As I have noted in previous onomastic posts, American black mothers tend to give their children distinctive "black" Christian names. Why do they do that? I have no firm evidence on the matter but it seems to me that they do so in order to give their kids names which sound prestigious. They think that the names they choose will have some influence in causing their children to be treated with respect.
And I suppose there is some rationality behind that. Blacks living among predominantly Caucasian populations are -- dare I say it? -- invariably at the bottom of any status hierarchy. Their huge rate of criminality, low rate of educational success and usual lack of much economic achievement ensure that. But is the naming strategy effective? Not at all, it seems to me.
There is no group of people in the world with a higher level of prestige than the British Royal family. And what sort of names do they choose for their children? Simple old-fashioned names like Charles, Edward, Andrew, Harry and William. So if you were in good touch with reality, surely the way to name your children in a prestigious way would be to do likewise? I must say that I am entirely comfortable with having named my son Joe.
On the other hand, maybe I have got it entirely wrong and what the black mothers concerned wish to do is to distance themselves from "slave" names or from whites generally. In that case what they do makes some sense but I doubt that it does much good to the kid concerned -- which is surely regrettable.
The Missing Obama Tax Cut: "One question we wish someone had asked President Obama at last night's press conference is this: Why doesn't his economic stimulus bill include his own campaign proposal to eliminate the capital-gains tax for small businesses? The House bill omits it entirely, and the Senate version offers a rate reduction to 7% from the current 14%, but only on investments made in the next two years. That lower rate would apply to less than 2% of all capital gains. Mr. Obama's original promise to cancel the capital gains tax for small enterprises was highlighted on his campaign Web site under "Small Business Emergency Rescue Plan." A few weeks before the election, advisers Austan Goolsbee and Jason Furman touted their boss's pro-growth credentials by noting in this newspaper that "he is proposing additional tax cuts" that included "the elimination of capital gains taxes for small businesses and start-ups."
Marking 100 years of failed drug prohibition: "This week marks the centennial of a fateful landmark in U.S. history, the nation's first drug prohibition law. On February 9, 1909, Congress passed the Opium Exclusion Act, barring the importation of opium for smoking as of April 1. Thus began a hundred-year crusade that has unleashed unprecedented crime, violence and corruption around the world - a war with no victory in sight. Long accustomed to federal drug control, most Americans are unaware that there was once a time when people were free to buy any drug, including opium, cocaine, and cannabis, at the pharmacy. In that bygone era, drug-related crime and violence were largely unknown, and drug use was not a major public concern."
Some humility there: "Now that Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich has been removed from office after his arrest on corruption charges, the state's lieutenant governor, Democrat Patrick Quinn, 60, has replaced him. Quinn is described by political observers as the "Anti-Blagojevich" -- calm, quiet, and humble. Quinn understands popularity comes and goes, remembering once in the 1970s when he was sitting in the gallery of the state legislature. When introduced, lawmakers "stood up and booed for three minutes," Quinn said. "One guy called it a standing boo-vation." Quinn may be popular now, especially compared to Blago, but "You want to know my philosophy?" he asked. "One day a peacock. The next day a feather duster."
Obama regime invokes "state secrets" : "The Obama administration is backing an anti-terrorism policy of President George W. Bush, urging a federal judge to throw out a lawsuit that accuses a Boeing Co. unit of helping the CIA fly suspects overseas to be tortured. The Justice Department said it is reviewing other cases in which the Republican Bush administration urged similar complaints be dismissed because of the need to protect state secrets."
World Bank covered up destruction of Albanian village : "Managers at the World Bank provided false information to the agency's board of directors about a $39 million, politically-connected European `coastal cleanup' project that led to the destruction and destitution of a powerless village in Albania in 2007 - and then spent nearly two years trying to cover it up, FOX News has learned. Bank insiders also misled and stonewalled a panel of independent investigators commissioned by the board to investigate the scandal, according to the investigators themselves. . For its part, once the report leaked in Albania last week, the bank announced that further disbursements of the loan for the Albanian project had been temporarily suspended on Jan. 9 `due to certain outstanding policy and operational issues.'"
A surprise from Daley: Chicago's city employees no match for private sector : "Mayor Daley said Wednesday he unloaded four of Chicago's most valuable assets for a $6 billion mountain of cash, in part, because city employees are clock-watchers who don't think about the customers. . `We can't compete with the private sector. The private sector has a complete idea of who your customers are. Government doesn't have customers. They only have citizens.' Daley offered his blunt, candid assessment of city workers after joining business leaders at a Merchandise Mart news conference called to launch the so-called `Green Office Challenge' aimed at encouraging downtown buildings to conserve."
Losing American principles: "The speed with which venerable American institutions - Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Wachovia - have disappeared or been gobbled up is jarring. But in most cases, that's just creative destruction at work. What Joseph Schumpeter defined as `the process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one.' What's far more disconcerting is how quickly Americans seem willing to throw off our last few vestiges of freedom and adapt a nationalized, Washington, D.C.-based set of standards - replete with pay caps, government-preferred industries (and companies within those industries), and massive new government employment - all in the panicky name of 'stability.' Even more startling is that this new economic catastrophe is only about four months old."
Do Americans cherish freedom anymore?: "Virtually everything we do and say is monitored by the great Nanny State. Practically every service, every act is regulated by the State. Ask any independent business owner how many regulations, laws, acts, etc., demand fulfillment, and how many fees, taxes, permits, etc., are required by various government agencies and bureaucracies before he can perform a single task. For example, the federal government actually dictates how some restaurants can seat people or serve tables. Farmers are told what and how much to plant - and even to not plant. We cannot buy a gun, drive a car, marry the person we love, or even install a toilet without saying, `Pretty please?' to a dozen despots. And we still wave the flag every Independence Day and brag about how `free' we are. Again, we don't know the meaning of the word."
Revenge of the tax code: "If it were a movie, it would be called `Revenge of the Tax Code.' The complex income tax, which has bedeviled average Americans for years, is biting back at the elite who helped create it. Tom Daschle, former chief lawmaker in the Senate, withdrew his Cabinet nomination because of an `unintentional' $128,000 tax mistake. Rep. Charles Rangel, chief tax-writer in the House, is also entangled in a tax scandal, as is Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary, and Nancy Killefer, another high-ranking nominee who has withdrawn. What is going on here? Whether you believe the excuses of these folks or not, it's common for both taxpayers and the Internal Revenue Service to make big errors."
It still won't work : "No amount of presidential persuasion, nor any conceivable quantity of federal spending, can repeal the basic economic law of supply and demand. Thus, if Congress should enact this idiotic 'stimulus' - a neo-Keynesian pump-priming venture absurdly overbalanced to the demand side of the equation - nothing is more predictable than its failure to spur real recovery. Indeed, the Pelosi plan is so close to being the exact opposite of what our economy needs at this juncture, many informed observers do not hesitate to say that it will actually delay recovery and perhaps make the recession far worse than it already is."
Obama & the economy: When was he telling truth? : "As the final push for the 778 page, $827 billion stimulus package faces votes today and tomorrow in the Senate, President Obama is hammering his opponents and pushing hard for the bill. On Friday, Obama pointedly reminded Republicans that he won the November election and had the right to get his policies enacted. But the stimulus bill bears little resemblance to his campaign promises. It bears little resemblance his many promises he made just a month ago. If Obama claims a mandate, shouldn't it be related to what he campaigned on?"
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here
The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)