Talk:George W. Bush/Archive 22

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MONGO's old tricks

Mongo just rv'ed yesterday's work on the first paragraph. Numerous editors contributed to it, Mong apparently didn't like it, so he reverted. MONGO - will you please either edit constructively or not at all? You are not the arbiter of what is and isn't 'correct'. If your revert attempt fails, will you arbitrarily return the TotallyDisputed tag, because you're unhappy? -- RyanFreisling @ 15:10, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I reverted to an earlier edition...that's all. It was my opinion that the current edition was POV. I stated when I removed the NPOV tag that I agreed that the edition at that time was the most neutral version yet. The introduction then changed and I decided to revert it. I have just as much right to edit this page as you do. That we are disagreeing is the reason we have a discussion 00:12, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Your right to edit isn't what I took issue with. I will welcome the first non-destructive edit that you make with great fanfare. Until then, you haven't demonstrated any actual editing at all. Reverting is easy. Thinking is hard. -- RyanFreisling @ 00:19, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Quoted from an earlier statement you made:

"By the way, I am not an editor of noteworthy major contributions to this article. -- RyanFreisling @ 20:49, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)"'s hard for anyone to assume good faith when all I see as your contributions are an effort to attack the editors.--MONGO 18:32, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I recommend that you take your own advice - don't look to pick a fight. What few contributions I have made have been contributions to clarity, readability and POV of passages I found wanting, not deletion of facts I found inconvenient. Which is what I described your actions as - deletion based on personal POV. I did not mean to pick a fight with you, but is that what I have achieved? If so, I apologize. -- RyanFreisling @ 18:52, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Apology accepted.--MONGO 06:14, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I have edited fairly and have added neutral content and have been doing so for months now...don't pick a fight here for no reason.--MONGO 05:56, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I have reverted the second paragraph to a version that has stood for some time. Specifically, the paragraph is from the version of 03:39, 15 Apr 2005 by User:RyanFreisling. The edit and revert wars are getting a bit old. This paragraph is an introduction and this version conveys the necessary information. Details should be included in other section and articles. Carbonite | Talk 15:36, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The is some merit in mentioning that the popular vote was not gained but that the election was won nonetheless. Many users come from countries where the president is elected by popular vote only, and such informations might not come intuitively to their minds. The very same piece of information is extremely valuable on the article about Abraham Lincoln, for instance. Rama 15:48, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
We must mention this information in the article, for all the reasons you mentioned and more. However, the introduction is not the place for details. The introduction has been refined by dozens of editors over many months (since the 2004 election). It's finally reached what I consider to be a "stable" state. There really should be strong consensus for any changes to the introduction since edit and revert wars inevitably ensue. Carbonite | Talk 15:58, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Absolutely agreed. This article is probably a good example of those which would be better off with preliminary discussions on the talk page. Rama 20:02, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Indeed - or at least, parallel discussions... -- RyanFreisling @ 20:37, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Please, no arguing. There's no need. Fix the artical, make it unbiased (as much as possible). The whole point of Wikipedia is that NOBODY is better, NOBODY made the page, it's a communal effort. We can all make it right if we stop arguing. --SuperWiki 01:19, May 13, 2005 (UTC)


I noticed in:

Of the $2.4 trillion budgeted for 2005, about $401 billion [1] are planned to be spent on defense. This level is generally comparable to the defense spending during the cold war. [2]

that the last graphic linked to, [3], may be usefull in the foreign policy or domestic policy article. I would guess that it's fairuse, does anyone know o have any insight into the legal status of it? Kevin Baastalk 14:37, 2005 Apr 17 (UTC)

Page length

As I'm sure you're aware of, this page is now about twice as long as the recommended size. I think both the foreign and the domestic policy could, and should, be trimmed down to about the same size as the other sections. The relevant sub-pages already exist, and from a quick look, seems to have more or less the same wording. In the domestic section, sub-headers are a bit over-used I think, with some headlines followed by just one or two sentences. Fornadan 08:04, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I agree about the foreign and domestic sections. Does anyone third this? I think the key is that, in the main article, these sections should have just enough info on each item to let you know of its existence. All the detail that might lead someone to form an opinion on that item belongs in the sub article. Take tax cuts for example. I think it's enough in the main article to say "there were these changes/cuts to the tax brackets, XYZ, passed in ABC. These changes are the source of controversy. See subarticle" If you try to put in enough in the main article for each issue so that some sort of opinion might be formed (rather than just enough knowledge to know that there's an issue worth knowing more about), you'll get a very long article.-- 18:13, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I would say that trimming would not be inappropriate, but i'd be much more conservative in the trimming. i'd dispute that "detail" (i wouldn't call it detail) that might lead someone to know what the hell is being talked about other than "taxes", for instance, which they couldn't figure out just by reading the section header's one word: "taxes", should be kept.
I don't think that "twice the recommended size" is all that bad. this is an article about a prominent politician, and thus should be expected to be much bigger than average (the so-called "recommended size") - one should expect the article sizes to vary, and we shouldn't hold their length to some rigorous dogmatic standard, but rather use reason to determine an optimal length. they should be at an approximate information density, comparable to that of articles of the same or similiar type (such as other prominent politicians). and the lenght of the article, in any case, should be determined with respect to the reader - what the reader would find preferable. (thus, info. density is a usefull measure).
in the end i wouldn't expect the foreign and domestic sections to be trimmed down to the same size as the other sections. they are clearly the most important sections, with the most interesting info, and should by that be expected to be the biggest sections. (see Wikipedia:NPOV tutorial) Kevin Baastalk 18:34, 2005 Apr 18 (UTC)
I agree with Kevin that we shouldn't trim sections down to a point where they merely let the reader know of a daughter article's existence. If a particular topic is spun off to a new daughter article, or if one already exists, this article should nevertheless retain a summary, so that a reader can get the most important information without having to chase it down through several other articles. The "recommended" page length is based on concerns about browser capacity that many editors think are outmoded, anyway. JamesMLane 19:18, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)
We might be in agreement, might not. The question is, what is a summary? Taking the tax example, I'd consider the summary to be a description of the actual changes, time limits, and who voted for and against. Then all the info about who says the changes were bad or good, and the detailed reasoning of these people's arguments, goes in the daughter article.-- 02:01, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I don't see any "detailed reasoning" in there. Kevin Baastalk 15:51, 2005 Apr 19 (UTC)
You are correct. I was mentally going off an older version of that section as an example - hadn't looked at it for while.-- 02:01, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

his skin is rather green...

Is his skin supposed to be green, or is Firefox (Linux ver) rendering it improperly? It's very weird, I see no hint of this on the image's own History page. -- 06:21, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I heard that Linux Firefox has a hidden feature that makes George's skin green...

HAHAHA holy @#*! you are right!! I copied the URL in Firefox, and pasted it in Konqueror, and the image showed up just fine. That's one of the funniest easter eggs (or whatever) I've seen yet. -- 02:44, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
...nevermind. In Firefox I was viewing a cached page from this morning. -- 02:48, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I wasn't being serious, but for some reason my IE is not displaying any image (firefox is fine). Weird

What are you all talking about??! I am using the most recent version of Mozilla Firefox, and everything appears to be fine!

43rd (not 42nd) President of the United States

There have been precisely 41 men who were president of the United States before George W. Bush, therefore he is the 42nd president. For more information on the matter, please visit the discussion page for Grover Cleveland: [4]

That is so, but, but Grover Cleveland is counted twice because of his split presidency. Bush's is the 43rd Presidency in sequence and it is not up to Wikipedia to unilaterally redefine the way Presidents are counted. -- Cecropia | explains it all ® 19:30, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Depending on how one chooses to define "presidency," it may be true that Bush's is the 43rd. However, he is still only the 42nd person to be president. To say that it is not up to Wikipedia to "redefine" the way presidents are counted is to say that Wikipedia should be restricted to an illogical adherence to the orthodoxy. It would probably be beneficial to include a note somewhere on the page about the orthodox (in my opinion wrong) system of numbering U.S. presidents.
If this issue drags on too much longer, we'll have a new entry for Wikipedia:Lamest edit wars ever. To the anon who tried to change Bush's order: the commonly accepted practice is to count Cleveland twice. If you don't like that, talk to the Library of Congress. sɪzlæk [ +t, +c ] 03:48, Apr 22, 2005 (UTC)
"Lamest edit war ever"? I think it's refreshing to have a dispute here which doesn't involve the question of whether Bush is a monkey, a moron, a war criminal, or all three. -- Cecropia | explains it all ® 05:05, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Correct it, or "redefine" while stating the history that lead a deinition to go astray. I find the counting point very appropriate for wiki, and as Cercopia says, "very refreshing". The counting of Clevland twice is NOT correct simply because his termS were devide. The count is a listing of "people who have been President of the United States", and not a count of terms as in Cleavlend. Otherwise, we would have a list counting for all four year terms..... all of you know how this argument goes on and on.
Although the Library of Congress does it, that doesn't make it correct. Wikipedia is absolutely the place to correct such an issue otherwise locked up because "the Library of Congress does it." we can say something as simple as "George W. Bush is the 42nd person to serve as the President of the United States of America (Grover Cleveland is counted as one person because he was)" The bracketed statement can be dropped by some future generation, when they see how silly the debate was for the Library of Congress. IF NOT, then we should correct the other part of the phrase and call it a counting of Administrations, "GWB, President of the 43 Administration." or some such. your thoughts? TTLightningRod
Any reasonable editor in the universe would have it read 'George Bush is the 43rd President of the United States', which is simple and factually correct. The Cleveland split presidency, which is an interesting historical fact despite being completely irrelevant to this President's article, would either be mentioned on EVERY biographical article on EVERY former 20th century President, or not at all (except on Cleveland's own article, if useful). It is a matter of public record that associates of President Bush, the Secret Service, etc., all refer to him commonly as '43' (in part in comparison to his father, '41'). Clearly, in the context of this President's article, this is indeed a (potential) candidate for Wikipedia:Lamest edit wars ever.
Let's do what President Bush at does:
"Biography of Grover Cleveland, the twenty-second (1885-1889) and twenty-fourth (1893-1897) President of the United States." [5] -- RyanFreisling @ 17:23, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)
It is frightening to think that the "simple solution" to this problem is: "let's just take what the U.S. government says as fact."
It is frightening to think that you think that was the premise of my post. I'd read it more like "You'd have to have some serious issues to think this anything worth this kind of attention (see Wikipedia:Lamest edit wars ever)."
I pointed to the GWB web site not because I believe it promulgates fact (in fact, in my opinion it does little of the kind). I posted it to point out that the current President sees himself as '43' and Cleveland as 22 and 24. This fact is fact, whether the government thinks so or not - but I imagine you know that, and this ridiculous persistence of this ridiculous tangent is due to a misdosage of obsessive/compulsive disorder medication. -- RyanFreisling @ 20:45, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Let us please not turn an intellectual discussion into a personal one. If you truly deem this issue not worthy of attention, it would be only logical for you not to pay it any.
If you are going to grossly misrepresent my point as some sort of pro-government conformity, I will respond to attempt to make what should be clear, clearer. I'll also add that you should probably create an account (and sign your posts) if you want to make a substantive impact here (we welcome you)! I'd also add that you may not want to 'start at the bottom' as you do here, on such an utterly mindless tangent. -- RyanFreisling @ 21:32, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The answer is quite simple. If five people enter a room, then I enter it, I was the sixth person to enter the room. If I then leave, and someone else enters it, and I go back in, am I still the 6th person? But I'm also the 8th person?

While only 7 individuals have entered the room, the room has been entered 8 times. Therefore, while I can only be the 6th person to enter the room (since I am only one person, I can't be two people), I was the 6th and 8th entry into the room. Cleveland was the 22nd man to be president, he can't be both 22nd and 24th since he's only one perosn; but, he was the 22nd president, but then someone else was the 23rd president, and then he was the 24th president. He was the 22nd and 24th entry into the room. --Golbez 07:27, Apr 24, 2005 (UTC)

There is a difference between an "entry" and an "entrant." In this analogy, Bush would have had the 43rd entry (or entrance), but he would have been the 42nd entrant. If this is not clear, please consult a dictionary.
Patently incorrect, your attempt at snark notwithstanding. If there can only be one unique 'entrant' at any time, and each time one 'enters' one is entering a different (non-consecutive, non-2nd term) presidency (as Cleveland did), then Bush is indeed 43 and Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th. If Cleveland's second term had been consecutive, Bush would be called '42'. -- RyanFreisling @ 21:35, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Hi folks. I have to admit I assumed that 43rd meant that there were 42 distinct people before him. (Not that I really cared that much.) But here's a suggestion: why not link "43rd" to an article about how Presidents of the United States are counted. There's enough interesting stuff in this debate alone to form the the basis for one. Ben Arnold 00:32, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

President of the United States already explains that. And folks, look at it from a historical perspective: You're living back then. Cleveland was the 22nd president. Someone else was the 23rd president. Then Cleveland is re-elected - what do the press of the time call him? The 22nd president again? After the 23rd? --Golbez 00:51, Apr 25, 2005 (UTC)
I like Ben's idea. Given that President of the United States is 52k long, it won't do harm to refactor a bit. Pcb21| Pete 09:55, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Or just do what any other encyclopedia or reference work would do: use a footnote. Have 43rd used in the main body but footnote down to a sentence that explains that it is common practice to count Cleveland twice, [ref1], [ref2]... — Asbestos | Talk 10:00, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Here's what's now in President of the United States:
Stephen Grover Cleveland had two non-consecutive terms as President, and is counted both as the 22nd and the 24th President, as can be confirmed from the list above. Consequently, all subsequent Presidents who are referred to as "the <n>th President of the United States" are actually the <n-1>th person to hold the office. E.g., George W. Bush, 43rd President, is actually the 42nd person to be President.
Removing that from the article won't make much of a dent in 52k, especially after you leave behind enough of an explanatory note to make the wikilink meaningful. Nor would it make much of an article on its own. Footnoting even Bush's article, let alone more than a dozen others (and all future Presidents' articles), would be unnecessary clutter. It's better to have this minor point stated once, in the President of the United States article, which is already wikilinked in the individual articles. JamesMLane 11:41, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Disgusting Page

This is one of the worst pages in Wikipedia. And it has been that way for a long while. We should not allow this page to be a wastebin of dogmatism until another more controversial political topic hits.

What I find worst isn't that this page has anti-Bush rhetoric--that belongs here. It's that the rhetoric is poorly structured! Suppose I want to find out about scandals under the Bush administration? There are none listed! Suppose I want to find about criticisms and rebuttal? None listed again! If I read through the entire article--which is too long--I'd get a vague impression that some editors like Bush and some hate him, but that's not what we're trying to do.

1) Shorten the article.

2) Make the structure neutral. I would suggest doing this by copying the common parts of the structure from the Clinton, Bush Sr., and Reagan pages. (They look markedly different than Bush Jr.'s page--they look professional, not amateurish.)

3) Move all controversial negativity into "scandals" and "criticism" sections. Right now, you can't find out what scandals have occured or what his critics allege. Just as bad, you can't find out what policies he supports--the policy sections are filled with criticisms! For instance, the Armstrong Williams scandal merits at most one short sentence in the "Education Policy" section--with the rest in a section on "scandals"--yet from the table-of-contents it isn't obvious that any scandal occured (Williams and CBS's Memogate come to mind). This will both make the article more neutral as well as helping viewers navigate. As another example, the section on "Science Policy" opens with criticisms by the Union of Concerned Scientists. That tells me nothing about Bush's policy other than some people don't like it. This should be moved to criticisms. Likewise for the commentary on environmentalists' opinions on Mr. Bush. Negative parts that are not controversial--such as "Bush argued for waging war with Iraq" (war is never a good thing, just maybe the lesser of two evils)--can stay.

Seeing as edits are being reverted on a minute-by-minute basis (every 15 minutes this past day), I doubt any of this will be fixed. I suspect the article will remain crap, and that's a shame, an opprobrium on all our records, and a bad mark for Wikipedia. Rather than following my suggestions, I hope this generates a discussion about what can be done to fix the article. I encourage people to attack Mr. Bush! I encourage them to defend him! I can't stand it when this is done while describing his stance on the issues.

So, my two questions to everyone:

1) How can this page be shortened?

2) What sections should exist, and how much of the page should be devoted to each? (Perhaps Personal Biography, Political Biography, Presidential Campaign, Presidency, list of Legislation, Cabinet, Domestic Policy, Foreign Policy, Scandals--at least Williams and Memogate should be here--and Criticisms.) Where should there be a positive tone? Where should there be a negative tone? Most world leaders on Wikipedia seem to get a positive tone up until the Scandals and Criticisms section, and even then the Criticism section allows for rebuttal.

Do whatever you want. I give up on this page.

I wrote the above a little bit ago. First off, nice things: Wikipedia is fantastic! All the more reason to bring this article up to snuff. Second, the revert war means it's no use for me (or most anyone) to participate until the natives settle down. That's a shame.
  • Article rewrite: We mostly agree that the article needs to be shortened and redone. We also agree that doing this in userspace will not work without God writing it himself on stone tablets (and even then, the atheists would complain). That's why I still think we should agree on the layout and assign page space explicitly.
  • We won't be able to satisfy his fans and enemies at the same time. That's why I still think we should make the top part be just positive descriptions of what he has done, and the bottom part scandals and criticisms. He deserves the benefit of the doubt until we can look back on him (2009). Furthermore, the criticisms are not effective when they sound like rants rather than valid criticisms.
  • I think we should put a disclaimer that this page is organized into a section discussing Bush's policies and accomplishments as the administration would see it and a section critiqueing his presidency.
  • This article should probably remain tagged POV until 2009. I can't imagine that what I find NPOV won't be POV for a lot on the left and right.
What I like most about this approach is that an agreed upon layout and page space along with a top half and bottom half mean that Bush supporters as well as detractors will fight to make their halves better. Furthermore, we'll get prioritization--the detractors will put factual scandals first ("The administration paid commentators to report fake news") and stupid criticisms last ("Bush sucks the blood of still-born minority babies"). Supporters will put his big accomplishments first (national solidarity after Sept 11, tax cuts, amazingly competent political management of elections and cabinet, fixing NASA, etc.) first, and stupid blathering last ("Bush redeemed America in the eyes of Jesus after Clinton sodomized the country.") Better yet, by agreeing a priori on page space, the dumb ones will be left out. I propose that 50-60% be positive, 20-30% criticisms, and the remaining 20-30% neutral (this would be most of the article up to "Presidency"). The "Presidency" section begins biased, criticizing Bush for being honest about not sending Kyoto to the Senate while condoning Clinton for not saying he would, and even worse discussing the Kyoto treaty as a cure-all whose American rejection should shame all Americans. (I applaud Bush's candor though I think Kyoto does more good than harm.)
Does anyone have a better way to go about this, or shall it begin? -- James
  • Good points, but can't you say anything nicely? Gee! This is a ramble about how crap everyone here is, and how wrong we are, and it finishes with a request for help. As for your "I give up on this page", how does that help anyone? Harro5 07:34, Apr 24, 2005 (UTC)
Problems are it involves a current event about a current President of the United States, unlike Clinton and Reagan...many here wish to villianize Bush and others wish to support him. The elections for both of his Presiencies were both close and in the first case, open to much controversy which is covered ad nauseum in connected articles. I would like to refrain from "scandals" in an effort to be more fact based but if there are indeed scandals, a sentence or two of discussion and a link to a major article is long as the scandals are noteworthy and can be researched without dwelving into poorly referenced tabloidish junk journalism.--MONGO 08:32, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • My apologies for archiving. Anyway, I would suggest the following: somebody should do a total rewrite in user-space, and then announce it here and on the pump. After everyone gets a good look at it and discusses it, import that version wholesale. Note that I'm not volunteering--I've got neither the time nor the inclination for this sort of thing ,being much more of a stub-starter and all. Meelar (talk) 08:28, Apr 24, 2005 (UTC)
I don't think it's a sensible use of anyone's time to do a whole new version without a clear idea of whether anyone supports the proposed approach. I, for one, don't agree with creating a "Scandals and criticism" section that's essentially a free-fire zone on Bush. Instead, each section should address its particular topic (Bush's business career, his administration's environmental policies, etc.) according to the NPOV policy, fairly presenting all notable points of view. JamesMLane 09:21, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I agree here with JamesMLane and MONGO: Let's not make the pivotal subjects here "positive" and "negative", lets make the pivotal subjects policies and so forth, and have those policies, with their advantages and drawbacks, supports and criticisms, etc, be discussed. A few points on this:
  • The point of the article is not "Bush: good or bad?" - and that certainly does'nt help one to understand anything about him. One needs questions that are a little but more articulate/discursive, philosophical, empirical, and less sentimental.
  • the criticisms and support refer not to bush in general, but to the specific policies, and so they belong where they are to naturally speak
  • same as above, for the reader: were one debating the criticisms/support, they would do it in concerns the particular policy, and were one interested in a particular aspect/policy, and all the relevant info, one would look for that and want to find it all together.
  • If people come solely looking to bash or praise bush, too bad, i don't see why we should make it easy for them to polarize instead of learning. If people want to learn about the particulars and the issues and discussions surrounding them, that's different. maybe they'll learn something, maybe they'll change their opinion, or at least understand the other side.
  • In general, provided the point is not to criticize or laud the person, but to understand him and the issues surrounding him in a coherent, organized, articulate ("jointed") way, and provided, also, that what is important is not whether he is innately "bad" or "good" in total, but the virtues and vices of each particular policy/decision, so should the article be written.
  • It has been said that the policies should be known, well povs regarding the policies are relevant materials for those sections, whether they be critical or supportive. POVs discussing the same topic should not be arbitrariy separated - there is no "separate but equal" on wikipedia.
  • And finally, this is not a competition between people, and sure as h*ll should not become one. This is far more serious. This is about policies and so forth. Don't mix politics and sports. Bad idea. when you do that, one team wins and one team loses. in politics, that's considered a failure. Problems don't get solved by personal attacks on each other (contrary to what some politicians seem to think.) Problems get solved by dicussing the virtues and vices of policies, so that one knows the virtues and vices of policies - and whats going to happen when they are enacted, so that the ones with more virtues than vices can be enacted. if that means "losing", then losing is success. The last thinkg anyone needs is a politician with an ego problem - one that puts their ego before the general well-being. And lets not make wikipedia a medium for such abject competitions. Let's make the political articles about politics. Kevin Baastalk 16:23, 2005 Apr 24 (UTC)
  • It is being quietly discussed in some psychology circles that the current President of the United States, George W. Bush, suffers from a phenomenon coined as malignant egophrenia. A contagious competition of "ego", fighting for dominance among his immediate cabinet and the population at large, with escalating intensity. Eri5n 01:13, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
So what? Could it be the end of the world? Most of those that rise to the position of leading a nation are probably going to suffer from some form of egomania....can you show that Bush has a currently heightening level of "malignant egophrenia" with his current cabinet the public or other world leaders? I would say that much has happened as of late on his part to "patch things up" with the leaders of France and Germany...which in my opinion is a fine example of a true gentleman especially since those two leaders in my eyes are complete assholes unworthy of any apology for anything.--MONGO 06:59, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Whether we agree with this "egophrenia" thesis is immaterial. Whether we find it politically helpful or harmful to think ill of Bush is immaterial. All that really matters is that, according to Eri5n, this subject is being only "quietly" discussed. We can't deal with off-the-record comments. If something more substantive emerges, let us know and we can discuss whether it deserves mention in the article. JamesMLane 07:43, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

i dont hate him, but i think his history of drug abuse should be added Gabrielsimon 11:51, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)NEW CATEGORY

Claim of assistance by HW Bush

Can Orz or the anonymous poster please point me to supporting information regarding your claim that W Bush was admitted to Harvard only due to his father's connections? I am unaware of these findings. - Tεxτurε 17:44, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Wow, this is a dumb argument. Most of the Ivy League schools have "legacy" admission policies still, and they were much stronger back then. Of course Bush was admitted in part due to his father's connections. Seeing as he became president, it is also clear that Harvard made the right choice. You don't need evidence or citations for something like this, but then again it doesn't belong in this article. It's more mud-throwing at Mr. Bush. Legacy admissions could be listed under the criticisms for the Ivy League.
To Texture:
Please refer to the Salon article from September 16, 2004 written by Yoshi Tsurumi, a former professor of George W. Bush at Harvard University. On the web, such information can be found at -- Orz
Again, Salon is well known as being a poor referencing choice for an encyclopedic article. In all liklihood though his daddy did make the difference, but I would like to see a more substantive source for the allegation.--MONGO 01:08, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Alright mongo, what would be the most substantive source, in your opinion, for such an allegation? Kevin Baastalk: new 02:28, 2005 Apr 27 (UTC)
Well, if it was an official statement from the White House that would be nice, but I'll settle for a more prominent less sensationalist and more neutral referencing choice...surely you of all people can find it.--MONGO 03:12, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I can think of much more first-hand sources than something as indirect as the White House. if i'm a parent, and i want to know how my kid is doing in school, the first person that comes to mind is certainly not the president or the attorney general. i'm going to ask a teacher. the spends by far, the most amount of time with my child, and being aware of and able to provide that kind of information is essential to their specific role and responsiblity. their is no person more well positioned and trained to answer those sorts of questions than the teacher. If superman says one thing about my child, and both the supreme ruler of the universe and mickey mouse corroborate it, and the teacher says something contrary, i'm going to believe the teacher. why? because the teacher was actually there, firstly. also because it is their job to understand and interact with their students effectively. And i'm going to take the teachers word for it whether they are the most prominent person in the world or some hermit living in a cave that noone has ever heard of. The teacher, IMHO, by way of reason and common sense, is the most reliable witness of the performance and behavior of their student in their classroom. Kevin Baastalk: new 03:48, 2005 Apr 27 (UTC)
Kevin...say no to caffine.--MONGO 04:31, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)
If it were true I would support adding it. However, the only thing in the article close to what you claim is "Trading as usual on his father's connections, Bush entered Harvard in 1973 for a two-year program." That isn't proof of anything. No one will accept that little blurb.
There is more but it is as weak: "And he was such a bad student that I asked him once how he got in. He said, 'My dad has good friends.'"
"And he was such a bad student that I asked him once how he got in. He said, 'My dad has good friends.'" - you call that weak?! it's uncorroborated, sure, but there's nothing vague or ambiguous about it, which is what i get when you use the word "weak". Kevin Baastalk: new 20:04, 2005 Apr 26 (UTC)
Uncorroborated and heresay. To clarify, I call that weak for an encyclopedic article. - Tεxτurε 20:41, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
If it was just out of the blue/random, i'd be in perfect agreement with you, but all the premises are sound: he was a bad student (GPA and behavior : drinking and drugs), and his dad had a lot of connections. Furthermore, if you're familiar with his i-thought-i-was-off-the-mic elocution (mostly during his 1st campaign), you'd see that that's the kind of thing he'd say. It does need to be explained how he got into Harvard, and this provides a very reasonable explanation. Kevin Baastalk: new 20:50, 2005 Apr 26 (UTC)
The entire article is questionable as a source when it has biased statements such as this: "Read on for the full article. It is worth your time! And pass around this post as we need as many people as possible to understand our opponent....especially independents, moderate Republicans and unlikely voters."
Provide more if you want to keep such an inflammatory statement. - Tεxτurε 18:18, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Well if he didn't get into Harvard due to his father's connections, how do you explain a C-student with average SAT scores and little extra-curricular activity being selected to the most prestigious school in the country? Must have written one hell of an essay. --kizzle 22:07, Apr 26, 2005 (UTC)

Likewise, can anyone substantiate the claim that W Bush was "selected for the elite MBA program"? - Tεxτurε 17:51, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I detected a case of really bad manipulative writing: "His margin over Kerry of about 3 percent was the smallest popular vote margin for a re-elected President since Woodrow Wilson's 1916 victory.". In the same paragraph, just above, one can read: "In the 2004 election, Bush won a second term, an electoral majority, and also received 3.5 million popular votes more than his Democratic challenger, Senator John Kerry.". The manipulation is clear: 3 percent in 2004 is much more in the actual number of votes, than in 1916. --Vladko 04:38, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I don't see how this is manipulation. The number of votes and the percentage of votes are both numbers that people would reasonably consider. If you looked only at the number of votes, you'd conclude that Bush is more popular than George Washington was. JamesMLane 06:56, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Agreed. in voting systems, the percentage is what is relevant. for example, in congress, some things work by a simple majority (>50%), some things work by 2/3 vote, etc. On wikipedia VfD, consesus is approx. 80%. From an information theory perspective, which is perfectly appropriate, people want to determine the will of the voters. The "strength" of that signal is the percentage, the "reliability" of that signal is a function of the sample size and the total population (margin of error). Just like if a computer was sending another computer data over a noisy channel. The relevant question is what is the probability that any given person voted bush, versus the probability that any given person voted kerry, and that is determined by the percentage. Kevin Baastalk: new 07:46, 2005 Apr 29 (UTC)
(begin rant)
For encyclopedic usage, if a strong source cannot be used for claiming Bush got help from his dad, then it is questionable for inclusion. However, for any Bush supporters here I would *love* to hear your theories on how someone with sub-par grades, SAT scores, and extra-curricular activities, got into the best school in the nation on his own.
(end rant) --kizzle 21:04, Apr 29, 2005 (UTC)
Someone got into an Ivy League school because of who his daddy was?? Shocking! /sarcasm --Wgfinley 21:41, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Rewriting the page

If you are pro-Bush (Mongo?) or against him (RyanFreisling?), I ask you to please give fixing this article in an orderly fashion a chance. I proposed rewriting the page in the "Disgusting Page" post below (read that first if you haven't already). The only way I can see to move forward is to choose a layout, allocate space a priori, and separate the page into neutral history, policy as seen by the Bush administration, and criticism and scandal as seen by his detractors. The policy section should not be glowing praise--of course it should include Bush's deficit spending, his failures to seat judges, pass social security reform, and his passage of the Medicare bill. The criticisms section should likewise allow a short rebuttal for the highest-listed criticisms. (Bush's tax cuts benefit the rich => Bush's tax cuts lowered taxes for the poor and made the tax burden more equal percentagewise, or whatever.) History and Scandal should be non-controversial.

I encourage others to fill in the blanks left below. If others think this is a waste of time/space, please just ignore it. Sorry to be a bother. At least I don't fear being the least productive poster to this discussion page :)

-- James

The Layout So Far:

I took the current table of contents to start, but this should be changed. I especially dislike it when things like Faith-Based Initiatives, which have played a small part in policy but are controversial, are above Economy, Education, and Social Security, which have played a larger part in policy. -- James
Please, please, please, write over what I've laid out here. Flesh out details, but also add comments below bullet points as usual. Delete, edit, add. Try to respect others to some degree... I suggest you give a few days warning before deleting much of anyone else's text. -- James

Part 1: Pre-presidency and electoral history (20% of article)

This is currently about the right size -- James
  • Personal life, service and education
  • Business and early political career
  • Presidential campaigns

Part 2: Presidency and policy (50-60% of article)

This is currently too long -- James
Each of these sections must be changed to show the administration's positions. See Litmus Tests, below -- James
  • Years as President
  • Presidency
  • Foreign policy and security
  • Iraq
  • Military Spending
  • Political Ideology
  • Domestic policy
  • Faith-Based Initiatives
  • Diversity
  • Economy
  • Immigration
  • Social Security
  • Health
  • Education
  • Science
The vision for space should be kept, the rest mostly moved to criticisms. -- James
  • Cabinet
  • Cabinet: Makeup and composition
  • Other advisors and officials
  • Major legislation signed

Part 3: Criticisms and Scandal (20-30% of the article)

This is currently too short
Criticisms in the above sections should go here
  • Public perception and assessments
Outside the United States
  • Scandals
  • WMDs never found evidence of WMDs never found (Kevin Baastalk: new 05:53, 2005 May 1 (UTC))
  • CBS Memogate (not sure about CBS memogate, unless you mean Military service controversy --kizzle 17:36, May 1, 2005 (UTC))
  • Paying commentators to influence opinion / creating "fake news" films
  • Insider trading allegations (James, is this scandals section for his whole life, or only during presidency? --kizzle 17:36, May 1, 2005 (UTC))
  • Whisper campaign against John McCain--kizzle 17:36, May 1, 2005 (UTC)
  • Drug/Alcohol abuse--kizzle 17:36, May 1, 2005 (UTC)
  • Criticisms
  • Criticisms of Our President must, of course, be buried a minimum of 12 pages deep-- he is The World's President as well, haven't you heard? Criticizing any or all of his actions, thoughts, or alleged minor misdeeds is objectively pro-terrorist and punishable by extraordinary rendition.

Don't even think it. He's the greatest President(tm) of all time, hands down, bar none, quite probably the greatest world leader (nay human) our flawed planet has ever, could ever produce.

This article reflects these unassailable facts wonderfully.

Remember, the Neutral Point Of View restricts political hate speech (thoughts, acts, or deeds in any way critical of this shining, shimmering demigod or running contrary to the current plans of God's Republican Party)

Electronic voting is safe, Brodo 22:28, 9 May 2005 (UTC) (National ID Card #30920989082098-i8)

Attention - Your National ID Card has been recorded and you will be escorted to a re-education facility. Your assigned re-education facility is the 3rd Regional Ronald Reagan Memorial NewThink Training Center. (For your convenience soda machines only accept Ronald Reagan dimes.) Big Brother is your friend. - RegioSupeVser, Tεxτurε 22:36, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

Part 4: Appendix

  • See also
  • References
  • Selected further readings
This section should be cut into a few choice pro and con books. If not cut, at list split by bias (pro/neutral/con). A more exhaustive list can be better found on Amazon -- James
  • External links
  • Official
  • Transcripts

Litmus tests:

  • History: Must be citeable and non-controversial in several major news outlets (of course this isn't fair, but neither is history). For example, his alcoholism and DUI may merit a sentence, but allegations of draft dodging should go under criticisms or scandals (the scandal in question being, of course, not one critical of Bush, but rather CBS's memogate). Scandals should be reported in Scandals--this should be mostly positive.
  • Presidency and policy: The Bush Administration should be willing to approve of most of this. On the other hand, one-sentence callouts to controversy should be included. (The discussion of the Union of Concerned Scientists should be moved under "Criticisms" but also mentioned in a few words here.
  • Scandal: Similar as history, but must be scandalous. Rebuttal allowed. (E.g., WMDs not found => All three of the international spy networks, British, American, and Russian, expected to find WMDs. Clinton defended Bush's push to war.)
  • Criticisms: Anything critical is allowed as long as space limits are respected. Rebuttals must rebut a particular critique, be shorter than that critique (in letters and words), and be short in general (a sentence or two).
  • Appendix: The best of other sources, separated into pro/con/neutral where applicable


Insert other comments here or above
After posting this, I realized that Bush gets off way too lightly on the WMDs because they aren't listed currently as a specific scandal! I think following this restructuring will help firm up both the description of the administration's positions as well as making the criticism coherent (something the DNC has yet to manage). -- James
I've moved this to the bottom because talk pages are normally maintained in chronological order. As to the specifics: I'm against trying to fit the article into a pre-set Procrustean bed, in the form of a percentage allocation for each area. I'm also against segregating all criticisms into a separate section. The reader who wants to read about a particular topic area should find, in one place, the pro and con material related to that subject.
The article has been improved thus far through largely incremental edits. Its current form represents the work of so many people that a sweeping revision is unlikely to succeed. I suggest, instead, that you pick individual points from your critique and change the article accordingly. For example, if you think the Bush administration's position on some policy area isn't adequately presented, feel free to include more factual information about it (preferably with appropriate citations), rather than trying to move or delete criticisms. JamesMLane 08:20, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I would add that that's not to say that it you won't be able to do restructuring. just do non-restructuring edits first. then introduce one section more/new section/what have you at a time, starting with what you think would be the least controversial. there have been new sections and other larger changes, ofcourse, but they start off very unstable and it takes a while to the articles back in a consensus. in any case, it's probably a good idea to just get any small edits out of the way first, go from small to large; non-controversial to controversial. I'm saying this in agreement with james. Kevin Baastalk: new 08:40, 2005 Apr 30 (UTC)
Sorry about posting this at the top--I wasn't sure which way posts were sorted on talk pages so I assumed newest-at-top. I don't like having a set form for such an article, but I dislike the current state more. It is neither informative of Bush's policies nor informative of the criticisms. As for keeping pro/con together, ideally there would be one Truth which would dictate which Pros and Cons merit mention. But in reality, it's sketchy. If there are many petty criticisms (as it is now), it's too tough to pick out what he claims his policy is. Furthermore, it makes Wikipedia look obviously biased. If you look at Clinton's page, the pros and cons are mostly separated out. When not, it's by consensus.
I am not proposing a monolithic rewrite. Rather, I am proposing setting a framework now and doing incremental edits. Importantly, the Bush-haters and Bush-admirers will have a constructive role in the article. Bush-haters will be encouraged to prioritize criticisms and find more believable sources. Bush-admirers will be encouraged to prioritize accomplishments and find better explanations. Currently, the only roles each side seems to play are flooding the article with more text than the other side, deleting the other side's text, and fighting petty wars ("Didn't Harvard let him in because of his daddy (news flash: that's how Ivy League admissions work!)", "my sister's cousin's aunt's nephew says his psychoanalyst overheard her grocer explaining that Bush has malignant egophrenia. This means he thinks he's the leader of the free world--the nerve!", "is he the 43rd or the 42nd president of the US? Maybe we should unilaterally just label presidencies by year--Bush 2000, now with SpamGuard!"). All I'm asking is that we find a productive way to move forward. I don't care how. Until then, this article will continue to be trash, an embarrassment to Wikipedia.
One last note--this article is not neutral and won't be until 2009. It really should be marked as such. -- James
Talk about motivated, James... Let's see...I am not pro-Bush...I am a fact, I think Bush is currently the lameist lame duck President I have ever seen...he has accomplished nothing! Is he even showing up to work? Oil is through the roof...the stock market is flat...we are STILL in Iraq with zero mention of when the boys are coming home...his approval rating is falling...and he says he doesn't care (or that he doesn't worry about it)...I mean, if I did as little as he seems to be up to I would be terminated. What I am is in favor of writing a neutral, encyclopedic treatise on the far as I am concerned, the issues remain the same...I have a problem with "opinion" medical diagnosis's rendered from afar outside the scope of a normal doctor to client relationship...this is just opinion that doesn't warrant mention. I disgree with the manner in which the pet goat picture is displayed...the same picture appears in the article on Farenheit 911 and though it was from another is used in a disparaging manner by a known Bush hater (Michael Moore). You are right about his Harvard entry...a number of the "elite" get access there due to some endowment promised or for the celebrity of boasting about being the institution that educates the children of senators and Presidents....The drug and alcohol section finally became under control...I mean, all the silly innuendo was worthless after someone found the reference in which he essentially admits using drugs...what more has to be said on the matter? I would like someone with a better knowledhge of his business dealings than I have to correctly add and or edit that section.--MONGO 07:04, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
Trying to force people to prioritize, by means of artificial length limits, is a losing proposition. We really have to go at it piece-by-piece. If something trivial is included, discuss why it should be deleted. If something major is omitted, write it up and add it.
An example of this process is the extensive discussion we had about the drug and alcohol issues. MONGO wanted to remove the information, but most other people who commented thought it should stay, although there were many revisions in the presentation (for example, a video supposedly showed him drinking, but many of us agreed that that charge wasn't worth reporting). Now, however, despite the tenor of those discussions, an anon has deleted the material, without even mentioning it here (as far as I can tell). So, MONGO, it's not quite accurate to say that the section "finally became under conrol". It's more accurate to say that the information was totally suppressed with no reasoning being given. I am reinstating it, because I think that most editors considered it significant enough to be included. We already compromised by moving it out of its logical (chronological) place, because some people didn't want it to appear near the beginning of the article. JamesMLane 07:34, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
Well, see here we go again. I still fail to see what a bunch of opinion by Bush detractors have to offer as far as being encyclopedic when the answer to the question: did he do drugs is surmised in one or two paragraphs in which he essentially admits it as quoted by a reliable source. As far as when the anon deleted it...I hadn't looked at that section for a week or two so I am not familiar with that issue...I'll look at it again now.--MONGO 11:11, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
Factual reporting of opinions is encyclopedic, that's Wikipedia policy, and you "fail to see it" in the sense that you don't agree with it (or you want Bush to be given a free pass from the general standards applied throughout the project). As for Bush's admissions, I think it's worthwhile to be more precise about what he did and didn't admit. He didn't expressly admit to even marijuana use; his comments about cocaine were even more oblique. He did, however, deny the charge about the suppression of an arrest for cocaine possession. The version now in our article has lost considerable information about Hatfield's book, such as the specifics of his charge and his defense of it. I think that information merits inclusion, but, at a minimum, we need to present at least some additional detail about what Bush has and hasn't said, including what he has and hasn't denied, given that he's addressed the subject chiefly through implication. JamesMLane 11:33, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
James, that you think I am protecting Bush especially after my comments above is getting pretty old. I think my edit was NPOV, in that it didn't take out the bad and stuck with the issues of his essential admittance to drug and alcohol abuse...furthermore, can you cite a Federal report which details the projected costs of the social security transition before you edit out my work?--MONGO 11:53, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
The basic problem is your expressed wish to "see zero opinions in this article...." I'm not accusing you of trying to protect Bush; I'm accusing you of following your own policy about reporting opinions, when your own policy is directly contrary to Wikipedia policy. Your edits have the practical effect of protecting Bush because you don't try to change Wikipedia's overall policy; hence, if you had your way, Bush would be treated differently from all other controversial figures. As for Social Security, the passage in question is reporting why many legislators aren't keen on Bush's plan. The fact is that one reason for their position is their estimate of the necessary borrowing. If they hold that opinion, then it's politically notable even if it's false (which it isn't, see below) and even if none of Bush's minions have issued a federal report admitting how huge the transition cost would be. (I don't know whether there is a federal report addressing the transition issue; if there is, I'd be very pleased to be given the reference.) In any event, as I stated in my edit summary, Cheney has confirmed the ballpark figure. Cheney said that borrowing over the next ten years alone (during much of which time the program wouldn't be fully operative) would total $758 billion, and "Trillions more after that." (Read it at,2933,146533,00.html -- you love to deride Salon but I hope you don't consider Fox News to be biased to the left.) Given Cheney's statement, I think that describing the borrowing as "$1 trillion or more" is an extremely conservative estimate. Note from the full transcript that the Fox News interviewer gave a much higher estimate: "So, if you take the first full 10 years, when people can actually invest in the program, the cost is over $1 trillion, and for the following 10 years, it's $3.5 trillion." JamesMLane 19:15, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

Yes, James. I do not like much opinion in an encyclopedic article of this nature because those opinion pieces are inherently going to be biased to the right or left...I do feel that van Wormers and the other person's opinions are poor choices and that has nothing to do with wishing to protect Bush's image. If indeed, a proven and reputable diagnosis of such a condition was truly public then I would like to see it here. I also won't spar with you on the social security issues...I have heard that the transformatioon will be prohibitably expensive, but I do give Bush credit for trying to make changes (perhaps not the best ones) to the system. I have seen extimates that if these changes are not incorporated, the cost of dealing with social security benefits may cost over 4 trillion....the 2002 report by the Director of the congrssional budget office provides some relatively bleak prospects if nothing is done.[6] If you wish to incorporate the Cheney statements that's fine of course...--MONGO 07:42, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

I don't mind properly attributed opinion. As long as we don't present it as true, but merely report it, the bias isn't a problem. Our readers can judge for themselves. That, I assume, is why Wikipedia policy is to include such material. On the Social Security dispute, I think the George W. Bush article should have only a brief summary, with a wikilink to the specific article (Social Security debate (United States)) that addresses the controversy. The Cheney quotation is in that article, which also has links to opinionated websites from pro- and anti-privatization organizations. JamesMLane 08:16, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

My apologies to JamesMLane, who I am not. I realized that MONGO and others may have thought that "-- James" and JamesMLane are the same two people; we are not (MONGO responded to me as James and to JamesMLane as James, which made me realize the confusion). I ("-- James") am a lazy wikipedian who doesn't even bother to log in. I'm the guy that wants to make rewrite this page into something better and who called MONGO "Pro-Bush". JamesMLane appears to be a bit better mannered. Pardon the confusion. -- James

Alcohol section

I'd just like to say well done JamesMLane on a fair and factual section about Bush's alcohol. I am pretty neutral about Bush - he's good sometimes, human others - and can say from a centrist's opinion this is very well compiled. Great job citing all those references too - makes it harder for anyone to add their political two-cents to the section. To MONGO and others, please don't go and revert this new edit just because you're unhappy about fact. If you have issues, discuss them, but otherwise just skip over this section when you're reading and go on with your lives. Thanks. Harro5 (talk · contribs) 08:15, May 1, 2005 (UTC)

The article is found when a yahoo search of George Bush is queried withing 5 links...with the increase in internet traffic and the need for some to research itmes such as this article, it is not okay to continue to allow unencyclopedic opinions by known antiBush sources to pepper this article with their propaganda. There may be a fact that van Wormer and another have this opinion....but based on an medical/therapeutic condition not even recognized by their respective medical fields and have they rendered their opinion outside of the conventional manner in which the opinion or diagnosis is normally reached, which in addition, is discussed without the consent of the "patient" (Bush) which is unethical....ow in the heck can you say that this is is fact they stated the opinions...but the opinions are worthless in light of my abovementioned reasons and are therefore unencyclopedic.--MONGO 11:49, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
I think I dug up a few of those references, but most of them were found by other editors. My edit merely restored a section that had been worked over in considerable detail by many people. JamesMLane 08:37, 1 May 2005 (UTC)


Why are there so many reverts? I've been on Wikipedia a while but I've never seen so much vandalism!

It's just that this article is more prominent than most. The vandalism was even worse during the campaign. Fortunately, the prominence alsom means that many people have it watchlisted, and most vandalism is dealt with quickly. JamesMLane 22:19, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
Ah James, always so helpful, why don't you run for admin? --kizzle 23:31, May 1, 2005 (UTC)

Prefixed-Style of Formal Address

Per current Wikipedia policy, as claimed by jguk to have been adopted by a prior consensus, I am prefixing the formal title of "President" to the present biographical entry. Do not revert this edit unless you can dispute the existing Wikipedia:Manual of Style (biographies) policy regarding Honorific Prefixes, and the entry on Style (manner of address) containing examples.

A survey is currently being conducted at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (biographies)/Survey on Style-Prefixed Honorary Titles in which I encourage you to participate. Whig 04:04, 4 May 2005 (UTC)

the formal style of the president of the united states is The Honorable, not President". Gentgeen 07:43, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
No. Please see this useful reference to Forms of Address. Whig 07:47, 4 May 2005 (UTC)

Kindly cease this ridiculous pedantry. Office bearers in republics do not have "formal styles." They have titles of office. If Bush has a "formal style" it is "Mr."Adam 08:14, 4 May 2005 (UTC)

The current policy is pedantic. If I am being pedantic, it is because the impact of the policy has not been felt as much as it will be if it becomes generally enforced. I am only enforcing on a selected number of articles at present, please see the Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (biographies) page and continue discussion there. Whig 08:23, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
the link Forms of Address states "Mister President" as an address, but the article on Wikipedia is not addressed to the president of the USA; intuitively, "Mister President Georges W. Bush blablabla" sounds odd, does it not ?
Also, if this is supposed to be a litteral application of a policy to make a point on some other page, I find this behaviour disturbing. Rama 08:26, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
  • This is not to make a point on some other page. This is to inform people of the existing policy and the fact that a survey is underway to affirm it or change it. The policy is Wikipedia-wide, and affects all biographical entries. Whig 08:35, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
Likewise, the article on Queen Elizabeth II is not addressed to the queen, but prefixes Her Majesty. The styles must be consistently or they are POV, unless a NPOV rule of exception can be carved out. Please discuss on Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (biographies).
Whig is deliberately trying to cause disruption to try to get as many votes for his preferred option on his survey. The US does not really go in for honorifics and styles (I think there's a legal provision saying that none are recognised) and so it is unlikely that the guidelines on honorifics and styles in the MoS will apply to US citizens. As noted above, this tends not to be true in monarchies and some ex-monarchies. Kind regards, jguk 12:14, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
Jguk is incorrect that I am trying to cause disruption here. The fact that President George W. Bush is the preferred manner of address in almost all media, and even in informal conversation, is his legal title as the elected holder of that office, and will retain the style even after he leaves office, is indisputable. Those who do not know US culture cannot be expected to understand that we do use honorifics here just as in "monarchies and some ex-monarchies". Judges, Senators and Representatives are "The Honorable," and failing to refer to a Judge as "Your Honor" in court will land you a contempt citation even. If Jguk thinks some legal provision exists to the contrary, he ought to cite his sources. I have already cited mine. Whig 03:19, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
Before this latest tempest, we had 42 articles about U.S. Presidents and, as far as I know, not a single one of them began with "President ...." Unless and until the current vote or some other process generates a consensus to change the policy, we should make the articles consistent. Let's continue to omit the honorific from all 42 of them for a little while longer and see what happens. JamesMLane 07:39, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
All 42 should have the prefixed honorific because all are still called President, even after death (President Lincoln, President Nixon, etc., etc.). This is the current style policy, and even under any of the options being discussed would remain the policy because it's not a style but a disambiguating feature. There may be many Richard Nixons, but only one President Richard Nixon. Whig 08:21, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
The current policy is that disambiguation, where necessary, is done in the article title. (Even there, our convention is to use a parenthetical after the name in preference to a title before the name. If there were two people named Richard Milhous Nixon who were equally prominent, the article on the President might be titled "Richard Milhous Nixon (President)" or "Richard Milhous Nixon (politician)" or "Richard Milhous Nixon (U.S.)". It would not be titled "President Richard Milhous Nixon".) Furthermore, both Nixon articles would begin with the subject's unadorned name. Once the reader is at the article, we don't need to disambiguate. For example, we have Robert Jackson (scientist), Robert Jackson (musician), and Robert Jackson (NYC), each of which begins with the subject's name in boldface. The analogy isn't exact, because none of those disambiguation terms for the Robert Jacksons is an honorific, but the point is that the occasional need to disambiguate doesn't affect how the article itself states the subject's name. JamesMLane 16:59, 6 May 2005 (UTC)

I edited a protected page

To revert the vandalism. It seemed like a really bad idea to have "George W Bush is a total dick" on a protected version of a page. Sorry if I stepped on any toes doing this. Nohat 18:44, 4 May 2005 (UTC)

Um, I don't think it's protected. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 18:46, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
It was when I edited it. Nohat 22:24, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
No, it wasn't. It was, and is, protected against page moves, but not against editing. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 22:41, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
Oh, well I didn't check that—I just saw that the "unprotect" tab was active so I figured it was protected. I forgot that the tab is also active if it's just protected against page moves. Nohat 23:44, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
Page-move protection is new in 1.4b4, and doesn't seem to be as widely publicised as maybe it should be. I've long believed the admin "you're editing a protected page" thing is insufficiently strident. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 23:51, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
Maybe there should be a Template:Moveprotect. – ugen64 22:52, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
Hmmm....when I protected it, i thought that it was protected from edits. what happened? Kingturtle 00:48, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
Did you accidentally check both boxes (which would only protect it from moves)? – ugen64 01:11, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
Something odd happened. I first put the protected notice atop the article. Then I was going to click on "Protect this page" (on the left column), but it said "Remove protection" - so i thought that it had become automated, and I didn't actually go through the process of protecting it. i do suffer from dyslexia, so maybe it didn't really say that - but i swear it did. Kingturtle 01:16, 6 May 2005 (UTC)

Spain in Iraq

I've removed the statement that Spain's withdrawal of its troops occurred "following an Islamic terror bombing on a Spanish train". While the sequence is correct, stating it here implies a causal relationship. It would also be correct to say that Spain withdrew its troops "following a free and fair election in which the governing party, which had supported Bush's policies, was turned out of office by the Spanish people". Given that this article is about Bush and not about Spain, though, I think any of these side excursions into Spanish politics are just clutter. JamesMLane 08:36, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

George W. Bush and John Kerry debate

What was the object in the back of George W. Bush's suit? --Contrib 16:32, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

I don't believe this is relevant to the article. First of all, there's no real evidence for any 'object' being present at all. Second, if there were an object, then there's no evidence as to what sort of an object it was. I think it would look ridiculous to have some sort of overview of this controversy in the main article because, honestly, the whole controversy about this issue seems a bit ridiculous. If there were some sort of factual information that came to light, then naturally something like this can become relevant and factually-based. This holds true for any controversy like this, but without facts to back it up, I believe I wouldn't be the only thinking it was ridiculous. I believe staying with the relevant facts and opinions of the primary groups and issues surrounding the presidency both politically and in the respectable popular media is the way to go for this article. I don't mean anything special by 'respectable popular media' other than using sources that are non-tabloid in nature and are backed up by their relevancy and basis in factual reporting. --Xaliqen 00:35, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

I think it's worth reporting, but it's too minor for the main Bush article. We already have it covered, with a photo of the bulge, in U.S. presidential election debates, 2004#Controversy. JamesMLane 02:14, 7 May 2005 (UTC)
Why is it worth we can add conjecture or so we can add fact. If you have facts, lets here them, but I fail to see how the ongoing effort to use opinion based only on antiBush rhetoric is encyclopedic.--MONGO 19:27, 7 May 2005 (UTC)
Because people might get the wrong impression and think its some sort of communication device, as clearly from the picture its just a perfectly symmetrical wrinkle. --kizzle 22:25, May 7, 2005 (UTC)
It's worth reporting because it got a lot of media attention. You think the media attention was disproportionate? Well, I think that the media attention to Jennifer Wilbanks was disproportionate. Nevertheless, Wikipedia is here to describe the world as it actually is. In the real world, the Bush bulge and Wilbanks both became notable. JamesMLane 22:52, 7 May 2005 (UTC)
I could care less about that nutjob runaway bride. It is not our job, as you wish to see it, to mirror every "big story" that breaks out....I have no problem if the bulge is discussed if we knew what it was without speculating, or are you now advocating that we speculate and then consider that to be encyclopedic? Would that then fit your definition of encyclopedic merit?--MONGO 08:43, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
As to what would fit my definition, and (more to the point) Wikipedia's definition, I've explained that to you several times already. If there's widespread speculation about the bulge (or about Kerry illicitly taking something from his pocket during the debate), then we ourselves do not speculate, but we accurately report what's said, with attribution. And if you come along and pronounce from on high that you evaluated what some notable source or spokesperson said, and you've concluded that it doesn't meet your evidentiary standards and isn't adequately substantiated and isn't worthy of belief, guess what? We don't care. We have adequate substantiation for the fact that it was said. If you disagree with this policy, stop whining about it here -- or, more accurately, stop acting as if your personal definition of encyclopedic were the one in effect, instead of the one actually in effect. If you think we shouldn't report on big stories about trivia, like the runaway bride, go list Jennifer Wilbanks on VfD and see what happens. I predict 80% or more for keeping it. If you disagree with our treatment of the Bush bulge and the Kerry pen, start an RfC about removing those passages from U.S. presidential election debates, 2004#Controversy. Here again, I predict a clear majority for keeping the material. JamesMLane 09:48, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
You act as if you are the spokesperson for Wikipedia which I am sure you are not. I only asked that if information be placed here in this article that it follow the normal rules, which are wikipedia rules by the way, of neutrality and encyclopdic merit. I repeat that I fail to see how unsubstantiated opinion qualifies as encyclopedic and believe that folks like yourself that are opposed to the subjects in articles such as this one are here only to preserve your own political bias against the subject matter. I mean, what purpose does your presence here serve if all you wish to do is perpetuate an anitBush ramble in this article in light of the fact that you are hostile to the right?--MONGO 10:07, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
"I fail to see how unsubstantiated opinion qualifies as encyclopedic..." Does the article Holocaust denial deserve to be deleted because it portrays an "unsubstantiated opinion?" (This is what is known as a rhetorical question. You are supposed to realize that although the opinion portrayed is factually incorrect, the article should stand.) Simply because you are of the opinion that the bulge in W's jacket was not a communication device does not immediately render such an allegation unencyclopedic.
It's funny that you accuse me of setting myself up as a spokesperson. Repeatedly in these discussions, I cite actual Wikipedia policies, with wikilinks to them. You don't. Case closed. JamesMLane 10:24, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
Using the words "us", "we", and your constant lectures are the evidence that I use to support that hypothesis....sorry I don't wikilink items like assume good faith...I assume good faith that you already knew where to find it.--MONGO 10:32, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
Mongo, if you know where assume good faith is, then start acting like it. The fact is, this was also the topic on several national television news programs, it was asked to Jon Stewart on his infamous Crossfire debacle, clearly it was part of the discussion of the public at the time. Of course, we cannot say exactly what it is, just reproduce that there was a box-shaped wrinkle in his back, (his tailor even had to comment) and move on. The discussion of public perception of an event/person/object is just as important as the event/person/object itself, otherwise we could just delete the SBVT's arguments entirely, as they are all perception and no truth. I assume you're used to throwing your weight around in real life, stop shoving your opinion down other people's throats from up high on all-knowing Mongo's platform of truth. Be a little bit more like your namesake. --kizzle 23:09, May 9, 2005 (UTC)

Your support of this kind of sensationalism isn't proof to me that you wish to be encyclopedic, but rather to find and incorporate less than worthwhile trivia that distorts the subject matter to fit your politics.--MONGO 08:51, 10 May 2005 (UTC)

find and incorporate less than worthwhile trivia that distorts the subject matter to fit your politics
Sounds like SBVT's credo. --kizzle 16:25, May 11, 2005 (UTC)

As for the validity of "The Bulge" this article from is an absolute must read.TitaniumDreads 06:28, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

Correcting MONGO

MONGO has favored us with this edit summary: "Iraq - Block quote over a silly opinion piece is unnecessary, is no more reveiling [sic] than any other quoted source here anyway." The point isn't hugely important, but:

  1. The quotation is not from an opinion piece. It's from an official document of the UK government, reporting what a UK official was told in the course of his conversations with Bush administration officials in Washington.
  2. Anyway, the issue in blockquoting isn't whether a quotation is more revealing. It's normal style, endorsed by the Wikipedia:Manual of Style, that a short quotation is embedded in the text using quotation marks, while a longer one is indented without quotation marks. (On Wikipedia, indentation can be accomplished with a colon or with the <blockquote> tag; each method has its adherents.) One standard I've seen elsewhere is that a quotation should be indented if it contains two or more sentences or fifty or more words; this quotation meets the first criterion.

I'm not going to bother reverting to the correct form because I'm just sick of dealing with MONGO's constant sniping. I did, however, want to correct his latest attempt to impugn the good faith of other editors. JamesMLane 07:57, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

The only thing you wish to do here is utilize this medium to promote your obvious left wing bias. I have added items here of greater intergrity than this one and don't utilze block quoting. If you have a "hostility to the right wing" then why don't you go work on articles that are left wing. How anyone can expect you to be without bias against the subject matter of this article is a mystery to me. Furthermore, the additon you talk about doesn't appear to me to be anything other than heresay...not official as you wish to see it. I have yet to see you add anything of substantial encyclopedic merit to this article yet.--MONGO 08:22, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
I remind you for the umpteenth time that you're coming to a project that's been running a while and has numerous well-established policies. One of them, which I helpfully summarized and linked for you above, is that indenting a quotation doesn't depend on whether it's "reveiling" or on its "intergrity", but simply on its length. As to how I can make fair edits given my personal bias, the answer turns on the same point: Wikipedia has general policies that are applied to all its articles. I try to conform to those policies, regardless of how I personally feel about the article subject. If you believe that, despite my efforts, I've failed to contribute any substance to this article, well, your disapproval is just something I'll have to try to live with. JamesMLane 09:56, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
I myself have added citations to this article and to others that exceed the length requirement and have not utilzed that format because I feel that it oftentimes is done to present the "evidence" in a light making it more illuminating than it probably is. The citation does not appear to be from an official source as you mention, but rather from a news medium that has a tendency to be sensationalistic rather than authoritive. That I removed the block quotation is not an effort to supress (in which case I would have edited the citation out) but rather an attempt to ensure the NPOV tag is not reinstated. It would be in your best interest to assume good faith and stop starting off discussions with such a hostile tone, calling my comments "sniping" making comments such as "MONGO has favored us with" or you can expect the normal self defense from such personal attacks as might be necessary.--MONGO 10:20, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
Your personal opinion about indented quotations is noted; I'll nevertheless continue to follow Wikipedia policies. Your personal opinion that the Times of London has a tendency to be sensationalistic is also noted; I disagree. As for assuming good faith, your edit summary that I quoted struck me as assuming bad faith on my part, in that it implied I was indenting the quotation for some POV reason rather than to conform to the MoS. At any rate, if you choose to expound further on the indentation issue, I'll probably let you have the last word. It's in questionable taste for both of us to be bickering about a minor matter like indenting the quotation, when the substance of it confirms that all those thousands of deaths in Iraq occurred because of Bush's duplicity. (Yes, that's my personal opinion, and it wouldn't be appropriate for me to insert that conclusion in the article.) JamesMLane 10:35, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
James, there is no doubt that Bush is a lousy President...I also think he did lead the U.S. and other countries into a war in Iraq...a war most everyone, even Bush secretly himself to be sure, has questioned. But I do not see that there is evidence that Bush with cold and or calculating self righteous abandon, led us into a war in Iraq for purposes that many of those opposed to the war cheap oil, defense and or construction contracts, revenge for Daddy. I cannot guarantee that the Iraq war will go down in history as a good decision...but I do think that the world has become too small a place to allow dictators with a known history of producing and using WMD's, ruthless oppression of political opponents, a history of invading neighboring sovereign nations, and an ongoing refusal to fully abide by repeated UN resolutions, to not face "serious consequences".--MONGO 10:57, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
I agree with both of you. Fortunately enough, Saddam didn't produce the WMD that he used to invade neighboring sovereign nations - those weapons were given to him by the United States under the Reagen Administration and the first Bush Administration, for the explicit purpose of invading neighboring sovereign nations. I would like to also add that in light of the consequences of these actions, perhaps those responsible should face proportional retribution - as MONGO said, "serious conseqeuences". Kevin Baastalk: new 16:52, 2005 May 8 (UTC)
On that vein, Eisenhower did state that (though he was a military man and may have been only trying to look as though he was opposed to a strong military) that we need to remain guarded against the military establishment, that we should never allow the military establishment to determine our economy, our international relationships and our appearance to the rest of the world. No doubt, this has failed. We should eliminate and all other countries should also eliminate the distribution for any apparatus that may allow one country to harm another...when that happens, the world will be a better place. Let us not forget that the U.S. is not the sole provider in the case of Iraq, weapons of mass destruction....that France, the U.K., Russia, China and many other countries also provided Saddam with weapons in which to wage hostilities. That countries of military expertise provide weaponry and assistance is ongoing and makes each one of these countries guilty of the deaths of millions since the end of WWII is not something to be anything other than ashamed of. Had the money spent been used to help establish infrastructure and to promote democracy with the use of the gentle hand, more adherents would surely be found. But I do stand to correct, and the evidence does suggest that Saddam did produce WMD at least in the 1980's...not all the chemical weaponry he utilized was provided by outside sources...though the expertise and advisement was surely partly from American sources.--MONGO 04:38, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
Cheers to that! Kevin Baastalk: new 05:10, 2005 May 9 (UTC)

James Hamilton

We've had the Van Wormer and Justin Frank references in this article for a while now. Along comes a comment ascribed to a self-styled British "psychotherapist" called James Hamilton. What are this guy's qualifications? Van Wormer and Frank are professors in their field, but I searched in vain for qualifications of any kind on his website (you don't need any to call yourself a "psychotherapist" in the UK). Since this just seems to be a random comment by an amateur, I'm inclined to exclude it. It should be possible to get comments on the Van Wormer and Justin Frank works from actual psychologists and psychiatrists. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 04:24, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

I'm presuming that Hamilton was brought in to counter-balance the Wormer and Frank references. All in all I'd say this entire section is garbage in the form of people trying to sell books. I wasn't aware "addictive personality" had DSM criteria that could be met nor the type of respected "social worker", "psychoanalyst", or "psychiatrist" that would make such a diagnosis without sessions with the patient. I'm sorry, this section is just another one of those areas that hurts our credibility and makes this page look nothing more than POV pushing balancing. --Wgfinley 05:14, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
I don't agree with Wgfinley's comment. We've set out the facts. If the reader chooses to conclude that the criticisms are garbage from people trying to sell books, fine; we leave that choice to the reader. As for Hamilton, I checked him out when the passage was added. The "psychotherapist" statement convinced me to leave him in, although finding that he was also an NLP practitioner undercut his credibility in my eyes. (I thought about adding that fact about him but decided it was too peripheral.) I don't recall the specific sources I looked at. My general impression was that Hamilton was a psychotherapist with a penchant for writing an awful lot in his blog, where I think this quotation came from. Tony, do you mean that he might be just some retired plumber who decided to call himself a psychotherapist? If he has no independent, verifiable professional credentials, then I'd lean toward removing the comment. JamesMLane 06:12, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
I'm just trying to point out this article is comprised of tit for tat POV pushing and this section is yet another example of one such section that should go. It's not notable and it's hardly credible just because an "academic" said it on either side. By all means, the alcoholism and other drug issues are fair game but some long distance mental health diagnosis is unadulterated garbage that just damages our credibility.
Similarly this article has several paragraphs about polling data from other countries regarding who they thought should be president. I think it should take one sentence to say "Bush's popularity abroad has been the source of much criticism". Sorry, I'm just venting a bit here but I think, without a single solitary doubt this is the worst article on WP with the back and forth POV pushing, lack of coherence, virtually no logical flow of information whatsoever and a total and utter disregard for that which is notable or concise. --Wgfinley 07:03, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
Amen to that...I mean, since when did the international community vote for U.S. Presidents anyway? I applaud your concise summary of the problems with this article...I have been adding opposing information after my attempts to eliminate hocus pocus lefty jargon were treated as censorship.--MONGO 09:01, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
Bush is a controversial figure, so part of his bio is to report praise, criticism, and (to some extent) criticism of the criticism, although I agree with you that we need to draw the line at some point. The foreign polling information is worth more than your one sentence but could be considerably trimmed from the current level of detail. Overall, though, what you disparage as "the back and forth POV" seems to me to be necessary if we're to do a fair and informative article about a controversial figure. JamesMLane 07:40, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
Oh boy...I say none of the garbage about van Wormer, Frank or Hamilton is worthy for this endeavour....but if the van Wormer garbage stays then so does Hamilton's facts that he stated these opinions....regardless, there is no doubt that van Wormer and Frank are not conservatives as any google search can find this their opinions rendered from afar are just pure politics anyway.--MONGO 08:42, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
Do you, by chance, have anything to contribute to the question of whether Hamilton has some kind of credential, as opposed to being just a random blogger? This article doesn't quote random bloggers, whether they're pro- or anti-Bush. JamesMLane 10:46, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
James, you ask: Tony, do you mean that he might be just some retired plumber who decided to call himself a psychotherapist? If he has no independent, verifiable professional credentials, then I'd lean toward removing the comment.'
Yes, in UK law he could be a retired plumber who has decided to call himself a psychotherapist.
I just checked again and found a page where he describes himself as MA(Oxon) DPH MIAH. The Oxford degree means he did the basic undergraduate degree course. Traditionally that university awards all its graduates a MA, not a Bachelor's degree.
DPH is Diploma in Public Health. This is a postgraduate degree course normally involving six months of full-time study.
MIAH means he belongs to the International Association of Hypnoanalysts (IAH), whose membership criteria can be satisfied by undergoing a distance learning program "of approximately six months duration", with "optional one-day seminars and also Instructional Weekends in the UK, which Students may attend if they wish."
The IAH website makes it plain that "Hypnotherapy in the United Kingdom, is not the subject of specific legislation, so there are no formal qualifications which can be obtained. Neither is there a Statutory Register of Hypnotherapists. However, subject to your satisfactory performance in a postal examination at the end of the Course, you will be awarded a DIPLOMA IN HYPNOTHERAPY." So we're comparing the opinions of two professors with the opinion of a bloke who has taken a six-month correspondence course.
So, he's "just this guy", really. Van Wormer is a professor of social work at a community college in Northern Iowa. Justin Frank is currently the Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at George Washington University. He has a MD from the University of Louisville. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 12:57, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
Searching for relevant professional comment (rather than just some blogger who practises hypnotherapy) I encountered an article with opinions by two prominent professors of psychiatry, a psychotherapist who is a registered Republican, a former childhood friend and a former Secretary to the Treasury. All of them concur with Frank's analysis to a certain extent. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 13:58, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
Also found one incident last July in which Bush went completely hatstand and ended up on antidepressants. I've created a new section about this because it doesn't fit into the "public perception" section. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 15:20, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

Tony, this is exactly the kind of garbage I'm talking about. It starts out as a little jab at Bush when, on the face of it, this is a couple of academics trying to play armchair psychologist on someone and sell some books. Next thing you know you're adding blurbs about the commentary on that commentary of that book. Then someone will see the jab isn't at clear as it once was and see fit to add some more stuff from Capital Blue like you did, it's a never ending cycle.

Go and look at Clinton's page, for pete sake, his impeachment is only about 5 graphs long and the rest is broken out in a separate article, we have almost as much information on allegations of Bush's mental health by people who have never treated him. This stuff is not notable, ever little issue from every individual book that comes out on Bush need not be in this article, why are we adding more and more on it? --Wgfinley 17:18, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

Sidaway hates Bush as do a number of others here that profess neutrality. I fail to understand why these people bother to edit here when the only contributions they make are ones based on sensationalistic referencing from known left wing and in some cases tabloidish junk sources such as Salon et al.--MONGO 00:28, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

Bush's Mental Status Section

I have questions on whether this should be submitted at all. It seems to me that a much clearer case could be made for President Clinton having psychological problems (self-destructive behavior, low-grade paranoia, less than ideal upbringing, etc.) but I wouldn't dream of including a speculative section of it on his page. As a matter of fact, I belive it would be correctly expunged.

This seems roughly the equilivant of speculation that President Bush has dyslexia or any of the other learning disabilities he's been diagnosed with from afar. Son of lucas 06:45, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

What mental status section? Maybe it was already removed? --Golbez 07:34, May 11, 2005 (UTC)
It's tagged onto the bottom of the alcohol and drug abuse heading (another reason it doesn't belong). Basically the last thing in the article before the trivia section. --Son of lucas 09:07, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
Hmm, looks like the above section also mentions this. Sorry for the double post I suppose, had no clue what James Hamilton meant. --Son of lucas 09:50, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
Tony Sidaway just tried to insert that POV garbage again, I've cleaned it out. ElKabong
Firstly, I'd like to remind you that personal attacks are strongly discouraged.
Secondly the section complained about above has nothing to do with the section I inserted this afternoon (UTC)--which is entirely new. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 16:05, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

Depression, erratic behavior and paranoia

Also found one incident last July in which Bush went completely hatstand and ended up on antidepressants. I've created a new section about this because it doesn't fit into the "public perception" section. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 15:20, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

This has been reverted by ElKabong with the following edit summary: "The "Aides" were unnamed and CapitolBlue is a propaganda page, nothing more. See Discussion section on Mental Health Status, your insert was POV garbage".

I don't think that's justifiable. Non-attributable briefings are not uncommon in political journalism, and the White House was contacted on the story so they could have denied or rebutted. This is very strong evidence that Bush is being treated for depression. It just isn't good enough to dismiss the source as "a propaganda page, nothing more." I am open to the possibility that there was a POV slant in the section but I cannot see one in the language that I used:

"On July 8, 2004, after being pressed to answer reporters' questions concerning his relationship with indicted Enron executive, Kenneth Lay, the President stormed off stage and, backstage, harangued an aide: "Keep those motherfuckers away from me. If you can’t, I’ll find someone who can." Later that month aides reported to Capitol Hill Blue that the White House physician, Col. Richard J. Tubb, prescribed drugs to control his "erratic behavior, depression and paranoia". The aides said that the unidentified drugs as a side-effect could impair his capacity to react in a crisis. "It’s a double-edged sword. We can’t have him flying off the handle at the slightest provocation but we also need a President who is alert mentally."

I think this is back to the old MONGO position, where reporting facts that convey a negative impression is mistaken for adopting a point of view. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 15:57, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

If it's a fact, find a better source than a propaganda rag quoting "unnamed sources." CapitolHillBlue, as a whole, is simply not credible. ElKabong
Absofuckinglutely right. I am sick of those with a known opposition to the subject matter editing here to push their politics and then labeling me as biased.--MONGO 00:34, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

You don't get to make that call. Capitol Hill Blue clearly has its inside sources. It is a credible news source on what it is told by White House aides. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 16:33, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

They claim they have their inside sources. I found the site pretty humorous and they are definitely equal opportunity (thus I don't think it's fair to call it "propaganda") but I see the site as a tabloid for the US Government. After all, the section for their Congressional updates is called "Capitol Hillbillies", just how reputable of a source can that be? I think the site is funny but what they're putting out isn't notable nor good reference material. --Wgfinley 17:04, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
Is that it? They use a frivolous title for their Congressional Updates section? The news reports themselves are serious, well written, and well sourced where appropriate. Entertaining, yes, but obviously not just the funny papera (Reid Tries Civility). Pretty good stuff. I don't find the attempt to depict this source as unreliable very convincing. They're been around for over a decade. If they made a habit of making stuff up, there would be ample evidence of this by now. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 17:34, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
And how long have tabloid newspapers been around? So the next time one of them prints a story on "unnamed sources" claiming Bush fathered an alien baby at Area 51 we should put that in this article? --Wgfinley 17:46, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

That's a very inappropriate comparison. Clearly this is not comparable in any way to a tabloid. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 17:56, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

No, it's an accurate comparison. The site's got about the same level of trustworthiness as Weekly World News.
No, when you're talking about a news source, "trust" is a matter of belief, what is really the issue is not trust, but reliability; the percentage of time the news source accurately reports empirical events; the ability to see that the news source said xxx happened, and then find, in the empirical world, that xxx did, indeed, happen, regardless of to what extent one is inclined to "believe" the information coming from the news source. Kevin Baastalk: new 19:12, 2005 May 11 (UTC)
Correct; and there is NO corroborating evidence for this one. ElKabong

I'm really at a loss to understand how Capitol Hill Blue could be compared to Weekly World News. Washington Post has described the website as a "must read for political junkies". With distortions like this, there seems to be some very, very determined discounting going on.

On corroborating evidence for Bush's instability, there's a fair amount of that floating around and quite a bit of it has found its way into the article. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 19:24, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

The CNN reference and the Wead tape are substantiated and fair game, the other stuff is not. Again, get it all out there Tony, Capitol Hill Blue says the Washington Post said they are a "must read for political junkies" I would like to see the reference to that. I don't think going to a source and saying "are you reputable?" is a good way to prove that they are. I may be exaggerating on the comparison to the tabloid press but when you have a "news" entity who's motto is "nobody is safe while Congress is in session or the White House is occupied" I think they have thrown out a fair amount of objectivity. --Wgfinley 07:14, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

WP:POINT I'm Guilty

Okay, I made a small addition to the article to prove a point, I admit it. After the information on there about Fortunate Son I noticed there was no mention that Hatfield was a felon, the book was yanked by his publisher and he ended up taking his own life. So, I just added a blurb about him being a felon and the book being pulled. Not long thereafter someone tacked on Hatfield's response about pressure from the Bush Administration.

This is the tit-for-tat POV pushing that I'm talking about. One item gets added that's negative, another is added to counter-act that, yet another to counter-act that one. Before too long you have an article that makes virtually no sense at all. I encourage the folks working hard on this page to take a long hard look at it and agree to sections that, quite frankly, need the ax. I've already listed a couple, everything on Hatfield is referenced on his page so I believe just having his book in further reading is all that's needed on this page. James I believe had a proposal about reorganizing this article, I think those would all be good ideas. This article sucks, make it better!! --Wgfinley 16:45, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

I thought the presentation of the Fortunate Son allegation was better when we reported the allegation, reported the terms of Bush's denial, and left the evidence pro and con to the daughter article. It's certainly not NPOV to put in one side's evidence but not the other, though. I would've deleted your addition but I assumed your good faith. On that basis, I assumed that you really wanted the negative stuff in there. I thought balancing it was better than deleting it and starting another silly edit war. If you're through making your point, feel free to remove both additions (yours about the conviction and the publisher's action, mine about Hatfield's response). In fairness, though, if you want to use St. Martin's to throw mud at Hatfield, then material related to St. Martin's that bolsters Hatfield's credibility should also be noted. JamesMLane 20:00, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
Hatfield's book has not one piece of proof to offer. Your wish to see it here is based on the fact that it was published and it discredits Bush...and therefore reinforces your known politics which elminate any chance of your neutrality.--MONGO 00:30, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

You're just illustrating my point though. Putting the info on Hatfield in there without noting that a) it's uncorroborated, b) he's a convicted felon, c) his publisher pulled the book, and d) he was obviously pretty unstable and took his own life is pretty irresponsible. To just put out there (and I'm paraphrasing), "Bush's daddy got him out of a drug charge, see this book" is pretty POV.

St. Martin's only defended the book BEFORE they learned he flat out lied to them about his background. It's Hatfield who said his publisher had fact checked the book, not St. Martin's, if they felt so strongly why would they pull it? St. Martin's is well known to stand behind their authors where they believe the author is substantiated: Len Colodny's Silent Coup and G. Gordon Liddy's Will are two such books that come to mind where they defended both authors in extensive litigation.

The proper solution to this problem? Hatfield's book is relegated to the Further Reading section and all allegations, comments, etc. about it are relegated to Hatfield's page and elsewhere (already well documented). Instead, we have a charge, counter-charge that it's unsubstantiated, counter-counter-charge it is, ad nauseum, it's the #1 problem with this article. I think the first two graphs (graph #1 his own admissions, graph #2 the CNN reference and Wead tape info) in the section are credible, concise, and well documented, the rest of it should go. --Wgfinley 07:05, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

Wgfinley writes:
To just put out there (and I'm paraphrasing), "Bush's daddy got him out of a drug charge, see this book" is pretty POV.
Your paraphrase is misleading. I'm not aware that any of the regular editors have inserted language that would accept Hatfield's allegations as true (as your "paraphrase" would). We report what we know -- that Hatfield made the allegations and that Bush called the book "ridiculous". Those points are relevant to an article about Bush. The other stuff is relevant to an article about Hatfield, and is tangentially relevant to an article about Bush, but only tangentially, which is why I think that the pro and con about Hatfield should be covered in the article about Hatfield. Simply listing Hatfield's book would be inadequate because the reader would not learn about this politically notable charge against Bush. Furthermore, the reader who wanted to know more about charges of substance abuse would have no way of knowing that that particular book had further information. JamesMLane 13:12, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
James, come on, you think that it's fair to just list that Hatfield has a book saying the Bush used coke and his father got him out of it, then just the brief response that Bush called it "ridiculous"? It's not necessary at that point to even note that his publisher pulled said book four days after publication because of his misrepresentations of his background to them? Please tell me you really don't believe that's fair because that's exactly what the version before I edited said. [7] --Wgfinley 20:20, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
In an article about Bush, the only reason for mentioning that St. Martin's withdrew the book would be its relevance to the charges against Bush. If the publisher's decision is to be mentioned, conveying an implication that it represents a judgment by the publisher about the accuracy of the contents, then other statements and actions by the publisher that tend to undercut that interpretation must also be mentioned. That's why I said that, if we mention the withdrawal, then to be fair we must also mention that St. Martin's responded to the initial criticism by stating in public that the book had been thoroughly fact-checked. All this material is better left to the article on Hatfield, but if one side is to be included here, so should the other. JamesMLane 21:33, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

Restoration of NPOV tag

I restored the tag due to Sidaway and ohers who wish to continue to use this medium as an opportunity to blog their soft referencing in an effort to push their point of view. It is clear from the discussion pages here that I am not the only one who has serious questions regarding the neutrality of this article...recent efforts by Sidaway and others have all been to utilize less than creditable referencing to support their obvious biases.--MONGO 00:42, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

I remind you, not for the first time, that personal attacks are severely deprecated. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 05:40, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
In addition to your quite disgraceful accusations, I must take issue with your most recent edit. As well as adding to the article, you removed significant facts that tended to conflict with the material that you added.
You removed: "has been highly praised by other prominent psychiatrists, and has found supporters among registered Republicans and confirmation from a childhood friend of Bush and Bush's former Treasury Secretary [8].
At the same time you added: "Irwin Savodnik, a psychiatrist who teaches at UCLA states that Justin Frank's book is a "psychoanalytic hatchet job" and that "there is not an ounce of psychoanalytic material in the entire book." [9]".
This is unacceptable behavior. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 05:58, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
MONGO, you've repeatedly said you don't consider opinion magazines a credible source. However, your source for your latest edit is Weekly Standard, an opinion magazine. While I think there's a place for opinion pieces as sources, I doubt it helps your case when you criticize the referencing other editors use while using what's basically the same kind of source.
Regarding the accusations themselves, it pretty much amounts to calling the other editors liars. In fact, your use of the tag, as has been discussed before, has the same effect. The POV tag and other dispute warnings shouldn't be used as a way of forcing people to adhere to a list of demands. "I'll let the tag be removed when you agree to such-and-such changes" is not a way to solve a dispute, it's a way to push a POV. sɪzlæk [ +t, +c ] 06:21, May 12, 2005 (UTC)
The tag is there due to the use of less than credible witness to the issues and the POV pushing primarily as of late by Sidaway. He attempts to minimalize opinions by well regarded persons in their fields that don't adhere to his form of extreme political bias...I also think it is absolutely rude to the extreme that a Brit wants to weaste his time lampooning Bush...I don't bother criticing Tony Blair....there is only one reason why those of his political persuasion edit here and it has nothing to do with a spirit of has to do with pushing their form of extremeist left wing sentiment solely as an effort to play politics. My use of weekly standard is done solely to make a point is that the entire esection including my addition are unworthy of encyclopedic merit. But Sidaway and others don;t want to compromise...they want to cast Bush in as bad a light as possible, regardless of the lack of quality control on their part, solely to promote their extreme politics.--MONGO 11:41, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
You say "My use of weekly standard is done solely to make a point". You know, here at Wikipedia we call that disrupting Wikipedia to illustrate a point. That's not acceptable. Also, it shouldn't matter what nationality someone is when they edit this article. Are you seriously arguing that only Americans should contribute to this article, or that only Britons have any business editing Tony Blair? Ok-kay... sɪzlæk [ +t, +c ] 20:02, May 12, 2005 (UTC)
I don't think my edits are any more disruptive than anyone elses. I also don't think only Americans should edit the article...however, it seems rude to me that Sidaway and others spend their time looking for things to lampoon Bush about rather than anything of a positive vein.--MONGO 02:20, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
I'm just waiting for the chucklehead that puts Larry Flynt's accussation of an abortion into the article. The use of dubious sources on this page is pretty damn shameful. --Son of lucas 14:09, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

Again, MONGO, I remind you that your personal attacks and false accusations of POV pushing are far beyond what is acceptable on Wikipedia. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 16:05, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

Son of lucas-Please don't swear. "Damn", however benign, is in fact not what I'm looking for out of reading this.--SuperWiki 01:29, May 13, 2005 (UTC)

Explanation of why Tony Sidaway prefers one version of the paragraph on Justin Frank to another

I prefer this version:

Justin Frank, a clinical professor of psychiatry at The George Washington University Medical School and former Salon magazine writer, has incorporated similar, though apparently independent, observations into a book about the president, Bush on the Couch ISBN 0060736704 [10]. Professor Frank's book has been highly praised by other prominent psychiatrists and has found supporters among registered Republicans and confirmation from a childhood friend of Bush and from Bush's disaffected former treasury secretary. [11]. Some psychiatrists have been critical of Frank's book [12].

The version I replaced, and which I deprecate, read:

Justin Frank, a clinical professor of psychiatry at The George Washington University Medical School and former Salon magazine writer, has incorporated similar, though apparently independent, observations into a book about the president, Bush on the Couch ISBN 0060736704 [13]. Frank's book has been highly praised by other prominent psychiatrists and has found confirmation from a childhood friend of Bush and from Bush's disaffected former Treasury secretary. [14]. Irwin Savodnik, a psychiatrist who teaches at UCLA, stated in The Weekly Standard that Frank's book is a "psychoanalytic hatchet job" and that "there is not an ounce of psychoanalytic material in the entire book." [15]

The points that strike me about the different versions are as follows:

  1. The version I prefer does not omit from the precis of the cited article that some of those who express some support for Justin Frank's conclusions are registered Republicans.
  2. The version I prefer gives equal prominence (which I think is more than generous) to two senior psychiatrists who support Frank and one less prominent psychiatrist who does not. The other version gives more prominence to the latter, which I don't think is satisfactory at all.

I feel that information was being overlooked or downplayed in the other version, for reasons I do not understand. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 16:05, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

Your version erroneously says "support from Republicans" without naming any names; I could claim that any statement I wished had "support" from Republicans without mentioning names as well. Additionally, you fail to point out Frank's own political biases in the matter.
Other problems with your version:
  1. - Liberal fishwrap books making claims about Bush are a dime a dozen.
  2. - You do not provide reference for the "two senior psychiatrists" supporting Frank.
Kindly stop deleting content from this article, POV-pusher. If you can reference your two psychiatrists, then feel free to do so and put their quotes alongside Savodnik's. See KaintheScion's reverts as well. ElKabong
"Support from Republicans" is fine; I'm sure you could find some. But I agree that removing the quote is poor form. I'd be much happier to see two competing quotes. KaintheScion

My version correctly cites the fact that a supporter is a registered Republican. Your statement that my version is erroneous on this point is false.

You also falsely claim that I do not give a reference for "two senior psychiatrists."

In short, the objection raised here has no factual basis.

Putting quotes in at this level is another example of the old tit-for-tat game that User:Wgfinley has owned up to, and which I have no interest in pursuing. We give references so that we don't have to put the whole kitchen sink into an article. The subject of this article is a book written by a highly qualified psychiatrist. No need to dilute it by making the paragraph into a discussion of secondary opinions. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 16:41, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

Not this CapitolHillBlue bullcrap again... Find some REAL sources, dumbass. See Wikipedia:Reliable Sources. ElKabong
Please stop personal attacks and discuss the issue, and the framing, and the balance, without calling people 'dumbass' or the like. This community expects (and deserves) better. -- RyanFreisling @ 17:01, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
Tony Sidaway's been pulling this POV-pushing bullcrap with a worthless source for days now, and it's been reverted by multiple people. Putting it back to the way it belongs. He's been challenged to find a better source, or even a corroborating source, and has come up with exactly Jack Squat. ElKabong
I've made some rather brief investigations into Elkabong and KainTheScion. They're rather new users in terms of their edits, but there are other factors suggestive of more familiarity than could be expected of a newcomer, and the extreme aggression of both is also suggestive. The attempt to paint me as a POV pusher suggests a certain naivety, however. See my edit on WP:AN/I on this subject. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 17:17, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
Elkabong and KaintheScion have been identified as sock puppets (of the same user) and are currently blocked from editing. If they are indeed sock puppets, their owner has been acting abusively, for instance signing a RfC twice and misrepresenting himself as two different people in discussions. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 00:11, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
ElKabong - your attribution of motive to Tony Sidaway's edits is directly against the core policy - please Assume good faith - just because someone disagrees with you politically doesn't mean they are POV-pushing when you are POV-defending. It can be an honest disagreement and personal attacks are completely contrary to making real progress. In addition, please be cautious of the 3-revert rule. From just a cursory overview, you've now reverted that paragraph three times today. And no, this is not a personal attack, and yes, I assume you are editing in good faith. -- RyanFreisling @ 17:20, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
RyanFriesling, I appreciate the "assumption of good faith" clause, but at a certain point it's obviously bad faith, and Sidaway's crossed that line long ago. ElKabong
Again, please don't take this as a personal attack, but none of us have the right to cast aside the requirement to Assume good faith based on our own opinions of someone else's motives. Please try not to again and again restate your opinion of Tony's acts - instead focus on the article. It's common courtesy and you deserve it no less than Tony, and no more. -- RyanFreisling @ 18:42, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

What registered Republicans support Frank's book? In the article cited there is one psychologist who claims to be a registered Republican, other than that, nada you have a single registered Republican yet the blanket "registered Republicans endorsed the book". Also, the quote in the article from a childhood friend is far from an endorsement of the book:

“George wanted to please his father but never felt he measured up, especially when compared to Jeb,” Reynolds said.

Yes, that's certainly a resounding endorsement of the book by saying that George wanted to please his father and felt inferior to Jeb Notice how there wasn't a quote from this person about the book at all. All of this from a dubious online news source. The book should go in the further reading section, and that section should be purged of everything except the first two graphs. --Wgfinley 20:31, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

Responding to Tony Sidaway's comparison of the two ways of presenting the reaction to Frank's book:
  1. I favor omitting the "registered Republicans" point as being too peripheral. Out of scores of millions of registered Republicans in the U.S., some could probably be found lining up behind any conceivable point of view. Some people are registered with a party out of habit or family tradition, or because they live in an effectively one-party area with closed primaries and they want to be able to vote in the elections that matter. Party registration just isn't all that notable. To show that a particular commentator should be taken more seriously because s/he had some reason to be predisposed the other way is reasonable. Mentioning O'Neill's stint in Bush's Cabinet is a good example; political registration isn't.
  2. The article is about Bush, not about Frank. Therefore, the best balance is to give prominence to Frank (criticizing Bush) and to Savodnik (responding), as opposed to saying here's Frank's criticism of Bush and now we'll give equal prominence to supporters and critics of Frank. On the other hand, the version that Tony deprecates includes the information that Savodnik's commentary is from The Weekly Standard. Conservatives insisted on noting that van Wormer's piece was published in Counterpunch, presumably as an indication of bias. The Weekly Standard is approximately as biased as Counterpunch, both being opinion journals, so Savodnik should get the same treatment as van Wormer did.
Putting aside from these fine points of how best to present the material, I agree with Tony that this whole section is a valid one. I haven't spent much time looking at the Bill Clinton article, but if there are similar published analyses of Clinton by professionals, my inclination would be to mention them. In any event, there's no reason to take the current state of that article as representing the cast-in-stone template for how articles about Presidents should read. Wikipedia is a volunteer project, so coverage is always uneven. We don't try to achieve "balance" by suppressing accurate and relevant information about one subject. Instead, the solution is to provide additional information about whatever important point is supposedly being underreported. JamesMLane 20:52, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
First off, please don't revert without stating your reasons on the talk page. Your reverted me when I think we have a number of people here who have stated this section needs to go. Second off, nothing is being "suppressed" so please don't escalate the dispute with such an allegation. The book is in the further reading section, I put it there, it's populated with a number of dead links and if you're going to include it then I'm going to throw in three more graphs of material disputing Frank's assertions and demonstrating his book is unethical. His book is not notable, discussion of its merits should be in an article on the book, not on GWB's page. Nothing is being suppressed, people can go through the further reading and find his book and make their own decisions on it. --Wgfinley 21:39, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
I agree...a reading of this[16] by the American Psychiatrict Association is all anyone needs to see that van Wormers and Frank's books are just a means to an end in support of their politics and an effort to peddle their books.--MONGO 02:34, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
Opps, looks like you're a step ahead of me as you already found it...guess that's why they called me Mongo.--MONGO 02:40, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
Wgfinley, I've posted several comments to this talk page in which I stated my reasons for retaining the information you removed. I've been explaining it for so long that my comments have apparently been archived, but what it boils down to is: "Factual reporting of opinions is encyclopedic." That doesn't mean we include that random guy with a website who opined that a video seemed to show Bush drinking, but Hatfield's book attracted a fair amount of attention, and van Wormer and Frank have professional credentials. Your edit, if I'm not mistaken, removed all reference to van Wormer; it removed all textual reference to Frank and all textual reference to Hatfield, consigning both of them to unexplained title-and-author listings in "Further reading". That treatment does effectively suppress the information, because no one would know it even existed, so it would be concealed from every reader except the ones who decide to read the full text of each of about two dozen books.
As for the attack on Frank's ethics, on the basis that this type of work is disapproved by an organization of which he's not a member, that could certainly go in the article about Frank. In the article about Bush, however, the issue is whether the APA's opinion about Frank's ethics is a reason to censor his conclusions. That's like saying that we have to discuss the Vietnam War without using any information from the Pentagon Papers, because some people think Ellsberg acted unethically in obtaining them. (The ethical charge is that Frank didn't interview Bush. Obviously, Frank's conclusions would be much more valuable if Bush had allowed himself to be interviewed. We shouldn't give the reader the impression that that's what happened, but I think that point is clear.) JamesMLane 04:58, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

Psychiatric Analysis

With respect to the above debate, how is it relevant to an encyclopedia article about the President to list someone's view of his psychological traits? Have the doctors noted examined him professionally? If this is the standard, should we add to the Bill Clinton page a discussion of the psychological implications of serial philandering and lying, for example? I'm just asking, but to me it seems pretty dubious to include remote psychoanalysis; does that have any scientific validity at all? Kaisershatner 16:56, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

He's got nothing: Tony Sidaway is a Bush-hating POV pusher who just won't give up. Even when confronted with the fact that his "sources" are about as reliable as The National Enquirer. ElKabong
Please stop making personal attacks and discuss the issue - Kaiser's question is the issue, not Tony Sidaway's motives. Personal attacks do not further improving the article. -- RyanFreisling @ 17:21, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
When the section was removed earlier - under that same argument - Sidaway continued to re-add it. Please keep this in mind. He has not been operating in good faith, has been caught trying to introduce misinformation, and I consider his behavior to be vandalism under the Sneaky Vandalism clause. I'll also remind you to note that this is one of the most-vandalized pages on Wikipedia. ElKabong
Geez man, you sound worse than me. Keep it up and they'll probably end up hating you worse than they do me.--MONGO 02:37, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
He's blocked until he says which of his accounts is the main one and which is the sock puppet. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 08:19, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
I am well aware of the contentiousness and frequent vandalizing of this page. I similarly am well aware of the degree of personal attacks and willingness to cast away the requirement to Assume good faith. If you feel Tony has not been doing so, there are channels - but attacking someone's character repeatedly isn't the way to make real lasting change to the article. It means not asserting other users are acting capriciously, and trying to focus your passion on the article itself. -- RyanFreisling @ 18:39, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

While I am sympathetic to ElKabong's obvious frustration, I also agree with RyanFreisling that the character attacks just don't help. Furthermore, after reviewing in greater detail the lengthy arguments in the above sections, I noted the gist of this argument has been made (and in my view unanswered) before (I'll reprint):

I have questions on whether this should be submitted at all. It seems to me that a much clearer case could be made for President Clinton having psychological problems (self-destructive behavior, low-grade paranoia, less than ideal upbringing, etc.) but I wouldn't dream of including a speculative section of it on his page. As a matter of fact, I belive it would be correctly expunged. This seems roughly the equilivant of speculation that President Bush has dyslexia or any of the other learning disabilities he's been diagnosed with from afar. Son of lucas 06:45, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
Go and look at Clinton's page, for pete sake, his impeachment is only about 5 graphs long and the rest is broken out in a separate article, we have almost as much information on allegations of Bush's mental health by people who have never treated him. This stuff is not notable, ever little issue from every individual book that comes out on Bush need not be in this article, why are we adding more and more on it? --Wgfinley 17:18, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
So, (1) does this remote psychoanalysis have any scientific validity? (2) is "discussion" of Bush's mental health given a proportionate amount of attention, (3) is comparable attention paid to the mental health of similar figures in other WP articles (eg Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan)? (4) I have a neighbor who is a psychiatrist who thinks that Bush exhibits heroic traits and the personal integrity characteristic of the world's great leaders- by this standard why shouldn't we cite his or her view as well? (the point being that any inclusion of these points of view invites the inclusion of equally poor countersources ad infinitum). I think the whole section should be deleted, and can be summarized by: "Many people don't like Bush and find countless ways of expressing this," which would at least remove the dubious implication that these criticisms have some kind of medical insight. Kaisershatner 19:12, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
Hear hear on all accounts. ElKabong, we feel your frustration but the blatant labeling isn't helping. --Wgfinley 20:35, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

I removed the references to both books in the article, the debate on those books can be had on articles for them (there isn't even an article for Frank's book, sounds like a good one for you to start Tony). The reason is simple -- this article is unwieldy and this is a prime section where the POV tit-for-tat can be removed in favor of being discussed on pages relevant to those issues instead of flooding this article with them. --Wgfinley 20:49, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

TonySidaway, you reinstated the paragraphs deleted by Wbfinley; in the edit summary you write "restoring paragraphs that seem to have gotten lost." I may not have the exact wording. The paras were not "lost," they were deleted, as noted above, presumably for the arguments specified in my post. Whether or not this was the reason, your reinstatement of the material without responding to any of the concerns is troubling. Would you do me the courtesy of replying to my four points above? As for the following section on ethics and the Frank book, for now, I'm staying out of that since I don't concede the Frank book deserves mention at all on this page. Will you answer my points? Respectfully, Kaisershatner 01:43, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
And while I'm giving you time to reply, check this out from the Washington Post: [17]. Should we put this text in the Clinton article? "Washington psychiatrist E. James Lieberman compared Clinton to the Titanic: ""Lots of power. Big. Sexy. Thinks he's invulnerable, like the builders of the ship. And here is this 21-year-old iceberg." I think that makes great copy, but recognize that some random psychiatrist's view of the President from afar isn't worth including in a biographical encyclopedia article - even one about a President I didn't particularly care for- I assume you would argue that it should be added to the Clinton article? Why or why not? Kaisershatner 01:51, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
Any professional insight into Clinton's behavior (which was in some ways even more bizarre than that of Bush) would be relevant to that article. The article you cite seems to be not some little op ed piece in a local rag, but a fairly serious public examination of Clinton's personality. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 08:25, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
Well, I appreciate that you are at least consistent in your viewpoint (but I disagree with it). I think in both cases this material is (1) scientifically invalid, (2) easy to manufacture by anybody with an axe to grind against the president or anyone else, and (3) irrelevant to an encyclopedia article. I wont' disrupt WP to make a point, but I highly doubt that including the above quotation in the Clinton article with the summary, "Tony Sidaway agrees that this belongs here" would go all that well. I still think both the above Clinton quote, and the corresponding quotations in this article, ought not to be given so much space. Kaisershatner 11:58, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

Frank's Book Unethical

I knew I would find this if I did some searching so, here it is. The American Psychiatric Association, which maintains the DSM guidelines for diagnosis of mental disorders, has additional guidelines beyond the AMA it publishes as The Principles of Medical Ethics this is from Section 7 - A physician shall recognize a responsibility to participate in activities contributing to an improved community, Number 3: [18].

On occasion psychiatrists are asked for an opinion about an individual who is in the light of public attention or who has disclosed information about himself/herself through public media. In such circumstances, a psychiatrist may share with the public his/her expertise about psychiatric issues in general. However, it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he/she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.

Frank gets around this little faux pas by saying he wasn't asked to give an opinion but he made a study [19]. The APA stated the book is in violation according to a Guardian article referenced here [20]. However, Frank gets around this because he is not a member of the APA. Some authority of psychiatry. --Wgfinley 21:28, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

If you will look at the URL you yourself cite, Justin Frank actually answers the point made there. He categorizes his analysis as akin to the kind of stuff the US government itself uses to try to predict the behavior of foreign leaders. For instance in 1990 Dr Jerrold M. Post, a leading psychiatrist and now a life fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, presented a psychological profile of Saddam Hussein to the House Armed Services Committee. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 21:44, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

Post's report to the HASC would not be through the public media and therefore not subject to the guideline, Frank wrote a book and is. The APA said it's in violation. --Wgfinley 21:48, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

That sounds a little odd to me. Firstly, Post made his report about as public as it gets--he presented it to HASC. Secondly, the Guardian article says nothing about "public media". Thirdly, as has been pointed out, Justin Frank is not an APA member. He is not and never was bound by its code. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 23:57, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

That response means that since he isn't bound by a code, then his "contribution" isn't noteworthy. It is no more noteworthy than my addition of James Hamilton's comments and that was the point I was trying to make all along. Lose the van wormer and Frank garbage. You stated previously that you had seen it was edited out and that you would not replace it. Now you not only wish to replace it but expand it as well with more "supporting" evidence.--MONGO 02:45, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

Tony, you are really grasping at straws here, so since he isn't a member of APA we should just accept it's not unethical? Hogwash. The APA is the authority on psychiatric medicine in the United States, it oversees the DSM criteria, it sets the standards for ethics in psychiatry. I can guess why Frank is not a member, because if he was he would have been brought up on charges for writing this book because it flies in the face of good medicine. There is far too much armchair psychiatry going on already and it's something APA combats on a regular basis. To quote Salon's review of the book:

This is a sloppily written and edited book, padded with repetitions and laced with dubious psychological theories. It is also -- despite Frank's avowed intention to "preserve a distinction between my personal questions about President Bush's politics and my psychoanalytic evaluation of his character," far too partisan a work to make any claim to being a judicious examination of Bush the man. [21]

Even Salon calls it a polemic. His excuse is that he's done a psychological profile and since that's not his area of specialty or study I consider it little more than a weak attempt to cover up his ethical bankruptcy. Putting this section in will unleash 3 or 4 more graphs poking holes in his book, it's not necessary and should be left out of the article. --Wgfinley 03:27, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

MONGO: "That response means that since he isn't bound by a code, then his "contribution" isn't noteworthy." I'm sorry I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. That if a senior clinical psychiatrist isn't a member of a particular organisation, what he does and says isn't notable? Very odd argument, if that's what you mean.
"You stated previously that you had seen it was edited out and that you would not replace it." I don't recall saying that recently. The Frank sections seems to have been in the article for some time and my knowledge of the support and significance of this book has grown considerably.
Wgfinley: "So since he isn't a member of APA we should just accept it's not unethical?" Well the question of whether or not it's ethical is not under debate. What Hitler did wasn't ethical but we still write about it. However I've already cited an example of a life fellow of the same organisation who did preciselythe same kind of profile on Saddam Hussein for the HASC, so it seem that this kind of study is not (pace APA's spokeswoman) generally regarded as unethical.
"Even Salon calls it a polemic." So is F9/11. Polemics are the stuff of politics. We report all significant opinions on a matter. A number of distinguished psychiatric professionals, apparently independently, trace Bush's sometimes rather odd behavior to psychological causes. This is pretty significant stuff.
"Putting this section in will unleash 3 or 4 more graphs poking holes in his book" Do not make threats to engage in partisan editing. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 08:13, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
I have to disagree. Frank's lack of membership in the largest most respected association in his field of expertise certainly would make me question his ability to render a "scientific" opinion on the matter. The entire premise of science is based on it's openness to review by others, primarily those also associated with the expertise. The fact that Frank is not a memeber of this tells me that he may be a rogue, and that his opinions may be biased. Had he been a memeber of the association he would have certainly violated the tenants of the organization and would have faced removal or have been severely chastized for his published work on the matter.--MONGO 02:13, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

James - Stop, Please

James, I don't understand the edit you made [22] under the guise of "cleaning up" that includes addition of a reference to the NY Times,, how Gore would have won the election, etc. This is all pretty blatant POV pushing. That section is rather neutral and all of the controversies referenced can be found in the article on said election. Again, including this kind of reference encourages one thing -- a response in kind from Bush supporters who will mention the recounts that favored Bush, the study commissioned by the newspapers, etc. It's not useful or helpful and just encourages additional length in the article of something that is thoroughly discussed in another article. --Wgfinley 21:55, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

Just to clarify, I was the one trying to "push my POV" into the article. James just italicized New York Times. The previously existed sentence described that democrats still debate the election, I just put in why, and I quoted verbatim from New York Times so as to help reduce interpretation on my part. And this was the study commissioned by the newspapers, I actually should have quoted it from the entire news consortium that recounted the ballots, I just could only attribute the graphic to the New York Times. And as for length, its one sentence that already existed in the article. --kizzle 22:24, May 12, 2005 (UTC)

Whoever was doing the POV pushing (the diff is from James) it's obvious, paragraph as it stood:

The election results are still disputed by some democrats, given that a complete recount might have given victory to Gore or to Bush, depending on the rules applied. (See The 2000 Florida Ballot Project.) The dispute, however, is no longer contested in any legal venue.

The revision:

The election results are still disputed by some Democrats, who cite independent findings by the 'New York Times that in a statewide recount in "which all disqualified ballots statewide would have been reexamined...Gore would have received the most votes." [23] (Also see The 2000 Florida Ballot Project.) However, because of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the dispute is no longer contested in any legal venue.

The ballot project has demonstrated there are a number of different outcomes depending on the recount techniques used which is exactly what the article said. this change introduces the NY Times, a reference to Bushwatch (now there's a reputable source), a suggestion that Gore really won and takes another dig at the Supreme Court. If that's not POV pushing I don't know what is. --Wgfinley 03:30, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

So you're saying that "Some Democrats" dispute the election because "a complete recount might have given victory to Gore or to Bush, depending on the rules applied"... that's a pretty weak reason to dispute an election. If you're going to include that Democrats still dispute the election, you gotta say why they dispute it, and it sure as hell isn't because they think that it is possible that Gore could have won given some set of circumstances. And the ballot project concluded that in ANY GIVEN SCENARIO, a full recount of the state would have yielded Gore, in other words, the people of Florida, if all their votes counted, voted for Gore. The political process, however, determined otherwise. That's a good reason in my opinion for democrats to dispute the election and that's why I included it. --kizzle 06:22, May 13, 2005 (UTC)
Admittedly, the Bushwatch source isn't the best source, but look at the bottom right of the graphic, where it says New York Times... that is all I am citing in this case. If you can find just the New York Times article with this graphic in it, I'd much rather cite that, or even better, cite from the entire consortium's website. --kizzle 06:24, May 13, 2005 (UTC)
There's a reference to the Florida Ballot Project, all the various scenarios about how it would have played out are in there. There are scenarios where Bush would win and others where Gore would win, the paragraph as it is stated is completely loaded, this is NPOV and says quite clearly it's disputed and where to read more. As I've said before, you put the part in there where it favors Gore then Bush supporters have to come back and put where it favored Bush, why not just put the information in there for people to read more and they can get the information?? Finally, the New York Times is but one of the many sponsors of the Florida Ballot Project. --Wgfinley 06:28, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
With regard to my edit that's described by Wgfinley as being "under the guise of 'cleaning up'" -- my actual edit summary was "rv my last edit and substitute the minor cleanups I intended to make". That's exactly what I did. I made an edit that I messed up. (Note the edit summary referring to Hatfield when the actual edit has nothing to do with Hatfield.) I noticed my mistake, so I opened the previous version by CryptoDerk, and used that as the base version for the cleanups. The next effect was seen in this diff of my two consecutive edits. Sorry to disappoint you, but there's no Machiavellian "guise", just routine bungling.
As for the substance: I think this paragraph could go either way. It notes, correctly, that disagreement with the official count, as frozen by the Supreme Court, is held by many people. (I think saying "Democrats" is wrong; some of the Greens who voted for Nader agree, and there are probably even some Republicans who agree). This is a notable feature about the 2000 election as compared with most U.S. presidential elections. Then, so as to provide some context, it mentions people's reason for thinking that. It's not intended as a summary of all the recount issues, but rather as an explanation of why many people still refer to Bush as having been "(s)elected". Note also the vehemence of the hostility expressed at his inauguration, far exceeding what's common from the opponents of an incoming President. Explaining that opinion by saying only that a recount might have come out differently is something of a non sequitur. The correct explanation for why the opinion is so widespread is precisely that many people look at one particular scenario as analyzed by the consortium: a statewide recount of all disqualified ballots.
Obviously, it's a POV to argue for that standard. Someone else could argue that only some counties should have been recounted, or that many of the disqualifications were justified. This article shouldn't state a conclusion about which recount rule should have been applied, though. The reason to include the matter here is to explain why the 2000 election was, with regard to the popular reaction to it, different from most elections. The language that Wgfinley prefers -- which, I think, derives from one of my edits -- doesn't do as good a job of that. It makes it clearer, however, that the consortium's analysis wasn't definitive in the sense that there were other scenarios conceivable. That isn't relevant to explaining the dissatisfaction with the result, though. We could accommodate both these goals at the cost of going into much more detail about all the different POVs about all the different recount scenarios. That would be too much clutter. Neither of the two versions that have been used is ideal, which is why I don't feel strongly about picking one. I'd like to come up with a reasonably concise third version. JamesMLane 10:08, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

Ground Control to James

So are you going to discuss anything or just keep putting sections back that there is opinion here to remove?? They're gone again, reverting without discussion is editing in bad faith so why don't you explain? --Wgfinley 06:21, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

I have a deep desire to remove it. I stated previously that the items in which you have edited the drug and alcohol section down to is all the reader needs. The article doesn't need the additional jargon because Bush essentially admits to using both...perhaps not in words, but there is little room to think otherwise. The rest of the garbage is just the attempts by those opposed to the subject matter an opportunity to utilize this medium to push their point of this manner, the article looks less like an encyclopedic venture and more like a political blog where all everyone does is argue. I think some are angry Bush was reelected, dislike his politics, his actions and other issues about him and his presidency and use this medium as a way to vent this frustration. Furthermore, many of those that wish to continue to support the outlandish innuendos in the article have a definitive bias against the subject matter, which in all liklihood, makes them poor choices for neutral editing in this case. It is interesting that many consider me ultra conservative....but if this was true, I would be POV pushing in places like the John Kerry article or the one on Noam Chomsky or Hillary Clinton...but I don't.--MONGO 06:39, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

More Reverts, Zero Discussion

Apparently we're not good enough for Tony or James to talk to because they have resorted to reverting without discussing. I have used up mine and I'm going to bed anyway so I will leave it to others to fix. I think it's shameful they can't come on here and make a case for these to be added, if they insist they will stay then I will prepare the many graphs of rebuttal that will be needed that debunk the material. Wish it didn't have to be that way but apparently they can't grasp the point. --Wgfinley 07:37, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

Utterly disgraceful and false accusations. Nobody can look at the history of this talk page and fail to see the discussions on these paragraphs, which you now seem to be determined to remove. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 07:55, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
I concur with Tony. We have discussed and discussed and discussed, since long before you were here. More immediately, I gave you the key point just above: "Factual reporting of opinions is encyclopedic." This is the answer to the comments we hear over and over, which amount to saying, "I don't think Hatfield, van Wormer, and Frank have established the truth of their contentions." That's not the issue. Furthermore, when you denied that you were suppressing information, I went to the trouble of explaining how information that wouldn't appear anywhere in the article (as a result of your edits) and wouldn't have a link to it was being suppressed, because the reader wouldn't get the information from the article and wouldn't know how to get it elsewhere. In short, I haven't just referred you to all the discussion that occurred before you came; I've addressed your specific points. Your charge of "zero discussion" is simply not true.
Let me ask you the question that MONGO never answers: Do you agree with the Wikipedia policy of giving an accurate report of notable opinions (properly attributed), even when those opinions are wrong? JamesMLane 08:49, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
I thought I had answered that. The answer is no. But please don't lecture me about my needing to change the policy. It's all about what is encyclopedic...and many of the items you think are encyclopedic are not so in my opinion. I repeat that I think it is bad faith if acticles such as this one are subjected to sloppy referencing. van Wormer and Frank's opinions are without merit and are in all liklihood wrong, especially since the manner in which they voiced those opinions violates the code of ethical conduct recognized by the most respected associations in their fields of expertise. Hatfield's book isn't even in print anymore due to his felony...if I put something here that was proBush yet full of undocumented heresay and written by a felon and wasn't even in print anymore, how long would it remain I wonder. It is our charge to edit and that means making a neutral article. If van Wormer Frank and Hatfield aren't weak arguments, then I don't know what is.--MONGO 02:58, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
If I missed your answer to my question, I apologize. There's been an ocean of talk on this page. So, if you don't agree with Wikipedia policy as to what's encyclopedic, but you don't intend to try to change the policy, it appears that your practice instead will be to continue to make edits to this article that violate Wikipedia policy. For my part, I don't agree with all of Wikipedia's policies, but I believe strongly that the way to achieve fairness to controversial figures like Bush is to have a general rule that's applied uniformly. (Incidentally, that's how Bush got into office in the first place. He got fewer votes than his opponent, but we had a general rule in place that the election is to be decided by electoral votes, not popular votes. There were millions of people who disagreed with that general rule and detested the outcome it produced in this particular case. Nevertheless, they recognized that that was the rule that was in place. There were renewed calls for changing the rule, but meanwhile, even those who disagreed with it abided by the result that it produced. If they'd followed your approach instead, we would've had a civil war.) As for Hatfield's book, it appears to me to be in print. Amazon is selling it, and not just in used copies, either. [24] What happened was that St. Martin's wilted under the political pressure and dropped the book, but another publisher picked it up. JamesMLane 03:52, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
Unsure what that ramble is all about, James. That's good the book is still in print, thanks for the correction. Comparing the events as they unfold here in cyberspace with the election results in 2000 is preposterous. Regardless of what the policy may be, you hide behind it and yet fail to see the light that your argument with me should not be based on what our perceived political differences are, but over what constitutes encyclopedic merit. I think a well known leftist (wormer), a "psychiatrist" that doesn't even belong to the major association governing his discipline (Frank) and a known felon whose book provides not one substantiated claim that can be cross referenced (Hatfield)...all of whom are mostly interested in pushing their politics for financial gain, have been shown by myself and others recently to be tabloidish, immature and silly innuendos that offer nothing of quality control to this forum.--MONGO 07:51, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

Repeated wholesale removal of Van Wormer and Justin Frank paragraphs

Some recent edit warring seems to have caused the longstanding Van Wormer and Justin Frank paragraphs to be deleted in whole from this article at least twice. Please stop doing this. Arbcom has reacted with severity to people who repeatedly engage in removing relevant information from articles. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 07:40, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

I'd also like to take issue on the false claim that these paragraphs have not been discussed. They are both, in their current form, well sourced and encyclopedic, and have been discussed repeatedly. Please stop removing them. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 07:44, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
Tony, there have been several others contributors here over the last few days that do not agree that these items are encyclopedic and they have all engaged in discussion here as well. Protecting passages that violate the neutrality or concensus issues of Wikipedia can also result in action by Arbcom. It appears that you are stating that you'll file a complaint if this doesn't stop, which can only be construed as a threat...this is also a violation of the policies of this medium.--MONGO 03:04, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
Fine, leave them in there, counter-point to the source now provided. --Wgfinley 03:01, 14 May 2005 (UTC)


And now someone has gone and deleted the section on Hatfield. How did this happen? --Tony Sidaway|Talk 08:33, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

The suggestion of "don't revert without discussion"

The heading quotes an edit summary by Wgfinley. The material about Bush that he and others would like to remove has been discussed over and over again on this page. It was discussed extensively long before any edits to the article that I remember from him or from Kaisershatner. That doesn't mean that its inclusion is carved in stone or that they're not allowed to re-open the question. What it means is that there's no basis for demanding that it now be removed unless and until its current critics are satisfied. This is a line we used to hear from the now-blocked Rex a lot -- saying, in effect, "There's no consensus so until there is, I can make whatever changes I want but no one else is allowed to change anything." Sorry, but there is no "baseline version" (another Rexian concept) that automatically gets put in place if there's any disagreement. JamesMLane 08:57, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

I concur. I haven't yet reviewed everything above this, but speaking for myself, I am certainly not asserting that anyone has a free hand to change while blocking others from same. (NB that I didn't make any edits per se, just removed the disputed paras because I thought the dispute should at least be addressed, if not resolved, prior to putting the info back in). TonySidaway did reply to me on my talk page, and while I continue to disagree with his view, at least it shows a willingness to engage in discussion of the merits of this information. In addition, I wonder if not adding/reverting the paras back and forth without achieving some kind of current consensus isn't a more collegial strategy than simply jamming and ripping the paras in and out based on whomever has last reverted? Thus, I do think that "don't revert without discussion" is correct in spirit - at least don't revert without justifying it, and saying the paragraphs are "lost" is misrepresenting the issue. They weren't lost - they were deleted, for reasons specified in Talk and reasons that should be discussed with civility. Kaisershatner 11:54, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

My reasons for removing them were there -- both Hatfield and Frank have serous credibility problems, to introduce their respective takes into the article without addressing those credibility problems is misleading. My suggestion was to just remove the sections so that we don't have to have disputed information debated on the article page, apparently this isn't good enough for James and Tony. So, I have let them stand, added this information about the felon turned author who subsequently killed himself because he was going back to jail for violating his parole as well as the esteemed psychiatrist who is not a member of the APA. It would be far easier if it wasn't there in the first place but, so be it. --Wgfinley 03:05, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

I think you and I both agree we would rather see the elimination of hatfield, van wormer and Frank's garbage and I think you also saw that any attempts to do this would be reverted. The only manner that has any chance of success here on these issues is to find discrediting information. It is sad that folks that have an obvious high intelligence level also fail to see how their politics won't allow them to understand the ridiculousness of some of the referencing here. It is surmised as being okay to state facts about opinions even if those opinions are wrong by those that protect Frank's, Wormer's and Hatfield's profit/politics motivated hypocrisy. So the only recourse is to make the article longer by rebutting these unencylopedic pasages.--MONGO 03:30, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

Nope, you're 100% correct and it's one of the main reasons this article is terrible, both sources have major credibility problems. I'm just waiting for them to say we aren't allowed to mention they have credibility problems. --Wgfinley 03:37, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

Gee, MONGO,I thought we were making some progress on this question of reporting opinions, and here you go getting it wrong again. It is not "surmised" that it's okay to state facts about opinions; it's enacted as Wikipedia policy. If you disagree with that policy, you should... oops, you don't want to be reminded. Well, let me just say that, at a minimum, you shouldn't pretend that the editors who are following current policy are doing so out of personal bias or "surmise". JamesMLane 04:43, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
James, you stated " facts about opinions, even if they are known to be wrong" If you wish to have me state that you are not acting based on your personal bias, then lets see you add someting positive about the subject matter and don't forget to use the same shoddy referencing and lets see you come up with something really far far fetched as the wormer, frank and hatfield'll be surprised what I'll do...I'll edit it out, or at least I'll try to find something that factually disputes it. You're ongoing efforts to protect these items makes it difficult for me to assume good faith on your part and it also makes me question your motivations for editing this article.--MONGO 07:31, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
Because of what I know and what sources I read, I certainly tend to encounter more negative than positive material about Bush. If all my edits to all political articles were tabulated, edits particularly welcome to leftists would outnumber those particularly welcome to rightists. I strongly suspect that all of your edits, taken together, would show the reverse. You say that you're not a Bush fan but it doesn't really matter whether you are, and it doesn't even matter whether your edits tend more toward one side than the other. What matters, in your contributions and in mine, is whether each edit, by itself, is appropriate in terms of Wikipedia policy. No one editor is responsible for making the article perfect.
Despite the foregoing, I've made some edits that ran against my personal bias. In this article, I recall off the top of my head two instances that relate to ongoing discussions. I modified the overly conclusive statement that Gore would've won a statewide Florida recount. You can also find somewhere on this page my disagreement with Tony about how to present the Frank book; I favored giving Frank's critics more prominence than Tony did. If, for any actual, specific edit of mine, you think it violates Wikipedia policy (for example, by adopting an anti-Bush opinion rather than merely reporting it, or by excising pro-Bush material that's encyclopedically appropriate), you can address that particular edit. I'm not going to pore through my edit history to compile a list of my "right-tilted" edits in the hope of improving your opinion of me.
I don't focus on whether another editor is biased. Everyone is biased to some extent. So what? JamesMLane 08:09, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

Why Democrats dispute the election results

Before we get into an edit war, lets break down what Wg keeps reverting:


The election results are still disputed by some Democrats, given that a complete recount might have given victory to Gore or to Bush, depending on the rules applied. (See The 2000 Florida Ballot Project.) The dispute, however, is no longer contested in any legal venue.


The election results are still disputed by some Democrats, who cite independent findings by the 'New York Times that in a statewide recount in "which all disqualified ballots statewide would have been reexamined...Gore would have received the most votes." [25] (Also see The 2000 Florida Ballot Project.) However, because of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the dispute is no longer contested in any legal venue.

What are we truly saying in the previous example? The "reason" that Democrats still dispute the election, is apparently because "a complete recount might have given victory to Gore or to Bush"? This is not the reason why Democrats dispute the election. If you want to simply include a mention about the Ballot Consortium's findings and exclude Democrats disputing the results, then yes, you are correct in that there were multiple scenarios of victory (partial recount in all scenarios = Bush victory, full recount in all scenarios = Gore victory), and given such hypothetical context, we should not emphasize one conclusion over the other. However, the context we are providing is that "the election results are still disputed by some Democrats." If we are going to include that Democrats dispute the election, we should attribute the reason why they do.

Wgfinley's current objections to this change are these:

  • this change introduces the NY Times
    • Yes, yes it does.
  • a reference to Bushwatch (now there's a reputable source)
    • Notice the New York Times logo at the bottom of the graphic. If you can find a better source for that graphic (or if we can upload it here), I'd much rather have that.
  • a suggestion that Gore really won
    • Under certain circumstances (a full recount), he would have. But that's besides the point. This conclusion (which is one of several) is the reason why Democrats dispute the election.
  • [it] takes another dig at the Supreme Court.
    • No it doesn't. It merely points out that after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, there are no more appeals, thus it cannot be contested in any legal venue.

--kizzle 17:22, May 13, 2005 (UTC)

It's not so much the New York Times is it? Rather more, the NORC results. Gzuckier 17:48, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

Re: "a suggestion that Gore really won": based on the fact that the best knowledge we have about how people voted in Florida shows that the majority of them voted for Gore? This doesn't neccessarily follow, it makes a number of assumptions:

  1. it assumes that by "winning" is meant the majority of people who voted, voted for that person; that the preeminent question is how people voted, not how votes were counted or expediance or anything of the sort. This is not neccessarily true. In fact, the mentioned supreme court rulings ruled contrary to both of these judgements: the first ruling ruled that the Florida law: "if the voters intent is clear, the vote should be counted" was unconstitutional, and in the second ruling, that recounts should be stopped because they would take too long. Kevin Baastalk: new 18:08, 2005 May 13 (UTC)
  2. that anyone is indeed suggesting anything - that they are not simply stating the truth about how people voted. If they are suggesting anything, one might say, more properly, that they are "stating what they believe to be an ethical imperative": the Lockean idea that "just powers are derived from the consent of the governed.", and that the consent of the governed is measured by how people voted (which, ofcourse, is most accurately reflected by a full recount, since the procedures of recounts are set up to provide more accuracy assurance then initial counts).

Also, I don't think that the usage of "democrats" in there, or any other allusion to the idea that there is partisian motivation, is appropriate or at all accurate. The motivation is the believed ethical imperative: they are speaking out to defend the right of the voter, not to defend or attack either candidate. This is another assumption that is just plain wrong.

A more accurate characterization is that some people have a problem with the fact that, to the best of our knowledge, the result of the election did not reflect the will of the voters, while others apparently don't have a problem with that, or see other problems as potentially more serious.

In sum, I agree that that section of the article needs to be worked on in the direction of accuracy and neutrality. Kevin Baastalk: new 18:08, 2005 May 13 (UTC)

Oh, and let me clarify: "the reason that some (including supreme court judges) dispute the ruling of the supreme court": not because more people in florida voted for gore than bush, and not anything to do with any candidate or any political party. People dispute the ruling because they have very strong feelings, not about who, specifically, our representatives should be, but about what process should be used to determine them, insofar as they are representatives of the people. People dispute the ruling because they believe, very very strongly, that the person who most people voted for, regardess of who that happens to be, is the legitimate president. They dispute not the outcome, but the process by which it has been determined. They strongly believe that it should be determined by the people; that the right to enforce one's will upon another is possesed by the recipient, and can only be transferred by their consent; that just powers are derived from the consent of the governed. This is the principle that they are defending. It is not a principle born from self-interest, but one born from egalitarianism. And that is how it is to be represented in the article, because that is how it is. Kevin Baastalk: new 21:45, 2005 May 13 (UTC)

Katherine van Wormer

I hope JamesMLane and TonySidaway will continue to engage in discussion of this para on the merits. To begin with, the para is factually incorrect; the Irish Times article may date from 2003 but her publication of this argument substantially predates that article, at least according to my google search.

In addition, her view suffers from the following fallacies:
(1) begging the question. Assume GWB is a recovering alcoholic. His personality traits of (a), (b), and (c), support the proposition that he is a recovering alcoholic. QED!
(2) correlation implies causation. Addicts often have these traits; therefore they are a result of addiction. GWB's traits are caused by his alcohol history.
(3) assuming premises that are not granted - In Wormer's opinion, GWB exhibits those personality traits such as a "kill or be killed mentality" and "the tendency to go to extremes." Many people would not agree. Even if her conclusions actually did follow these premises, plenty of people would doubt her assumptions about his personality. It's not as if she has some special insight into his behavior; I doubt she spends a lot of time in private with him.
(4) the complete lack of specificity of her criteria. Her claims, as I have noted, are highly subjective to begin with, but they're also so vague as to be applicable to anyone you don't like. He gets angry when people disagree with him- he gives 1000 speeches a week and when he doesn't use a script he makes mistakes!
(5) Ascribing some kind of authority to wholly subjective methods of argument. I don't have a Ph.D in Social Work, like Wormer, but I do wonder if anybody could, on the basis of distant observation of a public figure, infer from their behavior that they used to be an alcoholic without prior knowledge of same, with any kind of reproducibility or accuracy. I'd love to see that research if you guys can dig it up. My guess is that it's baseless and makes for a fun argument for people who already don't like GWB and already know he used to drink to excess, but as I have stated above, ascribing some kind of scientific validity to it is, in my view, unwarranted. Let me throw in the argument from authority for good measure. "I'm a social worker and I know about addicts. Therefore GWB is one, based on my distant observations of personality traits that I say he has!"

Is that enough?

You guys want to put in info about his history of alcohol use, that's fine. It's objective. But the Wormer piece is just a joke, and inclusion of it here is a mockery of objectivity and of what an encyclopedia should be. Kaisershatner 22:10, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

I am starting to agree with the anti-Wormer camp. It is Wikipedia policy to quote notable opinions about a subject and include them in the article. But I think in this case we need to set a clear threshold of significance in including people's opinions. If Van Wormer's book was a topic of national debate, then I would be for including it. While I'm sure it may have had an occasional mention in a newspaper here or there, I'm not sure that the inclusion of such in Bush's article is justified. She didn't treat him. And while she is an expert in her field, she is simply conjecturing. And even if she is simply conjecturing, I would be for inclusion if Van Wormer's opinion (as opposed to merely Bush's alleged drug use) were an integral component of public dialogue in the matter. But it isn't.
My only objection to this inclusion is as follows: If we are to include Van Wormer's opinion, who never treated Bush, and whose book and/or opinions never reached the mainstream (if even accepted by the mainstream), we are setting a precedent that will dilute the quality of future included opinions in this and other pages, and promote endless rebuttals of in-text linkage to anyone who feels the need to comment on the matter. Just my two cents. --kizzle 22:53, May 14, 2005 (UTC)

The Van Wormer piece wasn't in a book, it was an article in the Irish Times. I questioned it (I personally think it's a complete joke) but an opinion by a professional, prominent in her field, and a published author, published in the mainstream press, well that makes it noteworthy. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 23:02, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

Well, I am pretty up on current events and I never saw it here in the U.S. Regardless, I still feel that we can find a happy medium but would encourage you to strongly evaluate the quality control we provide as editors when things such as the Wormer, Frank and Hatfield information are left here. In all honesty, they really are not very noteworthy and I think a quid pro quo in which after each passage a rebuttal is added just for the sake of balance is also a waste of space...I think the parts about his conversations with Billy Graham and the next immediate item (can't see it reight now) are fine and they provide all the evidence the reader needs that indeed, in all liklihood, Bush did drink too much and he also did some drugs he shouldn't have. I think the rest is just not nearly as noteworthy as you suggest. Maybe it is or has been covered in Europe with more exhaustion and what we are dealing with is a difference of perspectives competely outside of the main issue...--MONGO 07:51, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
Agree, it sounds like there was significant more coverage of Van Wormer's book in Europe than in the U.S. --kizzle 18:55, May 15, 2005 (UTC)
Tony, respectfully, I must disagree that getting published in the mainstream press (do you mean just published by a large publishing company) makes it notable. How many people do you think are aware of this book? Was it discussed in any television programs? And did you hear of the Irish Times before Van Wormer?? I think the only valid reason for inclusion is if it had a significant impact on public dialogue, because the contents of the book itself are someone psychoanalyzing someone who they've never had contact with, which is pretty weak. --kizzle 03:27, May 15, 2005 (UTC)

I'll have to repeat this. Apologies.

  • Van Wormer did not write her opinions in a book.
  • Also you seem to be confusing Van Wormer's article with Justin Frank's. There is no psychoanalysis in Van Wormer's article.

Yes, and indeed I expect most educated people are aware of the Irish Times. Living in London, I can pop down to a local shop and buy a copy as readily as I'd buy Le Figaro, New York Times, or any other major national newspaper. Van Wormer didn't start the Bush == Dry Drunk debate (arguably Alan Bisbort, a Hartford Advocate columnist, did that, in the American Politics Journal--Van Wormer references his article) but Van Wormer legitimized this speculation because she's a published professional on this subject. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 06:33, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

I'm not educated. --kizzle 18:55, May 15, 2005 (UTC)

Explanation of Tony Sidaway's revert of's edit of 22:43 UTC, 14 May 2005

I'm reverting this because it seems to remove a lot of relevant information for no apparent good purpose. Could you explain the purpose of this edit? --Tony Sidaway|Talk 06:50, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

My God, that sounds (ironically) familiar. But never mind. --Everyking 07:09, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
I don't think the streamlining removed any relevant information. The core purpose of the condensed paragraphs is still there. And all the less-relevant related details are still available via the links. Look back in the discussion archives and you will see there has been significant desire to prevent these sections of the main GWB article from getting mired in every little detail. Feel free to expand all you want in a sub article. I am now going to re-re-re-introduce these editorial changes for clarity and conciseness. If you think I have mistakenly removed a major/key point, please put it back in incrementally. Do not just revert everything. Thanks. -- 19:40, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

There was nothing wrong with the previous version, which was a result of a precising operation that achieved quite a degree of consensus, so I have restored it again. Please stop performing these excisions of descriptive material in the name of streamlining. You have indeed mistakenly removed a number of key points. It was easy enough to restore them all--since your edit added nothing and subtracted much (and also managed to add some unnecessary weaseling) I just reverted it. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 23:28, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

Let's pin this down more precisely:

  • " questions arose about the Hatfield's background." For heaven's sake.
  • "These writings are still a matter of controversy within the mental health community." Oh dear.

Of course they're controversial--they're the opinion of one man based on his study of the man's public appearances. The previous version pins it down more carefully and describes it more precisely, instead of this handwaving that makes it appear like there's a huge hubbub of discussion within something called "the mental health community". We're talking shrinks here, clinical psychiatrists, not psychiatric nurses, not psychologists, not non-medical psychoanalysts. A few shrinks agree with Frank, a few disagree, and one major institution (which the previous version names, and I think that is important) says his book is out-and-out unethical. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 23:48, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

Please stop wholesale reverts. If you want to go into further detail beyond this level you really ought to put it in a subarticle. That has been the established goal on this article for several months. It was established that this article has too much of what you might call "precision" on small-picture issues. There's nothing wrong with recording this somewhere, but it should be a subarticle. This isn't "handwaving," it's avoiding rambling in a big-picture encyclopedia article. At any rate, if you want further wholesale reverts, please wait for someone else to do it. This makes 3 times in a 24 hour period.-- 00:40, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
I tried to get the revert down and it didn't work, I'm assuming this anon was the one who undid it, I think we had an agreement from all sides on the precis so I'm glad that it's back. What's there isn't what I would prefer (would like it shorter) but it's fair. --Wgfinley 23:41, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
Well, I have spoken with Tony and agreed to a streamlining of this section. It is obvious that he will not allow the elimination of the information, regardless of how much it may appear to be psuedoscience. With as much courtesy as I can muster, I have to assume good faith even though I am inclined not to. I think Tony and others protecting these passages are very intelligent and it surprises me that they can't see how lousy these items are. I can and probably will keep "sniping" about these things and outside of bringing it to a vote, I see little chance they will be eliminated. So, I go on record condemning the information as unencyclopedic and also know that the NPOV tag should remain at the beginning of the article as a consequence of this type of referencing.--MONGO 02:30, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
Why not a vote? --kizzle 03:01, May 16, 2005 (UTC)

Regarding War Criminal Status

There are so many pages of discussion that I do not know if this has been mentioned or not: Currently there are attempts to prosecute George W. Bush as a war criminal, along with some of his cohorts (Cheney, Rumsfeld et al.). I think he may even have been convicted in one of them already. The reason I write this and believe it should be in the main article is that being convicted, prosecuted, or accused of any crime is a serious issue in anyone's life and one would be remiss not to mention such things in any bio of a person, regardless of whether you believe it or not. I will mention though, that I do believe he is one, and so are his friends. It would give me great pleasure to see them locked up for life, or at the very least barred from entering any country, for fear of arrest and prosecution.

David Bishop Vancouver, BC

What court did this happen in? Because outside of perhaps North Korea or Syria, I doubt any court would find him or his "cohorts" guilty.--MONGO 02:35, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
"Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else." - Theodore Roosevelt
"The reason I write this and believe it should be in the main article is that being convicted, prosecuted, or accused of any crime is a serious issue in anyone's life and one would be remiss not to mention such things in any bio of a person, regardless of whether you believe it or not." I agree completely. There is no reason why we should apply a standard to this article any different than we would any other article, regardless of the various feelings that people may have on this subject.
Please present links and references to any sources you have on this matter, so that this issue may be addressed on the basis of the information. Kevin Baastalk: new 21:19, 2005 May 15 (UTC)
A case was brought in Germany and was pending for a while. I forget whether Bush was named, but Rumsfeld was a defendant, based on his responsibility for violations of international law in connection with the Abu Ghraib atrocities. Rumsfeld was planning to skip the Munich security conference for fear of being arrested. The German court dismissed the case, however, ruling that it would not have jurisdiction unless the alleged war crimes were committed in Germany or against victims who were German citizens. I think there was also a move afoot in Belgium to prosecute Bush for his war crimes, but that the government, not wanting the embarrassment of such a litigation, changed the Belgian law that would have made the case viable. I don't know of any current proceeding against Bush that should be included in this article. JamesMLane 06:10, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
How about putting what you just said in the article? Kevin Baastalk: new 06:17, 2005 May 16 (UTC)

I'm not quite sure how to edit this thing, but I hope this gets put in the right spot... I am sorry for not posting a link. So, here is one about this issue which brought this idea to my mind, though, you will have to go in a roundabout way to read it (sorry):, then navigate to "Back Issues" (second link on left side), then click on "7-Apr-2005" issue, then click on the link under the "Features:" section: "Are Bush & Co. War Criminals?". I know this is a lot to ask but that site prevents outside linking. I also did some googling and will post some links when I have more time.

David Bishop Vancover, BC