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  1. Newman is offline
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    Joined: Jun 2007 Location: Dallas Texas Posts: 1,162
    04-09-2009, 01:31 AM #1

    Intraday OFFTOPIC Thread: Politics, Religion, Whatever. Enter at your own risk!

    Ok, so yesterday's offtopic thread brought us some good religious discussion, some political jargon, a "stimulating" video from Damien, and talk of Long John Silver's combo plates...

    I want to get back into the poitical side of things for a bit and discuss an issue that was brought up yesterday, and that is the idea of the United States being a "Melting Pot" of cultures.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor G
    What's funny, is that the US embraces diversty (hence the term melting pot), whilst the the rest of the world embraces sepratism. But God forbid we have people who want to keep our own American heritage alive, the one our founding fathers enabled for all of us in the first place. Instead we are being forced to nationally recognize an entire culture other than our own and even go as far as embracing their flag and their language. Tell any other Country in the entire world to undercut their own heritage and or language, and see how well that goes over.
    My rant today is about language. There are a large number of countries that declare English as their official national language. The United States is not one of those countries. Officially, the US does not have a national language. 30 states (and a few individual cities) have declared english as the official language. Throughout the US, you can recieve copies of national documents in approximately 52 different languages. All of the translation and printing of the documents comes at the expense of the government. What does this mean? Recently, the city of Nashville, TN held a special election to vote on an official language. The vote ultimately failed, but what I wanted to point out in this link is where it says that delcaring english as the official language would save the city about $100k, though it did not say if this was monthly or annually. If a single city could save 100k, how much could the nation save? I have no problems with any other language. I myself can speak pretty decent spanish. But my question is: Why must our government cater to 52 different languages? Why does my government have to provide official government documents in Armenian where there are only 200k of them in the entire US (according to Wikipedia)? Or Greek when only 370k people in the US speak greek? Why do we cater to the few, when the few refuse to adapt to the many?


  2. Joeboo1 is offline
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    Joined: Feb 2009 Posts: 93
    04-09-2009, 02:56 AM #2
    Great topic, My brother is physically disabled and has to turn in paperwork every 6 months for his Oregon health plan. He told me a story just last week about his experience when turning in his paperwork.

    He was in line and there were 2 windows open he was the next person in line. The lady at the office said the word "next" in spanish. My brother proceeded didn't know what she said but he could see by her actions she was calling for the next person. He walked up to her and started talking about his paperwork. This is no lie she said (I am paraphrasing..) "This is the spanish only window you will have to go back and wait for the other lady to finish she is the english window." My brother said that the worker spoke perfect english. When he got upset with her the other worker said "Go ahead and help him I will take the next spanish client." I promise you this is TRUE. I couldn't believe it when he told me. Both workers were fluent in english and spanish. So what is the purpose of something like this in a GOVERNMENT OFFICE that our tax dollars pay for? Please don't call me a racist I am caucasian and married to a wonderful woman that was born here and is a legal citizen. She is 100 percent mexican heritage. What is really going on here in the United States of America???

  3. cos1000 is offline
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    Joined: Mar 2008 Posts: 402
    04-09-2009, 06:59 AM #3

    Your brother's story is truly outrageous.... what amazes me even more about the story is that in the state of Oregon that there are that many non English speaking, Spanish speaking only individuals, requiring state assisted health insurance, forcing the state to equip its offices with not one, but two Spanish Speaking clerks....

  4. asm610 is offline
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    Joined: Feb 2009 Location: NC Posts: 264
    04-09-2009, 08:12 AM #4
    This is an excellent subject for me to chime in I am of Hispanic Heritage. I am truly amazed that there are so many people in this country who can't even speak english yet are citizens! One would think that in order to become a citizen you have to learn the language.....but no. Doesn't it bother anyone else when you call a company...and to continue the call in english you need to push a number on your phone...shouldn't that be the default. I have lots of relatives who have varying opinions on this issue. I know as a kid it used to piss me off that my mom would speak to me in Spanish in front of my friends....even though she was just trying to get me to offer them something to eat...drink ..etc. I always told her to speak english we were in America. I don't know where it came from, I would just blurt it out. I felt it was rude to speak spanish in front of folks who didn't understand what was being said. I also know unfortunately...the other side of the I have traveled to places where people did not realize I was hispanic or spoke Spanish and have made ugly comments about me as an American...only to become shocked when I told them to be careful what they say in front of people because you never know who understands your words. This is usually followed by some jaw faces.and apologies. I have a unique perspective on racism and predjudice because so many people consider me to be "white" and speak freely in front of me not knowing my culture or ethnic heritage and I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that racism still exists in this country in places and with people that still shocks me...including the Government. I think alot of that has to do with resentments over things like language etc. But if you look at the history of this country....the isolation and seperation continued for the most part for many years as this country has grown...and it helped to foster what we see now where many people are embedded in their own little mini countries within larger communities and never have to learn english. They can rely on a friend or neighbor to translate for them...effectively ending their need to pursue a working knowledge of the english language. I'm sure I am rambling I will end this post for now.

  5. Lithium24 is offline
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    Joined: Feb 2009 Posts: 61
    04-09-2009, 11:48 AM #5
    Quote Originally Posted by asm610 View Post
    ....and it helped to foster what we see now where many people are embedded in their own little mini countries within larger communities and never have to learn english. They can rely on a friend or neighbor to translate for them...effectively ending their need to pursue a working knowledge of the english language. I'm sure I am rambling I will end this post for now.
    And thats just the begining of the cycle. I ve been in a position more then once where I could not hire a person because they didnt speak spanish. The scenario is simple one. If I manage a store in an area with a high spanish speaking population, I cannot hire perfectly qualified people soley on the reason they dont speak spanish. I knew at the time the issue I was faced with, and the bigger picture of the whole thing but I cannot base a decision on that. I had sales number to acheive and I couldnt do that standing on principle. Had I chose differently, I would be the unemployed one. So I hired bi-lingual only. Its hard to believe that this would be the case in the USA. That I would turn away an fantastic potential employee because they only spoke english.

    People like to say its racist or your a bigot if your for a national language. But in my experience the opposite is true. Allowing the country to split into different communities with language seperating them causes bigotry and misunderstanding. It causes things like hiring and firing based on ethnicity and nothing else. Which creates a local social class based on the same. Unfortunatly the white kid who came to my store for a job, never had a chance. And the only reason was his race. Again, you can argue that I could have taken a stand and all that, but I would have lost my job because my numbers would have been way below plan. Since then I have left there for a higher paying position, I was replaced with a hispanic manager. And I can assure you that any english speaking only applicant was never even considered.
    Last edited by Lithium24; 04-09-2009 at 12:08 PM.

  6. trippingthespeculatingpos is offline
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    Joined: Dec 2008 Location: San Antonio Posts: 2,884
    04-09-2009, 12:04 PM #6
    yeah english lessons should be mandatory for any1 whos want to immigrate to the us. I have a spanish speaking family but they only speak spanish amongst themselves, which ive noticed is very rare these days, and it seems to be a blend of spanish and english hehe, but they all speak better english than spanish i guess thats why they forget the spanish words and have to use english to fill it in. hey beach if i correctly guess who your father is will u tell us or is it a waste of time?

  7. mogami is offline
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    Joined: Mar 2009 Posts: 422
    04-09-2009, 12:37 PM #7
    Hi, My old ship USS Halyburton FFG-40 is going after pirates. (I was crew member from 1986 to 1992)

  8. choirgirl is offline
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    Joined: Mar 2009 Location: Texas Posts: 143
    04-09-2009, 01:04 PM #8


    Great topic , great stories. As an immigrant I can tell you, you do much better if you learn and speak English. In Europe they made the mistake not to make it mandatory to learn the language of the country ( German,French,
    English etc.), so you have huge ghettos were minorities live ,work,shop etc. and keep their mother tongue. Their children pay the piper, because a lot of them don't finish school and for example, unemployment among young Turkish ist about 30%.
    What I like so much about Americans is their tolerance, nobody made ever fun of my English, pretty much everybody appreciates when you try as hard as you can. Go to France and you 'll have a different experience, they did let me know how bad my French was.

  9. Demian is offline
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    Joined: Oct 2008 Posts: 2,320
    04-09-2009, 02:44 PM #9
    The attitudes of tolerance towards race and language that you see in the USA were born out of it's pretty recent melting pot and immigrant history. You have to keep this in mind when comparing the USA to European countries that are more rooted with their history and language over a longer period. While there are arguments for having a more unified culture, there are many benefits for having so many different cultures in the melting pot. I like going to Japantown in San Francisco for authentic sushi and going to an authentic Thai restaurant for some great Pad Thai. I've got a traditional buckwheat hull pillow that I sleep on every night that was made by a local Japanese woman that specializes in the Japanese art of pillow making.......

    Good luck finding all that cool shit in a "unified" society......


  10. Newman is offline
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    Joined: Jun 2007 Location: Dallas Texas Posts: 1,162
    04-09-2009, 04:33 PM #10
    Quote Originally Posted by choirgirl
    nobody made ever fun of my English
    Was that sarcasm, or just the bad english you were talking about? Also, what part of Texas are you in? A number of people here are from San Antonio, I am in Dallas, and Demian is from California, but is visiting family just north of Dallas right now...

    Quote Originally Posted by choirgirl
    Go to France and you 'll have a different experience, they did let me know how bad my French was.
    I did go to France. I do not speak French, but for the very reasons I am talking about, we hired a tour guide that could translate for us, because I did not think it was right for me to insist that they speak english to me. Of course, our guide could not be with us 24 hours a day. I went to the front desk of the hotel one night. The guy working the counter got up from the back office where he was watching TV and came to the desk. I asked him a question in English. He said "Escuse Mio?". I repeated my question, and he repeated "Escuse Moi?" with a dumb look on his face. I got pissed. I told the guy, "You are watching Fox News in English back there. Don't pretend you don't understand me." He then proceeded to answer my question, though with a disgusted look on his face. (And this was WAY before 9/11 and Iraq)

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