Efforts for non-English speakers

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Your Opinions

Thoughts On Issues Relating To Harford County

April 03, 2005

Consider continent's first real languages

What considerations do you think the government should give to residents who don't speak English?

Here are readers' views:It's ironic that those who settled North America and had little regard for the ways and language of the indigenous peoples would feel that English is the proper language for the United States.

Is there any wonder why I as a Cherokee would see this as just a tad hypocritical? Rather than turn this into a screed against the original settlers, please allow me to point out that English wasn't the first language of the land now known as the United States.

We were kind enough to include the Europeans. Perhaps they can display similar kindness toward those from other lands and cultures.

G. Kevin Bellamy


Forced `diversity' hurts cohesiveness

I am Hispanic, I came to the U.S. as a legal immigrant, I learned English and I am a U.S. citizen.

During the past ten years, our government has been pushing "social diversity" down American throats. We are choking on "diversity." Yet, the social engineers insist on cohesiveness between racial and ethnic groups who have separate languages, cultures and even flags.

We are becoming a balkanized nation.

Our government prints materials in different languages, our ballots are in different languages, road signs, signs in stores are in different languages and they even provide interpreters. So-called civil rights leaders and politicians pit one ethnic group or race against the other by telling them that they are being abused by the others and promising special treatment to each!

It's time to end this madness. Let's start with making English the official language of the United States of America. No more signs in foreign languages and no more translators paid by U.S. taxpayers. "Want to live in the U.S.? Learn English, like I did!"

Thumbs up to Del. Pat McDonough!

Haydee Pavia

Laguna Woods, Calif.

National unity tied to official language

As an immigrant who has lived in many countries, I must say that the bill introduced by Del. Patrick L. McDonough is long overdue. Americans concerned about our national unity should support English as the official language and require that state and local governments to publish documents in English.

The United States has well over 30 million foreign-born from over 100 countries speaking over 100 languages. If English is not the official language, which other language should be?

It is also high time that Congress adopts a moratorium on immigration so that newcomers can be proficient in English and assimilate.

Yeh Ling-Ling

Executive Director, Diversity Alliance for a Sustainable America

Oakland, Calif.

Legislation made problems worse

Two monstrosities have been quietly contributing to the balkanization of America in the name of diversity. The 1975 amendment to the Voting Rights Act, which forces municipalities with certain non-English speaking populations to provide foreign language ballots on demand. And Bill Clinton's Limited English Proficiency (LEP) mandate of 2000, which turned the inability to communicate in English into a civil right and orders government offices to provide for any kind of interpreter on demand!

Both put undue burdens on government at all levels. When voter registrars or other individuals challenge these assaults on common sense, bullies from the Department of Justice will send out waves of goons to investigate, and if need be, sue in federal court before a Clintonesque judge. It happened up here in Reading, Pa., and the GOP weaklings in my own Allentown caved in rather than fight.

Peter B. Hrycenko

Allentown, Pa.

Speakout: Next week's question

ISSUE: The Maryland Police Training Commission, which sets minimum standards for police recruits across the state, is considering a proposal to further ease the rules on prior drug use in order to attract more applicants to short-staffed departments. The proposal, which also tightens some restrictions, would permit applicants who had smoked marijuana as recently as three years ago, compared with the current standard of at least seven years ago. It would also permit recruits to have used cocaine up to five times - though not in the previous three years - up from the current limit of three uses, the most recent at least two years ago.

PRO: "There are others who are more realistic and recognize that the applicants that you get in today's society [are] from the '60s on up, where there was a cultural and a social change, and drugs were more prevalent," said Carroll County Sheriff Kenneth L. Tregoning, a commission member who supports the proposal.

CON: "Law enforcement should be held to a higher standard," said Gary McLhinney, chief of the Maryland Transportation Authority police, which employs stricter rules. "I can only control my agency, and I want to be known as the agency that does not compromise standards. I don't care if I only have one person apply."

YOUR VIEW: In Harford County, the sheriff's office typically turns down half of the applicants who initially apply for jobs because of previous drug use. What changes, if any, should the Harford Sheriff's Office consider in its policy on previous drug use?

Please send e-mail responses by Thursday to harford.speakout @baltsun.com. A selection of responses will be published Sunday. Please keep your responses short and include your name, address and telephone number. Addresses and phone numbers will not be published.

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