Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Que Pasa?

As goes West Virginia, so goes the rest of the country? It looks like they made English the official language in West Virginia. I live only an hour from the state. Yes, I have been there, and actually it is very pretty country out there, but I'm afraid some of the stereotypes about West Virginians are true in places. I'm actually not particularly incensed one way or another about this issue, except that it feeds a common conservative fallacy that immigrants don't want to learn the language. Sure, you can point at some people that don't and say "see!", but if you saw how full the adult ESL classes are around here, you would know otherwise. The kids most certainly know how to speak English, often very well.

As for immigration in general, that is something that I am a little torn about. I am actually on the conservative side in saying that I think we can and should make the borders much, much tighter for those trying to get across illegally, like slowing it from a flood to a trickle. Obviously there is a level at which it gets prohibitively expensive to cut off that last one or two percent, but we are clearly nowhere near that level of effort now. We have a lot of work to do, but Bush is worried that he will lose business votes that like the cheap labor, and Bush as well as Democrats are worried about losing Hispanic votes. I was a little concerned that the Minutemen volunteers might be a little trigger-happy, but not too much so. It seems that there was no reason to be concerned, and they did what they wanted to do pretty effectively as far as I can tell. On the other hand, I agree with the liberal side in saying that I don't think it's wise to cut off the help that many immigrants already get that are here. If we cut off the border like we should, and how some conservatives want to, the problem with funds going toward these programs would drop off amazingly quickly. Then we wouldn't have to be as concerned about the money aspect of it, as they assimilated into mainstream society, and still be a compassionate country as we can be, yes even to people currently here illegally. It's too late and unnecessary to turn back the clock on them if we follow this plan.

Along with that, once the illegal crossings are largely shut down, we can have greater control and security over who we let in. A guest worker program that is large and comprehensive can take over, so that businesses can get the labor that they want as well. Many fewer undocumented immigrants around, less of a burden on the education and health care systems in short order, business gets what they want, and we are more secure as a country. What's not to like here?

I also have a much longer post about moral relativism and moral absolutism in progress, but it's not finished yet. Look for that tomorrow.


Two Dogs said...

I am all for a Nationalized language to reduce publishing cost for government publications. Winter Park, Florida was forced to publish their ballots in Spanish as well as English even though there was no one voting that used the ballot at all.

As far as the border situation is concerned, I think that the current circumstances of volunteers taking over a job that the government has failed to accomplish is a good idea. When your government can't do the simple tasks that it was commissioned to do, it's time for the citizens to take over and enforce the law.

Hector Vex said...

I think they were changing it to 'english' from 'redneck.'

Two Dogs said...

You mean in west Virginia? I think that it even goes farther than that. West Virginia is the only state that can boast having a Klan Kleagle as a Senator.

Imara said...

Erik, I agree, the issue of immigration is a tricky one. I understand the demand for cheap labor, but having masses of people flock to this country illegally is not conducive to our national security.

Your plan sounds like a fair one... ever consider running for office? We sure could use a level-headed, progressive thinker, like yourself!

Erik Grow said...

Two Dogs, can people not change? Dubyah was a drunk and almost certainly snorted a little coke in his day, but I do not hold it against him. Byrd was in the Klan, and is no longer. Are you selective in who you would give forgive?

Hector, the official language of West Virginia includes several different hog calls. The sad part is that the calls are used for women.

Imara, thank you! I have considered it, but I ultimately don't know that it's my calling. I have been seriously considering getting more politically involved though.

nicnerd said...

the official language of West Virginia includes several different hog call

You got me going on that one - LOL

With regard to the language iissue. I am all for a national recognition of English as the official language. It boggles my mind that other people expect everyone else to adapt to their needs.

Two Dogs said...

Oh, and Byrd used the dreaded "n" word three times in an interview in 2003. Even though "white" was the word preceeding it, seems that he would come up with a better word. I guess that his perspective has changed so much that he has now received his "ghetto pass".

People born and bred on racism, Erik, do not change without some type of epiphany. Wonder what Byrd's has been?

And how in the Hell does having a disease equate with being a racist and bigot? 1955: Alcoholism deemed a disease by the AMA. As far as I know, Byrd cannot claim that he has the "illness or disease" of being a stupid, dumbass, moon-pie eating cracker.

Jack's Shack said...

The language issue is a problem for people of narrow mind and focus, it is a provincial attitude.

Immigrants are trying to learn how to speak English.

nicnerd said...

I think twodogs really says it well, racism is deep in your heart. It is not something that simply changes over time. Generally yes, I racist can change their ways, but I suppose I would defer to step and 9:

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

There would need to be a similar coming to terms and an attempt at atonement. Byrd is still an active bigot, which I suppose is acceptable to the voters in his state.

Two Dogs said...

nicnerd, you are being too kind to West Virginia voters. To be a racist, one has to be a moron, but to vote for Byrd, not only do you have to be a racist, but a dishonest one at that. Racist and a liar, that's a good mix.

nicnerd said...

See I am just a bit more diplomatic that you. I can put on my FOAD hat at times too. I do agree with you though, West Virginia is like the twilight zone. It is sort of like the People's Republic of Maryland, only with white trash rather than the regular bleeding heart liberals.