1-25-14 Hodgepodge

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Now We Know

A French soccer player has unintentionally helped decent people everywhere learn to recognize a cowardly, bigotted gesture for what it is -- by performing it on live television as part of a goal-scoring "celebration":

To perform a quenelle, you hold your left hand, blade-like and flat, to your right shoulder. Then you raise your right hand as if performing a Roman salute, but stop when your arm is at about 30 degrees from your body.

But, as [Nicolas] Anelka and a slew of other athletes are discovering, you probably shouldn't.This is because the gesture is one of the calling cards of notorious French provocateur Dieudonné M'bala M'bala. Dieudonné has a long and unfortunate record of anti-Semitism, but claims that the quenelle is an anti-establishment gesture rather than being against Jewish people specifically. ...
Graham MacAree gets right what other commentators have missed:
Will there be imitators? Certainly. But the real ripple effect is that performers of the quenelle will be exposed for what they are -- bigots who want to get their thrills without suffering the consequences. They've lost, at least temporarily, their secret handshake.
This is not to say that Nicolas Anelka deserves any thanks or that the Football Association shouldn't throw the book at him.

Weekend Reading

"Noted educator Maria Montessori once said, 'Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.'" -- Michael Hurd, in "How Maria Montessori Understood Children" at The Delaware Coast Press

"Parenting is hard, but setting boundaries and establishing consequences not only make for a happy, secure child, but also a responsible and productive adult." -- Michael Hurd, in "How to Be a 'Child Whisperer'" at The Delaware Wave

"Long before Obamacare, the government also restricted the kinds of health insurance products which could be sold." -- Rituparna Basu, in "Obamacare Is Suffocating an Already Sick Health Insurance Patient" at Forbes

"Obamacare's individual mandate, far from ending free riding in America's health care system, institutionalizes it on a national scale by force: the old and sick free ride on the young and healthy." -- Rituparna Basu and Yaron Brook, in "Obamacare Creates a New Class of Free Riders" at The Daily Caller

"Like the Marxists, who prate about 'exploitation' and 'wage slavery,' the anarchists are ignoring the crucial, fundamental, life-and-death difference between trade and force." -- Harry Binswanger, in "Sorry Libertarian Anarchists, Capitalism Requires Government" at Forbes

In More Detail

Related to her two opinion pieces, Basu has also published a study on "The Broken State of American Health Insurance Prior to the Affordable Care Act" [PDF] through the Pacific Research Institute.

Not Quite the Kind of Attention They Wanted...

Applying for vanity plates? Be extra careful if you're extra picky.
In 1979 a Los Angeles man named Robert Barbour found this out the hard way when he sent an application to the California Department of Motor No plate Vehicles (DMV) requesting personalized license plates for his car. The DMV form asked applicants to list three choices in case one or two of their desired selections had already been assigned. Barbour, a sailing enthusiast, wrote down "SAILING" and "BOATING" as his first two choices; when he couldn't think of a third option, he wrote "NO PLATE," meaning that if neither of his two choices was available, he did not want personalized plates. Plates reading "BOATING" and "SAILING" had indeed already been assigned, so the DMV, following Barbour's instructions literally, sent him license plates reading "NO PLATE." Barbour was not thrilled that the DMV had misunderstood his intent, but he opted to keep the plates because of their uniqueness.
Soon, DMV computers started matching him to numerous unpaid citations meant for people who didn't have plates on their vehicles.


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