A couple news stories recently reminded me of things that are too late, and not recognized as being too late.

Out in Iowa, a man wanted his head to be cryogenically frozen, sort of like what didn’t happen to Walt Disney.  Well, one thing led to another, and the family disagreed with the guy’s wishes (and the already-paid-for decapitation/storage), and all of Mr. Orville Richardson got buried.  The freezing company didn’t find out about the death until two months after it happened, as opposed to the two minutes after death that they prefer to start the process.  They went to court, and finally won the right to have the body exhumed so they could remove the head.  Fifteen months after he passed on.  I see two potential outcomes here, neither good.  Either the brains were soaked in formaldehyde, in which case they’re not going to do the future Mr. Richardson much good, or they were buried as-is (or even removed and disposed of), in which case there’s not much benefit left either.  Sorry, Mr. Richardson.  Too late.

Then on the eastern side of the country, the town of Jackson NY (above Albany, but not up as far as Glens Falls) has voted to make English the official language of the town.  I applaud the move, and that part is not too late.  But a spokeswoman from the bleeding heart liberal New York Civil Liberties Union declares

The English language is not under attack in Jackson or anywhere else in the state or country

Sorry, Ms. Spokeswoman, English is under attack.  And it’s happening everywhere.  I grew up in New York, where the closest big city was in Canada.  We had lots of French-speakers and French signs in the language.  That’s accommodation.  I’m in Ohio now, and roughly 1300 miles (22 hours) from a Spanish-speaking country.  The road signs and supermarket signs are in Spanish as well as in English.  Carthage, OH, has a sign welcoming visitors in both English and Spanish.  Classified ads for call centers ask for bilingual applicants.  So, Spokeslady, you think English is not under attack?  Too late.  This is capitulation.

This is not a moral issue, but there is some similarity to Christianity.  One of the truisms, a phrase oft-repeated but less-often followed, is to “hate the sin, but love the sinner”.  In a similar way, I welcome legal immigrants and want them to be part of this big mix that is the United States.  That includes learning English.  I don’t hate foreign languages.  I don’t hate people who speak languages other than English.  Every day I work with people for whom English is a second language.  But they’re not demanding that speaking only that second language be a protected right. The NYCLU seems to think that should be the case.  Otherwise, why protest against English?

And in case you missed it when I didn’t refer to it, I’m in favor of Arizona’s actions to enforce federal law at the state level.  Somebody has to do it.

Don’t they?

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