Saturday, April 07, 2007


Immigrants deserve the government's strongest effort to give them opportunities to acquire English.

By Newt Gingrich, NEWT GINGRICH, House speaker from 1995 to 1999, is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and author of "Winning the Future: A 21st Century Contract with America."

I'VE BEEN TAKING lessons to learn Spanish for a while now, and it's given me a new understanding of how difficult it is to learn a new language. And there's no question that if I lived in a Spanish-speaking country and had to study and work and shop in Spanish as I struggled to learn the language, the challenges would be greater. But there's also no doubt that the rewards would be greater too. Mastering the language of a country opens doors of opportunity, plain and simple.

In the United States, English is by no means our only language, but it is the language of economic success and upward mobility. More important, it is the language of our national unity and political discourse. And just as opportunity is the birthright of all native-born Americans, it becomes the inheritance of all new Americans. But this is nothing more than a nice sentiment if we don't do all we can to encourage and help new Americans learn English.

Among the ways we can do this as quickly as possible is to replace bilingual education programs in our public schools with intensive English instruction and abolish the federal mandates requiring multilingual ballots and government documents.

Passions sometimes run high when the topic is English. I learned that firsthand last weekend because of a poor choice of words when talking about this subject. That's understandable. After all, there are 31 million Spanish speakers in the United States. There are also millions of Americans whose first language is Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese, Hindi or Farsi, to name just a few. They are all justifiably proud of their language and their cultural heritage.

Still, it's important that we not allow passion to rule the debate. Too often, sincere expressions of support for English as our unifying language are interpreted as a lack of support for welcoming and respecting new Americans. For example, those who support "English-first" are often mistakenly portrayed as supporters of "English-only." English-first supporters believe that English should be the official language of the government but that other languages are fine in communities and commerce. In contrast, English-only advocates want to outlaw all languages other than English.

Clearly, these two positions are very different. Promoting English-first is not — and should not be — disrespectful of other languages. In fact, supporting English instruction for immigrants demonstrates our confidence in their ability to pursue happiness here and contribute to their families, communities and new country.

As a part of any comprehensive immigration reform, we should renew our commitment to making sure that all new immigrants have the opportunity to learn English. In public schools, children should have intensive English instruction rather than bilingual classes. For adults, we can adopt something similar to a program Israel has for its new immigrants. There, every new resident is entitled to 500 hours of intensive Hebrew language instruction paid for by the government. And along with intensive English language instruction, they could receive U.S. history and civics training.

Equally important, we must abolish federal rules requiring that government documents — including ballots — be printed in multiple languages. These multilingual documents discourage immigrants from learning English as rapidly as possible, limiting their ability to engage in a truly common political culture. Rather than expanding opportunities for new Americans, these mandates help limit them.

We must never lose sight of the self-evident truths affirmed at our founding: that we are all created equal — citizen and noncitizen alike — and that we are each endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If we are to live out these truths, new immigrants deserve our respect, not our condescension. They deserve the opportunity to pursue happiness in the U.S. that comes with speaking English.

Meanwhile, I'm going to keep working on my Spanish. It's hard, but I'm making progress — poco a poco.


We wanted to give her a chance. After all, she is the duly elected Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States, but we should have known better. First, it was the so-called 5 day work week which never materialized. In fact, the Speaker’s idea of a full day in session is something akin to a working lunch in most circles. Then, there was the “First 100 Hours” with a clock that stopped and started more than the last two minutes of a football game with timeouts left. Then there was the hiring of extra lawyers, outside the government, to help with all the new investigations. If there is one place you shouldn’t need any more lawyers, it’s on Capitol Hill. The list goes on and it all can be chalked up to pure politics.

Nancy Pelosi wasn’t dangerous until she started meddling in the execution of the Global War on Terror, a phrase that Democrats don’t want to use anymore as if not using the words makes the threat go away, through convoluted votes on “supporting the troops without supporting the war.” If she actually talked to active duty military personnel, she might learn something about the men and women who serve this great nation. Instead, when the president exercises his constitutional authority by warning Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid that he will veto any bill for troop support that has artificial deadlines or strings attached to the money, Ms. Pelosi responded with the condescending and disrespectful taunt, “Calm down with the threats, there's a new Congress in town…We respect your constitutional role, we want you to respect ours." It is not the constitutional role of the House of Representatives to wage war. With all the throwing around of the Constitution by the left, you would think they have read it. The Congress (the House and the Senate) is the branch of government co-equal to the Executive Branch. Speaker Pelosi is not a co-equal to the President of the United States.

Apparently, Nancy Pelosi thinks more of dictators than our fighting men and women. I have made two trips to Kuwait and Iraq (July 2005 and January 2007). Her first trip to Baghdad after becoming Speaker of the House was about the same time I was in Baghdad in January. She didn’t meet with the troops. She flew in and out for photo ops within controlled circumstances. My guess is, she didn’t want to risk sitting practically by herself in the mess hall like Senator John Kerry did when he visited in the fall. That was a sad sight indeed. She has no problem going to our enemy, Syria or advocating for a National Holiday for Cesar Chavez. Who is this woman’s constituency; it’s clearly not average Americans.

She doesn’t understand Arab culture either. You would think that 5 and a half years after 9/11, Nancy Pelosi would understand our enemy. She’s been in the leadership all of that time and has been privy to the information about the culture. Isn’t that what leftists always want us to do, understand other cultures? I have been to Iraq twice and dined with Iraqi women and talked to Arab women from various backgrounds. Brigitte Gabriel, author of “Because They Hate,” commented that Nancy Pelosi’s actions will be seen by the “Arab street” as going behind the back of a man (George W. Bush) in charge to further he own agenda. She won’t be seen as a reasonable person, she will be seen as a woman who doesn’t know her place. Terrorist have praised her but they won’t take her seriously.

Again the left shows that they don't want America to win, they want their own
agenda to win, which is not an American agenda. Look at the world today;. There is violence in Somalia and Mogadishu today because we didn’t finish the job in 1993. Lebanon continues to be unstable because we didn’t finish the job there. We are back in Iraq today continuing the Global War on Terror because we didn’t recognize the threat and finish the job in the first Gulf War. If we do not beat back evil completely, we will be fighting this battle again in a few years. History teaches this lesson and if Ms. Pelosi understood the history beyond the last election looked farther ahead than the next election, then she would understand that. We wanted to give her a chance but now that the party is over it’s time to get back in the trenches to communicate the truth to the American people. We must win this Global War on Terror; this war against radical Islam. Defeat is not an option.


Someone saw something and said something. No doubt CAIR's lawyers are getting ready to sue the John Does who spoke up when they saw this suspicious activity. Via DMN:

Dallas police and federal terrorism officials are investigating two women, both dressed in camouflage pants under their traditional Muslim robes and scarves, who were seen conducting what appeared to be surveillance and acting suspiciously at Dallas Love Field.

One of the women, Kimberly "Asma" Al-Homsi, 42, of Arlington, who is on probation for a 2005 Garland road rage incident involving a fake grenade, is said to have long-range assault rifle and explosives training, according to a Dallas police intelligence bulletin issued March 5.

"I'm a trained sniper and proud of it," Ms. Al-Homsi said in an interview Thursday after first refusing to comment on whether she has any terrorism ties. She then said no...

...On the afternoon of Feb. 25, Ms. Al-Homsi and a friend who could not be reached for comment, Aisha Abdul-Rahman Hamad, 50, of Irving, were spotted at Love Field wearing Muslim robes and camouflage pants and "acting suspiciously," the bulletin states. The surveillance video shows one of the women walking back and forth, apparently pacing off distances.

When confronted, the women told officials they were looking for the Frontiers of Flight museum. They left in a red Honda. Descriptions of the incident and the car were circulated at the airport.

Two days later, the museum executive director was leaving for the evening when he noticed the Honda parked facing the runway. A woman, later identified as Ms. Al-Homsi, was sitting on the hood, looking through binoculars at the airplanes. He told the women the museum was closing, and they left.

Dallas officers stopped the car nearby, but the women refused to let police search their car, , according to a police report. The women had digital camera memory cards, binoculars, a flashlight and several lighters on them.


Elsewhere in Texas, a Khomeini apologist imam gives an invocation before the state Senate.