People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Friday, August 20, 2010

To Those Who Want 'English Only' Codified

What have I been telling you all along?  Don't get worked up over the fact that immigrants come here, settle down, and continue to speak in their native tongues.  Sooner or later, they - or their children - will be forced to gain English proficiency if they ever intend to venture out of the house and earn a living.  It's guaranteed.

What else have I been telling you?  English is fast becoming - due in part to the ubiquity of the internet - the world's universal language.  Everyone on the planet is destined to utilize English as their first language in order to be able to communicate.  Eventually.  Even the Chinese.

Along those lines ...

What if 'English Only' Isn't Wrong?
Foreigners learn our language; we don't learn theirs.
By Evan R. Goldstein, writing in the Wall Street Journal

Advances in machine translation, coupled with the global dominance of English—by some estimates, about one-quarter of the world's population can to a certain extent communicate in English—has led some observers to question the necessity of learning a language other than English.

In his book "The Great Brain Race," Ben Wildavsky describes a global knowledge economy dominated by English. He notes that even in France—France!—English has triumphed. Richard Descoings, president of the Paris Institute of Political Studies, told Mr. Wildavsky, "We have to stop saying that English is one of the languages. It is the language of international exchange: commercial, military, and also intellectual and scientific. . . . It is no longer an object of debate."

That perspective is not limited to Europe. A 2008 report by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs showed that 96%-100% of those questioned in China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam think that it is important for their children to learn English. The online retailing giant Rakuten is one of a number of Japanese companies to embrace English. As The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month, by 2012 Rakuten's employees will be required to speak and communicate with each other in English.

In China, the celebrity English instructor Li Yang attracts 10,000 or more students to arena-size classrooms. His motto: "Conquer English to Make China Stronger!" It is a similar story in India, already the third-largest English-language book market in the world. D. Shyam Babu, a fellow at the Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies in New Delhi, told me, "For Indians, English is an obsession." In May this year, in a village in India's Uttar Pradesh state, a foundation stone was laid for a temple dedicated to Goddess English. [link]
For those of you who get worked up over the fact that the family at the next table at Shoney's is chattering away in Spanish, take note of this: My father, who was born in Wisconsin, spoke only German when he was young.  And not that many years ago.  It wasn't until he had to go out into the world - and attend public grade school - that he had to learn English.  And learn it he did.  And prosper he did.  The rest is history.

So calm down.  English IS the only language.  It's as inevitable as the grass.

* Speaking of my father's upbringing, I remember when I was young my father's family often gathered around the dinner table in the evening playing a card game called Schafkopf.  Or, in English, sheepshead, a game that was brought over from the old country.  It reminded me, later on, of another card game I picked up on in college - Euchre.  Many a long night did I play that game.  Unfortunately I never learned Schafkopf.

From The Archives

This is Evil Jerry:

I lost the mop when it was suggested by some young squirt in the office that I looked like a 70's porn star.


Perriello To Seniors: Read My Lips

In the exchange with 5th District Congressman Tom Perriello and his constituents at that town hall meeting in Danville the other day (see "Perriello feels the heat in Danville stop") we learn the following:
Responding to a question about seniors’ benefits in the health care legislation, Perriello said “no seniors’ benefits are being cut” and later told the crowd that “Social Security is in much better shape than the media claim it is.”
Shouldn't there be a special hell for politicians who lie to little old ladies?

No seniors' benefits will be cut? The truth:
Obamacare’s stealth ambush of senior citizens
By: David Freddoso, Washington Examiner

Even Obamacare’s biggest cheerleaders won’t be able to ignore Medicare chief actuary Richard Foster forever. Based on current law, Foster says, seniors who rely on Medicare will replace Medicaid recipients at the bottom of the health care ladder as early as 2019, five years after the individual mandate kicks in. That’s when the fees Medicare pays to providers will be slashed below Medicaid rates, which are already well below market prices.

“And if you’re in a plan that pays the lowest rates, you’re in trouble,” John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, told The Examiner.

That’s because the $575 billion cut to Medicare over the next decade — which is needed to pay insurance subsidies for 32 million new people — will force one in seven hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies and hospices out of business, according to the formal Medicare trustees report released on April 22. By 2050, 40 percent of existing health care facilities will forced to close their doors.

Many physicians already refuse to accept new Medicare patients. More will refuse when payments from the government fall below cost.

“It will be a game of medical musical chairs,” Goodman predicts. And when the music ends, it will be 15 million vulnerable senior citizens who wind up without a seat. [link]
No seniors' benefits will be cut?  Tell it to the millions who will be waiting at the back of the line for medical treatment when ObamaCare kicks in fully.  And tell it to all those seniors who will be clogging America's morgues who died waiting for care.

No benefit cuts?  No benefits is closer to the truth.

This Isn't Funny

I have to tell you, I'm getting really nervous with these numbers:

Spike in layoffs feeds fear of faltering recovery
By Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

Washington (AP) -- Layoffs are back, and that's bad news for the fragile economic recovery.

New applications for unemployment benefits hit a nine-month high last week -- a spike that suggests private employers may shed jobs this month for the first time this year.

Workers are losing construction jobs in Georgia and manufacturing jobs in Indiana. Some of the layoffs are coming as stimulus money dries up and public works projects come to a halt. Government employees are being let go, too, as states and cities grapple with budget crises.

Without more jobs, consumers will not feel secure enough to spend much money, further slowing the economy. The grim outlook has economists lowering their estimates for growth in the second half of the year. And on Thursday it led to a sell-off on Wall Street led by investors worried that the United States could tumble.

The Labor Department announced Thursday that initial claims for jobless benefits rose by 12,000 last week to 500,000 -- the highest level since November and the third straight increase. [link]
Here's the kicker: If we slide into the second half of that "double-dip" recession, that second half is going to make the first look like by-God prosperity.  I don't even want to be around to witness it.

Like I Said

Someone yesterday took issue with this observation I made regarding liberal Democrats and their pals in the press (see "The Voices of Those Who Grieve"):

"While Democrats and their buddies in the mainstream press shed crocodile tears over the assault on religious freedom (take a picture; it won't last long; they'll be back to bashing Christians soon enough) ..."

The criticism looked like this:

"Christians bashed? C'mon.

"Hyperbole knows no bounds here."

Hyperbole?  I thought it was a modest statement of fact well known to everyone.

But apparently some are clueless.  So maybe this will help:

Ground Zero on the Tolerance Issue
By Debra Saunders, San Francisco Chronicle

Consider the track record of San Francisco. In 1993, the board of supervisors ousted a Christian minister from the Human Rights Commission because he said the Bible says homosexuality is a sin. In 2002, San Francisco Superior Court judges voted to ban judges from being members of the Boy Scouts because of the Scouts' refusal to admit gays. City Hall has leaned on Catholic Charities to renounce church doctrine in order to receive city funds to care for the sick.

The above stories aren't about private citizens trying to shame an individual or a congregation into changing course. They are about using the government as a club to muzzle certain views.

So it's more than ironic to watch the same folks who jump all over devout Christians now rush to Muslims' defense. This isn't about the left being more tolerant, as much as it is about the left disdaining the right.

Imagine if the Mormon Church tried to set up shop next to San Francisco's City Hall. But then, you can't. [link]
And let's bring the press into this.  What do Jerry Falwell, Phyllis Schlafly, Pat Robertson, and James Dobson have in common?  All are reviled by the media.  And all are devout Christians.  A coincidence?  Please.

You'd Never Know It By His Actions

Huh.  Did you hear this one?  Obama is a Christian.

Couldn't tell it by his actions.

Her Days As Speaker Are Numbered

In this our democratic republic:

Time to go, babe.