Obama’s Elitism Shines Through Again

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This clip is proof positive Barack Obama is nothing but your typical elitist.


Here’s the quote in question:

You know, I don’t understand when people are going around worrying about, “We need to have English- only.” They want to pass a law, “We want English-only.”

Now, I agree that immigrants should learn English. I agree with that. But understand this. Instead of worrying about whether immigrants can learn English — they’ll learn English — you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish. You should be thinking about, how can your child become bilingual? We should have every child speaking more than one language.

You know, it’s embarrassing when Europeans come over here, they all speak English, they speak French, they speak German. And then we go over to Europe, and all we can say [is], “Merci beaucoup.” Right?

Ok, so lets wrap our heads around this one. He is embarrassed because we don’t know how to speak French when we travel to France. But he wants us to be required to speak Spanish for those illegal immigrants who come over and never learn to speak English.

That about right?

So are the French required to speak English for us Americans who travel over there? I’ve been to France, and no, they don’t even try.

But the kicker is that this elitist is embarrassed by the people in the country he wants to lead because we can’t speak another language. What a snobbish remark. But we’ve grown accustomed to his snobby remarks over the past year or so, whether its bitter Americans clinging to religion and guns or its designing a seal that looks almost exactly like the Presidential one. The man is a snob through and through.

Lets get real here and look at Europe, where if you live in, say, Denmark you pretty much need to learn some German since its only a few dozen miles away. In Wyoming you have absolutely no need to learn any other language other then English. From California to New York we all speak English (except for those immigrants who make no attempt to learn our language), so why in the hell should we learn another language? It would be nice, sure. If we all had the time to do it I’m sure many more Americans would learn another language, but thats not the case and its not something to be embarrassed about.

Gateway Pundit found the perfect quote to end this piece with tho. This from Time Magazine:

According to a recent international survey, the French are now considered the most obnoxious tourists from European nations, behind only Indians and the last-place Chinese as the worst among countries worldwide…

American tourists fared well in some surprising ways. Despite being notoriously language-limited, for example, they top the list of tourists credited with trying to speak local languages the most, with the French, Chinese, Japanese, Italians and Russians coming in last in the local-language rankings.

Embarrassed my ass. The only thing embarrassing is that the Democrats have chosen this fraud to represent their party.

Sad and embarrassing.

UPDATE

Tom Maguire
with a few questions of Obama:

LEFT UNREPORTED: How many languages does Barack speak? And how are his kids (ages 10 and 7) doing with their Spanish, or do they also embarrass him as the rest of us rubes do? I’d hate to think this is one more “do as I say” scenario similar to Barack’s no-smoking aspiration.

More here.

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you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish

This coming from the man who cannot speak Spanish.

Or any other language.

He can’t even speak English without a teleprompter. Otherwise it is uh, uh uh.

If this clip is “proof positive” he’s a “typical elitist,” then when I’m cold, it’s proof positive I’m made of ice cream and, since I’m white, it’s your typical vanilla.

I’m shocked Obama asked us to teach our children Spanish and not Ebonics.

Obama ought to worry about teaching American blacks how to speak in proper English.

It kind of helps when fishing the job market.

Or any other language.

Apparently Obama speaks Bahasa (Indonesian language).

Anyway the thing that struck me about Obama here is his reflexive anti-Americanism. So, American tourists are the ones who can’t speak foreign languages? Oh, really?
Relevant quote:
‘American tourists […] top the list of tourists credited with trying to speak local languages the most’

Granted Obama is not the only one who bought into this myth of the boorish American traveler, but he’s obviously real comfortable with the negative stereotypes since they play into his ‘blame Americans first’ ideology.

I read this blog often but usually do not comment, however, this case touches a nerve. The recent statements by BHO on language reflect the same nonsense and inverted reasoning that I have encountered for nearly forty years. Let me start with some background.

I am a sixty-year old American who has traveled widely and, at various times has lived in France, Belgium, Switzerland Japan and the Philippines. I am fluent in French, which I studied in HS and college, and can carry on simple conversations in Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, German and Japanese (very simple in Japanese). I don’t say this to pat myself on the back, but rather to sidestep the usual knee-jerk reactions that my views represent the “stereotypical” American who has never traveled and is monolingual. If you live long enough and travel extensively enough and make friends, you can usually pick up some foreign languages. Of course, it has gotten a bit tougher since, today, most people, outside of the U.S. in any event, want to practice English.

English has become the lingua franca of business, science and academic research. There are many reasons for this, but a few notable ones would be the British Empire, the rise of the U.S. as a world power after WWII, the extent of American popular culture, the worldwide communications/media network, and most recently, the European Union. Speaking English is a very practical skill, even if one never intends to read and appreciate Keats, Byron, Yeats or whomever.

Many European do speak multiple languages. Many do not. This is not sign of intellectual superiority. A small country like Switzerland has four national languages: French, Italian, German and Romansh. Even back in the early 70s there were TV stations in all of the languages available in most of the Western European countries. Plus, you could actually use the language. Many country borders are close. One can be in a different linguistic zone often in a matter of minutes. When I lived in Basel, Switzerland, I could take the tram into France, and Germany was next store as well. When I lived in Antwerp, Belgium, (Flemish/Dutch speaking) I could be in French-speaking parts of Brussels in under an hour. Not surprisingly, these people grow up exposed to and using multiple languages not just having them presented in a classroom. That environment does not make you an intellectual superior but it does give you language skills. Contrast that with many Americans who might travel outside the U.S. for a few weeks at vacation time.

I think that learning a second or third language is a great thing. It is mentally challenging (I am still trying and struggling with Japanese – very different grammar, lots to memorize, different writing system, etc), it gives you an understanding of other cultures and peoples that you never have if they always speak in your language, but this is not the same as promoting a national identity and cohesiveness. To promote those objectives in the U.S. it is far more important that immigrants learn English than that Americans learn the language of the immigrants. And, if I do decide to learn a second language, Why should I learn Spanish? What if I live close to a Filipino neighborhood? or a Vietnamese neighborhood? or a Korean neighborhood? Those groups all have languages too. Is BHO implying that the government will decide not only that I must speak learn a second language but also which language that will be? What nonsense.

Two final points: When BHO speaks about being impressed with Europeans coming over and speaking German or French he might consider that they are German or French which, in my mind, reduces the accomplishment. Secondly, there are also practical business and security reasons why foreign language skills are desirable. Chinese language skills would probably give a leg up for doing business in China, a growing market, and we could certainly use more Arabic speakers for the obvious reasons.

but this is not the same as promoting a national identity and cohesiveness. To promote those objectives in the U.S. it is far more important that immigrants learn English than that Americans learn the language of the immigrants.

Bingo!

When BHO speaks about being impressed with Europeans coming over and speaking German or French he might consider that they are German or French which, in my mind, reduces the accomplishment.

Bullseye!

I read this blog often but usually do not comment, however, this case touches a nerve.

Excellent comment, JohnM. Glad you decided to take the moment to delurk.

I think people should learn algebra too..and economics, civics, history. I’m going to go out on a limb and say I’m in favor of encouraging all Americans to get a high school diploma.

McCain’s economic ‘doctor’, Phil Gramm, sure is acting like an elitist. However, not a ‘typical’ one …for a typical one would acknowledge the ‘reality’ of the recession, but then accept Gramm’s statement we are a “nation of whiners.”

…”the kicker is that this elitist is embarrassed by the people in the country he wants [McCain] to lead because we can’t” [not be whiners]. ‘What a snobbish remark.”

Technically speaking, are we actually in a recession, Doug? Or have we changed the definition so that “growth reduction” now equates to “recession”, because it’s happening on Bush’s watch?

John M is exactly right. I am a European born 45 yr. woman. I speak 5 languages. However, as John points out, this is not anything I am particularly proud of, because the languages were acquired by the happenstance of my birth. Serbo-Croatian, for where I was born, German because my Austrian grandmother only spoke German, French and English because my family immigrated from Communism to Canada a bilangual country where they plromote French in schools. And finally Russian because Serbo-Croatian is a Slavic language very similar to Russian, using the Russian Alphabet. I am also reasonably good at Spanish, because each new language ( in the European family at least ) comes easier. I now live in USA and I tried to get my children when they were very young to speak my language,. That worked for a very short time because they learned very quickly that they received acknowledgment from strangers only when they spoke English. If my daughter handed the cashier a loaf of bread and said ” KRUH” the cashier stared at her blankly, but if she said “bread” she was praised for being a smart little girl. Guess which language she preferred to use? In Europe even if the child speaks another language, at least most people will recognize that it is a language, since all the countries are so close. Most Americans, except those living on the border with Mexico, do not have a need or any need to use Spanish. So they do not bother learning it. Mr. Obama, however, should not be putting anybody down, since he only speaks an Indoneasian language, again like me given to him by the fortunate happenstance of his living arrangements when he was young, and not by the sweat of his brow. The person I admire is Condi Rice, who to her credit became fluent in Russian. French, German and Spanish. Now she is the person who earns my admiration and not Mr. Obama. All he can do is talk about it.

…technically, no —But this is politics! ‘Techne’ has little to do with it. 3/4s of the public thinks we are in one, so do a good number of economists. You wanting to stand on the classical definition, ‘waiting for Godot’ to arrive, makes one a loser in this game.

Contrasting Gramm’s comments with Obama’s we find Graham closer to an elitist. He colors us as complainers, unable to judge a “recession”… he has to tell us what it really is: “that we’re in a ‘mental recession’.” That’s condescending and doesn’t fit public perceptions, that’s why McCain backed away from it, and from Gramm: McCain: “Phil Gramm does not speak for me.” —But he actually does.

Gramm’s classification of Americans “as sort of like whiners” and unable to discriminate a good from bad economy due to ‘mental’ agility most certainly puts him closer to being an elitist than Obama’s comments.

I think my comment could also be useful here.

It seems clear to me that Obama was talking here to the Hispanic voters, since he recommends Americans to learn “Spanish”, instead of simply a “foreign language”.

I agree with John M when he says that learning a second or third language is a great thing. But I don’t see the point why “everybody” should learn a second language.

Learning a foreign language takes a great effort and years of study (I myself had to learn English), so there must always be a GOOD REASON to learn a second language.

I am from Spain, and I teach Spanish as a foreign language in a High School in California. Most of my students study Spanish because it is a requirement for graduation or a requirement for College. In our school French is also offered, and the students take it for the same reason.

Some people study a foreign language to get a promotion or to have better professional opportunities. And some people, the fewer, learn a foreign language just because they feel it is a cultural enrichment and they think all the effort and time invested will be worth it.

Why Americans don’t speak a foreign language? THEY DON’T NEED IT. It’s as simple as that. Why should they need to learn a foreign language? Everywhere they go, they will be able to speak ENGLISH. In most touristic places in the world, they speak ENGLISH. I am from Spain, but when I go to a hotel in Paris, I speak ENGLISH; and when I go to a hotel in Rome, I speak ENGLISH, and if you work in a company that deals with other companies anywhere in the world, you will be speaking ENGLISH.

That is the reason why in Spain, students learn English; and in France, students learn English; and in Germany, students learn English. Is it because it means a cultural enrichment? NO. It is because if you don’t know English, you will not be able to go anywhere, and professionally you will be stuck.

People all over the world don’t learn ENGLISH just because it is a cultural challenge or it is fun to learn a foreign language. Otherwise, they would learn some other languages. They learn English because they have a very good reason: they NEED to learn it.

What reason should have any English speaker (American, British, Australian, Indian…) to learn a second language? They don’t have any. There will be few people, like in every country, that will decide to learn a second language just for enrichment (Chinese, Latin, German, French…), but there is no reason to spend all the time and effort needed to learn a second language when you don’t really need it and you can use that time for other things.

That is my point of view as bilingual, Spanish speaker from Spain, and Spanish teacher in California. Obama needs to understand that people learn a second language for a REASON, not just because it is good to be bilingual.

word,

The inhabitants of the Lefty fever swamps get the luxury of redefining everything according to their own needs.

They redefined the meaning of the word “sexual relations” and parsed the word “is”.

Now they’ve moved on to “recession” since it is politically expedient.

(Edited Repost from Another Blog On Same Topic…)

SWAHILI LESSON #1 – WHAT’S IN A NAME?

What does the name “Obama” mean in Swahili? (much more exotic than Spanish, eh?)

Let’s take a look at some very closely related words, and see what they mean. Perhaps that way we can get some sense of the hidden essence of the man.
==============================================
What does “Obama” imply/mean in Swahili? We need to look at variant spellings, letter rearrangements, and possible interchangeable letters, some of which could be….
… O-bumba, O-w(b)amba/O-wbama, O-bomu, O-omba/O-boma.

If we do that, we find some startling revelations.
——————————————

A – BUMBA = “clod, lump”
B – (ku)WAMBA = “apply by stretching, spread over” (implies “COVERUP“)

——————————————

A – kuWAMBA, kuwaka, kuchalala [slang] = “economic depression, lack of money, lack of purchasing power”
B – = –bomu (v) {“USE, INSTEAD” (-omba)} = “To beg from some one, especially money.”

==============================================

Summing up, we have that he is ….

…a covetous clod who uses deception to enrich himself at other people’s expense, rendering them impoverishment.

I think that about nails it, don’t you?

Isn’t learning a foreign language FUN, not to mention instructive, and not a little frightening?

(HEY, the Left is highly irrational, so, as bugs says… “fight fire with fire, I always say.”)

Aye Chihuahua,

It’s not a “lefty” thing on whether we are or not in a recession, and you know this.

You know enough about this that there are even conservatives that think we are in one, or are headed that way. Even Greenspan has said, ‘were on the brink of a recession.’ These kinds of quotes are everywhere.

Just today the WSJ said:

The conflicting views on what the Fed should focus on reflects differing views on where the economy is headed. Most of the economists who say that economic weakness is the bigger threat think a recession is already under way. Those who think inflation is the main worry don’t think a recession has begun, and on average, they say the odds are just over 50-50 that one will occur.

If one wants to sit and debate how many angels could find employment if they needed jobs, when many others choose not to haggle over such subjectives, settling on more empirical observables for the economy: public perception, then that’s telling enough.

Lastly, Gramm still is more elitist in this context.

Doug, it’s a wonder your head doesn’t hurt all the time.

First:
A – “there are even conservatives that think we are IN [a recession]
B – “Greenspan has said, ‘were ON THE BRINK OF a recession’.”

Which is it? Are we there, or aren’t we? “On the brink” doesn’t mean the same as “we are in.”

Second:
A – “The conflicting views on what the Fed should focus on reflects differing views on where the economy is headed.”
B – “they say the odds are just over 50-50 that one will occur [which means it hasn’t yet, and it very well might not].” (I have no idea what these “odds” mean or how they were generated or by whom, and my guess is you don’t either – which means they aren’t “facts” but speculations of anonymous folks whose qualifications to make such pronouncements may be non-existent.)

But with “odds” like “even-money” you think the “economics is settled”, eh? Sounds like another “consensus” thing going on here. Sheesh!

And, STOP QUOTING STUFF WITHOUT SHOWING WHERE YOU GET IT!!! (not the WSJ, altough a link would be nice, but the other stuff)

Finally, you are right about one thing, “It’s not a “lefty” thing on whether we are or not in a recession,…” But it IS a “Lefty thing” to make false/misleading statements about it, and to totally misunderstand everything related to the topic they are preaching about, and to ALWAYS get wrong what to do next.

scriptamanent – #14

A nice rational and well articulated piece. I enjoyed reading it.

But the Left won’t listen, despite the fact that you make sense. They need windmills to tilt at, and they don’t like it when you tell them they aren’t there. Besides, it doesn’t matter if there aren’t any because they can always create them, or, failing that, make believe they exist.

You have your share of Leftists in Spain, so I’m sure you are familiar with that concept, though I wonder just how similar the particulars and the dynamics are between Spain’s Left and America’s (as well as relative proportions of the population).

The lastest WSJ poll in March found most economists believed we were in a recession:

(WSJ) Economists in the latest Wall Street Journal forecasting survey are increasingly certain the U.S. has slid into recession, a view reinforced by new data showing a sharp drop in retail sales last month.

“The evidence is now beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Scott Anderson of Wells Fargo & Co.

Thirty-six of 51 respondents, or more than 70%, said in a survey conducted March 7-11 that the economy is in recession.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120534519452630845.html
——–
I’ve found when I link to past 4 or more sites it’s almost certain my post goes into the junk filter. I don’t know if others are as ‘heavy linkers’ as I am, or if they have the same problem. So, I’ve simply been listing the news source prior to the quote. That’s more cumbersome for those that want to fact-check it, but it works best that way for me.

Ok, Doug, so there seems to be a “consensus” that we “might” be in one according to the opinion of one anonymous (to me) source.

I would be interested to know what they say they (whoever “they” are) think “might” be causing it.

Here’s one guy who has an opinion that makes sense to me.

I don’t think that the current Dow bear market was caused by last August’s credit crunch. Nor do I believe it’s being caused by a recession that is allegedly starting right now (having failed to appear in the first or second quarter). Stocks are forward looking; when they drop now, it means investors are worried about things that are coming later — 6 to 9 months later. In other words, they’re worried about Obama.

And if you were smart, you would be, too.
____________________________________________________________

“That’s [not bothering to give sources] more cumbersome for those that want to fact-check it, but it works best that way for me.” — doug

Heaven forfend you should break a sweat to actually show us any consideration. By all means, be a taker and not a giver.

ok. Let’s do the math. One person, i.e., you, can be considerate and do the 5 to 10 minutes worth of research so your readers don’t have to. Alternatively, you can let 6 of us do a combined total of 30 to 60 person-minutes (each of us has to dig it out ourselves) because you are lazy. It’s one of the reasons we don’t take you, and others like you seriously. YOU DON’T CARE! And if you don’t, then why should we?

Yonason says,

Ok [ ] so there seems to be a “consensus” that we “might” be in one according to the opinion of one anonymous (to me) source.

No– there is no “seems” regarding a consensus: The conservative WSJ, the paper at American’s capitalistic center surveyed their 51 chosen economists and discovered that more than 70% believed “the economy is in recession.”

Therefore, to make a case it “seems to be a consensus” you must find fault in the WSJ’s survey.

No– there is no “might” about a recession either: More than 70% said our “economy is _in_ a recession”.

No– there is no “anonymous source” involved here. We are looking at the conclusions found by a survey in the WSJ conducted in March.

Yonason, then quotes one individual (in his post 21) that believes Obama is the main reason for investors concerns regarding the weak market!

Yet in May the National Association for Business Economics did a survey of economists and found:

(Bloomberg) The U.S. economy will probably exit from a recession by the end of the next quarter as credit markets improve after a year of turmoil, according to a survey by the National Association for Business Economics.

The worst of the U.S. credit crunch and housing slump is about over, and growth will pick up to 2.1 percent in the second half, according to the poll of 52 professional forecasters taken April 17 to May 1. More than 60 percent of the economists surveyed predicted that businesses and consumers will find it easier to borrow in the final six months of the year.

The share of analysts who said the U.S. is in or will have a recession this year rose to 56 percent from 45 percent in February. They anticipate that the Federal Reserve’s steepest interest-rate cuts in two decades, tax rebates, record exports and some stabilization in housing will lead to a recovery this quarter or next.

Weakness in housing was cited as the greatest single cause for pushing the economy into a recession.

A recession hasn’t been officially declared. The economy likely peaked in December or January and then started to decline, Martin Feldstein, a Harvard University professor and president of the National Bureau of Economic Research, said in an interview this month. The bureau’s business cycle dating committee officially determines recessions.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&refer=home&sid=atJCjnItaPRk

So, we are in a recession here again, ‘unofficially’, with Obama never even mentioned as the “cause”.

Therefore, Gramm’s comments regarding our delusional mass public perception of the economy are not only wrong, but vengeful, as his anti-populist understanding of the economy is confined to his own personal insight, wealth, and experience; as it is a most disdainful kind of pronouncement to make: to accuse those with less of “whining”, of having illegitimate pain, when the evidence states there is now more pain, it places his face as an occult presence contrasted to the public square, and therefore he stands clearly in this context as an elitist.

This is, again, why McCain, wisely said today, “Gramm does not speak for me,” even though he does.

doug

If I don’t know who they are, then they are, as I said “anonymous TO ME”.

And see your own words above in my #18 where I point out that your sources aren’t consistent enough for you to make the claims you do. “Consensus” is just my way of saying, their ain’t one (though it’s a lot closer than on AGW)

And there is no way of knowing what the WSJ said as long as you’re doing the interpretation, and you still haven’t told me where to find the material.

So, if I have to look it up myself…

A – Most Economists in Survey Say Recession Is Here
http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB120534519452630845.html March 13, 2008

One month later…
B – Recession? It Doesn’t Add Up
http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2008/04/24/recession-it-doesnt-add-up/ April 24, 2008

Then, two months later, and nearly two months ago….
C – Recession? Not So Fast, Say Some
http://s.wsj.net/article/SB121068163716188223.html May 14, 2008

And, most recently, it seems they agree to disagree…
Those who think inflation is the main worry don’t think a recession has begun and, on average, say the odds are just over 50-50 that one will occur.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121570752225642929.html July 11, 2008;

So much for “consensus”

Yonason,

You stated earlier that the “Lefty fever swamps get the luxury of redefining everything according to their own needs.”… that the economy is defined as in “recession” since it is politically expedient.”

I’ve shown you this is not the case. Leftists are not using ‘smoke and mirrors’ to create the impression we are in a recession.

All the premises for my argument came from surveys in the conservative bastion of the WSJ. Presently 51% of economists believe us to be in recession and over 3/4s of the American population. Job losses for 6 months in a row, negative trends in new construction, auto sales tanking, credit markets fragile, services sector shirking, home prices still falling, gas and food prices at record highs, and you want to accent the 49% in the WSJ debate that the economy is not in recession. It reminds me of the tale of a young boy who after playing in the mud was told by his mother he was all muddy exclaimed, “Not all of me, otherwise I could not see you.”

Publicly and practically, the answer is clear. You need not be a lefty to see it.

Furthermore, Obama has had nothing to do with the recession, as you stated above.

Finally, I stated in my original post (13) defining a recession has political strings attached to it; no doubt the WSJ, in an election year, is not exempt to those strings. To say otherwise is to foolishly not acknowledge its bias. (Many of you certainly are quick to mention, rail about the bias in the NYT.) Not to acknowledge these strings in the WSJ is your bias given all the conclusions on the matter of recession.

———–

later addition: “no” recession signs here either:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=washingtonstory&sid=ae5sxNLn0HFk

“Yonason,

You stated earlier that the “Lefty fever swamps”

Uh, …that was Aye Chihuahua who said that. Must be all that smoke you’re trying to blow our way that’s getting in your own eyes.

(AyeChi – I agree with you, btw.)