Left of Center: By Yukkione: Reid Wrong
Reid Wrong
Friday, May 19, 2006
Time : 8:37 PM

In a largely symbolic move the US Senate voted for an amendment making the English the “common and unifying language. Senator Harry Reid said "This amendment is racist. I think it's directed basically to people who speak Spanish,". Here are the facts. Mexico has an official language, only 8% of nations do not have an official language, and 31 nations have English as their official language. Being able to legislate and govern using one language is hugely beneficial. If you agree with the pandering, disingenuous view of Senator Reid, then go to US English inc, and educate yourself.

posted by Yukkione at 8:37 PM | Permalink |

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Comments for Reid Wrong
Well I don't think bilingual services were intended for sheer sport, Shill. Bilingual forms and things of that nature (signs, emergency instructions, medical information, etc.)came about because there were people here and society needed to address the language issue.

Now I understand that some people think it has gone beyond accommodation, and also enables immigrant ethnic neighborhoods that remain distinctly separate from US society.

But that is often the way immigrants transition into a new country, they cluster with what is familiar. How will that end with an official language? You think that doctors won't have to have translators when a bleeding kid comes in on a stretcher? Or when a Spanish speaking person is carrying TB and spreading it- are you telling me that you don't want that person to get instructions on isolation?

Many things do not start because of kindness.Necessity forces the issue.

If I moved to another country I would be prepared to learn that language imidiatly if not before I whent. I would not expect another nation to accomidate my ignorance.

i happen to agree with you l o c. ONE language. i do not think it racist in the least.

proclaiming english as our language WILL NOT lose any jobs for translators nor will it remove the choice i have at my atm machine to use polish as the language i want to use to find out my checking account balance.

Thats not really what I am saying. I am saying that there are times when translation is important.

I did not say anything else about the merit or lack of.

Personally it never bothered me to have options on my ATM screen. It ODES bother me that we Americans permit corrupt elected leaders to use continuous distractions to divert our notice from what is really going on.

Bilingual ATM screens are not new. Immigration is not new. Yes, these things might be issues of concern but why not focus on peace in Iraq?

If you were hungry, would you sit and discuss the merits of food prep seasonings? Green or red peppers? Or would you attend to the priorities?

This sure does work for the Republicans though. THEREIN lies my problem. I could give a fuck what language my ATM uses.

I sort of think this amounts to what bell hooks calls "cognitive imperialism". Why do we expect poor people to do most of the grunt work--like learning another language? Privelaged people should be learning more languages (the rest of the world does it)--not them.

Why don't white Americans learn Hopi or Lakota or Anishinaabeg? "Well, that happened long ago". No, it's STILL happening, so why are colonizers always feeling exempt from bidirectional acculturation? Imperialism, straight up.

This sounds a bit harsh as an assessment as it hits a bit close to home. But I think a thorough review of the Indigenous perspective on immigration is in serious order. Here's a place to start: http://www.progressive.org/media_mprolo051006

I think it is interesting that the "I was here first argument" gets played out in these arguments.

Fourth World First!
GintheM

such language! well my ATM is spying on me so I dont use it anymore. I am abit bothered by the fact that an illegal alien can get a home loan as easily as I. And have the process conducted entirely in Spanish. Sure there are bigger problems but the more fractionalised we get the more unable we will become to deal with them.

The poor aren't the only immigrants. Neither are latinos. When we use real immigration policy we let in people who have skills the nation can use, not just those that have the ability to sneak in. We need to push for fair trade practices so that low skilled people are not taken advantage of in there native lands, and can make livings.

Shill I directly challenge your statement that an illegal immigrant can get a home loan easier than you can. I will take you to the mat on that one.

I also hear this bullshit all the time about how they just run across the border and get welfare too. These are statements made by people that know little about social program regulations or mortgage financing.

Point is in the word symbolic. I challenge you once and for all to
tell me ONE thing that would change as a result of this law in your favor. ONE. Tell me one example of a positive benefit.

This morning I was told that it would require them to learn English for citizenship. To your knowledge, was the citizenship test in Spanish? Tell me how many colleges admit without an english proficiency. Tell me how many professions have bilingual licensing. I can think of none. Tell me how a national language law will stop an independent private bank or business from having bilingual forms. In America I am pretty sure a privtae business can have as many versions of things as they like. Ditto for phone menus and ATM machines.

All I ask is that you tell me a constructive, positive benefit for America in this symbolic act. Tell me why a symbolic act is taking valuable time while a not so symbolic war, deficit, social security crisis, etc. is not being dealt with.

Oh one other thing. The reason that the border control people cannot fill the needed slots no matter how many officers the president calls for is that they cannot find enough BILINGUAL people to go through border officer Academy!

Its a ruse to get you to forget about Iraq and the approval numbers.

Banking on Illegal immigrants.
http://money.cnn.com/2005/08/08/news/economy/illegal_immigrants/
Capitalism Magazine
http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=3051
Judicial Watch
http://www.corruptionchronicles.com/2006/05/home_loans_for_illegal_immigra.html

here is the main reasons it's easier for them.
Citizen homebuyers can't obtain mortgages without proof of identity, legal residence and a Social Security number. Yet illegal aliens are allowed to supply a taxpayer identification number which the IRS freely provides to anyone who asks - without doing a criminal background check. Indeed, many banks accept a TIN as the primary form of identification from illegal alien customers.

I'm told that the acquisition of a TIN requires an application process and is most often used for non profits and entities that must use a number to file as an entity. The likelihood that anyone can just freely obtain a functional TIN is pretty slim.

I am told to ask anyone who thinks obtaining a TIN is easy what form are used to process these TIN's and under what section of the tax code they are granted. Unless it is done in accordance to regs the TIN will not check out for a bank and is as good as making it up on the app.

Also, the mortgage issue. Yes there have been some reports of certain banks lending money to immigrants for homes. But as you know a mortgage requires underwriting. To extend credit without underwriting would require that the resources be backed by something- somebody- who will profit alot for the absorption of such high risk. Loan sharks used to lend to compulsive gamblers too, Shill For a high high price. This cannot possibly be a very common practice, or the ideal way to get a loan of any sort. If you have to go accept such terms for a mortgage, you must have a shocking FICO!

You are talking about an illegal alien applying for a mortgage with no income check, no US bank account, no id, no work history, no credit score.. And most importantly, the underwriter who assigns risk looking the other way. I have only seen two cases where this has happened, one with a product called a NINA (no income, no asset) which is available to citizens as well (it will cost you) and cases where the immigrant pays almost the entire home cost in cash saved up over years.

This is America, people do not lend thousands on faith unless they will profit tremendously.

Not buying it.

Oh yeah- the positive benefit of this symbolic law versus working on the actual laws with actual real implications for America. What were the examples again?

Why is this helpful?

I'm concerned about assimilating the young people that are born here -- whites, blacks, hispanics, everybody. Too many people do not know the Bill of Rights, who their representatives are, basic economic propositions, or much of the Republic's history.

Now, now, kids, take it out back. I can't hear Gilligan's Island when you're yelling so loud.

Yeah, let's make everyone using the Jason H. Bowden model! Talk about a descent into savagery!

Remember, Mr. B, that if people actually knew their Rights, they might actually demand them to be upheld! That'd be ruinous for the nation.

Hi LOC,
Unrelated to your post, but wanted to post this comment anyway....

You won't believe the headline I saw in this morning's New York Post: "The Fourth Reich: Iran Law Labels Jews." It's too bad the NY Post doesn't employ fact checkers.

Because according to Juan Cole, Informed Comment, the story is part of a Pentagon black psy-ops operation to demonize Iran and raise support for war. Iran has no law requiring minorities to identify themselves.

Haven't we been down this disaster...road...before? I hope the blogs will pick this story up and write about it—a lot!

Jason,

Explain what assimilation has to do with the civic responsibility to be aware of the laws of a nation?

Oddly, when many people study for citizenship, they learn things that people born here do not readily recall.

I'm not even sure where you are going with this. Two different things.

I just love it when you put my face on the cover, except the face looks sort of strange. WAIT! What???? What are you doing to my IMAGE?
Ay, Dios MIO!

I work with several eastern europeans and africans and I wish we had to be taught spanish here. They all know like 4 languages and I (in the typical ignorant american sterotype) know just one

It is an incorrect misnomer that 'bilingual' implicitly means English & Spanish. As for declaring one official language, well, as someone who writes corporate documentation all the live long day, I know that when you have to repeat text you are using double the space; printed government docs that would no longer be obligated to include other language versions of the same form would be shorter and possibly save paper (I am sure I'm one of the last tree huggers out here) - every last little bit of budget-trimming helps. As for the lack of spanish-speaking potential border patrol guards, that is just not accurate; I am from South Texas and just about everybody speaks spanish or tex-mex, so I am sure the same is true for the other states on the border. The real reason people don't want those jobs is that they are DANGEROUS. A school chum of mine from back home, her husband is border patrol - the stories he can tell would curl a cop's hair. While I was in college, a fellow student was murdered in Mexico on a spring break trip. He was, according to the papers, abducted by some santerian group (which would NOT be the case if you are familiar with this religion) and murdered ritualistically - this is what the papers said. However, my friend's husband said that the kid's dad was a high-ranking customs official, and the murder was definitely NOT random. But I digress...and now I'm off the soapbox. That's LOC's gig! :)

I have worked in the past among many ethnic peoples and there was a frequent pattern I notices that used to make my blood boil. They for the most part used the system for whatever advantages they could get. All I had to do was listen to their inane chatter to figure that out. One of the most common situations was that they have babies and don't get married so the woman can get the aid...and the guy lives with her just the same. Of course the guy isn't supposed to be there. I heard a woman brag that she and her (guy) whom she referred to as husband but wasn't (she admitted) that they were building a house. And it was more expensive than mine and her new SUV was more expensive than what I drive. She would bring in the government cheese and various things that they are given for others to make use of. My household had more financially than they did...yet she had newer and more expensive things than I. These types are appearing more and more in all the ethnic groups (which I witnessed) and it really pissed me off that this was happening and they even bragged about how they were doing it. Sorry I cannot get too worked up over these cheaters...because the sweat off of my back and yours is paying for them to take it easy. Oh...and don't get me started on the medical benefits!!!!!!! And these are the same people that gripe at work about how hard they have it and that they aren't paid enough. Gouging out my eyes!!!

The essence of America has always been exceptionalism. We aim to be larger, more generous, and more open-hearted than other countries. Unlike Mexico, France, and most others, we do not expect those from elsewhere to conform to our culture. At least, that's the myth we tell ourselves.

In fact, drawing on the experiences of my family, reality is rather different. My parents and grandparents encountered a culture which had fairly exacting standards of admission and expected them to conform. This was hard for them. Some even gave up and tried to leave, only to find that their previous homeland would no longer take them back, and they were forced to return to America to start over yet again.

Immigrants, legal and not, of previous generations, understood that they had to conform to American society first; and only once they had done that were they allowed to re-create their native culture through neighborhood associations, clubs, etc. In those days there was no need to codify English as the official language; everyone knew that it was the official language without the need for laws.

The reason we need a law now is not because of the immigrants themselves, but because of the Americans who are cynically and brutally using the immigrant issue to feed their own feelings of guilt and shame about belonging to the most privileged society on earth, and are engaged in a very American pastime of trying to tear down those in society whom they feel are benefiting too much from those privileges. (Common targets of this sort include business interests, religious groups, and those associated with the military.)

Those people, who include both Democrats and Republicans, feel that America is not worth any effort to preserve it, in fact, that NOTHING bigger then themselves is worth any effort to preserve it. Such people are fond of using immigration issues--also environmental issues "rights" issues, etc--for cover. In fact, for them, those issues do not stand for anything tangible except as uniforms and weapons to locate themselves in the armies of ignorant self-interest. For them, the ultimate goal is whatever makes them feel justified; and so they employ the talk I used at the beginning. It appeals to the gullible and the uneducated, whose numbers are daily growing thanks to school and media indoctrination--but that is matter for another post.

So I have to say, sir, as often as I disagree with you, we agree on this issue.

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