Why are some Americans changing their names? : The Conversation


In 2008, Newsweek published an article on then-presidential candidate Barack Obama titled “From Barry to Barack.”

The story explained how Obama’s Kenyan father, Barack Obama Sr., chose Barry as a nickname for himself in 1959 in order “to fit in.” But the younger Barack – who had been called Barry since he was a child – chose to revert to his given name, Barack, in 1980 as a college student coming to terms with his identity.

Newsweek’s story reflects a typical view of name changing: Immigrants in an earlier era changed their names to assimilate, while in our contemporary era of ethnic pride, immigrants and their children are more likely to retain or reclaim ethnic names.

However, my research on name changing suggests a more complicated narrative. For the past 10 years, I’ve studied thousands of name-changing petitions deposited at the New York City Civil Court from 1887 through today.

Those petitions suggest that name changing has changed significantly over time: While it was primarily Jews in the early to mid-20th century who altered their names to avoid discrimination, today it’s a more diverse group of people changing their names for a range of reasons, from qualifying for government benefits to keeping their families unified.

Jews hope to improve their job prospects

From the 1910s through the 1960s, the overwhelming majority of people petitioning to change their names weren’t immigrants seeking to have their names Americanized.

Instead, they were native-born American Jews who faced significant institutional discrimination.

In the 1910s and 1920s, many employers wouldn’t hire Jews, and universities began establishing quotas on Jewish applicants. One way to tell if someone was Jewish was his or her name, so it made sense that Jews would want to get rid of names that “sounded” Jewish.

As Dora Sarietzky, a stenographer and typist, explained in her 1937 petition:

“My name proved to be a great handicap in securing a position. … In order to facilitate securing work, I assumed the name Doris Watson.”

Since most petitioners were native-born Americans, this wasn’t about fitting in. It was a direct response to racism.

The changing face of name changing

While 80 percent of petitioners in 1946 sought to erase their ethnic names and replace them with more generic “American-sounding” ones, only 25 percent of petitioners in 2002 did the same. Meanwhile, few name changers in the past 50 years have actually made a decision like Barack Obama’s: Only about 5 percent of all name change petitions in 2002 sought a name more ethnically identifiable.

So why, in the 21st century, are people feeling compelled to change their names?

The demographics of name change petitioners today – and the reasons that they give – suggest a complicated story of race, class and culture.

Jewish names disappeared in the petitions over the last two decades of the 20th century. At the same time, the numbers of African-American, Asian and Latino petitioners rose dramatically after 2001.

On the one hand, this reflected the changing demographics of the city. But there was also a marked shift in the class of petitioners. While only 1 percent of petitioners in 1946 lived in a neighborhood with a median income below the poverty line, by 2012, 52 percent of petitioners lived in such a neighborhood.

Navigating the bureaucracy

These new petitioners aren’t seeking to improve their educational and job prospects in large numbers, like the Jews of the 1930s and 1940s.

 

Source: Why are some Americans changing their names? : The Conversation

President Donald Trump smashes record to get fastest majority disapproval rating ever


In normal times, it takes American presidents hundreds of days before they reach a majority disapproval rating.

This has been the case for the last five presidents – with Bill Clinton being the previous record holder after taking 573 days to have more than 50 per cent of Americans disapprove of his presidency.

But Donald Trump, the billionaire businessman, TV star and now US president, has smashed this record after his victory on a wave of anti-establishment anger.

It has taken just eight days for him to gain a majority disapproval rating, according to Gallup polling, with 51 per cent of Americans saying they disapproved of the President on 28 January 2016.

Source: President Donald Trump smashes record to get fastest majority disapproval rating ever

ABC says Trump claimed 2 were shot dead in Chicago during Obama’s speech. But it never happened. – Chicago Tribune


Crime Homicide Donald Trump Barack Obama ABC David Muir 21st Century Fox

Source: ABC says Trump claimed 2 were shot dead in Chicago during Obama’s speech. But it never happened. – Chicago Tribune

American Psychiatrists Fear Trump Mentally Ill, Unsuited for Presidency


They could be right for does any sane person conduct themselves as Trump does. If they do not act soon it may be too late.

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

They aren’t the only one, and this is serious.

In this video from The Young Turks, The Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins reports that three professors of psychiatry, one from Harvard, the other two from the University of California San Francisco, have written a letter to Barack Obama requesting that he step in and force Trump to take a psychiatric examination. They are concerned that he suffers from psychological defects that render him not just unsuitable, but actually too dangerous to be given the job of president. They believe that Trump’s grandiosity, his impetuousness, the way he takes offence and responds aggressive at even the mildest criticism point to mental illness. He may just suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, perhaps something rather more serious than that, or perhaps even be a full-blown sociopath. Cousins states that it could just be affluenza. Trump comes from an extremely wealthy background, and has…

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A smooth transition? ‘NOT!’ Trump decries Obama’s ‘roadblocks’ in tweets | US news | The Guardian


Trump would cause a Saint to react with disdain, anger and inflammatory comments, because Trump only considers one thing, Himself, who he feels can do no wrong, no matter how many times he is told he is wrong.

God help America and the World.

——————————————————————————————–

The president-elect complained about Obama’s ‘inflammatory statements’, but didn’t specify what the US president has done or said to anger him this time

Source: A smooth transition? ‘NOT!’ Trump decries Obama’s ‘roadblocks’ in tweets | US news | The Guardian

More Military Tension between NATO and Russia; Pat Mills Right in ABC Warriors


Beastrabban\'s Weblog

Mike today put up a very chilling report about the escalation of military tensions between NATO and Russia. Russia has deployed Iskander missiles in its westernmost province of Kaliningrad. Formerly Koenigsberg, this is small Russian enclave between Poland and Lithuania, was formerly part of Pommerania under the old Reich. The missiles are capable of carrying nuclear weapons, and are presumed capable of reaching Berlin, or the various Baltic states.

Russia is believed to be deploying these missiles in response to NATO manoeuvres in eastern Europe, and the stationing of four more NATO battalions in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. These were in response to Russia sending troops into Ukraine.

Mike states that he recalls either Gorbachev or possibly Yeltsin receiving a promise from NATO that it would not expand into the Russian’s back garden. He is correct. That promise was given. And broken. NATO’s borders are now right up to…

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The ghouls have won: The first night of Donald Trump’s RNC was a political death cult – Salon.com


TOPICS: BARACK OBAMA, BENGHAZI, DONALD TRUMP, EDITOR’S PICKS, ELECTIONS 2016, HILLARY CLINTON, ISLAMOPHOBIA, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION, RNC 2016, ELECTIONS NEWS, MEDIA NEWS, ENTERTAINMENT NEWS, NEWS, POLITICS NEWS

Source: The ghouls have won: The first night of Donald Trump’s RNC was a political death cult – Salon.com

Counterpunch: Obama Will Not Permit American Chilcot Inquiry


Is it not strange that democracy means different things in different areas, both in time and place. Where is accountability in all this.

There is the rule of law and order for us all to act within, but when power is the chief criteria is there adherence to law and order. Or does power Trump law and order, for if it does then America and the world need to be fearful of a possible result from the American Presidental Elections.

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

After the Chilcot inquiry finally released its report this week, which found that Tony Blair had misled parliament and the British people into a bloody and illegal war in Iraq, some parts of the American left are bitter that there will not be a similar inquiry and condemnation of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and co in the Land of the Free. This is due to Obama and the Democrats, who have shown themselves every bit as hawkish and Bush’s Republican administration, which started the War. Kyle Kulinski of Secular Talk has pointed out how Obama, despite his initial anti-war rhetoric, has been every bit as zealous in continuing the war, including assassination by drone, as his Republican predecessors. This is highly ironic, and once again shows the how farcical the decisions of the Nobel Committee are, as Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. As indeed was Henry Kissinger, despite the…

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The US is already in a trade war with China


Phil Ebersole's Blog

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President Obama has a habit of undercutting Republicans by stealing their issues.  He is doing that to Donald Trump on trade.

Trump has threatened a trade war with China, but the Obama administration has already launched a trade war.

Trump proposes to hit China with protective tariffs of up to 45 percent on goods shipped to the United States.   But the Obama administration has authorized U.S. Steel Corp. to ask the International Trade Commission for permission for total ban on Chinese steel exports to the United States.

U.S. Steel executives ask for the ban in retaliation for theft of their trade and manufacturing secrets by Chinese hackers.

Earlier this year the Obama administration has imposed a tariff of 522 percent on cold-rolled flat steel from China and 72 percent of this type of steel from Japan.  Cold-rolled flat steel is used in auto manufacturing, shipping containers and construction.

The justification…

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