Six Senators Needed To Kill Cloture and S. 1639

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The latest word is we need six senators from this list I posted this morning to either vote NO on cloture on the motion to proceed on S. 1639 tomorrow morning, or miss the vote, or simply vote "present."

That means we have about five hours before the offices close to make a point to six senators. Use that list and tell them what you think!

Points to bear in mind:

- If any senator is saying they want to go through the process of discussing the upcoming amendments, they need to be told THIS IS A SHAM. Kennedy and Lott have already indicated anything they do not like will be stripped out in conference. The entire amendment "debate" is an exercise in obfuscation. The outcome is rigged and predetermined.

"THIS BILL STARTED IN A BACKROOM AND IT WILL BE ENDING IN A BACKROOM."

- This bill has already been debated in late May and early June and it died. This is where it should be left. Even bringing it back up is a vote for the bill.

- Your vote on final passage is meaningless politically - it only takes a simple majority to pass the bill, which is likely to occur. The only way to kill the bill is with your vote against cloture on the motion to proceed tomorrow morning. If you have any inclination to vote for cloture and against the bill that would be highly deceitful because it will very likely result in the bill getting passed.

(See this post for explanation of the "clay pigeon" tactic which will make it harder to defeat the bill if cloture is invoked on the motion to proceed tomorrow.)

- The bottom line is this bill promises a host of enforcement provisions which go into effect after the tens of millions of illegal aliens will have been legalized through the instant "probationary" Z-visa program. AND THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION HAS ALREADY PROVEN FOR SEVEN YEARS IT HAS NO INCLINATION TO ENFORCE EXISTING IMMIGRATION LAWS, SO ALL OF THESE PROMISED ENFORCEMENT MEASURES ARE ILLUSIONS, VAPORWARE. Let them show they can enforce existing laws, and build the fence that was promised last year, and then maybe "enforcement" could be used as a bargaining chip.

Click here for the list of senators to call and fax.

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19 Comments

Ted said:

I'm in the financial services industry and as part of my job I help clients calculate their Soc Sec retirement benefits using their Soc Sec statements and the Soc Admin's on line caluclator.

Imagine my surprise when I go to the calculator today and suddenly find the phrase "Aqui en Espanol". When I clicked on I found the entire page of instructions in Spanish.

Is it just me or is there something wrong with this picture?

http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/anypiaNoWep-SP.htm

zimzo said:

Yes we should force all those old people to speak English or let them starve. This page is in a number of languages from Armenian to Tagalog. How this affects you in any way is beyond me. I guess you're one of those people who thinks if you talk to the natives in English really loud they can understand you but they are just pretending not to out of spite.

http://www.ssa.gov/multilanguage/index.htm

Ted said:

zimzo, you presumptive liberal, uh, guy.

Actually I don't yell at the natives, because having been in the Army and lived overseas for 7 1/2 years I've actually learned just a little bit of German, Italian, Russian, Greek and Turkish. Oh, and I've learned a little bit of Spanish also.

You should also be happy to know that when I lived in Germany and Italy, and when I travled to Russia on business I spoke to the people in their native languages, which by the way, the natives, as you call them, greatly appreciated.

Now then, how many languages to you speak?

Oh, do not get him started. He speaks MANY languages and he has been to MANY countries and he pals around with cops and illegal immigrants and astronauts. And he knows more about your neighborhood than you do.

AFF said:

....and he owns your asses everytime you make a post.

Zizmo,
Keep up the good work guy- nothing better than watching bullies get worked over on their own turf.


....and err, no Ted. Nothing wrong with the screen. The explanation is quite simple- you are a easily offended bigot

Adios

See, we let even the most narrow-minded, anti-American bigots like AFF have their say without editing or blacklisting. I think we owe ourselves a collective pat on the back for remaining so nobly above the rabble.

And y'all come back anytime now, y' heah?

Ted said:

AFF, an "easily offended" bigot?

Given that you don't know me from squat, I am impressed by your confidence in being able to read my mind and know what's in my heart.

jacob said:

Ted,
zimzo will change the subject when you nail him down. Or, put words into your mouth you have not typed. Still he manages to be interesting. Just don't take him too seriously.

AFF is a zimzo-wannabe. Which is soooooo sad. I usually just ignore him because I have never seen him add anything to the conversation.

AFF said:

Thank you Ted- it is a skill not everybody has but in your case it was pretty easy-

Those who resent having to choose between English and Spanish when at an ATM are bigots. The leap to your personal situation is an easy one- no mindreading involved

Kevin said:

"Is it just me or is there something wrong with this picture?"

Nope.

(Ok, I'll take my beatings now)

But seriously, in the land of choices, what's wrong with being given one? Now that is freedom! No matter what language you say it in.

jacob said:

Kevin,
I will be happy to answer to take a shot at answering your question in general. If a private company like verizon wants to offer such a choice, and provide multlingual forms and online answering service, I really don't care. It costs them money and they pass it on to their customers. If the customer does not want to pay for this they can go elsewhere.

When the government is using my tax dollars for this, that is a different kettle of fish. I do not even why we have forms for the other language groups (as zimzo pointed out). How many Armenian's are there living in this country who need social security and don't speak English AND can't find a family member who can help them? It is a waste of money.

As for the spanish form, the majority of hispanics in this country who cannot read in english are illegal aliens. Most legal hispanic immigrants and damn near all hispanic citizens CAN read and speak English. And if they can't why on earth can't they find a bilingual hispanic friend or family member?

The bilingual page here is federal and as such it is making it easier primarily for those who are here illegally to see what os going on in the system and sends a message. This message is "Its OK not to learn how to speak English."

Which will only lead to the eventual Balkanization of our country. History in the main has not been kind to bilingual nations.

Fair enough Kevin?

Kevin said:

Well, Jacob, it was fair enough. There were certainly no personal attacks. I don't honestly know how much is spent a year on printing forms in other languages, though I seem to remember you or someone else came up with a figure or two, if I recall. And blamed Bill Clinton. Or was that HE who blamed Bill Clinton? Or Joe? I'm not meaning to misattribute, it's just that my photographic memory is fading the older I get.

Is it possible that people CAN speak English, at least enough to get by, but not enough to understand phrases like:

"The goal of the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Program is to better enable SSA`s beneficiaries with disabilities to make informed choices about work. The WIPA program replaced the Benefits Planning, Assistance and Outreach program effective October 1, 2006."

I can speak a bit of Spanish but couldn't go anywhere near that. . .maybe if they dumbed the whole section down to "necessitas trabajar; es muy bueno y beneficial y esta' posible con una disibilidad"

Why actively make things difficult for people? It just seems mean spirited and comes off really angry. I mean, not that you guys aren't really angry. Except HE. She seems pretty happy-go-lucky on the topic.

What gets me is how language is overtly used to control power, position, and population. It actively keeps some in and others out. It's totally inevitable. I realize it's totally inevitable. There is fascinating work being done by Jan Blommaert on the very topic, particularly in regards to nation building and the linguistic problems of unifying oligolinguistic nations.

If I understand your position, you would like to make Loudoun, or other similar areas, English-only because the Latinos and other immigrants who are here legally already know English, so you're not chasing them off. Just the illegals?

Hogwash. Also, why would you say something so nasty as, "And if they can't why on earth can't they find a bilingual hispanic friend or family member?"? What do you know about their family/friend situation? "Dag, you nasty!" as they say up here.

zimzo said:

Go Kevin!

Tom said:

Kevin-You remain as brilliant now as when I met you 15 years ago.

Kevin is actually a total curmudgeon once you get to know him, but he is a clever one, I'll grant him that.

Jack said:

My translation would be: "Fifteen years, and you haven't gotten any brighter."

jacob said:

Kevin,
Your write "Is it possible that people CAN speak English, at least enough to get by, but not enough to understand [more complicated] phrases ..."
Since when is it the business of the government to make sure that an individual has the required 8th grade reading level to decipher a standard form? In other countries such as England, France and Mexico and elsewhere are no such consideration is made. People are expected to act like adults and figure it out without further government assistance.

"Why actively make things difficult for people?" stands the whole issue on its head. Here is a government program that gives money to an individual and the government is 'mean spirited' in your view. I guess then every other government on the planet that requires those who come for a hand out and expects them to do so in that nation's language is mean spirited. Are you saying the entirety of the EU is 'mean spirited' because they do not provide forms in Armenian or Pogo?

The assessment that conservatives are therefore angry because they expect people to function as adults do not need their hand's held every minute is ludicrous. The stance of requiring some self reliance itself is not angry Kevin. Granted, one can sound angry while ordering an ice cream cone and some folks do that on this site.

You write "What gets me is how language is overtly used to control power, position, and population. It actively keeps some in and others out. It's totally inevitable. I realize it's totally inevitable." OK Kevin, I find this line of reasoning to be of dubious value, with all due respect to Blommaert. First of all humanity does not have a universal language, so where ever you go someone will not be fluent in the local tongue. For instance, since our culture is based on that of England it naturally speaks English. This is not an overt attempt to control anything. People have to speak something, and the local tongue here is English. That is an accident of history, not a plot to ensure position.

If anything coming here and learning to speak English is part of assimilation into the culture and nation. Making it difficult to stay outside the culture is not 'mean'. It is sound social policy. The immigrants who came here assimilated because it was more difficult not to. This was a good thing; otherwise had the Germans, and Italians who came here in the 19th and early 20th centuries may have not had their allegiance to this country so clearly defined (in our favor). Such social cohesion is worth the price of forcing people to learn the native tongue.

"Also, why would you say something so nasty as, "And if they can't why on earth can't they find a bilingual hispanic friend or family member?"? What do you know about their family/friend situation? "Dag, you nasty!" as they say up here."
If someone is here long enough to start collecting social security it is not unrealistic to assume that they a) speak the language b) have friends c) have family. I understand now that in your world it is nasty to assume that someone who has been here for a long time has friends, family and can speak some English. I do not find it 'nasty' I see it to be 'the norm'.

Furthermore this last part of your comment is sad. You started off in your reply to me with relief that I did not make a personal attack. First of all I usually reserve personal attacks for zimzo when he gets outrageous. I regret them afterwards because I realize I have sunk to his level. Now at the end you indulge in the very activity you declare you despise. This is the act of either a hypocrite, or of one who is careless.

jacob said:

Tom,
I would like to sincerely thank Tom for reminding me that I owed Kevin a reply. I agree that Kevin is plenty smart. Still that does not translate into my agreeing with him.

I would like to thank zimzo, Tom, and AFF for supporting their fellow libs. Support groups, according to the psychiatric establishment, are a good thing. You four could start LA.

Kevin said:

Jacob, thank you for your long and thoughtful comment. I don't generally like the personal attacks either and I always enjoy your points, honestly. I just threw the "nasty" bit in for tad of fun, no harm meant.

In much of your response, though, there seems either to be some bit of confusion about what I was saying (entirely 100% possible and usually the case) or some serious spin put on the topic by you.

"Here is a government program that gives money to an individual and the government is 'mean spirited' in your view."

I don't believe I ever attacked the gov't or accused it of being mean spirited. It seems as though you report the gov't as already having forms in other languages. That doesn't seem mean spirited to me. What does is the angry crowd's response of "Take 'em away, let those feckers figure it out on their own, for God's sake." It doesn't seem to be the gov't doing that but instead the angry crowd.

"'I realize it's totally inevitable.' OK Kevin, I find this line of reasoning to be of dubious value, with all due respect to Blommaert. First of all humanity does not have a universal language, so where ever you go someone will not be fluent in the local tongue."

My point exactly, it's totally inevitable and I realize this. And in fact, this is Blommaert's point. Back in the 60's and 70's (I've read) the US and Israel both got real excited about discourse analysis and started hiring sociolinguists like crazy, particularly for structuring governmental systems in newly created nations. Of course, as Blommaert points out in one essay that you cannot find online anymore (he's gotten too well respected for his ideas and now you have to pay through the nose just to read them) that the process is fraught with problems. Inevitably you set up, purposefully or inadvertently, power structures through language. I can't remember all of the reasons why but basically Blommaert asserts that while the US and Israel were excited at the prospect of setting up power structures that they found useful, the anticipated results were not realized. I think a lot of Blommaert's work is in dissecting (critical analysis of) all of the problems inherent in language planning.

At any rate, I'm not waxing conspiratorial about this, it's truly happening here within the ranks of this here group when you discuss things like making entire towns "English Only" in order to keep illegal immigrants/non-english speaking immigrants out. You bet.

I'll have to leave the rest of the discussion for another time as I'm running late for tennis. Thanks for coming back to it. And for being generally gentlemanly about it.

And "Ha!" to your support group idea.

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