Lodinews.com

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Is it necessary to print ballots in different languages? Why not just choose one?

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 8:58 am, Wed Sep 29, 2010.

Upon receipt of my Sample Ballot for the Consolidated General Election to take place on Nov. 2, 2010, I noticed that the booklet is printed in two separate languages: English and Spanish. Why? Also, why just Spanish in addition to English? Clearly we have immigrants who speak languages other than those legally emigrating from Mexico or any other nation that speaks Spanish, no?

Since the matter of illegal immigration has become a hot topic of late, therein also contains the answer. When anyone goes through the process to become a United States citizen, one of the requirements is that they be able to “... read, write, speak and understand simple words and phrases in English.” As such, the only reason I can fathom for producing this pamphlet in any other language is to placate those who are here illegally.

Yet that doesn’t make any sense since only those who ARE citizens are permitted to vote; there should be absolutely no good reason for the sample or actual ballot (and any information provided to explain them) to be printed in any other language.

The real solution would be to finally agree on a national language; and for the life of me I cannot understand why that wasn’t done a long time ago. Of course since the only way to do this would be to amend the U.S. Constitution, I submit that that is precisely what we should do — now!

Naturally, I have to ponder which language would be preferred as I believe that question would need to be determined first. We cannot simply assume that English would be the proper choice. As a natural-born citizen who speaks English, I know how I’d vote — a complicated issue to tackle that’s for certain, but one clearly worthy of our serious consideration.

In the meantime, since the actual ballots are currently printed in languages other than English, I think it would be appropriate for economic reasons to limit them to English only. After all, only those who should be filling them out need to understand them, right? But how insensitive, bigoted, and hateful would that appear?

Jerome Kinderman

Lodi

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don’t pretend you’re someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don’t threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don’t insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the ‘Report’ link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.
  • 9 Don’t be a troll.
  • 10 Don’t reveal personal information about other commenters. You may reveal your own personal information, but we advise you not to do so.
  • 11 We reserve the right, at our discretion, to monitor, delete or choose not to post any comment. This may include removing or monitoring posts that we believe violate the spirit or letter of these rules, or that we otherwise determine at our discretion needs to be monitored, not posted, or deleted.

Welcome to the discussion.

59 comments:

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 8:48 am on Thu, Oct 7, 2010.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2357

    Mr. Baumbach, since I believe Mr. Naatus was asking, "......well , hmm, what's the word?" rhetorically, I wonder if he would be so kind as to provide the answer himself? That might clear up this little mystery for you and the rest of us.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 8:10 pm on Mon, Oct 4, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Michael Naatus posted at 7:50 pm on Sun, Oct 3, 2010...From my perspective, advocating laws that are contrary to the basic tenets of what America stands for, for the sake of "sharing the wealth" ......well , hmm, what's the word?

    Michael, you stated the above, this based on me suggesting encouraging people to improve and utilize the English language in order to have more opportunity economically, makes no sense to me. Maybe your intellectual capacity is so far above mine that I have no ability to comprehend. I think Ill converse with others that I can understand. I appreciate your attempt to convey your thoughts, but I dont get it.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 10:52 am on Sun, Oct 3, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Michael, I appreciate your constructive tone as well.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 10:48 am on Sun, Oct 3, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    why must you progressive types think it your place to decide on how to teach someone else's children how to learn"

    Michael, can you please clarify what you think “progressive types" are. Since I consider myself on the opposite end of the spectrum, maybe we have different definitions of progressive.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 9:57 am on Sun, Oct 3, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    There's plenty of room in America for people to use other languages. No matter what, English will remain the de facto lingo and I think it would be a good thing if in my lifetime someday I would hear

    I couldn’t agree more, there is plenty of room for all languages, no problem with that.
    To me, that is a separate topic though. Maybe that is my failure to communicate my thoughts as I intended. I think there are people who are disadvantaged economically because of language barriers. I think it is more kind to share economic advantages by encouraging English proficiency. That is why I stated there could be positive consequences if more emphasis is placed in doing that. In my perception, making English the official language and having English only ballets would advance that cause. This has nothing to do with pride and patriotism, just economic concern and help.

     
  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 9:00 am on Sat, Oct 2, 2010.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2357

    As interest in this letter draws to a close, I can't help but wonder why no one offered a solution that would include the elimination of the requirement for legal immigrants to "...write, speak and understand simple words and phrases in English" prior to becoming naturalized citizens. I wonder how the debate would have transpired if someone had thought about that.

    Oh well, until next time . . .

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 8:44 pm on Fri, Oct 1, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405


    If we transfer the positions of the blogs into analogies below as it related to learning and approach to the best way to assimilate. If I am wrong, please correct me. I was just trying to lay the foundation to get to truth rather than mental gymnastics. To me , there are different approaches to achieve the same goals.

    teacher A= might be Jeromes position, but I could be wrong.
    teacher B= Michael Naatus position
    Teacher C= my position

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:18 pm on Fri, Oct 1, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    I do better with facts and real world experience than with logic. Lets take 3 teachers at the third grade level and call then teachers A, B,and C, with all three teachers having Mexican students who migrated from Mexico.
    Teacher “A”, a bilingual education teacher, decides to teach the students in English only and practice full emersion with a goal to quickly assimilate the student into American society.
    Teacher “ B” , a bilingual education teacher, decides to teach each student in the students native language with no goal to teach a second language to any students. Long term goal of assimilation.
    Teacher “ C “, a bilingual education teacher, decides to teach each student in the students native language , but only to the extent that the non-English language learners language is utilized to help those students learn the English language and assimilate ASAP into American Society.

    I see these as 3 models to approach assimilation. If we relate these models to the discussion of best practices of helping Mexicans understand what they are voting for, I would choose model c. My wife was a bilingual education teacher and chose model “ C” to teach. Maybe I would be in favor of multi= language ballots as long as it was conditional, just like model C.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 2:55 pm on Fri, Oct 1, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Michael, I was attempting to focus on your original thought, which was , Making English an official language, logically, would have "no positive consequences". The intention of my original question was to better understand your thinking. What evidence do you have that no positive consequences would result if this law were made. How can you make that statement about something you can only make an educated guess about?

     
  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 11:36 am on Fri, Oct 1, 2010.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2357

    Now as an aside, allow me explain how that error of mine regarding Messrs. Martinez and Naatus cost me a point in this debate (not that anyone is actually keeping score).

    It wasn't until I noticed a glaring error in one of Mr. Naatus' previous posts that I realized my own mistake. As a result, I gladly posted the error and an apology. Of course, this event then eliminated my ability to highlight the error I found on Mr. Naatus' part. Oh well, c'est la vie!

     
  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 11:21 am on Fri, Oct 1, 2010.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2357

    Ooops! I really messed up there. My previous post was directed to Mr. Naatus, not Mr. Martinez. I apologize to both gentlemen for the error.

     
  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 11:17 am on Fri, Oct 1, 2010.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2357

    Mr. Martinez believes that "When an opponent in any debate has to mention the time you made a comment, you know they are struggling with losing, victories don't come any plainer than that."

    Really? That's all you've got? As it pertains to my comments directed to you, I was only raising the issue to give you the benefit of the doubt regarding your disjointed diatribe posted at 12:32 a.m. on Friday, October 1, 2010.

    On the other hand, I often times post the time and date so as to reduce any confusion on the part of the participants of the debate and others who might be following along. The time and number of posts between those made between the debaters is often long and voluminous.

    Of course, you're welcome to claim victory any time you want. I'll leave it to the historians to make the final determination.

     
  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 9:25 am on Fri, Oct 1, 2010.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2357

    After all is said and done, we get back to the basics of progressivism where Mr. Naatus exclaims that adopting a national language “…would serve no purpose other than to suggest one race being inferior to another.” That’s it in a nutshell – if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance or baffle them with B.S., then toss in the race card.

     
  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 8:53 am on Fri, Oct 1, 2010.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2357

    It's interesting that while some people believe that the adopting of English as our official language would "accomplish nothing," they're so adamant against even considering the idea, going so far as to marginalize me personally for putting it out there to think about.

    For example, Mr. Naatus not so subtly displays his contempt for me by insisting that I am somehow pretending to believe that going forth with this would actually be good for the nation. I would have thought the word "believes" to have been the logical choice to describe what I had written, although maybe since it was so late at night (or early in the morning) when he posted that comment he just wasn't thinking clearly. But who am I to guess about his state of mind? After all, isn't this forum for the discussion of ideas that should preclude the need for such sophomoric banter?

    However, notwithstanding Naatus' belief last night that voting on an official language would accomplish nothing, he seems to have changed course early this morning as he now exclaims it would "have no positive consequences." And then goes on to claim that it could very well result in a "threat to civil liberties." That's quite a leap. I noticed that Mr. Naatus inserted a quote regarding the Founders' position, yet failed to provide the source other than to refer to "many historians feeling[s] [of a] consensus" on the matter.

    While I wait for Mr. Naatus’ response with the source, I must reiterate that by not encouraging our newly-adopted citizens to learn the English beyond the basics required for naturalization, it would be THEIR civil liberties that would be in jeopardy. After all, a blind, deaf and dumb electorate is easily manipulated. When you put knowledge into their hands, hearts and minds they might actually start thinking for themselves. And as we should have learned from Nancy Pelosi, et al., regarding the health care "reform" debacle, this is precisely what politicians fear, especially among the more "progressive" elected members of our government.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 8:39 am on Fri, Oct 1, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Michael Naatus posted at 7:27 am on Fri, Oct 1, 2010... Making English an official language, logically, would have no positive consequences. I think it is more important for Americans to understand logic...
    Great news! So all that has to be presented to you is logic, where making English the official language, and the following results of that action, which positive consequences result, and you would change your position. Is that what you are saying... you want logic that demonstraits positive results from this action? So before logic is presented, are there any other reasons that would prevent you from changing your position?

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:05 am on Fri, Oct 1, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Oh forgot.. should have been: good feelings at tax payers expense with little substance.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:02 am on Fri, Oct 1, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Michael, I think you are right, that making English an official language would accomplish nothing, if that is all that is done... but you miss the point completely. If making English an official language results in many consequences, then your “nothing" assertion would be wrong, wouldn't it? If the consequences result in motivating people to better understand English, it will give more opportunity to them. I draw this conclusion because most of my relatives are Mexican. I also know other Mexican families. Some of them who have moved from Mexico to California and are first generation, refuse to let their children speak or read in Spanish as they think it will handicap them in trying to assimilate in our society. So, the Spanish ballot, that California tax payers pay for would never be utilized by these families. Your good intentions and good feeling you get from supporting this issue is just that... good feeling.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 10:20 pm on Thu, Sep 30, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Sam, I do believe you are proud of your family heritage and has contributed in a very positive way to the betterment of lovable Lodi. Please do not take anything Ive said as a negative concerning your family or you. We both know how hard and dedicated that group of people were. My grandfather who had no education,compared to be who has a BA, was much wiser and harder working than I ever could be. Im sure your family is like him.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 10:07 pm on Thu, Sep 30, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Sam Heller posted at 8:42 pm on Thu, Sep 30, 2010...Darrell, we disagree with the fact that you feel ALL citizens feel comfortable with an English-only ballot. I do not...

    Sam, thank you for clarifying. Now I will clarify from my perspective. I never said nor do I think all citizens feel comfortable with an English only ballot. In fact, I would think most citizens would not be comfortable who do not speak English. However, comfort has little to do with what is the right thing to do or what is the best way for people to understand what they are voting for. People may think they understand what they are voting for because the ballot is in their native language, but most are not as a majority of media information is in English only. I am not saying I know what is best, but it is simplistic and unkind to assume that your way is the only way to achieve better results.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 9:52 pm on Thu, Sep 30, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Sam... not trying to pick a fight... just thought by comparing Ebonics , which is used by
    a group of people that have had educational advantages and tax payer suppport to Dakota German dialect whose people had no education at all, and saying" One could easily say that is a lazy dialect " is a very unfair comparison. My family and relatives worked from sun raise to sun set... so to intimate they speak the way they did by it being a "lazy dialect" would be seen as ... well ... what would you call it?

     
  • Sam Heller posted at 8:42 pm on Thu, Sep 30, 2010.

    Sam Heller Posts: 176

    Darrell, we disagree with the fact that you feel ALL citizens feel comfortable with an English-only ballot. I do not.

     
  • Sam Heller posted at 8:36 pm on Thu, Sep 30, 2010.

    Sam Heller Posts: 176

    Darrell, quit trying to pick a fight. I love my Dakota-German heritage. That is why I said "I LOVE IT". My Dakota-German family are/were hard working people who helped built Lodi. I will defend their language and their right to use it to communicate and comprehend. They do not speak "perfect" English, yet they are the backbone of our community.

    As for correcting my blog, I left out a word that I felt was important.

    You take care Darrell.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:34 pm on Thu, Sep 30, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Joanne Bobin posted at 3:31 pm on Thu, Sep 30, 2010...Sorry, but you are still ill-informed, uninformed, and subject to stereotypical suppostions no matter how much your sycophant tries to defend you...

    Unfortunately, you are still thoughtless and apparently, incoherent...

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:29 pm on Thu, Sep 30, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Sam Heller posted at 5:06 pm on Thu, Sep 30, 2010… Ebonics you claim is a result of laziness. What do you consider Dakota-German? One could easily say that is a lazy dialect. I love it

    Sam, now appear to be disingenuous. My grandfather and family line were Dakota-German and spoke what was referred to as low class German. But you know as well as I that these people were mostly uneducated poor farmers from Prussia area that migrated to USA. My grandfather and many others did not go to school. If they did, they were forced to work full time after 3ird grade. To compare them to the people who practices Ebonics while attending a free public education facility for most of their lives is a affront and insult to my grandfather and anyone else from that suffered what they did. You present yourself as a person who is sensitive to the plight of disadvantaged people yet denigrate Germans. That was low class from my perspective.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:16 pm on Thu, Sep 30, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405


    Sam Heller posted at 5:17 pm on Thu, Sep 30, 2010...And that last post should say "makes their voting experience more informative."

    I cannot think of anything as insignificant as making an attempt to correct someone’s spelling, punctuation, grammar or presentation in making a point in a blog. Someone’s ideas or thoughts are important. I would think giving an answer to a question instead of ignoring the answer would be a concern, but you find stating the way I should have expressed my ideas significant. That is sad commentary since you are obviously intelligent.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:04 pm on Thu, Sep 30, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    sam, please clarify....agree to disagree about what? I asked a question that by appearance you have no answer...the question was, what makes you think that goal is accomplished simply by making ballots available in each culture’s native language?

     
  • Sam Heller posted at 5:17 pm on Thu, Sep 30, 2010.

    Sam Heller Posts: 176

    Darrell, I appreciate your point of view and I thank you for sharing it with me. However I guess we can agree to disagree. Have a great evening.

    And that last post should say "makes their voting experience more informative."

     
  • Sam Heller posted at 5:06 pm on Thu, Sep 30, 2010.

    Sam Heller Posts: 176

    Jerome says " but considering whom I now realize Sam Heller to be". Trust me Mr Kinderman, I have never met you. Nor do I really care to.

    Ebonics you claim is a result of laziness. What do you consider Dakota-German? One could easily say that is a lazy dialect. I love it. I also love the Italian-English "mix" I hear from my nephews, and the Jamaican-New York "language" of my sister in law. I love the the Spanish-Cali mix of my brother in law. I could go on and on.

    My point is that all my family members are productive, tax paying citizens. If a ballot in their native language makes their voting a more informative, I am for it.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 3:31 pm on Thu, Sep 30, 2010.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Ha, ha, so condescending of you, Mr. Kinderman! Mr. Baumbach's tallying of my comments is laughable. My list, also, is growing daily.

    And now we know that you are CERTAINLY looking for a WIN!! Slipped out while you were crowing? My, my, I am really sad that my "gotcha moment" (Mr. Kinderman's words) got away from me.

    Sorry, but you are still ill-informed, uninformed, and subject to stereotypical suppostions no matter how much your sycophant tries to defend you.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 9:07 pm on Wed, Sep 29, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Sam...I love that all citizens are not only encouraged to vote, but are also encouraged to "understand" what they are voting for...

    Sam, I agree with you 100% that citizens should be encouraged to vote and understand what they are voting for... but what makes you think that goal is accomplished simply by making ballots available in each culture’s native language. Of course they will understand the ballet, but all the speeches, all the debates on TV, universities and city sponsored debates, all the commercials on TV, all the alternate media sources, Newspapers are mostly in English. I would think a concerted effort should be made to create a learning friendly environment so all cultures can improve their English comprehension and skills in order to achieve the humanitarian goal you have.

     
  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 8:23 pm on Wed, Sep 29, 2010.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2357

    Sam Heller pretends to misunderstand. The Ebonics which I referenced in Oakland of 1996 advanced from nothing more than laziness on the part of teachers to instruct in the proper use of the English language to students equally as lazy to learn it. It had nothing to do with cultural diversity. Such obliteration of our nation’s primary language will only serve to severely limit people from succeeding in a society that requires (and rightfully so) the proper use of any language, regardless of its origin. Of course any reasonably intelligent person would have been able to understand where I was coming from; but considering whom I now realize Sam Heller to be, I’m not at all surprised. It appears I have another Bobin-esque personality in the wings.

    Of course I have nothing against anyone celebrating their heritage and its associated culture. I've never suggested otherwise. But these perversions of diversity have done nothing but hammer wedges between people; not bring them together. The evidence is all around us. Closing our eyes to it won’t make it go away. And refusing to correct our course in this regard will only lead to further destruction of our American way of life. Sadly, I’m becoming more convinced on a near-daily basis that this is precisely what progressives want for our country. Thankfully, it at least appears that the majority of Americans want nothing to do with it.

     
  • Sam Heller posted at 6:02 pm on Wed, Sep 29, 2010.

    Sam Heller Posts: 176

    When family members resort to using their native language to find the "perfect" words to describe something I hardly refer that as a "mish-mash of gibberish ". I am proud to be part of a very large multi-cultural, multi-language family.

    We need to respect others diverse cultural backgrounds. I am proud of my heritage and family history. I am also proud of all the culturally diverse family members I have acquired throughout my lifetime. I want to add that all my family members are productive, hard working citzens and do not use the government to pay their way.

     
  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 5:41 pm on Wed, Sep 29, 2010.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2357

    Mr. Baumbach, whenever I receive a response to any post such as the one to you at 2:58 p.m. today, I realize that the debate is over and I've won. Victories as decisive as that don't come along that often. So congratulations; you've earned it.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 4:24 pm on Wed, Sep 29, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Joanne, I’m still waiting for one positive sentence from you. If you look at your blogs below, only disagreement and put downs for other peoples thinking.

    Sine you are so passionate that everyone is wrong here but you, please set things right.
    1. You stated that the entire basis of Jerome's argument is ill-informed. What do you think his basis is and what specifically do you know that makes you the judge as to what is considered informed? I do not think you can articulate what his basis is.
    2. Jeromes basis serves only to prevent the citizens of this country from making informed choices... then give us your solutions as to how informed choices can be better made.
    Everyone knows that you are expert at being critical and are able to be negative just like the evening news… What are your solutions for making things better? One of Jerome’s main points was to make a case that my making English the national language in USA would result in benefits for Americans. For that, were we treated to your animosity with no solutions in sight.

     
  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 4:21 pm on Wed, Sep 29, 2010.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2357

    Well, at least Ms. Bobin and I agree on one thing: that through common sense and a desire to equip newly adopted citizens of this great nation with a much-needed tool to help them succeed, I hope that one day English becomes our national language.

    However, in furtherance of that goal I have to wonder out loud just why the Founders did not include this as they drafted the founding documents. It looks like I've got my work cut out for me if I'm to move forward to convince others of the wisdom of such a change. Thank you Ms. Bobin for your encouragement, even though I’m confident that was not your intention.

    But at least I won’t attempt to do an end run around the Constitution as our current legislators have let on that they have no compunction against for matters they wish to become law.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 3:57 pm on Wed, Sep 29, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Joanne Bobin posted at 2:58 pm on Wed, Sep 29, 2010...Mr. Baumbach - I am now convinced that you are just downright weird

    Thank you Joanne, if you had said I made sense or seemed reasonable, I would be disappointed. I also think you are weird. Reason being is that you constantly debate and argue points to counter what you think another blogger articulates. The odd part is that you change the subject and debate issues that have nothing to do with the original point. You many time make good points, its just that I wonder who it is that you are debating. For example, the comments you make and conclusions you draw have little to do with Jerome’s article or his responses to you.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 2:58 pm on Wed, Sep 29, 2010.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Mr. Baumbach - I am now convinced that you are just downright weird!

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 2:56 pm on Wed, Sep 29, 2010.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Let's see...where do I begin? Well, let me stick to the original complaint. Mr. Kinderman's proposal that everyone should "adopt English as their first language and to master it," only highlights, once again, his misunderstanding of language acquisition. No matter how hard he tries, how much he wants it, one's "first language" will ALWAYS be the one learned first. Perhaps Mr. Kinderman should check with language acquisition expert, Joe Guzzardi. However, from reading his column for over ten years, I don't believe he has displayed much understanding of the process himself, thus his constant frustration at having to hear other languages being spoken at WalMart.

    This is not to say that English cannot be mastered by second language learners - it most certainly can. But where do you draw the line? You will always have new US citizens who are still acquiring English who may need the assistance of a bilingual ballot...Unless Mr. Kinderman can convince Congress to amend the Constitution in order to institute all the changes he proposes.

     
  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 12:09 pm on Wed, Sep 29, 2010.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2357

    Joanne Bobin would have us believe that those in positions of political power would never use others' ignorance of the English language to further their self-serving aspirations. (See comment made at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday, September 28, 2010)

    Perhaps Ms. Bobin doesn't recall the events leading up to the passage of the health care "reform" bill. Specifically, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi insisted that we (that would be We the People) should simply not concern ourselves with the content of the bill until it was passed. Interesting advice, eh? In addition, President Obama's campaign promises to post the bill online for 72 hours prior to the vote were as shallow as his overall integrity is now known to be.

    What they could not risk is precisely what we’re learning now about the specifics of that law and how it is turning into nothing close to what it was advertised to be. They NEED us ignorant. As a result, they got precisely what they wanted – and they are all very happy indeed. But the majority of Americans are not.

    This would likely not have been the case if more people would learn to read, write, speak and comprehend the English language beyond the “simple” ability to order a Big Mac, fries and a Coke. Yet we’re enabling this type of ignorance by not encouraging everyone to adopt English as their first language and to master it. By the time they cast their first ballot, they should have had sufficient time to understand what they’re voting for in English. If not, then perhaps they’re not really ready to become United States citizens.

    By continuing with their celebration of what they call “diversity,” politicians get to keep on doing what they’ve been doing for a very long time. I can hear the laughter from within the beltway way over here in little ol’ Lodi.

     
  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 10:22 am on Wed, Sep 29, 2010.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2357

    Only a modern-day progressive would have the audacity to suggest that by having citizens learn the language of this country would result in "serving only to prevent the citizens of this country from making informed choices." Of course I expected such responses even as I was writing this particular letter. Still, what a mind-boggling notion!

    The inability to communicate in any nation one chooses to live severely limits their ability to succeed. I submit again that there are far too many politicians who simply MUST keep it that way in order for them to maintain control over them and as a result of their ignorance hold onto their power over the rest of us.

    Sadly, there are also too many natural-born citizens who have never mastered English either. What comes out of their mouths is a mish-mash of gibberish that clearly keeps them from advancing economically as well as socially. Does anyone recall the matter of the proposal to teach "Ebonics" in the Oakland school system? Although thankfully that idea was dismissed, the use of that "language" (term used very loosely here) is still alive and well in many of our urban neighborhoods and in their school systems.

    Once again ad nauseam - we MUST adopt a national language. Failure to do so will result in a society where only those in power will have the ability to communicate and as a result will continue to clamp down on those who cannot.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:35 am on Wed, Sep 29, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Rick, just to be open minded, please articulate specifically what you perceive me or any point made in this blog that is closed minded to you. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe there are points that merit discussion.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:18 am on Wed, Sep 29, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Rick... to you, I am close minded, I think because you rarely agree with me, so you perceive me to be close minded….
    Joanne presented her ideas in a vicious manner which was intended to verbally assault.
    Since you stated "bravo Joanne, you make great points", I take it you are the proud owner of the pit bull foaming at the mouth. I was responding with a simple analogy to mirror the image Joanne put forth, and like kind with you. Rick, I am curious, which points did you think were great.... and why do you think they are great.
    The main point of the whole article was the English is essential in order to take advantage of all America has to offer. It gets turned around to a anti immigration and negative interpretation of the good intentions behind the article. Then you add fuel to the fire. Who is really the closed minded people here?

     
  • Ricky Yorn posted at 10:17 pm on Tue, Sep 28, 2010.

    Rick Yorn Posts: 37

    bravo Joanne, you make great points.

    Darrell...well....I'd say A for effort but your last attempt was just...well....barely and attempt.

    "pit bull foaming at the mouth, or you were from New York."...

    All you proved was that you make close minded and irrational accusations when you read something that you do not agree with.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 8:07 pm on Tue, Sep 28, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Joanne...You are from New York; as Steve would say... that explains a lot.

    When someone is as subtle, graceful, delicate and eloquent to write something like…
    "The entire basis of Jerome's argument is ill-informed, uninformed, subject to stereotypical suppositions, and serves only to prevent the citizens of this country from making informed choices", it means one of two things... you are a pit bull foaming at the mouth, or you were from New York.
    I know that sounds crude, but all my experiences with people from NY have been unpleasant.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 7:58 pm on Tue, Sep 28, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Joanne... YOU KEEP MISSTATING EVERYONE.
    for example, you state:The idea that this country is no longer a melting pot is a weak argument ... no one said that this country is no longer a melting pot. That is your misguided conclusion you drew, as normal.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 7:05 pm on Tue, Sep 28, 2010.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Jerome at 4:02PM wants us to believe that he is only trying to prevent some nebulous hostile forces (legislative translators) from "tweeking" the language in order to persuade immigrant voters to vote a certain way.

    That argument is no better than claiming that the people in line at the grocery store in front of you are speaking (insert foreign language) because they are talking about you. Let's be honest...people have better things to do.

    The entire basis of Jerome's argument is ill-informed, uninformed, subject to stereotypical suppositions, and serves only to prevent the citizens of this country from making informed choices.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 6:56 pm on Tue, Sep 28, 2010.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Mr. Baumbach at 4:19PM stated: "Jerome,It used to be that we were a melting pot in order to becoming a truly “United” States of America; but that's no longer the case..."

    I was born and raised in New York City, home of the term "melting pot," and I can testify that EVERY ethnicity spoke their native languages, every ethnicity had/has their own enclaves - and that was a VERY long time ago. My own grandmother, who came through Ellis Island in 1898, spoke nothing but Hungarian until the day she died - and she was a US citizen.

    The idea that this country is no longer a melting pot is a weak argument made by those who somehow have idealized past immigration and want people to believe that present immigrants have no desire to assimilate. That argument does not hold water.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 6:41 pm on Tue, Sep 28, 2010.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Mr. Baumbach at 1:42PM: Consistent with your past comments, you totally ignored the bulk of my commentary only to accuse me of "picking a fight with (your hero) Jerome." I believe I more than sufficiently covered my counter argument to Mr. Kinderman's letter.

    To your second point - "political power," demographics, call it what you like. You are perfectly welcome to go out and campaign for bilingual ballots for every language if you feel that is the answer.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 4:19 pm on Tue, Sep 28, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Jerome,It used to be that we were a melting pot in order to becoming a truly “United” States of America; but that's no longer the case...

    Jerome, I have been thinking about the melting pot issue for years. It seems like we are more polarized and separated that 30 years ago. I have had the gut feeling that there needs to more unification. Language, education and American experiences should be shared in order to achieve that end.

     
  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 4:02 pm on Tue, Sep 28, 2010.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2357

    For all of the "... love that all citizens are not only encouraged to vote, but are also encouraged to 'understand' what they are voting for," I wonder how much of what is lost in the translation from English to those other languages is either by accident or by design? What better way to manipulate these folks than by tweaking words or phrases to change their true meaning, if only by a little in order to have them vote a certain way?

    No, the only way to protect their vote is to have one common language. At least in that way we can all be duped in the same tongue; or we can defeat them in one voice – just as the Founders envisioned.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 2:45 pm on Tue, Sep 28, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2028

    As I read through the discussion one thing kept coming to mind. All those foreign made, some assembly required directions I have read over the years. I'm sure they made sense in the native tongue but I English didn't make any sense. It makes me wonder if language that is complicated in it's own language is all the more confusing translated.

    Here is another argument for one language ballots. What language are the politicians speaking? If the people voting can't understand what the people are saying then how are they making informed decisions? Who is telling them how to vote if they have no idea what the politician is saying?

     
  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 1:59 pm on Tue, Sep 28, 2010.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2357

    Ballots (and other government documents) written in a multitude of different languages is not only a colossal waste of resources, but while some may think it encourages people to understand what they're voting for, it discourages them from assimilating into the American way of life. Clearly at least five years should be enough time to achieve more than the ability to “…read, write, speak and understand ‘simple’ words and phrases in English.”

    It used to be that we were a melting pot in order to becoming a truly “United” States of America; but that's no longer the case. For many the more disparate or diverse we are the better. Until we return to "One Nation Under God," rather than a multitude of persons recognized by hyphenated identities, we will only continue our downward spiral. By not having commonality through our language, how can we even begin to truly understand one another? It simply makes no sense.

    We need to establish one official language.

     
  • Jonathan Shinn posted at 1:34 pm on Tue, Sep 28, 2010.

    Jonathan Shinn Posts: 6

    Darrell: I like that ballots are available in multiple languages. I think it's a good idea.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 1:24 pm on Tue, Sep 28, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Jonathan Shinn posted at 10:51 am on Tue, Sep 28, 2010...am glad that our process does not hold linguistic aptitude as a litmus test for participation.

    Can you please restate this in a way that a simple man like me can understand? What do you mean by “linguistic aptitude”, & if “linguistic aptitude " is not a litmus test for participation, what would be an appropriate litmus test for participation? In addition, I know you think you understand the sentiment that underpins Mr. Kinderman's letter, but can you please articulate in your words what you think they are? It appears that you do not understand if you agree with Joanne completely. Also, since you state” The very nature of ballot language precludes even native English speakers from making informed decisions, what are you saying would not preclude a person from making an informed decision?. Are you saying that having a ballot in Chinese, for example, in USA would help a voter to know about the candidate they are voting for? I would think having the ability to understand English better would give opportunity to a voter to listen to a politician and make a better informed decision? I am not saying you are wrong or right, but I am saying reading your blog leaves me confused as to what you really think should be policy and how things should be.

     
  • Sam Heller posted at 1:05 pm on Tue, Sep 28, 2010.

    Sam Heller Posts: 176

    Our California ballot is currently available in seven languages: English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese. I love that all citizens are not only encouraged to vote, but are also encouraged to "understand" what they are voting for.

    Jon and Joanne, great blogs.

     
  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 11:42 am on Tue, Sep 28, 2010.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2357

    In addition to the requirements respecting the comprehension of English, there are other requirements before one becomes a naturalized citizen. Among those are “Hav[ing] resided continuously in the United States, having been lawfully admitted for permanent residence, for five years immediately preceding the date you filed your application for naturalization.”

    My research in this regard reveals that it isn’t all as simple as it sounds, but how well should one expect to be able to “…read, write, speak, and understand simple words and phrases in English” when the additional requirements above are taken into account?

    In the 1980s I spent three years in West Germany with the U.S. Air Force. Although I was housed on the installation and interacted mostly with other Service members, by the time I returned to the States, I was able to understand German to a rather nice extent. While by no means was I fluent, I was also under no pressure to learn the language as it was never my intention to become a German citizen.

    From my experience in the American workforce, when required to either gain employment or keep the job I had, I could accelerate my learning abilities when the pressure was on – much as I would expect any prospective naturalized U.S. citizen would experience as the swearing-in day approached.

     
  • Jonathan Shinn posted at 10:51 am on Tue, Sep 28, 2010.

    Jonathan Shinn Posts: 6

    Ms. Bobin: My thoughts exactly. There is blatant contradiction between Mr. Kinderman's excerpt from the citizenship requirements ("...speak and understand simple words and phrases in English") and his general theme. The very nature of ballot language precludes even native English speakers from making informed decisions; how, then, does he expect that second language learners would have a level of comprehension that would allow a reasoned vote? By restricting ballot language to English only, we would be encouraging sloppy, uninformed decision making, and even worse, restricting significant swathes of the population from participating in the democratic process.

    I understand the sentiment that underpins Mr. Kinderman's letter, but situations such as these are simply not as convenient or simple as he might wish. I, for one, am glad that our process does not hold linguistic aptitude as a litmus test for participation.

     
  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 10:47 am on Tue, Sep 28, 2010.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2357

    Considering our contentious relationship on this forum, I can only imagine the glee Ms. Bobin must be feeling believing that she achieved a “gotcha” moment in one of my letters. Does she really think I didn't understand the significance of the word "simple" as it pertains to a new citizen's ability to understand English?

    The fact is a naturalized citizen's requirements insofar as our language is concerned should only be simple for a short period of time. I would hope anyone who goes through the long and arduous process of becoming a legal citizen would want to assimilate into American society as quickly as possible; honing one's reading, writing, speaking and comprehension skills should be at the top of their list going forward from the date they take the oath.

    As far as understanding a ballot, I would submit that even for folks who have been speaking, reading and understanding the English language since birth would have difficulty with many of the measures and propositions that we decide through voting. That's where it should be incumbent upon all of us to do whatever it takes to fully understand what it is we're voting for (or against) prior to Election Day. Discussions with friends, family and acquaintances is a good start; just as is listening to the radio, watching television and reading newspapers should greatly assist even the most language-challenged among us. But taking the time to actually learn the language to include grammar and sentence structure will go a long way to succeeding in the United States.

    I wonder though, if I were to become a citizen of any other country would I be correct to expect (or demand) that their ballots include my native language? The notion itself is ludicrous.

    As long as we handicap our newly sworn-in citizens by not encouraging them to learn English, they're going to have bigger problems living here than who or what they vote for. As such I submit there are many politicians and political parties who would like it to remain that way. After all, an ignorant electorate is easily manipulated.

    It’s about time we established a National Language – English.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 9:14 am on Tue, Sep 28, 2010.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Mr. Kinderman wrote: "When anyone goes through the process to become a United States citizen,one of the requirements is that they be able to “... read, write, speak and understand simple words and phrases in English.”

    and

    "As such, the only reason I can fathom for producing this pamphlet in any other language is to placate those who are here illegally."

    In the first sentence, Mr. Kinderman inadvertantly answers his own question. Why are ballots printed in Spanish? Perhaps Mr. Kinderman should consider how complicated ballot language can be. For example, this was taken directly from my sample ballot:

    Proposition 23: Suspends implementation of air pollution control law (AB 32) requiring major sources of emissions to report and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, until unemployment drops to 5.5 percent or less for full year.

    Fiscal impact: Likely modest net increase in overall economic activity in the state from suspension of greenhouse gases regulatory activity, resulting in a potentially significant net increase in state and local revenues.

    Not complicated for the average native English speaker, right? Hardly. There are many native English speakers who will read this and wonder what in the world this really means. Should I vote for this or not? How does this ballot measure effect me?

    Do citizens really want voters to make voting decisions without really understanding what it is they are voting on?

    Before writing his letter, which I would NOT consider in the least, "insensitive, bigoted, and hateful," perhaps Mr. Kinderman could have done some research on language acquisition. He compares "simple words and phrases in English" to the technical language used in ballot measures.

    Mr. Kinderman, personally, has an excellent command of the English language. One of the biggest criticisms of student writing on college campuses today is that students have not acquired an "academic register," something Mr. Kinderman clearly possesses. If students attending university who, hopefully, have acquired skill in the English language (native speakers or not) cannot read, write and speak at the expected academic level, how does Mr. Kinderman believe that those who have recently acquired "simple" English language skills could possibly understand the ballot?

    As for the second statement (above) that Mr. Kinderman made, I am really puzzled as to why he could possibly think that having ballots in other languages could or would "placate" those who are here illegally. This statement begs clarification and I, for one, would love being able to comprehend how he made this connection.

     

Recent Comments

Posted 22 hours ago by Steve Schmidt.

Posted 22 hours ago by Jien Kaur.

article: Letter: Immigration crisis is linked to…

Here is link to article that fit in with this halloween costume. http://www.vanguardnewsnetwork.com/v1/2005/Staff031305MaliciousDuo.htm

More...

Posted 22 hours ago by Thomas Heuer.

article: Steve Hansen: Climate change is real, b…

Jien, As I think I have said before, don't under estimate the value a little humor can bring to a serious discussion.

More...

Posted 22 hours ago by Jien Kaur.

article: Letter: Immigration crisis is linked to…

"They are largely illiterate in their own language, overwhelming our schools and impeding the education of English-speaking students.&…

More...

Posted 23 hours ago by Jien Kaur.

article: Letter: Immigration crisis is linked to…

"beetle in a dung heap" The nirvana is very far from the reach of the Mr Portal. So must comply with the cycle of birth, life, …

More...

Video

Popular Stories

Poll

Loading…

Your News

News for the community, by the community.

Featured Events

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists