Angry New Yorker

Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Gotham. Today's Babel.

In the Bible, which unfortunately fewer and fewer people have any cogent familiarity with or understanding of, the Tower of Babel appears fleetingly in Genesis 11, tucked between a great deal of begatting, and has commonly been understood as mankind's overreaching attempt to reach God's domain via earthly efforts. As punishment (admittedly Genesis 11 is not a model of clarity), God decides to "confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.* * * Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth."

Well, as Deroy Murdock scathingly notes, Mayor Bloomberg, is building a Babel in Gotham, whereby "America’s largest municipality soon will conduct official business not only in English and Spanish — which is bad enough — but also five more foreign languages: Russian, Chinese, Korean, French Creole, and Italian." Bloomberg nonsensically heralded on July 22nd, as he signed the edict, that “[t]his Executive Order will make our city more accessible, while helping us become the most inclusive municipal government in the nation.”

Pardon? Government offices gabbering away in seven languages will do what now? Will people have to press 7 for Creole? The actual Executive Order is available here as a PDF for your amusement.

Murdock delivers a full broadside:
Are today’s immigrants too feeble to learn English, as did the 12 million immigrants who filed through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954? Since when have Italians, of all people, become too wretched to fathom English? Is it too much to ask today’s Italian arrivals to speak America’s common tongue, as did the forbears of such distinguished New Yorkers as Giuliani, former governor Mario Cuomo, Home Depot co-founder Kenneth Langone, and Academy Award–winning director Martin Scorsese?
Bloomberg is a rich man with good intentions. He's also a numbskull in many ways who can't pass up any opportunity to do for others what they should be doing for themselves.

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