I apologize for my long absence from the blogging world.  Apparently, as powerful creators, we must be careful what we wish for, because it often shows up in our reality.  I love teaching college and I was disappointed with the three-course maximum that an adjunct instructor is permitted at any single institution.  After a few weeks of distributing my standard employment package to various schools in the area, I ended up teaching six college classes (4 different subjects) at three different schools in two New England states.  This was a serious logistical/time-management challenge, particularly since each school runs on a unique academic calendar.  Of course, I have also been busy with the task of hiring a property attorney to address the three lawsuits surrounding my family’s two-lot subdivision and tending to the details that accompany such experiences. 

Fortunately, my original three-course load has ended, and I am in the middle of a two-week break where I only teach my new three courses.  But starting on April 7, I’ll add two new courses to redeem my insane schedule. The subjects I presently teach have morphed to include sociology, social anthropolgy, political science and psychology.  How am I qualified to teach such a variety of material?  This remains unlcear to me, but I love a challenge.

 What has prompted me to return to the virtual page (aside from a friendly nudge from TwoBlueDay) is another forwarded email I received from right-wing think-tanks. I won’t include the contents here (http://thevoice.name/?p=4426), but they essentially contained a scathing denouncement of our US senators who voted against an official national language bill in 2006. Basically, it encourages the citizens to impeach these senators as traitors for failing to uphold the Pledge of Allegiance. 

 My reaction to this message encompasses a broad response to the general culture of fear in this country that distracts citizens from critical issues surrounding this administration and the welfare of our nation.  While illegal immigration and national security are certainly legitimate concerns for all Americans, there is a fundamentalist faction within our borders that would like to highlight issues that divide us and distract us from what is truly important. 

Beyond the political ball and cup game, I am most disturbed by the recent trend to label dissenters, protesters or nonconformists as “traitors” or “enemies of the state.”  If conservative pundits have their way, anyone who disagrees with the present adminstration or, more accurately, conservative politics must be deemed unpatriotic and a threat to America. 

The extreme version of this movement toward polarized nationalism is evidenced by the direction of anti-Arab and anti-illegal alien sentiment toward senators who refused to legislate English as the official language for the United States.  Fear and hatred unite to demonize the unknown or the unexpected as a traitorous action. 

The entire issue is ridiculous.  We’ve managed to survive for over 200 years since we ratified our Constitution WITHOUT an official language as per capita immigration has actually decreased.  Why are we (the strongest military powerhouse on the planet) so threatened by those who speak other languages on our soil when the vast majority of countries in the world have NO official language and commonly speak multiple languages within their borders?  I smell  neo-fascism. 
  
People really should find more important issues to whine about that legitimately pose a threat to civil liberties in this country… like warrantless searches, government surveillance of civilians, labeling dissenters as “enemies of the state”, government sanctioned torture in military prisons, privatized military units like Blackwater operating nationally and internationally without accountability to the American people, the growing movement toward a Christian theocracy, serious proposals to amend the Constitution to deny gay marriage, and a news media that panders to profit and the politics of corporate elite.
 
Americans wouldn’t be so bent out of shape about an official language if they weren’t too lazy or stupid to become bilingual.  We have the largest population of monolingual people on the planet.  Globalization is here, folks, and we’re so distracted with scratching our asses, watching our reality television, and buying shit we don’t need on credit to notice that we’re behind the curve.  Hell, India just became the largest English-speaking country in the world.  If we weren’t so damn ethnocentric and self-righteous we might actually take a minute to LEARN something about the world instead of forwarding propaganda from right-wing think tanks to make us feel better about our simple-minded, self-centered existence.
 
Really… traitorous?  Pathetic. 

Ice shelves are breaking up, the US has a $9.4 Trillion debt, we’re spending billions each month on the war in Iraq, our economy is in recession with the value of the dollar dropping everyday, we’re the most obese nation in the world (ranked 46th in the world in life expectancy), 180,000 Floridians were disenfranchised during the 2000 presidential election and nobody seems to mind (http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/vote2000/report/ch9.htm), heathcare is a mess, our government is stripping civil liberties, our education system and technology is lagging behind the rest of the high-income nations…
and somebody seriously wants me to give a shit about the a legal formality that would essentially confirm what we’ve known for our entire national history: 
Americans speak English!  Holy shit!  Alert the press! 
No, let me get this straight… I’m supposed to condemn our elected leaders, NAY impeach them, for failing to support the ideology of a national official language because it violates the Pledge of Allegiance?  Now which version of the  Pledge exactly… the first one that lasted for 31 years:
“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
or the second one that lasted for another 31 years:
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
or the third version that’s been around since 1954:
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Should I be offended that our Great Seal of the United States and our currency all contain our motto in Latin?!?  Or should I live as if that motto, which honors the strength of our diversity, is the foundation of a liberty-loving society?
E pluribus Unum
“Out of many, One.” 
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