Is this the glue to mend the US? How about Europe?
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Author Topic: Is this the glue to mend the US? How about Europe?  (Read 94 times)
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« on: November 15, 2017, 10:38:04 pm »

I love political cartoons.

What's interesting to me here is the glue used to bind the US in the illustration: Common culture, English language, the Constitution. Do you agree? Has US common culture fractured so much that we've come apart? Do we need to recognize an official language so we can all speak to each other?

Europe is trying to come together as a single unit. If any of this holds true for the US, would it help Europe to identify and foster a common culture and a universal tongue?

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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2017, 12:30:36 am »

The USA has never had an official language.  In practice, the government uses English.

Knowing the history of other countries that have tried to impose a majority language on INDIGENOUS populations (Not immigrant populations but populations that predate the formation of the USA) trigger separatist movements and massive resentment.

Some examples:  Kurdish in Turkey, Catalan in Spain, Welsh in the UK, Arabic in Israel, Tamazight in Algeria, Tamil in Sri Lanka, Breton in France, Swedish in Finland.

New Mexico (surprise, surprise, surprise) used to be a part of Mexico like the majority of the Southwestern states.  The people who were living there when the USA took over have descendents who still speak Spanish.  There's also French speakers in Maine and Louisiana in the same situation.  Hawai'ian WAS banned in Hawai'i and there's still a lot of resentment.
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2017, 02:16:56 am »

I love political cartoons.

What's interesting to me here is the glue used to bind the US in the illustration: Common culture, English language, the Constitution. Do you agree? Has US common culture fractured so much that we've come apart? Do we need to recognize an official language so we can all speak to each other?

Europe is trying to come together as a single unit. If any of this holds true for the US, would it help Europe to identify and foster a common culture and a universal tongue?

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I notice that the cartoon omitted gays.. and   LGBTQXYZ, etc. 
For a year or two, Trans people were becoming a real power... up until several months ago when some old trans hag molested a little girl in a bathroom - now you don't hear about Trans anymore. 

The way Trump will really become popular is when people realize and accept the fact that he is making tremendous improvements in the economy and prosperity.  Hopefully the pussy wimps in Congress won't completely gut his tax cut proposals.   One of the most recent things I saw that I'm amazed aadam101 didn't comment about was Trump calling for the end of the Obamacare mandate to purchase health insurance.  Currently, even if you are healthy, young, and have little or no money, you are REQUIRED to purchase a healthcare plan that is worthless to you.. and if you don't, you are severely fined.   That is total bullshit. 
I would also point out that "having healthcare" doesn't really mean squat.  My dad's healthcare is certainly not free.. they wind up raping his social security benefits to pay for his healthcare.   If you have some problem, the odds of your healthcare paying for it are often slim to none.  Does healthcare pay for vision, hearing, dental?  Almost never. 
If Trump included free breast implants and free penile implants into a healthcare bill, he would win an election in a landslide.  You may think that is silly and absurd.. but consider how many women vote based upon their god given right to kill their babies up until the day of delivery.. and have the taxpayers PAY for it!
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2017, 08:36:32 am »

The USA has never had an official language.  In practice, the government uses English.

Knowing the history of other countries that have tried to impose a majority language on INDIGENOUS populations (Not immigrant populations but populations that predate the formation of the USA) trigger separatist movements and massive resentment.

Some examples:  Kurdish in Turkey, Catalan in Spain, Welsh in the UK, Arabic in Israel, Tamazight in Algeria, Tamil in Sri Lanka, Breton in France, Swedish in Finland.

New Mexico (surprise, surprise, surprise) used to be a part of Mexico like the majority of the Southwestern states.  The people who were living there when the USA took over have descendents who still speak Spanish.  There's also French speakers in Maine and Louisiana in the same situation.  Hawai'ian WAS banned in Hawai'i and there's still a lot of resentment.

Many of the people you mention don't really give a rats ass about the language part, as they do about other things. 

Hawai'ins aren't pissed so much about language, but the fact that they were taken over by a coup.

The Kurds had their own country until the UK and France chopped it up and gave it away, despite being our allies.    The "host" countries have treated them like shit ever since.   

People from Wales are 2 halves.   The majority of them speak English natively and the small "half" speak Welsh.    The funny thing is, Welsh has to use a lot of English words because the the language doesn't have them.    The UK subsidizes "native" languages (back in 2010) to the tune of £27 billion a year each.   I'm gonna assume this figure has risen like everything else. 

The US bought the southwest states to cover Mexico's debts.
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2017, 06:01:34 pm »

Absolutely that language stands in for other things:  the loss of sovereignty, having the land you live on transferred from a state where you are the majority to a state where you are a minority - which includes the severing of communities.  (The Druze - who speak the standard Arabic of the region - are divided between Israel and Syria.  Children may never have met their grandparents due to the border being drawn by outsiders directly through their community.  That builds resentment.)

My country, Canada, avoided having a civil war between French and English but previous attempts to ban those languages in public angers people.  Even when they happen to be fluent in both languages.

As to Wales using a lot of English words; English vocabulary is about 45% based on words directly or indirectly from French.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_words_of_French_origin.  It certainly doesn't indicate that people are going to choose to give up English in favour of French.
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« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2017, 08:34:35 am »

English is also based a lot in Germanic.   French also used a lot of English words such as the infamous; la weekend. 

Welsh doesn't even have a lot of basic words.   Several years ago they had a Welsh language nazi on  He refused to speak English quite often and would only speak Welsh to the other 2 Welsh housemates.    Even basic concept words like "family", "friends" and whatnot were the English words.

Scotland is the main one wanting to leave the UK and it has nothing to do with language.   In fact, as I pointed out, the UK as a whole (basically meaning ENGLAND) funds the "native" languages.   Back in 2010, it was £27 billion a year for each"native"  language.  You only see the Canadain signage system if you go north of Inverness.   Road signs have Scottish on top and English on the bottom.  However,  people still speak English. 

According to Wikipedia (yuck), 99% of the people in Scotland speak English as their primary language.   Scotland "officially" has Scottish Gaelic as the state language, even though it's never spoken in any governmental setting.      Scotland has several dialects, but they are mostly based in English, even in the deepest pits of the Highlands.

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« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2017, 03:13:23 pm »

Well, back to language in the US.

Making English an official language and banning other languages is not going to pull the country together.  If anything it's going to worsen conflicts between English and non-English speakers.

As to Common Culture, what common culture?  They still can't come together on the cause of their Civil War more than 150 years ago.  There's a big split between rural and urban cultures - I know people who are still bitter about the Rural Purge of 1970 when the tv networks cancelled a slew of popular programs with rural settings to cater to an emerging urban audience.  Bipartisanship and 'common courtesy' have functionally vanished in American politics.

Moderation and tolerance could bridge some of the disagreements.  But at the moment, shrill polarization and disrespect are the hallmarks of media branding.
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« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2017, 03:23:08 pm »

But why should Texas, for example, have to have 17 (probably a lot more now)  different written driving tests?     Do you think Mexico, Thailand, and all other countries supportes have that same thing for non native speakers?   

Mexicans get butthurt about the US's immigration policy, while keeping their clap traps shut about their own country's far worse immigration policies.   Why doesn't mexico have SJWs burning the Mexican flag, like the US does? 
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« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2017, 10:17:53 pm »

Making English an official language and banning other languages is not going to pull the country together.  If anything it's going to worsen conflicts between English and non-English speakers.

As to Common Culture, what common culture?  They still can't come together on the cause of their Civil War more than 150 years ago.  There's a big split between rural and urban cultures - I know people who are still bitter about the Rural Purge of 1970 when the tv networks cancelled a slew of popular programs with rural settings to cater to an emerging urban audience.  Bipartisanship and 'common courtesy' have functionally vanished in American politics.

I think common culture goes back to the founding principles of the US: No government intervention preventing people from pursuing their best selves (to paraphrase broadly). Part of that includes rejecting thinking that prevents a group from succeeding -- here are where the problems start.

My beef with Islam in the US is when practicing Muslims chose to wear the hijab by way of setting the tradition for their children. Tied to that is the sex segregation within their mosques. People can believe whichever version of the Spaghetti Monster they chose but the beliefs that teach young girls that they are less than men has to change in order to be in sync with a common western culture.

I think the fundamental differences in the two Americas -- or the two Wests -- is the degree the government is expected to help all peoples achieve their maximum. The current two extreme examples in the news are whether the government has the right to police language (hate speech/pronouns) and/or social norms (objectifying women, unconscious bigotry, etc. being crimes or not).

There are things we all believe but we've been steadily losing the ability to think critically to discuss them. 



The language question is interesting because I live in a place that desperately wants to be bilingual. The US could easily be but chooses not to. One part of absorbing another language is that the thinking within does affects the culture. More English in Japan has meant a loss of the social roles here. Spanish seems the obvious choice in the states but I have no idea how that would affect the mental landscape. Perhaps be more passionate?
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« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2017, 05:33:23 am »

Mexicans get butthurt about the US's immigration policy, while keeping their clap traps shut about their own country's far worse immigration policies.   Why doesn't mexico have SJWs burning the Mexican flag, like the US does? 

Dunno, maybe we haven't been infected by whatever is destroying the 'Muricans'.  Or maybe we don't give two figs about being hypocrites, Mexican culture doesn't have a good track record when it comes to accountability of one's own acts.

But yep, raphjd is right, Central American and Caribbean immigrants are treated really badly by the Mexicans, even if they have a common racial denominator.

Regarding the selling of New Mexico and all the other parts...while it is a matter that still stings Mexico's national pride, when looked through the lenses of history and logic one could see there was no other way.  On those times, population concentrated in the center to south of the country.  The Northerns states were practically barren and the Central goverment barely paid them attention, if at all.  So, the territories weren't tied to the rest of the country by strong bonds.  Same happened to Texas.  The Mexican goverment practically allowed Muricans to settle there, surpassing the Mexican-born population.  So what bonds?
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« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2017, 05:53:51 am »



The language question is interesting because I live in a place that desperately wants to be bilingual. The US could easily be but chooses not to.

The USA could easily be bilingual?  Uh.. the USA has enough trouble getting people to be literate in ONE language!  As I recall, in Europe, the average person speaks 1.5 languages.  In Louisiana, the average person speaks 0.8 languages.. which means there are a lot of illiterate people in the USA that don't even speak ONE language proficiently.   (Gee, I wonder how that can be?)
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« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2017, 03:20:57 pm »

A well-studied group of people who have no native language was in Quebec.

There's a large contingent of people whose parents are immigrants from countries that speak neither English nor French.  The language of the playground and school is French.  The parents want the children to speak English - to give them more opportunities in the USA - so they speak poor english around the children.

So, the children don't learn a language that the parents are fluent in.  They don't get re-enforced in French.  They don't ever learn a fluent English.  They speak less than 1 language. Sad
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