's all a bit vague, and without actually asking them you can't really say.
(And first printing = first print-run of first edition; editions can go through many print runs, and strictly speaking just means that particular setup of type, etc.) Andrew Gray (talk) 17:11, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
Just as a note, in terms of collectability, the fact that it's an ex-library copy is relevant and could impact its value. --some jerk on the Internet (talk) 19:53, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
Would that decrease it's value ? StuRat (talk) 08:30, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
I would simply contact the library and explain the situation. They may not want it back. They have only so much room, after all. If the book is important to you, offer a donation, although do not be so gauche as to make it like you are paying for the book.--Wehwalt (talk) 20:37, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
Problem is, this was 41 years ago, so I doubt if the informal library still exists or even if anyone who worked there then still does. StuRat (talk) 08:30, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Overlook, Portland, Oregon aka Swan Island[edit]

Does anyone know where I can find a history of Swan Island prior to the industrialization of the regions? I want to know about the indigenous settlers or land usage in the area, specifically that area, the island itself, not adjacent lands or islands unless of course the history mentions that they used the island for hunting, etc. Also the European settling of the island region, I know there are history of the settling of Portland itself, but I need specifics on that area and that island during this period. I already know about this http://www.oregonencyclopedia.org/entry/view/swan_island/ .--170.140.214.104 (talk) 16:15, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

I can't find anything online, but The Oregon Historical Society might be able to help. Alansplodge (talk) 17:34, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
Portland in Three Centuries describes Native American settlement of the Willamette valley, but no mention of Swan Island I'm afraid. Alansplodge (talk) 17:49, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
Which Native American tribe lived in that area (the lower reaches of the Willamette)?--170.140.105.14 (talk) 22:52, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
Please read the linked article, pages 11 to 14. Alansplodge (talk) 23:49, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

International Resistance Day[edit]

According to this Russian source, on April 10 there is an International WWII Resistance Day, but surprisingly I couldn't find any English reference for it at all (although Russian Google returns many hits for that day). What's the proper name? Brandmeistertalk 16:22, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

I found an article about Partisan Struggle and Resistance Movement Day in Russia on 29 June 2010, being the anniversary of the first day of Operation Barbarossa. No luck with 10 April yet. Alansplodge (talk) 18:45, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Gym memberships[edit]

How do gym membership fees work? Does everyone pay something different? Do they have standard monthly rates? Why do they have sales advisors to discuss options? 90.212.191.218 (talk) 17:30, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Depending on the gym, they may have initiation fees that can be waived in some situations, or classes that require an extra fee, or special equipment that requires an extra fee, and there may be a discount for long-term membership. This list is probably not exhaustive. Looie496 (talk) 17:39, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
For question 2, the answer is surely yes. Adding to Looie: in my local gym, there are discounts for people who only go on normal working hours. And extra fees for people who want to use any outlet of the chain or the sauna. OsmanRF34 (talk) 22:12, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
In my (American) experience, there is a monthly fee, plus a "sign up fee" (often waived as part of an effort to pressure you to sign up on the spot — "we can only waive it the first time you're in here..."). The monthly fees sometimes vary depending on different types of discounts (many gyms have special student or teacher rates, and there are probably other categories as well that qualify, depending on the gym). There are sometimes different levels of membership which entitle one to take special classes or not (e.g. instructor-led yoga). There are sometimes different levels of membership which allow one to different facilities (e.g. pool fees) and services (e.g. towel service). In other words, it varies quite a lot on the whole, depending on the gym. As for the sales advisors, most gyms do a very "hard sell" approach — very high pressure, very "sign up now or sign up never", things like that. Not all gyms, but a lot of the standard gym chains do it this way, with the knowledge that most people who sign up for a gym account never use it, but continue to pay the monthly fee. So they really, really want you to sign up for that, and are willing to waive all sorts of other fees if it locks you in. It's part of the business model. --Mr.98 (talk) 23:45, 10 April 2013 (UTC)


I saw a brilliant business model for a gym once, somewhere in central London. They charge a ridiculously above-market-rate monthly fee, but heavily discount each time you visit. So incentivising you to use the gym you've signed up to. The kind of city boys they were aiming at seemed to like the gambling-like proposition. --Dweller (talk) 13:26, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

did immigrants to the united states ever have to renounce their previous citizenship?[edit]

My great grandfather immigrated to the united states from Greece and I'm wondering if he would have been forced to renounce his Greek citizenship. this would have been between the years of 1910 and 1930. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Youbringtheocrn (talkcontribs) 17:37, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Immigrating doesn't constitute becoming a citizen. You have to apply to be a US citizen after certain years of residency. It depends on if your great grandfather applied for citizenship or not. If he did there would be the question of dual citizenship. It seems US laws historically did not required naturalized citizens to renounce citizenships of another country only allegiance to it in the oath which doesn't constitute a legal renounciation of citizenship. Current Greek laws allow for dual citizenship but I am not sure about the laws during the time of the monarchy. See History of laws concerning immigration and naturalization in the United States.--The Emperor's New Spy (talk) 18:00, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
It appears that U.S. citizens are allowed to hold dual citizenship since the 1795 U.S. Supreme Court case of Talbot v. Janson. Futurist110 (talk) 21:45, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

Nevada Corporation Privacy[edit]

There are a lot of sources that talk about Nevada being a convenient place to incorporate under because of Nevada not having company owners listed as a matter of public record, but that doesn't make sense to me. Wouldn't the owners need to be in the articles of incorporation for the company, and aren't the articles of incorporation a matter of public record? Bakmoon (talk) 21:03, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

We have an article on Nevada corporation, but I believe your question is more related to the term "piercing the corporate veil" (a court rules that a company's owners are liable for the actions of their corporation), which Nevada has strong protections against compared to other U.S. states. Generally speaking, the company's owners do not necessarily have to be the same people as the board of directors or the company officers. Nevada does not record the company's owners, just the initial directors and officers, and the registered agent -- the people actually running the business. Although courts are reluctant to hold owners liable for actions that are legally the responsibility of their corporation, some jurisdictions tend to be lenient in certain situations and will hold the owners responsible. So if someone wants to sue a Nevada company, and "pierce the corporate veil" to also get money from the owners, they'll have a harder time because Nevada won't be able to supply the owners' names (assuming they are not also an officer or on the board of directors). IMO, basically what Nevada is simply saying: "Come join our corporate haven: We do not really care who owns the car, just the people in the driver's seat". Zzyzx11 (talk) 03:14, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
I know about the part about piercing the corporate veil, but my interest is more about how Nevada prides itself on not requiring companies to disclose their owners. I just don't see how that makes sense when they would have to be listed in the articles of incorporation in order to get initial stock in the company. Bakmoon (talk) 15:38, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
Your assumption is incorrect. Stockholders do not have to be listed in the articles of incorporation in order to get initial stock, either in Nevada or in most other states. John M Baker (talk) 16:03, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. That's just the kind of answer I like to hear. Bakmoon (talk) 17:50, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

clearing up some issues[edit]

The other day, I tried to ask a question on the Entertainment Reference Desk. I suddenly began having technical difficulties with my computer. Eventually, everything was straightened out. But I got a warning from Shadowjams about posting an inappropriate joke. I tried to explain everything to Shadowjams. So far, no response. What's the best thing to do now?142.255.103.121 (talk) 21:20, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Give money to charity, pet your dog, tell people you love that you love them, and don't worry about what happens on some stupid website. Seriously, everyone will have forgotten any real or imagined slights unless you drag them up or do daft things repeatedly. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 21:43, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
According to your list of edits, you have already contacted Shadowjams. He will see your message the first time he logs in. OsmanRF34 (talk) 22:15, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Religions with an evil creator[edit]

Any one? OsmanRF34 (talk) 21:33, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Sounds like you're asking for opinions, not facts; this could get quite inflammatory. I can think of plenty religions started as a deliberate scam (= evil), but obviously adherents to that religion will disagree. - Lindert (talk) 21:45, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
I didn't mean an evil founder, but religions who believe in an evil creator god. OsmanRF34 (talk) 22:02, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
Theistic Satanism (as opposed to atheistic Satanism). Clarityfiend (talk) 22:37, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
I think you're looking for misotheism and, for an evil creator specifically, demiurge. הסרפד (call me Hasirpad) (formerly R——bo) 22:38, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
Zoroastrianism#Creation_of_the_universe. RNealK (talk) 22:58, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
Most of the Gnostic sects feature an evil creator or demiurge, such as Yaldabaoth. - Nunh-huh 02:46, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Self[edit]

Should self-published books always be avoided on pedia? I have come accross self-published works by notable authors with expert content. From my perspective self-published work can be good at times. Pass a Method talk 21:56, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

There are a few self-published works that will probably pass WP:RS muster (Edward Tufte, for example). For specifics, Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard is the appropriate venue to discuss them; if you think the current policy is inappropriate then Wikipedia:Village pump (policy) is the right venue. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 22:03, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
Self-publishing is losing its bad name, slowly. And there are a couple of notable novels which were self-published. However many journals with nice sounding names (like 'journal of such and such' or 'international review of') accept any article, provided they author pays the fee (which is a couple of thousand). I don't see how this can be a reliable source. OsmanRF34 (talk) 22:07, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
For other examples of self-published books that are highly reliable, consider Publish-or-Perish Press, which was basically a way for Michael Spivak to self-publish very high quality math texts (starting in 1967, so the idea that good stuff can be self published is not especially new to mathematicians). SemanticMantis (talk) 20:23, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
The major thing that makes a self-published book okay is evidence of use as a reliable source by other reliable sources, i.e. that other people acknowledge that the writer is an expert in the area. Dmcq (talk) 09:51, 15 April 2013 (UTC)