Washington Independent: Hey, You Know What This Election Is Missing? Mercenaries

Washington Independent

Hey, You Know What This Election Is Missing? Mercenaries

I voted early on Friday, since I’m about to board a plane to go to Ft. Leavenworth for a TWI assignment. And while I waited on the hour-long line at One Judiciary Square in D.C. to cast my ballot, I thought to myself: Shouldn’t there be some jackbooted mercenaries around here? You know, to protect the integrity of the electoral process?

Luckily, Nathan Hodge at Wired’s excellent Danger Room blog reports that voters in Oregon may not have to suffer the way I suffered.

CIA-linked private military contractor Evergreen Defense & Security Services offered to post sentries at Oregon polling stations on election day, detaining troublemakers” and making sure voters “do not get out of control.”

In an e-mail to local election supervisors, obtained by the McMinnville, Oregon News Register, Evergreen president Tom Wiggins said he “recognized the potential conflict” that could occur on November 4th. “Never has there been a more heated battle in the race for president.”

You don’t want those voters to get out of control, right? Especially those, you know, NEGROvoters??? Everyone reacts well to the sight of geared-up paramilitary dudes in front of polling places, particularly those from the African American community, who remember what it was like to have the cops “protect” them at the polling places.

Alas, Hodge writes, Evergreen’s sales pitch was turned down. Is there no justice in this world anymore?

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Oregon Live: Oregon voters will parse English immersion debate

Oregon Live

Oregon voters will parse English immersion debate

Measure 58, which claims the best way to learn English is to immerse children in it without regard to their native language, squarely fits with a language controversy as old as America itself.

Some supporters say immersion is the way since the 18th century: sink or swim, assimilate. Others say that wasn’t always true. Historically, some immigrant children were taught in a language other than English when they arrived, even as far back as the 19th century, including in Oregon.

The rise and fall of U.S. immigration rates, with the accompanying alternating attitudes towards immigrants, influences the debate. Language, especially English immersion, most recently has been cast as a surrogate for an anti-immigrant stance.

“The polemics about language are inextricably linked to newcomers who give the appearance of not wanting to become part of the melting pot,” said Carlos Ovando, professor at Arizona State University. “Language allows people to take a xenophobic position and doesn’t make them look so bad.”

Others see bilingual education as “an experiment that was not successful,” said Rosalie Porter, author of books on immigrant children’s education. “It is the responsibility of the schools to give children English. It’s a pro-immigrant idea; it’s a civil rights issue. Our immigrant children deserve a quality education.”

In Oregon, where 15 percent of English learners are taught part of the day in their native tongue, both supporters and opponents cast the measure as an education rather than immigration proposal.

USA Today: Obama effigy hung on Ore. campus

USA Today (9/24/08)

Obama effigy hung on Ore. campus

Officials of a Christian university say a life-size effigy of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was hung from a tree on the campus.

George Fox University President Robin Baker says a custodian discovered the cardboard cutout of Obama early Tuesday at the Oregon school and removed it.

The effigy was accompanied by a message targeting participants of a minority student scholarship program called Act Six.

It read, “Act Six reject.”

Portland Tribune: Initiative seeks to ban bilingual classes

Portland Tribune (9/18/08)

Initiative seeks to ban bilingual classes

Oregon voters get to decide how to reach and teach children with limited English this fall as the hot-button immigration issue makes it to a statewide ballot