Names Can Never Hurt You

A New Jersey couple is complaining of discrimination after a local ShopRite refused to inscribe a birthday cake for Adolf Hitler. The Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, Express-Times reports that Heath and Deborah Campbell, who live across the Delaware River in Holland Township, have "three children named for Nazism": Adolf Hitler Campbell, who turned 3 on Sunday; JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, who turns 2 in February; and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell, who turns 1 in April and is named for SS honcho Heinrich Himmler. (Since my German is limited to a few words that overlap with Yiddish and a few more that I picked up from Hogan's Heroes, I'm not clear on why the mm became an n. Does that feminize the name?) The Campbells, who favor swastikas ("symbols of peace and balance," according to Heath) as a decorating motif, claim not to understand what the big deal is about their Nazi namesakes:

"I just figured that they're just names," Deborah Campbell said. "They're just kids. They're not going to hurt anybody."

Heath Campbell said some people like the names but others are shocked to hear them. "They say, 'He [Hitler] killed all those people.' I say, 'You're living in the wrong decade. That Hitler's gone,'" he said.

"They're just names, you know," he said. "Yeah, they [Nazis] were bad people back then. But my kids are little. They're not going to grow up like that."

"Other kids get their cake. I get a hard time," he said. "It's not fair to my children.

"How can a name be offensive?" he asked.

This story, which has been picked up by newspapers ranging from USA Today to The Australian, sounds too good to be true, like a below-average Onion article or an above-average Saturday Night Live sketch. But according to Robert M. Gordon, an Allentown psychologist consulted by the Express-Times, the Campbells are neither facetious nor stupid; they are mentally ill:

Any parent that would impose such horrific names on their children is mentally ill, and they would be affecting their children from the day they were born. Only a crazy person would do that.

Gordon's attitude is the only thing that made me sympathize with Heath and Deborah (as opposed to their kids). Must every anti-social tendency, every species of idiocy, every flavor of unreasoning hatred be reduced to a pseudomedical psychiatric label? Can't anybody be a neo-Nazi numbskull anymore?

For the record, Walmart, where the customer comes first, was happy to produce the birthday cake that ShopRite denied little Adolf. Do you think ShopRite would have flinched if the birthday wishes had been for Mao Tse-Tung?

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  • Kolohe||

    Oh, Patrick Stewart, where art thou to help a family in their time of greatest need?

  • Lefiti||

    You free market fundies are mentally ill.

  • Eev||

    those kids are going to catch beatings.

    legitimately...that's like depraved indifference.

  • ||

    If the story is true, there names have to border on child abuse / endangerment -- instead of saving up for little Adolfs college fund -- they should start saving up for little Adolf's headshrinker bills

  • ||

    Is Lefiti trying out as the new Juanita? It's a miss - he's just coming off as a giant douche bag.

  • Lefiti||

    I hate my life so fucking much!

  • The Angry Optimist||

    It's been said, but it is obvious that these pieces of trash just wanted attention, because, really, do you need a kid's first AND middle name on the cake? The only reason you would do that is to provoke a reaction. I'd bet 10-1 that S-mart (I'm calling it that on purpose) would have made a cake with just the name "Adolf".

    Dumb fuckin' hicks.

  • ||

    If my memory is correct, the photograph appears to be that of the cloned little adolph from The Boys from Brazil.

  • Mister DNA||

    Eev, I agree. The parents might as well name their next kids "Wedgie Magnet" and "Gimme a Swirly".

    The parents will tell the kids they're getting picked on by the other students because of the International Jewish Banking Conspiracy To Co-Mingle The Races... sorry kids, you're getting picked on because your parents are fucking idiots.

    libertymike, you are correct.

  • ||

    Dolph Campbell
    Joyce Campbell
    Connie Lynn Campbell

    Problem solved as far as school is concerned. When you turn 18, you can solve the problem yourself.

    Dolph is the only one that has a major major problem, being named after the big cheese without having any additional names mixed in. The two girls can probably duck and dodge long enough. I mean what 10 year old knows who Himmler is or cares?

    The parents, of course, are loony tunes.

  • Hugh Akston||

    TAO's got it. On the other hand, who cares what these people want to call their kids? If the little aryans survive high school, they have every right to name themselves after more benevolent historical figures, like Castro, or others.

  • sage||

    I could just see a cake with Ontherag Taint Dikshit Junior - happy birthday!

  • ||

    "I'm not clear on why the mm became an n. Does that feminize the name?"

    I think they meant to spell it "Bimmler". And little Adolf's middle name should have been "Hilter"

  • Naga Sadow||

    Sage you should trademark that joke! LMAO!

    Anyways, WTF? What is with neo-nazis and always wanting publicity? Fucktards!

  • Mister DNA||

    The parents should have gone to the Utah Baby Namer, although I think "Aryan Nation" is a better middle name than "VulvaMae".

  • ||

    You know, it just comes naturally to me-the drive to be the contrarian, to defend the indefensible, to stick up for folks upon whom everybody is piling (of course having some fun doing it). On this occasion, I'll pass. Sometimes, Brett Favre even realizes that there are some needles that can't be threaded.

  • jk||

    I do not think that young Adolf's parents are sane, but when I was growing up, a rainy day past-time was to make up a last name and then look it up in the telephone book white pages. There was no opting out of the listing then. It was hard to make up a name that didn't have a close match.

  • jimbob||

    My initial thought was like TAO's: This is just a publicity stunt -- they went to Shop Rite (and asked for the full name) because Wal-Mart wasn't turning them down. But I think I am imposing a rationalization on the situation that it won't support. From the last page of the story:


    There are swastikas on walls, on jackets, on the freezer and on a pillow. The family car had swastikas, Heath Campbell said, until New Jersey's Department of Children and Families told him they could endanger the children.

    The swastikas, Heath Campbell said, are symbols of peace and balance. He considers them art.

    "It doesn't mean hatred to me," he said. Deborah Campbell said a swastika "doesn't really have a meaning. It's just a symbol."

    Heath Campbell said he doesn't want to force his views on his children, in part because he had views forced on him. He said he also teaches them nonviolence.

    Abusive guardians, Heath Campbell said, used Bible verses to teach him to distrust blacks. If he questioned the guardians, he said, he was hit. He acknowledged he couldn't challenge the guardians' views.


    I understand your desire not to (psycho)pathologize. But doesn't Heath Campbell sound genuinely damaged (read: severely judgment impaired) to you? If he wanted publicity then why would he play coy about his beliefs with the reporter? I'm not even clear he's a neo-Nazi in the way I understand that term.

    Are you sure this isn't a con of some sort?

  • ||

    ... But according to Robert M. Gordon, an Allentown psychologist consulted by the Express-Times, the Campbells are neither facetious nor stupid; they are mentally ill.

    I have always thought psychologists are paranoid: they see mentally ill people everywhere.

    Do you think ShopRite would have flinched if the birthday wishes had been for Mao Tse-Tung?

    Ignorance is bliss and the Public School system is effective in its role of spewing out walking illiterates: they would not have known what Mao did for his people - that is, that he did them in.

  • ||

    "Must every anti-social tendency, every species of idiocy, every flavor of unreasoning hatred be reduced to a pseudomedical psychiatric label? Can't anybody be a neo-Nazi numbskull anymore?"

    Hah! This wins quote of the day in my book.

  • ||

    I'm sure this is just a coincidence, but my family and I visited Castle Ontherag Taint Dikshit, Junior last week.

  • ||

    jk,
    I used to golf in Milwaukee with an excellent gentleman whose last name was/is Hitler. It's been many years.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Pro Lib,

    I believe you posted something akin to this phrase over at Urkobold.

  • cunnivore||

    I understand your desire not to (psycho)pathologize. But doesn't Heath Campbell sound genuinely damaged (read: severely judgment impaired) to you?

    That may be the case; but the psychologist consulted based his opinion solely on the names of the children. The Szaszes and scientologists of the world may be incorrect in claiming that all diagnoses of mental illness are fallacious, but haphazard diagnoses such as the one seen here definitely lend credence to their position.

  • sage||

    Sage you should trademark that joke! LMAO!

    I would, but I do not wish to incur the wrath of the Urkobold. It's not pleasant.

  • sage||

    I should point out that it's from the Urkobold that I got that joke.

  • ||

    I do not think that young Adolf's parents are sane, but when I was growing up, a rainy day past-time was to make up a last name and then look it up in the telephone book white pages.

    Likewise. And believe it or not, there were listings for both Adolph Hitler and Fidel Castro. I shit you not.

  • ||

    Naga,

    I did? You'd think I'd remember posting such a distinguished name.

  • Bingo||

    That picture is some serious uncanny valley material.

  • Naga Sadow||

    If it was you . . . props to you sir. If it wasn't then I suggest you use your time machine and make sure you do create it. I know you got one!

    "Dr. Carrington, you're a man who won the Nobel Prize. You've received every kind of international kudos a scientist can attain. If you were for sale I could get a million bucks for you from any foreign government. I'm not, therefore, gonna stick my neck out and say you're stuffed absolutely clean full of wild blueberry muffins, but I promise my readers are gonna think so."

  • ||

    Are these people kidding? They have no udea why these names would be offensive. Are they living in Lala land. Or are they just crazy? Do they know what Adolf Hitler did? I will tell you their kid will hate them for his name when he grows up?

  • ||

    I'm a law librarian and I belong to a large law librarian listserv. There's a retired guy in Australia - I think he may have been a law prof in addition to being a librarian - he's kind of a headcase, very excitable, easily offended and his views are fairly hardcore/softheaded left.

    So today he posted to the thread asking if anyone had heard about these people. He was outraged - further proof of the dangers of allowing people to do whatever the hell they want, which is the whole problem with America, etc. Of course, this has jack shit to do with law librarianship, but the guy, as I said, is a headcase who thrives on stirring up shit and then throwing a diva tantrum when people disagree with him. So I got to spend all day at work reading other law librarians' opinions on this.

    A majority of librarians were fully in the "there ought to be a law" camp, many approved of Iceland and Norway's official Lists of Names You Can Give to Your Baby, and more than a few thought that based on the names alone, the Campbells should have their children removed from them. One librarian actually said that just because it's a free country, some people think that means they can do whatever they want.

    Headcase Australian Librarian Guy used the "fire in a crowded theater" analogy, which I think should automatically disqualify one from any future discussions of free speech issues.

    Law librarians tend to be lefties, in the Hollywood/academia/overprivileged underworked vein.

  • sage||

    Is that last part really a question? Are you living in lala land.

  • sage||

    That was to mike, btw.

  • jimbob||

    cunnivore:

    My point is that Jacob may be misreading the
    situation. Gordon's knee-jerk reaction is deplorable and uninformed -- but that doesn't mean that, in this situation, he isn't right.

    The point if that if you don't buy Szaszian arguments completely, but you do recognize that sometimes the anti-social are unreasonably classified as ill, then you have to come up with SOME criteria for separating the merely anti-social from the truly ill. Jacob's throwaway line about sympathy made it sound like he thought the Campbell's were anti-social, but in reading the article I think it is certainly possible they (the husband directly, the wife codependently) are truly ill. (For example, when he was told the number of swastikas in the car was a danger to the kids, was that because people were worried he would be attacked or because they were blocking his windshield? Given his weird comments I couldn't say for sure which.)

    I just thought Jacob might offer a clarification on where he stands on the issue.

  • the unregistered voter||

    A New Jersey couple is complaining of discrimination after a local ShopRite refused to inscribe a birthday cake for Adolf Hitler.

    And you thought I was kidding, didn't you?

  • Naga Sadow||

    As long as the parents are practicing Jews . . . I got no problem with the names. Otherwise I would be polite but go to great lengths to avoid them.

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    .. what, too soon??

    .. Hobbit

  • ||

    ashamed to be white and from Pennsy todaqy. Whats the address and phone number of that walmart. Ignorant

  • ||

    File this under you find them everywhere-

    In January of 1985, I was in Leningrad on a study tour. I had met a guy, Dimitri, in Moscow the week before and somehow he found me in Leningrad without me telling him my last name or what hotel our group would be at in Leningrad.

    At any rate, one night after we left this restaurant that served pizza (at the time there were about two in the whole city) we went to the apartment of a "friend" of Dimitri's When the door opened, I was stunned-the Dimitri's friend gave us a Sieg Heil. His apartment was a shrine to Hitler and Nazism. All that year, the russians were celebrating the 40th anniversary of both the defeat of the Nazis and the liberation of Leningrad.

  • Some Guy||

    I have to agree that I find it somewhat unlikely that these people are fit to raise children. Whether or not they're unfit enough to have them taken away is another question, but it at least bears asking.

    Anyone with even a tiny bit of common sense would know that giving your kids those names is going to cause them a lot of problems when they get older.

    Do you think ShopRite would have flinched if the birthday wishes had been for Mao Tse-Tung?

    Do you think more than 1% of Shop-Rite bakery employees would even know who that is?

  • ||

    Some Guy: I tend to agree. I think that the parents' choice of names is a symptom of their unfitness, not the basis for it. As these kids grow up, their names may not really be the worst of their problems.

  • Voton||

    "Honzlynn Hinler" = "Heinrich Himmler"?!
    Maybe they're just really bad spellers. I'll bet Mrs. Obama couldn't get the local Kansas
    ShopRite to inscribe "Barack Hussein" on his birthday cakes either.

  • ||


    Do you think more than 1% of Shop-Rite bakery employees would even know who that is?


    Don't you think there's something unjust about that? That we remember the crimes of Hitler, but we forget those of Mao, and Stalin, and the rest?

    Isn't there some saying about those who forget history being doomed to repeat it?
    Well, we seem to have a collective will to forget what happened under communist governments.

  • Lester Hunt||

    "I'm not clear on why the mm became an n. Does that feminize the name?" It just means these f*****g morons can't spell, either.

  • ||

    Side note:
    These parents might not be insane. They might be Venezuelan.

  • ||

    Naga,

    I've been threadhopping. The Urkobold posted that name on Hit & Run, though I have reason to believe that he stole it from sage, by using His Trimensional Phase Discombobulator to travel through the blog-time continuum.

    Say, what's the nickname for someone named Dikshit?

  • Naga Sadow ||

    I think lester wins

  • ||

    Do you think ShopRite would have flinched if the birthday wishes had been for Mao Tse-Tung?

    Definitely. None of them can write Chinese characters.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Pro Lib,

    I don't know . . . is this a LoneWacko reference? Cuz I already posted a comment on him over at Urkobold today.

  • ||

    LoneWacko? No. Comments on LoneWacko are Viking Moose's idiom.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Did you just call me a VM minion? I'm offended! The meadow at noon sir! Have your second consult my second!

  • Plate-O||

    Thanks to people such as these, Jerry Springer will always have a large pool of possible guests in the near future. Idiot parents, as the TV-watching public, we salute you.

    And now, for something completely different, meet Mr. Hilter.

  • ||

    Well, I'd accept, but Viking Moose is offended by your offense and intends to dispatch you by stealth at dawn.

  • ||

    This is pushing me towards the conclusion that minors should be able to change their names without parental consent. At least in certain circumstances.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Did you just call me a VM minion? I'm offended!

    Pfff. You young upstarts don't understand what an absolute privilege it would be to be a minion of the Norwegian Alces Alces.

    Back in my day, we practically had to beg for crumbs of VM's wisdom and strength! You don't know how good you have it.

  • ||

    Be of good cheer. For it is written that the Viking Moose has dominion over many, including the Techno Viking.

  • 24AheadDotCom||

    NagaShadow, I am looking into possible legal action against your Urkobold site for LibelousStatements.

  • sage||

    The Urkobold posted that name on Hit & Run, though I have reason to believe that he stole it from sage, by using His Trimensional Phase Discombobulator to travel through the blog-time continuum.

    Funny you should say that. I do feel younger today, even though my birthday is coming up.

  • ||

    If the story is true, there names have to border on child abuse / endangerment -- instead of saving up for little Adolfs college fund -- they should start saving up for little Adolf's headshrinker bills

    So you would agree with the left-statism in parts of Europe where your proposed names for your children have to be approved by the government?

    Calling your boy "Percival" or "Susan" will also get him beat down a lot -- unless he has the good sense to quickly adopt a cooler nickname like "Hunter" or "Spike", and never voluntarily tell anyone his "real" name, leaving that joyous revelation to graduation ceremonies and whatnot.

    People should be free to name their kids whatever the hell they want. Businesses should be free to refuse to do business with people with objectionable names. Their competitors should be free to snarf up that tiny segment of market share.

    Hell, I bet there's at least a few kids being named George W. Bush right now, and said kids will suffer discrimination from leftists in the future. Not the job of government to police that.

  • anarch||

    It's a cultural thing. Y'all wouldn't understand.

  • jenny||

    One of the things I found interesting about this story was that if someone asked the store to make a happy birthday hitler cake just to be racists, and not for a kid, then people would be up in arms. So where is the business supposed to draw the line? Do they have to investigate the reasoning behind the cake? It just seems like the company is covering their ass.

  • ||

    Disappointing....I was waiting for a train to come barreling through that intersection for the whole video.

  • ||

    Can't anybody be a neo-Nazi numbskull anymore?

    No, because that would be judgmental, which would expose you as probably suffering some other form of mental illness - you know, like having a moral compass or common sense.

    And we wouldn't want the bad people to actually feel bad about themselves.

  • ||

    I have a good friend who's Turkish - married a Dutch guy - they named their son Attila. They call him Max, from his middle name - but Attila is a very popular name in Turkey.

    Attila has never struck me as a bad guy in the Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot mode, I guess because of his time period - I mean, we can't judge a fifth century guy by our standards - everyone before 1700 was basically a potential perpetrator of genocide, or at least mass murder - the Byzantine emperor had thirty thousand people slaughtered in the Hippodrome around this same time, f'instance. [Appropos of nothing - I just don't get to use my knowledge of Byzantine history all that often.]

    Who was the serial killer in New York? Not the son of sam guy - the guy whose name they gave a character in Seinfeld - Elaine broke up with him because she couldn't date a guy who had that name.

  • ||

    Any parent that would impose such horrific names on their children is mentally ill, and they would be affecting their children from the day they were born. Only a crazy person would do that.

    What if you were stupid enough to name your kid Apple, Kal-el, Pilot Inspektor, Spec Wildhorse or 5 of your sons George? You're worthy of admiration and awards?

  • ||

    Again, like I said before, if they would do like I did and have there lower ribs removed so they could blow themselves this problem would go away.

    Since I have started sucking myself off, and given my mom so much more free time, I have been on the whole much happier.

    Getting your lower ribs removed = not caring about a stupid bday cake

  • jk||

    jenny:

    So where is the business supposed to draw the line? Do they have to investigate the reasoning behind the cake? It just seems like the company is covering their ass.

    A retail business with a sidewalk store-front, like Wal-Mart, has very few rights in refusing service to anyone. Retail businesses do not investigate their customers. Imagine OSH, Home Depot, or your local hardware store having to investigate ever customer who comes in the store to buy chainsaw or a nail-gun.

  • cunnivore||

    stubby, you're thinking of Joel Rifkin.

    Though that does remind me of The Ringer, where the main character is named Jeffy Dohmer.

  • cunnivore||

    jk,

    But this isn't so much a case of refusing service to a particular person, as refusing to do a particular service (ie, making a Hitler cake) for anyone.

    I'm sure that if these people had asked for a cake with "Happy birthday" on it, they would have been served. And if somebody else had asked for a cake with "Adolf Hitler" on it, they would have been refused also.

  • anarch||

    With some imagination, they could have diplomatically defused the issue.

  • ||

    Well, at least we knows these folks can't be white supremacists. 20-somethings on disability because they are too injured to wait tables or pump gas?

  • Naga Sadow||

    My last post of the night(I think). Who the fuck is this . . . 24aheaddotcom. I'm not clicking on his stupid fucking name. Did he really suggest I'm a part of the Urkobold team? Only in my wildest dreams would they consider me for recruitment. Is 24aheaddotcom just a LoneWacko clone? Cuz there seems to be a spacing problem that catches my notice.

    Pro Lib,

    This . . . Techno Viking seems mighty indeed but I am mightier! Though his abs cause me envy. I got the same upperbody at least. No cool beardstache though.

    TAO,

    I need no bread crumbs of wisdom from VM. Only my liege Urkobold's wisdom!

  • the \"racist\"||

    Well, at least we knows these folks can't be white supremacists. 20-somethings on disability because they are too injured to wait tables or pump gas?

    Sum deep irony there: no job, claiming welfare and naming their kids weird shit?

    One would think white supremacists would be loathe to act in *ahem* that sort of way.

  • bill||

    This might not be such a bad thing. Maybe he'll be able to survive 42 murder attempts just like the old Hitler. That bastard just wouldn't die!

  • Eric Dondero||

    And what about Barack HUSSEIN Obama. Make a birthday cake for a guy named after one of the most brutal dictators in world history, and you get praised, and cheered on. It's only European dictators who are politically incorrect. Arab murderous thug dictators get a pass from birthday cake makers and grocery store managers, apparently.

  • Anon||

    Your ignorance is stunning, Eric. To quote a salon article with a good line about his name: "Barack Obama's middle name is in honor of his grandfather, Hussein, a secular resident of Nairobi, Kenya. Americans may think of Saddam Hussein when they hear the name, but that is like thinking of Stalin when you hear the name Joseph."

  • MJ||

    "I just figured that they're just names," Deborah Campbell said.

    She and her husband theme name their kids after prominent people/ideas in the Nazi movement and hse wants to claim it's just a name? If they were just names she would have not named the kids those names in the 1st place. The affected ingenuousness of their reaction bothers me quite a bit. They know exactly what they are doing. They are using their kids' names to provoke stupid controversies because they actually do admire Nazism or to merely gain attention. Either way, the Campbell's are nasty pieces of work.

  • ||

    Changing "mm" to "n" does not feminize a name in German. In any event, Himmler is a surname and you don't change a surname regardless. No, these people are just stupid.

    Also, a psychologist who uses the term "crazy"? Really? I wonder if that's in the DSM IV ...

  • ||

    Well, I wasn't expecting to see Dondero here parading his idiocy this soon after McCain got sunk. I figured he'd be sulking until the middle of 09 at least.

    -jcr

  • ed||

    Do you think ShopRite would have flinched if the birthday wishes had been for Mao Tse-Tung?

    I don't know. What if they had requested this on the cake:

    "We should have aborted you"

    That would have taken it to a whole new level.

  • Travis||

    "Is 24aheaddotcom just a LoneWacko clone?"

    Naga,

    It's lonewacko he keeps changing his name trying to fool people into going to his blog.

  • libertarian democrat||

    While I agree with Jacob Sullum's assessment of the psychologists opinion in this case, that does not change the fact that his incredibly bizarre reactions to pretty much anything having to do with psychiatry/ology are sorta embarrassing compared to his other good contributions.

    You guys should get a YEC to write for you too. That'd be fun and make libertarianism look rational as well.

  • ||

    DONDEROOOOOO!!!!!

  • ||

    You do know Obama was 18 when Saddam came to power, right Dondero? Why would he be named after someone, who at the time, was just a random dude in Iraq?

    That has to be a spoof, even the real Dondero can't be that stupid.

  • ||

    That has to be a spoof, even the real Dondero can't be that stupid.

    Think again, dude. It's Dondero.

    Mac: (going through Pop-Pop's box) This is unbelievable!

    Charlie: I know that! I know that! There are, like, so many medals in there, dude. This guy was probably, like, King Nazi.

  • ||

    stubby,

    I fixed it for you.

    Law librarians tend to be lefties, in the Hollywood/academia/overprivileged underworked vein.

  • Antime||

    Are you denying that ShopRite should be able to deny anyone they choose for whatever reason they want a cake?

  • ||

    Do you think ShopRite would have flinched if the birthday wishes had been for Mao Tse-Tung?

    Of course not, but Mao and the atrocities he's responsible for are much less well known to the average American. Hitler is pretty much universally known throughout our culture. There are probably lots of reasons for this("lefty" bias is probably not high on the list)but my guess is that Hitler's appearance is a good chunk of why he's remembered so well. It made him easy to recognize and ridicule, so we have a ton of pop-culture Hitler references, which are all most people really remember.

  • ||

    People should be free to name their kids whatever the hell they want.

    Is that because kids are property, and property rights are fundamental?

    The way I understand it, libertarians tend to believe that individuals should be allowed to make choices for themselves, even if the vast majority feel those choices are unwise or inappropriate.

    Children are an exception, due to the very real possibility that they might make choices with long-term, irreversible negative consequences.

    What's the libertarian defense for allowing parents to make choices for children that are similarly flawed?

  • dhex||

    oh good donderlolz showed up.

    all is right in the world.

  • anarch||

    libertarian democrat, what's a YEC?

  • ||

    What's the libertarian defense for allowing parents to make choices for children that are similarly flawed?

    That's the big grey area that everyone defines in their own way. You can shoehorn a lot of totalitarianism into what's acceptable for children to eat, learn, see, etc. I think you'll get general agreement that society should interfere when there is a physical threat to the child, but not on much else. Even then, physical threat can be defined pretty broadly.

  • cunnivore||

    parse, are you suggesting we should let newborn infants name themselves? Or just not call them anything until they're old enough to choose a name responsibly. Or should we have the state choose a name for the child as the ultimate libertarian solution?

  • anarch||

    Determined parents complying de jure with the State Ministry of Personal Nomenclature will easily subvert regulations by keeping double books, calling their wards what they want and training others to do so as well.

  • VM||

    remember the Cheers episode that went somewhat along these lines...

  • ||

    Do you think ShopRite would have flinched if the birthday wishes had been for Mao Tse-Tung?

    The lefty bias implication is silly. It's very simple - Hitler was one of us, a white Western guy. Germany has been a core part of Western civilization since the Roman Empire fell. German-Americans are the largest single ethnic group in the US and most white Americans probably have a German ancestor or two. Russia has been at best a fringe country to the West and China obviously not Western at all. So it is not illogical that Hitler is a potent symbol of evil for most of us white Westerners and Stalin and Mao are not. I can't imagine a pseudo peasant-poet like Mao ever taking power in a Western country, nor a Great Leap Forward happening. And likewise, in Asia Hitler is not a potent symbol of evil. (Many Indians consider him a hero because he took on the British Empire). Also, obviously, Hitler attacked other Western countries to which most white Americans have ties - France and Great Britain. Stalin and Mao never did that. If Hitler had just attacked Poland and Russia we probably wouldn't care as much about him. So no matter how much people rail, correctly, about the horrific crimes of Communists, most of us white Americans will never feel a visceral response to those crimes the way we feel about what Hitler did.

  • De Int\'nahshnul Joo||

    Oy! How in de voild ken ya compayuh dem?

  • Someone Who Doesn\'t Want to L||

    Must every anti-social tendency, every species of idiocy, every flavor of unreasoning hatred be reduced to a pseudomedical psychiatric label? Can't anybody be a neo-Nazi numbskull anymore?

    Why can't they be both?

  • ||

    Why can't they be both?

    Because one demands treatment and the other requires mockery.

    Now, if they only made a psychiatric mockery pill we'd have it made...

  • Abdul||

    Must every anti-social tendency, every species of idiocy, every flavor of unreasoning hatred be reduced to a pseudomedical psychiatric label?

    With GlaxoSmithKline's new pharmaceutical--Nazipan--you no longer have to suffer the embarassing side effects of being named for history's greatest monsters.

  • Lefiti||

    "Do you think ShopRite would have flinched if the birthday wishes had been for Mao Tse-Tung?"

    If you don't understand by now why Hitler's evil resonates more in the West than Mao's, then you're a fucking moron.

  • GILMORE||

    I have already named my unborn child "Shaka Zulu Gilmore"

  • Egosumabbas||

    "I have a good friend who's Turkish - married a Dutch guy - they named their son Attila. They call him Max, from his middle name - but Attila is a very popular name in Turkey. "

    I have a family friend who named her son Attila. Her parents were from Hungary and she may have been born there too. I just have this image in my head of a toddler running around pillaging, causing mayhem, and generally being a scourge of God.

  • ||

    I just have this image in my head of a toddler running around pillaging, causing mayhem, and generally being a scourge of God.

    Hell, you don't need an image in your head. You just need a toddler.

  • ||

    VAnya-

    "the lefty bias implication is silly"

    No, it is not. While the rest of your post is a good explanation as to why most americans may not have the same visceral response/feelings/thoughts about Stalin, I think that your first phrase is a tad hyperbolic.

  • Egosumabbas||

    "Hell, you don't need an image in your head. You just need a toddler."

    I'm hoping when I teach my larva sign language that will prevent the toddler apocalypse.

  • Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel||

    Ah be namin' mah kids Josef, Adolf, Mao Jr. and Hillary. And maybe Caro-lyne.

  • ||

    I sincerely hope the Shop Rite isn't forced to apologize to these bozos. They wanted attention from the first by giving their poor child that ridiculous name. Just as they have the right in this country to name their children anything they like, however inappropriate, the Shop-Rite has a right to refuse to put in on a cake. After all, they were losing a sale by making the refusal - and this in a capitalist country!! They very properly offered to sell them the cake but let them put the name on it themselves. I'm sure they are very proud of themselves and the attention they are getting. Some people seem to need any kind of attention they can get - whether positive or negative. It's sad that they are exposing the child to that same attention for the rest of his life unless he has the sense to grow up and change his name. And I agree with many of the other comments that these welfare-hogs are most likely using this as a way to suck in more of the public's money by ultimately instituting a law-suit against the store. They have a built-in little moneymaker in both those children anytime an institution objects to the name. I hope the legal system can see past it and not let them profit by it.

  • Harold||

    This post has been featured at THEWEEK.com as Best Opinion - we really enjoyed your take on this controversial subject.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Any parent that would impose such horrific names on their children is mentally ill, and they would be affecting their children from the day they were born. Only a crazy person would do that.

    Leads to:

    Must every anti-social tendency, every species of idiocy, every flavor of unreasoning hatred be reduced to a pseudomedical psychiatric label?

    No, but "crazy" and "mentally ill" are much closer to "neo-Nazi numbskull" than they are to medical diagnoses.

    Does JS think people are giving him a medical diagnosis when they call him a paranoid idiot?

  • ||

    Most holocaust deniers pull stunts like this (calling into a bakery and asking to have their pro-Nazi child's name printed on a cake and then "surprised" when management denies the order) in order to make themselves look like victims of a "hate crime". This is NOT a case of free speech, because a private buisness has the right to deny service and should have that right! If I were a bakery owner I would do the same thing as ShopRite (I understand the "Hitler is dead" arguement, but my relatives from Norway were forced to quarter Nazi soliders in their home after the country was occupied, so in their memory I could never do something that would placate a neo-Nazi, and that is MY right to do so). As for the Mao comment, I don't think most Americans of a certain age remember who he was like they do with Hitler, I don't think it has much to do with politics, just ignorance.

  • ||

    Eric Dondero - Obama was named after his father, so his middle name has nothing to do with it happening to be the last name of Sadam. Hussein is also a highly common named in the Islamic world, I think it's about as common as Ali or Mohammad, it's not any more indicative of extremist or terrorist beliefs than Tim (Timothy McVey), Ted (Ted Kacynski), or John (John Walker Lindh).

  • And a very merry Christmas to||

    Some people seem to need any kind of attention they can get - whether positive or negative.

  • anarch||

    "It doesn't mean hatred to me," he said. Deborah Campbell said a swastika "doesn't really have a meaning. It's just a symbol."



    Someone please explain to poor old anarch here what a symbol without meaning is.

  • ||

    Well, at least we knows these folks can't be white supremacists. 20-somethings on disability because they are too injured to wait tables or pump gas?



    Sum deep irony there: no job, claiming welfare and naming their kids weird shit?

    One would think white supremacists would be loathe to act in *ahem* that sort of way.



    I've seen interviews with similar folks who have have been called on being on welfare after a rant against those on welfare. The answer "They (blacks/mexicans/immigrants/refugees) get more."

    And when called on why they don't get jobs it's because the joos or the [blacks/mexicans/immigrants/refugees] get all the good jobs.

  • ||

    Whether it's making new friends or applying for a payday loan, this kid is going to have it rough. Adolph Hitler Campbell recently turned 3 and he is already being turned down because of his name. Apparently, a grocery store in New Jersey turned down his mother's requested service because they refused to put "Happy Birthday Adolph Hitler" on his cake. Fortunately, Deborah Campbell, along with her husband Heath Campbell, were able to obtain the birthday cake at their local Wal-Mart. The kid's father insists that they are not racist, despite the swastikas that decorate their house and the names they have also chosen for their two other children; JoyceLynn Aryan Nation and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie. The kid's father continues to defend his choice of name for his son, and also claims that their guests consist of mixed races. One thing is for sure, little Adolph will encounter a lot of unfriendly remarks, possibly worse, because of his name. To read more about Adolph and a payday loan, click here.

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