- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 14, 2001

Divided and eroding
Mauro Mujica, chairman of the board and CEO of U.S. English Inc., says the United States is threatened to be "torn apart" by Uncle Sam's ever-increasing official policies of multilingualism.
This from a person who emigrated to America from Chile and grew up speaking Spanish.
"Now don't get me wrong," Mr. Mujica says. "I still use Spanish in my home and in many of my business relationships. And I fully defend the right of individuals to speak any language they want, any time. But history clearly shows that one of the fastest ways to undermine the unity of a nation and fan the flames of divisiveness and chaos is by eroding the bond of a common language."
For those in doubt, he points out that American voting ballots are required to be printed in foreign languages in over 375 polling districts; the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission punishes businesses that expect their employees to speak English; the Internal Revenue Service offers non-English tax forms and advice (a Clinton-era executive order requires all federal agencies to provide programs and services in any language to anyone living in the United States); and the Social Security Administration is even promoting its Spanish services for older Americans who still haven't picked up the English language.
None of which beats the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, which is performing U.S. citizenship ceremonies in foreign languages.

Car bars
If you thought the controversy surrounding the under-age drinking incident of Jenna and Barbara Bush has died down, think again.
Because they're the 19-year-old twin daughters of President Bush, their story, which made international headlines earlier this summer, has sparked an ongoing social and political debate on virtually every subject linked to alcohol — from entrapment and teen-age stress to America's strict alcohol laws.
Regarding those laws, the group Alcohol in Moderation (AIM) notes that Mr. Bush's daughters are old enough to marry, vote, possess a firearm, die for their country in the military, yet they're not old enough to consume, purchase or serve alcohol.
A far cry from the laws of other industrialized nations, AIM says. In Europe, Britain, despite very liberal drinking laws, enjoys the safest roads and lowest drunken-driving offenses.
Concludes AIM: "It can be argued that over-regulation — such as a drinking age of 21 — can send drinking underground, and instead of young adults learning to drink responsibly in a controlled environment of the home and properly run bars, students and their contemporaries have to sneak and lie to obtain alcohol and then consume it out of the public eye, often in the worst place of all, their cars."

Brother against brother
Like the Civil War itself, our item on Southern history being rewritten and/or obliterated and its population ridiculed in today's society continues to generate emotion, with many of our black readers at odds with the League of the South's local chairman, Jason Koehne.
Ted Church, a reader in Memphis, Tenn., weighed in yesterday that when Mr. Koehne sheds tears about his Southern heritage being trampled upon, he should remember "enslaved parents mourning the sale of their spouse or children to another owner, destroying their family."
Still, from a historical standpoint, writes Bart H. Siegel of Tampa, Fla., it must be acknowledged "that it was the slaves' own people, back in Africa, that initially destroyed families by selling their own people into slavery. It is also seldom acknowledged that the Southern form of slavery was probably the most humane, compared with others around the world.
"True, slavery is a cruel and unholy practice," he says, "but the point ought to be made that its origins were not in the South, and its practice was not limited to the South."
Finally, Mr. Siegel sees an "ongoing propaganda campaign intended to redefine the cause of the constitutionally justified 'War for Southern Independence.' Any intellectually honest student of history would acknowledge that the war was never about slavery. It would tarnish our history to acknowledge that our bloodiest war, where brother fought brother, was simply over the acquisition of land, money and power."

Option 7
How many readers have grown tired of phoning a company with whom you're conducting business, only to be subjected to a long-winded recorded message offering every option but a live person?
Well, here's something that should pick up your day.
1. Dial Deutsche Bank/National Discount Brokers toll-free at 1-800-888-3999.
2. Listen to all the options. It only takes a moment.
3. After hearing the seventh option, press 7 and listen.
As veteran journalist Arnaud de Borchgrave, who dials the Deutsche Bank regularly, points out: "Every company should have an Option 7."

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