Oui or non?

Tweedle Dee and Dum, our two so-called Senators from North Carolina, are all a-twitter about their latest xenophobic masterpiece: declaring English to be the national language. Char-O has the story.

WASHINGTON - North Carolina's senators are supporting a measure that would make English the national language. Sen. Elizabeth Dole, a Republican from Salisbury, said making English the country's official language would eliminate government waste and "unite all Americans by providing a common form of communication."

Ah the smell of hypocrisy in the morning! Aren't Dull and Brrrr supposed to be solidly on the free-market bandwagon? Why not get the mean old government out of such nasty issues like deciding what language people should speak? Why not let the "market" determine what's the highest and best use of the people's resources? Why not let the "market" decide oui or non?

Current trends suggest that Caucasian will be a demographic minority by 2050. Why does this legislation bring to my mind the word apartheid?

What's your take?


Ein Wort ...


so it turns out that

Dole and Foxx were involved in the teapot museum thing.

Also, Dole and Burr have already voted differently on this immigration deal, we might see them vote differently at the end too. Why? "Amnesty" Burr isnt using the word while Dole is saying it is a "show stopper" for her. Although, if she cant show up to vote on Iraq why should we expect her to vote on this?

Draft Brad Miller-- NC Sen ActBlue

edit- DharmaPup, do you have a signature that isnt showing up? cause there is an open tag somewhere.

"Keep the Faith"

John Hood

Would be very disappointed in them. If the market declares that Spanish should be spoken at every store, in order to create more profit, then Spanish should be spoken in every store.

Also, isn't this the Republican party that wants to demolish the Department of Education because they don't believe in "centralization" and "big government", yet now they want to declare how each and every government in the country should create and present forms? No more Medicaid forms in Spanish for you Florida!

One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

I was kind of for

an official language- at least whenever I went to a SECU ATM and had to choose my language every time. Then, I noticed you could customize and save your ATM preferences. Now, I save 3 seconds on every transaction since the machine already knows I prefer English. The market solved the problem for me...

If we're going to require that English

will be the official language, why don't we start by requiring that the Idjit in Chief learn it. Jeepers, half the kids coming out of high school can barely construct a complete sentence; nor have they any idea how to parse one. Spelling? Fahgeddaboudit.

I will personally challenge Biddy and Butthead to any sort of English test they'd like to take. Shoot, add on any 30 Young Republicans of random choosing. I know I can take 'em first go; every last one. Then we can go on to Spanish, French, Dutch, German, or any of a few other languages with which I'm quite comfortable. I heartily doubt they could clear their way through any of them. (To be honest, they might be able to whup me in creative accounting 101.)

This is just more white-sheeted Republican xenophobic "do as I say, don't do as I do" rhetoric. They should be ashamed -- if they had any shame.

"The most unamerican thing you can say is 'You can't say that'" - G. Keillor

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
Mohandas Gandhi

Viacom won't let me embed it...

so, go take a look and tell me if this is the kind of "do as I say, not as I do" mentality of which you speak.

One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Exactly! n/t

"The most unamerican thing you can say is 'You can't say that'" - G. Keillor

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
Mohandas Gandhi

Am I the only one who caught this irony?

Why does this legislation bring to my mind the word apartheid?

Is apartheid an English word, Anglico? :-D

Ah, je t'aime, mon ami - et tout le tout!
The Den
It's your democracy; use it.

Et tu, aussi



...or how about "kindergarten" and thousands of other French & German words in our vocabulary. Guess the government will have to re-create American.

Of Course It Hurts: You're Getting Screwed by an Elephant

Of Course It Hurts: You're Getting Screwed by an Elephant

We Southerners have been

We've got parts of speech no one else does. Like "nem": You gointa church with Mama nem? Or if you visit grandma's, she might ask "jeet jet?"

Not to worry... we got'r dun.


A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
Mohandas Gandhi

I personally

want one language. English.

I want our nation to have an identity that is us or US. I might actually be alive in 2050 and I sure hope that the language I am speaking and reading today is what I will be hearing and speaking and reading then. I will be way to old to learn what ever the language of the day is.

Our language is unoffically english. Those that consider themselfs American or United Statesan, for the most part speak english. What is wrong with that?

I can go anywhere in this country and speak english and get what I want and communicate to my brother Americans.

I firmly believe that we dont have to legislate english as our language. We should not have to. Those that come to this country and wish to be citizens of this country should wish to speak the language spoken here.

If groups wish to keep their language, thats fine, more power to them as they will be bi-lingual and that will probably prove benificial in the long run. just do not impose it on others.

We have 300,000,000+ people in this country and for the most part, we have been speaking english for an extremely long time. Now folks are suggesting that the majority of folks will be speaking something other then english in 43 years?

Is it going to be fair to our grandchildren 43 years from now to have to learn Spanish, French, English, German, Farcie, ETC because those will be the "majority" language of a particular region of the country formally known as the United States? Can anyone imagine the problems in interpretation of laws with multiple languages having to be interpruted especially at a local level where multiple languages might be spoken? What would happen to Raligh, Chappel Hill, Charlette in this state were laws would have to be written in two or maybe three languages? How would you like to be the law inforcement dealing with that? Yes, this seems silly today, but it will be a major problem in the future.

How about driving from upstate New York to Southern California? Upstate is prodominantly Itialian/Polish and Southern Cal is Spanish. Yea, I wanna drive there to visit. English gets rid of all these problems. Correct?

That is alarming to me. With that, we are losing our culture to some other culture. Where will America and Americans be?

Remember, I have stated that it is incombant on all to ensure their pursuit of happyness does not infringe on the rights of others. Part of my rights is to continue to speak english and to pass that on to my children and grandchildren who will be Americans or United Statesans. I have not seen anything wrong with english nor do I see english dying like latin did.

This country is based on english. It should stay that way. Americans speak english.


I don't know how those Canadians manage with two official languages.

Your entire post reads like xenophobia.

Some Americans speak Spanish.

Some speak Korean. Some speak German.

And those are just the ones I know personally.

Lighten up, Parm. Making English the "official" language is a smokescreen to keep people spun up and off of the really important issues - like protecting the environment, creating excellent educational opportunities for all children, making sure everyone has health care. Those are the important things.

Once we tackle those - then we can worry about language.
The Den
It's your democracy; use it.

My point was this:

We are evolving as a nation. More and more businesses are accommodating Spanish speakers every day. Labeling on products is already bilingual in most cases.

The cow is out of the barn. The free market has spoken: English isn't enough.

Now the government is coming in and saying "we don't like the free-market and we're going to insist that no government money get spent on anything but English." Which says to 40 or 50 million current American citizens that they have to learn English if they want to understand the government (IRS, laws, web sites, etc.). Maybe some will make the leap, but many more won't. Meanwhile, companies will continue to try to get their share of the Hispanic marketplace with more and more products marketed and supported in Spanish.

The wave is too great. Putting a stake in the ground that says English only won't make any difference - it'll just disenfranchise a whole bunch of people who can't speak English.

That's all fine for awhile. But in the long run, it'll end up looking just like South Africa. A small white minority trying to hold on to its privileges as the ruling elite.

And then there will be civil war.

Just saying.

How many people have immagrated into this country

and do not speak our language, or who do not have someone who can interprute for them?

How long have we been accepting folks into this country as imagrants?

Why is it now the cow is out? Folks before understood what this country was and strived to work within this nation. They understood that they should learn english.

We dont force people to learn english, however, we cannot afford to have a government that writes laws, etc in multiple languages. We need one language for that.

We are not disenfranchising anyone. No legal right of anyone is deprived because the person cannot speak english. In fact, we go out of our way to get an interpruter for folks who cannot speak english at the time when a right is about to limited by a government entity once we realize they cannot speak english effectively.

It is their for them to claim at any time. Most rights are given to people even if they do not know it is their for them. Just like it is their for me to claim at anytime.

If I was running for a political office, I would go out of my way to make pamplets etc for a demographics in my district that would give me an advantage. And I would hope my opponent did not do this. Free votes for me! Again, a choice on my part.

We encourage folks to learn what is going on around them. We have programs to teach people our language, and alot of times it is for free. All the person has to do is go to the classes. In my county, we have classes to teach english to spanish speaking folks. We do it for free. Folks realize they need to work with us. Those folks are moving forward faster then those that desire not to learn our language. Is it my problem that they wish not to learn english? Nope. Will it kill them if they dont learn english? Nope. Are they "bad" people in my communty? NOPE
Who is causing the problem? Is there really a problem?

The person who desires not to learn english but expect us to communicate to him is the one doing the harm. He has to work with us.

I have spent a few months living in Germany and it was extremely tough for me. I was stuborn and pigheaded and refused to learn much of their language. I lost out on a lot of their culture by doing this. I was fortunate that my brother lived in Germany and he spoke for me. Was it Germany's problem that I did not speak their language? nope. However, the merchants their DID speak english because they wanted my dollar! Again, a choice even in Germany. The free market did dictate that folks needed to know some english, and was I happy about that!

Gads, I wish I could spell!


Actually, some Americans speak the Queen's English - the Canadians.
Other Americans speak French - Quebec.
Other Americans speak Spanish - Mexico.
Other Americans speak Portuguese - Brazil.

You are an "American" and so are Mexicans, but they are not United States Citizens.

One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.


Making English the "official" language is a smokescreen to keep people spun up and off of the really important issues -

English is a universal language around the world. It is the language of business.

A foreign language used to be required in high school; usually it was French, Spanish, or German. Ooops - my age is showing.

English already is the language of our country, it is our loss not learning a second language.

Don't you people have something important to work on? Like a budget, a war, healthcare, food security, border security, infrastructure, taxes, ... , ... , ... ,

I totally disagree with this

but you guys go ahead and encourage multiple languages.

xenophobia = fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign

I am not afraid of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign....I am showing you where your logic is going to make everything strange or foreign. But that is your desire, so be it.

By the time this plan comes to pass, I will be dead. I do not have any children, so none of my line will have to live with this.

All I see is more problems and the lose of our identity as a nation and as a people.

I do not insist on a national language. I encourage folks to become part of this Nation as Americans or United Statesans. I just figured as a nation we would speak one language.

Go ahead and encourage others to learn multiple languages. Like one poster stated, we cannot communicate in english, so not communicating in multiple languages would also be acceptable. If we cannot figure out how to speak english correctly, oooo what fun it is going to be when people are not speaking 3 or more languages in this country correctly. Go ahead and give that to your children and grandchildren.

I accept we are at an empasse on this. I respect your thoughts. I sure hope your plan works for the benifit of all 300,000,000 people of this country. This country is a melting pot. If we do not encourage a primary or national universal language I just do not see how we are going to communicate. Please explain this. How many dialects do you expect a manufactorer to write in their pamplets for new products?

Just out of curiosity, how do you intend to have people learn and communicate across the nation? What will be the universal language so that we can get things done across the nation?

With what you are proposing, any language, or everyone learns the majority language, what happens when that demographic loses the majority? Will we force people to learn the new majority language? encourage folks to learn two languages? tell the new majority to keep up with the old?

When do we create a national heratage?

People love to bash the French and bash their language, but you know what?? they have a language that identifies THEIR country.

We cannot be switching our national universal language every 20 years or so just because people are speaking a new language. Is that what you are encouraging?

No, I am not afraid of strange or foriegn things. I am afraid that we will not be able to communicate with each other.

No, you misunderstand

At least you misunderstand me. I agree, we all need to be able to communicate with each other. I encourage everyone who comes to this country to learn to communicate in English, because the reality is you need to be able to communicate in English in order to get along well in our country - just as you would need to be able to speak French to get along well in France.

However, I believe it is a total waste of legislative time and energy to attempt to declare English as the "official language". Why on earth do we need that?

The fearmongers who have led you to believe that if we don't make English our "official" language, we will not become a Babel of confusion are playing on fear of disconnection. Burr and Dole, especially, are using this to distract from the fact that they have held exactly the wrong position on just about every damn issue that has come before them - not just the OLF.

They have nothing concrete to stand on, so they want to point to those "furiners who don't talk like us" to try to distract us from the fact that they are standing on a foundation of the shifting sands of the Iraqi desert. They have done NOTHING for NC. English as an official language won't do anything for you, either.
The Den
It's your democracy; use it.

I misunderstood your stand

correct, I do not want an official language. However, I do encourage ppl to learn english as this is the unoffical language of this country.

Come to our country, be part of our country, live in our country, speak our language. A very simple request. I will accept anyone in my community regardless of what language they speak. I really dont mind. Just dont require me to learn your language if I do not wish to. We can wave to each other across the fence, and if we really wish to be neighbors, we might figure out how to chat with each other. That is just being neighborly.

Dole, Burr and any other politician who thinks we need to order folks to speak english has failed to understand the true melting pot of immigration of this country.

If the person elects not to learn english, that is his choice. However, we should not be forced to accomidate him because he does not wish to learn our language.

If the free market wishes to work multiple languages, so be it. Again, dont legislate that. If a producer of goods wishes to only speak one language, it is himself painting himself into a corner and only working one demographics for his product. Again, not my problem nor the problem of anyone else in this country. In fact, it is not a problem at all, it is a valid choice.

I don't think that any one is forced to

to accommodate anyone. That's really the beauty of our freedom. You don't have to deal with anyone you don't want to. I choose to deal with anyone I can. But that's my choice.

However, I will go on record that I don't believe that essential services should be denied based on the fact that someone does or doesn't speak English. For that very same record, let me state that my two aunts and my father were born here - 2nd generation Italian-Americans, and they spoke Italian before they spoke English. My shame is that the only Italian I speak cannot be translated in polite company.

The Den
It's your democracy; use it.

The false premise of your point of view is this.

If we do not declare English the official language it will disappear.

That is bologna. Or, baloney if you are more comfortable with that. When the Italians were a huge influx into the cities there was a fear that their kids would not speak English, do you see much of that? Same with the Eastern Europeans, same with every group. Look at my generation, I had friends in grad school that were immigrants from China that could barely speak English. They would eat together, they would work together, they would go out together. They didn't even try to pick up English and when they gave presentations it showed, their English was horrible. Their kids? Bilingual.

As for us not being able to speak English well, don't crop all Americans in with lazy-ass failures like the Preznit. I come from a town of 500 people and most of them speak English well, thank you very much. My neice is nearly fluent in Spanish, in that same town, and manages to speak English and ace her math tests, and be tops in her class in just about every class.

One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

I luv ya man.

You're a good guy Parmea. I always appreciate reading your point of view and I'm glad you're not shy about laying it out here.

I like how you think, too.


Soap boxes and forums

are the places of thoughts from which this country was formed.

Open discussion is critical to our way of life.

The ability to see the other guys point of view is important.

To accept the other guys is even more critical.

To accept the other guys and still hold yours is what makes a person.


Thanks A!


Now where is my toga and sandals. Me gots some mind shaping to do. You WILL listen to me, or OFF WITH YOUR HEAD!


If I ever get elected to the senate,

one day I would go to the floor looking like this!

You gotta have fun or it aint worth doing.

I laughed so hard, could not breath!

If i die at my puter, its your fault A.....A the killa!

Heh, I personally think that we should make

Seminole the Official Language of these here United States.... :-P

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

There ya go!

Fair is fair.
The Den
It's your democracy; use it.

Those who live in fear

of losing something like a commonly used primary language or the "sanctity" of marriage are exhibiting a poor understanding of the thing they claim to hold dear.

Unrealistic fears are the traits of children and the weak-minded.

Fear of this type must be taught

Rogers and Hammerstien had it right.

You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught from year to year,
It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear—
You’ve got to be carefully taught

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a different shade—
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late—
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate—
You’ve got to be carefully taught!
You’ve got to be carefully taught!

The Den
It's your democracy; use it.

It Will Take a Lot More Than -

a 'language bill' to fix this:

All I see is more problems and the loss of our identity as a nation and as a people

Band-aids on a hemorrhage won't stop the bleeding.

When there are no more regional accents - stick a fork in it; it's done.

Thank you, corporate America, for making us uniformly average by sucking away our individuality and strength for lower prices. :p

Vds no saben

como me enoja ésta conversación. Yo creo que se muesta una persona floja que no quiere aprender mas que una lengua -- y ésta sin facilidad.

Not to be ugly, because I'm not an ugly person -- but I am blunt (and open to criticism), but I think it's a bit hypocritical (and a bit lazy) to require that other people speak English when most Americans handle it very poorly. To insist that the US was founded on the English language is quite misleading. Many of my ancestors arrived in the New World in the 1500's -- speaking Dutch. Others spoke only German (1700's). Some of my ancestors were here long before the invaders and spoke Algonquin-family languages. This country was always polyglot, evolved polyglot and is still polyglot today.

I agree with the premise that insistance on a single (white-man's) language is yet another way to divide the haves from the have-nots. I cannot help but believe that there exists a tiny grain of purest bigotry at the bottom of it. Indeed, English is my birth tongue, one which I put no small amount of effort into learning well. It didn't hurt me a bit to take on Spanish and French to certified translator proficiency. Italian, Portuguese, Gernan and Dutch are languages I read with full comprehension, but I admit I speak poorly. It was not a matter of talent or facility with languages -- it was of necessity and but dint of personal investment and effort.

Now, I'm not going to insist that everyone attain fluent proficiency in a second language -- but I must insist that if we're going to make English the official language, that fair is fair: We must be proficient in it first. Anything else would be complete hypocrasy.

I say, let's start with Shrub. He sounds as if he needs a course in English as a Second Language. (Newkyalar, indeed... that makes me cringe every time he utters it.)

"The most unamerican thing you can say is 'You can't say that'" - G. Keillor

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
Mohandas Gandhi

You Go, Rev!

I'll second that!

Now, I'm not going to insist that everyone attain fluent proficiency in a second language -- but I must insist that if we're going to make English the official language, that fair is fair: We must be proficient in it first.

I could think of a really good trade off

Let them require English as an official language as long as they also require that every child in public school become proficient/fluent in at least one other language prior to graduation. Then, they must invest in hiring the teachers and buying the educational programs to make this happen. Immediately. Oh, and they also have to staff and fund ESL programs and make them available in all schools.

No, we should be doing this anyway. Scratch the offer to make English the official language and just go with the second part of my deal. :)

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

[EDIT] - Rev....I hadn't read all the comments when I wrote mine. Just read what you wrote above...hehe...great minds and all. When the girls were little they played on Neopets and developed some email/IM buddies from other countries. It was shocking that every single person from Norway, Belgium, Malaysia, etc could write (quickly on IM as well) in beautiful English. I was envious.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

When our teachers

are worried about is teaching the EOG (end of grade) tests to our kids, what do you think is going to be learned?

What is the priority imposed on our children? Learning or passing the EOG?

Which will cause the teacher to lose their job? Failure of a student to learn something or enough students failing the EOGs?

Our standards are strickly to the EOG which is the bare minimum for that student for that grade level.

We are teaching our children to the weakest link or lowest acceptable standard.

Scrap the EOG and lets work on actually teaching our kids stuff. The homework my 4th grader is doing is not a challange to her at all. She gets it done in 20 mins or less. If she ever figures out that she could do her homework on the bus ride home, she wont have anything to interfere with her play time once she gets home.

Is that the best we can do for her in our public schools?

She is proud of the fact that she scored the highest in her class in the writing portion of her EOG, but her score was a 16, or ranked as a 3. She said that the highest possible grade was a 20 or a 4. I actually see this as a problem.

Nail on the head, Anglico

We excelled in the 60's because we weren't teaching kids just how to get through EOG. We learned critical thinking and applied what we learned. (Remember the dreaded word problems? That's what those were for.) I'm not talking about the "Buffy on the tennis court" crap they're testing for these days.

One of the best things you've done for your child is to take a firm hand in her education. I applaud you for that.

"The most unamerican thing you can say is 'You can't say that'" - G. Keillor

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
Mohandas Gandhi

I was in recruiting (at headquarters in DC)

for the Navy in the mid 1990s and the one thing I noticed about homeschooling folks was a mild pregidice towards homeschooling.

At that time, it was concidered that someone who was homeschooled did not have the "sticktoitness" of someone who endured getting a high school diploma grad.

The homeschool degree was one step above a GED and two steps below someone who had a HSDG.

Not sure if the Navy still has this philosophy, but homeschooled individuals where concedered in the GED catagory requiring a higher ASVAB to enlist as well as full kit waivers just to join.

Gotta put a word in

for NC Public Schools.

My son has been enrolled in them since the second half of first grade. In 2 weeks he will be a rising senior.Until 5 years ago, I was a single, working mom, and had to handle all of the "stuff" without the support of a partner-in-parenting. I've had a few issues along the way - but I've found that I've been able to deal with them by addressing them with either the teacher or the administration.

My son's education and his ability to think has not been hurt by being in the public schools - trust me. This is the young man who wrote the editorial I posted excerpts from in this thread. You can find more of his writing and thinking hereand here.(a little less carefully edited.)

I thank his public school teachers for partnering with me in helping this young man teach himself to think.

The Den
It's your democracy; use it.

Boy, can he think.

Is tha grin still on your face?



I haven't stopped smiling. Neither have his teachers. I've heard from six current and former teachers who have all weighed in with variations of "we were wondering when he'd break out with this."

The Den
It's your democracy; use it.

Every child in public school?

Let them require English as an official language as long as they also require that every child in public school become proficient/fluent in at least one other language prior to graduation.

So elitists like our President, his offspring, and others who opt for private school may continue to mangle the beautiful English language with impunity? This defeats the purpose I read in your post, SD.

The Den
It's your democracy; use it.

I've Got an Idea

It's not perfect but I'm a Democrat so I'm into reality based compromise.

How's this:

For any member of Congress who may be reading -

I will consider your bills for English as our 'official' language when ya'll start writing your bills in English everyone can understand.

are you actully asking

our politicians to write bills for the people by the people?

Come on...lets get realistic here.

if that happened, then what would big business hide behind?

where would the crooked politicans hide?

we would then actually beable to understand what BS they are trying to pass onto us.

Sorry, but that just aint gonna happen.

the cloud of confussion is a politicians main tool to keep the people in line.

language and bills that the normal person can read is not wanted.

I figured it out

They want to make english our official language so that they can declare victory over science and law. Think about all those latin words that judges use. The war on science is complete!

Draft Brad Miller-- NC Sen ActBlue

"Keep the Faith"

The Motley Crew on the Hill

is encouraging the next generation of law scholars.

It may happen posthumously but justice will be served.