Should you be allowed to name your kid Adolph Hitler?

According to media stories,  a couple have named their baby girl, born 24 November 2012,  “Hashtag Jameson.”  The media stories about this are mostly British, so I’m guessing the baby was born there.  An Egyptian man has supposedly named his baby “Facebook” in memory of the role Facebook played in mobilizing people  in the revolution that overview the Mubarak regime last February. And in the 2005 book “Freakonomics,” Steven Levitt told of an American couple who allegedly named their kids Orangejello and Lemonjello.

Adolph Hitler – from Wikimedia Commons

Others have disputed that these children ever existed. Levitt’s study of how names move around America suggests that names start off in affluent areas gradually “trickle down” to become popular in the middle class, like Madison. But one LA Times  writer several years ago pointed out an academic study showing that the more unusual a child’s name, the more likely they were to end up in the juvenile justice system. It may not be the name that does it, tho.  The lower the educational and social status of the parents, the more likely they are to give their kids strange names.  And lower socioeconomic groups are over represented in the crime statistics.

Last year, a New Jersey couple who named  one child Adolph Hitler , and another Aryan Nation,  had all three of their children taken off them, immediately after the birth of the third. The authorities say it’s because of child abuse and violence, but the couple say it’s because of the names.

So what do people think? Do parents have a right to name their kid anything they like? Does the state have a right to protect a child from ridicule and abuse that it may get from having an offensive or ridiculous name? Does it have a right to prevent parents from giving the child a name that would offend many people (like Hitler).  Does a child have a right not to have a name that exposes them to ridicule or abuse, and if so, who sticks up for the child?

I’d love to hear what you think.

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Skyfall well worth the money.

So, the new James Bond movie, Skyfall, opened in Australia. Why the opening here was two weeks later than America, and four weeks after Great Britain, I have no idea.  If you’ve like previous James Bond movies, you’ll like this one.

Skyfall poster

The stunt scenes are well done. In the opening scenes Bond chases a bad guy on a motor bike over the rooftops of the grand bazar in Istanbul, Turkey. He crashes trough roofs, ends up fighting on top of a moving train, gets shot, and falls into an icy river, all without getting his shirt untucked from his trousers.

The movie soon moves to Macau, where the photography has a golden lustre to it, which is quite stunning. At a casino, Bond falls into a pit with Komodo dragons in it, and fights his way out, again without his shirt getting untucked.

There are a few historical oddities in the film. When it moves to Bonds childhood home, the house has a “priest hole”: something that would be incomprehensible to those without a little knowledge of British history. During the protestant-catholic wars in England, catholic families often had hidden passages in which catholic priests could hide when the protestant authorities came to look for them.

The acting is good, although the scene where the parliamentary committee interrogates Judy Dench suffers from stilted, clichéd dialogue. Daniel Craig is still young enough to stay fit enough to play in another Bond movie or two. And as long as James Bond continues, the new Eve Moneypenny has a bright future ahead of her.

Go see it. It’s worth the $17.

For an experienced intelligence operative’s view of some of the mechanics and tricks used in the film, see the review in  and scroll down a few entries: They were able to write their review two weeks before mine because of the opening dates.