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Location: California, United States

I am a neolibertarian minded individual who feels that freedom and individual rights take precedence over the wants of government. I believe government exists to serve the people and not to protect us from ourselves. I am an advocate for private firearms ownership, smaller government, reduced taxes and freedom to live your life however you choose, providing you do not directly hurt others.

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A Feast For Crows
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Saturday, April 16, 2005

West Virginia Makes English Official Language

Good news! According to the story in the title link, some piece of America has finally made English the officially recognized language. While I would be much happier if this had been implemented on a national level, I am glad that the state of West Virginia was able to make this progress.

As to be expected, the ACLU didn't think much of this idea:
Andrew Schneider, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia, said English-only laws are based on the false premise that immigrants will not learn English without government coercion.

"And English-only laws do nothing constructive to increase English proficiency. They simply discriminate and punish those who have not yet learned English," Schneider said.
I find it funny that the ACLU fails to realize that their statement is self contradictory. On one hand they say this type of law does nothing to increase English proficiency and on the other, that say it discriminates and punishes those who haven't learned English. It seems to me that if life is easier for people who speak English, more people will speak it then if they have no incentive to learn it.

If some liberal judge or alien rights group doesn't find a way to overturn this, I will look forward to seeing how much money this state saves by not having to print out government documents in multiple languages. If West Virginia was anything like California, they probably spent a small fortune while bending over backwards to make sure people could conduct business with the government in the language of their choice. Here's an excerpt taken from the CA DMV web page regarding driver's license exams:
DMV Wants You To Pass

DMV wants you to pass your test. There are law exams in many different languages. However, you must have the ability to read traffic signs in English. If the language you read is not available, you may take the exam with the help of an interpreter.
If this was only offered in English, our state would save a lot of money in creating and printing all of these different versions of the test, and people who wanted to drive would have to learn basic English. Likewise, traffic officers wouldn't have to speak multiple languages as anyone legally licensed to drive would have to understand basic English.

Lets hope other states follow West Virginia's example on this. If all goes well, Arizona might be the next to pass a similar law as they are trying to modify their state constitution to make English their official language.

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