Friday, October 31, 2008


[Originally posted at "Down With Absolutes" on October 31, 2008]

A few weeks ago, I received my new voter registration card from the County Board of Elections. More recently I received an official specimen ballot. Both of them were bilingual. I was tempted to write the following bilingual “Thank you” note to the Junta de Elecciones del Condado.

Estimados Señores,

Les agradezco su bondad en enviareme el modelo de papeleta electoral tanto en inglés como en español. Pero me pregunto si es necesario. Se supone que eso se envia a los que tienen derecho a votar; es decir, a los ciudadanos estadounidenses de mayor edad. Pero para ser ciudadano, uno o tiene que haber nacido aquí o tiene que solicitar para ser ciudadano. Me imagino que los que nacieron y se criaron aquí ya hablan ingles. Y los requisitos para solicitar la ciudadanía incluyen: (1) un período de residencia contínua y presencia física en los EE.UU, (2) buen character moral, (3) conocimiento de los principios de la constitución, (4) tener una opinion favorable a los EE.UU. (5) pasar un examen de ciudadanía y (6) la capacidad de leer, escribir y hablar inglés. Por lo tanto, no lo creo necesario enviar papeletas bilingủes a los ciudadanos que tienen derecho a votar.

Dear Sirs

Thank you for your kindness in sending me the specimen ballot in both English and Spanish. But I wonder if it is necessary. It is assumed that this is sent to those who have a right to vote; that is, to United States citizens of legal age. But to be a citizen one has to have either been born here or applied for citizenship. I imagine that those who were born and raised here already speak English. And the requirements for requesting citizenship include: (1) a period of continuous residence and physical presence in the United States, (2) good moral character, (3) knowledge of the principles of the U.S. Constitution, (4) favorable disposition towards the United States, (5) pass the United States Citizenship Test and (6) the ability to read, write and speak English. Therefore, I don’t think it is necessary to send bilingual ballots to citizens who have a right to vote.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Breathtaking Double Standards

[Originally posted at "Down With Absolutes" on October 28, 2008]

It probably won’t do to complain about left wing bias in the media, as it will likely be perceived as so much right-wing whining. I do get amused, however, when the left whines about talk radio. It gets even more hilarious when a left wing Democrat, while debating a right wing Republican on Fox News bitterly complains that FOX News is not fair and balanced, Somehow, they miss the irony.

I thought the press had reached a new low four years ago during the run-up to the 2004 election, when CBS News desperately tried to prove that George Bush was being less than truthful about his service in the Texas Air National Guard. They came up with an old document purportedly written by Bush’s commander, Jerry B. Killian (who was conveniently dead and unable to comment), indicating that Bush was either AWOL or had served less than honorably, or something to that effect. They deliberately ignored evidence to the contrary, including protestations from Killian’s surviving family members who recalled him as having nothing but the highest praise and admiration for the young Bush, as well as a number of Killian’s friends and associates who doubted the authenticity of the documents. The other major thing they ignored was that the slightest forensic analysis of the document would establish it as an obvious forgery, something that CBS either (1) knew full well and went ahead with the story anyway, or (2) perhaps in their zeal to deep six Bush’s political career, didn’t bother checking. In the end, an independent panel clearly exposed the shoddy and deceptive journalism that led to the bogus story, four CBS employees were ousted, and Dan Rather was allowed to go softly into that good night.