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Old
08-27-2011, 05:16 AM
  #176
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Originally Posted by triqsix View Post
you can't deny the dude was a racist no matter how you decide to spin his view.
I wouldn't call him a racist. It's not like he only hired white kids, or led a campaign to prevent immigrants from moving into the area.

He just had a somewhat outdated perspective regarding assimilation.

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08-27-2011, 07:27 AM
  #177
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Originally Posted by triqsix View Post
you can't deny the dude was a racist no matter how you decide to spin his view.
Yes, we're all aware any white guy who has any problem with any person who is not white is automatically a racist.

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08-27-2011, 08:59 AM
  #178
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Originally Posted by Jester View Post
No, it doesn't stop. This is America. The moment it stops, is the moment a fundamental aspect of what makes America what it is dies. I do not want to be like modern Europe, which is a disaster of ethnocentric policies that are at odds with an increasingly globalized community and creating a great deal of societal tensions.

Part of what has always made America great is the ideal that anyone from anywhere can come here (legally) and not be forced to conform or give up their culture -- and language is a fundamental part of culture.
I think you make quite a leap there. I don't think it's necessary (or right) for people to give up their culture to function in society. It's not the government or business coming into their homes forcing them to speak English. It's functioning in society as a whole, outside of their tight knit community.

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This idea that all these nationalities emigrated here in the past and instantaneously were learning and speaking English is crap. You had Italian, German, Polish, etc. populations that formed closely knit communities where they maintained and preserved their culture. Over time new generations broke down those barriers... Hell, there are still places in this country where German is regularly spoken.
I completely agree, and as I said above, its not about breaking up these communities, it's about functioning outside of them. I think you could make the argument that the trend you described about generations breaking down those barriers is reversing itself. If it wasn't,I don't think we're having this conversation.

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I'm sorry it makes your job harder, but I'm tired of the path of least resistance being a justification for political beliefs. It's hard to catch domestic terrorists, doesn't mean we should live in a police state.
It's not about making my job harder. I do think Spanish is becoming so prevalent that businesses and government agencies are using signage or educating themselves so that they can do their jobs.

I've taught myself enough Spanish (took French in HS) so that I can communicate some basics so I can do my job, because I want to be effective. Unfortunately, I don't sling cheesesteaks for a living, and if I cannot communicate with you, I cannot give you the service (or justice) you deserve. In fact, I may actually be denying someone their civil rights because I couldn't effectively help them.
I don't think it becomes a "police state" because the government doesn't provide a form in every possible language. And I'm not talking about catching terrorists, I'm talking about catching drunk drivers and protecting victims of domestic violence. No illegal searches, no wire taps, just day to day interactions with society.

I guess I'm wondering if you feel that, as the attorneys in this state are pushing, that government should be forced to accommodate for every possible language in every possible circumstance. I think there is a difference between willfully punishing someone for not speaking a language and an inability to accommodate them.

I think I'm mainly speaking of motor vehicle issues. Yes, driver exams are in a multitude of languages, but all signage is in English and sadly, most officers only speak one or two languages.

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08-27-2011, 09:40 AM
  #179
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Jules, the majority of non-English speakers in the US speak English "very well". I would wager the VAST majority of second generation non-English speakers are fluent. The process is playing out as it always has. We don't need to be acting like non-English speakers are unwelcome in the meantime.

Moreover, it's this type of general attitude that leads to people think it's acceptable to villify Muslims for legally purchasing and building a community center. They are here, and they have every right to be here without being labeled a societal problem.

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08-27-2011, 10:13 AM
  #180
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Originally Posted by Jester View Post
Jules, the majority of non-English speakers in the US speak English "very well". I would wager the VAST majority of second generation non-English speakers are fluent. The process is playing out as it always has. We don't need to be acting like non-English speakers are unwelcome in the meantime.

Moreover, it's this type of general attitude that leads to people think it's acceptable to villify Muslims for legally purchasing and building a community center. They are here, and they have every right to be here without being labeled a societal problem.
Jester, I'm not sure if you're speaking in generalities or specifically to me, but I have never once said that we should treat non-English speakers as unwelcome or advocated as such. Yes, there are many many second generationers that speak English "well enough". But, regardless of the generation, there are also many others that don't. Which is why this is a topic to begin with.

I also don't know how you jump to vilifying Muslims from not wanting to know 25 languages to do my job. At some point productivity, whether it is in business or in government, would grind to a halt if everything had to be accommodated for everyone in all circumstances.

I'm talking absolutes. Simple question - should government be obligated to provide every service in every language. Yes or no. No history lesson necessary, no political agenda being asked, no European comparison needed, just should it be done.

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08-27-2011, 10:36 AM
  #181
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Originally Posted by Jules801 View Post
Jester, I'm not sure if you're speaking in generalities or specifically to me, but I have never once said that we should treat non-English speakers as unwelcome or advocated as such. Yes, there are many many second generationers that speak English "well enough". But, regardless of the generation, there are also many others that don't. Which is why this is a topic to begin with.

I also don't know how you jump to vilifying Muslims from not wanting to know 25 languages to do my job. At some point productivity, whether it is in business or in government, would grind to a halt if everything had to be accommodated for everyone in all circumstances.

I'm talking absolutes. Simple question - should government be obligated to provide every service in every language. Yes or no. No history lesson necessary, no political agenda being asked, no European comparison needed, just should it be done.
Yes.

If hospitals can make this happen -- which my fiancee deals with -- then it's easily doable. This is a country built on a foundation of immigration, and the vast majority of those people didn't know English when they showed up.

And European comparison is needed, because we don't want to be Europe... trust me. They really handle this stuff poorly, and it's leading to a lot of problems. The government is not the government of English speakers... it's the government of the United States of America, which is a multi-lingual nation and always has been a multi-lingual nation.

And I'm not saying that you vilify Muslims, I'm saying it's ultimately the same justifications in play behind both positions.

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08-27-2011, 10:50 AM
  #182
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Jester, I agree that a hospital should be able to provide service in any language -- it's critical when finding out medical history and the like.

But should every nurse and every doctor be able to speak every language? That's where I think Jules is coming from. The department as a whole should have access to translators, but each individual officer simply can't.

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08-27-2011, 10:53 AM
  #183
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Originally Posted by Jester View Post
Yes.

If hospitals can make this happen -- which my fiancee deals with -- then it's easily doable. This is a country built on a foundation of immigration, and the vast majority of those people didn't know English when they showed up.

And European comparison is needed, because we don't want to be Europe... trust me. They really handle this stuff poorly, and it's leading to a lot of problems. The government is not the government of English speakers... it's the government of the United States of America, which is a multi-lingual nation and always has been a multi-lingual nation.
Ok, thank you. Obviously I disagree because I don't think its practical, especially in emergency situations. Most pd's do not have the payroll to keep translators on call, and finding community services to help has been hit or miss (other than for Spanish). Even in hospitals, in true emergencies they probably aren't talking to the patient a whole lot.

I think we differ in opinion because I don't see learning a working knowledge of the predominant language of a country as the crumbling of the founding ideas of said country.

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And I'm not saying that you vilify Muslims, I'm saying it's ultimately the same justifications in play behind both positions.
Thank you because I'm certainly not. A slightly conservative view does not equate tea-party radicalism ya know. lol

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08-27-2011, 10:58 AM
  #184
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Originally Posted by CharlieGirl View Post
Jester, I agree that a hospital should be able to provide service in any language -- it's critical when finding out medical history and the like.

But should every nurse and every doctor be able to speak every language? That's where I think Jules is coming from. The department as a whole should have access to translators, but each individual officer simply can't.
Yes, and it's not always possible or practical to find one in our situations.

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08-27-2011, 11:28 AM
  #185
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Originally Posted by CharlieGirl View Post
Jester, I agree that a hospital should be able to provide service in any language -- it's critical when finding out medical history and the like.

But should every nurse and every doctor be able to speak every language? That's where I think Jules is coming from. The department as a whole should have access to translators, but each individual officer simply can't.
No, but they have a system in place to enable communication in ANY language. They have translator phone service. It's a pain in the ass, but you have to do it if you're going to provide medical service to a patient that doesn't speak English.

Should hospital turn away a patient if they do not speak a readily available language?

It is, no doubt, a problem....but the solution to the problem is not to "other" people that don't speak English and stigmatize them as somehow unwelcome and/or inferior citizens (if they are citizens) because they don't speak English.

The biggest problem is that all the evidence points towards these communities learning English... already. So, why not tone down the ethnocentric rhetoric (that's really what it is... it isn't racist or anything per se, it's presenting a homogeneous as opposed to heterogeneous view of American society), and do the best that you can.

Because at its heart, you cannot solve the "problem" without simply denying basic services to people.

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08-27-2011, 11:40 AM
  #186
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Originally Posted by Jester View Post
No, but they have a system in place to enable communication in ANY language. They have translator phone service. It's a pain in the ass, but you have to do it if you're going to provide medical service to a patient that doesn't speak English.

Should hospital turn away a patient if they do not speak a readily available language?

It is, no doubt, a problem....but the solution to the problem is not to "other" people that don't speak English and stigmatize them as somehow unwelcome and/or inferior citizens (if they are citizens) because they don't speak English.

The biggest problem is that all the evidence points towards these communities learning English... already. So, why not tone down the ethnocentric rhetoric (that's really what it is... it isn't racist or anything per se, it's presenting a homogeneous as opposed to heterogeneous view of American society), and do the best that you can.

Because at its heart, you cannot solve the "problem" without simply denying basic services to people.
So the hospital operates the same way Jules' department does -- not every person is able to speak every language, but they have access to people who can. No one is denying basic services to anyone, in either regard.

I think putting up a sign in a restaurant refusing to serve those who don't speak English is a dick move, and it's not a good business move, but ultimately that customer has the ability to walk across the street or next door and be served. The two situations are vastly different. Public services do need the ability to serve citizens in any language. Private business does not.

Personally, I've dealt with a couple of *******s who were unbelievably rude when I said good morning rather than bonjour. Those businesses also have not seen a penny of my money, and I've driven past them to spend my money elsewhere. I've also had to use a combination of a sort of sign language to be served in some places, and I appreciate the effort and apologize for not speaking the language.

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Old
08-27-2011, 11:49 AM
  #187
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Originally Posted by CharlieGirl View Post
So the hospital operates the same way Jules' department does -- not every person is able to speak every language, but they have access to people who can. No one is denying basic services to anyone, in either regard.

I think putting up a sign in a restaurant refusing to serve those who don't speak English is a dick move, and it's not a good business move, but ultimately that customer has the ability to walk across the street or next door and be served. The two situations are vastly different. Public services do need the ability to serve citizens in any language. Private business does not.

Personally, I've dealt with a couple of *******s who were unbelievably rude when I said good morning rather than bonjour. Those businesses also have not seen a penny of my money, and I've driven past them to spend my money elsewhere. I've also had to use a combination of a sort of sign language to be served in some places, and I appreciate the effort and apologize for not speaking the language.
We've moved a bit beyond that to the more fundamental point surrounding the sign and the attitude that led to the sign. It's tough to really understand this issue in Canada I think because the multi-lingual setup has been a hot button issue for a very long time there, obviously.

Here in the US we go through cycles -- usually tied to economic and or existential crises (like the 9/11 aftermath we are still working through) cycles -- where populist and ethnocentric rhetoric gets ramped up. So, for example, you have folks like Sarah Palin with her rather large following babbling about "Real America" and making distinctions between what that is and is not... and it is most certainly not someone that does not speak English, they are "outside" of "Real" America. We have the recent hysterics over the "Ground Zero Mosque," which resulted in many supposedly reasonable people actively seeking to trample on the Constitution in order to stop construction of that site.

The national language stuff, which has seen an upsurge of late, is part and parcel to this current swing in American politics. And, at its heart, it is fundamentally un-American. Jules brings up a very real problem: what does a police officer in the field do when they cannot communicate with an individual? There's no denying that is a problem, you're not going to have a police officer that can speak every potential language. The even more fundamental problem is that the problem is not solvable short of doing things that we should not be doing at a legal level. People are going to continue to emigrate to the United States (as long as we remain a viable place to move to and prosper). Many of those people are not going to be able to speak English when they get here. That's life. The majority of them will learn passing English, their children (I've gone to school with a multitude of first generation kids) are likely going to be fluent... and the process will continue.

I don't deny that Jules' concerns are valid. They're real. They're the product of a multicultural world, and a country that embraces multiculturalism. It's a hard problem, but we shouldn't be seeking "easy" solutions to hard problems.

EDIT: And, BTW, the French language protectivism is the exact sort of crap that the US should be avoiding as a policy course.

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08-27-2011, 12:07 PM
  #188
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This can all be solved by downloading the Google Translate App for your droid, its hilarious. I've been sending insulting messages to my friends in German, French, Italian, and even a little Finnish and Czech.

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08-27-2011, 01:56 PM
  #189
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Originally Posted by Jester View Post

I don't deny that Jules' concerns are valid. They're real. They're the product of a multicultural world, and a country that embraces multiculturalism. It's a hard problem, but we shouldn't be seeking "easy" solutions to hard problems.
.
And I still want to embrace it. I just don't want people to either "get a pass" in court because *I* couldn't explain to them that driving drunk is illegal, which is pretty much what the attorneys are setting us up for. We are not going to tie up an officer or a citizen for several hours to find a translator for an uncommon language to read ONE form. (this is what it's all hinging on)

This whole conversation for me was more about the needs of the average person and the average cop. Your concerns are also extremely valid, unfortunately extrapolating them the way you did doesn't help me get my conviction in court. LOL

That being said, I'm off to get drenched for 12+ hours helping whoever needs help regardless of the language they speak or their immigration status. See you peeps Monday.

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08-27-2011, 02:12 PM
  #190
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And I still want to embrace it. I just don't want people to either "get a pass" in court because *I* couldn't explain to them that driving drunk is illegal, which is pretty much what the attorneys are setting us up for. We are not going to tie up an officer or a citizen for several hours to find a translator for an uncommon language to read ONE form. (this is what it's all hinging on)

This whole conversation for me was more about the needs of the average person and the average cop. Your concerns are also extremely valid, unfortunately extrapolating them the way you did doesn't help me get my conviction in court. LOL

That being said, I'm off to get drenched for 12+ hours helping whoever needs help regardless of the language they speak or their immigration status. See you peeps Monday.
Oh, no doubt if there's a loophole that essentially gives the equivalent of diplomatic immunity for not speaking English then that needs to be closed. That, however, is an issue with the legal system and not so much the language the person does or does not speak... and definitely distinct from the rhetoric of Vento and others.

Police officers should be responsible for a good faith effort to communicate with individuals -- and there should be a system in place (not necessarily in the field) to communicate with people in custody.

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08-27-2011, 07:41 PM
  #191
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Is he racist? The sign doesn't say "Don't order in Spanish." It said speak English, which outs languages such as Italian, French, German, and even Finnish, which I would think most people associate with a white culture.

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08-27-2011, 08:16 PM
  #192
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Is he racist? The sign doesn't say "Don't order in Spanish." It said speak English, which outs languages such as Italian, French, German, and even Finnish, which I would think most people associate with a white culture.
If he had targeted a specific language group, we have a different ballgame.

What amuses me about the sign is, what are the chances that someone who can't order a cheesesteak in English can even read it?

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08-28-2011, 05:31 AM
  #193
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Originally Posted by Beef Invictus View Post
If he had targeted a specific language group, we have a different ballgame.

What amuses me about the sign is, what are the chances that someone who can't order a cheesesteak in English can even read it?
Journalists at the time sent in people to order in Spanish to see what would happen.

They were served without incident.

It was never about any real practical or logistical concern. It was just a little political statement.

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08-28-2011, 01:39 PM
  #194
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Originally Posted by Jester View Post
Oh, no doubt if there's a loophole that essentially gives the equivalent of diplomatic immunity for not speaking English then that needs to be closed. That, however, is an issue with the legal system and not so much the language the person does or does not speak... and definitely distinct from the rhetoric of Vento and others.

Police officers should be responsible for a good faith effort to communicate with individuals -- and there should be a system in place (not necessarily in the field) to communicate with people in custody.
Agreed. Nice discussion. (Thank for not locking it Beef!!)

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08-30-2011, 08:56 AM
  #195
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We have a national currency. We do not have a national language.

Nice red herring, though.
Exactly!

So maybe he's protesting more the need for a national language than being a racist, ever think of that?

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08-30-2011, 09:05 AM
  #196
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[QUOTE=Jester;36229082]No, I don't think we should have any national language.

Please expand on why you think this...

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08-30-2011, 10:07 AM
  #197
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Please expand on why you think this...
He already has, several times.

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08-31-2011, 01:14 PM
  #198
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That being said, I'm off to get drenched for 12+ hours helping whoever needs help regardless of the language they speak or their immigration status. See you peeps Monday.
Absolutely. I have a friend who works for the Canadian Coast Guard in Newfoundland. They were required to take french lessons so that they would be able to speak to some of the people they help. His theory is that, when he's fishing someone's ass out of the north Atlantic, they're not going to give a **** what language he's speaking. I can't disagree with that.

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09-02-2011, 09:43 PM
  #199
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sweet RIP thread.

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