Talk:George W. Bush/Archive 21

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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.

  • 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)

War Crimes?

Okay, the article says that due to the invasion of Iraq, there are questions in the "international community as to why George W. Bush has not been brought before an international tribunal to defend himself against charges of crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity." This is supposed to be neutral? What is this "international community" you refer to, since no citation is provided. Does this "international community" ask why Tony Blair hasn't been charged with war crimes either, since Britain invaded Iraq as well, as did Spain and many other countries? I do not make this point to defend Bush's actions, but only to point out how preposterous the notion is that the "international community" is actually asking these questions. Non-U.S. citizens may be asking these questions, but that is hardly the "international community". I'm taking it out. Kronius 05:51, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

See reference regarding "largest mass protest recorded in human history". If that doesn't count as an "international community", I don't know what does. kthxbai.

Yes, that is one type of "international community". However, it is an irrelevant community since the average layperson has no knowledge of international law, therefore whether or not they think Bush should be charged with war crimes is irrelevant. If the international community was the community of nations (like the U.N.), that would be highly relevant, but there would have to be a citation to a source that showed that nations were calling for war crimes charges against Bush. Care to provide one? I didn't think so.... I'm not going to bother to undo your reversion because it is hopeless--there are too many people out there like you who will just revert it again. Kronius 06:46, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)
There are so many problems with your logic, Kronius, I'm not even going to get into it. Well maybe i'll start here: the average layperson has the best understanding of international law: they are the just source of it. And I get the impression that you, personally, have no understanding of international law, as you seem to side against the protestors in regard to it, and thereby also against the U.N., the majority of political leaders throughout the world, and the signers and ratifiers of the U.N. Charter (such as the United States), regarding what is and is not international law, what is a violation of it or not.
Regarding the lack of war crimes charges against Bush: Oh, there are plenty of charges. What is missing is the judicial mechanism to resolve said charges, and it is missing because the United States - if you would take the time to do your research before being so vociferous about things you don't know about, you might have been aware of this, and know the revelant resolutions that the U.S. vetoed or accepted on the condition the U.S. didn't have to abide by it, and all of the other details surrounding the issue. Kevin Baastalk 23:36, 2005 Apr 7 (UTC)
If war crimes were never brought up against Stalin for his invasion of Finland, then I see little chance they ever could against Bush...--MONGO 08:00, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Speaking of Stalin: Nuremberg Trials. I agree that Stalin was not tried for war crimes (though not that charges were not brought up). I also agree that there is little chance that Bush will be tried for war crimes, such as crimes against peace, (though charges have been brought up). But I do not agree that there is any causal relation between the two. (Correlation does not imply causality.) Irrespective of anything else, it is highly unlikely that Bush will be tried for war crimes, because the U.S., under the Bush Administration, objected to and withdrew support for ("unsigned", so to speak) the war crimes tribunal (International Criminal Court). Bush cannot be tried for war crimes, irrespective of whether he is charged with them, and irrespective of whether he commited them or not, because the United States refused to let the same rules and procedures that govern every other leader apply to their leaders, believing themselves innately more right than others. Kevin Baastalk 19:07, 2005 Apr 10 (UTC)
You're living in a fantasy world...there is zero chance Bush will ever be charged...perhaps it is due to the fact that the U.S. is the financial base of many economies and these other countries wouldn't wish to piss the U.S. off...but more likely it is because there is no way it would happen because anyone with any knowledge of international law knows that there is zero chance, based on those laws, that any charge would stick because there is insufficient think that there are sufficient grounds is to admit you have zero knowledge of international law...what is fact and what is fiction and what can be proved are all very different things...especially in a court of law...he might be charged and found guilty by some country that practices some form of law or utilizes a system of justice that is arbitrary and or completely alien to what is practiced and or recognized by the vast majority of the international community...countries like Myanmar, N. Korea, etc....--MONGO 07:13, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Not absolutely true. He could be brought up on war crimes if he travelled to another country and was arrested there for them, because some countries have laws about war criminals in their countries. This is highly unlikely to ever occur though. Titanium Dragon 05:48, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Are you saying that the Secretary General of the U.N. has zero knowledge of international law? 'Cause that's a very very serious allegation. You should either back that up with lots and lots of evidence, or withdraw it. Kevin Baastalk 14:37, 2005 Apr 11 (UTC)
In any case, you can read the law for yourself. It's unambiguous. Be sure to look up self defense and imminent threat. As I'm sure you can see those articles and read them for yourself, either we are both living in a fantasy world, or neither of us are. Kevin Baastalk 14:40, 2005 Apr 11 (UTC)
Aside your belief an an ameri-centric global economy, do you realize that you are purporting to predict the future deterministicly, purporting to know absolutely everything about the legal setting, nature, and circumstances of the iraq war and absolutely everything about international law, and absolutely everything about what people do or do not know regarding these things and related issues, which by your logic cannot exceed what you know? Don't you think that's all a little, to use the nicest word I can think of, presumptuous? Kevin Baastalk 16:28, 2005 Apr 11 (UTC)
You mean Mr.Oil for Food? I take what Annan says as being about as two faced as anyone to have ever been in his position in the UN...--MONGO 17:28, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
No, I think you've been misled or are confused. The Kofi Annon I'm referring to was not involved in the Oil for Food program. Kevin Baastalk 17:40, 2005 Apr 12 (UTC)
Ah...isn't the jury out on that one yet...or has it been dropped due to...insufficient evidence just as any War crimes would be against Bush...--MONGO 17:44, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Yes, the jury is out. He was cleared of all charges by right-wing character assasins trying to discredit the U.N. because they think they are manifestly more right than everyone else, and want everyone else to believe this via unsubstantiated accusations and ad hominem attacks. don't you think it's pretty ridiculous of putting the blame on the figurehead of an institution they have been trying to discredit since they wanted to invade iraq, when he wasn't even involved in the program in question? The jury's out. He was cleared of all unsubstantiated accusations. Surprise, surprise. Kevin Baastalk 18:04, 2005 Apr 12 (UTC)
He knew all about it...he is just as corrupt as any other politician.--MONGO 08:39, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Whatever. If you have no faith in any politicians then what's the point of any discussion? It would just be discussing noise with noise. Kevin Baastalk 22:57, 2005 Apr 13 (UTC)


Let's face it- Bush voters tend to be uneducated and ignorant of political affairs. This isn't me saying this, there's plenty of polling data. Uneducated and ignorant people don't read encyclopedias very much either. So the article isn't biased, it's just facing the facts. -Sam

This Article is hopelessly biased. The entire "Business and Early Career" and "Public perception and assessments" sections do nothing but criticize Bush. An encyclopedia article is not the place to pick out every negative fact about someone you can find. It's supposed to cover the key highlights, good and bad. Is it really important what percentage of foreign citizens would have voted for Kerry? There are just too many people out there with an agenda for this article, like Mr. "kthxbai" up there who thinks it is relevant what protestors, who have no knowledge of international law, think about who should and should not be charged with war crimes. I give up. Kronius 06:27, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

There are just too many people out there with an agenda for this article, like Mr. "Kronius" up there who thinks it is relevant what Kronius, who has no knowledge of what protestors do or do not know, thinks about what protestors do or do not know about international law. Kevin Baastalk 23:23, 2005 Apr 7 (UTC)

I'll give this one more try. No description of any person, place, or thing of sufficient complexity can be completely neutral. This is because once something becomes complex enough, you have to pick and choose which facts you tell and which ones you ignore. A description of something can consist purely of objective facts and still be biased because the author's bias has influenced which facts s/he omits. I do not dispute that (for the most part at least) the article consists of "facts". My concern is that the facts that have been chosen are tilted towards an anti-Bush POV because much more space in the article has been devoted to facts criticizing Bush than those facts merit (See Space and Balance Tutorial). The result is an article that consists entirely of facts, but with huge sections that, while perhaps true, would never appear in a standard Encyclopedia or History book. It even appears that certain sections were written by people that just looked at books criticising Bush and added their main points, regardless of the relative importance of the subject matter. This really isn't all that surprising, since I expect that most people editing this article do not like Bush. Consequently, the people working on this article need to ask themselves what the purpose of the article, and the Wikipedia itself is. Is it to tell the story of Bush that you want told, perhaps because you think certain facts that you feel are important have been ignored by the mainstream public? Or is it to lay out the key highlights of his career in as close an approximation of the way a standard encyclopedia would, while still keeping in mind that this is a Wikipedia, not an encyclopedia. Kronius 23:45, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Here's my take: It should do none of the above listed. Instead, we should hold it to a higher standard: We should represent the facts in representative proportion. That each, each fact will be weighted by it's informativeness (that is, unexpectedness), relevancy (that is, hamming distance), and importance (that is, its impact on the empirical world). Each fact will be given space in the article commensurate with that weighted value, so as to maximize the total value of the article.
This may result in an article very critical of a person, or very flattering to that person, but this is no objection. Balance does not mean creating a completely ambiguous article. A balanced and neutral article may support a certain pov much more than it does another. For instance, an article might support the POV that science if founded on empiricism much more than the POV that science is founded on catholicism, and thereby "creation science", which is totally invalid from an empirical philosophy, as not science. Also would a fundamental principal of science, "falsifiability", overwhelmingly support the "POV" that "creation science" is not science. Yet one could argue, from the logical fallacy that a balanced presentation of the facts results in a POV ambiguous article, that the science article should be rewritten such that the "POV" that "creation science" is science is supported in the science article as much as the "POV" that it is not science.
I hope my point is made clear by this example. One should not assume the conclusion (such as two given povs being equally supported by the facts), and select facts so as to support that conclusion. One should weigh each fact on the same scale, regardless of what pov's it supports or sheds doubt on, and let the facts, submitted to a candid world, speak for themselves. Kevin Baastalk 00:08, 2005 Apr 8 (UTC)
Well, I'm not sure about the unexpectedness factor. It does not seem to me to be the purpose of an encyclopedia to emphasize facts just because they aren't widely known. However, this probably won't make much difference anyway, so we'll assume for the moment that each fact will be weighed by three factors: importance, relevance, and informativeness.
Now let's look at some of the facts this article contains:
  • It gives his College GPA, and emphasizes that he was a "C" student
  • It devotes an entire paragraph to his 1976 DWI.
  • It spends two full paragraphs discussing insider trading allegations that never resulted in any charges
  • It discusses for one full paragraph the fact that Bush got out of jury duty in 1996
  • It spends one paragraph on tariffs on Canadian lumber and one paragraph on funding for the United Nations Population Fund
  • It spends an entire paragraph blaming Bush's tax cuts for the deficit, when it is clear that the economy slow-down and increased defense spending post-9/11 were also significant causes.
  • It devotes three full paragraphs, almost a full screen at 1024x768, to a detailed description of the rise and fall of Bush's approval rating.
  • It devotes three full paragraphs, almost a full screen at 1024x768 to a discussion of Bush's approval ratings abroad.
  • It devotes eight full paragraphs, more than a full screen at 1024x768, to a detailed discussion of Bush's drug use. At the end of it, all we have learned is that at some point Bush had an alcohol problem, he probably did marijuana at some point in his life, and he may have done cocaine at some point in his life. During the discussion, it spends one full paragraph on what one (or perhaps two) psychologists have written about Bush's personality.
If you look at that list, and the article en toto, and compare it to other articles for other Presidents, I think it becomes clear that this article spends a LOT of time on relatively unimportant facts that are critical of Bush. The domestic approval rating discussion isn't really critical of Bush, but I still think it's overdone. Kronius 21:49, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)
It would be also important to note that unless one is antiBush, or antiRepblican then the article can't be read as anything other than biased...I would say that most folks that wish to see this article be neutral do attempt to edit the page and contribute to discussion as you have done, but are faced with a pervasive left wing group that wish to continue to perpetrate this article as being encyclopedic, when the fact is that it is very much a critical analysis of Bush and in some ways, inaccurate in it's use of less than creditable witness and poor referencing well known to be left wing in it's viewpoints. The constant heckle of the left wing folks here is that it is Wikipedia policy to state opinions quoted by others if they are citable, yet they fail to show how poor referencing and obvious bias in the opinion makes us responsible editors...hope you continue to contribute.--MONGO 02:07, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)
In other words, you disagree with the Wikipedia policy of reporting notable opinions. You would instead follow one of these courses:
  • (a) change the general policy, replacing it with a policy of reporting only those opinions that are well-founded (well-referenced? unbiased? correct? I'm not clear exactly what standard you would apply); or
  • (b) retain the current general policy for most or all other articles, but remove from the Bush article some of the unfavorable opinions about him, even though their inclusion is proper under the policy that gets applied to everyone else.
It seems that, by the phrase "constant heckle", you mean that I and other editors constantly try to conform this article to the current Wikipedia policy -- that is, to the policy adopted by the entire community and actually in place. To that charge I proudly plead guilty. Thank you for the compliment. JamesMLane 04:59, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I didn't say that I disagree with notable witness..I do not consider Salon, Hatfield, van Worners opinion and related referencing and bias to be encyclopedic. It is poor editing to include such items if they are dubious to a majority of persons...the consensus....editing this article...if the consensus...which I may or may not be a part of....decides to continue to utilize such items,,,,then so be it...I state my record here, my argument is valid and therefore the NPOV tag remains. I do not, however, agree that the consensus is necessarily devoted to ensuring that some of the articles in this forum portray the subject matter in a neutral manner. If you wish to say that I have bad faith in this, based on the fact that I do consider it to be a fact that some wish to only find a way to lampoon Bush here, then I thank you as well. Furthermore, enough others have contested the accuracy and neutrality of this page to ensure that there is an ongoing debate, and a debate that has legitmacy for both views. I have conceeded on a number of issues and fail to see very much in terms of flexibilty on the part of those protecting weakly referenced, bias and or leftist sentiment that is pervasive to this article in and a few others of similar overtones in particular.--MONGO 07:54, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)
You write, "It is poor editing to include such items if they are dubious to a majority of persons..." Wikipedia policy on this point is directly contrary to what you write. A viewpoint "held by a significant minority" is to be included. See Wikipedia:Neutral point of view#What is the neutral point of view?.
You also insist that the NPOV tag should remain. For the record, I've never removed it. In fact, I generally don't spend much time squabbling over NPOV tags. Instead, whether or not there's a tag, I try to pay attention to any objections that are raised and consider whether they have merit. In your case, I'm not saying you have bad faith. I'm saying only that your objections are without merit and that the NPOV tag is specious. Having said that, I'm going to follow my usual practice of tolerating unjustified NPOV tags, because I have better things to do with my time than to try to persuade you to change your mind. JamesMLane 03:05, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The main problem with this article isn't factual error, though there are a few (the most readily apparent being placing all of the blame for the budget deficits on the tax cuts). The problem with this article is that it spends a lot of time on relatively unimportant details. I also agree with Calicocat that there are a lot of "weasel-worded" paragraphs.
Why is there a paragraph that takes up 1/3 of a screen devoted entirely to the fact that Bush got out of jury duty when he was Texas governor? The only fact that is learned from that paragraph that is at all interesting, is the fact that the governor of Texas can actually be summoned to jury duty. The paragraph appears to just be a pathetic excuse to re-drudge up the DWI charge, which was already covered in it's own paragraph in the previous section (another paragraph of questionable value).
The eight paragraphs devoted to the alcohol and drug issues are outrageous, considering the important highlights could be covered in one: "Bush admited he had an alcohol problem prior to X, but maintains that he has not consumed any alcohol since that time. Bush also indicated in a conversation secretly taped by Wead that he "tried" marijuana, with no indication as to when it occurred. Bush has repeatedly been asked if he has used cocaine, but Bush refuses to confirm or deny any cocaine use." It isn't that complicated, and I certainly don't see the need to delve into van Wormer's psychoanalysis of Bush's "addictive personality."
Is it really necessary to be brought step-by-step through the SEC insider trading case? We're not investigating him, the SEC was, and they didn't charge him with anything. No, that doesn't make him innocent, but it also makes the details less important. If we must be informed about the allegations, the discussion really needs to be condensed to no more than one paragraph. Currently, the article spends more real estate on the SEC investigation than it does on the 9/11 attacks and invasion of Afghanistan combined. While those issues are covered in sub-articles, they were still the defining moments of his Presidency.
The article spends a full screen on a detailed, country-by-country account of Bush's poor approval ratings overseas. I agree that a discussion of Bush's poor support abroad is important, but does it really deserve as much space as is given to the invasion of Iraq? Kronius 06:29, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The section on support abroad was primarily born from a contentious debate, which was finally resolved when User:VeryVerily was banned. The country-by-country account was a compromise to be indisputably neutral by being strictly and unmistakable factual. There's at least one whole archive devoted to discussion of that section. You can see the different versions voted on in the archives, and the reasoning behind the selection. After VV was banned, there were a few minor improvements to it. Kevin Baastalk 02:29, 2005 Apr 12 (UTC)
Okay, not an entire archive, apparently, but problems, if not discussions, lasted through the duration of an archive. Archive_9#Bush_personifies_dislike_of_U.S., /Archive_10#Popularity, /Archive_11 (Looking back, I'm not proud of my youthfull wiki ways.) Kevin Baastalk 02:38, 2005 Apr 12 (UTC)
I don't see how his college GPA, which in fact was D-F, after you compensate for the full grade point bias consistently given to sons of alumni where he went to college, is at all critical of Bush. It is not known a priori what his grade point was, and it is a significant thing to know, as it reflects on both his responsibility and his intellectual ability, both traits that are extremely important for the role as president. If he was applying for a job, this is one of the first things that would be looked at. The fact that he got a relatively low grade point is no objection. In fact, his gradepoint being atypically far from average at the college makes it more statistically significant. (more unexpected; more informative) It would be nice to know what the GPAs of the other presidents were. If someone could pull that up, I think it should be included in their articles.
Regarding the paragraph on the deficit, if there are not paragraphs on the unprecedented (with the exception of the revolutionary war) increase in defense spending and the movement of tech jobs overseas, then i agree that there should be. This would help put the tax cuts in context. Deficits, of course, increase when spending is increased and taxes are decreased.
You're right about the abroad thing, really the amount of paragraphs about his popularity abroad, in comparision to that of his popularity in the u.s., should be in proportion to the ratio of said populations. Therefore, three paragraphs is too few. However, the information is fairly presented in the space given, but just barely - this being a large misperception and largely disputed by right-wing radicals, if the section were to be made much smaller, fantasy would start overtaking the truth. We've run into this here before, User:VeryVerily being an example. It is a real danger. But if it is made bigger, which I don't think is neccessary, right-wingers would protest, saying that the information should be suppressed or is not factually accurate, as has been done before. In sum, the current size is equlibrium.
Regarding the drug paras - and this is a problem, often here: right-wing radicals will dispute the factual accuracy, and so the para will get bigger, and mroe disputation, and bigger para, etc. when the para size is reduced because it's too big, the same thing happens again. So you see, it's stubborn misperceptions that cause these sections to swell. As sad as it is, it does take eight paras to get that little bit of information through to a lot of people. I would prefer it took only a sentence or two, like it does for Clinton ("i didn't inhale" - sure.), but for some reason it takes a lot more.
There's more, basically a lot of the others stuff you mention, I don't see why you consider them a problem. Kevin Baastalk 22:43, 2005 Apr 8 (UTC)
Oh, and, re the 8 para section - i wouldn't be against someone attempting to make this shorter, carefully, ommiting the least important/significant facts first, and not distorting it or making it sound weak or strong in areas. Just keep in mind that there are people who will rabidly attack it as a load of B.S. if it gets too small, as I mentioned earlier.
Also, it has been brought up before that there isn't a lot of positives here - that's not because they are being suppressed, its that noone ever put any here. If you know of anything positive, or even some positive spins, you're welcome to put them in, provided, ofcourse, that they are factually accurate and satisfy NPOV policy. Kevin Baastalk 23:24, 2005 Apr 8 (UTC)
That is the biggest lie you have written yet...I have and others have tried to insert items here that are positive and you and the rest of the left wingers delete it or argue about it to the point of no return. If you are so neutral then why not you find something positive to add?--MONGO 02:14, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I don't know what you are referring to, but if that the people on wikipedia are following and enforcing wikipedia guidelines and policies, then I commend them. I will not acknowledge any unsubstantiated accusations, which violate the Wikipedia:Civility policy, nor acts of bad faith, which violate the Wikipedia:Good faith policy, nor personal attacks, such as calling me a liar, which violate the Wikipedia: No personal attacks policy. Nor am I so arrogant, self-righteous, and logicaly inept as to consider myself neutral, or to consider neutrality a goal that can ever be achieved by an individual. So rest assured, I do not bear the pretention of being neutral, and rest assured, also, that I will work collaboratively towards neutrality, via wikipedia policy, equitable protocols, and critical thinking. This has already been discussed in the "POV tag" section. Kevin Baastalk 16:50, 2005 Apr 10 (UTC)
I see, and you suggest that this has not been something you have done to have attacked me in commentary on edits, in discussions, in my own user page...sometimes it is thinly disguised as something else like condescention but it is there and it is evident. Be careful who you accuse and please stop your ongoing efforts to utilize recently taken college courses on Philosophy with your constant rhetorical metaphysical mumbo jumbo. I can see zero chance that your attempts here are done in good faith to be neutral....your politics simply wouldn't allow that. I say, that if I am so interested in pushing a POV, then why don't I linger around in extreme left wing articles and edit there...adding what is obvious left wing commentary and poorly referenced innuendo such as some have done here? The reason is that I don't wish to push a point of view...I do wish to see a neutral article.--MONGO 17:38, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Well, I don't know what to say other than the fact that I don't think the items on my list are very important, except for the deficit stuff, which is important, but I disagree with the substance of the discussion. It doesn't seem to be worth spending any more time arguing about it because it is clear that this article is dominated by people with an agenda—that much can be gleaned by even the most casual perusal of the article—and it's just not worth the effort. I'm not pointing any fingers at you, but I will say that anyone who reads this article and doesn't detect the venomous tone that pervades the entire piece needs to seriously examine their own biases. Furthermore, everyone who is focusing on editing this article needs to reflect on why they have chosen to edit this entry—if it's because you don't like Bush, then you probably shouldn't be doing it. I am sure that eventually this article will be brought under control when emotions aren't running quite as high as they presently are. 'Til then... Kronius 04:56, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Check out their user is pickled with socialist ideologies, claims of bias outright, pervasive left wing contributions, etc. It is impossible for a centrist such as myself to believe that they could, in any way, have a commitment to neutrality in an article such as is preposterous...there sole purpose here has nothing to do with a love of the subject in the same way as I may have a love of the National Parks. I don't much like John Kerry, and sure as heck could care less about many far left issues but you don't see me there inserting poorly referenced, tabloidish jargon in an effort to push a POV.--MONGO 08:12, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I think this has already been discussed in the "POV tag" section. Kevin Baastalk 16:25, 2005 Apr 10 (UTC)
This I agree on. Emotions do cloud the facts, clearly. One need only look at the histograms of the president's approval ratings were greatly affected by events that evoked strong emotion, but were not reflective of his performance. When such events overwhelm all measured considerations of policy, it appears almost certain that the vast majority of people are ruled by their emotions to a far greater extent than they are ruled by "reason". And in any case, it is cause for alarm and compels the carefull mind to pause and consider. It is quite disturbing how easily the human mind can be led to see the world through a lens greatly distorted by emotions such as fear. It may take years until we are free of these distortions and may look to this time as history, where "hindsight is 20/20 vision". But this history may never be of use to us if we can never look at what is happening now in the same way that we look at history, and thereby apply what we've learned from history to the decisions of today. Perhaps that is the best we can do for now: write about GWB not as the president, but as someone who was the president 20 or so years ago. What would we have liked to know about the presidents from years past? How would we view them? What questions would we be interested in? etc. IMHO, this is "why" we should be editng this article: both for the sake of history, to be learned from and used to make good decisions in the future, and for the sake of today, to view the decisions now with the lessons of history in mind, and present the now in relation to the past. Kevin Baastalk 05:25, 2005 Apr 9 (UTC)

Look MONGO, someone just removed (subtracted) some leftist innuendo with little real significance! What am I doing about it? Complaining that it was a POV edit? No, congratulating! Thanks, Kronius, I think that change improves the article's quality. Kevin Baastalk 02:18, 2005 Apr 12 (UTC)

Audio link

I think the audio link is a valuable addition, but I think it should be an explicit "listen" link, as used to great effect in Joseph Stalin. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 14:09, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I have two concerns about the audio link:
  • Linking method: If a name is linked to an audio file, this will likely cause confusion since it's nonstandard for Wikipedia. If a "listen" link is used, it clutters the first sentence of the article.
  • Audio format: Many readers will not be familiar with Ogg and may not have the appropriate software installed to play the audio clip.
I'm not saying that the link doesn't belong in the article, but we should think carefully about the consequences of adding audio to text. Carbonite | Talk 14:19, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)
wrt ogg, I believe Jimbo has decreed mp3 to be verboten, along with other "non free" formats. For such short files, WAV might be an option. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 14:23, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)
True, WAV probably would be better than Ogg for a tiny clip such as the pronunciation of a name. WAV files are almost universally supported by audio software and hardware, it's only their size that can be problematic. Carbonite | Talk 14:28, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I never heard of Ogg until just now. (Please remember that some of us aren't technologically oriented.) I agree with Carbonite about not linking the first use of the name (which is confusing) and not cluttering the first sentence with a "listen" link. I'd prefer something like a listing under "See also" with a parenthetical explanation like "(listen to pronunciation in Ogg format)", or whatever format the techies decide upon. JamesMLane 14:39, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The .ogg files are the standard soundfiles for use within the wikimedia projects. For scripts other than our own, we have after the romanised word the way the word is written in the original script. In the case of GW it is the roman script. The pronunciation of words is not universal hence soundfiles with the pronunciation from someone who speaks the language a name hails from. (Try to say "Jaap de Hoop Scheffer") GerardM 17:02, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)
So, did you ever bother to actually read the text on pages like Special:Upload? Maybe the part where it says "other media like this Media:File.ogg" (though admittedly, it seems to be missing some <nowiki> tags there, and I'm trying to hunt that MediaWiki/Template page down now)? --John Owens (talk) 10:49, 2005 Mar 20 (UTC)
It's just not a direction I want to see Wikipedia go. Wikipedia is an open system, I'm allowed to disagree in the early stages of an experiment. Why? It should be a separate Wiki project since it will never end and will clutter every article. Plus, it's an obvious place for more sophisticated forms of vandalism (since the .ogg format is used). Separate project. Separate site. Daniel Quinlan 19:09, Mar 19, 2005 (UTC)
Amen..I vote to not have it from additional info perhaps.--MONGO 10:23, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
As I pointed out above, Special:Upload even uses .ogg as an example. And if you spent any time at Commons, you might have noticed an even more blatant statement of "Use the JPEG format for photographs, GIF for animations, PNG format for other images and Ogg Vorbis for sound files." Like it or not, it seems Ogg is the Wiki Way as far as sound goes. --John Owens (talk) 10:49, 2005 Mar 20 (UTC)
If the link to the audio clip were in a separate section, using .ogg would fine. We could make it clear that it's an audio file and link to the audio help article. However, having the audio clip linked to Bush's name, the first link of the article, is far too problematic. The overwhelming majority of readers will have a Windows OS. According to the audio help article, most audio software for Windows requires additional filters, codecs or plug-ins to play .ogg files. We want to make Wikipedia as user-friendly as possible, not complicate it with links that will appear to be broken to people lacking special software. Carbonite | Talk 13:20, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I have Winamp installed, which is all I should need to play .ogg files. When I click on the link I get a dialog box with the title "File Download: Security Warning" and I'm prompted to Open, Save or Cancel the download. This is typical behavior for a system with Windows XP Service Pack 2 that doesn't regularly play .ogg files. We do not want readers getting security warnings when they click on links. This is especially true for bold links in the introduction of an article. The problems far outweight the benefits in this particular situation. Carbonite | Talk 13:29, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

.wav, .ogg, .mp3 are various audio format, Wikipedia was not desigend for Windows there are other OS like Linux, Unix and so on. If you do not have an application that does not support ogg, you can download winamp, a spyware free software for example. .MP3/.Zip before Windows Media Player/winZip was not a standard format either. The link however may link to a page with the warning and user is asked to clikc on that one to play. No reason to move where it is. --Cool Cat Original Barnstar.png My Talk 18:30, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

As long as I'm sticking my nose into everyone's business on this article and being really annoying, I figured I might as well butt into this conversation as well. Does it not strike anyone else as odd that the only supported audio format for Wikipedia is an audio format that most people can't play without downloading special software? There is not a person on this planet with a computer that doesn't have .mp3s, and yet Wikipedia only allows .ogg files, which most computer users probably have never heard of. Wikipedia is so user friendly in every other respect, I don't understand why that can't be the case here as well. Kronius 05:06, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

On Mozilla Firefox wile using standard window's programs cannot play this ogg file, either make it a wav file or write the pronounciation out in the article. --BrenDJ 02:02, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Pet Goat picture

Not to beat a dead horse (bring up a tired subject), the pet goat picture was discussed not so long ago and it was agreed that it should stay however I had deep reservations about that was discussed as to where the picture originated and some linked it the film Fahrenheit 9/11 and some didn't...if it isn't from that movie, then why the heck is the same picture displayed in the article about the movie?????? I suppose what I am saying is that since that movie is a hopelessly anti Bush propaganda film, and it appears that the picture is from the movie or at least used in a disparaging manner in the film, then perhaps it needs to be eliminated from this article...--MONGO 10:32, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Why is speculation inserted in wikipedia? Only hard facts should be inserted. If a topic or a statement cannot be at this point in history fully vetted, qualified statements need to be inserted next to such statements.
From the movie?? Do you think Michael Moore was there in Florida in person on the date in question? I think it just a bit more likely, Michael Moore got it from another source, from which other "My Pet Goat" pictures derive. Sure, there's a decent chance that this picture is a screen capture from the Fahrenheit 9/11 movie, but that isn't the original source of the footage. --John Owens (talk) 10:53, 2005 Mar 20 (UTC)
Also it would be dangerous to act upon idea like "since that movie is a hopelessly anti Bush propaganda film, and it appears that the picture is from the movie or at least used in a disparaging manner in the film, then perhaps it needs to be eliminated from this article"; it basically forbids any form of legitimate criticism as long as it comes from opponents. Rama 10:57, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
You're trolling....sock puppet? Be careful. No kidding about Moore not being in Florida...why on earth is it dangerous to eliminate the picture if it is best known from a completely biased source against Bush? We already discussed that the picture is a vidcap from somewhere and obviously it isn't from the movie.--MONGO 11:01, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
How is he trolling? Mir 03:05, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Following me from several different pages, reverting my edits which have substantially been identical to edits by several other protection to the point of almost violating 3RR...--MONGO 09:15, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
MONGO, I appreciate your contributions to Wikiepdia, but not to the point of investing my time in following each of them. I happen to have some pages on my Watchlist because I have seen while on RC patrol that they tend to be vandalised often.
As for the reverts, you will certainly have noticed that the reverts were not my exclusive deed, and that anyone who derives significantly from the present state tends to be reverted, which would tend to be an indication that the present state satisfies most users. Rama 09:29, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Not exclusively yours, but there were yours in response to 3 or 4 different editors all trying to eliminate POV phrasing and unsubstantiated commentary all in the period of less than 12 hours.--MONGO 09:56, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
the particular parts you refer to have been backed up by abundand documentation, as been be easily seen in the talk page and on the article itself. You can say that they are controversial, since it is unquestionable that they regularly come under scrutiny, but saying that they are "unsubstantiated" is inexact. Rama 10:06, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
MONGO, I would advise you to adopt a more confident attitude toward your fellow editors and assume their good faith. I do not know John Owens, chances are that he doesn't know me neither. I was just pointing to something in your discourse which I think goes further than your though, and has grave implications:
I you decide that any information coming from biased sources is automatically invalid, you are subjecting information to the approval of some sort of authority whose nature is ill-defined. My point is that, as much as Moore vould be biased or anything, if he comes with a proof of some sort, it reminas a proof, even if what he constructs upon it is invalid.
As for this particulr photograph, I think that it is unquastionable that the events of the 9th of Septembre 2001 have been a pivotal point in the Bush's mandate, and it is not uninteresting to see where he was and what he was doing at this very moment. Rama 11:09, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
That's the 11th of September, 2001...not the ninth....there is nothing about the picture which is a pivitol point in the Bush Presidency unless you feel that the misleading dogma of F911 constitutes the end all of the Bush presidency. Man, I sure remember what I as doing at 9 am EST on 9/11/01 when I first heard of the attacks on the WTC....where were you that it was so unimportant that you'd actually get the date wrong?--MONGO 09:15, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Indeed, the 11th. Well, it is quite unquestionned that Bush's policy did change significantly from the 11th of Septembre -- not only on an international level motivated by self-defence (invasion of Afganistan), but also on the national level (PATRIOT Act, ...), and international acts not directly related with these events (invasion of Irak). Be it only for the changing in rethorics (the "Axis of Evil", the "War against Terrorism", the "War president"...)
I am not quite sure that I understood your your last argument: you seem to say that the 11th of Septembre had a significant impact, including on your personal life (something I understand easily), but how do you correlate this with the "misleading" nature of thr "dogma of F911 constitutes the end all of the Bush presidency" ?
Cheers ! Rama 09:29, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
We were discussing the Pet Goat picture and I made the claim that I had agreed to allow it to stay and still feel that way, but others had previously argued that the picture was not a vidcap from the movie F911...yet in the article on the movie, the same Pet Goat picture is found...which indicates to me that some were lying or seriously misrepresenting the facts. I can see that, in the manner in which you respond, that the events of 9/11 had less impact on you than on myself or for that matter almost 3 thousand other folks and their family and friends...I am happy of that for you...must be nice. I was being sacastic in my statement that the manner in which Bush is shown in the scene that has him reading the Pet Goat just prior and after he heard about the attacks is the pivitol point, defining moment or end all of his Presidency.--MONGO 09:56, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I see. Sorry, I hadn't understood the humouristic trait, I though you were refering the the whole event. Mea culpa.Rama 10:06, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)

It appears that it's been settled that the picture is supposed to stay. However, if I may add my $0.02 to the debate, I would just ask what purpose is the picture supposed to serve? Currently, it serves no purpose in the article whatsoever. It's nowhere near the discussion of 9/11 in the article; rather, it's burried in the "Public Perception and Assesments" section. Frankly, I think that entire section should be eliminated since it appears to be nothing more than an invitation for people with an agenda to disguise POV as "neutral" facts. But I guess this is just what you have to expect from a user-edited encyclopedia. Whether or not the picture is a screen capture from the movie, the classroom scene was a major focus of the Farenheit 9/11 film. Kronius 05:30, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Removing POV sentiment and or adding balance is editing. Calling an article [[1]] a pet project isn't meant to be insulting, especially if there has been almost entrily one contributor....the differences betwen "moot" and "without merit" are noted but are slight. Moot: Law. Without legal significance, through having been previously decided or settled[2]. Without merit: Groundless, insignificant, unjustified, etc.--MONGO 21:12, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Obviosly there is a dispute as to what is POV and what is FACT and what is BALANCE.
Calling an article a pet project is an ad hominem circumtantial attack, an attack on the integrity of my character and I resent it.
I would not, by any measure, call that difference, well established by your dictionary references, slight. And here's a puzzle for you, how is it that something can be with merit and moot or without merit and not moot, if the difference between them is slight? I beg you take good not of the differences, "without merit" is a very serious attack on the substance of a case, and, by responsibility, the character of the plantiff(s). Moot is not. That is a substantial difference if ever there was one. Yes, take note of it. Kevin Baastalk 21:25, 2005 Mar 28 (UTC)
The attack was not on your character...I applaud your efforts to build a case, your development of an article and do consider this a pet project in that you have been the major player in it's development. Moot and without merit...perhaps I stretched that, but it wasn't intentional in the effort to make your argument seem took a lot of work to build that article on your part...yet I am allowed to challenge it and constant wiki linking to it if I find it to be used in an effort to create edits and or articles that will fail to be neutral.--MONGO 21:33, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
It was and is circular ad hominem circumstantial, and you're well aware of that fact and your motivation, as are we all. Kevin Baastalk 08:57, 2005 Mar 29 (UTC)
Furthermore, you are not the arbitrator of neutrality and are expected to work towards consensus and follow wikipedia guidelines and policies. I do not find the phrase "that will fail to be neutral." very encouraging as to your recognition of the human mind, yours included, as being limited. I would find a phrase like "that I do not consider to be neutral", something involving "I" and "think"; something epistemological and local rather than ontological and universal would be more encouraging, and would gain you more respect. Kevin Baastalk 09:17, 2005 Mar 29 (UTC)
It's not just Kevin who worked hard. Scores of editors were involved in either that article, or the source from which it emerged. Such an attribution besmirches their efforts as well. Hardly a pet project, it's a high-visibility site for folks of *all* political outlooks to research the facts surrounding the irregularities pervading the recent presidential election. -- RyanFreisling @ 23:40, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I'm happy for you, but that doesn't mean I agree with it, nor do I find it to be completely factual. I especially don't like it being some cornerstone of authority that can be linked from other articles...furthermore, the outdating of some of the referencing makes it appear that some of it appears as original to stay on top of things you know.--MONGO 02:17, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

MONGO, you said "that doesn't mean I agree with it, nor do I find it completely factual", you added this part "nor do I find it completely factual", as if you not agreeing with it did not imply that you did not find it completely factual; that is, as if it were possible for you to find it completely factual, and at the same time not agree with it. Kevin Baastalk 08:51, 2005 Mar 29 (UTC)
What are you smoking, man?--MONGO 09:30, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I don't understand the relevancey or meaning of this comment, assuming that it is not a personal attack, which is not allowed on wikipedia. Kevin Baastalk 17:33, 2005 Mar 29 (UTC)
Personal attacks are your specialty.--MONGO 20:52, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
"I'm done communicating with a communist like you. Only a bleeding heart living in total freedom could conjure up such conspiracy theory rhetoric...time for you to get out into the real world and grow up I say." -- Mongo
Please conduct yourself like a grownup and set a good example. Such attacks do not help you get your viewpoint across. There is a mutual obligation here at Wikipedia to assume good faith -- RyanFreisling @ 21:53, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The comment "conduct yourself like a grownup" is also a personal attack, is it not? I will not assume good faith with others that fail to do so with me....some here have a obvious predisposition to push their point of view because of their politics...I am not that way, except in the eyes of those of the extreme left politically.--MONGO 08:23, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I felt it was an appropriate reference to your previous instruction to Kevin Bass to 'grow up'. I didn't characterize your past behavior, I just made an imperative statement. So technically, it's not a personal attack. I wouldn't do that - just because we obviously disagree on a wide range of issues, I am very confident that I have always treated you with respect, and assumed good faith. I am sorry you view that not as a requirement, but an 'air' to be discarded if you feel slighted. I do hope you recognize that's not what I have done (I cannot speak for others - no man can control the behavior of another). If you were offended by what I typed, I apologize. I'm hoping this ping-pong will stop and this page will instead be used to discuss the George Bush article. -- RyanFreisling @ 04:17, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
MONGO is right. It's hard not to recognize Kevin Baas' dedication to the election controversy articles, and his frequent attempts to promote them in articles such as this. I spent a good amount of effort trying to clean up one single section of 2004 U.S. presidential election controversy and irregularities. I think it's better now, but it took a ton of effort. I don't have the time or the patience to fight over all the other sections of all the other articles. Maybe it's a lost cause. We should at least make sure that the "controversy" is described neutrally, especially from highly visible articles like this one. Rhobite 02:37, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)
All of our admittedly biased opinions aside, the articles have properly weathered all the various attempts to 'improve' them, whether well-intentioned or not. And there is always room for improvement. But any attribution of 'authority' or 'cornerstone' status to those articles is inaccurate. They are no different than any other wiki articles in that respect. -- RyanFreisling @ 02:41, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
They've "weathered" attempts to improve them? I couldn't have said it better myself. A dedicated band of original researchers has kept the election articles safe from the harsh metaphorical "weather" of various attempts to improve them. Bravo. Rhobite

02:54, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)

Yea, no kidding...I made a couple of edits which I felt did little to it except to try and add balance to what I saw as extremely one sided and was vewry quickly edited over. Oh well.--MONGO 03:07, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I was talking about the repeated VfD's for dubious causes, outright deletions and POV insertions, etc. - and not the good-faith improvement by many authors represented by the current lack of NPOV/dubious tags. Fixing problems should be done by editing and talking there, rather than griefing here, but you knew that anyway. -- RyanFreisling @ 03:10, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Rhobite, I applaud your efforts. And sympathise with your exhaustion from them. I hope that you may understand, through this, the efforts that others put into it as well, with the same goal in mind as you have. I am quite exhausted, myself. I'm glad you have made improvements to the article, and I think it is better now that you've contributed. And I agree that there is more room for improvement. We are quite exhausted from getting all the information on there in clear and coherent form. It is understandable that the contributors may be a little protective of edits that take information away or distort it, such as replacing "moot" with "without merit", or other forms of revisionist history that favor a particular POV. Regarding "one-sided", it is not surprising that the article discuses election controversies and irregularities in the 2004 presidential election, rather, it would be surprising were it otherwise. It is surprising that there are so many facts to present, but this is no fault of the editors of the article. Rather, it is a virtue that they have made the efforts (as you have, yourself) to present as much of the facts and material as possible, in as lucid, coherent, and non-interpretive manner as possible. If anyone has any specific disputes, they are welcome to bring them up on the article's talk page (at which point the proper dispute tag should be placed on the article), and work cooperatively and in good faith with the other users there, who are likewise expected to work cooperatively and in good faith, until the disputes have been resolved (at which point, the dispute tag should come down), as has been done before. It would be unreasonable for anyone to expect there to be no discussion and/or debate focused on improving the article's accuracy and neutrality, indeed, it would be a disappointment. Kevin Baastalk 08:34, 2005 Mar 29 (UTC)
Baas, if there is so much fact to your hyperbole then why get your knickers in a bind trying to "protect" the page. What are you scared of? Rhobite was commenting that there was no way, with gargoyles such as yourself hanging over the page, that anyone with an interest in trying to even help you create a balanced article that is indeed neutral will have a chance. Moot and without merit...they both apply to your pet project...otherwise we would all be saying President Kerry instead of President Bush.--MONGO 09:28, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I do not know what you are refering to when you say "hyperbole", nor do I understand how hyperbole can be fact. I do not understand how "my knickers are in a bind". Looing back over my comments, they seem very level to me. You're logic is convoluted: one does not allow POV to be inserted into an article or facts to be distorted, in pursuance of an encyclopedic article and compliance with wikipedia policies and guidelines. The lack of this is cause for concern. That is, if this was not the cause, then there would be concern. If this was the case, there would not be concern. So you see, one would be concerned were this lacking, hence one fills this gap, so that it is not lacking. I do not know what you are refering to when you say I am afraid of something; I have not expressed any fear, nor do I understand what fear would has anything to do with anything we are discussing. You are welcome to look at the article talk page and the article history, if you are interesting in seeing how people have interacted on the article. I am not a gargoyle. If Rhobite is intentionally giving anyone this impression, I can only respond by saying that he is either being disingenuous or hypersensitive, and welcome people to look at the article talk page and the article history and judge for themselves. Kevin Baastalk 18:55, 2005 Mar 29 (UTC)
Your logic regarding what we would be saying is not logical: The existence or lack thereof irregularities in an election does not directly cause us to say President Kerry or President Bush. For example, if George Bush was recognized by congress as the legitimate winner of the election, "we would be saying" President Bush, regardless of the existence or lack thereof of irregularities in that election. Likewise, if John Kerry was recognized by congress as the legitimate winner of the election, "we would be saying" President Kerry, regardless of the existence or lack thereof of irregularities in that election. The existence or lack therof of irregularities in an election do not determine the outcome of the [regular or irregular] election. If I were to categorize the form of logical fallacy you employed, it would be either appeal to authority or appeal to consequences.
I am aware of your not-so-humbly-stated opinion. I do not understand why you repeat here, if not simply because you get off on insulting things and/or people. Kevin Baastalk 18:55, 2005 Mar 29 (UTC)
You may wish, in your own manner, to think that you do not insult, but indeed you do. I made an edit and in the first revert your comment was an insult right off the bat. As far as irregularities in the Ohio c is a ridiculous and for the last time, if it were true, it would have been all over the wish to make it seem as though we live in 1930's USSR or some other totalitarian police state whereby everything we hear about and read about is sanctioned and approved by the state...the constant baloney that the corporate big wigs control what we consume as far as news is also a bunch of bile. I'm done communicating with a communist like you. Only a bleeding heart living in total freedom could conjure up such conspiracy theory rhetoric...time for you to get out into the real world and grow up I say.--MONGO 20:50, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Once again, I am aware of your opinion. Assuming good faith, I do not understand the point of you continuing to repeat it, after I have already told you that I am aware of it.
Now you are using the fallacy of the excluded middle/reductio ad absurdum, ad hominem abusive (a.k.a "personal attack"), appeal to authority (which has been discussed ad nasuem), and making an unsubstantiated accusation, in violation of Wikipedia:Civility, that I have used ad hominem abusive against you on one instance, and using it as a premise of an argument based on the two wrongs make a right fallacy, and you are not assuming good faith. As Ryan pointed out above, everyone on Wikipedia is expected to follow the policies and guidelines of Wikipedia. Kevin Baastalk 23:56, 2005 Mar 29 (UTC)
Then practice what you preach.--MONGO 08:25, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
But ofcourse. When I said "everyone", I was including myself. Kevin Baastalk 19:16, 2005 Mar 30 (UTC)

Business and early political career section

As an occasional observer, I've gotta point out that this section needs major work. Long paragraphs are devoted to borderline-insuation about Bush's business dealings while major career points are given less than a sentence of mention. Like Bush successfully pushing a new stadium for the Rangers and -most shockingly- less than a full sentence on Bush's victory over popular incumbent Ann Richards (defying conventional wisdom). Less than a full sentence on one of the most important and most improbable (according to the wisdom of the time) events in the history of Bush-the-man and Bush-the-politician. This section has *serious* problems of focus that must be corrected if it is to be a serious article.

Is this an encylopedia article or a tabloid? There's too much for a casual observer to even start correcting.

Generally speaking, if a Wikipedia article has poor focus because important points aren't given enough coverage, the solution is to add the missing material. Additional encyclopedic information about the gubernatorial race would certainly be welcome. Also, don't feel that you have to make the article perfect all in one go; it will improve through incremental changes that make it better. JamesMLane 16:49, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

April Fool's Day

Oh come now, have a little fun. The VfD is just for today. :P --Kitch 05:51, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Nope. Unless,you write a good joke statement. :P --ThomasK 05:54, Apr 1, 2005 (UTC)


MONGO removed several links that contained information Bush critics would rather suppress. He said they were "dead" links. In fact, only one of them (Reuters) was dead. I am restoring the links to the Toronto Star, New York Times, and Mercury News. Accessing these sources requires registration but the registration is free. Even if the articles weren't readily available online, it's proper for us to cite the sources we use. JamesMLane 17:27, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

They should not require anyone to register to use them...I prefer for them to not know my IP...there are other sources you can use....when you say Bush critics would rather suppress...since when was I a critic or for that matter a supporter? Bush is a lousy President, but that doesn't mean that this article is to be used as a critical analysis of him or his Presidency...find sources that do not require a registration.--MONGO 08:38, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Just restored the PNAC info from the 'Political Ideology' section that Mongo excised, without the 'many think' allusion and the 'many critics' supposition reliant on a paid site. Mongo - good to see you actively participating, but you didn't need to remove what is a factually correct, undisputed section wholesale. -- RyanFreisling @ 09:56, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The discussion on neoconservatism and Bush's involvement is opinion and is POV.--MONGO 10:12, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The text is very basic indeed - and could do with more substantiation. But Bush's relationship to the PNAC and their role in his Cabinet and Policy are a significant matter of record. -- RyanFreisling @ 17:39, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
In your opinion perhaps...I disagree that this is not disputed....if anything, Bush is influenced by mostly by his wife, his Father and Karl Rove...not necessarily any neoconservative think tanks per se.--MONGO 07:55, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The preponderance of PNAC signatories in the Bush cabinet is not an opinion, it is a fact. For example:
The PNAC group (founded 1997) was led by such heavy hitters as Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, James Woolsey, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Bill Kristol, James Bolton, Zalmay M. Khalilzad, William Bennett, Dan Quayle, Jeb Bush. Cheney is Vice President, Rumsfeld is Defense Secretary, Wolfowitz is Deputy Defense Secretary, I. Lewis Libby is Cheney's Chief of Staff, Elliot Abrams is in charge of Middle East policy at the National Security Council, Dov Zakheim is comptroller for the Defense Department, John Bolton is Undersecretary of State, Richard Perle is chair of the Defense Policy advisory board at the Pentagon, former CIA director James Woolsey is on that panel as well, etc. (PNAC's chairman, Bill Kristol, is the editor of Rupert Murdoch's The Weekly Standard.) -- RyanFreisling @ 00:30, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I concur with what RyanFreisling posted, because, well, it is fact. I can't say that I concur with his opinion, however, because I do not know his opinion; he has not stated it. Kevin Baastalk 05:42, 2005 Apr 5 (UTC)

As for the issue of availability of a link: If the only source for particular information is printed material that's not available online, we cite that. If there's an online source available, that will be more convenient for most readers. Among online sources, paid registration is less convenient than free registration, and non-registration sites are better than either -- but any cite is better than no cite. "If you consult an external source while writing an article, citing it is basic intellectual honesty." (Wikipedia:Cite sources) (Let me correct RyanFreisling on one point -- the Toronto Star link in the PNAC-related section about Bush's ideology is not a paid site. Registration is required but it's free.) So, MONGO, in response to your order that I "find sources that do not require a registration", my answer is that if you want to improve the article by substituting such sources, fine, go ahead and do it. In the meantime, if the choice is between using these sources and censoring information, it's better to use these sources. Any reader who clicks on the link and doesn't want to give the registration information isn't required to do so. (It's not like linking to a site that suddenly starts playing loud music, which could be a nasty surprise for someone surreptitiously reading Wikipedia at work.) Finally, I apologize for getting my meaning exactly wrong; I did indeed mean "Bush supporters" rather than "Bush critics". I characterized you as a supporter on the basis that virtually all your edits to this article consist of removing information that Bush and his flacks would prefer to see suppressed. Although I agree with you that Bush is a lousy president, that's not the issue, because I also agree with you that the article shouldn't be a soapbox for those of us who hold that opinion. The Wikipedia policy is not one of seizing every opportunity to denounce Bush; the policy is to serve the reader, not any political end. Serving the reader means reporting the existence of significant opinions, even the ones we consider clearly misguided, ill-founded, or prejudiced, and disclosing the sources we've used. JamesMLane 11:01, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

That is what I consider to be poor editing....and an excuse to utilize the policy of reporting opinions about things even if they have dubious factuality especially if they support your predisposed politics. An effort to state that I support only the good information about Bush is a lie...perhaps no more accurate than it would be for me to accuse you of doing in opposition...that our politics are polarized is a given, but I serious doubt that your politics allow you to be as fair and balanced an editor of this subject as I am. Ongoing statements in which Bush is said to be this or that and the "need" to find some similiar silly quote that supports the opposite is just an attempt to support mudslinging, not editorial excellence. I staed that I didn't want to have to register to use a source and don't think I should have to...surely if the issue quoted is so very important it must surely be in numerous more auspicious locations...but that is why folks seem to want to protect lousy referencing such as things like Hatfield's book, Salon, and other items of left wing hypocrisy. Items of the same weakness in their accuracy and integrity that would be positive reflections on Bush would almost surely be quickly eliminated.--MONGO 11:47, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I'm glad to see that you've finally acknowledged that Wikipedia policy is to report opinions even if they have dubious factuality. Of course, a limitation is that we report notable opinions. Some right-wing nut job who's learned enough about HTML to make a website isn't notable. Anyone who wants to add such an opinion should instead find, for example, some right-wing nut job who's learned enough about politics to get elected to the U.S. Senate.
Your closing blast uses a purely hypothetical accusation to attack other editors working on this article: "Items of the same weakness in their accuracy and integrity that would be positive reflections on Bush would almost surely be quickly eliminated." Well, instead of your totally unsupported suppositions, I'll give you an actual, real-life example. Consider the very passage where I restored one of the links you tried to suppress. It now reads:
Supporters of Bush see this policy as a necessary rejection of "balance of power" politics and a redefinition of America's role in the international forum. Critics of this policy consider it arrogant and dangerous on a global and historical scale, and they called his speech "unabashedly aggressive". [3]
So, what do you notice about the quality of the reference sources? The opposition to Bush is attributed to a major newspaper, available online for free. Yes, registration is required. The support for Bush is not attributed or sourced in any way whatsoever. Now, regardless of what you think about a requirement of free online registration, the Toronto Star link must be superior to a flat assertion that's not sourced at all. Yet, when I edited this paragraph, I didn't remove the unsupported praise of Bush. If some blogger were to come along and add a link to his blog where he praises Bush, then, yes, I'd remove that link, but I'd still leave in the information.
The reference you cite requires me to register from my server...maybe this isn't the case from where you far as removing the link to a blog, I can't say you have done that, But I do see as mentioned below, that you have just recently removed positive info that can be sourced to somewhere other than a blog....why would you remove the link to a blog but leave in the information?--MONGO 20:27, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The article would be improved if that praise of Bush were to be properly sourced. In the meantime, if your attacks on me and other editors were accurate, one would expect the unsupported passage to have been removed entirely. Instead, it's still there. So, if you want to improve the article, you might want to reconsider your approach. You've been concentrating on removing information, with time out to launch personal attacks on other Wikipedians ("You're trolling....sock puppet?" etc.). Why don't you, instead, try to add well-reasoned, factually based, sources (online, free, and with no registration requirement, if possible) for that and other suitably encylopedic subjects that are favorable to Bush. If your additions are, as you predict, deleted by someone who dislikes Bush, then we can have a discussion here about whether the specific edits were appropriate under Wikipedia's general policies. I won't support the inclusion of any kind of pro-Bush drivel just so I can boast about how fair and balanced an editor of this subject I am, but I do believe that material should be judged according to our general policies, not according to whether I personally like it or agree with it. JamesMLane 13:03, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)
You edited out this: [4]....yet here, [5] there is discussion that the texans for truth may be based on bogus documents...I can, when I have mere time find more evidence, but again, this means qualifying every bad with a good and vice versa and it is tired...but may be necessary if this article is ever going to be neutral.--MONGO 20:21, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)
This article used to have an exposition of the evidence for and against Bush with regard to the National Guard issue. Something like a year ago, all that detail was moved into a daughter article, George W. Bush military service controversy, leaving behind the very bare-bones summary we now have. What I edited out was an attempt to add to this article one very minor bit of pro-Bush evidence. If you want that particular evidence to be part of this article, then it would seem logical to include also the most significant anti-Bush evidence.
For example, the documents that have been challenged as forgeries include a May 4 memo by which Bush's commanding officer supposedly ordered him to take a physical exam by May 14. [6] The existence of this document is evidence. The CBS conclusion that it couldn't authenticate that document is evidence. The opinion of some experts that the document is a forgery is evidence. But all of this back-and-forth about the May 14 deadline is a sideshow. It's undisputed that Bush was required to take a physical, it's undisputed that he didn't fulfill that obligation, and it's undisputed that he was grounded from flying as a result. If we were to include, in this article, the attacks on the authenticity of the memo dated May 4, then we'd have to include all that much more important undisputed material about the fundamental question -- whether Bush fulfilled his legal obligations in the Guard. I think the way the article is structured now is better, even though it means that a very serious accusation against Bush is blown off quite tersely.
As for Texans for Truth, if you look at that article you'll see that their attack on Bush wasn't dependent on the challenged documents. TfT was formed, and was actively attacking Bush on this issue, before the documents relied on by CBS were publicly known. For example, another charge against Bush is that he didn't even show up when and where he was supposed to. The members of Texans for Truth include people who were in the Guard unit to which Bush was assigned. They say they didn't see him. Should this article include the CBS retraction and the first-hand recollections of TfT members? I say it shouldn't, but including both those points would be better than including only the one that favors Bush. JamesMLane 21:21, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)
James, that is an A for effort and I appreciate it...but all I was trying to do was eliminate links to items that were either dead or required a registration. I don't wish to talk about the military controversy now...we can later..I suggest that in all liklihood that the evidence that Kerry was a bonafide real war hero is excellent and the evidence that Bush was a mediocre attendee for his national guard obligations was also excellent...I never disputed this. I was merely also trying to show that not all your edits are done in an effort to be neutral just as I have been accused of.--MONGO 07:09, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I understand that that was your point. I was answering that point by showing that there's a neutral reason for my edit (that is, for the only specific edit of mine that you pointed to as supporting your charge). I'm not going to try to prove my neutrality by deliberating being non-neutral in Bush's favor. In editing the John Kerry article, I removed similar pro-Kerry material that properly belonged in the similar John Kerry military service controversy daughter article. The bottom line, though, is that I'm not going to waste time canvassing all my edits to show how fair I always am. If you want to think that I'm biased and that my edits reflect poor judgment, I'll just have to live with your low opinion of me. The key question isn't whether I'm noble but rather how the article should read. If we're in agreement that the documents used by CBS don't merit any mention in this article, then we can drop the subject. JamesMLane 16:18, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Further Reading

I understand why wikipedia points to books both for and against Bush, but I have a suggestion that maybe you should split them up into two categories: for and against. With splitting them up, people can easier find the sources they want to read instead of having a mish-mash list that alternates between pro and against.

I'm not sure that everyone reading this article comes here with their mind already made up... it's our job as editors to help them understand what is, like everything else in the real world, rarely 'black and white'. -- RyanFreisling @ 23:42, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Current Pres TBD?!

Maybe I'm just stupid, but why do the tables say that as of April 3, 2005, President Bush is the current president and republican party candidate and the next says 'To Be Determined'? Shouldn't that say something like incumbant? It really confused me at first! Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 01:32, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

No. The middle table is the current position holder. The right table is the sucessor. His sucessor (the next President of the United States) has not been determined. Hopefully that helps you understand. --Randy 05:56, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)
" His sucessor (the next President of the United States) has not been determined. " as far as is commonly known, of course. Gzuckier 17:43, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

POV tag

Unlike some, I at least have reopened the discussion that their are serious neutrality issues about this page. As the neutrality tag makes it clear that there are issues that some have with the article on it's neutrality and therefore, such issues must be discussed here prior to it's removal.--MONGO 11:33, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Such issues must be brought up here prior to its inclusion. Kevin Baastalk 19:51, 2005 Apr 7 (UTC)
They have been, ad nauseum.--MONGO 23:13, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)
What sections on this talk page are you referring to? Kevin Baastalk 23:38, 2005 Apr 7 (UTC)
Drug and alcohol abuse, military service, various pictures such as the Pet Goat, business career and pseudoscientific innuendo pervasive throughout...did you think that the issues had changed in a week?--MONGO 06:16, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)
When each of those issues came up, there was some discussion, followed by community consensus. For example, the dispute over the drug and alcohol allegations died down a lot when that section was moved to a point later in the article and other changes were made. That's the way things work on Wikipedia, for better or worse. Due to the controversial nature of this subject, there'll never be a version of this article that would please every single editor on Wikipedia. Even if it were the most neutral, accurate, well-sourced piece in the history of Wikipedia, even if it were a main-page feature and earned its editors the Nobel Prize for Literature, there would always be someone out there who doesn't like it. NPOV and consensus don't mean everyone has to agree on everything in an article; that's why we've traditionally called it "rough consensus," not "universal consensus." If we tried to shoot for the impossible goal of pleasing everyone and acceding to every list of demands that came along, nothing would ever get done. Consensus means finding a solution that's acceptable to as many people as possible. And when we find that point of semi-agreement, most Wikipedians accept it out of faith in the project and in our fellow Wikipedians. Not everyone may like it, but that's just the way things work here. Even if the consensus of most editors strikes one as "left-wing," or "right-wing," etc., that's not a reason to ignore or disparage the result of years of work and arduous consensus building. Consensus is the rule here, whether we agree with it or not. /sɪzlæk˺/ 09:25, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)
OKay fine, but if you are suggesting that this article is even close to being neutral then either you support bad editing, support poor referencing, support left wing rhetoric or you believe due to your own politics that this article actually is close to being neutral. In the case of the latter, I forgive that, but simply can't understand it....--MONGO 02:18, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The point was that noone can be an objective judge of the neutrality of the article, but if we work together and in good faith, using equitable protocols, the article will continue to approach the "mean" of empirical perception - "neutrality" - that neutrality which no individual has direct access to, as it resides in the aggregate, not the individual. This point persists regardless of individual views, indeed, it is a point regarding the interaction of such views. Neutrality cannot be arrived at, but it can be approached via the central limit theorem, in this case more commonly refered to as "synergy" or "emergence". The more agents interacting via equitable protocols, the faster the article converges to "neutrality". This process must be respected in good faith if the goal is neutrality. Kevin Baastalk 04:05, 2005 Apr 10 (UTC)
In regard to whether I think this article is neutral, I have no answer to that question. I don't claim to be Wikipedia's arbiter of neutrality or to have any special insight into this article's NPOV status. It's not up to me, or any single editor, to declare this article neutral or non-neutral; it's up to the community. My goal in editing this article is to do my part, whatever it might be, in making this the best article about George W. Bush we can possibly come up with. I didn't come here to push my personal POV. I came here to do my part, whatever it might be, in making this article the best it can be. Part of that is making sure we always strive toward a neutral point of view. The way we do that is by building consensus by reconciling all our differing points of view until they meet somewhere near neutrality. I love to see Wikipedians with diverging political views working together collaboratively in a spirit of good faith to get as close to NPOV as possible. That's the way we make an article NPOV, not by strongarming it to satisfy one user's personal view of how this article should be. /sɪzlæk˺/ 05:08, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I find the article to be full of the push-pull of bias and therefore think it would be a great disservice to the project and to readers to have NPOV removed. I think the NPOV tag should remain in place until well after Bush leaves office. Bush has years left in his term and there's never going to be agreement about him. In addition the tag about "ongoing issues changing rapidly" should also be added. I also find the article to have some rather startling omissions and factual flaws, the result of what appears to be the sub rosa POV fight going around it, therefore it should be tagged as factually disputed as well -- at least in some sections. I've not edited this article at all so come to it with an objective eye; as a reader, I find this article overly long, weasel-worded, POVed, factually inaccurate, badly organized and tedious. Calicocat 23:25, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Calicocat is spot on. It's not just a matter of adding more material. The whole thing is badly organized, etc. Plan on NPOV, neturality, etc tags to stay on. -- 01:16, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The NPOV tag isn't too big of an issue for me for this article, perhaps a compromise might be that it expires much slower - but then it might as well stay on anyways. Factual tags- now that I'm against - if there are some disputes, just bring 'em up and hopefully we can resolve them quickly. If we can't and they're not minor disputes, then maybe put one of those on. I say this because to me, a factual dispute tag is like saying "this whole article is a bunch of B.S." And there haven't been any factual disputes on here for a long time, so I don't think it's merited. Regarding issues may change rapidly tag - it is more clearly appropriate on the bush's 2nd term article than on this article, but I don't have any problem with it.
Much of the info in here was delegated to sub-articles, and there may reside your ommisions. If so, it remains to be discussed what the most significant info to summarize those sub-articles are, and thus whether the delegated info should be here as well. If not, well, where have you been all our life? Someone was just talking about how the proper way to resolve imbalance is by adding, not subtracting - it would be nice to add.
Regarding "sub rosa": what do you mean "in secret"? POV fights, be them in their purest form, can't very well manifest themselves as POV fights if progress is to be gained. I'm reminded of childish bickering: "you're stupid. no, you're stupid. no, you're stupid. no, you're stupid..." Ideally, discussions produce somewhat more sophisticated arguments than that, involving critical thinking and regarding proportion, citation, relevancy, etc, everything but "POV" - the productive ones, at least. I'll admit some discussions involve people calling other people POV-mongers and the like, but those discussions don't lead to any changes in the article.
I'm happy to see a fresh eye come to offer a new perspective. I think we all know that some people simply "don't like" the article, but that kind of feedback doesn't help anyone make it any better. I think we would all like to know the specific percieved weaknesses in the article, such as specific weasel word usages, specific factual inaccuracies (citing section and sentence), or specific paragraphs that should be swapped to improve flow, etc. That would be helpful, and much appreciated. None of us here have the advantage of being able to look at this from a fresh perspective, and those are the kind of things we would like to know. Kevin Baastalk 03:36, 2005 Apr 11 (UTC)
Business and Early political career section paragraphs 4,5,6,8,9 should be moved into specific articles. Section should briefly mention controversies re. financial transactions, past as alcoholic, and refer to these articles. Remaining paragraphs should be expanded to cover, briefly, items that will typically be of interest to an encyclopedia reader in 50 years re. the building career of Bush the politician, or major life changes to Bush the man. Some areas that ought to be covered that are, surprisingly, not mentioned at all. Conventional-wisdom-defying nature of win over popular incumbent Ann Richards. Legislative agenda as governor (some examples: tort reform, school reform, districting). Conventional-wisdom-defying nature of relationship with Bob Bullock. (this builds on the trend of Bush frequently defying conventional political wisdom, for better or for worse). Alcohol and Drug use section ought to be own article, with briefer summary to the effect that Bush had a turbulent past as substance abuser, highlight the major turning points - drunk driving conviction, giving up alcohol. Leave the speculation on addicitve personalities and community service conspiracies for detail articles. Again, the encylopedic entry should be focussing on major turning points and policy/character planks in the history of Bush the politician or Bush the man. The long detailed speculation-level paragraphs about personality, conspiracies, scandals, etc, belong in their own articles. In general, stick to major points and avoid tedious detail on both sides of various conspiracy theories. Re-read the NPOV section entitled "Giving equal validity."-- 15:40, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)
To people who complain about information that should be in the article, but is omitted, we have a standard answer: "So fix it." Here's the expanded version:
Thank you for your suggestion! When you feel an article needs improvement, please feel free to make whatever changes you feel are needed. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the Edit this page link at the top. You don't even need to log in! (Although there are some reasons why you might like to…) The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes—they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome.
When it comes to major restructuring, such as by moving significant chunks into another article, it's usually better to discuss the idea on the talk page first. The kind of additions you're talking about, however, are things that you could reasonably write up and insert without prior discussions. JamesMLane 23:54, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Maybe I wasn't clear enough on what my point was. Executive summary. 1. Statement made and seconded that NPOV tag must stay, likely for the next ~4 years. 2. Details of complaint asked for. 3. Details provided, 90% of which involves removing large quantities of tedious speculation to their own articles. (Re-read NPOV section entitled "Giving equal validity.") 4. Despite apparently many people trying, no consensus is going to be built to do this. Hence, back to point 1. If this is to be a summary encyclopedic entry, the solution is not to keep adding more and more content (again, see prior statements from several people re. tedious verbose nature of current article. and again read "Giving equal validity")-- 03:19, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I just want to say that I've seen the changes you've been making and I think they have greatly improved the article. Kronius 23:22, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
re: Giving equal validity: this is done by adding, not subtracting. if "the other side" doesn't have a "rebuttle", that is no fault of the original side, and no fault of the messenger. if one is to remove things for purposes of conciseness, one removes for purposes of conciseness; that is, one removes the least significant and/or most redundant info (regardless of whether it is critical or supportive of any given POV) an example of this is the recent edit by Kronius, where he removed a rather insignificant paragraph. Not because it was arguably POV, but because it was insignificant. if it was arguably POV and it was significant enough to merit that space in the article on the basis of its significance (irrespective of its POV), then so, likely, does related info supportive of a different pov likely merit space in the article on the basis of its significance (irrespective of its POV). In summary, I agree both with increasing conciseness by subtracting, and with including significant info via the principle of "giving equal validity" which involves adding. I consider them logically independant. Kevin Baastalk 17:56, 2005 Apr 12 (UTC)

Lagavulin's Bias Concerns

Riddled with bias; tainted by partisanship

This is the second Wikipedia article on politics I've read and the second unfit to hold the title.

The tone of it is highly partisan, negative even hateful.

It is shrill and needs a complete rewrite by someone who neither likes nor dislikes the President.

It currently reads like it was written by Michael Moore, who certainly has a viewpoint but he also has an agenda which should not be presented here as neutral or even rational.

The inferences about connections with Osama bin Laden, about him being stupid (despite two degrees including a Harvard MBA no less), about him being a failure in business (despite making a fortune), about him riding on Daddy's coat-tails (despite being a two-term President, TX governor, successful businessman, Harvard MBA) is frankly pathetic. Wikipedia is used as a source by many people including school students who deserve better - much better - than this.

Lagavulin 19:52, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I urge all those responsible for this article to read the John Kerry article. The difference in the tone, the level of criticism and bile is considerable. It is neither positive or negative, it just presents facts with very little commentary. This is how it should be. Lagavulin 19:55, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

You, like any other user of the Wikipedia (including school students) are welcome to join and edit these articles to give wikipedia the better article it deserves. If you feel there is bile or subjectivity in place, edit it and improve the article's usefulness to the reader. If assertions or comments are inaccurate or non-factual, replace them or change them as appropriate. But do it in a measured, and receptive way. Join the process, and assume good faith!
By the way, I am not an editor of noteworthy major contributions to this article. -- RyanFreisling @ 20:49, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Lagavulin: I felt the same way. When I first came here a few days ago I was appauled at what I found. If you think it's biased now, you should have seen it then. I was about to give up and move on to other projects (like you seem to be) but then I saw others speaking up and it looks like a number of people have come to the "rescue" of the article and it has made a great deal of progress in the last few days. I think the momentum is on your side right now, so if you see something you want to change--go for it. As long as it's good for the article, it will probably stick. Kronius 23:28, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Very sad situation with this article

I thought I'd try to find an experienced contributor to clean up the mess of this article and remove its blatant bias.

Here's what one said:

That sounds like a good idea, but since George W. Bush is the current president, it's hard to get anything done on that article. Changes have to be made one by one and hacked out on the talk page, where nothing really seems to resolved. If someone is bold and does a complete rewrite, it will be reverted since it is a contenscious article and *someone* is going to find something wrong with the article. Add to that the endless vandalism on the page which constantly needs to be reverted. I think that a good article on GWB is going to have to wait until he's been out of office for a while and the passion has died down. But I hope I'm wrong. --BaronLarf 20:28, Apr 12, 2005 (UTC)

The fact that this article has been hijacked by agenda-pushers rather than encyclopedia article authors is terrible. Should we really have to wait for beyond 2008 to get a decent article? I hope not.

Lagavulin 23:17, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I think that BaronLarf is close to the mark. In my eyes, I have fought a war of words here for several months now and though some effort has been made by those obviously opposed to Bush to work with me to create some semblance of neutrality, they invariably wish to qualify every positive with a negative, giving the entire article an overall negative overtone. However, I hope you continue to contribute and feel free to edit as you please.--MONGO 08:57, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
From your comment and quote of 'BaronLarf' (who shares your view), I gather that you have a conclusion already that editing in good faith is not possible because of motives, and that you won't be contributing. That is unfortunate.
Under the rules of an open wikipedia society, you have to contribute to make change, not try to influence editors. Frankly, I think it's a very good system if people withhold conclusion about motives and assume good faith. I hope you'll reconsider and apply some diligent editorial effort to address what you see as an injustice. -- RyanFreisling @ 23:23, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
It's very hard to assume that those responsible for this article's terrible state have good faith. That sounds harsh I guess but I think is fair. There are very many serious issues with the article, I will try to list them and see what you think. I am not really up to the standard necessary to rewrite it, I hope someone is. Lagavulin 00:15, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I don't know if such a drastic re-write is necessary for this article (shut up ryan ;) ), as there is a lot of factually correct information that needs to be included. Balance, relevancy, and citations can be improved on this page in an incremental fashion... ask yourself, why do you think this page is agenda-pushers, specifically what phrases lead you to believe this? Not every single phrase on this page can be biased, so which ones do you have the most problems with? Lets start with that.--kizzle 01:21, Apr 13, 2005 (UTC)

Bush fiscal policy

We had a discussion a while back about the attempt to remove the information that Bush inherited a record budget surplus. It is objective, and relevant, to state this fact. The opinion that the "fiscal reversal" was caused by Bush's tax cuts is a significant one and it's not simply asserted as fact; it's properly attributed to a notable spokesperson for that POV (the letter from more than 100 professors). As for the statement that "the tax cuts were enacted to expire after 10 years as a political compromise with Congress," I never heard that before. My understanding is that the purported "temporary" nature was a total sham, included to mask the true out-year effects of the cuts, and that everybody knew it was a sham and that Bush would seek to make the cuts permanent. If there is support for the view that it was a compromise (with whom?), that POV can be included, if, like the one about the fiscal reversal, it's properly attributed. JamesMLane 23:52, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I am going to echo the complaint of the anonymous contributor: if you have a problem with someone's changes, don't just revert--edit. It is the constant wholesale deletion of people's honest effort that frustrates well-intentioned contributors and causes them to leave. This, in turn, is the reason the article has as many problems as it does.
The discussion of the deficits has to be put in the context that the increases in defense spending were a direct response to 9/11. Furthermore, seeing as how the tax cuts were across the board, the statement that the tax cuts were "primarily for those at the upper reaches of the income distribution" is POV and should be removed--I don't care who said it. I would be interested to see how many tax cuts in the history of the country didn't benefit the rich more than the poor. That is inevitable in a progressive tax system, so emphasizing it is just agenda-pushing. Kronius 00:13, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
As for the bit about the political compromise, I don't have a cite for it, but since Bush wanted it to be permanent and there are only two entities involved in passing legislation (President and Congress), what else could it be? I was attempting to explain the sunset provision which might seem strange to a lot of people. I am aware of the fact that the 10-year limit means they don't have to account for the out-year effects of the cuts, but I don't know the details of those issues. Since Bush was getting a lot of resistance from Congress on the tax cuts, and at the time the Senate was controlled by Democrats, it seems pretty safe to me to assume the sunset provision was a political compromise with the Senate. <shrug> Kronius 00:22, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I don't understand your position -- the anon can delete significant information that's been in the article for a while and has been the subject of discussion here, and the anon can make this deletion without mentioning it on the talk page, and that's perfectly OK, but if I want to restore the information I have to ask for permission first? Sorry, I don't agree. The issue of whether to mention the surplus that Bush inherited was discussed on this page a while back. If Bush runs a deficit of $400 billion, it's relevant to know whether he reached that number by diligently working to reduce an inherited deficit of $700 billion, or whether he instead inherited a surplus. The information tells the reader about the change in the government's fiscal position during the Bush administration, which is certainly relevant.
I'm talking about your revertion of my edits. I deleted portions of the paragraph, but I also added information that wasn't in it before. By reverting, you added back what I deleted, but also deleted what I added, without discussion. I agree with you about the surplus and included it in my newest version. Kronius 00:56, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The areas streamlined (and the particular changes made), have in fact been discussed ad naseum. The general problems were outlined. Specific areas in need of substantial editing were identified. And quite a bit of support was voiced for streamlining in these areas. So then, only after that, we edited. Acting according to multiple voices, we have streamlined -not deleted- significant information, and only removed a few pieces of less relevant information (with wholehearted encouragement for those lesser themes to be explored in detail in their own side articles)-- 00:49, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The current discussion does state that there was increased spending as well as tax cuts. Whether the spending was necessitated by 9/11 is a matter of opinion. Here again, I wouldn't object to the inclusion of a pro-Bush opinion if it's properly attributed. By contrast, your dismissal of a properly attributed POV that you don't agree with is contrary to Wikipedia policy, which calls for the reporting of significant POVs on controversial issues.
Your assumption about the sunset provision doesn't seem safe to me. The sunset wasn't a political compromise with anyone. My assumption is that it was a scam. It was intended to enable the Republicans to lie about the fiscal impact of the giveaway to their corporate paymasters. It was included for public relations purposes. Of course, neither your assumption nor mine is worth including in the article. JamesMLane 00:37, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I pretty much agree with this, so I took it out.
I wrote out a detailed explanation of my latest edits and then accidentally erased it in trying to copy it here. Grrr.... To hit the high points: I'm not sure about the accuracy of the reference to 9/11 but I left it in pending its being sourced. I removed the reference to declining economy because GDP increased during the period in question; lower tax revenues occurred because taxes were a lower percentage of GDP, not because GDP was lower. The economists' letter is a significant POV that merits reporting under Wikipedia policy. JamesMLane 01:00, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I still have some issues with the way the open letter is discussed. I read it, and one aspect that stood out was the fact that it was written just one month before the 2004 election. That observation aside, one problem with citing sources like this, is that for pretty much any political issue, it is very easy to cite support for either side of the debate. Still, 169 professors of economics is tough to argue with, and I don't necessarily think it should come out. My problem is just with the quote from the letter: "policy of slashing taxes - primarily for those at the upper reaches of the income distribution." It's not clear from the letter whether (a) the fact that the tax cuts were "primarly for [the rich]" caused the fiscal reversal, or (b) the tax policy in toto and it's affect on federal revenue caused the fiscal reversal (independent of who benefited from the cuts).
It matters, because if (b) is the case, then the bit about "primarily for those at the upper reaches of the income distribution" is simply the professors expressing a political point of view, not their academic judgement, which is how it is cited in the article. This would make that portion inappropriate for the article.
I would prefer changing it to something like this:
In an open letter to Bush in 2004, more than 100 professors of business and economics at U.S. business schools ascribed this fiscal reversal to Bush's tax policy.
Kronius 04:25, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I doubt many of those professors are opinion is that if they knew so much about economics and such they would be out in the real world making real money. In all liklihood, these professors are liberal due to the pervasive liberalism found in most of is not unliklely that they would disagree with Bush's economics...--MONGO 19:15, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
So you don't dispute that this proportionally represents academia? Because that's the issue. (btw, the reason the people out in the real world are making real money is because they went to college. in college they were taught by professors. You're assuming that those professors want to make money. People have different values. Most teachers I know are more interested in teaching than being wealthy.) I would prefer that it include a summary quote from the letter, to let the reader now what the professors had to say, in their own words. Regarding the statement "primarily for those at the upper reaches of the income distribution" this is an objective statement that is either true or false, and can be universally verified as such by simple mathematics. It is not a point of view. A POV would be that this is a bad thing or that it is a good thing. Kevin Baastalk 22:05, 2005 Apr 13 (UTC)
In covering the Bush tax cuts, we should report on the overall fiscal impact, but also on the composition. The POV that the cuts were tilted too far to the rich was certainly a significant part of the debate. In fact, the quotation omits a related point that's also important, namely that structuring the tax cuts differently would have been preferable from the point of view of effective fiscal stimulus as well as on the basis of equity. (There was significant criticism of Bush on the ground that, for a given adverse impact on the federal deficit, the government could have generated more jobs through a tax cut targeted toward lower-income earners, who would have spent a higher proportion of it, or through subsidies to state and local governments, to enable them to avert the significant layoffs they were implementing at the same time.) JamesMLane 23:56, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Vandalism MUST stop!

This page has been the subject of constant vandalism. Some of the vandalism has included profanity and overt death threats. Even more insidious is the vandalism which is placed in the body of the article (in two different versions) so that when you revert to the last version you don't realize that the last version had the vandalism in it, only not at the top! Unbelievable! This HAS TO S-T-O-P! Vandalism is disgusting, it has NO place in Wikipedia!

Also, I'm working offline on some major changes to this article.

I'm planning to:

  • Remove significant amounts of biased information
  • Re-word heavily for better fluency
  • Remove many links which seriously clutter the article

--Mb1000 02:47, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Obviously the vandalism has to stop, but an easy way to find and fix vandalism is to use the "compare" function on the history page to find the last unvandalized version. When you find the last clean version, click on the date to edit it, then click save to overwrite the vandalized versions with the clean version you were editing.
Is there a way to make it so that anonymous users can't edit? That would fix the problem in a hurry. Kronius 03:28, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Everyone has a right to removing that right would be a violation of the policies that make Wikipedia great.....excellent chance that a complete overhaul of the article in Word and cut and pasting it here is a waste of time...concentrate on the issues that are biases or unneutral...they were detailed very clearly earlier.....also to user Mb1000, the death threats are little to be concerned with...this page gets very heated at fact, almost everyone wants to kill me.--MONGO 09:02, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Please expect that if you introduce massive changes from an offline version all at once, your work will ikely be reverted. I've seen it happen tons of times, on tons of articles. Work offline, but bring your changes in in a measured, digestible way out of courtesy for your fellow editors and readers alike. -- RyanFreisling @ 03:54, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I decided to go ahead and introduced my changes to the article. I'm guessing they were well recieved, because a lot of my revisions are still on there. I'm Canadian, so I think I can be pretty objective (by the way I'm not a Bush-bashing Canadian, a lot of Canadians aren't).

I think the best way to control the vandalism is to ask people to put this page on their watch lists. Put requests on the village pump and ask Wikipedians that you collaborate with to watch this page. JesseHogan 02:01, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC) --Mb1000 00:02, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I agree I have this page on my watchlist.--198 04:47, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Bush performance at Yale

Does anyone know what Bush's class ranking at Yale was? (did Yale do class rankings in the 60's?) If this is known, it seems to me that it would be more informative/less tedious than the 2.35/4.0 C student line. As it is now, this sentence doesn't intuitively tell people that much if they aren't fairly familiar with American college grading systems. Even with the out of 4.0 qualification. If I were unfamiliar, I might reasonably assume that 2.0 flat would indicate a class ranking of somewhere around <class size>/2. I don't know if that's accurate (I'm not even sure if he'd be higher or lower). I think an actual class ranking would be more intuitively informative, if anyone knows what is was. -- 18:24, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

My understanding is that John Kerry's average was lower than Bush's...not sure though. 2.35 would most likly put Bush pretty low...regardless, it is just another attempt by the liberals or antiBush forces here to show him in a bad light...he got the degree, what the hell else matters? Lincoln never went to college at all, yet he is considered one of the smartest U.S. Presidents. George Patton was dyslexic and failed his freshman year...but is widely considered one of the finest military leaders of all time...the inclusion of Bush's GPA is POV pushing.--MONGO 19:10, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Probably at least the bottom half, unless there were a lot of other politican/donor's sons at Yale that year. Mongo, i'd like to see you find a source for John Kerry's GPA. But don't you dare put that factually correct info up on Kerry's page, because that would be "POV-pushing." Shhh.... keep it a secret. Maybe nobody will know. --kizzle 19:20, Apr 13, 2005 (UTC)
See, I don't do that and it gets back to my major point...the bulk of contributors here are oftentimes here simply to push a POV...I am no fan of Bush, but a blind man can see that articles such as this one are biased....if I was interested in pushing a POV I would troll in articles about Kerry et al..........there is no doubt in my mind, that some of the folks here edit solely to push their agenda.--MONGO 19:26, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
As you can tell, I'm more on Kerry's side than Bush's side, and if Kerry did in fact get lower than a 2.5, or even got a 0.7 and failed out of school, I wouldn't consider its mere inclusion "POV-pushing". In fact, I'm curious myself, if you can post the citation here on the talk page, I'll post it on JK's page so you don't get the heat for being a pro-Bush editor.--kizzle 19:40, Apr 13, 2005 (UTC)
I don't want to play that fact, I don't care about Kerry one way or another...he's just as big a scumbag as Bush...but at least I don't go there and lampoon him like some of the antiBush, antiAmerican types do here.--MONGO 20:13, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Bush SAT: His SAT score was 1206 (566 verbal, 640 math).--MONGO 20:18, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Is posting those SAT numbers "POV-pushing" as well? Is mention of the classes he took in college POV as well? The professors he had? One could make an argument for not being noteworthy, but POV I highly doubt.--kizzle 22:01, Apr 13, 2005 (UTC)

I didn't mean for this question to turn into Bush vs. Kerry (or vs. any other politician). I'd still like to hear opinion on my core question - would class ranking be more universally useful than GPA should that info be found? I'll add that one way or another I think that it's perfectly normal, in a major historical figure's main article, to include some sentence or two providing detail as to his performance in college (if he attended one). If someone spends ~4 years at the prime of your life studying at a college, it's reasonable to want to know something of how they measured up to their peers. -- 20:48, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Well if class ranking is scored by GPA, than at Harvard it would be biased for sons of alumni, as grade point is. Does anyone know how it is determined? Kevin Baastalk 21:51, 2005 Apr 13 (UTC)
I assume you meant to say Yale, not Harvard. I am talking about undergrad class ranking - I don't think Harvard Biz School does class rankings, although I could be wrong. I think Harvard Biz (at least these days) is a sort of expanded pass-fail system. I'm not quite sure what you mean about GPA being biased towards sons of alumni? I think you are confusing grading with admissions?

-- 22:20, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

To disambiguate, I'm refering to Bush's college. If I was mistaken, I stand corrected. But I read that regarding that college, the grade point average of sons of alumni is shifted up a grade point so that they don't look bad - they're a prestigious university, they look bad if their students get bad grades. It was a long time ago that I read it, but I think it was in both the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the New York Times. BTW, I am also curious as to what Kerry's GPA, class ranking, etc. was, and would like to see something representative on Kerry's article, regardless of what they are. Kevin Baastalk 22:52, 2005 Apr 13 (UTC)
While I don't know for sure what Yale was doing in the 60's, I have significant familiarity with the current undergraduate colleges at Yale and Harvard. If they're adding a point to legacies' GPAs, either per class or in the grand average, it is a very well kept secret. Thus, I think class ranking or GPA as a measure probably isn't affected by this (I still think class ranking is a better universally understandable piece of info if it can be determined).
However, what would not surprise me is if the undergraduate admissions offices at one or both schools mentally add a point to preperatory school GPAs when they consider legacy applications for admission. That may be what you read in the NYT. I'll note for completeness that there are so many additional "bonus" factors that these schools use for admissions, that any legacy bonus is not very unique (whether it's justified is another discussion).-- 23:54, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

class ranking doesn't show much, because even if you did get all c's, but so did everyone else, you could place higher up than someone at a really good school with straight b's. gpa is better because it shows actual grades, not comparing people to other bimbos. and if bush got a high class ranking, then god save us from all the stupid people. seriously. they are our cabinet and the worse half of congress.

Actually, class ranking is a much more fair way to assess academic performance. Do you really think an A at Harvard is the same as an A at San Jose State? There are not (and there should not) be national standards about how high school teachers and college instructors should grade students. Therefore, the best way to see how a student compares is by class rank, which gives a clue into how that student compares to others under more similar academic environs. Then on top of that, you can judge the school itself. Kingturtle 18:22, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)

lots of progress!

wow, we seem to be having a burst of productivity. Let's keep it rolling! For the most part, I agree w/the edits. I've made a few changes where i have qualms. (and why are citations being removed?) Kevin Baastalk 22:11, 2005 Apr 13 (UTC)

Mb1000 (who's made some good edits to this article) said in one of his edit summaries that the citations were "cluttering up" the article. While I agree that having a lot of citations in an article has a cluttering effect, that's no reason to remove them. My way of dealing with that problem would be to move citations to the end of a paragraph whenever possible: something like "Texans for Truth [12] claims that several servicemembers [13] have accused Bush of being absent without leave [14]" might be changed to "Texans for Truth ... absent without leave [12] [13] [14]". There's really no reason to remove good citations, whether it's because they're "cluttering" the article, because they link to sites that require registration or because the editor doesn't like the source. Overall, I agree that there've been a lot of good changes to this article in the past few days. sɪzlæk [ +t, +c ] 23:03, Apr 13, 2005 (UTC)
I think the removal of several citations has made this article much, much worse. It's general Wikipedia policy to cite our sources. It's helpful for a reader who may want more information on a particular point, but it's especially important in an article on a controversial subject. Someone new may come along a month from now and say, "Hey, I don't think Clinton had that big a surplus. This is just more anti-Bush POV and I'm removing it." Ideally, in fact, just about every significant statement in this article that might be contested, whether it's favorable or unfavorable to Bush, would be backed up by a source. The trouble with lumping all the citations at the end of the paragraph is that the reader who wants to follow up a particular point can't readily tell which citation supports it. I think that the removal of information in some of the recent changes is detrimental. I don't have much time to spend on this article right now, but I hope to enter that fray next week. JamesMLane 00:16, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I went ahead and re-added the removed citations.
To clarify, my suggestion to move citations to the end of a paragraph (or sentence) isn't meant to be a general principle. I was just throwing out ideas to address concerns that inline citations might affect readability. Another idea would be to change inline links to text links, so something like "Bush's federal court appointees [7] have been criticized as far-right ideologues" might be reworked as "Bush's federal court appointees have been criticized as far-right ideologues". sɪzlæk [ +t, +c ] 06:55, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)

POV tag removed

I removed the POV tag and hope neutral edits continue to the page and we can keep the version we have as of this timestamp excepting additions since this is an ongoing event...we can bring it to a vote to whether the tag should stay or be removed.--MONGO 14:21, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Just to be clear - did you actually perform any of those edits yourself, or are you a spectator to the edits who now feels the article is 'neutral enough' in your view to remove the tag? I only ask because without participating in the editing process, your removal or placement of the tag seems somewhat superfluous. If an edit is made that you 'disagree' with, will you put the tag back, or will you contribute to the article by editing? -- RyanFreisling @ 16:31, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I have edited this article for several months now...where have you been? I have no intention of replacing the tag if the edition remains as it is...however, I see that someone else has now put the tag back...for the record, a fair amount of the recent edits have been by those I am normally in disagreement with...I was removing the neutrality tag as a sign of appreciation for their renewed commitment to creating a more neutral article...--MONGO 05:16, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I've been here throughout - and I've watched as you've claimed that editing in good faith is not possible, over and over. If you've changed that outlook and are going to contribute as an editor, great. -- RyanFreisling @ 13:34, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Lagavulin's edits

The 2000 election was and still is controversial, more than any other election except possibly the 2004 election. "close" does not adequately describe the section linked to from that sentence: if it was just "close", that section wouldn't exist.

A brief description is much more objective than "inadequate in several respects", and fairly balances the pov that he should be lauded for his performance.

Then there is an outright ommission of significant factual info.

"from his father's close friends" is factual, informative, and neutral.

capital punishment - balanced info was removed and replace with pov: "percieved success", and "was in favor of" is completely insignificant and irrelevant. the point is not that he was "in favor of", the point was that the use of it is anomalously high in texas, by his decree.

contestors/applicants. The litigation documents from the court always refer to the "Contestors", in contrast to the "Contestees". Kevin Baastalk 00:28, 2005 Apr 15 (UTC)

Referring to everything and everyone we don't like as "controversial" is New York Post yellow journalism. IT should go. It was a close election. And was controversial for a time because of that. Let's

I'm not familiar with the NYP, but see the page linked to in the article for reasons that it was controversial. Kevin Baastalk 01:14, 2005 Apr 15 (UTC)

Constant references to Daddy helping W out is equally partisan and unencyclopedic aside from being completely unsourced.

I don't see how families sharing connections favors any particular party. And I don't see how there's anything objectionable about it, either. I don't see how it's unencyclopedic. You don't dispute it factually, so it shouldn't be removed on that ground. if you want a citation, ask for a citation. The vast majority of the info in the article will be uncited. having a citation per phrase is ridiculously superfluous.

the other changes were very minor and just designed to eliminate bias and the perception of bias.

Take your word for it about contestors.

The article is an attack piece on the President. I don't much like him either but I don't think the article should be an excuse to pour scorn on him. So the tag stays until someone can improve what is really a low-rent hatchet job. Compared with Ollie North it's not that bad though. Lagavulin 00:45, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I'm against disputing an article in general, as it amounts to disputing the conclusion of one's interpretation of the article, a.k.a., shooting the messenger. an article should be disputed in its particulars (the style, tone, accuracy, etc. of phrases, sentences, or paragraphs) on the basis of those particulars, on the basis of the relative significance of info included or not included, or the organization of the article. if nothing of this is disputable, and the article is still found to be "failing" in its general impression, it is by no fault of the article. Indeed, if it were by fault of the article, there would be no way to correct this fault, as all the ways in which the article can be modified without violating policy are listed above. Kevin Baastalk 01:14, 2005 Apr 15 (UTC)

There are many errors in the article. That he raised money from 41's friends for example. Stop removing the tag, the article is a joke and should reflect that. Lagavulin 00:48, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I agree with you that the article continues to have a bias, but I see a big, in fact huge improvement over where it was just a week ago...if the tag remains then it does so only in the hope that we will all work towards an article that is as factual as possible and refrains from the constant need to qualify every positive with a negative and vice versa...this can only be done if we work to eliminate the need to venerate or denegrate this man.--MONGO 05:21, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Well, Bush did raise money from many friends and associates of his father (for example James Baker, his dad's secretary of state. What specific sentence is not factual? Meelar (talk) 00:54, Apr 15, 2005 (UTC)

That's campaign fundraising, I think we're talking about raising money for his business ventures, with the inference that Daddy helped him out so he must be a schmuck. It's the same reason why anti Bushites insist on calling him stupid, despite having probably the most respected post-graduate degree in the world. (I'm biased there!) It's all very amusing probably but it isn't encyclopedic and that's the standard. Lagavulin 01:01, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Ah, OK, so you have problems with the paragraph that begins "Bush began his career in the oil industry in 1979 when he established Arbusto Energy...". What do you think is wrong with the paragraph? Could you hack together a more neutral proposal? Thanks, Meelar (talk) 01:04, Apr 15, 2005 (UTC)

In April 1989, Bush assembled a group of investors from his father's close friends; the group bought 86% of the Rangers for $75 million.

My suggestion In April 1989, Bush assembled a group of investors that acquired 86% of the Texas Rangers for $75 million.

I find no evidence that he only raised money from "his father's close friends" and I think it's perfectly obvious why the partisan author of this wrote it. It's just stupid. Lagavulin 01:09, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • I wonder if any of you GWB editors could take a look at the Republican Party (United States) article. Lagavulin has raised issues of POV and accuracy there, too, and we could use some input from others. Thanks, TIMBO (T A L K) 01:10, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Speaking for myself, I think that change would be acceptable. Go ahead and make it, and if it's reverted, tag the article with an NPOV tag (NOT a totally disputed tag) and hash it out here. I'll take a look at Republican Party as well. The totally disputed tag is for cases of factual inaccuracy much more serious than this. Meelar (talk) 01:13, Apr 15, 2005 (UTC)
if there's two for that change, i'm not going to dispute it. it's not a big deal to me, i just don't like info being removed, and so long as its factual, i don't consider it favoring one pov or another to be a legitimate objection. legitimate objections would be things like significance and relevancy. if it's not significant or relevant, it's usually because someone was trying to push a pov, and the fact that its insignificant or irrelevant is a form of bias, i.e., putting things out of proportion.
Amen to that. The only reasons in my book to remove factually correct and sourced info are redundancy or relevancy, compensating one POV to achieve balance does not seem justifiable as a reason to censor content. Basically what Kevin said. --kizzle 02:37, Apr 15, 2005 (UTC)
personally, i do not know the proportions of who raised money or what have you, and i don't know why the author wrote it, i was assuming Good faith. Kevin Baastalk 01:26, 2005 Apr 15 (UTC)

Lagavulin has been blocked for violating the three-revert rule on this article and as such will be unable to participate in this discussion for the next hour. I was rather lenient on him, blocking him for only one hour instead of the maximum 24, due to this being his first offence and so that he can re-join the discussion before too long. BLANKFAZE | (что??) 01:17, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Note: Bush is not my favorite politician, I added some of the CBS memo controversy in an attempt to help balance this out. Reboot

I see no value in having links to newspaper stories about the CBS documents when the article doesn't mention those documents or rely on them in any way. There's quite a bit that could be said on the National Guard issue, but what we've done for a long time is to have just a couple summary sentences and a link to the daughter article. If we add links to stories about the allegations of forgery, then we'd also have to add links to stories criticizing Bush's military record on the basis of undisputed facts. Getting into all that kind of thing would produce too much clutter in the article. (I agree that we'd need to present the anti-authenticity case if we were presenting the criticisms of Bush that are based on the CBS documents, but we aren't, and I think we should stick with the approach that we've followed for about a year now.) JamesMLane 20:16, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The reversion of the changes identifying the "establishment clause" as the "seperation of church and state", I think was correctly done (meaning it was correct to revert it). While it is amazing to me, may neoconservatives dispute that the constitution guarantees the seperation of church and state. They actually believe that it only means no "church of england". While I think this is a bunch of hoo because there are direct statements from Adams and Jefferson which make the intent pretty darned clear, but obviously its controversial and a matter of opinion (Even if I think its controverted by ignorance) Reboot