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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 24, 2008 / 17 Adar II 5768

Tongue Twister: A Philly cheesesteak shop asks customers to speak English, survives an inquisition

By John H. Fund


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It was the small sign that stirred up a legal tornado. Last week, Joey Vento, owner of a popular Philadelphia cheesesteak restaurant, finally won the right to keep his sign: "This is America: When Ordering, Please Speak English." It took him two years, much abuse and hundreds of hours of work by paid and volunteer lawyers, but a local regulatory body finally ruled his sign wasn't discriminatory or offensive.


Mr. Vento, owner of Geno's Steaks, says he never refused service to anyone who didn't speak English and put up the sign only as a political statement because so many people were lapsing into their native tongues when they could have used basic English. "I wanted to keep the line moving," he says. He also puckishly noted that someone who didn't know English couldn't read the sign anyway.


But that's not how Philadelphia's Commission on Human Relations saw it. Last year, after an extensive investigation, it found probable cause that Mr. Vento had engaged in discriminatory behavior because his sign discouraged customers from certain backgrounds from eating there. A final ruling against Mr. Vento could have resulted in fines and a move to revoke his business license.


At a six-hour legal inquisition last December, Paul Hummer, the city's lawyer, argued that the sign "discriminates on the basis of national origin because national origin and language are linked." He even implausibly claimed the sign harkened back to the "Whites Only" postings of the Jim Crow era in the segregated South.


Shannon Goessling, Mr. Vento's attorney, responded that the sign was more akin to the "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service" signs that patrons often see. "Do you want the freedom from being offended or the freedom of speech?" she asked the three-member panel hearing the case. "You can't have both."


By a vote of 2-1, the panel decided to leave Geno's Steaks alone. "The matter is behind us, and I look forward to directing this agency to more progressive ends," said chairman Nick Taliaferro.


The Battle of the Cheesesteak Sign may be over, but the larger war over the use of English in this country rages on. Last year, California's Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, himself an immigrant, urged Hispanics to assimilate and said the way ahead in this country is "to turn off the Spanish TV set. It's that simple. You've got to learn English."


Statistics back him up. TV Azteca, Mexico's second-largest network, has launched a 60-hour series of English classes on all its U.S. affiliates. It recognizes that learning English empowers Latinos. "If you live in this country, you to speak as everybody else," Jose Martin Samano, Azteca's U.S. anchor, told Fox News. "Immigrants here in the U.S. can make up to 50% or 60% more if they speak both English and Spanish. This is something we have to do for our own people."


But there are powerful forces trying to make assimilation a dirty word. Consider just how much resistance Sen. Lamar Alexander is getting over his attempt to bar the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from launching "frivolous lawsuits" like the ones it filed last year against the Salvation Army and 125 other businesses for requiring workers to speak English on the job.


The EEOC claims businesses are free to have English-only policies if there is a "business necessity" for them, but the expense and hassle of proving that is on the employer. Mr. Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, says the EEOC has better things to do. He wants to redirect the $670,000 spent by the EEOC on its anti-English lawsuits into a federal program that teach adults English.


In November the House joined the Senate in voting for his idea. But when the measure was set to go to a conference committee that would write the final language, Speaker Nancy Pelosi cancelled the meeting because of pressure from liberal groups. The House Hispanic Caucus withheld its votes from a key bill granting relief on the Alternative Minimum Tax until she promised to kill the Salvation Army relief amendment. The bill died.


Earlier this month, Mr. Alexander revived his idea and convinced the Senate to pass it again. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton voted against the idea; John McCain was not present. The measure now goes to the House, where it is likely to run into the Pelosi buzz saw of political correctness.


That's a shame on many levels. The U.S. can welcome immigrants while at the same time encouraging assimilation. Everyone is free to practice the customs and language of his native land, but today immigrants are actively discouraged from learning the few common things that bind this country together, such as English. Already a tenth of the population speaks English poorly or not at all. Almost a quarter of all K-12 students nationwide are children of immigrants living between two worlds. Anti-immigration sentiment will only rise if assimilation continues to be a dirty word.


In 1999, President Clinton said that "new immigrants have a responsibility to enter the mainstream of American life." A few years earlier, Mr. Clinton and a GOP Congress joined to pass welfare reform, which has pushed recipients into the mainstream of the workforce with great success.


It's time for similar bold, bipartisan action to promote the teaching of English and thus help bring immigrants out of the linguistic shadows. Instead, we get the spectacle of Speaker Pelosi blocking legislation that would simply allow the Salvation Army to require that its workers understand each other in a common language.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor John H. Fund is author, most recently, of "Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

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