Dr. Oprah Winfrey

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by RAM PhD, May 31, 2013.

  1. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    I'm not "upset" about anything in this thread, I simply don't agree with the practice of honorary doctorates. This is due primarily to the unfortunate use of the title "Dr" by some (certainly not all) recipients.

    Your comparison isn't really apples-for-apples, because I'm not sure that any recipient of this honor would use the title "Knight John Doe" in a professional capacity.
  2. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    And of course they shouldn't. The proper thing is to say "Sir John Doe." In the case of a woman the term is "Dame Jane Doe."
  3. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    I agree with Steve. This is all much ado about nothing.
  4. ebbwvale

    ebbwvale Member

    Do we really want a colorless, carefully controlled world? Perhaps, a little sideshow and theatre to go with the curious ritual where people dress up in sixteenth century dress and give each other pieces of symbolic paper, then clap politely before wondering off to their daily struggle with life, would not go astray.

    Lets enjoy the sideshow and not take it all too seriously, a little like trooping the colors. On whether Oprah Winfrey should get one? She has made the world a better place with her donations and promotions. Did she have to? No she didn't, so perhaps a little recognition won't go astray. The earth will still spin on its axis.
  5. RobbCD

    RobbCD New Member

    You just equated honorary degrees with genocide. You may want to walk that one back.
  6. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    No, it isn't. Not for honorary knighthood, which occurs. Ronald Reagan is an example. He was not entitled to style himself "Sir Ronald." But he was permitted to use "KBE (Hon)" after his surname, if he chose to do so.
  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    He didn't equate them. In fact, he explicitly denied equating them at the beginning of the sentence.

    I objected to the analogy because it was extreme (your point, really) and that it didn't fairly make the argument. (For example, genocide is generally frowned upon, but the award of honorary degrees is not.)
  8. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    There are many things in life one may not be able to change, other than by declining to participate in the practice (e.g., the use of recreational drugs, involvement in a gang) and voicing one's opinion on the subject. The practice of awarding/receiving honorary doctorates is one of them. I would never accept one. I would express gratitude for the offer, but would graciously decline acceptance of the award. Of course, I don't plan to join a gang either. :)
  9. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Whatchoo got against gangs, homes? You in one now - the Degree Gang! :jester:

    Johann (Captain and Enforcer in The Old Geezers Gang) :smile:
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2013
  10. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    This is similar to the knighthood bestowed by Queen Elizabeth on "Sir Rudy Giuliani" for his leadership following 9/11. I believe they were almost never addressed as "Sir Ronald" or "Sir Rudy" simply because they were American, not British. As you are aware, knighthood is rarely bestowed on non-British people and I don't think America as a country is very comfortable with the idea - possibly even less so than Canada is with British titles. For example, Conrad Black had to renounce his Canadian citizenship before he could become Lord Black of Cross Harbour.

    And I believe people who work with, or meet the recipients of knighthood are accustomed to using the title. Quite often we hear of "Sir Elton John," and in England you might well hear something like "Sir Hugh is the Managing Director. His office is upstairs..."

    And I think it would be generally courteous to address such a person as "Sir Elton," or "Sir Hugh," especially on first meeting them.

    Johann (Still an Englishman after all these years...really!)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2013
  11. Boethius

    Boethius Member

    Johann, you're a riot!
  12. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    You've got a point, Johann. Just refer to me as Gang Member RAM. I've earned it. :)
  13. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    The deciding factor is whether you are a citizen of a country where the Queen is head of state. So Ronald Reagan is not Sir Ronald because he was only a U.S. citizen, but jailed financier Allen Stanford, with both U.S. and Antiguan citizenship, was "Sir Allen" -- at least until it was revoked following his conviction for fraud.
  14. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Not "rarely." "Never." As I stated, they're not entitled to style themselves in that fashion. Yes, it is because they're not British subjects, but it's not a choice.
  15. Boethius

    Boethius Member

    Not only that, more importantly, our U.S. Constitution does not allow it:

    Article 1, Section 9, Clause 8:

    No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 5, 2013
  16. dposborne

    dposborne New Member

    Oprah fan?
    I don't think he was telling me what I can or cannot do. I think he was expressing an opinion... What say you?
  17. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Not really an Oprah fan, although I think she's nice, I suppose. I think there's a difference between expressing a negative opinion of something, which is anyone's prerogative, and calling for a ban on it, which by definition is telling everyone else what they cannot do.
  18. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    My thanks and apologies (for my lack of knowledge) to Rich and Steve. And thanks to Boethius, for his knowledge, too. I had a suspicion that provision might be somewhere in the US Constitution, but I failed to look it up. I thought something similar might be in our (Canadian) Constitution too, but apparently not. However, there is some provision, in Canada, as you'll see below.

    Allen Stanford's case (thanks, Steve) notwithstanding, it appears that some honours can be kept, regardless of criminal convictions. Conrad Black is still Baron Black of Cross Harbour, despite his having served time. Apparently, what was invoked to prevent him from accepting this honour while a Canadian citizen was the Nickle Resolution of 1919, which Baron Black himself described as "...a non-binding request to King George V not to give British honours to Canadian residents.."

    Judge his actions as you will, but I am just one of many, who find Conrad Black to be an eloquent writer. Here are his own words on his acceptance of a peerage:

    Conrad Black: My journey from Canadian to British Lord | Full Comment | National Post

    Again, thanks to Rich, Steve and Boethius for the lessons. I appreciate them.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 5, 2013
  19. FJD

    FJD Member

    This provision would seem to only exclude federal officers from accepting a Title/Office/etc. from a foreign state, without Congressional approval. Private citizens would probably be fine accepting Knighthood or some similar honor, and maybe even state and local officals. It basically says the U.S. may not give such a title, and no U.S. official may accept one from another country. I haven't looked to see if there's any case law on this, but it would interesting to know if this issue has been addressed. Anybody got some time to kill on google?
  20. Boethius

    Boethius Member

    I knew about the federal officers being excluded.

    That would be interesting to know. Don't have (and don't recall) research to support that titles of nobility and aristocracy are something our Founding Fathers in the USA did not want (at least outwardly), although we do have blue bloods and other famous last names that could just as well be aristocracy.

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