Posts Tagged ‘Americanism’

American Language

Monday, 1 November 2010

After one votes in California, one is offered a sticker announcing that one has done so. In my area, the stickers are typically available in English, in Spanish, and in Vietnamese. I ask for one in Vietnamese.

There are people who want English to be constitutionally declared to be the language of America; they are stunningly wrong.

Of most immediate importance, they are wrong because, whenever anything is made a matter of law, it is made a matter of force; behind any law is ultimately a gun. There are times for laws because there are times for force; there are times for guns. But language choice is not such a time. I have only contempt for someone who claims that there is a symmetry between being forced to speak the language of a merchant because he will not transact in another language and that merchant being forced by the state to transact in some other language, or official proceedings being legally restricted to a language utterly alien to important parties. (And my contempt extends to those who would force the use of minority languages, as well or instead of majority languages.)

Perhaps of even greater long-run importance, if a language is made an official language, the state is thereby empowered to determine whether this-or-that communication conforms to that language, which is to say that control of a language is seized by the state when the language is made official. The state develops the power to decide its grammar and its vocabulary.

America was given a foundation, however imperfect, of classical liberalism. It represents a gross violation of that foundation to tell people in what language they must express themselves, and a gross violation of that foundation to offer-up control of one of our languages to the state.

One of our languages. English is one of our languages; there are others. Any language spoken by an American is an American language. (And any name held by an American is an American name.) And there are people who don't know English who are far better Americans than those who would give that language a legally privileged position.

Un-American Activity

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

This story

Agency apologizes for militia report on candidates by Chad Livengood in the News-Leader
Missouri's Department of Public Safety has apologized to 2008 presidential candidates Ron Paul, Bob Barr and Chuck Baldwin for a state-issued report linking their political causes to the modern militia movement.


The Missouri Information Analysis Center's controversial Feb. 20 report has created a nationwide firestorm among conservatives in the past 10 days because it indicates people who support small government, refuse to pay taxes, oppose abortion and illegal immigration and voted for Paul and third-party candidates like Barr and Baldwin for president in the November 2008 election have tendencies to join violent militias.


But the Democratic governor and former attorney general has stood behind the report and MIAC's work.


The report also contains what it purports to be militia symbols. Among them is the Gadsden Flag and its Don't Tread On Me message, which was a battle cry of sorts for the country's founding fathers in the American Revolution.
is not getting much attention from the main-stream media.

I will be working on a Gadsden-flag bumper-sticker for my car.