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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

The rant of the litter

One of the Rants in last night's paper was mean to me:

I read Leo Morris' column about class reunions. I think he was a little disrespectful saying the "band geeks" were huddled in one corner and the "school newspaper nerds" were gathered in another.

Actually, I thought my column was rather tame. I didn't point out that the newspaper nerds were talking about all the parties they had never been invited to back in high school (we never are, you know), and I didn't observe that the band geeks were whimpering and twitching. And I didn't even say a thing about the other two corners, with the drama dweebs ("Remember when I got to play George in 'Our Town'?!") and the Science Club twerps, whose lives haven't been the same since the demise of pocket protectors.

Another Rant caught my eye, too.

You have been showing pictures of a lot of people learning Spanish so they can learn to speak it. I feel you should show pictures of Hispanics taking English classes so that they are able to speak English.

Una cosa odiosa a decir. Esta persona se parece temer a los que sean diferentes. No muy americano.


Thu, 08/25/2005 - 6:45am


That's B.S. I dare you to print that horse-sh*t (in English) in the paper. Do it. It's insulting to nearly all of your readership, some of whom might even be intelligent enough to realize they're being insulted and do something about it, like cancel their subs. We'[Americans]'re not bad people to wish to preserve our culture. We're not racists to insist that those who wish to come here should learn the language and acclimate themselves to the American way of life.

Mexico is a fascinating country, and Spanish is a beautiful language. But if I were to move to Mexico, I'd damn well make sure that I learned enough Spanish to interact with governmental officials as well as with my new neighbors. It would be arrogant and foolish to do anything else--just as it's arrogant and/or foolish for Mexicans, Hondurans, Brazilians, Sudanese, or anyone else who comes to America to expect to be coddled and have translators provided at no cost (to the immigrant).

You libertarians are fantasists on the issue of immigration. In fact, immigration is what ultimately caused my disillusionment with libertarians. Wake up. Immigration was once good for America but we need a break from it, to expel those who've come here illegally, and to allow time to assimilate those who have come here *legally* into the American way of life. You call that not very American? Ha. I call you a fool.

Thu, 08/25/2005 - 12:30pm

Do we now have to be politically correct when we speak of those long ago high school days?

Mike Sylvester LP
Thu, 08/25/2005 - 1:24pm

Not all Libertarians are in favor of illegal immigration, not by any stretch of the imagination.

I am The Chairman of The Allen County Party. I am 100% in favor of enforcing our borders and I am 100% in favor of deporting illegal immigrants.

I also agree that immigrants need to learn to speak English.

Not all Libertarians think that the borders should be open, I sure do not!

Thu, 08/25/2005 - 4:33pm

It seems to me, Barry, by "preserve our culture" you mean to say that American culture is static -- something that is perfect the way it is. No changes necessary.

How do you suppose American culture became what it is today?

The American culture succeeds only by being a growing, evolving, living thing.

You say everyone entering the U.S. "should learn the language."


But they need help to learn English -- one of the most difficult languages to learn.

Are you going to memorize and understand the Spanish words for all human body parts (both internal and external), medical terms and drug names that will be critical to your health when you become ill while acclimating yourself to the Mexican culture?

People have to learn a new language somehow.

Offering a translator in lieu of thumbing through a Spanish/English dictionary may be the difference between life and death to some of these people.

I am embarrassed by people like you who say, "American way of life," when your definition is a major symptom of suffocated thinking.

Leo Morris
Thu, 08/25/2005 - 7:52pm

SUE: Apparently so, sad to say. Political correctness is retroactive. If we have to judge, say, 19th century families by today's standards and call them repressive fascists because they insisted on meeting their daughters' suitors before permitting them to sleep together and create the need for an abortion the law says the parents can't be told about, then OF COURSE we can't be permitted to talk about the high school we knew using the terms we knew.

MIKE: We don't have a single immigration problem. We have a lack of a coherent immigration policy in two parts:

1. A porous border that no one seems to take seriously. If a nation doesn't guard its borders, it can't protect its identity. This would be criminal even in normal times. These days, with the fear of terrorists sneaking into the country, it's nearly treasonous. The sad part is that our turning a blind eye to illegal immigration is done, in large part, to win the votes of Hispanics. But a majority of Hispancis would be tough on illegal immigration, because, guess what, they consider themselves Americans, too. (See http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2002449922_navarrette24.html)

2. We make LEGAL immigration far too hard, with stingy formulas that don't let enough people in and reward some parts of the world and punish others. I would define what we want in an American and let in people who pass that test and keep out those who don't, no matter how many there are or where they come from.

Maybe this isn't a "libertarian" view of immigration, but it seems to make sense. We always have been and always should be a nation of immigrants. That doesn't mean we can't define the terms of immigration or protect our borders.

JANE: Gracias. Your view of "the American culture" matches mine. If America stands for anything, it is the grand adventure of constantly reinventing ourselves based on all the experiments we try. Our culture is the most universal in the history of the world, because we borrow so shamelessly from all other cultures. NINETY PERCENT of Hispanics, by the way, believe learning English is crucial to making the most of the American experience. See http://www.puertorico-herald.org/issues/2003/vol7n03/HispanCiteImp-en.shtml
BARRY: The English translation of what I wrote in Spanish is: "A hateful thing to say. This person seems to fear those who are different. Not very American." (At least I hope it says approximately that. I, too, believe Spanish is a beautiful language, but I'm still learning it.) I realize, Sue, that citing our differences makes me sound like one of those politically correct, nonjudgmental wusses who think all cultures are equally valid and we have to tiptoe reverentially around each other's group identities. I don't mean to sound that way. I've written scores of editorials and columns over the years about the need for Americans to find and celebrate what they have in common rather than pick at what makes them different. That does NOT mean we should not find joy in each other's uniquenesses (a much better word than "diversity"). There is a fine line, Barry, between being justifiably angry at stupid policies (such as giving drivers' licenses to illegal immigrants) and taking it out on people who are trying as hard as they can to understand and live up to Americanism. If seeing pictures of Americans learning Spanish sets you off, you may be in danger of crossing that line. If the whole issue compels you to lead off your comments with "horsesh*t, you surely are.

Fri, 08/26/2005 - 6:53am

Nice try, Leo, but seeing pictures of Americans learning Spanish isn't what set me off. My "horse-sh*t" was a response to YOUR response (calling it "not very American") to someone else's rant about the picture.

Every time Americans object to immigration, we're either subject to soft censorship (i.e., ignored) or called racists or some variation of un-American. I like your writing most of the time, Leo, but you are completely out of touch with the average Americano's view on this immigrant invasion. The reason you're out of touch is that this isn't something most of us are willing to publicly discuss. Sure, we'll mention it to our families, and to our very close friends. But we know that any time we broach the issue in a public forum we'll face the same kind of abuse that you dished out to the "ranter": "not very American." Fah.

We're waking up, Leo, and we're going to seal that border.

Leo Morris
Fri, 08/26/2005 - 7:00am

I believe I said a porous border is part of the problem and that failure to protect our border is "nearly treasonous." What is our disagreement? Or by "sealing that border," do you mean closing off this nation to all immigration of any kind?

Fri, 08/26/2005 - 7:40am

Jane said:

"I am embarrassed by people like you who say, "American way of life," when your definition is a major symptom of suffocated thinking."

The American way of life is a struggle for individual freedom & individual responsibility. If that embarasses you, Jane, then I feel sorry for you. (And yes, if I move to Mexico--or any other nation in which English isn't the predominant language--it is MY responsibility to learn the native language. That risk--of not being able to make oneself understood in a foreign land--is one of the risks inherent in traveling, let alone in moving to another land. If you--or the immigrant hordes presently in America--can't deal with that, then tough. You'll find out how life works the hard way.)

You "enlightened" ones who think you're our betters are full of something, alright, but it's not "truth and light"--it's smugness.

Americans are being attacked on all sides. On one side, by the immigrant hordes. (We understand why they invade: the societies they're fleeing are largely corrupt and failed.) On another side, by the political Left, which always sides against the American people in favor of "the oppressed." On the third side, by the Business Interest, which wants more & more illegals because they work cheap, and can be manipulated easily with threats of deportation.

Fortunately, Americans are of a hardy stock. We didn't stand down against the British Empire, and we'll not stand down against the foes arrayed against us on three sides now. We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore.

To Leo, I offer a mea culpa. I am sorry, in my haste (I am at work), I skipped the part of your message addressed to Mike. I'm glad you're on board with the need to seal the border.

Mike Sylvester LP
Fri, 08/26/2005 - 8:12am

We are definately a nation of immigrants. No one can dispute that.

In my opinion we have THREE immigration problems.

1. We do not have control of our borders at all. We must take control of our borders and prevent anyone from crossing the border illegally.

2. Our legal immigration system needs to be streamlined. I lot of immigrants have come to this country and are trying to become legal immigrants through the system. I applaud them. We need to improve this system. We need to allow more legal immigration...

3. We need to do something about the 10-12 million illegal immigrants who are currently in this country. This is a massive problem that is being ignored. We should NOT REWARD illegal immigrants who have violated our laws.

English is the one language that ties this country together. We need to keep it that way. Speaking English should be a requirement for citizenship.

I think we should help legal immigrants learn our language, that is obvious. Illegal immigrants are another story...

Fri, 08/26/2005 - 1:15pm

According to the article in the Puerto Rico Herald (for which Leo has provided a link), Hispanic immigrants do not resist English, but believe learning English is a necessary part of becoming successful in America.

However, there seems to be difficulty in trying to achieve that goal.

Immigrants do not have the resources or education in their native countries to study a second language before they arrive in America to become a legal citizen.

Providing a few services, such as a medical translator, to help immigrants get started is not demanding to be "coddled"; it is Americans being helpful.

Perhaps, Barry, you should stop by Fiesta Fort Wayne next week to see what wonderful things Hispanics have brought to our country: music, art, dance, literature, business, architecture, food and, of course, people.

A few minutes using a medical translator in exchange for a more enriching American culture...

Small price to pay, I'd say.

Fri, 08/26/2005 - 1:49pm

Yes, Latinos have brought many good things to the USA. Unfortunately, the illegal Latinos (and other illegals, too, but who are we kidding, the vast majority of illegals in this country are Latino?) have also: brought back TB and other infectious diseases formerly eradicated in the USA; spiked our rates of drunk driving; overwhelmed our hospitals with uninsured patients demanding free health care; overwhelmed many of our schools with demands for free educations; depressed wages for many of our least-educated workers; demanded ever more money to be spent on their behalf, whether translators in Fort Wayne, or Spanish language comic-book porn in Denver libraries (yes, really)!

The illegal immigrants aren't doing us favors by coming here. They didn't say to themselves [in my best Cheech Marin accent], "Oh, norteamericano culture looks pretty white bread to me, SA, let's go inject a little salsa." No, they come here because the societies they're from ARE BROKEN. Thus, most of these immigrants have no understanding or tradition of democracy. They vote with their stomachs.

Is that what we want in this country? No, a thousand times.