Saturday, January 13, 2007

English, the First Language

It seemed like it should work, I’d go off to Hawaii for two months and then I’d know how to speak Japanese, and read it too, I figured. One just sits in class, the teacher talks, and then it’s over – that’s the way it had always worked.

Two months of sixteen hours a day studying, “Speak Out”, special blessings, endless prayers, memorize, memorize, memorize - nothing seemed to work. I took some cold comfort from the story going round the LTM, that Heber J. Grant, who had been President of the Mormon Church and the first Missionary to go to Japan, had, after three years in the Empire, given up having never learned the language. He returned to the valleys of the Mountains declaring that, “the only way to save the Japanese is to bomb um all and baptize um for the dead!”

Come December I was looking out the window of a jet plane on to the lights of Tokyo. Sure enough the neon signs that lit the sky really were in Kanji (Chinese Characters). I just wanted to die.

I have a kid in my 8th period World History class who can’t speak a word of English. Well, maybe ya and no; at least he can nod and shake his head in English. He can’t understand a thing said, written, or read. What this kid and many others need is a year long course on English; taught in Spanish by a teacher who has no other agenda than getting them fluent in the language. Then, once he can understand, speak, read and write in English, Leo can be successfully launched into “regular classes”, and taught all the other things he needs to know to succeed in his “new home”.

To immerse this boy, and thousands like him, in the shark tank of English speaking America without any help or aid is a sin, yet to do otherwise may well be a crime. The excuse I hear in the Small Learning Community (SLC) sessions where we discuss Leo’s fate and struggle; how to get students to sit by him to whisper, or how to get the already overloaded Spanish instructor to meet with him to explain his assignments; is that providing the basic training necessary for him to succeed is racism. How stupid is that?

I actually became a very successful Japanese speaker. My trainer was a genuine genius; my first District Leader a wise young man. Elder Lovell, my DL, sat me down my second night in Japan and explained that good missionaries get up at 6:00 AM (the handbook said up by 6:30) but that great missionaries get up at 5:00. I got up at five for the next year and a half. It took two months of intense training in Hawaii, the constant companionship of bilingual mentors, hours at the books every day, constant assignments and practice drills, several vocabulary notebooks worn to ribbons, and the memorization of fourteen, hour long dialogues (lessons plans, old and new), before I could tear through the language barrier.

What hope does Leo have? No one is teaching him English. All he gets is 90 minutes every other day in an English as a Second Language (ESL) class where the teaching of language is secondary to trying to get him through his math homework so he can get at least one passing grade. In his welding class he gets by, by aping his classmates at their projects. The rest of the time he speaks Spanish with his Spanish speaking friends, his Spanish speaking mother, or daydreams in Spanish while sitting “immersed” in classes taught in English where he may as well be deaf and dumb. As long as Political Correctness and bigotry dominate education in this country Leo has no hope at all.

64 comments:

Donna said...

Lysis,

I'm not sure where you're posting from, but in eastern Arizona where I'm from and in the rest of the Southwest for that matter, Spanish is as important as English both politically and economically and has a long historical tradition of both protection and active public use. The same sort of thing also applies in New Mexico, Texas, Florida and of course California.

Ever since the Mexican War (and the Florida Wars in the 1820s for Florida), Spanish has been given a very special status througout the Southwest, analogous to its status in Puerto Rico, for example (and the status that native American languages enjoy across the country). Unlike purely "immigrant" languages, Spanish was a founding language in active public use, in a very large region well before it was incorporated into the USA-- so, due to a smorgasbord of treaties, statutory acts, common law, historical custom and business necessitites, Spanish has been very well-established in the Southwest for well over a century in spite of nativist moves against it. This applies to all kinds of public uses-- voting ballots, government debates, schools, hospitals and public television, for example. Spanish has equal status to English throughout the region. Recognizing that in the SW isn't political correctness but a simple recognition of the region's history and its present.

I bring this up because depending on where this fellow is, the language he is using to communicate (Spanish) has full recognized status in any public forum. Naturally I among others would also advise learning English as well in the USA, but I've met many people who have tried to bludgeon Spanish out of Latinos (and also non-Latinos) in the SW by saying it's "un-American" or something similar. I admit I used to be one of them-- and then I found that none of the companies in the region in eastern Arizona would hire me until I learned Spanish for my summer jobs. Then I took a history class that opened my eyes and explained the centrality of Spanish in Arizona and its neighbors in the region, which made it much easier for me to accept the need para aprender y tambien hablar y naturalmente escribir muy bien en espanol.

At least in the SW, it's really a responsibility to master both Spanish and English-- those have been bilingual states since they were brought in the USA in a bloody war that nobody in this region will ever forget. Frankly, it's easy to pick up two, three or more languages at an early age, and Spanish is now increasingly being imparted at such ages. A very tiny price to pay (and a huge cognitive boost to the young students, for that matter) for harmony in what's been one of the country's most strife-ridden regions.

Lysis said...

Donna:

Thank you for posting here at the Agora. I am in agreement with almost everything you have said.

You say, “where I'm from and in the rest of the Southwest for that matter, Spanish is as important as English.”

I think you are exactly right – and perhaps for the entire country. I would be supportive of providing instruction to all Americans, children and adults in Spanish. I think the study of the history of the “New World” as a whole demonstrates the importance of merging cultures and mastering at least these two languages. However, I would not be for suddenly dumping English speaking children into communities and schools were only Spanish is spoken and leave them to sink or swim without providing intense instruction in Spanish.

You say: “Spanish has equal status to English throughout the region. Recognizing that in the SW isn't political correctness but a simple recognition of the region's history and its present.” I also agree with this but I see a danger in developing two separate societies divided by a language barrier that puts an artificial separation between peoples. I look with some trepidation on the situation in Quebec, where two “choose which ever language you like” languages has driven a wedge of hate and bigotry between people who have no other reason to dislike each other. My suggestion of providing the language training needed to allow Spanish speakers to speak English is a desire to knock down this barrier. We should build a better present – and thus ensure a better future for us all. I would eagerly support the teaching of Spanish to all English only types, and not the superficial spattering provided in our Jr. High language programs. Let’s get them intense and meaningful training as well. Wouldn’t it be great if the year that Spanish speakers spend learning English could be spent by English speakers learning Spanish? Why not create a truly bilingual nation? This “you go your way; we’ll go ours” attitude is a recipe for some real problems down the road. Equal is great – Separate but equal is the road to disaster.

You say: “I've met many people who have tried to bludgeon Spanish out of Latinos (and also non-Latinos) in the SW by saying it's "un-American" or something similar.” The un-American thing is to say that any difference is un-American, however – to expect students like Leo to learn in an environment where he cannot understand, and is making little if any headway, is indeed a sin. You say you learned Spanish, much to your credit and edification. Did you do it without classes, instruction, and support? Would you have succeeded as quickly and as well if you had been “immersed” over your head and left to sink or swim? Leo is sinking and many like him are already drown; I am begging for a life line to save him.


In your last paragraph you say:

1. “At least in the SW, it's really a responsibility to master both Spanish and English. . .” I agree completely, so we had better get teaching English to those who are not bilingual, and provide Spanish instruction to those who do not speak it. To do neither in the name of some kind of separate but equal doctrine is folly.

2, “those have been bilingual states since they were brought in the USA in a bloody war that nobody in this region will ever forget.” As a historian I am not for forgetting any wars, but I am for dumping the “victim, villain” attitude that your tone suggests. I look for the day when there are no lines between any of the nations. It is ridiculous to draw them within our own in some kind of vengeance for past wrongs vendetta.

3. “Frankly, it's easy to pick up two, three or more languages at an early age, and Spanish is now increasingly being imparted at such ages.” I rejoice in this, but point out to you that many are not at an early age. Teaching Spanish to “mature” Americans will indeed prove difficult, it may take a generation to get us integrated, but let’s start now. This does not in any way challenge the thesis of my post. Leo and many thousands like him are past the early age where play and nature will give him a chance to speak English, (even if he weren’t, there is no one at home to speak English to him as he plays and learns) he needs an intensive year long course in English by someone who can speak Spanish and who know how to bring him up to the level where he has the freedom to choose, at will, which language he will use. Under the status quo, he is simply drowning.

It is, as you say, “A very tiny price to pay (and a huge cognitive boost to the young students, for that matter) for harmony in what's been one of the country's most strife-ridden regions.”

Two of my sons and many of my employs speak Spanish. It was a great pleasure to see them be able to speak freely with the Spanish Speaking troops that come to our camp. Instantly those scouts and leaders felt welcome, equal, and important. But surely the goal should not be two groups with an empowered few who can cross back and forth, while the rest struggle to keep afloat. The goal should be to teach us all to swim.

Anonymous said...

Every place I have traveled in the world I tried to learn enough of the language to at least extend the basic greetings and appreciations. Learning other essentials (locations of police stations, bathrooms, etc) is always a good idea. And learning their currency was a good idea for ME.

However...globally, what I found was if I made an effort in their native tongue they would almost always be glad to work with me in MY native tongue. Why? 2 reasons...English is the universal business language, and I had dollars they wanted.

All they wanted was to know that I at least respected them enough to try.

In America we have a sub-class. You hear it in the words and speeches of those that are pro-illegal immigration. "We need these people...who else would do these jobs for the kind of money we pay them?" and "No AMERICAN would do the filthy disgusting jobs we ask these people to do." I find it ironic (moronic?) that comments like these are greeted with rousing cheers and roars of approval. I havent heard that kind of direct bigotry since David Duke last ran for president.

Hispanic immigrants that isolate themselves and do not learn the language do themselves a great disservice. They continue to place themselves in a position where they are qualified to do little more than work in our kitchens, malls (please...just cleaning...thanks), and our yards.

I dont truly know the hearts of those that resist the English First movement. I suspect in their heart of hearts they think they are helping. Maybe they have adopted the typical guilt mentality that says as whites ad Americans we must be guilty and atone for success. I dont know. But I do believe they are at least in part to blame for the creation of this second class citizenry.

As you look at the immigration populations you see Asian immigrants coming to America, working hard, and succeeding in the American culture. Haitians, Africans, same. But the Hispanic immigrant population that does not assimilate works HARD, but will remain isolated. Those Hispanics that learn English and work to succeed within the US system often do.

I also agree we should expand our abilities and expectations of our students. I think a functional second language ought to be a must for graduation. But I cant fathom moving to another country and then demanding that THEY conform to ME.

Anonymous said...

2 more things...

1-It is often forgot that those that come to America (even illegally) are often the most driven and best and brightest of their countries. That we have potential doctors, teachers, scientists etc serving fries at McDonalds is to me the greatest tragedy.

2-Anyone that studies history without the shackles of hysteria recognizes that EVERY society in the world evolved from conflict and conquest.

Do you see Mexico offering many classes and catering to speakers of Inca, Aztec, or the other 'native' tongues? Or do you just suppose that from some freak of global nature they ALWAYS spoke Spanish?

Dan Simpson said...

I in part agree with you MM (and maybe in whole, I will have to have you clarify a bit).

This lack of clarity is one of the biggest struggles in the immigration debate, I have found. Because you have some people so loud on each side, the rest of us are left to be labeled as all of the one or all of the other, without a forum to try to discuss the problem rationally.

If by english first, you mean we should make the legally official language of this country, or state, english, I would disagree with you.

It would make it illegal (or at least very beauricratically hard) to have any governmental documents translated. It would cause a lot of red tape related delays, and a lot of big problems (all in the realm of government vs. the individual who cannot speak said official language).

I too believe it is in any persons best interest to learn the languange that is predominant in the country they reside in. But I don't see that it helps AT ALL to proclaim english as the legally official language. If that is your stance, I would be interested to hear what you feel are the benefits.

It may be interesting to note that in seveir county (back in the day) all government meetings were held in Dutch.

Having had Jr. High spanish, I can only imagine the struggles that a non english speaker would have with learning the language.

But, I think Lysis may have hit it on the head. If one was to put spanish speakers into an intense english training (even for the summer, and not for a full year), you would have lawsuits.

Or you would have screaming hordes asking why we are spending money on illegals who should go back to their own home.

Either way, I don't think it would ever happen. Though it would solve many problems if it did.

Anonymous said...

Dan...

I dont think we disagree...

I dont so much worry about making English the "official language" though I dont really carer if a community wishes to or not. But I do think that an English first philosophy basically says, "here it is...all you need to be successful...come on along." I dont think the communities ought to be paralyzed by forcing translation into Spanish (or ALL the other languages of the globe).

I think a more successful result would be had if the leaders of the Hispanic community stood up and encouraged their community to make the effort to be a part of the country instead of apart from the country.

truth to power said...

You know what? It's already "very bureaucratically hard" to have any government documents translated. The agency I work for is far behind in this area. And when the translations are complete, their quality is, shall we say, inconsistent. Despite what Donna says, I would be surprised to find out there's anybody really getting this right, even in places like Arizona and California.

What do you call someone who speaks two languages? Bilingual.

What do you call someone who speaks three languages? Trilingual.

What do you call someone who speaks one language? American.

I disagree with Donna when she says, "Frankly, it's easy to pick up two, three or more languages at an early age, and Spanish is now increasingly being imparted at such ages."

Our schools don't get into foreign langugages until junior high, well past the "critical period" identified by psychologists and linguists. I dare say most of those posting here have been through what passes for second-language instruction in this country. ¿Cómo está su español?

The majority in the United States has been monolingual for at least a couple of generations. Why do we expect we can teach English to those who don't speak it, when we can't teach anything else to those who do?

Lysis says, "I would not be for suddenly dumping English speaking children into communities and schools were only Spanish is spoken and leave them to sink or swim without providing intense instruction in Spanish." I agree. But who is dumping Spanish-speaking children into communities and schools where only English is spoken? Their parents.

I agree with Lysis that we are "developing two separate societies divided by a language barrier". Frankly, I blame our immigration laws. The movement against "bilingual" education was never about language; it was an expression of frustration with our broken immigration system, albeit misguided. As Lysis indicates, it has just made things worse.

Those who are here legally have opportunities to learn English relatively quickly. The illegals, afraid to trust anyone outside their immediate circle, languish in a linguistic ghetto. This is yet another facet of the single greatest sociopolitical problem facing our nation today, the one politicians of every stripe pay lip service to yet refuse to address substantively.

There is no hope whatever for a governmental solution. It's going to take direct action by concerned individuals. I'd like to see more of us engaged in learning Spanish and teaching English. I'm making some small efforts in this area myself, but there is more I could be doing.

a quiet listener said...

andy and i were talking about this last night after i read the post. we both have experienced the difficulty of learning a second and third language as adults. I remember with fondness being up at CHEYHO demonstrating how to put on a harness to a latino kid. i reached between his legs to grab the strap and he said a series of rather inappropriate things in spanish to his friends which they laughed at. then i calmly responded "and just what do you mean by that?" in perfect spanish. i remember the terrified look on his face as he realized half the high adventure staff spoke fluent spanish. what an advantage it is to speak both languages!


as andy, my mom and my wife sat discussing this topic last night we all agreed that investing a minimum of one year of intense language training is absolutely necessary. some might think it unjust to let them "get behind" in school a whole year just to focus on english. but it's a very small price to pay if. it's the kind of tough love that will ultimately keep them from being limited to labor type jobs. the question we came to was how many years of intense language training would be too many to try and learn the language? at what point would it be non beneficial for teacher and the student? for example if you moved to the US at 15 years old and it took you five years of doing nothing but language training would it still be a good idea? we thought so.

also, as a spanish speaker myself i admit that i definitely plan on speaking to my kids in spanish while my wife speaks to them in english. we've heard from other's experiences that it sets your child back ~1 year before they're speaking but they will be able to speak both languages; and they will have learned it effortlessly.

Anonymous said...

AQL...

I applaud your efforts with your kids. My wife and I did much the same thing...she spoke only English and I spoke fluent suth'n.

I dont know just how much a positive impact it had on them.

They did manage to overcome my difficulties with the English language and all speak at least 1 foreign language passably (who knew learning Russian could be so hard?).

I hear that musical training helps people to pick up languages. That is also an area where I am sadly lacking.

I am self taught in Spanish and continue to try to learn more using the books and CDs. My goal is to become fluent to assist with the business and expanding opportunities to hispanic clients.

So far, I am pretty sure if Louisa ever needs assistance finding the library, I can help her out.

Lysis said...

After three semesters teaching Japanese to Mormon Missionaries in Hawaii and at the Provo MTC, I returned to USU to study Botany. I spent most afternoons on the top floor of the Library reading. To young Japanese men came in and began talking quite loudly and most explicitly about their sexual activities and conquests. It was quite titillating and I listened for quite a while. They became more and more verbose in their descriptions; lots of words I could only guess at. As I headed for the car pool, I stopped by their table. “You should really be careful what you talk about so loudly, there are people who can understand Japanese. “ I said in “perfect” Japanese. Their looks were curious combinations of embarrassment, amusement, shock, and perhaps a little resentment that their bubble of superiority had been shattered.

Rumpole said...

Lysis,

I don’t know Leo. I ask these questions sincerely, while certainly intending to make a point.

While Leo’s story is tragic, is his failing completely the responsibility of America, and her system of education?

Was America thrust on Leo, or has Leo thrust himself on America?

Did Leo come to America expecting to enjoy its prosperity without the expectation of bearing some responsibility and accountability?

What does Leo do for himself? In his attempt to become a “great American”, does he “get up at 5:00 AM?” Does he spend “hours at the books every day?” Does he attempt to memorize the Declaration of Independence, along with thirteen other “dialogues” that may aid him in “tearing through the language barrier?”

I can only imagine how difficult Leo’s position must be. But it seems important to point out that none of your training was supplied to you by the Japanese government.

Certainly you had a network available to you that Leo does not have. Is it possible that a better solution might be to create that same kind of network for Leo independent of the government? Perhaps Leo might even find it within himself to crash through the barrier on his own!

Leo’s failure is not due to a school system that is lacking; Leo’s failure is due to citizens who continually look to government for solutions rather than looking inward to their communities, religious institutions, and private organizations for solutions to complex problems.

Additionally, Leo fails because those who are closest to him have the same expectation. Leo will not succeed until individuals (including Leo himself) take responsibility to insure his success rather than waiting for government to act.

As MindMechanic proffers: “I think a more successful result would be had if the leaders of the Hispanic community stood up and encouraged their community to make the effort to be a part of the country instead of apart from the country.”

Truth to Power adds quite eloquently: “There is no hope whatever for a governmental solution. It's going to take direct action by concerned individuals. I'd like to see more of us engaged in learning Spanish and teaching English. I'm making some small efforts in this area myself, but there is more I could be doing.”

Lysis said...

Rumpole;

When it comes to helping drowning children, I tend not to worry too much who is to blame until after the kid has been pulled out of the water. One thing is for sure, Leo did not intentionally grow up speaking Spanish instead of English. The fact is that he is now in America, and America needs him to be able to speak English. The purpose of education in America is wholly in the national interest. We do not educate students so they can get jobs; that are only a pleasant side effect of the real reason. Americans pay to educate all children and have seen the need to do this since before the Constitution was written. We do this because in order to be free America needs to educate all its citizens. We must now realize that this need extends to all residents. Being incapable of understanding or speaking English renders Leo incapable of learning the things which will enable him to fulfill his responsibilities to America, to us all. America does have a responsibility to educate Leo and all like him – because America has a responsibility to survive and protect us all.

We will probably never know what Leo would have done given a legitimate chance to work his heart out to learn English. He is not anymore capable of providing himself with the need tools and knowledge than I would have been all those years ago when I headed to Japan. I was given the best teachers, the finest text books, caring mentors, and infinite opportunity to learn. Leo and his fellows are thrown into the deep water, unable to swim, and bound with heavy weights. It is not a matter of sink or swim, they are sinking, and their demise will spell great peril for America. In the most selfish of ways, we need to save these people.

Is government the only solution? No, of course not. The churches and service organizations of the country should start to help as best they can. They’re our churches our service organizations, lets get to work. I would much rather my alms were going to teach English skills to Leo than being spent on building unwanted malls and high-rise offices space in downtown Salt Lake.

In this country, We the People are the rulers. If we are not the government, we at least have power over it. Since the government is hogtied into inaction, we had best get about cutting the bonds that prevent Leo from learning, from swimming, from speaking English. There is hope for a government solution if we force the government to behave reasonably. We are paying to warehouse Leo and his peers, why not put those funds and the vast education system they support to constructive use and throw a life line to kids who are drowning.

Dan Simpson said...

Unless you pay alms to a different church, that is building a different area in downtown salt Lake, none of your alms are going to such a thing.

Anonymous said...

"Americans pay to educate all children and have seen the need to do this since before the Constitution was written. We do this because in order to be free America needs to educate all its citizens."

Oh, hey...dont get me wrong...I think this is the original intent and is still the driving motivating factor of at least a majority of our teachers...

but cynical guy in me says that the reason TODAY we push for education dollars is to give education bureaucracies power. The driving motivating factor in ensuring Leo's butt is at school is so that his butt can be counted and they can receive credit/money for his presence. That he will likely graduate or leave school in some other way is tragic, but really...who cares.

I dont think our political machine has any motivation to educate the unwashed masses. Those that purport themselves to be the champions of the poor and downtrodden do nothing but enact policies that will ensure they stay poor, uneducated, hopeless, and dependent on them as their daddy. They create systems to keep them lined up like Oliver...enough to survive on but always coming back with their bowl in hand. "Please sir....more..."

Recent legislation will PAY social security benefits to illegal immigrants that come her only for a short time, do NOT pay into the system, do NOT contribute to the system later, and then return to their home countries. Even though they work at low wages paid under the table they are still afforded social services. Every incentive available keeps them coming in and lining up...but it does NOTHING to change their social circumstance.

It isnt that we CANT help and make the situation better. It is that the very people that proclaim themselves saviors dont WANT to help them. They like them just where they are, thanks.

Anonymous said...

http://www.downtownrising.com/index.php

I have to say...I'm really not all that concerned with the management of my tithes. Primarily for several reasons...

1-I dont pay tithes to a church, I give tithes based on my faith.

2-The people of the church arent perfect and I am sure there are the occasional abuses, but by and large, there is such an intense accounting and oversight of the budget it is unlikely that large scale corruption could occur.

3-The track record of management of tithes for furthering Christian causes is pretty solid.

From what I have read on the project, the church owned business ventures (commercial radio and TV stations, colleges, etc) along with other business and community leaders as well as some state involvement will be paying for this project. There are real estate ventures involved as well (high end and mid level condo's). It looks pretty impressive.

truth to power said...

Mindmechanic claims,

"Recent legislation will PAY social security benefits to illegal immigrants that come her only for a short time, do NOT pay into the system, do NOT contribute to the system later, and then return to their home countries."

There are a couple of significant errors here. That's not the way Social Security works for anybody. Your ability to collect depends on your employment history. There has to be an actual record, wages earned, qualifying quarters, taxes paid. If you try to "retire" without a work history, you will not be collecting Social Security payments. This bill doesn't change that, although I think it opens yet another can of worms for the Social Security Administration to try to deal with.

"Even though they work at low wages paid under the table they are still afforded social services."

Well...yes and no. I always enjoy reading posts here from those who have expertise in the law, or history, or education. Now it's my turn. I happen to know a lot about the social services afforded to immigrants, legal and illegal.

Illegal aliens, and most legal aliens who have not yet been legal permanent residents for five years, are eligible for almost no social services for themselves. They can't get food stamps, welfare, or non-emergency Medicaid. If they have children who were born in this country (and therefore are U.S. citizens by the 14th Amendment), then those children may qualify for benefits for themselves only. In determining eligibility for such a partially-eligible household, the system pro-rates total household income, allowable income deductions, and the final benefit amount.

The only social service benefit an illegal can actually get for himself is Medicaid to cover a genuine medical emergency. I have come to the conclusion that Medicaid is really welfare for doctors anyway, but that's another discussion entirely.

"Every incentive available keeps them coming in and lining up...but it does NOTHING to change their social circumstance."

There's not much that we would see as incentives, but the fact is their "social circumstance", the second-class status of illegal aliens in this country, is often an improvement over their previous life. What do we do about that?

"It isnt that we CANT help and make the situation better. It is that the very people that proclaim themselves saviors dont WANT to help them. They like them just where they are, thanks."

This is true, but it's also true of those who claim they want to close the border and deport all the line-jumpers. I'm convinced none of our lawmakers sincerely want to fix the broken immigration system.

Anonymous said...

MM
What looks impressive is the ledger sheet of some churches -- all PROFIT/PROPHET and NO TAXES!!!!

Hence, as MM cheerfully asserts, "successful real estate ventures" "malls" and "high end condos" for "high end Saints" -- coupled "with self-righteous, under the table, expoitation of weak, vulnerable and illegal immigrants!!!!

Read about Utah's ex-governor, Bush appointee's, Southern Utah "Student scholarship" condo scam tax write offs."

Silver Lining said...

I know the question was directed to Lysis, but what the heck.

I would argue in the vein of Jefferson or Plato's Republic that if we are going to be a government by of and for the people, one of the things our government should do foremost is educate its citizenry.

I understand the argument that the network Lysis had behind him was not the government, but neither was he doing the government's work. Ideally, when we serve in a public capacity and when we vote, we are doing the government's work. Therefore, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain by an educated populous.

This argument changes when we talk about non-citizens perhaps, but are we assuming that Leo is not a U.S. citizen. As far as his waking every morning at 5:00 and language training, he would still be ill equipped for the classes he is taking simultaneously without a senior companion, I mean translator, that stayed with him and helped him through each and every class. As a result, he is passed through the education system without an education, and both he and our nation lose out. I have to admit that Lysis' idea of a year of shear intensive language training appeals to me.

I look as further example to my daughter's kindergarten class. We live in California, and though I appreciate Donna's remarks, I don't think California has it all figured out. We live in the Bay area vs. Southern California though, so the diversity is different. There is a little boy in my daughter's class who speaks Cantonese fluently and is learning English. He has private tutoring provided by his parents in addition to school and is coming along quite well. Still, I look at the fact that this kindergarten class is working on sight words and family words at this point. How, if this boy doesn't have a fair working knowledge of the letters and sounds and basic word meaning, is he going to keep up?

I look as well to a good friend here whose children attend the same school. Her son was in Kindergarten last year. He made it to first grade, because she invests in expensive and regular tutoring and because he went to summer school. He has verbal apraxia and struggles with reading as a result. He barely passed the requirements to move from kindergarten and is finally starting to do much better. His teacher, out of concern, would not have passed him to first grade without the extra work on his language. Yet, we pass children through the educational system that can't possibly be succeeding because they don't speak English.

We can talk all day about how it should be with respecting other languages and how we can move toward that. In the mean time, the reality is simply that if we are going to offer Leo or many others fair and equal opportunities at a good education, they have to be able to use the English language. The end result is not just an entitlement that serves them, it is a service to our nation as well.

Anonymous said...

truth...

I dont discount your experience but times they are a changing.

As I read it, the new legislation does indeed pay social security, even to those that have not paid into it.

I understand how the system works. The money i pay today goes to services and benefits to those collecting today, so on and so on. i also understand that my wages earned dictate the approximate payoff I will eventually (ummm....HOPEFULLY recieve).

But...

there are Social Security benefits to those that have never paid into the system. that happens today. And as I understand the proposed legislation, that is supposed to get big. I'll do some more follow up and post what i can find.

As for the social benefits...I would suggest that is a little different depending on what state you go to. While it may be more difficult to get those services here there are still people that get them on false documents. And other states are pretty lenient...they offer social services to all.

I was in Arizona a few weeks ago. The ER at the local hospital was packed with people that were there receiving treatment and most spoke no English and they didnt have insurance. SOMEONE will be paying for that service, I promise you.

And BTW...I am NOT begrudging services to illegals...I just know a bit about how the economy works and how it doesnt. Socialism within capitalism doesnt work...for long.

Anonymous said...

Truth...

"Every incentive available keeps them coming in and lining up...but it does NOTHING to change their social circumstance."

I'm not so much talking about just illegals. I mean this in general with all of the impoverished in the country. They are pawns used by social activists and politicians.

"the second-class status of illegal aliens in this country, is often an improvement over their previous life. What do we do about that?"

Indeed. Who are we? Are we people that will GLADLY accept them as a slaves because it beats the alternatives? Or, do we have REAL compassion and offer equal opportunities?

This is true, but it's also true of those who claim they want to close the border and deport all the line-jumpers. I'm convinced none of our lawmakers sincerely want to fix the broken immigration system.

I agree with you completely.

Anonymous said...

Leave it to the anon collective to make this an attack on faith. You are so predictable it is laughable.

When you are able to recognize and honor the billions of dollars and years of personal sacrifice and service offered by churches of all denominations, then we can talk about the occasional abuses (which BTW I mentioned in my own post). Until then you remain just a trite collection of rhetoric.

Worse...you are just plain boring.

Anonymous said...

Silver Lining...

"I understand the argument that the network Lysis had behind him was not the government, but neither was he doing the government's work."

I think the point goes not to who is doing what, but what are the effective end results. I'd be all for huge increases in education spending if I believed they would be used well and we would see positive results.

Scratch that...I would be for HUGE increases in education spending at the state level provided I didnt have to worry that my increased taxes would leave the state and feed the federal student unions.

Despite being at the bottom in money spent per student, Utah continues to be at the top regarding scores (which translates to results).

The effort of the schools is definitely measurable, but IMO the greater impact is found in the expectations of the family and opportunities of the community.

Lysis said...

So many good things here. First let me thank:

Truth to power.

Although I would like to know your credentials, I do not doubt them. These powerful facts would go a long way in taking the wind out of the “Lock Up America” crowd that gets so much press. It would also help silence those who constantly scream there is no policy in place. However, education is supplied to all children who get the shots and show up to the classroom. We need to be teaching them the one thing that will make their success and that of America possible, English.

You are also spot on when you point out that those who scream the loudest in “defense of minorities” are really benefiting from keeping America divided – and failing!

Silver Lining:

The example you provide is most telling. That the Chinese family in your school cares and has the means to aid their child is wonderful, and that they are doing it is proof of the quality of citizens, people, they are. We are left facing with three divergent problems as far is “Leo” is concerned.

1. It may be that his parents, (I happen to know he lives with only his mother, and she does not speak English herself) CANNOT help him.

2. It may be that some parents and minority communities REFUSE to help; either because other things are more important to them or because they have some prejudice or dislike for English speaking people and their community.

3. There are those who PREVENT kids from learning as they should, because as Truth To Power has implied, these people get power from maintaining ignorance, division, victim hood and anger. These are, for the most part, the people who benefit from American defeat in Iraq and therefore labor day in and day out to make sure our military cannot succeed. How our enemies abroad must squeal with glee at the self destructive nature of the neo-libs. How sad that so many children must suffer!

In all the above cases – the children are innocent. It is the role of a just government to defend the innocent. Protecting these children by making them bilingual will also prevent the inevitable harm they will do to America if they are allow to “drown”.

Mindmechanic;

I see you to have benefited from Truth To Power’s expertise; as we often do learned from yours. I just want to reiterate that money spent on making children better citizens is extremely well invested.

Dan;

I do believe that my church, The Mormon Church, puts a lot of money into downtown Salt Lake, and, as seems to be indicated by Mindmechanic above, the new downtown development will be no exception. If you could set us strait on this it would be appreciated.

Flaccid;

In spite of your limp attack; no one can honestly question the fact that the LDS church, along with many other religions, more than earn their tax exempt status by the enormous good they do for their communities and the world. I would see the monies distributed differently at times, but no amount of tax money could provide the benefits that religion does for this country, or for the world.

Anonymous said...

MM
No it wasn't an attack on FAITH it was an attack on HYPOCRISY and YOUR inability to distinguish between the two -- REAL faith and self promoting arrogance!!!!

Your narcissistic idea that every attack on MM hypocrisy is an attack on FAITH, and good people of FAITH everywere, is pure meglomaniacal gibberish.

The kind of "faith" MM espouses is a Capitalistic/Christian oxymoron that keeps the weak and poor in economic servitude while offering a PROFITABLE (for himself and others who share this scheming vision) working of a "ponzi scheme to heaven" upon the illegals and downtrodden -- keep them "faithful" and their eyes upon heaven while picking their pockets with economic exploitation and servitude here in Capitalistic USA!!!!

MM assures us that "Socialism and Capitalism doesn't WORK for long." -- Yes, especially if someone else is made to do the WORK FOR you, then you can corrupt CHRISTIAN fundamentals of REAL FAITH into a profit and loss balance sheet of social exclusion, scorn and bigotry!!!!

Yes, MM, REAL CHRISTIANS (converts to Christ and not Herbert Spencer) funtion BEST in COLLECTIVES -- ANONYMOUS and COMMUNAL is always MOST spiritual!!!!
Acts 2:44-45
Acts 4:32-36
John 12:6

Anonymous said...

As was pointed out by MM, YOUR tithes aren't used in this venture.

Tithes, nor fast offerings, are used for such purposes.

Dan Simpson said...

The previous post (the short one) was me, don't know why it put it in anonymous

Anonymous said...

Anon...

"What looks impressive is the ledger sheet of some churches -- all PROFIT/PROPHET and NO TAXES!!!!"

Nope...not an attack at all. Liar.

Your remaining diatribe is equally comical.

Socialism is an abject failure. Capitalism provides opportunites for individual work, growth, and success. Individuals that thrive under capitalism are uniquely suited to provide social opportunites for others as well as providing economic opportunities and stimulating economic growth. It is a wonderful, proseperous cycle.

As opposed to socialism which destroys the will and drive to work. Socialism creates two classes-the very elite, and everyone else.

Social activisim by individuals, private entities, churches, etc can be a powerful thing. Socialism engaged by governments are engineered to keep the elite in power. Or maybe you think all those people that risk their life escaping from Cuba really love it there and are just out for a morning swim.

I dont know why you chose to attack my love for the American system of capitalism, but since you did...

Do I love capitalism? You bet! Without ever collecting so much as a penny of govenment aid I have gone from mowing yards, to $1.10 an hour washing phone trucks, to a ceramic shop, to stocking groceries, to 3 years at an amusement park, 2 years at Arctic Circle, 3 years at a sheet metal plant where I started as a grinder and trained myself to be a welder, to a military career, to a follow on career as a comm/IT project manager, and a clinical counselor. Sure...I worked 2 full time jobs and went to school full time to pay for it (there wasnt a mom and dad around to help), but there was no obstacle to success either. Seriously...whats not to love?

Oh hey...I know...those same opportunites arent there for everyone right? BS. Along the way (during that 20 year career) I worked as a janitor at a school, I worked construction building and pouring forms in the morning before work and tearing down forms and packing the trailer in the evenings, a body guard, security jobs, a year and a half stint at Burger King, 1 year as a manager of a Subway sandwich shop, and about 5 years at three different Taco Bells. Heck, Pepsico paid me to go to management training in california and offered me a store management position after a year. Not where I wanted to go...but hey...it's ALWAYS good to have options. I was also fortunate to accumulate 5 degrees including a graduate degree. I will start again in june of this year and honestly...I cant wait.

Along the way I worked with people my age, kids, every race and social class imaginable, and yes, I also took those classes side by side with people from those same demographics.

You then follow with this...

"Capitalistic/Christian oxymoron that keeps the weak and poor in economic servitude while offering a PROFITABLE (for himself and others who share this scheming vision) working of a "ponzi scheme to heaven" upon the illegals and downtrodden"

So...Ummmm...I guess you missed the boat just a bit on this one Anon. Then again you also missed the part where I have routinely decried the politicians from BOTH sides of the aisle that do just what you claim. I think it is the worse kind of bigotry to have JHillary Clinton and Linda Chavez talking about how lucky we are to have these people here doing these menial tasks that no American would do and certainly not for the money we pay.

I guess you must have missed the past discussion on immigration where I stated my position on illegal immigration and its solutions...heck...my ideas would have me kicked right out of the conservative movement.

Actually...the more I think about it...from the content of your rantings you must still be pissed off about my critique of your dad.

Lysis said...

Dan;

All the church’s money surely goes into the same pot; in truth if not on paper. It also comes out of the same pot. If my church is giving money to the project in Salt Lake, they are doing so with the support of my tithes. The enormous wealth of the Mormon Church is generated by the gifts of its members, from what ever motivations drives them. From the capital generated and enhanced by honest investment to the salaries of the general authorities to the heat in the office buildings in which the thousands of church employees work, all are made possible by the donations of the membership. Is the Church giving moneys to the project? They could not do so with out tithes and offerings.

Flaccid;

Why are you so angry? You bitter screed proves you a victim of the relativist mind set at every turn. Dose the LDS church have money, yes – does that mean they oppress the poor, NO IT DOES NOT! Please give one iota of evidence of the schemes you pretend exist.

I am poor, but I have only benefited from giving to others through my church; and not necessarily monetarily. Your asinine claim that American keeps illegals down trodden is laughable. They are here in the United States to escape the downtrodden nature of the socialist failures of their home nations. That Capitalistic USA is the hope of the hemisphere and the world, a fact that must truly gall you; since it stirs you to such efforts. Too bad it couldn’t produce anything but another flop.

By the way; no one functions well in collectives. Seventy years of Communist murder taught you nothing, because you can connect the simplest dots of logic and truth.

Anonymous said...

Anon...I do have a suggestion. Just for grins...

Pack your things and move to North Korea or Cuba. Try Canada with their 50% plus tax rates. heck...get ahead of the game and try Venezuela as Chavez moves to socialism...

Or not...continue to be one of those that enjoys the blessings of capitalism all the while whining and complaining about it. what a great country...right?

Ive seen the quote...cant recall precisely where...but a former member of the USSR made this comment (loosely translated) "only someone that has never experienced socialism would think socialism was a good idea."

Lysis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lysis said...

Mindmechanic;

Right to the point as usual; but don’t believe that Flaccid is angry because you critiqued his dad, he is angry because you told him the truth.

a quiet listener said...

Lysis you have said concerning anonymous' claim about the church:
"Please give one iota of evidence of the schemes you pretend exist."

i would ask you do to do the same. why should we doubt that the church is being honest with us with regards to the funding of "downtown rising?"

what evidence do you have that the rest of us don't?

Lysis said...

A Quiet Listener:

I never said the church was being dishonest in their determination to revitalize and maintain Salt Lake City. I believe they have been quite open in their intent and investment. It was Dan who suggested the church was not using tithes for this purpose, I simply pointed out that they surely were. I have nothing particular against using the church’s money to build businesses, office complexes, statures, fountains, fancy buildings, Universities, or even football stadiums – I simply stated that the money might be better used in rescuing Spanish speakers how are drowning in the present broken, P.C. clogged system.

Rumpole said...

Lysis,

I must agree with you about tithes. Why build a mall when you can support football? I prefer that my alms continue to support the Fifteenth Ranked Cougars (in the coaches’ poll, to be precise). With a little more tithing and a little more time, perhaps they could break up the BCS!

You post: “When it comes to helping drowning children, I tend not to worry too much who is to blame until after the kid has been pulled out of the water.”

If my posting has implied that I seek to blame as to Leo’s plight, I have not written clearly. I do not seek to place blame, I seek to place responsibility. There is a big difference. I completely concur that Leo’s situation needs to be resolved. But is it up to the school system?

Are you suggesting that the same school system that paid Bev Hansen (my Sr. English teacher, and department head) to teach the basketball star how to read while the rest of us quietly chatted away our senior year in her class is capable of teaching English to Leo? And make no mistake, Bev wasn’t overburdened by our class, she made it clear that she much preferred teaching the basketball star.

Are you suggesting that Mr. Hilton, my high school physics teacher, who raised my grade from a “D” to a “B” for cleaning out his lab room is capable of such an undertaking?

What about my daughter’s junior high school gym teacher? He was the teacher that was supposed to travel to her class three times a week for Physical Therapy, but never showed up. He even had the audacity to question the regular ed teacher for not covering for him when we had him called on the carpet!

Now I know, and I cannot emphasize to you enough, that these examples are not representative of all teachers; however, the solution to Leo’s problems does not lie with public education. It does not lie with placing blame. It will require private citizens to take responsibility.

I think MindMechanic nails the point when he writes: “Those that purport themselves to be the champions of the poor and downtrodden do nothing but enact policies that will ensure they stay poor, uneducated, hopeless, and dependent on them as their daddy.”

If we truly want to reduce the power government has over our lives, we will reduce our dependency on the government.

Thomas Paine articulates my position far more clearly:

“Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between the two; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.”

Finally, if you are to suggest that organized religion has unfortunately become more like “government” than “society” (by Paine’s definition), I would be hard pressed to disagree. Nevertheless, I firmly believe that Leo’s plight is a problem that society must take on rather than turning to government for solutions. If we look to government, the problem will not be solved.

Lysis said...

Rumpole;

What is this?

I quote you: “I do not seek to place blame, I seek to place responsibility.” Are you too playing word games? Are you implying that Leo is responsible for his condition? That it would be wrong for the government to take responsibility for his rescue?

There are bad teachers out there; I had one. But I would argue that the school system is responsible for a lot of good in this community. I happen to know that you have done a masterful job of raising your “young Republicans” as you call them. You are a college educated, financially successful businessman with a wife and family that support you – but you rely heavily on the State and its government to provide an enormous service to your children.

My children have and continue to benefit from the public education system. Again I reiterate the State, which in the U.S. is the people, and the Government, which is their servant, are responsible for taking care of the children who need saving.

Years ago a little boy was lost at my camp (this was not the one rescued by Harrison Ford). Late in the evening I went to Flag Ranch – the closest phone – and called the Sheriff. I lay awake all night worrying, hoping for the dawn. In the still dark of the early morning, a truck pulled into the parking lot. It was the Sheriff’s Deputy. He was like an angle to me. I, like most, have disparaged the police and other government officials; especially when they have got behind me on the highway. But when you need the government, when you need saving, they are most wonderful. I am mindful of 150,000 government employees risking their lives for me and mine every day in Iraq. In light of the gigantic reliance you and I place on the government – I find it less than reasonable to deny that government’s value in the service of others who are in desperate need.

It will indeed require private citizens to take responsibility – but the government that Thomas Paine (A man who was discredited in America, stirred up the reign of Terror in France, and only escaped the guillotine through the efforts of Thomas Jefferson) is not the government – of, by, and for the people - which SHOULD be the American government.

I call on private citizens, religions, and the government to do what they can to elevate. I agree with you that the government is not the whole of society – but as your own experience demonstrates, the good offices of the government are necessary for even the most dedicated and enabled parent to succeed, they are surely needed in the dismal situation that faces those who cannot speak English in schools where only English is spoken!

Anonymous said...

As much a minimalist I am regarding the Federal government, I have no problem with state government and involvement. I think the public schools by and large provide a great service and would be even more effective with even ADEQUATE parental involvement.

Raise taxes. Increase school spending. AT THE STATE level. And demand results. Provide effective ESL programs. By all means. Encourage parental involvement (heck, invite a parent to school). Encourage community participation.

Ut cant JUST be raise taxes. It cant be just spend more money. And if it is effective we ALL benefit.

Silver Lining said...

One of the basic arguments of John Locke in discussing government was how involved a government should be in the lives of the citizens its governs / how much power should it have. Locke argued, and I would say correctly, that no government ultimately meant no freedom due the malicious part of the nature of man. Likewise, too much government meant no freedom. Where to strike the balance is the question. In forming government, the citizens of that government agree to give up a certain amount of their freedom (sovereignty is often used here) in return for security etc. from the government. You get the idea. I would say there are many occurances of too much government in our nation now. However, I think education is one of the fundamentals of establishing government. Again, if the government is going to really be an effective democratic republic, then we have to rely on the people comprising that republic to be the leaders and to make intelligent choices about who should lead them. Education is key. In the vein of Jefferson and Plato etc., I will argue that a future great leader may be among those who are currently denied an equal and adequate education. Should we not ensure those individuals the tools to become the leaders we need them to be?

Seriously though, I don't understand why the current anything teacher would teach the classes under this idea. For a year, said students would only be taking English immersion from, presumably, an ESL teacher. Perhaps I am not thinking creatively enough, but for all of its flaws, what is more potentially efficient for educating these individuals than the public education system? Perhaps I missed the point and am just now realizing it?

Anonymous said...

SL...

The problem as I see it expressed is that IF they are getting ESL education it is minimal, meanwhile they are in classes where there is little to any comprehension, which...well...is a waste of everyones time. Maybe worse than a waste of time, it could be seen as damaging...making them feel like they are just a number and not valued.

Silver Lining said...

Exactly, so why not make ESL the only class taken for a year before immersing them in "regular" classes? It really isn't a hard change to make. As far as putting kids "behind," that is, at the end of the day, semantics. My friend's son with verbal apraxia would not have been passed from kindergarten to first grade without a lot of extra work on behalf of his parents plus summer school to get him passing the basic language arts requirements. Yet somehow students who have little working knowledge of the english language get passed through the system so as not to leave them "behind." Isn't leaving them behind exactly what we are doing?

Anonymous said...

SL...I think maybe in different words a lot of people are saying the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Dan:
"A State Department poll last summer found NINE OUT OF 10 young IRAQIS, Sunni and Shia, saw the United States as an OCCUPYING force."

MM
You see the word Capitalism and suddenly you are mindlessly downloading every platitude you've EVER accumulated about the word -- same with Socialism.

One thing I have learned from my haunts about the Agora is that for MM and Lysis, words HAVE NO DEFINITIONS, they are emotional neologisms which simply represent GOOD and EVIL.

If you had paid ANY attention to my argument, futher than seeing the words Capitalism/Socialism and slavering up to the trough to gulp down ANOTHER feast of the "good/evil" blather, you might have noticed that my previous post WAS attacking the HYPOCRISY of professing BOTH Christian FAITH and, and, and CAPITALISM (I discribed it as an oxymoron -- you probably thought I was calling names).

While personally not averse to Capitalism OR Christian faith, what I find in YOUR values and "professed" FAITH is an anti-Christian, opportunistic, almost complete supression of what should be REAL CHRISTIAN FAITH; ie, "Love your neighbor as yourself." Replaced with a chest thumping 'freewheeling' Capitalistic 'survival of the fittest' ethic, celebrating SELF INTEREST; ie, "often associated with the claim that each individual, by advancing his OWN self-interest, ultimately advances the GOOD of society." -- A kind of moral "trickle down" ethic!!!!

-"Give to all who beg from you" becomes, "What's mine is mine."

-"Sell all your worldly possessions, give the money to the poor and follow me." becomes "Don't help the poor and disenfranchised -- those who do help are merely seeking POLITICAL POWER for themselves without really helping the poor.

I think Christ would be enraged by this corruption of an unqualified directive given to ALL who aspire to be REAL Christians and not pseudo-Christian profiteers!!!!

Christianity's two greatest tests of FAITH are to "love God with all your heart and all your mind" and to "love your neighbor as YOURSELF.

Is it cost effective? and
Who gets the credit? are two questions that have NEVER inspired anyone to be Christians!!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon...

"While personally not averse to Capitalism OR Christian faith, what I find in YOUR values and "professed" FAITH is an anti-Christian, opportunistic, almost complete supression of what should be REAL CHRISTIAN FAITH; ie, "Love your neighbor as yourself."

Which proves you to be not only blind but a fool.

I wont bother listing my actions lest you perceive them as boasting, but would you care to compare charitable service and donations (yes, even above and beyond tithing)? My will stand comfortably on both my Christian faith AND my actions.

The captialism you on the loony left see is the boardroom corporate greed and bloat. You refuse to see that people liek oh, say, Bill Gates, while the consumate capitalist has also pledged nearly 100 BILLION in personal and private donations in charitable work.

You see capitalism as a dirty word. I see it as economic prosperity that allows for true charity. The left see's big government as the savior, I see it as the slave master.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah...where the blind part comes in...

I get that you have a certain vision of me. So tell me...

When we discussed the immigration problem a few posts back did you miss the part where I laid out my 10 year multibillion dollar investment vision which funnelled dollars from enforcement to education, economic opportunity and growth?

Have you missed the NUMEROUS discussions we have had here where I have stated my position on welfare and service which resides somewhere comfortably left of people like Hillary Clinton?

During the course of THIS discussion where have you heard me (or Lysis for that matter who OPENED THE VOLLEY with an appeal for greater charitable service in
the name of opportunity and prosperity for those in this country that are disadvantaged because of the language barriers)?

You see...my perspective is you waded into the argument with a chip already firmly wedged from your last miserable failure at debate and then proceeded to blather without actually reading ANYTHING which was written. YOU attacked Christian endeavors (oh thats right...it wasnt an attack...all those little comments about the housing for the saints...etc...nah...). Then YOU followed with your rant regarding me and my love for Capitalism.

That everyone here has called for some form of changes which are for the betterment of all is lost on you. That people have a different opinion on how that should occur is...oh...I dont know...NORMAL? Healthy?

That you take a productive discussion regarding opportunites or requirements for growth and prosperity even for those here illegally is, oh...I dont know...TYPICAL?

What was it that Will Rogers once said..."I remember the day when a liberal was someone that was generous with their OWN money..."

Anonymous said...

I know, I know, Capitalism Good, You Good, Bill Gates Good, Me Bad -- I'll even give you that Bill Gates and MM are the greatest philanthropists on the planet, if you will EVER understand, for once, that you have ANY inkling of the argument.

You know, in spite of ever so impressive academic credentials, you cannot concentrate long enough to follow a line of argumentation -- it's like talking to a person who's always exclusively planning what he's going to say next. AT BEST he remembers a few words without comprehension for the sake of appearances, but in reality loves nothing so much as the sound of his own voice!!!!

You quote my posting "that I am not aversive to Capitalism" but still attack my anti-Capitalism????

You see, you just don't grasp the argument -- never have, never will!!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. "left of Hillary".

Then please square your earlier statements . . .
. . . "but cynical guy in me says that the reason TODAY we push for education dollars is to give education bureauacracies POWER -- the driving motivating factor . . .

These that purport themselves to be champions of the poor and downtrodden do nothing but enact policies that will ensure they stay poor" . . .

Should I then assume that your "billions into education plan" as nothing more than pure Christian Philanthropy on YOUR part bucause YOU are a principled Christian/neocon, but avarice and a "power grab" for those scheming Faithless liberals???? What hypocrisy!!!!

NOT Christian -- No not Christian at all.

Anonymous said...

Anon...

I see your WORDS "I am not averse to capitalism". Of course that followed an attack aginst me and capitalism. Ummm...just for consistency sake...please point to ANYWHERE where I have EVER advocated capitalism that
"espouses a Capitalistic/Christian oxymoron that keeps the weak and poor in economic servitude while offering a PROFITABLE (for himself and others who share a "ponzi scheme to heaven" upon the illegals and downtrodden -- keep them "faithful" and their eyes upon heaven while picking their pockets with economic exploitation and servitude here in Capitalistic USA!!!!"

Then we'll talk.

Anonymous said...

Anon...

"please square your earlier statements "but cynical guy in me says that the reason TODAY we push for education dollars is to give education bureauacracies POWER -- the driving motivating factor..."

This is the part where I just cant imagine you can actually be as dense as you appear.

Cynical guy in me believes that politicians from BOTH PARTIES exploit minorities. Cynical guy in me says BOTH PARTIES exploit the poor. Cynical guy in me says that both parties have one goal...target America's different populations to maximize their power base. I dont think there is a dimes difference between our two parties. Ive said that I dont know how many times. They care about their party machine...not the people of the country.

"These that purport themselves to be champions of the poor and downtrodden do nothing but enact policies that will ensure they stay poor"

Yep...I believe that completely. Politicians have done nothing but exacerbate the problem. They profit from it. Thats why they created a welfare system that rewarded unwed parenting of many children but punished the recipient as soon as they tried to improve their economic circumstances.

"Should I then assume that your "billions into education plan" as nothing more than pure Christian Philanthropy on YOUR part bucause YOU are a principled Christian/neocon, but avarice and a "power grab" for those scheming Faithless liberals???? What hypocrisy!!!!"

yep...feel free to assume that. Why? 2 reasons...
1-I dont benefit politically.
2-I dont think they should JUST raise taxes and give more money away and continue to keep the problem going. I would totally support increases provided they were put into effective programs, provided they didnt pour money into the federal budget, provided they dont feed union political machines. In short...provided they actually have a legitimate shot at helping.

But seriously...I dont presume that you will assume anything.

Anonymous said...

Anon...

While you futily try to find a comment that you can twist into somehow saying I believe we should exploit people ala ""ponzi scheme to heaven" upon the illegals and downtrodden -- keep them "faithful" and their eyes upon heaven while picking their pockets with economic exploitation and servitude here in Capitalistic USA!!!!"

please feel free to enjoy the comments of Linda Chavez, one of the head leftists...

"Even if it were possible to put native-born workers into all jobs now performed by immigrants, would it make sense? We spend billions of dollars each year to educate Americans. Do we really want Americans with 13 or more years of education picking lettuce, processing chickens or cleaning toilets -- and are we willing to pay them $18 or $20 an hour to do so? Doesn't it make more sense to match relatively low-skilled, foreign-born workers to jobs that require few skills?"

Nice. That fits right with the "we need illegals to do the jobs no American would do" and "we need illegals to do these jobs because no American would work for the kind of wages they are paid"

And THATS the mantra from the LEFT.

Lysis said...

Flaccid;

Nine out of ten young Iraqis, Sunni and Shia, think that Mohammad saw the Angle Gabriel. Thinking something doesn’t make it so. All you ever sight are polls ; how about some truths.

Neologism: “a recently coined word or phrase, or a recently extended meaning of an existing word or phrase.”

How about starting by explaining that ridiculous claim, with some evidence other that “four out of five Flaccids believe . . .”


Here is your argument: “find in YOUR values and "professed" FAITH is an anti-Christian, opportunistic, almost complete supression of what should be REAL CHRISTIAN FAITH; ie, "Love your neighbor as yourself." Replaced with a chest thumping 'freewheeling' Capitalistic 'survival of the fittest' ethic, celebrating SELF INTEREST; ie, "often associated with the claim that each individual, by advancing his OWN self-interest, ultimately advances the GOOD of society." -- A kind of moral "trickle down" ethic!!!!” is the Devils own lie. One does not demonstrate love for ones neighbor by making him dependent on the “Power of the Devil” (the socialist dictator) to provide “salvation”.

One shows love for ones neighbor by making him free, even as Christ’s sacrifice makes freedom possible through individual choice, even as finding the truth will make us free.

For the record it is not your hollow obfuscation concerning Capitalism by which you are judged here in the Agora, it is by your determination to remove free will by denying opportunity for individual choice that condemns your position.

Mindmechanic;

Thank you for bringing us back to point. My hope is exactly as you claim, that we provide the tools and knowledge to all Americans necessary for them to build their own success. The truth is that Flaccid’s plan of Socialist handouts and enforced ignorance is damnation itself.

Rumpole;

I do believe in Public education – not because I think that the system is anywhere near perfect, but because I believe that a government controlled by a nation of educated individuals is self advantageous, and that We the People are the Government – not a government that takes control the people but one which the people control for their own individual benefit, and thus, “ultimately advances the GOOD of society.”

Anonymous said...

Vegimatic Here,

My 2 cents worth is that the language of business globally is english. Wherever I go, the individuals that I work with from touch labor to management speak with me in english. It is very seldom that I need an interpreter.

This includes my experiences in Mexico.

So you example will not only have a difficult time in the US, but also at home.

Anonymous said...

Neologism: 2: A meaningless word coined by a psychotic.

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary -- 10th Edition

-"Thinking something doesn't make it so."

Nor does thinking something make it NOT so either!!!!

From appearances, and Lysis' arguments, it appears he believes the contrapositive -- NOT thinking DOES make it so!!!!

_______________

Yes, my personal/direct knowledge of events in Iraq is very limited -- I've never been there.

However, those who ARE/WERE there are also limited by a "first person" point of view and by the very nature of such things that place an observer "up close and personal" but SO close as to not be able to see the forest for all the trees --though, Rumsfeld at 10,000 feet, flying over Baghdad, observed that the place looked extremely peaceful to him.

I do not believe EVERY poll, and EVERY personal account is colored by subjectivity. However, it is difficult/impossible to believe all is well in Iraq when even the President is FORCED to admit that our forces are losing.

Though, SOME have a "bunker" mentality in which troops should "fight to the death" to maintain THEIR opportunistic, egomaniacal agenda of what is TRUE and GOOD.

We all know how THAT turned out!!!!

Lysis said...

Flaccid;

You are so predictable; people will be thinking you’re my wind-up-toy. I ask for some evidence of Neologism and all you give are more empty definitions and platitudes. No evidence, no plan, no stand.

You say you do not believe all the polls or the reports; that is obvious to us all. You only believe the polls and reports that fit your relativist position.

America cannot be defeated in Iraq, any more than we could have been defeated in Vietnam. The only way for the U.S. to lose is for us to quit before victory. And now I see that the Democrats are doing their best to make America lose. How the terrorists whose goal is the death of America must cackle with joy to see the Democrats and the whole Flaccid crew rush to give them aid and comfort in their struggle to destroy freedom. What a great team you have CHOSEN to root for Flaccid. (The last is sarcasm.)

Vegimatic;

I agree that English is really the first language. But I also feel that there is no harm in learning others. Anything that broadens our minds and brings people together seems to be to be a positive.

Anonymous said...

Lysis...

"Anything that broadens our minds and brings people together seems to be to be a positive"

If for no other reason it removes barriers and weapons between us.

growing up we vowed things like music, clothing, hair length, etc would never be an obstacle between us as parents and our kids. the tendency to hear "that music is garbage! Turn it down! You dont have to play it so loud" was more likely to be heard spoken by our kids directed at us, than us at them. Instead of fussing about shoulder-length hair, mom gave tips on how to keep it nice and avoid split ends and tangles.

Language should be no different. But sometimes I wonder...when we go out my wife (who has been studying for several years) often tries to order or acknowledge the servers in espaniol. The results are often mixed...I dont know that there is a great appreciation for the effort. Which I think goes back to the community mindset (from both communities).

Anonymous said...

Lysis posts:
"Neologism: "a recently coined word or phrase, or a recently extended meaning of an existing word or phrase."
How about starting by explaining THAT ridiculous claim with some evidence other than "four out of five flaccids believe . . ."

Then later followed by:
"I ask for some evidence of Neologism and all you give are more empty definitions."
_________________
Well, winding up THAT toy certainly put YOUR mind to spinning . . . .

Lysis, YOU defined neologism FIRST,FIRST,FIRST -- I remember having used the word, but for reasons known only to you, YOU chose to DEFINE the word (incompletely, deceptively and without the sense I had used, nor without a source, but with quotation marks, giving me little certainty that the definition was not ENTIRELY a fabricated one out of your infamous NeoCon's/Neologism handbook)

Then in your next sentence and paragraph you challenge me to "explain THAT,THAT,THAT ridiculous claim"!

First, it was YOUR definition, which I had to correct, and NOT any CLAIM of mine at all.

My NEXT posting responded WITH the completed,corrected and sourced definition of neologism.

Now, you post the falsehood that You had "asked for some evidence of neologism and all I gave were empty definitions."

YOURS proved the "empty" definitions.

SOOOOO, evidence of a Lysis' neologism, for example, is over the definition of Terrorism/Terrorist. Lysis DID finally recant his definition, but then recently, having forgotten, recanted his recantation -- the dictionalry warned that the condition WAS psychotic!!!!

I am embarrassed having ALWAYS to correct the predictible vagueness and deception in Lysis' prose and argumentation -- someone might start thinking I'm his English teacher!!!!

Lysis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lysis said...

Flaccid;

You still have given no evidence of any of your claims, you continue in your MO of spouting word and concocting and stretching definition. I have never coined a definition of Terrorist therefore I could not have recanted anything. Desperate to cover your flop you are compelled to lie once again. And still you provide no evidence of anything. For an empiricist you are sorely lacking in empirical evidence.

Meanwhile, empirical evidence or your support for America’s enemies drips from the rotting corpus of your unsupported and therefore facile postings.

Lysis said...

I find an interesting thread of common delusion running through the sputterings of Flaccid, the misdirection of Emersion of non-English Speakers into English only classes without proper preparation, and the Democrats cut and run aspirations toward Iraq. It is the Relativist deception that, things happen just because they say so.

Examples (evidence) follows:

1. Flaccid – incapable of winning an argument, instead says tht he has won and resorts to his vocabulary list. When asked for examples to support his words, he shouts unsupported claims backed only by his ability to use the caps lock key on his typewriter.

2. Neo-libs - aced with the fact that students who have not been given instruction in English and “taught’ the language will end up wasting their time and failing in emersion English Speaking classes – point out that Spanish is just as good a language as English (probably true) and that forcing knowledge on students destroys their cultural heritage and is raciest. Flat lies!

3. Democrats, who need a U.S. defeat in Iraq in order to win the White House in 08 are claiming that the War is Already lost and we need to get out now, before more blood can be lost, as if getting out of Iraq would end the war. A friend has linked me to an interesting Fox News poll, in which 34% of Democrats asked the question, “Do you personally want the Iraq plan President Bush announce last week to succeed?” answered by saying NO and 15% weren’t sure, that means as Dean Barnett puts in on *Townhall.com that*, “49% of Democrats either want us to lose in Iraq or “don’t know” if they want us to succeed.”

This is the team some in the Agora have chosen to root for and even to join. Now that’s scary!

Anonymous said...

Lysis...

I suspect that if they had asked the question "Do you have the first clue just what the plan entails" 95% would fail that one miserably.

Most of the democrats that speak out against Bush do so because it is George Bush.

Social Security reform...prime example. I have YET to meet a democrat or liberal that could explain what was in the platform for social security reform and why they opposed it. Never. Here included.

Just three weeks ago Harry Reid and other top democrats (including Pelosi's choice for the House Intel Committee) were all proponents of increasing troops...right up until it was proposed.

Anonymous said...

"BUSH ADMINISTRATION CAVES"

Or as Lysis likes to put it,
FLIP FLOPS!!!!

Now the Admiministration will be going to the courts for Warrants BEFORE they wiretap and will not be doing their usual WARRANTLESS wiretaps.

THAT'S JUST WHAT THE TERRORISTS WANT!!!!

Just three weeks ago the Administration were proponents of warrantless wiretaps and were claiming they were crucial to homeland security.

This is the team that some at the Agora have chosen to root for and even to join. Now that's scary!!!!

Anonymous said...

Actually they will be going to a secret court. But you could easily see it caving in to the pressures of the left and I agree...it is EXACTLY what the terrorists want.

Lysis said...

Flaccid;

The truth (which you Flaccid seems incapable of presenting) is that once the court ruled that they would support the Administration position by allowing wire tapping on anyone, American Citizen or otherwise, if there was probable cause to assume that either of the parties was IN ANY WAY RELATED to terrorism, the Bush Administration included the courts in the loop. This is a cave in by the liberal courts not by the Bush administration. Only you Flaccid and the neo-lob talking point producers you parrot, could misconstrue a Bush victory to equal a flip flop.

It is the same in every thing. Determined that the terrorists deserve to win the neo-libs declare their victory. Saying it won’t make is so.

Mindmechanic;

The sad thing is that while most Democrats are just Democrats because they are ill informed, some are actually using their hoped for defeat of American as a path to power. They are so desperate to defend their abortion driven agenda they are willing to sacrifice freedom to gain power. It is a Faustian bargain.

Anonymous said...

It is a sign of a nations future when people in the country have it so well that they want to end the silly things like patriotism, national pride, etc. They seek to bring us along to the global community. Sadly...they dont give a very practical examination of that community they want to join.

Anonymous said...

A-a-a-men, amen, amen!

Petra said...

Well written article.