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Do presidents removed from office still retain honorific titles?
Does a person still get to be "the honorable" if they are tossed out for not being honorable?
- The President of the United States is entitled "Mr/Ms. President," "the honorable," and "their Excellency" depending on the context.
- The first two of these follow a person all of their life, including long after they leave the office that gave it to them.
- The question of whether an impeached president could still be called "the honorable" is still open, since no precedent exists for it.
Unless you've been living under a rock or subscribing to some odd legal advice, you probably know that the House of Representatives has impeached President Trump. He joins Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson as only the third president to have been given the strictest reprimand the lower house of Congress can bestow. However, neither Johnson or Clinton were removed from office by the Senate.This means that the United States is in mostly uncharted territory, with only two examples to look at for precedent, one of which was over 150 years ago. Many questions, from what rules the Senate should apply to how to get a president to leave the White House, remain.
One of them is how to refer to a previous president who was dishonorably discharged from their duties. After all, we currently refer to former presidents as "Mr. President" and afford them the honorific of the "honorable." But, would this be different?
A question of titles
What to address the president has been a continuing question in American history. John Adams famously wanted to give the president the exhausted honorific of his "majesty" to help assure the office would be respected. While his fellow revolutionaries Jefferson and Franklin found his proposal to be insane. Other proposals at the time included a reference to the old Dutch Republic with the title his "High Mightiness."
In the end, the simple title of "Mr. President" won out. It did not extend beyond the term of office, however, and ex-presidents reverted to their old titles after returning to private life. Washington became "general" again, Adams became "mister," and Teddy Roosevelt became "colonel." It is a recent development that former presidents have retained the title after leaving office.
Today, the president is given the courtesy title of the "honorable" as a perk of office just the same as judges, diplomats, members of Congress, and other officials. While it might stand to reason that a person removed from office for "high crimes and misdemeanors" might not be "honorable" anymore, this may not be the case. According to Robert Hickey, Deputy Director of the Protocol School of Washington, this title sticks with a person even after they leave the office that granted them the title. He gives the simple rule of "once an honorable, always an honorable." This would suggest the title would remain even if the holder were removed from office.
Similarly, Mary K. Mewborn points out in an article on the topic that there are at least 100,000 "honorables" in the United States as a result of this rule. Among them "all of the politically appointed ambassadors, past and present (many of whom are considered to have bought their titles through large contributions), former actors, an ex-wrestler, a spokesman for Viagra, some doctors, lots of lawyers, and an Indian chief. There are more than a few ex-convicts bearing the title as well."
Her description of the potential creation of a law to strip the term from those convicted of crimes or violating ethics codes further suggests that no such protocol existed at the time her article was written.
To put all doubt to rest, the State Department also agrees on the use of the title after a person leaves office.
For the curious, the president is also deemed their "excellency" in diplomatic correspondence, but that title is attached to the office and used only in limited circumstances. It would never be used when directly addressing the president today.
Just as we are in uncharted constitutional waters, impeachment has left us in uncharted waters for etiquette as well. While the evidence suggests that you can't lose the title of "honorable," it might also be said the current situation is a little different than any case before. We'll have to wait and see.
 Richard Nixon, seeing the writing on the wall, resigned before an impeachment vote could take place. He is often, erroneously, included in this group anyway.
Scientists used CT scanning and 3D-printing technology to re-create the voice of Nesyamun, an ancient Egyptian priest.
- Scientists printed a 3D replica of the vocal tract of Nesyamun, an Egyptian priest whose mummified corpse has been on display in the UK for two centuries.
- With the help of an electronic device, the reproduced voice is able to "speak" a vowel noise.
- The team behind the "Voices of the Past" project suggest reproducing ancient voices could make museum experiences more dynamic.
Howard et al.<p style="margin-left: 20px;">"While this approach has wide implications for heritage management/museum display, its relevance conforms exactly to the ancient Egyptians' fundamental belief that 'to speak the name of the dead is to make them live again'," they wrote in a <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-56316-y#Fig3" target="_blank">paper</a> published in Nature Scientific Reports. "Given Nesyamun's stated desire to have his voice heard in the afterlife in order to live forever, the fulfilment of his beliefs through the synthesis of his vocal function allows us to make direct contact with ancient Egypt by listening to a sound from a vocal tract that has not been heard for over 3000 years, preserved through mummification and now restored through this new technique."</p>
Connecting modern people with history<p>It's not the first time scientists have "re-created" an ancient human's voice. In 2016, for example, Italian researchers used software to <a href="https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/hear-recreated-voice-otzi-iceman-180960570/" target="_blank">reconstruct the voice of Ötzi,</a> an iceman who was discovered in 1991 and is thought to have died more than 5,000 years ago. But the "Voices of the Past" project is different, the researchers note, because Nesyamun's mummified corpse is especially well preserved.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"It was particularly suited, given its age and preservation [of its soft tissues], which is unusual," Howard told <em><a href="https://www.livescience.com/amp/ancient-egypt-mummy-voice-reconstructed.html" target="_blank">Live Science</a>.</em></p><p>As to whether Nesyamun's reconstructed voice will ever be able to speak complete sentences, Howard told <em><a href="https://abcnews.go.com/Weird/wireStory/ancient-voice-scientists-recreate-sound-egyptian-mummy-68482015" target="_blank">The Associated Press</a>, </em>that it's "something that is being worked on, so it will be possible one day."</p><p>John Schofield, an archaeologist at the University of York, said that reproducing voices from history can make museum experiences "more multidimensional."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"There is nothing more personal than someone's voice," he told <em>The Associated Press.</em> "So we think that hearing a voice from so long ago will be an unforgettable experience, making heritage places like Karnak, Nesyamun's temple, come alive."</p>
Inequality in wealth, gender, and race grew to unprecedented levels across the world, according to OxFam report.
- A new report by global poverty nonprofit OxFam finds inequality has increased in every country in the world.
- The alarming trend is made worse by the coronavirus pandemic, which strained most systems and governments.
- The gap in wealth, race and gender treatment will increase until governments step in with changes.
People wait in line to receive food at a food bank on April 28, 2020 in Brooklyn.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Credit: Oxfam International
A supernova exploded near Earth about 2.5 million years ago, possibly causing an extinction event.
- Researchers from the University of Munich find evidence of a supernova near Earth.
- A star exploded close to our planet about 2.5 million years ago.
- The scientists deduced this by finding unusual concentrations of isotopes, created by a supernova.
This Manganese crust started to form about 20 million years ago. Growing layer by layer, it resulted in minerals precipitated out of seawater. The presence of elevated concentrations of 60 Fe and 56 Mn in layers from 2.5 million years ago hints at a nearby supernova explosion around that time.
Credit: Dominik Koll/ TUM